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The March Violets

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This rock band with definite ‘gothic’ leanings was formed in England during 1982. Loz Elliott (bass) met Simon Denbigh (vocals) in Leeds, and the latter recruited an old friend, Tom Ashton (guitar). Together with hastily recruited female singer, Rosie Garland, they entered the studios to record an EP that brought them subsequent exposure on BBC disc jockey John Peel’s show. After further releases on the fashionable Merciful Release label, they acquired the services of Travis when he replaced the original drum machine in late 1984. Vocalist Cleo Murray replaced Garland for their ‘Snakedance’ single in 1983, and then Denbigh left owing to a ‘mutual decision’ to form the Batfish Boys. By this time the band behind her only retained Tom from the original line-up, with Loz the latest recruit on bass. In 1986, they signed to London Records, releasing ‘Turn To The Sky’, which just failed to scrape the charts. By this time they were trying to shake off the taint of the ‘goth’ tag, emphasizing that their influences were bands like Z.Z. Top, Led Zeppelin and the Pretenders. Critics used Cleo’s blonde hair as justification for comparisons to Blondie.

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