Sad Lovers & Giants

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Sad Lovers & Giants
Origin Rickmansworth, England
Genres Post-punk, gothic rock
Years active 1980–1983, 1986–1991, 2002-2003, 2009-present
Labels Midnight Music
Members Garçe Allard
Tony McGuinness
Nigel Pollard
Ian Gibson
Will Hicks
Past members Tristan Garel-Funk
David Wood
Cliff Silver
Juliet Sainsbury

Sad Lovers & Giants are a rock band from Watford, England who formed in 1980.[1] Their sound blends post-punk, atmospheric keyboards and psychedelia.


The band's members have included Garçe (Simon) Allard (vocals), Tristan Garel-Funk (guitar), Tony McGuinness (now part of the trance trio Above & Beyond) (guitar), Cliff Silver (bass), Ian Gibson (bass), David Wood (keyboards and saxophone), Juliet Sainsbury (keyboards), Nigel Pollard (drums & percussion) and Will Hicks (keyboards).[2]

The original lineup produced two studio albums, Epic Garden Music (1982) and Feeding the Flame (1983), before splitting in 1983. During this initial period they recorded a John Peel Session for the BBC,[3] and a live concert for the Dutch Radio Hilversum station in 1983, which was subsequently released as the album Total Sound in 1986.[1] Live performances included headline dates at UK colleges and clubs with occasional trips to Europe, although they did support The Sound at a major London venue on the day Epic Garden Music entered the UK independent charts.

European interest in the band began to grow, and with the release of second album Feeding the Flame, they toured Germany and the Netherlands, gaining a dedicated fanbase. Tensions within the band caused a split, with Garel-Funk and Pollard leaving to form The Snake Corps.

Not much was heard for a while; their label Midnight Music released a "mopping up" album, In the Breeze, in 1984, which included one of their previously unreleased signature tunes, "Three Lines".

They returned in 1986 with an updated lineup: Garce Allard (vocals), Nigel Pollard (drums), Tony McGuiness (guitar), Juliet Sainsbury (keyboards) and Ian Gibson (bass), and new album entitled The Mirror Test.[1]

As interest abroad grew, the band performed extensively in the Netherlands, Spain and France, headlined at the old Marquee club in London's Soho, and with the release of their fourth album, Headland, were a featured band in Melody Maker. By this time prior bassist Cliff Silver had returned, replacing Gibson.

They released a further album, Treehouse Poetry, before Midnight Music went bust and the band split once again, coming together occasionally for gigs supporting And Also The Trees at the Marquee Club and London's Electric Ballroom. E-mail from Eternity, a best-of compilation, was released by the record label Cherry Red in 1996 after the company picked up the Midnight catalogue.

In 2002, the band released an album called Melting in the Fullness of Time. They played two dates in Italy a year later.

Another reformed lineup (Allard, McGuiness, Pollard, Gibson) played in Italy and Greece in April 2009, coinciding with Cherry Red's rereleases of Feeding the Flame and Epic Garden Music. Current keyboardist Will Hicks joined later in 2009.

During 2010, the band played a handful of successful live dates in Athens and Barcelona (supported by The Snake Corps and The Essence, both previous Midnight bands), reissued The Mirror Test, and recorded a new 7" double A-side single, "Himalaya"/"Happiness Is Fragile". They played at the Purple Turtle in Camden in December 2011, which was their first London gig since the early 1990s. In 2012 they played gigs in Berlin and Salerno and began writing and recording new material for a future album.



  • 1982: Epic Garden Music (CHIME 00.01 - Midnight Music) - UK Indie No. 21[4]
  • 1983: Feeding the Flame (CHIME 00.03 - Midnight Music)
  • 1987: The Mirror Test (CHIME 00.30 - Midnight Music)
  • 1990: Headland (CHIME 01.10 - Midnight Music)
  • 1991: Treehouse Poetry (CHIME 01.20 - Midnight Music)
  • 2002: Melting in the Fullness of Time (VKR003CD - Voight-Kampff Records)

Live Albums[edit]

  • 1986: Total Sound (CHIME 00.22 - Midnight Music)
  • 2000: La Dolce Vita (Sad Lovers & Giants Live in Lausanne) (VKR001CD - Voight-Kampff Records)


  • 1984: In the Breeze (CHIME 00.07 - Midnight Music - collection of previously unreleased recordings)
  • 1988: Les Années Vertes (CHIME 00.40 - anthology - Midnight Music)
  • 1996: E-mail from Eternity (The Best of Sad Lovers & Giants) (CDMGRAM 104 - Anagram Records, distributed by Cherry Red)
  • 2001: Headland and Treehouse Poetry (VKR002CD - Voight-Kampff Records)

12" Singles[edit]

  • 1983: "Man of Straw" (DONG 5) ("Man of Straw," "Cow Boys (Version)," "Close to the Sea")
  • 1987: "Seven Kinds of Sin" (DONG 31) ("Seven Kinds of Sin," "The Outsider," "Ours to Kill")
  • 1987: "White Russians" (DONG 34) ("White Russians," "A Map of My World," "Life Under Glass")
  • 1988: "Cow Boys" (DONG 36) ("Cow Boys (1988 Remix)," "Lost in a Moment (1988 Remix)," "The Best Film He Ever Made," "Things We Never Did (Live)")
  • 1989: "Sleep"/"A Reflected Dream" (DONG 40) ("Sleep (Is For Everyone)") *with The Essence
  • 1990: "Clocks Go Backwards" (DONG 59) ("Return to Clocktower Lodge," "Seven Kinds of Sin," "Three Lines," "Colourless Dream")

7" Singles[edit]

  • 1981: Clé LM 003 (Last Movement) ("Imagination," "When I See You," "Landslide")
  • 1982: "Colourless Dream" LM 005 (Last Movement) ("Colourless Dream," "Things We Never Did") - initial copies were pressed with the labels backwards
  • 1982: "Lost in a Moment" DING 1 (Midnight Music) ("Lost in a Moment," "The Tightrope Touch") - UK Indie No. 48[4]
  • 1983: "Man of Straw" DING 5 (Midnight Music) ("Man of Straw," "Cow Boys") - UK Indie No. 31[4]
  • 2010: "Himalaya"/"Happiness Is Fragile" VKR004 (Voight-Kampff Records)


  1. ^ a b c Strong, Martin C. (2003) The Great Indie Discography, Canongate, ISBN 1-84195-335-0, p. 489-90
  2. ^ Sad Lovers & Giants Biography
  3. ^ "Sad Lovers and Giants", Keeping It Peel, BBC, retrieved 2011-01-15
  4. ^ a b c Lazell, Barry (1998) Indie Hits 1980–1989, Cherry Red Books, ISBN 0-9517206-9-4, p. 195

External links[edit]