||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (October 2009)|
30 June 1962 |
Coventry, Warwickshire, England, UK
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, bass guitar, keyboards|
- 1 Early life (1962-1981)
- 2 From Zig Zag to The Swarm (1982-1984)
- 3 All About Eve (first era) (1985-1992)
- 4 Into the wilderness (1993-1995)
- 5 Mice (1995-1997)
- 6 Jules et Jim (1999-present)
- 7 All About Eve (second era) (1999-2006)
- 8 Recent work
- 9 Album discography
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Early life (1962-1981)
From Zig Zag to The Swarm (1982-1984)
Regan moved to London at the age of 19 and found work as a journalist for music magazine ZigZag, while also studying at the London College of Fashion. In her capacity as a journalist, she was given the task of interviewing Gene Loves Jezebel and then subsequently joined that band on bass guitar. Soon after, apparently unhappy with the tension between the group's twin frontmen, she left to make music with good friend and former Xmal Deutschland drummer Manuela Zwingmann, while working in a book shop on Charing Cross Road after Zig Zag went bust. It was during this period that she met, though friends of friends, both Andy Cousin and Tim Bricheno then both playing for goth band Aemotii Crii. The band that resulted, at first consisting of Regan, Zwingman, Bricheno and James Richard Jackson, was originally called The Swarm, but was changed to All About Eve after Regan and Zwingman watched the classic film at Regan's parents' house in Southport, Lancashire.
All About Eve (first era) (1985-1992)
The first line-up of the group hit the studio in 1985 to record the first single "D For Desire", but following a falling out between Zwingmann and Regan, the former left the band. Soon after this, Andy Cousin replaced Jackson on bass, thus creating the first well-known All About Eve line-up of Bricheno, Cousin and Regan, plus a drum machine. The group recorded demos and played several gigs.
In 1986, Regan met "Crazy Rachael" and her boyfriend, ex-The Sisters of Mercy guitarist Wayne Hussey. Hussey was then recording the first Mission album God's Own Medicine and was so impressed with Regan's voice that he asked her to contribute backing vocals to the song "Severina". This started a close collaboration between the two bands that continues to this day, and at the time got All About Eve signed to the Mission's record label (on the back of them being support to the Mission's first tour and Regan appearing on several TV programmes with the Mission for performances of "Severina"). Regan also provides backing vocals on The Mission song "Wishing Well", which appears on the US version of their early songs collection album The First Chapter. During production of the first, eponymous, All About Eve album, Regan formed a relationship with Simon Hinkler, guitarist with the Mission. Meanwhile a full-time drummer Mark Price was recruited to the band in 1988: he would go on to marry Regan's sister and also have a child, Joe (born 1990).
All About Eve soon hit the big-time with the first album and the single "Martha's Harbour" both going Top 10 along with four other Top 40 singles between the summers of 1988 and 1989. Fame, however, did not seem to sit all that well with Regan. She broke up with Hinkler, a situation which inspired Hussey to pen Mission song "Butterfly on a Wheel": this song is often viewed as a direct response to All About Eve's song "Scarlet", even though it contains references to several others. A short time later, Regan started a relationship with her own guitarist, Bricheno. It was the collapse of her relationship with Bricheno that plagued the recording of the second album Scarlet and Other Stories. It is on record that Regan suffered something of a breakdown during this time and would later say "I don't think I've wept as often in my life as I did during the making of Scarlet and Other Stories." Understandably therefore, the lyrics to the songs on this album reflect the unhappiness of their author, particularly in "Scarlet", "December", "Drowning" (the B-side to "December") "Pieces of Our Heart", "Road to Your Soul" and "Only One Reason".
With Regan and Bricheno unable to speak to each other, the latter left the band at the end of 1990 (and join The Sisters of Mercy), to be replaced by Church guitarist Marty Willson-Piper. Two songs, "Strange Way" and "Farewell Mr Sorrow", from All About Eve's third album, Touched By Jesus, are concerned with the end of this relationship: however this was not an entirely bitter work, for she would also write the concluding song, "Are You Lonely?" for her father.
Touched By Jesus did not quite enjoy the commercial success of the first two albums and All About Eve subsequently changed record labels to MCA in 1992. Here they were to record their fourth (and final) studio album Ultraviolet - a somewhat psychedelic move in which, as Regan later admitted, her vocals were mixed too far down into the swirling guitars, with the net result sounding something akin to Cranes or Spiritualized. This alienated fans, and the record did not make the Top 40. MCA ditched the group, and they split up in early 1993.
Into the wilderness (1993-1995)
Regan split from the rest of the band during the recording of what would have been All About Eve's fifth album. Cousin, Price and Willson-Piper completed it without her, and it eventually saw the light of day under the group name and title of Seeing Stars. This proved a testing time for Regan. She was unemployed, and at one point, worked as a cleaner. Under the group name The Harmony Ambulance, she did release one single very soon after the All About Eve split for Geoff Travis' Rough Trade label. The double A-side, "Nature's Way" and "All This And Heaven", was something of a departure from the All About Eve style, and possibly for this reason, Regan turned down an offer to work full-time with that band. She also recorded vocals for the Schaft track "Broken English".
Regan also occasionally performed live with Fairport Convention, singing some of the lead vocals on "Who Knows Where the Time Goes", "Blackwaterside", and "After Halloween". Some of these tracks can be found on the albums Circle Dance - The Hokey Pokey Charity Compilation, Fairport Convention: 25th Anniversary Concert, and Cropredy Capers – 25 Years of the Festival.
Regan then dropped off the public radar. Rumours of a collaboration with Suede's Bernard Butler fluttered briefly and then died out. It later transpired that the rumours were true, but that during the recording session, she and Butler had fallen out in a spectacular fashion. "I don't really know why it exploded the way it did, but it did. It was a small thing that turned into a big thing, that turned into an enormous thing" was Regan's later analysis of these events.
Revolving around a central core of Regan, Tim McTighe, former Levitation luminary Christian Hayes (aka 'Bic') and original All About Eve drummer Mark Price, Mice released their first single, "Matt's Prozac", in November 1995. Countrywide touring followed as did an album Because I Can recorded for indie label Permanent Records. Many collaborators took part in this band, including both Marty Willson-Piper and Andy Cousin which led to people questioning why this band was not launched as another incarnation of All About Eve. Regan said that this was deliberate in that she had wanted the new band to be just that. Musically, it did indeed sound somewhat harsher than All About Eve and Regan would later say of it, "It showed that I could be pre-raphaelitic but I still had to get on the bus and go to Tesco's." With Because I Can making the Indie Top Ten, the future began to look fairly positive for Mice, but Permanent Records went out of business in 1997, owing Regan (and others) a lot of money and leaving the album and the three singles "Matt's Prozac", "The Milkman" and "Dear Sir" hanging in the shops without promotion or replacement.
Jules et Jim (1999-present)
Jules et Jim is a collaboration between Regan and Jean-Marc Lederman (formerly of The Weathermen). In 1999 they released a single, "Swimming", followed by a six-track EP, Subtitles in 2002. Regan also featured on Lederman's soundtracks for the computer games Fairies and Mystic Inn by Funpause, and Rock Legend by Positech; and also vocals on a number of tracks on Lederman's La Femme Verte album project.
All About Eve (second era) (1999-2006)
Despite having previously been on public record expressing absolutely no wish to resurrect All About Eve, in late 1999 a Mission re-launch was underway and lead singer Hussey - in a repeat of the first time All About Eve had become successful - again asked Regan if she would like to support him on tour. Although she was already involved with Jules et Jim (who had put out an EP called Swimming earlier that year), Regan acquiesced, rounded up Price (now drumming with Del Amitri), Cousin and Wilson-Piper, and All About Eve were back (for full details see Recent times).
When asked in 2001 why she had had a change of heart in terms of resurrecting All About Eve and their music, she replied:
I think I just really needed a break from it. It had lost its magic for me. Totally. Also, for some reason, I had to have a bit of a rebellion against AAE. Maybe it's something along the lines of why teenagers fall out with their parents and find everything about them embarrassing... Then they grow up a bit and realise that their Mum and Dad aren't too bad at all.
Since then, Regan has maintained more or less continual contact with her fans, a task made considerably easier by use of the internet.
All About Eve split up again in mid-2004 following a disagreement between Regan and Cousin, but 2006 has seen this rift apparently healed upon the release of Keepsakes - an anthology of the group with extremely honest sleeve-notes. This record has seen even Bricheno recalled to the line-up, collaborating with Regan for a new song entitled "Raindrops".
Despite the fact that material for a fifth full All About Eve album had been worked on by Regan and fellow band-member Andy Cousin, it currently seems unlikely that this album will be completed. In April 2009, Regan stated on her Facebook page:
"All About Eve are dormant and may never happen again. I don't ever like to say never though, but it seems we've all moved on and are exploring other avenues."
Regan's work since the last split of All About Eve includes:
- Tim Bricheno – with whom she wrote and recorded the song "Raindrops", which appeared on the All About Eve retrospective collection Keepsakes. In 2008, the duo recorded a new version of "Ophelia", a song which had originally been demo-ed for the All About Eve album Scarlet and Other Stories, but was never released. The re-recording was made especially for inclusion on a charity record, released to raise funds for research into ovarian cancer. Regan also contributed a solo song, "The Angel's Share", to the same album.
- The Mission – Regan sang backing vocals on the 2007 album God is a Bullet.
- All Living Fear – Regan contributed backing vocals on the track "Home Too Soon" from the 2007 album Fifteen Years After.
- The Eden House – a collaborative project, initiated by Tony Pettitt (formerly of Fields of the Nephilim) and Steve Carey (formerly of This Burning Effigy) and involving a collection of guest musicians and vocalists. The album, Smoke & Mirrors, featuring Regan on three tracks, was released April 2009. A further track featuring Regan was released on the EP The Looking Glass.
- Judy Dyble – Regan contributed vocals to the tracks "C'est la Vie" and "Harp Song", which feature on Dyble's 2009 album Talking with Strangers.
- La Femme Verte – A new cover version project by Jean-Marc Lederman, the album Small Distortions features Regan contributing vocals and instruments alongside Gene Loves Jezebel's Jay Aston and others to a number of tracks including Nine Inch Nail's "Hurt", Angelo Badalamenti/Julee Cruise's "Falling", the Rolling Stones' track "Moonlight Mile", the Pet Shop Boys' "Being Boring", and The Mamas & the Papas' "Monday Monday".
- Leader of the Starry Skies – A tribute album for Tim Smith of Cardiacs, on which Regan contributes the track "Shaping the River".
- The Curator – Regan contributes vocals on the album Sometime Soon to the tracks "On the Great North Road" and "Sometime Soon" .
- Hussey-Regan – A joint effort with The Mission's Wayne Hussey, the album Curios was released November 2011 and includes 12 tracks, including versions of Depeche Mode's "Enjoy the Silence", Duran Duran's "Ordinary World", an a cappella version of The Mission track "Aquarius and Gemini", and a cover of All About Eve's "Calling Your Name". A charity single, "You'll Never Walk Alone", produced in aid of Respect 4 All (an official charity of Liverpool Football Club) was also released.
- Vocals on tracks "Before We Fall" and "Change Me Once Again" on Memories of Machines' album Warm Winter.
- Vocals on the album System Songs by The Nervous System.
Guest appearances on other artists' albums not shown.
with All About Eve
- All About Eve (1988)
- Scarlet and Other Stories (1989)
- Touched by Jesus (1991)
- Ultraviolet (1992)
- Winter Words (1992)
- Fairy Light Nights I (2000)
- Fairy Light Nights II (2001)
- Live and Electric at the Union Chapel (2001)
- Return to Eden, Vol. 1: The Early Recordings (2002)
- Iceland (2002)
- Cinemasonic (2003)
- Keepsakes (2006)
with Jules et Jim
- Swimming (1999)
- Subtitles (2002)
- Curios (2011)
- Regan's Facebook page Retrieved on 27 May 2009.
- Leader Of The Starry Skies - A Tribute To Tim Smith. Songbook 1 - Various Artists
- Sometime Soon
- "You'll Never Walk Alone". Liverpool FC's Channel, youtube.com. Retrieved 2011-12-27.
- Julianne Regan MySpace blog
- Official Julianne Regan Site
- Official All About Eve Site
- Unofficial (but approved) All About Eve Site
- The All About Eve Mailing List (requires membership)
- Julianne Regan on Myspace
- Jules et Jim on Myspace
- The Eden House on Myspace
- Official La Femme Verte site
- Official Hussey-Regan site