giovedì 27 maggio 2010

English as a second language

The Names were a great Post-Punk band from Brussels (Belgium), formed in 1978 around bassist and songwriter Michel Smordynia. After local gigs as The Passengers, they changed their name in time for their debut single, Spectators of Life, released by WEA in 1979 to test the market for home-grown new wave music. Being signed by famous Manchester label Factory Records early in 1980 helped the band to achieve a strong reputation both in Belgium and abroad. The single "Nightshift" marked the beginning of their collaboration with Martin Hannett, the producer of Joy Division, with whom the band were to record an album ("Swimming") and two more singles ("Calcutta" and "The Astronaut"). Those were their heydays as you can hear in some tracks recorded from some 1979-1981 Belgian radio concerts, features stand-out tracks Nothing To Fear, Memories and a version of the classic Factory single Nightshift. While a show from Oostakker from summer 1980 includes Questions And Answers, Other Enquiries and I Wish I Could Speak Your Language. Superb material which echoes other keyboard-led groups of that era such as Magazine and Simple Minds. The Names recently made their return on stage (with new drummer Laurent Loddewijckx) during a Factory Night event at Plan K, in Brussels, in december of 2007. A live DVD, "Nightshift", was released in 2008 by LTM. The new studio album, "Monsters Next Door", came out this April on Str8line Records.

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