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 indie acts, 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. As a footnote to reader davajones, Ian’s in Stirling, Mark and Whitey are in Camelon, and Bob’s still in Falkirk.
© MC Strong 2002/GSM // rev-up MCS Oct2015-Jun2019

discography
~ Ian Murray – vocals, guitar / ~ Robert “Bob” Greenaway – guitar, vocals / ~ Alan Whyte – bass / ~ Mark Dickson – drums
// UK // US
// Sharko 2 // unsigned
* Oct 86.~ (lp) ~ (TUFT 4) ~ REFLECTIONS IN RED // //-
~ Heaven and Hell / Top of a tall tree / Reflections in red / Cold and blind / The curve / All the money / Spiritual thing / Write this letter.
* Dec 87.~ (7″ps) ~ (TUFT 57) ~ SILVER AND GOLD. / XV Rhythm / Gun // //-
— split and disappeared into the ether; Murray instigated The Alabama Trio; the others recruited Jim Laird; in 2008, Murray, Dickson and Whyte tried to reunite the band as a trio.

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Comments

  1. ian murray

    We (Two Helens) , NEVER supported Flesh For Lulu.It didn’t happen.I am Ian Murray. The single was trash in my opinion and should have been binned. Cheers.Keep rockin’

    1. Martin Strong

      Hi Ian. Sorry about that. Maybe the journalist got mixed with another band of that ilk. Whom did you support back in the day?
      I’ll remove immediately; I’m adding the discography ASAP.

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