The Pale Fountains

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The Pale Fountains
Origin Liverpool, England
Genres Pop,[1] jangle pop,[2] new wave[3]
Years active 1981 (1981)–1987 (1987)
Labels Operation Twilight
Les Disques du Crépuscule
Associated acts Shack
Past members Mick Head
Chris McCaffery
Thomas Whelan
Andy Diagram
John Head

The Pale Fountains were an English band formed in Liverpool in 1980, and composed of Mick Head (vocalist/guitarist), Chris McCaffery (bassist), Thomas Whelan (drummer) and former Dislocation Dance trumpeter Andy Diagram (horns).


Inspired by 1960s music such as Love, Burt Bacharach and The Beatles, the group released their debut single "(There's Always) Something On My Mind" on Les Disques du Crépuscule before signing a major label deal in October 1982. Although the Pale Fountains failed to make much commercial headway, the band would earn critical praise for the two albums released on Virgin, Pacific Street (1984) and ...From Across the Kitchen Table (1985), produced by Ian Broudie, who later found fame with The Lightning Seeds. Their sole UK Singles Chart Top 50 single was "Thank You", which reached No. 48 in 1982.[4]

The band split up in 1987, with Mick Head going on to form Shack with his brother John. Andy Diagram had already left in 1984 and would later join James. Bassist and founder member Chris "Biffa" McCaffery died in 1989 of a brain tumour.[4]

In November 2007, Head announced that he was reforming The Pale Fountains for two gigs. One at the Carling Academy in Liverpool on 2 February 2008, and another at the Shepherd's Bush Empire in London on 3 February 2008. The group remains particularly popular in France and Japan. Two posthumous compilations have been issued: Longshot For Your Love (Marina, 1998) and Something On My Mind (Crépuscule, 2013), the latter with a bonus live CD recorded in 1982.


  • Mick Head – vocals, guitar (1981–1987)
  • Chris McCaffery – bass guitar (1981–1987; died 1989)
  • Thomas Whelan – drums (1981–1987)
  • Andy Diagram – trumpet (1982–1984)
  • John Head – guitar (1984–1987)


Studio albums
  • Pacific Street (February 1984) Virgin V2274 UK No. 84[5]
  • ...From Across the Kitchen Table (February 1985) Virgin V2333 UK No. 94[5]
  • "(There's Always) Something on My Mind" (July 1982) Operation Twilight/Les Disques Du Crepuscule
  • "Thank You" (November 1982) Virgin UK No. 48[5]
  • "Palm of My Hand" (May 1983) Virgin
  • "Unless" (January 1984) Virgin
  • "Don't Let Your Love Start a War" (March 1984) Virgin
  • "Jean's Not Happening" (December 1984) Virgin
  • "...From Across the Kitchen Table" (June 1985) Virgin

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kellman, Andy. "Pale Fountains – From Across the Kitchen Table". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 30 April 2016. 
  2. ^ Mineo, Mike (17 December 2006). "Forgotten, unlucky, but still fantastic… Shack". Obscure Sound. Retrieved 30 April 2016. 
  3. ^ Drowning in my Nostalgia Philippine Daily Inquirer September 7, 2002 "...bands like..The Pale Fountains...etc. They were more than your average New Wave acts"
  4. ^ a b Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. pp. 863–864. ISBN 1-84195-017-3. 
  5. ^ a b c Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 415. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 

External links[edit]