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Rose Of Avalanche

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Formed by Phil Morris (vocals), Paul James Berry (guitar) and Alan Davis (bass), this Leeds, Yorkshire, England-based band came to the fore following heavy airplay from BBC disc jockey John Peel. Their debut single, ‘L.A. Rain’, finished high in his 1985 ‘Festive Fifty’, although it was released before the band had performed. Glenn Schultz (guitar) was added to the line-up on the follow-up, ‘Goddess’. The two singles, which both reached number 1 on the independent charts, were packaged alongside other material on the unapproved album release First Avalanche. Drummer Mark Thompson was then drafted into the line-up allowing the Rose Of Avalanche to move away from the strictures of using a drum machine. The band also signed a new recording contract with the Fire Records label. Their third single ‘Too Many Castles In The Sky’ originated from overhearing a man in a pub asking a girl if she wanted to ‘See my castle in the sky?’. Following this release bass player Alan Davis was replaced by Nicole McKay. The next single ‘Velveteen’, a tribute to Nico, gained further exposure after the band accompanied the Mission on a European tour. After gaining early praise the band was stopped in their tracks for 18 months between 1987 and 1988 following disputes with their label, Fire Records, who rather unceremoniously went ahead with the release of an album of old material. The Rose Of Avalanche responded by setting up their own Avalantic label, releasing their debut album proper (Never Another Sunset) in 1989. Further line-up changes then ensued with Schultz and McKay departing, with the latter replaced by Darren Horner. The 4 track A Peace Inside EP was the last to feature Mark Thompson, leaving Morris and Berry to carry on with Horner and new drummer Andrew Porter. Their next two albums, String ‘A’ Beads and I.C.E., brought about a transformation in the band’s sound, replacing the heavy rhythms and chiming guitar that saw them pigeonholed as ‘gothic’ with material of a comparatively melodic and ‘poppy’ nature. The departure of Berry after the release of the latter hastened the demise of this ill-fated band.