B-Movie

B-Movie was an English new wave band that released two EPs in 1980 on Dead Good Records. They released three 1981–82 singles on the post-punk indie Some Bizarre and scored hits with “Rememberance Day” and the eighties playlist evergreen “Nowhere Girl.” Their lone album from the era, Forever Running, appeared in 1985 on Sire.

Members: Steve Hovington (vocals, bass), Paul Statham (guitar, keyboards), Graham Boffey (drums), Rick Holliday (keyboards, 1979-82), Lou Codemo (bass, 1981-82), Andy Johnson (drums, 1982-84), Martin Winter “Smedley” (bass, 1982-85), Mike Peden (bass, 1982-?), Ady Hardy (guitar, 1982-?), Al Cash (drums, 1984)


Formation

B-Movie hatched from The Aborted, a punk band active in 1978 in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. In 1979, singer–bassist Steve Hovington and guitarist Paul Statham teamed with keyboardist Rick Holliday and drummer Graham Boffey in a new group, Studio 10, named after a nearby hair salon.

As B-Movie, they made their vinyl debut with two songs (“Man On a Threshold” and “Refugee”) on East, a compilation of acts on Dead Good Records, whos post-punk roster featured The Fatal Charm, Sincere Americans, Whizz Kids, The Cigarettes, Half Life, Pseudo Existors, and Vick Sinex & The Nasal Sprays.

“Man On a Threshold”
“Refugee”

All Dead Good sessions took place at Studio Playground with Rick Woolgar and Andy Dransfield, who also produced 1979-80 indie singles by Wavis O’Shave and X•S•Energy. BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel played “Man On a Threshold” on his February 21, 1980, broadcast.


1980 EPs

On July 11, 1980, B-Movie made their proper debut with Take Three, an EP with two Steve Hovington originals (“The Soldier Stood Alone,” “Drowning Man”) and the Rick Holliday co-write Dead “Soundtrack.”

A1. “The Soldier Stood Alone”
B1. “Drowning Man”
B2. “Soundtrack”

Holliday produced Take Three, which appeared in a sleeve inspired by 1940s film posters, complete with a salutation (“A Fiesta of Music”), a tagline (“Glorious dancing, Latin romancing, music to make your heart sing”) and credits (“Directed by Andy Dransfield”).

Take Three appeared as Dead Good’s ninth released (DEAD 9) between singles by The Vye and The Cigarettes. Peel twice aired “The Soldier Stood Alone” on his July–August broadcasts.

In December 1980, B-Movie released Nowhere Girl, a half-album EP comprised of one Hovington–Holliday original (at 45rpm) on Side A and five songs (at 33rpm) on Side B.

A. “Nowhere Girl” (4:57)
B1. “This Still Life” (4:25)
B2. “Institution Walls” (4:10)
B3. “Aeroplanes & Mountains” (4:18)
B4. “Left Out In the Cold” (3:16)
B5. “Remembrance Day” (5:01)

Nowhere Girl appeared as Dead Good’s twelfth release (BIG DEAD 12) between singles by The Four Plugs and The Vye. Due to a pressing air, only 850 copies of Nowhere Girl went into circulation.


1981–82 Some Bizzare Singles

B-Movie signed with Some Bizzare, a post-punk and minimal-wave indie label started by eighteen-year-old music entrepreneur Stevo Pearce, a Phonogram sub-contractor and Chelsea Drugstore DJ.

In January 1981, Pearce issued Some Bizzare Album, which features one new B-Movie track (“Moles”) and early cuts by Blancmange (“Sad Day”), Depeche Mode (“Photographic”), Soft Cell (“The Girl With the Patent Leather Face”), and The The (“Untitled”).

“Moles”

On March 13, 1981, B-Movie released their first Some Bizzare single: the Hovington original “Remembrance Day” backed with a remix of the 1980 track “Institution Walls.”

A. “Remembrance Day”
B. “Institution Walls (Re-mix)”

“Remembrance Day” features production work by Soft Cell soundman Mike Thorne, who produced multiple seventies acts (Wire, The Shirts, Soft Machine, Gryphon) and worked on recent titles by Berlin Blondes, Urban Verbs, Colin Newman, John Cale, and Human Sexual Response.

Deram Records, an imprint of Phonogram, picked up “Remembrance Day” for wider distribution. The song reached No. 61 on the UK Singles Chart. Peel aired “Remembrance Day” seven times between spring and Christmas ’81.

On March 31, B-Movie cut their sole Peel session for the DJ’s April 7 broadcast, which featured four songs: “Polar Opposites,” “Welcome to the Shrink,” “Escalator,” and “All Fall Down.” 

In June 1981, B-Movie released their second Some Bizzare single: “Marilyn Dreams” backed with “Film Music Part 1,” both Thorne-produced Hovington originals.

A. “Marilyn Dreams”
B. “Film Music Part 1”

Meanwhile, “Remembrance Day” appeared with the Soft Cell track “Metro Mr X” on a flexi-disc in the October 1981 issue of Flexipop! magazine (issue No. 12), which has a confetti-strewn cover pic of Marc Almond and Dave Ball and articles on Madness, Spandau Ballet, and an interview with Adam Ant. Flexipop! produced the disc in multiple colors (green, red, orange, blue, and clear).

In March 1982, B-Movie released a newly recorded version of “Nowhere Girl” backed with the self-produced Hovington original “Scare Some Life Into Me.”

A. “Nowhere Girl” features backing vocals by one Maria.
B. “Scare Some Life Into Me” features bassist Lou Codemo.

B-Movie re-recorded “Nowhere Girl” at Trident Studios with producer Steve Brown, a veteran seventies soundman (Elton John, Thin Lizzy, Wizzard, The Boomtown Rats) with recent credits behind ABC, Oingo Boingo, Dramatis, and Wham!

“Nowhere Girl” reached No. 67 on the UK Singles Chart. It appears on Dance Music, a 1982 Indochinese Polydor comp with cuts by Yello, TV 21, Funkapolitan, and Hubert Kah.


Lineup Changes

In late 1982, Graham Boffey cleared for drummer Andy Johnson while Hovington opened the bass slot to Martin “Smedley” Winter. Nineteen months passed with no new material.

In 1983, Rick Holliday departed for Six Sed Red, a synth-dance duo with Soft Cell associate Cindy Ecstasty. They teamed with another duo, Cabaret Voltaire, who produced the 1984 Sed Red single “Shake It Right” (b/w “Bang ‘Em Right”), released on Sire. Holliday and Ecstasty also co-wrote “Dream Baby,” a track on the 1984 self-titled second album by Bananarama.

Meanwhile, Paul Statham switched to keyboards and B-Movie toured Isreal with temp guitarist Stuart McLean. In late 1984, Johnson stepped down for drummer Al Cash.


“A Letter From Afar”

In January 1984, B-Movie returned with “A Letter From Afar,” a Hovington–Statham original with an instrumental flipside. The 12″ version contains two cuts of the vocal version.

A. “A Letter From Afar (Big Mix)” (8:08)
B1. “A Letter From Afar (Instrumental Mix)” (7:47)
B2. “A Letter From Afar (Small Mix)” (3:49)

B-Movie recorded the single with New York DJ John “Jellybean” Benitez, who recently produced the debut album by Madonna.

After this release, B-Movie functioned as a trio composed of Hovington, Statham, and Winter with supplemental players.


Forever Running

B-Movie released their singular album, Forever Running, in late 1985 on Sire.

Forever Running features new versions of their 1981–82 hits “Remeberance Day” and “Nowhere Girl” along with seven exclusive tracks, including the group-written “Blind Allegiance” and the Steve Hovington-penned title track.

Hovington co-wrote five songs with Paul Statham, including the single “Switch On – Switch Off” and its b-side “Just an Echo.”

A1. “Forever Running” (5:03)
A2. “Heart of Gold” (4:09)
A3. “My Ship Of Dreams” (4:03)
A4. “Just an Echo” (4:34) Drums – Jamie Lane
A5. “Remembrance Day” (4:06) Drums – Jamie Lane
B1. “Switch On-Switch Off” (4:04)
B2. “Blind Allegiance” (5:00)
B3. “Arctic Summer” (4:47)
B4. “Nowhere Girl” (4:40)

Recorded At – Trident Studios
Producer – Stephen Stewart-Short
Engineer – Clive Martin

Bass Guitar – Martin Winter
Piano, Keyboards, Guitar – Paul Statham
Voice, Lyrics By – Steve Hovington

Drums – Graham Broad
Guitar [Guitars] – Tony Lowe
Trumpet – Tim Hammond
Clarinet, Saxophone – Jem Benson

Design – Kav DeLuxe
Photography By – Ashworth

In September 1985, B-Movie released “Switch On – Switch Off” as the album’s lone single (b/w “Just an Echo”).


Discography:

  • Take Three EP (1980)
  • Nowhere Girl (EP, 1980)
  • “Remembrance Day” / “Institution Walls” (1981)
  • “Marilyn Dreams” / “Film Music Part 1” (1981)
  • “Nowhere Girl” / “Scare Some Life Into Me” (1982)
  • “A Letter From Afar” (1984)
  • Forever Running (1985)

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