I must admit, I (recently) bought this record purely because I’m a huge fan of the American band Unrest – they covered ‘When It All Comes Down’ and held a strange obsession with Miaow singer and guitarist Cath Carroll, naming a (fantastic) song for her and using a Robert Mapplethorpe photograph of her as the cover image for their Perfect Teeth album. It’s a great song, and the Miaow version is jaunty, melodic and good listening – indeed, proof that Unrest’s version is a very faithful cover.
Miaow were a band from Manchester who were active in the 1980s (including contributing a track to every indie-pop fan’s primer of choice, C86) and Cath Carroll has done a lot of interesting things. Here are a few of them, plucked from a (hopefully correct) Wikipedia page:
- She played in a band called Property Of… in the late 1970s, along with former Warsaw drummer Tony Tabac
- She wrote for NME and City Limits
- She married Big Black guitarist Santiago Durango
- She’s written books about Tom Waits and Fleetwood Mac
This record, released on Factory, sports a disarming image on its sleeve; the sleevenotes don’t mention who created it, but do mention ‘Sleeve: Cath/Brian/Slim Smith’ – yet another string to Carroll’s bow, with the input of ‘Brian’, who isn’t a member of Miaow (anybody know who Brian is?) and Slim Smith, a designer with a huge catalogue of impressive work. Oh, and here’s proof that not all Factory sleeves were designed by Peter Saville!
So, some nice connections to end with: Avant-prog group Henry Cow release a 1974 album named Unrest. Avant-indie group Unrest name themselves after this album from around 1983 onwards. Avant-pop group Miaow slot somewhere in between.
(A final footnote: if the record sleeves looks a little wrinkly, well, as Milli Vanilla would say – blame it on the rain…)