Furniture was an English sophisti-pop band that self-released the 1983 EP When the Boom Was On and multiple singles collected on The Lovemongers. Their 1986 Stiff Records album The Wrong People contains their signature song “Brilliant Mind.” They released one further album, Food, Sex & Paranoia, in 1990 on Arista.

Members: Jim Irvin (lead vocals, percussion), Sally Still (bass, vocals), Maya Gilder (keyboards), Hamilton Lee (drums, vocals), Tim Whelan (guitar, vocals), Larry N’Azone (saxophone)


Furniture assembled in 1979 in Ealing, where singer Jim Irvin, guitarist Tim Whelan, and drummer Hamilton Lee formed a trio and soon welcomed guitarist Simon Beaton and bassist Ian MacDonald.

In October 1980, Furniture debuted with the single “Shaking Story” backed with “Take a Walk Down Town,” both self-produced Whelan–Irvin originals on The Guy From Paraguay, the band’s independent label.

A. “Shaking Story”
B. “Take a Walk Down Town”

In 1981, Macdonald and Beaton left Furniture, which continued as a trio while Tim Whelan accepted a second gig as The Transmitters’ vocalist. In 1983, Furniture welcomed bassist Sally Still and keyboardist Maya Gilder. Whelan’s brother, saxophonist Larry N’Azone, became an auxiliary member.

When the Boom Was On

In September 1983, Furniture returned with When the Boom Was On, an EP with six songs joint-written by Irvin, Whelan, and Lee.

A1. “Transatlantic Cable” (3:19)
A2. “They’re On Me” (2:55)
A3. “Robert Nightman’s Story” (3:47)
B1. “I Miss You” (4:31)
B2. “Why Are We In Love” (5:11)
B3. “A Letter to Myself” (3:52)

Sessions took place in 1982–83 at Denmark St. Studios and at Meon Road on the Master Mobile. The features three bassists: Sally Still, ex-member Beaton, and contrabassist Goose Goodchild. N’Azone plays clarinet and sax alongside one Paul Mason.

When the Boom Was On was the first of four Furniture releases on the band’s independent label Premonition Records, which also issued two titles by singer Jeanette Dwyer. Boom features sleeve photography by P.K. Edgley, whose visuals appear on 1982–83 Survival records releases by The Limit, Drinking Electricity, and Thirteen at Midnight.

Stop-Gap Singles

In April 1984m Furniture released “Dancing the Hard Bargain” backed with “Robert Nightman’s Story,” both Whelan–Irvin–Lee lee numbers produced by musician–soundman Tim Parry (The Crooks, Blue Zoo).

A. “Dancing the Hard Bargain”
B. “Robert Nightman’s Story”

In December 1984, Furniture released “Love Your Shoes,” a 12″ single with two additional songs: “Escape into My Arms” and “The Script.”

A1. “Love Your Shoes” (3:32)
A2. “Escape into My Arms” (4:14)
B. “The Script” (5:16)

In May 1985, Furniture released “I Can’t Crack” a 12″ with two additional a-sides (“Switch Off,” “Pause”), backed with an extended mix of the first track.

A1. “I Can’t Crack”
A2. “Switch Off”
A3. “Pause”
B. “I Can’t Crack” (Broken Mix)

In May 1986, Furniture released “Brilliant Mind,” a group-written number backed with “To Gus.”

A. “Brilliant Mind”
B. “To Gus”

Veteran soundman Mick Glossop (Jade Warrior, Strawbs, Penetration, Skids) produced “Brilliant Mind” ins sequence with mid-eighties singles by The Alarm, The Bolshoi, Ruefrex, The Waterboys, and X Mal Deutschland).

The Lovemongers

In June 1986, Furniture release The Lovemongers, a collection of singles and demos issued on Premonition (UK) and Survival (Japan). It features the three 1984–85 a-sides, including a remixed “Love Your Shoes” and its two b-sides.

The Lovemongers features five new songs: “What The Fog Said,” “Bullet,” “Talking Kitten,” “Sang Froid,” and the title track.

1. “The Lovemongers” (2:56)
2. “Throw Away the Script” (4:27)
3. “Love Your Shoes” (3:36)
4. “Escape Into My Arms” (4:17)
5. “What The Fog Said” (5:20)

6. “Dancing the Hard Bargain” (3:55)
7. “Bullet” (5:10)
8. “Talking Kitten” (3:54)
9. “Sang Froid” (5:25)
10. “I Can’t Crack” (4:14)

Recorded at Triple X, Beethoven Street, The Yard, Granny’s, Bark and on the Master Mobile.
Performer – Hamilton Lee, Jim Irvin, Maya Gilder, Sally Still, Tim Whelan
Producer – Furniture (2-5, 7-10), Tim Parry (1, 6), Walter Samuel (1)
Written-By – Lee, Irvin, Whelan

Castanets – Helena Björelius
Congas – Godfrey (T.U.U.P.) Duncan
Saxophone, Clarinet [Bass] – Larry Nazone
Trombone – Dave Jago

Artwork – Hammy, Jim
Photography – Colin Thomas, Matthew Edgington, Paul Edgley

The Wrong People

Furniture released their first proper album, The Wrong People, on November 10, 1986, on Stiff Records. It features the pre-released a-side “Brilliant Mind” and the followup “Love Your Shoes.”

Two songs each feature ex-Keef Hartley trumpeter Martin Drover (“Shake Like Judy Says,” “Make Believe I’m Him”) and Ian Carr saxophonist Phil Todd (“Let Me Feel Your Pulse,” “Answer the Door”). They interlock on “I Miss You,” which features strings by Charlie Buchannon and Furniture associate (and former member) Tim Beaton.

1. “Shake Like Judy Says” (4:38)
2. “Love Your Shoes” (3:26)
3. “Brilliant Mind” (3:44)
4. “She Gets Out the Scrapbook” (5:58)
5. “I Miss You” (4:35)

6. “Make Believe I’m Him” (3:36)
7. “Let Me Feel Your Pulse” (2:45)
8. “The Sound of the Bell 3:12
9. “Escape Into My Arms 3:38
10. “Answer the Door” (2:46)
11. “Pierre’s Fight” (3:07)

Performer – Hamilton Lee, Maya Gilder, Sally Still
Performer, Written-By – Jim Irvin, Tim Whelan, Hamilton Lee (except 4,6), Sally Still (4,7 only)
Producer, Recorded By – Mick Glossop
Producer Assistant] – Andy Mason, Dave Grant, Dave Holmes

Artwork – Calum Colvin

Furniture lifted “Love Your Shoes” as a single backed with the non-album “Turnupspeed.” The extended 12″ contains a third track, “Me, You and the Name.”

A. “Turnupspeed”
B. “Me, You and the Name”

2010 Cherry Red CD reissue:
12. “Brilliant Fragment” (1:18) Strings – Charlie Buchannon, Tim Beaton
13 “That Man You Loved” (2:39) demo
14 “Never Said” (3:51) demo
15 “To Gus” (2:46)
16 “Turnupspeed” (5:03) Clarinet – Boz Boorer
17 “Me, You And The Name” (3:16)
18 “It Continues” (5:29)
19 “Brilliant Mind” (extended, 7:03) Saxophone – Larry Whelan, Strings – Charlie Buchannon, Tim Beaton
20 “Love Your Shoes” (extended, 5:12)

Food, Sex & Paranoia

Furniture released their second album, Food, Sex & Paranoia, in February 1990 on Arista Records.

1. “One Step Behind You” (4:27)
2. “Slow Motion Kisses” (3:46)
3. “Swing Tender” (4:21) Cello – Audrey Riley, Mick Stirling, Tamsy Kaner
4. “A Taste Of You” (3:55)
5. “A Plot To Kill What Was” (4:41)
6. “On A Slow Fuse” (3:48) Steel Drums – Aubrey Bryan
7. “Subway To The Beach” (3:38)
8. “Song For A Doberman” (2:34)
9. “Love Me” (4:59) Cello – Audrey Riley, Mick Stirling, Tamsy Kaner
10. “Friend Of A Friend” (extended, 6:03) Congas – Johnny Folarin
11. “Hard To Say” (2:42) Steel Drums [Steel Pans] – Aubrey Bryan

Recorded At – Wessex Sound Studios by Jason Appleton, Valerie Ghent
Recorded At – The Stereo Society by Stuart Stawman
Producer – Mike Thorne

Design – Ryan Art
Photography By [Group Photography] – Phil Coulson

October 1989: “Slow Motion Kisses” b/w “40 Hours in a Day” (also on 12″ single and CD with “40 Hours in a Day”, “Brilliant Mind” and “She Gets Out the Scrapbook”)

February 1990: “One Step Behind You” b/w “It Continues” (also on 12″ single and CD with “One Step Behind You” (Mark McGuire Club Remix), “It Continues” and “International People”)

August 1991: “Brilliant Mind” (reissue) b/w “On a Bus with Peter Nero” (also on 12″ with “On a Bus with Peter Nero” and “Brilliant Mind” (Extended Mix))


  • “Shaking Story” / “Take a Walk Downtown” (1981)
  • When the Boom Was On (EP, 1983)
  • The Lovemongers (1986)
  • The Wrong People (1986)
  • Food, Sex & Paranoia (1990)


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