Intastella were Manchester and the North's answer to London's "Saint Etienne", and were formed in 1990. Having a career spanning over 6 years the band released four albums:- Intastella and the Family of people, What you Gonna do,Nuphonia, and Intastella Overdrive, plus around a dozen singles. Intastella were formed when Stella Grundy (the Alison Goldfrapp of the day!) and her boyfriend Spencer Birtwisle wrote a few songs together, and roped in additional help including their very own Bez-like (Happy Mondays token member) - the ironicaly named Little Anthony.
Riding on a wave of Madchester hype the band signed to MCA records, and recorded their debut single "Dream some Paradise", which was a psychedelic haze of a song and was released in the spring of 1991. The album "and the family of people" was released in the Autumn of 1991 and became an instant Indie student classic, although mainstream success wasnt to be found, and without any hesitation they were dropped by MCA.
Undeterred the band signed with an Independant label, Planet 3 who although they meant well couldnt really provide Intastella with the backing they needed. Friends visiting the band at this time included Ian Brown of the Stone Roses and Shaun Ryder from the Happy Mondays who also sang on the Bside of the single "Drifter" which was as good as anything the Mondays released. Again due to a lack of promotion the single didnt really acheive an airing outside the student population, and too much attention being focused on the bside with Shaun Ryders vocals.
The band decided to release a track of the Northern Soul classic "The Night" and should've been a huge hit with its lovely summery vibe, and decidedly Saint Etienne soundalike singer. The record label was blamed for the failure of the single as they just didnt press enough singles for the demand by which time the single had fallen out of the lower reaches of the chart.
After this another album followed in 1997 with only apparently a few thousand copies pressed by the record label and was promoted by the standout "Skyscraper" track. Due to the lack of interest by the label, the band ended up folding and going their seperate ways.
In 2002 a retrospective of the band was released by Sanctuary records which collected the singles and stand out album tracks on a 2cd compilation.
Recently lead singer Stella Grundy released a solo single and its rumoured there may be an Intastella reunion on the cards…
UPDATE: Stella's new stuff can now be found on Last FM. Click here for Stella & The Doggs
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