The Mock Turtles
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (September 2010)|
|The Mock Turtles|
|Origin||Middleton, Greater Manchester, England|
|Genres||Alternative rock, Britpop, Baggy, Indie rock, Madchester|
|Labels||Imaginary Records, Siren, Virgin|
Martin Glyn Murray
The Mock Turtles are a Manchester based indie rock band, formed in Middleton, Greater Manchester in 1985, who enjoyed some success in the early 1990s. Their song "Can You Dig It?" which was released in 1991, charted in the UK top 20 in 1991 and again in 2003.
|This article is outdated. (November 2011)|
Led by former Judge Happiness singer Martin Coogan, older brother of actor/comedian Steve Coogan, the band began to pick up attention around 1990, with tracks such as "Lay Me Down" and "And Then She Smiles" on the Imaginary label. It was "Can You Dig It?", however, which gained them wider attention. Originally a b-side to "Lay Me Down", the band's new record label, Siren, re-issued it with additional guitar work, and "Can You Dig It?" breached the Top 20 in the UK Singles Chart. Their follow up single "And Then She Smiles" failed to replicate the success of the previous single, only reaching no. 44 in the charts.
In March 1991, the British music magazine NME reported that the band were appearing at the 'Great Indie Festival – A Midsummer's Day Dream' at Milton Keynes Bowl in June that year. Also on the bill were 808 State, Gary Clail, Shades of Rhythm, The Shamen, Paris Angels plus Flowered Up.
The Mock Turtles, however, were unable to follow up the early success and were dropped by their label, three members briefly joining up as Ugli in the mid-1990s, remaining in limbo until Vodafone used "Can You Dig It?" for an advertising campaign in late 2002 and more famously in 2003. This saw the band make a comeback with Norman Cook doing a remix of the song, taking the track to No. 19 in the United Kingdom. Eight new tracks were included on a new Greatest Hits album, together with older songs from their early 1990s peak. Most recently, the track 'And Then She Smiles' has been used as the theme song for the television programme 'Stella' on Sky1.
Coogan was presenter of the breakfast show on The Revolution in Oldham until the station was bought by Steve Penk, who took over the show himself having 'flipped' back to its original Adult Contemporary format. Subsequently, Coogan, along with fellow ex-Revolution DJs including Mani, Mike Joyce and Alex Carter, best known for playing John Stape in British soap opera Coronation Street, launched an internet service called Radio Republic to pick up where The Revolution left off. From 27 October 2008, Martin Coogan and Phil Beckett also presented a regular late programme on 103.6FM Tameside Radio known as 'Radio Republic'.
Since 2008 Coogan has been the owner of Vibe Studios, where the Mock Turtles, as well as the Stone Roses, Inspiral Carpets and other Madchester bands have recorded. He was named 'Unsung Hero of the Year' for his work creating jingles for the 2013 movie Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa staring brother Steve Coogan.
- Turtle Soup (LP/CD) – Imaginary Records 1990
- 87–90 (LP/CD) – Imaginary Records 1991
- Two Sides (LP/CD) – Siren Records 1991
- Can You Dig It – The Best Of The Mock Turtles – Virgin Records 2003
- "Pomona" (12") Imaginary Records 1987
- "Wicker Man" (12") Imaginary Records 1989
- "And Then She Smiles" (12") Imaginary Records 1989
- "Lay Me Down" (12"/CDS) Imaginary Records 1990
- "Magic Boomerang EP" (7"/12"/CDS) Imaginary Records 1990
- "Are You Experienced?" (12") Imaginary Records 1990
- "Can You Dig It?" (7"/12"/CDS/C-s) Siren Records 1991 UK No. 18
- "And Then She Smiles EP" (7"/12"/CDS) Siren Records 1991 UK No. 44
- "Strings And Flowers" (7"/12"/CDS/C-s) Siren Records 1991
- "Can You Dig It?" (Fatboy Slim remix) (CDS) Virgin Records 2003 UK No. 19
- Beyond the Wildwood – A Tribute to Syd Barrett – "No Good Trying" – 1987, Imaginary Records
- Fast 'n' Bulbous - A Tribute To Captain Beefheart – "Big Eyed Beans From Venus" 1988 Imaginary Records
- Shangri-La – A Tribute To The Kinks – "Shangri-La" / "Big Sky" 1989 Imaginary Records
- Time Between – A Tribute To The Byrds – "Time Between" / "High" 1989 Imaginary Records
- Indie Top 20 Volume X – "Lay Me Down" 1990 Beechwood Music
- Ouch. Relativity Sampler – "Mary's Garden" 1991 Relativity
- Fifteen Minutes: A Tribute to the Velvet Underground – "Pale Blue Eyes" 1994
The following are compilation albums that feature "Can You Dig It?".
- The Best Bands... Ever! Virgin/EMI, 2002
- Q: The Album Virgin/EMI/Universal, 2003
- I Luv Smash Hits Virgin/EMI, 2003
- Now That's What I Call Music! 54 Virgin/EMI, 2003
- The X-List Virgin/EMI, 2003
- Smash Hits Chart Summer 2003 Virgin/EMI, 2003
- 101 Indie Classics EMI TV, 2010
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 373. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- "Artist Chart History: Mock Turtles". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
- Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 482. CN 5585.
- Mock Turtles in a Guardian article about 'One Hit Wonders'
- Coogan's portrait on Radio Republic
- Radio Republic on Manchester Confidential
- Launch of Radio Republic on Radio Tameside
- Vibe Studios website
- Empire Online Interview 2013