Gone To Earth

A quite unique indie-thrash-punk-Celtic-folk outfit formed out of Manchester in 1984, the band kicked off as a six-piece consisting of singer-songwriter/guitarist Dave Robinson, vocalist Jane Alexander, manic fiddler Dave Clarke, bassist Dave Thom (also on mandolin), electric guitarist Tudor (aka Sam Davis) and sticksman Harry Hutchinson. After only a handful of gigs, Liverpool-based vinyl imprint Probe Plus offered them a contract, releasing their first of a handful of 12” EPs, `Dogs Went Out The Window’, in 1985. Like some EAST OF EDEN tune (`Jig-A-Jig’ possibly) or PLANXTY-meets-STEELEYE SPAN at their most raucous, their traditional-esque reels (`Three Drummers’, `Magician’ and Bach piece `Liverpool Hornpipe’), could virtually blow the roof off any gig.
Always filed behind The POGUES and MEN THEY COULDN’T HANG, GONE TO EARTH – Jane had now made way for Brenda Kenny – tried everything to be different from their folk-pop-friendly peers, but drinking songs were hardly the solution. Subsequent full-sets FOLK IN HELL (1986) {*7} and VEGETARIAN BULLFIGHTER (1987) {*6} were met with muted press response outside the indie fraternity (leg-ends HALF MAN HALF BISCUIT had become kingpins at the Probe stable), but both had er… grounds to claim their place among the big boys, especially as a live act. The latter album – featuring classy fiddle-friendly opener `Salford Rumble’ – was without Robinson, Kenny and Tudor, remaining members Clarke, Thom (now on vox) and Hutchinson enlisting new bassist Andrew Wright Williams. Sadly, it was R.I.P. for GTE in 1991. Not to be confused with Australian guitar-pop act who claimed the moniker from the late 90s.
© MC Strong 2011/GFD2 // rev-up MCS Sep2015

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