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The Pastels

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There are four artists with this name:

1) The Pastels, from Glasgow, have been described as an ‘almost pop’ group. As the description implies the group have some pop elements but miss out on others and have never charted. Their early records (1982-85) for labels like Wham!, Creation and Rough Trade had a raw and immediate sound, melodic and amateur, which seemed all at odds with the time. But an emerging fanzine culture identified with the group’s sound and image, and slowly The Pastels started to influence a new wave of groups which interested the NME and other UK media. By now The Pastels were evolving and, although part of the NME’s compilation, in interviews they always sought to distance themselves from both twee and shambling developments. Their debut album Up for a Bit With the Pastels (Glass, 1987) was quite strange, moving from garage pop-punk through to ballads with synth orchestra splashes. The follow-up Sittin’ Pretty (Chapter22, 1989) was harder but less interesting. Reports started to appear in the UK music press that the group was splitting up.

Slowly it became clear that a new line-up was configuring around original members, Stephen McRobbie and Annabel Wright (Aggi), now joined by Katrina Mitchell.

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