SPEARMINT

SPEARMINT

BandPop

Romantic - Life-affirming - Uplifting - Indie Pop - Eloquent - Guitars - Northern Soul

Biography

A Spearmint Biography

2006
• Spearmint complete the follow-up to 2003’s “My Missing Days”… the album is called “Paris In A Bottle” and is to be released 14th August
• It is both the band’s most ambitious and most accessible album, and spawns 3 brilliant Pop singles - “The Competition”, “My Girlfriend Is A Killer” and “Psycho Magnet”
• The album’s narrative spans eleven years, as four strangers who spend one night together gradually live out their lives in Paris and London.
• The singles are released in May, June and July on limited blue, white and red vinyl editions
• Spearmint provide the title track music for the British Romantic Comedy “The Best Man”
• The band play an extensive schedule of shows through 2006

2005
• The band do their first ever acoustic shows - Shirley, Simon and Jim tour Germany in January
• Nine new songs are written for the tour – these are released as a limited edition mini-album “The Boy And The Girl That Got Away” via www.spearmint.net
• A one-off single “Girls With Guitars” & “Thomas” is released on the Canadian Home Sleep label
• The band begin work on the follow-up proper to “My Missing Days”

2004
• Following hot on the heels of “My Missing Days”, Spearmint release “A Leopard & Other Stories”
• The album was made over a 4 year period - singer Shirley explains: “It occurred to us that instead of treating EPs and b-sides as separate projects, we could deliberately, gradually make an album, little by little, whenever we recorded songs which were not to be included on other LPs. Hence a catch-phrase "this is not a b-side: it's a future album track" was born. Each time we've recorded EPs or tracks for compilations since 1999, they have been intended for this album. Some of our favourite songs are on this record”
• A single, “The Whole Summer Long” is released, someone says it’s a bit like a geekier “Gregory’s Girl” set to music.
• The band play their final gig for 18 months at The 100 Club in London in August.

2003
• Spearmint record a tune for the Pavement tribute album “Everything Is Ending Here” – their original song “This Is A Souvenir” opens the collection and is followed by 35 other bands doing Pavement cover versions.
• The band record “The Last Bus Home” EP for Spanish label Primeros Pasitos.
• Impressed with Rhodri Marsden’s production on the Free French album, the new album is recorded with Rhodri & Andy Lewis producing – the result is their third album: “My Missing Days”.
• The album has all the vital Pop of “A Week Away” and the emotional depth of “A Different Lifetime”. It is packed full of girl / boy duets, Northern Soul energy, brilliant tunes, haunting instrumentals, some of the best lyrics you’ll ever hear, spoken pieces, ace guitars and saw playing. It is also the first album in history where the songs take you through a backwards narrative – starting at the end and ending at the beginning. The songs are about values, possessions, figuring out what matters in this world - songs about what you’d do in a given situation.
• “My Missing Days” is released on 18 August, followed in September by single “Left Alone Among The Living”.
• What the press said about “My Missing Days”:
o “One day Spearmint will be hailed as Gods” – NME
o * * * * - Uncut
o “The glamour that elevates our otherwise mundane existence” – Careless talk Costs Lives
o * * * * - Mojo
o “One of the most life-affirmingly brilliant pop records of recent years” – Drowned In Sound
o * * * * - Bang
o “If this doesn't put a smile on your face then you should check your pulse. Poptastic” – Flux
• The band organise a 3 night hitBACK Festival in August at Water Rats in London.

2002
• Spearmint tour a large part of the world promoting “A Different Lifetime”, ending with a three night residency at London’s Borderline – the band play completely different sets each night, with the third show being chosen by the fans via www.spearmint.net.
• Finally the opportunity arises for Spearmint to achieve a long-held ambition - to release records by other artists on their own hitBACK label. This arrives in the shape of Rhodri Marsden’s fantastic band the Free French, who release 2 singles and an album, swiftly followed by HOST whose debut single “Mean Streak” takes the hitBACK roster to 3 acts!
• For the first time since 1995, the band have no definite idea of what their next project will be. They drop out of view & spend the rest of 2002 writing the third album.

2001
• Spearmint complete the writing of their love-story album and record at Matt Johnson’s Garden studio with producer Pete Hofmann
• “A Different Lifetime” is released on 20 August. In the words of Uncut Magazine: “The concept album's back: this time it's personal. Spearmint's second album proper is a flowering, a joy to behold. The "fun" indie-poppers have carried off an extraordinarily ambitious concept, their very own Umbrellas of Cherbourg or End Of The Affair. Fifteen songs chart the rise and fall o

Lyrics

The Competition

Written By: Shirly Lee

Why are you running?
It’s not a competition
What’s the hurry?
What do you think you’re missing?

All those mad people who try
Just let them all rush by

Sometimes when I see you
It’s like a competition
For who’s got things worse
It doesn’t make us happy

Every time we make each other cry
A little bit of life has passed us by

It’s not a competition
It’s not a competition
It’s not a competition
It’s not a competition

With every little game we play
We scrape a little more away

All those mad people who try
Just let them all rush by

Every time we make each other cry
A little bit of life has passed us by

It’s not a competition
It’s not a competition
It’s not a competition
It’s not a competition

It’s not a competition…

First Time Music

Written By: Shirley Lee

For Graham and I, it was our first time out of the country without our parents around. A friend had told us that if we went to Paris in the summer to busk, we’d make loads of money; but it turned out we were terrible buskers… It was so hot that we’d only busk in the mornings and evenings, and we’d only play songs which we had written ourselves, and there weren’t many of those. Our favourite was one called “First Time Music”…

On the fourth night, we were singing our songs when two girls stumbled towards us, arm in arm, giggling – they were slightly hippyfied, pretty, and older than us. They said their names were Monique and Genevieve, and asked us to play something for them, so we sang them “First Time Music”.

They twirled round, attracting a crowd and, at the end they insisted on taking us to a small bar down a side street, and we were suddenly drinking cheap beer in a cool place with two lovely girls. They talked about Bob Marley and the joys of smoking grass…

At one in the morning, they said they’d show us the way to our hotel. We linked arms four-wide across the pavement, and they sang “First Time Music” to us…

When we got to the hotel, they just came in with us. Monique produced a candle from her bag, we opened the shutters, and the light of the moon and the candle lit the room.

Genevieve sat cross-legged on the bed. She painstakingly made a cigarette, which she then passed to Graham. I knew he wouldn’t take it, as we were both fiercely anti-drugs, but he did take it…

Monique produced a pack of cards, and we played games, talking and giggling…

We began to talk about our dreams, what we wanted to do with our lives. Monique became really excited – she knew exactly what she wanted: to move to London or New York, to become this glamorous city girl who would somehow change the world for the better.

Genevieve’s dreams were all about meeting the right guy. Graham said he wanted to meet and fall in love with a glamorous female assassin – I thought he was joking at the time…

My ambitions were easy: to make an album, and write a musical…

Monique suggested we wrote our dreams down on the playing cards. I wrote on the eight of clubs and Monique chose the two of hearts because she needed more space.

She then instructed us to exchange cards. Graham and Genevieve swapped theirs, and Monique and I exchanged ours. It seemed like a solemn, important moment. Monique said she would keep my card forever, and that she would always guard my dreams. I promised I would do the same for her…

She whispered to me that they would stay the night, and they would choose who shared a bed with whom… and then the girls went to the bathroom, whispering, conferring…

I grabbed Graham and explained what Monique had said. I took off my trousers and socks and got into bed. He got into his fully clothed and immediately fell asleep. When the girls came back, he woke with start and cried out.

Monique drew the shutter over, so that just the light of the candle lit the room.

They stood at the bottom of the beds and took off their skirts, then took a step forwards, as though I would be with Genevieve, and Graham would be with Monique. Then, like a feint in a TV game-show, they skipped and changed sides at the last moment – Monique got into bed with me…

She snuggled up to me, running her hands over my T-shirt. We cuddled and I lay there, happy and nervous.

I knew that nothing was really going to happen because Graham and I had talked about this and agreed a code of what was and wasn’t acceptable on the likely event of us getting two girls back to our hotel.

I looked across at the next bed and in the flickering candle-light I saw Graham and Genevieve kissing.

Monique lifted her head from my shoulder and kissed me. She complained about my stubble, and then kissed me some more. I kissed her shoulders and I kissed her neck, but that’s as far as I went, because Graham and I had our pact, our code.

Monique started to fall asleep. I heard her breathing change and deepen. I tried to match my breathing to hers, and I remember thinking what a sophisticated thing that was to do… then I fell asleep…

I woke up in bright sunshine with a sour taste of alcohol in my mouth. I put my arm around Monique and she stirred and woke up. She whispered something about her chin being sore, then slowly turned over and kissed me.

It was ten to ten. I got up and put my trousers on – there was no way we would miss a breakfast we had paid for! I shook Graham – his hair was all standing out, like he’d been electrocuted. He sat up with a start and cried out.

He and I sat down in the breakfast room, eating baguettes, and alternately shivering and giggling. It turned out that Graham had gone a lot further than me in the night, doing things I couldn’t believe. I asked him about the code, but he didn’t seem to realise that there had been a code.

We thought we’d take the girls some coffee up. We didn’t know how they to

A DIFFERENT LIFETIME

Written By: Shirley Lee

This may be over for now
but it's not over for ever
I have to believe that
one day we will have our time together

I will kiss you again
?undress you again
?I will sleep with you again
?and again
?I will be there when you wake
?I promise you
?I have to believe that

and the time I spent with you
?is the most perfect I have known
?it already seems like it was stolen
?from a different lifetime

I will keep you warm
?I will show you stars
?I will touch you every way I know
?over again
?I will drink you in?
I will fill you up
?I have to believe that

and all these things will be
?and one day you will be mine?
even if it has to be?
even if it has to be?
in a different lifetime

trying to life a second life
?in your first
?when even your friends say?
"right person, wrong lifetime"
?I will take care of you
?I will cook for you?
we will do the things that we cannot do
?I will marry you
?I'll make it easy for you
?you won't even have to try?
so sad
?I have to believe that

and all these things will be
?all these things will be
and one day you will be mine
?one day you will be mine
?even if it has to be
?even if it?
even if it has to be
?in a different lifetime

I have to believe that?
even if it has to be
?even if it?
even if it has to be
?in a different lifetime

years go fast, weeks go slow ?
one day we will be together

years go fast, weeks go slow ?
one day we will be together

Discography

Albums:
Songs For The Colour Yellow (1998)
A Week Away (1999)
Oklahoma (2000)
A Different Lifetime (2001)
My Missing Days (2003)
A Leopard And Other Stories (2004)
Paris In A Bottle (2006)

Singles:
Somebody
Goldmine
A Week Away
I Can't Sleep
Sweeping The Nation
A Trip Into Space
Nodding
It Won't Be Long Now
We're Going Out
You Are Still My Brother
The Locomotion
Howling Christmas
Happy Birthday Girl
The Flaming Lips
Julie Christie
Last Bus Home EP
Left Alone Among The Living
Say Something Else

Set List

A Typical Spearmint set is 75 minutes long averaging 18 songs chosen from our 4 albums proper and numerous classic Pop singles