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Two Helens

Falkirk’s finest until the aural assaults of angst-rockers ARAB STRAP, the 4-piece TWO HELENS were, in effect, three-parts JESUS AND MARY CHAIN to one-part leather-clad darkwave goth. Scotland, at the epicentre of indie music in the mid-80s (COCTEAU TWINS were another collective within a 3-mile radius), a 1981-formed TWO HELENS initially comprised of singer/guitarist Ian Murray, bassist Alan Shields and drummer Eddie Menczyskwoski; the latter two musicians would subsequently join Dirty Duck and Spank! – “(un)respectively”.
In 1985, Ian duly roped in guitarist Robert “Bob” Greenaway, bassist Alan Whyte and drummer Mark Dickson, and played the toilet circuit before collecting several airwave miles for BBC Scotland and on Radio 1’s John Peel show; the said DJ played tracks from their independent debut LP, REFLECTIONS IN RED (1986) {*6}. Recorded for Sharko 2 at Glasgow’s CaVa Studios, three tracks that stood out had to be `Write This Letter’, `The Curve’ and the title track, although after a prestigious slot supporting goth-pop wannabees FLESH FOR LULU, it all fell apart when a proposed Scandinavian tour petered out due to promotional wrangles.
In the meantime, a lone 7-inch maxi-single led by `Silver And Gold’ (b/w `XV Rhythm’ and `Gun’) was up for grabs in ‘87 – a year they probably would like to forget if truths be told. The platter was touted in Record Collector for a healthy price for many years, but the fact was, there were plenty copies available. Murray would abandon TWO HELENS to form rockabilly combo, The Alabama Trio, while the others found Jim Laird (ex-Exposure) to compensate for his absence.
In 2008, after years in the proverbial wilderness (Alan for one resided in Bainsford), Ian, Mark and Alan rehearsed again to prove to themselves at least what might’ve been had they taken their 15 minutes of fame. Where are they now in 2015 – who knows?
© MC Strong 2002/GSM // rev-up MCS Oct2015

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