Away from 'Top of The Pops' and lavish yachts, below the surface, the mid-'80s were a hotbed of musical activity with bands springing up all over the country still inspired by the aesthetics of punk “to have a go”.

In 1985 Hangman’s Beautiful Daughters were no different, but were given the added assistance of Television Personalities' main man, Dan Treacy, who having been on the scene for the best part of ten years had already set up a record label, Dreamworld. Whilst he used the label for his own band’s records, he also helped to launch the careers of the Mighty Lemon Drops and Sheffield’s rather ace 1000 Violins by releasing their early output. Hangman’s Beautiful Daughters were more than just the next band on the roster, however, as Treacy co-wrote some of their songs and acted as producer. In addition, he arranged gigs locally for the band and also allowed them to tour Europe as support to his own band.

Fronted by Emily Brown, the band were similar in some ways to a number of other female led bands such as the Primitives and the Darling Buds, but tended to drift more towards the psychedelic, garage band sound than jingle-jangle. Behind Emily were twin guitarists Gordon Dawson and Sandy Fleming (who dated Robert Forster from seminal Australian band the Go-Betweens, which were based in London back then), and a rhythm section of Phil King on bass and Ray Philpot on drums. As a group they could certainly play, and, striking in appearance, very much looked the part.

At the time, the band only released a handful of singles, never quite managing to stay put for long enough to actually record an album, so some thirty odd years later we have a comprehensive collection of those releases together with some unreleased demo’s that would have potentially been the next single had things progressed.

Of the songs, 'Love is Blue', 'They Fell for Words Like Love' and 'Jonathan' are the most immediate and catchy, but it’s 'Cat’s Got None' with a kind of swirling hypnotism that is possibly the most intriguing.

Optic Nerve, along with Firestation and Cherry Red are doing a sterling job of putting together excellent compilations of ‘lost’ indie bands and this is no different. Buy it!











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