I remember this gig really well. I’d been given a ticket for it by EMI to see Inaura, a new band for them that was playing a gig to coincide with the release of a single. I already knew Inaura as they’d previously been called Polaroid and had been on a very small indie label called Organ who I vaguely knew the owner of. They changed their name, whilst with Organ, to Inaura and I was a big fan of the music of theirs that I’d heard. EMI had spent close to 2 million on their album, videos, and promo so had big hopes for them – hopes I felt were really justified as their music was great.
Inaura did, however, not have a large groundswell of support. I’m not sure how many gigs they’d played, but I was already in to them and this was the first time I’d heard of them playing live and got to see them. I pointed out to the EMI rep at the time that the support band of the night, Children on Stun, were the main reason that probably 80-90% of the crowd was in attendance and they were a band that was about to split up and had to borrow instruments for the show due to lack of money and support – whilst Inaura were headlining with a major record deal but hardly anyone in attendence. A big difference being is that Children on Stun, whilst having a lot of support, were not considered radio friendly whilst Inaura’s sound was considered to be the thing that would propel them to success. You’d see, and hear, of that reasoning a lot within the record industry. Great live bands with decent followings would fall by the wayside as the major labels wouldn’t be interested and bands few had heard of would be snapped up and supprted because someone liked their sound and the way they looked. Was it fair, no way. Would it have been interesting to see how many of the great bands that never got anywhere if they’d been given the opportunity of better support, promotion and some airplay – damn right it would have. But I digress…
A band called Dream City Film Club were first on the bill. I’d never heard of them before but spotted Alex, someone I knew from the Barnet pub days was the guitarist for the band. I’d seen Alex play live before (GIG 038) in an old local band when we were teens but had completely lost track of him – and so many others from the Barnet days. Dream City Film Club were astonishing. They completely blew me away… for the first support band at The Underworld they were incredible and wouldn’t have been out of place heradlinging a much larger venue in their own right. They were another Organ signed band, but would go on to release three albums on Beggar’s Banquet and would be a band I’d see a number of times – and one that still makes an appearance in my Top 100 Bands playlist fairly frequently.
Children On Stun, who most of the people seem to have come out to The Underworld for, were a band I just wasn’t keen on. They had a decent following on the goth circuit but for some reason just never gelled for me… I found them rather dull and mediocore, but you couldn’t deny others had a lot of fun at thie gigs.
Inaura, who EMI had a lot of hopes for, were very good live. I really enjoyed them and still love their music today. I firmly believe they were a band who should have made it in to the big time in a massive way. The record they released, “One Million Smiles” is a fantastic album and has loads of really cracking tunes on it. It’s still an album I regularly listen to. Unfortunately the band got pulled down due to internal politics within EMI when the A&R guy who signed them got sacked.
As Discogs writes…”
Their first release was the 100 Degrees EP on ORG under the name Poloroid. That debut EP caused quite a fuss amongst the major labels and Inaura quickly signed to EMI – who then spent over a million pounds recording the album, another half a million making promo videos in Hong Kong, LA and elsewhere.
The first EMI single was the classic “This Month’s Epic” a smouldering moody progressive epic of some nine minutes, they followed it with a couple of more ‘conventional’ singles, the second “Coma Aroma” featuring a very well received Perfecto remix. By now Dave Formula (Magazine) had joined the band and everything was looking rather good… until their A&R man was sacked and it all got tied up in internal record company politics. No one seemed interested in a sacked A&R man’s project, in fact EMI actively tried to destroy the band (didn’t want the man they’d sacked proved right), the album stayed on the shelf and the band, disillusioned, fell apart – but we knew we couldn’t just leave it there, we knew there was a great album, it had to come out…. took us about a year but we finally got it out of the hands of the lawyers and out on ORG – it’s a bit of fine musical history for those who are interested, despite all the problems and the eventually disappointing apathy of the band once we got the beautiful thing out it was all well worth all the effort.
The album finally came out on ORG, the band played one gig to support it and that was that.
Where are they today? Gone, destroyed by the big bad EMI machine – one hell of an album though”