On 4 November, The Barbican, here in London, is screening the film “Take Three Girls: The Dolly Mixture Story.” The evening will also feature a Q&A session with the director Paul Kelly, and two former members of Dolly Mixture – Debsey Wykes and Rachel Bor. In the spirit of the event I thought it fitting to post songs from two of Dolly Mixture’s 7″ singles for your listening pleasure.
Dolly Mixture was a British band formed in 1978 by bassist and vocalist Debsey Wykes, guitarist Rachel Bor, and drummer Hester Smith, three school friends in Cambridge who all shared a fondness for The Shangri-Las and the The Undertones.
Relocating to London to gig extensively, BBC DJ John Peel gave them exposure on his radio show and with mentions (and photographs) in his weekly column in Sounds. Signed to Chrysalis, the group released a cover of the Shirelles hit, “Baby It’s You” (1980). The song was later disowned by the band in protest of the label’s attempt to sell them as a teen-girl group. Instead they released their first single on Paul Weller’s Respond label, “Been Teen” (1981) and later “Everything And More” (1982) both of which were produced by Captain Sensible and Paul Gray of the Damned.
In 1983, the band released the double album “Demonstration Tapes” on their own Dead Good Dollys Platters label. The album featured a plain white cover (a nod to The Beatles’s White Album) and each copy was numbered and autographed by the group members. It featured 27 demo tracks covering a large part of the band’s repertoire but not any of the band’s previous singles.
Sticking to their own label, the band released the “Remember This” single in 1983. The A-side was in the same vein as “Everything And More”, but the B-side entitled “Listening Pleasure/Borinda’s Lament,” involved dialogue (à la Home Service British Force’s Radio DJ), a half-finished song and an instrumental chamber piece with Wykes on piano and Bor on cello.
p.s. If you have any burning questions you would like me to ask Paul, Debsey or Rachel on the night of the screening, drop me a note. I’ll post any updates at a later date…