Flying Nun Records have announced the release of Still Bewitched, a double LP/CD/Digital reissue of 1980s New Zealand band Look Blue Go Purple entire catalogue, out May 5.
The compilation comprises their three EPs, Bewitched (1985), LBGPEP2 (1986) and This is This (1987), plus previously unreleased live tracks spanning their entire history.
Look Blue Go Purple were part of Flying Nun’s ‘second wave’ (along with Doublehappys, Straitjacket Fits and the Abel Tasmans). Formed in 1983, they honed their sound in a Dunedin practice room under a record shop, where they developed a distinctive style with layered vocal harmonies, keyboards (and even flute) over trademark Dunedin guitar strum and solid tribal beats. They released three EPs before calling it a day. Though they'd made a conscious call to play with other women, LBGP never labeled themselves as a “feminist” or “girl” band, and grew tired of being endlessly asked about gender in interviews. “Gender has nothing to do with it,” they said.
Look Blue Go Purple comprised Canadian-born bass player, Kathy Bull (now Francisca Griffin) and keyboard player and vocalist, Norma O’Malley, who were both in the band Permanent Tourists with Martyn Bull (The Elevators, The Chills). Inspired by British bands such as The Slits and The Raincoats and wanting to play with other women, they drafted guitarists Denise Roughan and Kath Webster, and drummer Lesley Paris. Whilst the quintet certainly had the distinctive jangly, gently psychedelic, lo-fi Flying Nun sound, the combined vocals of Roughan, Webster and O'Malley found their own striking synthesis that made them stand out from other groups of the time.
Their debut EP Bewitched in 1985, was recorded and produced by Terry Moore and reached No.21 on New Zealand’s pop charts and remained in the Top 50 for eight weeks.
Their second EP LBGPEP2 climbed to No.26 in January 1987, propelled by the infectious folk pop of “Cactus Cat” and stayed in the pop charts for five weeks.
Their third EP, This is This, was released late 1987 around the time the band broke up. They played live frequently and toured New Zealand extensively, often with their label mates including The Chills, The Bats and Straitjacket Fits.
Still Bewitched is out May 5 on 2LP / CD / Digital via Flying Nun Records
Pre Orders available here.