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The La's

Band from Liverpool

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There She Goes

The La's

The La's Biography

The La's were an English rock band from Liverpool, originally active from 1983 until 1992. Fronted by singer, songwriter and guitarist Lee Mavers, the group are best known for their hit single "There She Goes". The band was formed by Mike Badger in 1983 and Mavers joined the next year, although for most of the group's history, the frequently changing line-up revolved around the core duo of Lee Mavers and John Power along with numerous other guitarists and drummers including Paul Hemmings, John "Timmo" Timson, Peter "Cammy" Cammell, Iain Templeton, John "Boo" Byrne, Chris Sharrock, Barry Sutton and Neil Mavers.History 1983–1986: Formation and early years The La's formed in 1983, with o...
The La's were an English rock band from Liverpool, originally active from 1983 until 1992. Fronted by singer, songwriter and guitarist Lee Mavers, the group are best known for their hit single "There She Goes". The band was formed by Mike Badger in 1983 and Mavers joined the next year, although for most of the group's history, the frequently changing line-up revolved around the core duo of Lee Mavers and John Power along with numerous other guitarists and drummers including Paul Hemmings, John "Timmo" Timson, Peter "Cammy" Cammell, Iain Templeton, John "Boo" Byrne, Chris Sharrock, Barry Sutton and Neil Mavers.

History

1983–1986: Formation and early years

The La's formed in 1983, with original member Mike Badger stating that the band name occurred to him in a dream, as well as it being Scouse for "lads", and having obvious musical connotations. The band existed briefly as an arthouse/skiffle-type outfit with a few tracks released on local compilations. Lee Mavers joined in 1984 as rhythm guitarist, eventually gaining songwriting prominence and emerging as the band's enduring figurehead. Bernie Nolan, accomplished musician formerly of The Falcons, The Russian Rockabillys and The Swampmen was the original bassist. John Power joined the group in 1986, having met Badger on a local council-run musicianship course. Badger however left the group in late 1986 to form The Onset.

The band attracted the attention of several record labels after a series of performances in their hometown in 1986, and demo tapes copied from a session at the Flying Picket rehearsal studio in Liverpool began circulating. One of these demo tapes was sent to Underground Magazine. A journalist there with the task of reviewing unsigned bands gave the cassette to Andy McDonald at Go Discs. Several record labels later became interested in signing the band. The band chose to sign with Go! Discs.

1991–2003: John Power's departure and hiatus

1991 promotional tour dates were fulfilled in the UK and Europe including a few festivals, and a US tour. Bassist John Power left the group on 13 December 1991, frustrated with having played essentially the same set of songs since 1986, and resurfaced a year later with his band Cast. The remainder of the 1991 concerts were performed with James Joyce on bass as well as a handful of 1992 dates. The band stopped touring and rehearsing in 1992 until further short-lived reunions, with various line-ups, throughout the 1990s and 2000s.

The La's reunited sporadically for a series of live performances throughout 1994 and 1995. The comeback was brought about due to a merchandising debt from the 1991 U.S. tour and the band played support slots to artists such as Oasis, Paul Weller and Dodgy. The reformed band consisted of differing line-ups for each concert and as well as Lee Mavers other performers included several former members such as Barry Sutton, Lee Garnett, John "Boo" Byrne, James Joyce, Peter "Cammy" Cammell and Neil Mavers.

In 1996, Mavers began recording at The Arch studio in Kew, London owned by ex-The Damned drummer Rat Scabies. Initially working alone, he was later joined in the studio by ex-The Stairs frontman Edgar Jones, Lee Garnett and Neil Mavers. The sessions ended because of damp in the studio, however Mavers and Summertyme continued to rehearse and record in Liverpool for a year. After the collapse of Go! Discs, Mavers recording contract with the label was acquired by PolyGram and eventually expired in 1998. In 1998, Mavers began rehearsing with the then unsigned Liverpool band The Crescent. A bootleg recording of one of these rehearsals known as The Crescent Tape would later leak on to the Internet.

In the late 1990s, Mavers renewed contact with founder member Mike Badger and subsequently two compilation albums of early demos and home recordings were released by The Viper Label (founded by ex-La's Badger and Hemmings), Lost La's 1984–1986: Breakloose (1999) and Lost La's 1986–1987: Callin' All (2001). A Japan only compilation album Singles Collection (2001) was released by Universal Music Japan containing all of the band's singles and b-sides released from 1987 to 1991. A biography about the band In Search of The La's: A Secret Liverpool by MW Macefield was published in 2003. The book contained interviews with many former members of the La's including Lee Mavers, John Power, Mike Badger, Paul Hemmings, Barry Sutton, Peter "Cammy" Cammell and Neil Mavers.

2004–present: Reformations

Following a reunion between Mavers and John Power, The La's reformed in June 2005 with a line-up of Lee Mavers (vocals, guitar), John Power (bass, backing vocals), ex-Cracatilla frontman Jay Lewis (guitar) and Nick Miniski (drums), playing dates in England and Ireland ahead of an appearance at the Summer Sonic festival in Japan as well as a spot at the 2005 Glastonbury Festival and other UK festivals. After three concerts, Miniski was replaced as drummer by roadie Jim "Jasper" Fearon, who was Mavers' school friend and one time bass player for the La's. The set lists were mostly the same as in the late 1980s, although certain encores contained some previously unheard songs such as "Gimme the Blues" and "Sorry". Since the reunion gigs it has been rumoured that Mavers has continued working on the La's' elusive second album. When interviewed in August 2006, John Power explained that Mavers was still "tinkering with something that's majestic" and of the release date, "I can’t tell you where and when...' cos whatever he does, whether it’s in this lifetime or the next, it can’t be rushed".

A compilation of the La's' live radio sessions BBC in Session was released on 18 September 2006. In 2008, a new deluxe edition of The La's was released containing the lost Mike Hedges album, alternate recordings and live recordings for radio and television including previously unreleased songs "I Am the Key" and a Buddy Holly cover "That'll Be the Day". Also Lost Tunes (2008) was released as a download only EP of studio out-takes and alternate recordings.

After being introduced to each other by Gary Murphy of The Bandits, Lee Mavers began jamming with Pete Doherty in 2008 and appeared on stage with Doherty during his 2009 tour. Mavers then started performing live with artists such as Drew McConnell and Jon McClure in London in April 2009. In 2009 Babyshambles drummer Adam Ficek revealed plans of the La's' second album to be recorded with the Babyshambles as backing band and Drew McConnell revealed plans for him to join The La's as bassist; however, this supposed lineup did not materialise and live appearances were cancelled. In 2010, a four-disc box-set of singles, b-sides, studio out-takes, alternate recordings and live material Callin' All (2010) was released by Polydor which collected most of the band's still unreleased recordings produced whilst signed to Go! Discs.

In June 2011 Lee Mavers, accompanied by Gary Murphy on bass guitar, played a surprise concert in Manchester under the name Lee Rude & The Velcro Underpants. Following this Mavers and Murphy reformed the La's and played a series of "stripped back" shows across the UK and Europe including a performance at Rock en Seine festival in France in August 2011.

Musical style and legacy

Lee Mavers has described their sound as "rootsy" and "raw and organic", whilst AllMusic have noted the band's "simple, tuneful, acoustic-driven arrangements". The La's were also noted for their distinctly different style to other popular British bands in the late 1980s, such as The Stone Roses and Happy Mondays, who were part of the Madchester movement.

The sound of The La's has been compared to that of Merseybeat and 1960s British rock music, and the band received comparisons with the earlier Liverpudlian band The Beatles. Founding member Mike Badger has named Captain Beefheart as the La's' main influence; the band have also cited artists such as Bo Diddley, Bob Dylan, Louis Armstrong, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Kinks, Bob Marley, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, Duke Ellington, and Ella Fitzgerald as influences.

Noel Gallagher of Oasis named The La's as one of his 13 favourite albums.

The La's have been cited as influences by Oasis, The Courteeners, The Stone Roses, The Charlatans and The Libertines.

Pitchfork would name The La’s as one of the best Britpop albums as part of their 50 Best Britpop Albums list, placing the album at #14.

Post La's

Bassist John Power went on to form Cast in 1992, releasing 4 studio albums before splitting in 2001. Guitarists Barry Sutton and Peter Cammell featured in an early lineup of the band. Cast reformed in 2010. In 2016, Jay Lewis who performed with the band in 2005, later joined Cast as bassist.

Mike Badger and Paul Hemmings later played together in The Onset and started The Viper Label, releasing many early recording compilations by the La's.

In the mid-90s, Neil Mavers joined Liverpool group Bullit, featuring David McDonnell, later of The Sand Band.

In 1998, Cammell and drummer Neil Mavers continued to work together after the La's' breakup under the name "Cami". The band was managed by former La's and then-current Cast manager, Rob Swerdlow. The band recorded a nine-track album with future Coldplay producer Ken Nelson at Parr Street Studios in October 1999. However, the band split up leaving the album unreleased. The album tapes re-surfaced in October 2015, with plans for a near-future release. The tapes required "baking" to remove layers of oxide that had formed on the tapes after twenty years carried out at London's FX Copyroom.

Neil Mavers and Cammell briefly reunited once more in 2002, performing with another former La's member, guitarist Barry Sutton in Heavy Lemon. The band played three shows in 18 months before disbanding. Cammell also went on perform with Sutton again in his jam-style project Beatnik Hurricane in 2015, playing dates in Liverpool, including residencies at The Everyman Bistro and a tour of Ireland, most notably a sold-out show in Dublin.[citation needed]

In 2015, previous recordings and demos by Cammell's band surfaced online (most notably the song "Make A Chain") which led to Cammell forming a new band named Cami & The Reverbs, managed by La's associate Chris Parkes. The band consisting of Mick Marshall (guitar, The Joneses) Phil Murphy (drums, The Red Elastic Band) Leon De Sylva (drums, Electrafixion) Daniel Lunt (bass) David 'Swee' Sweeney (drums, The Bandits) and Mark McInnes (bass, The Levons) The band played sporadic shows across Liverpool including a support slot with Liverpool group Rain and a Christmas Show at The Zanzibar.[citation needed]

In 2018, a BBC TV comedy-drama series entitled There She Goes features a cover version of the La's song of that name.

Members

  • Lee Mavers – guitar, vocals (1984–1992, 1994–1995, 2005, 2011)
  • Mike Badger – guitar, vocals (1983–1986)
  • Sean Eddleston - guitar (1984)
  • John "Timmo" Timson – drums (1984–1985, 1986–1987)
  • Phil Butcher – bass (1984)
  • Jim "Jasper" Fearon – bass, drums (1985, 2005)
  • Bernie Nolan – bass (1985–1986)
  • Tony Clarke – drums (1985–1986)
  • Paul Rhodes – drums (1986)
  • John Power – bass, vocals (1986–1991, 2005)
  • Barry Walsh – drums (1986)
  • Paul Hemmings – guitar (1987)
  • Mark Birchall – drums (1987)
  • Peter "Cammy" Cammell – guitar, bass (1988, 1989–1992, 1994–1995)
  • Iain Templeton – drums (1988)
  • John "Boo" Byrne – guitar (1988, 1995)
  • Chris Sharrock – drums (1988–1989)
  • Barry Sutton – guitar (1988–1989, 1991)
  • Neil Mavers – drums (1989–1992, 1994–1995)
  • James Joyce – bass (1991–1992, 1994)
  • Lee Garnett – guitar (1994–1995)
  • Jay Lewis – guitar (2005)
  • Nick Miniski – drums (2005)
  • Gary Murphy – bass (2011)

Timeline

Other appearances

  • A Secret Liverpool (1984) "I Don't Like Hanging Around"
  • Elegance, Charm and Deadly Danger (1985) "My Girl (Sits Like a Reindeer)" and "Sweet 35"
  • Unearthed: Liverpool Cult Classics, Vol. 1 (2001) "Don't Lock Me Out"
  • Lo-Fi Acoustic Excursions (2004) "Cool Water"
  • Lo-Fi Electric Excursions (2006) "Midnight Shift", "Painting Dub", "Space Rocketry"



Source : Wikipedia
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The La's Discography

  • 1990AlbumThe La's
  • 2006AlbumThe La's - BBC In Session
  • 2007AlbumLost La's 1984-1986 Breakloose
  • 2007AlbumLost La's 1986-1987 Callin' All
  • 2008AlbumLost La's 1984-1986: Breakloose
  • 2009Album1984-1986 Breakloose (Remastered with Bonus Tracks)
  • 2010AlbumCallin' All
  • 2010AlbumCallin' All (1986-1987) [Deluxe Edition]
  • 2010AlbumDe Freitas Session '87
  • 2010AlbumLost La's (1986-1987): Callin' All (Remastered with Bonus Tracks)
  • 2017Album1987
  • 2017AlbumThe La's 1987
  • 2018AlbumBreakloose (Lost La's 1984-1986)
  • 2020AlbumBreakloose (1985-1986)
  • 2020AlbumCallin' All (1986-1987)
  • 2020AlbumLive & Dangerous (Live at the Picket 5/6/1987)
  • 2021AlbumThe La's LIVE! (1986-1987)
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