1981-86 The Violet Vaults

1981-86 The Violet Vaults

1981-1986

Leeds, North of England, 1981. The March Violets started in 1982 as one of Leeds' four famous 'drum machine bands', the other three being Merciful Release labelmates The Sisters of Mercy, Red Lorry Yellow Lorry and The Three Johns.

From the beginning they wanted a band that was very sparse on stage. No drummer... so in came the drum machine (it was state-of-the-art then, the most advanced drum machine on the market, but now of course seems really primitive). They wanted something visually striking at the front of the stage. So, two vocalists. Male & female. Both looking and sounding very different.

First recordings were at KG Studios in Bridlington, a small seaside town in North Yorkshire, with the fabulous Kenny Giles. It's amazing what you can do on an 8-track. They recorded the Religious as Hell EP, Grooving in Green, Steam, 1,2,I Love You and Crow Baby there. It wasn't until Snake Dance that they got into a 24 track (Amazon in Liverpool).

Rosie left the band in 1984, after Snake Dance, and things started to go Horribly Wrong. By the time Rosie returned in 1986, after working in Sudan for two years, The March Violets were no more. For now...

And on the subject of the interesting sleeve notes & liners that accompanied 12" singles back in the days of vinyl... here is the inner sleeve, designed by Si Denbigh. Features lyrics for Snake Dance, Slow Drip Lizard and It's Hot.
Snake Dance 1983. The back of the snakeskin textured sleeve features a photo of Si Denbigh onstage. Track Listing: A1. Snake Dance B1. Slow Drip Lizard Personnel: Simon Denbigh - vocals Rosie Garland - vocals Cleo Murray - vocals Tom Ashton - guitar Laurence Elliot - bass Dr. Rhythm -…
Snake Dance, 1983. The last single I sang on before leaving the band in 1984.                    Track Listing: A1. Snake Dance B1. Slow Drip Lizard Personnel: Simon Denbigh - vocals, Rosie Garland - vocals, Cleo Murray - vocals, Tom Ashton - guitar, Laurence Elliot - bass, Dr. Rhythm - drums Catalogue…
Crow Baby cover - artwork by Si Denbigh.                                                              Track Listing: A1. Crow Baby B1. 1 2 I Love You                                                                            Personnel: Simon Denbigh - vocals Rosie Garland - vocals Tom Ashton - guitar Laurence Elliot - bass Dr. Rhythm - drums                                                                                       Catalogue Number: RB 18 Label: Rebirth Year:…
Crow Baby - our 3rd 7" single. Yes, that's me on the reverse of the sleeve. The shoot took place on a freezing cold day in 1983. Hence the mean and moody expression. Ha ha.                                                                                      Track Listing: A1. Crow Baby B1. 1 2 I Love You                                                                                   Personnel: Simon…
Crow Baby - our first 12" single... Track Listing: A1. Crow Baby A2. 1 2 I Love You B1. Long Pig B2. Crow Bait Personnel: Simon Denbigh - vocals Rosie Garland - vocals Tom Ashton - guitar Laurence Elliot - bass Dr. Rhythm - drums Catalogue Number: RB 1812 Label:…
Grooving in Green, 7" single1982. Reverse of sleeve. Art & design Si Denbigh. Track Listing:     A1. Grooving In Green    B1. Steam Personnel:     Simon Denbigh - vocals    Rosie Garland - vocals    Tom Ashton - guitar    Laurence Elliot - bass    Dr. Rhythm - drums Catalogue Number: MR 017Label: Merciful ReleaseYear:…
Grooving in Green, 7" single 1982. Reverse of sleeve. Art & design Si Denbigh. Track Listing:     A1. Grooving In Green                                                             …
The first EP - cover design by Si Denbigh. Features a photo of Si... Recorded at Kenny Giles 8-track studio in Bridlington, Yorkshire. Released on Merciful Release - MR13 Track listing Religious as Hell Fodder Children on Stun Bon Bon Babies ...If you still have a copy of this -…
Religious As Hell EP, 1982 Track Listing: A1. Religious As Hell A2. Fodder B1. Children On Stun B2. Bon Bon Babies Personnel: Simon Denbigh - vocals Rosie Garland - vocals Tom Ashton - guitar Laurence Elliot - bass Dr. Rhythm - drums Catalogue Number: MR 013 Label: Merciful Release Year:…