Sunday, 8 May 2011

Gloria Mundi



Still reading the excellent "This Is Our Generation" by Tony Beesley and one of my favourite bands gets a rare mention. Gloria Mundi. The fact they get a mention in a book written about life as "an outsider" in Northern Britain in the late 1970's made me smile and remember their brilliance. As soon as I got home (I was reading at work) I dug out the 7" single "Dangerous To Dream" (RCA Records, 1979) and gave it loud spin. The single is a bizarre choice coming from the second album "The Word Is Out" from which the catchy "Y.Y." had already been released. Bizarre because it has no catchy or disposable elements that fitted a "new wave" single at that time. By 1979 commercial punk, ska and power-pop were sweeping the nation and Gloria Mundi put out a single that harked back to the conceptual 7" of the mid 1970's. It does have a break of swimming synth and slap bass (almost Level 42) two thirds in..but catchy radio play it ain't. It is however a classic single just not a commercial one. The B-Side "Temporary Hell (Part 2)" is a guitar solo leading to jazz-chaos with keyboard, drums and saxophone. Beautiful stuff. Different, but then again even in their time Gloria Mundi were different.
I have all their releases and a few of the spin-off Eddie & Sunshine records. Gloria Mundi were primarily a Rock Band, mixing Krautrock with elements of early Genesis and the energy of punk. I have seen them being described as the "First Goth Band" by Mick Mercer...but this description is shit! I always associate them with Ultravox! They played a few live shows together (I think the singer Eddie Maelov + John Foxx went to Birmingham University together...could be wrong) and the GM saxophonist played on the Ultravox! song "Hiroshima Mon Amor". A great regret was that I never saw them play live. They played Lincoln in the summer of 1978 but I was holidaying with the parents in Cornwall at the time - I think Patrik Fitzgerald supported. I (again) could be wrong but I think they had all but split when the second album was released.

So, very few words have been written about Gloria Mundi - there must be a book waiting to be written? Nobody I know has any Gloria Mundi records. I have always been the only one! A few years back I was spinning "I, Individual" LP when a friend called round and was convinced it was Amon Duul I was playing. I used to be a member of their fan club, receiving newsletters and a small tract every so often.
So whatever happened to....Gloria Mundi? The keyboard / vocalist Sunshine Patterson is now a working installation / visual artiste based just outside Lincoln. Eddie Maelov I have no idea, and the second bassist Nigel Ross Scott joined Re:Flex and had a big chart hit with "The Politics Of Dancing". Original bassist "Ice" formed a group with Ultravox! guitarist Stevie Shears but nothing became of it. C.C. joined Glen Matlock in The Spectres and then disappeared (rather like drummer Mike Nichols and guitarist Beethoven).
If you ever see an old Gloria Mundi record buy it - you may be pleasantly surprised. I am thinking about lobbying RCA Records for a retrospective CD Box Set.

Pictures:
1+2: Glorai Mundi's final release.
3: Gloria Mundi Live.

14 comments:

  1. Tom Smith remembers 'em!
    http://toliveandshaveinla.blogspot.com/2011/05/tlasila-2011-hybrids-125.html

    ps - glad the AGDAM hit the spot for ya!


    nc
    x

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's not just you. I love GM as well - and like you, always thought I was the only one. Why their albums haven't been the subject of even the most basic of CD reissues, I'll never know. Apparently, Eddie & Sunshine aren't that bothered, which is a shame.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yea, I've wondered if they can't be bothered enough either.I guess RCA kinda became defunkt which did'nt help.One of the really great overlooked bands.Quite inspiring.I always check Amazon once in awhile to see if the cds are issued but its been so long I'm losing any hope for it...

      Delete
  3. Here's Eddie: http://uk.linkedin.com/pub/eddie-francis/28/513/510

    Sunshine can be found on there as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Neil, I'm connected to Sunshine through Linkedin - seeing Eddie's picture is great!

      Delete
  4. I lived with Pete Vas (Beethoven) for three years from 1978 - 82. After GM he got a solo deal with RCA and released two singles "My Demise" and "Foolish Pride". He went on to play in many bands and he lives in north London.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for that Claire. I would love to have a copy of the 7" ... probably as rare as rocking horse shite by now though. Any idea about the many bands .. names?
      Thanks for your information. Much appreciated.
      Steve.

      Delete
    2. Hi Claire
      Fond memories of you and Pete in The Ship and The Marquee circa 1980.
      Eddie Steady Go

      Delete
  5. Me and my flatmate spent most of 1978-1982 listening to Gloria Mundi and Eddie & Sunshine. They both once appeared on Top of the Pops when John Foxx had a hit with a song called Europe After The Rain. It was great to see them both . Eddie is a carpenter now, apparently.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Yeah, Eddie is a carpenter in Lincoln where Sunshine is a working artist. I used to live in Lincoln in my youth! They also had a half hour programme on BBC 2 where John Foxx performed Underpass. Would love to see that again.
    I am still listening ….

    ReplyDelete
  7. Spoke to Sunshine a few years ago and discussed Gloria Mundi's back catalogue being reissued on CD but the response was negative. We did discuss getting Eddie & Sunshine back together to do some art installation IF we could get John Foxx to play live but it never happened.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Spoke to Sunshine a few years ago and discussed Gloria Mundi's back catalogue being reissued on CD but the response was negative. We did discuss getting Eddie & Sunshine back together to do some art installation IF we could get John Foxx to play live but it never happened.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks for the information. I am surprised that no-one has re-issued the GM back catalogue, especially as everyone seems to be being re-issued / re-packaged and re-sold these days. Perhaps too many logistics - copyrights and stuff? Are RCA Records still going? I corresponded with Sunshine a few years ago on Linkedin and she was very ambiguous over my GM questions. Eddie & Sunshine both live on the outskirts of Lincoln … a collaboration could happen … Never say Never! Thanks again.

    ReplyDelete
  10. The drummer Mike worked in a Hi Fi shop next door to the shop I worked in ( Wilton Road , Victoria ) around 1980 to 81.

    ReplyDelete