Limited edition of 500 copies. Young Marble Giants seemed cast into the world fully-formed, but the truth is more complicated. Before anyone outside Cardiff knew them they’d broken up,until a friend named Spike asked them to record two tracks for a compilation he was assembling, in turn leading to a deal with Rough Trade and enduring fame as creators of possibly the perfect debut album. A few years later, Spike and singer Alison began a sporadic but lasting musical partnership starting with Weekend and lasting today with a new album, Bimini Twist.
If you sense a missing period there, you’d be right. From 1980 through 1995, Spike was in several Cardiff combos - Table Table, The Gist, Bomb And Dagger, and The Pepper Trees - which shared one thing, the startlingly original singer named Debbie Pritchard. Debbie’s oddly innocent vocal styleis reminiscent of The Marine Girls (another band with a Young Marble Giants connection!) yet with the feminist impulse of The Raincoats and a rhythmic sensibility rooted in South American and African musical styles.
Always Sunshine, Always Rain collects twenty recordings they made in three different bands and during loose recording sessions. Eighteen have never seen meaningful release, and the two that have - No Real Place, from a 7” single, and Strike, from a miner’s benefit compilation, likely never found their way past Cardiff city borders. Seaport Town was later revisited by Alison Statton and Spike, and Assured Energy appeared on The Gist’s archival album Holding Pattern in vastly different form. Always Sunshine, Always Rain is organised in roughly chronological order, with tracks from Table Table, Bomb And Dagger and The Pepper Trees, and is presented with a booklet of lyrics and a timeline of Spike and Debbie’s musical activities