East Village (band)
|Labels||Sub Aqua, Heavenly Records|
|Members||Paul Kelly - Guitar/Vocals
Johnny Wood - Guitar/Vocals
Martin Kelly - Bass/Vocals
Spencer Smith - Drums
Formed in the mid '80s by two brothers, Martin and Paul Kelly, East Village were an indie pop band from Princes Risborough, England. The band's music, which drew heavily on the influence of 1960s guitar bands such as The Byrds, The Beatles,and Buffalo Springfield was in stark contrast to the acid house and rave influenced output of their contemporaries.
After a year or so as a garage band named Episode Four, the Kelly brothers were joined by Johnny Wood (guitar/vocals) in 1984 and Spencer Smith (drums) in 1985, during 1986 they recorded the Strike Up Matches EP released as a 500 only pressing on the Lenin and McCarthy imprint that year . By 1987, the band had renamed themselves East Village and relocated to London where they recorded two EPs for Jeff Barrett's Sub Aqua label, before it folded in 1989. They also toured extensively, playing a support tour with The House of Love in 1988 and two tours with McCarthy. The collapse of Sub Aqua left the band without a deal, and they recorded their debut album using money donated by Bob Stanley, a friend of the band and an admirer of their work. The record was label-less for some time until Jeff Barrett (who was setting up the fledgling Heavenly Recordings) picked up on it and paid for its completion. A series of Heavenly label based gigs with The Manic Street Preachers, Saint Etienne and Flowered Up ensued, followed by a new single, Circles, in 1991. The band played a sold out show at the New Cross Venue in South London but ended the set by splitting up on stage. The album, Drop Out (1993), was mixed and released posthumously on Heavenly. A collection of all the band's early singles (along with unreleased demos), Hot Rod Hotel, was released on the Australian label Summershine in 1994, giving the band a radio hit with "Silver Train".
Prices on early East Village releases started to rise steeply and in 2006, Tokyo label Excellent released the first comprehensive CD of the bands recordings, and the track "Vibrato" appeared on the CD86 compilation.
Martin Kelly is joint MD of Heavenly Recordings alongside Jeff Barrett.
Paul Kelly and Spencer Smith played in the Saint Etienne touring band during the 90's before Paul Kelly split to form Birdie with ex-Dolly Mixture member Debsey Wykes.
Paul Kelly is currently a respected graphic designer, photographer and film maker (director of Finisterre and This Is Tomorrow ).
Spencer Smith works alongside Barrett and Kelly at Heavenly Recordings.
Johnny Wood released a solo album Quite Storm on Excellent in 2006.
Martin and Paul published a book in June 2010 with friend Terry Foster entitled Fender: The Golden Age 1946-1970. A detailed study in pictures and text of the early history of Fender musical instruments. Published in London, New York and Paris (French edition): Cassell ISBN 1-84403-666-9
- Cubans In The Bluefields - 7" and 12"EP (Sub Aqua 1987)
- Back Between Places - 12"EP (Sub Aqua 1988)
- Freeze Out - 7" Flexidisc (Caff 1989)
- Circles - 12" (Heavenly 1991)
- Vibrato - 7" (Summershine 1991)
- Silvertrain - 7" and CD (Summershine 1993)
- Black Autumn - 7" (Excellent 2003)
- Drop Out - vinyl and CD (Heavenly, 1993)
- Drop Out - vinyl only reissue (Excellent 2003)
- Hot Rod Hotel - CD only (Summershine, 1994)
- Drop Out - Deluxe Edition - 2 xCD (Excellent 2006)