21th July 08
Natasha England new release featuring Snowy on several tracks.
it's a double cd anthology «Back from the mists of time» .
Amongst the 42 tracks are 4 with Snowy's excellent guitar playing:
06. Bring It On Home
07. The Boom Boom Room
12. Still Love You
17. Pata Pata
All these tracks were originally released in 1982 on Natasha's album
«Captured», the year Snowy signed to «Towerbell Records» - the label formed by Natasha and husband Bob England.
Natasha is no stranger to the music business. Having moved from Hamilton, Scotland to London in the early 70s, Natasha soon found herself working back office for the likes of Rod Stewart and David Bowie as well as fronting her own band at venues such as The Marquee.
Around the same time, a meeting with Bob England (The Love Affair) resulted not only in marriage but also the formation of a music management business and the Good Earth Promotions company, promoting live acts such as Average White Band. With an obvious ear for talent, Natasha was also responsible for the discovery of 70’s heavyweights Darts and Chas and Dave as well as the formation of Towerbell Records with Bob.
Natasha had been so successful working behind the scenes that it would have been tempting to stay there, but having the looks, voice and song writing talent to match her business acumen, a move into the spotlight was inevitable.
After a false start on Magnet Records fronting The Flirts on “He’s The Kind Of Boy You Can’t Forget”, Natasha quickly developed her own sound on her first singles for Towerbell, “I Can’t Hold On” and “Strangest Feeling”. Both were incredibly commercial self penned pop triumphs, but neither attracted enough airplay to secure a chart position. Shortly after, following a suggestion from Rita Ray of Darts, Natasha first recorded “Iko Iko”.
It was obvious from the session (produced by Tom Newman of Tubular Bells fame), that “Iko Iko” was THE ONE. It was released in May 1982, and by June was flying up the Top 40, easily beating The Belle Stars rival version into submission. Two Top Of The Pops appearances later, and “Iko Iko” hit the number 10 spot.
The single was quickly followed by another hit, “The Boom Boom Room” and a charting album, “Captured” but all was not well in Natasha land both with her record label and husband Bob, who was also acting as her manager. Natasha was very keen to build a more mature sound and audience, whilst Bob was insistent on more cover versions. Although singles like “Pata Pata” and “I Want You To Be My Baby” were good, they weren’t what Natasha was about.
By 1984, music was evolving rapidly. Natasha began working on her second album “Don’t Walk Away” with producers Tony Cox and Dave Bascombe, and more importantly she co-wrote all the songs on it herself. Four singles were released from it, including the Big Country inspired “Homeland”, but again radio play proved elusive.
By 1985 Natasha and Bob had separated and her time with Towerbell ended. They later divorced, and Natasha stepped away from the music business for a while to work with animals, another passion of hers. She competed in cross country races, bred horses and worked on animal rights issues.
The lure of music proved too strong and by the late 80’s she found herself in Canada fronting the band Why with Gregg Dechert who toured for a couple of years and built up a considerable following before Natasha returned to the UK to continue her work with animals.
Throughout the 90’s Natasha kept writing and compiling material for her return, as well as engaging in session work with the likes of Jive Nation. A planned comeback a few years ago however had to be postponed when Natasha was diagnosed with breast cancer, which involved radiotherapy treatment. Thankfully, Natasha is again fighting fit and at this time of writing is developing her stockpile of songs for an album of brand new material.
But for now, let's enjoy her bumper collection of pop gems from the early years - Back from the mists of time - a 42 track musical feast containing her first 2 albums, the delightful Flirts recordings and the even rarer Delites single, as well as a fine selection of b-sides and unreleased material.
Here is a back catalogue to be celebrated, and this double cd compilation will not only thrill her devoted fan base - for years denied of these digital recordings due to contractual issues, but could serve as a pleasurable discovery to a new generation of pop fans. Natasha England is BACK!
(Alan Connor / Ewan McKenzie - 2008)