Sunday, 14 August 2016

The Hello Strangers

The Hello Strangers made one album, Goodbye, in 1987. It's a minor lost classic, trading on an intimate knowledge of Big Star and the Car label discography, with a side order of country melancholy, along similar lines to REM.

Its footnote in pop's annals is largely due to Miracle Legion's Mark Mulcahy playing drums, although it stands up just fine on its own. Don't take my word for it. Listen to Last Year's Wings

I mention this album for 3 reasons:

  • Miracle Legion are playing in London next Saturday (20 August) and I can't go. You should.
  • The Hello Strangers were originally Spike Priggen and Nicole Willis (yes, that Nicole Willis). This song from their debut gig is amazing.
  • Before Spike and Nicole were The Hello Strangers they were The Blue Period. Over to Spike:

The music was minimal pop influenced by Young Marble Giants/Weekend/early Everything But the Girl and Getz/Gilberto.The Blue Period turned into The Hello Strangers which initially was just Nicole and I, me playing guitar, both of us singing.Later we added Jean Caffeine (solo artist and former Pulsallama member) on drums and then Mark Mulcahy became the second drummer. I have a tape of the Blue Period rehearsing, recorded on my trusty old JVC box and will maybe put some files up at some point if there's any interest.
There is interest! If there's a 20-year reissue of Goodbye, pair it with The Blue Period recordings. Or even better release The Blue Period songs separately. I'm desperate to hear them.

Okay, Spike's site gives you all the details, including fascinating information about other great acts he's beeen involved in (Malcolm Ross, The Streams, The Caroline Know) and some great photographs


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  2. Wow. Nice to wake up to this! Thanks! One of these days I gotta get Goodbye digitized for real (what's posted on my site is a vinyl rip). I also have 3 solo records I put out between 2001-2005 you should check out. Also have alot of unreleased Hello Strangers stuff. Get in touch and I'll hook you up!

    1. Have done! Look forward to hearing anything you send.

  3. Hi,

    So great post, the Hello Strangers song it's wonderful.

    I would love to listen more songs from Blue Period/Hello Strangers.