Sad Lovers & Giants

Sad Lovers & Giants were an English post-punk band that released the 1981 DIY singles “Imagination” and “Colourless Dream,” followed by the 1982–83 albums Epic Garden Music and Feeding the Flame, both on Midnight Music. Drummer Nigel Pollard and guitarist Tristan Garel-Funk formed the break-off band Snake Corps.

Members: Garce (vocals), Nigel Pollard (drums, percussion), Tristan Garel-Funk (guitar, 1981-84), Cliff Silver (bass, 1981-?), David Wood (keyboards, saxophone, 1981-?), Juliet Sainsbury (keyboards, 1986-?), Ian Gibson (bass, 1986-present), Tony McGuinness (guitar, 1986-present)


Formation

Sad Lovers & Giants formed in 1980 when Watford singer Simon ‘Garce’ Allard and drummer Nigel Pollard teamed with bassist Cliff Silver, keyboardist–saxophonist David Wood, and guitarist Tristan Garel-Funk. Silver played keyboards in Gambit of Shame, an unsigned Hertfordshire post-punk band.


Last Movement Singles

In Rickmansworth, Sad Lovers & Giants started a DIY label, Last Movement. In 1981, they issued their debut maxi-single, Clé, comprised of three group originals.

A1. “Imagination”
A2. “When I See You”
B1. “Landslide”

In October 1981, Sad Lovers & Giants released their second single: “Colourless Dream” backed with “Things We Never Did.” Black Graphics designed the picture sleeve and the subsequent Sadd Lovers album.

A. “Colourless Dream”
B. “Things We Never Did”

On November 25, 1981, Sad Lovers & Giants entered Maida Vale Studios and cut their lone session for BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel, whose December 3 broadcast aired four songs: two exclusives (“Sex Without Gravity,” “There Was No Time”) and two previews of their upcoming album (“Alice (Isn’t Playing),” “Clint”).

“Clint” appears along with another exclusive track (“Take Me Inside”) The Thing From The Crypt, a 1981 post-punk comp with assorted unsigned Watford acts, including Image In Ruin, Flying Beechcraft, The S-Haters, Gambit of Shame, and another Cliff Silver act, Soft Drinks (with Rudimentary Peni drummer Jon Greville).

Sad Lovers & Giants signed with Midnight Music, a nascent post-punk indie established by zine writer Nick Ralph.


Epic Garden Music

Sad Lovers & Giants released their debut album, Epic Garden Music, in 1982 on Midnight Music. It features eight group-credited originals, including “Echoplay,” “Cloud 9,” and the popular setlist number “Clint.” The original LP release (29:04) subtitles the sides Seaside (A) and Countryside (B).

1. “Echoplay” (2:55)
2. “Clocktower Lodge” (4:17)
3. “Clint” (3:27)
4. “Lope” (3:28)

1. “Cloud 9” (3:21)
2. “ART (By Me)” (3:04)
3. “Alice (Isn’t Playing)” (3:44)
4. “Far from the Sea” (4:45)

Sessions took place in 1981 at Spaceward Studios, a 16-track Cambridge facility where Nick Ralph co-produced the album with one Steve Burgess. Spaceward’s in-house rookie Joe Bull engineered Epic Garden Music amid 1981–82 singles by The Act, The Higsons, and The Farmer’s Boys and NWOBHM albums by Dark Star and Split Beaver.

Epic Garden Music sports black-framed photographs of overgrown cathedral ruins by Cliff Ash.

On December 17, 1982, Sad Lovers & Giants released a non-album single: “Lost In a Moment” backed with “The Tightrope Touch,” both group-written songs produced by Ralph and Burgess.

A. “Lost In a Moment”
B. “The Tightrope Touch”

“Lost In a Moment” was the debut Midnight Music 7″ release (DING 1), ahead of singles by Robyn Hitchcock and The Time Dance.

In 1988, Midnight Music issued Epic Garden Music as a fifteen-song CD (55:27) with both songs from the 1982 single and the five earlier Last Movement sides.


Feeding the Flame

Sad Lovers & Giants released their second album, Feeding the Flame, in 1983 on Midnight Music. Garce penned the lyrics and (under his real name, Simon Allard) co-authored the music with Tristan Garel-Funk. Side B features isolated writing input by David Wood (“Strange Orchard”) and Nigel Pollard (“Your Skin and Mine”). Two songs (“Burning Beaches,” “Big Tracks Little Tracks”) are group-credited. In contrast to its EP-length predecessor, Feeding the Flame (at 44:26) exceeds standard LP length. 

1. “Big Tracks Little Tracks” (3:32)
2. “On Another Day” (4:57)
3. “Sleep (Is For Everyone)” (5:08)
4. “Vendetta” (4:37)
5. “Man of Straw” (4:36)

6. “Strange Orchard” (6:09)
7. “Burning Beaches” (4:30)
8. “Your Skin and Mine” (5:19)
9. “In Flux” (5:38)

Sessions occurred at Spaceward with the Ralph–Burgess production team and engineer Joe Bull, who also worked on 1983 titles by Ben Markus, European Toys, Gothic Girls, Kamikaze Sex Pilots, The Mob, Screen 3, and one track (“How Beautiful You Are”) on The Naked Shakespeare, the debut solo album by ex-Slapp HappyHenry Cow singer–songwriter Peter Blegvad (produced by XTC‘s Andy Partridge).

Sad Lovers & Giants lifted “Man of Straw” as a single, backed with the non-album “Cow Boys.” In addition to the standard single, Midnight issued a 12″ version with an extended “Man of Straw” (6:12) and a third track, “Close to the Sea.

B1. “Cow Boys” (5:31)
B2. “Close to the Sea” (4:42)

In 1988, Midnight reissued Feeding the Flame as a thirteen-song CD (66:07) that contains the extended “Man of Straw” and the two b-sides, plus a re-recorded “Imagination” and a live track, “3 Lines,” from a 1983 show at the Brunel Rooms in Swindon.


Hiatus

After the band’s 1983–84 European tour behind Feeding the Flame, Nigel Pollard and Tristan Garel-Funk left Sad Lovers & Giants over musical differences. The two formed The Snake Corps, a harder edged goth-rock band responsible for the 1985 Midnight Records release Flesh on Flesh.


Discography:

  • Clé (EP, 1981)
  • Epic Garden Music (1982)
  • Feeding the Flame (1983)
  • Total Sound (live, 1986)
  • The Mirror Test (1987)
  • Headland (1990)
  • Treehouse Poetry (1991)

Sources:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *