The Marionettes

Based in London, England, this Gothic rock band were formed by singer Sean Cronin in February 1986, and were originally titled the Screaming Marionettes. The full line-up comprised Paul Newton (drums), Barry Downes (bass; ex-Weapon) and Vile Gold (guitar). After embarking on a tough gigging schedule, the band signed to the record label Lambs To The Slaughter. ‘Obsession’ was released in April 1988, along with a video made by cult film director David McGillivery. Despite the media paying no attention whatsoever, the Marionettes had no troubling building a live following. ‘Goth’ audiences had, after all, been largely deserted by old favourites such as the Mission and Cult, whose style the Marionettes revisited, and the band were easily able to attract 1, 500 fans to a gig at Hammersmith Palais, London, in August 1988. A second single, ‘Like Christabel’, made the UK independent charts in July of the following year. Rainer Hensal invited them to record their debut album for his Maze Music label (through Virgin Records). Germany proved to have a great affection for the group, and after playing three festivals under the auspices of the Zillo magazine, the group signed to the inter-connected Mephisto’s Mob label. Book Of Shadows, produced by John McGowan (Metallica and Ozzy Osbourne) was released in late 1992, after which they hit the European festival trail, playing shows with Pearl Jam and the Sisters Of Mercy to audiences of over 50, 000.

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