The Pastels

The Pastels are a Glasgow-based music group, which originated in ramshackle style in the 1980s, with an almost accidental sound which became extremely influential both on a local level and internationally. Singles like Something Going On and Million Tears were rough-hued 'almost-pop' and connected with a new audience of music lovers many of whom saw and heard something which offered them the possibility to become a participant, which they expressed through fanzines and their own music. The Pastels debut album, Up For A Bit With The Pastels (Glass, 1987), was a spectacular triumph, but their participation in the NME's C86 seemed to mark them down as 'a certain type of group'. After an anti-climatic follow-up, Sittin Pretty (Chapter 22, 1989), it seemed like maybe the group was fading out, but they were actually re-configuring and learning again from scratch with a core line-up of Stephen McRobbie, Annabel Wright (Aggi), and Katrina Mitchell. It was a slow process which eventually resulted in their strongest and best music, on albums like Mobile Safari and Illumination (Domino, 1995, 1997). After a remix set, Illuminati (1998), The Pastels spent time setting up their own Geographic Music imprint via Domino, with the intention of releasing somewhat unknown, beautiful music into the world. Artists on Geographic have included Maher Shalal Hash Baz, Bill Wells Trio, Empress, International Airport, Future Pilot AKA, Directorsound, Kama Aina and The Royal We. In this phase the only new Pastels music was a soundtrack for David Mackenzie's The Last Great Wilderness (Geographic, 2002); dark, slo-mo and melodic, it attracted excellent reviews. In 2006, The Pastels developed and partly performed new music for a theatre production by Glasgow based company, 12 Stars. Mainly The Pastels have since been focused on completing two new albums, one in collaboration with Tokyo-based group, The Tenniscoats, and one, their own 'new Pastels album'.

The Pastels also played at...