Saturday, July 28, 2012

Venus Beads - A Client ep & Shackled ep (1994, Equator)

Unlike the Venus Bead's fairly well distributed long player, Incision, released in 1991, followed up quickly by the Black Aspirin ep, these two final eps for the Equator imprint never made it Stateside.  Rippling with feedback, echo, and angsty-ethos Incision and Aspirin encouraged comparisons to Jesus and Mary Chain among other distortion wielding merchants from across the big pond.  Both of the 1994 eps this entry concerns finds VB shedding pounds of much of that extraneous noise in favor of a decidedly streamlined tact.  I don't have the original releases in my possession to confirm this, but part of the "manicure," so to speak, could be due in part to a possible line up change.  Nonetheless, there was still muscular fortitude aplenty stockpiled in the Bead's arsenal, particularly evidenced by the aggressive title tracks of these respective disks.  The acoustic "In Disbelief" from the A Client ep mines a similar melodic vein to the Incision era, but otherwise the Venus Beads last gasps showed significant development. A big thanks to Duncan for supplying these files!

A Client ep
01. A Client
02. Friendly User
03. In Disbelief (acoustic)
04. Glorious Defeat

Shackled ep
01. Shackled
02.You Wish
03. Every Street Tells A Story


chriswreckage said...

Absolutely love these two EPs! Thanks for sharing with the world. I could never figure out what happened to this band after these appeared. So sad that they did not develop further.

Afterlife said...

The link doesn't seem to be working. Re-check? Re-up?

Unknown said...

Hi Chris,
I was a fan of the Beads and one of my friends knew them well, having played with a couple of them in previous bands such as The Sainsburys and the Rosehips.

We were talking recently about why the Beads split and couldn't come up with a definite answer other than Ant the Guitarist and Mark the drummer were heading in different directions musically. They split soon after a US tour where they supported bands such as Birdland and Sugar. Bob Mould was a hero of some of the band, so I'd guess that was their personal high point.

Anthony Price, the guitarist, became a music guru who promoted upcoming bands in Stoke and co-owned the Sugarmill, the local live venue in Stoke-on-Trent. Sadly Ant died a couple of years ago from a longstanding illness. Mark the drummer I think lives in Devon now.

There are a few videos on Youtube that you may already have seen. I put up one for Wolf on a Chain that includes some photos I took of a gig in 1991.

That's all I can say, other than my friend Dave was interviewed about the Sainsburys by Cloudberry Records, who re-release obscure indie music. The interview is at and may offer you some interesting background details.

Masquerade said...

Hi, just come across this entry about the VB's. All 4 of them were good friends of mine (Rob Jones, Mark Hassall, Steve Bolt & Ant Price). There was no line up change just the usual tale of inept labels who didn't promote them properly. The 'A Client' ep is ultra rare, it was pressed up and played by Mark Radcliffe but was never distributed. They were all penniless and had just about enough by then! The support slot on the UK tour with Sugar for the Copper Blue album was a highpoint but wasn't the springboard it perhaps should have been. Mark Hassall (Drummer) was the chief songwriter with Rob Jones providing lyrics. The three surviving members (above info about Ant is correct) no longer live locally (1 in the North East and 2 in the South) However much missed by all of us in Stoke.