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VariousSkud & Smarty
Teenagers From Outer Space Comeback
Released: 1st February 2020
|LP||£19.99||Out of Stock|
LImited to 300 copies, red vinyl. Artwork / illustrations by Liliana Graça. Unreleased Pastels track. Mastered by Rafael Toral.
Lives can be brief and amazing. This is the story of Elsa Pires. In 1993 we played at the Reading Festival and met a really sparky girl in a homemade Pastels t-shirt. Because Reading Festival was on the doorstep of London it was generally pretty jaded and cool, actually uncool. We hadn’t really been playing too much at the time but it was around the time of Thank You For Being You / Kitted Out and we had David Keegan in the group and a few brass players too. I think we were probably pretty raw and under-rehearsed - certainly in comparison with Blur who were headlining our stage - but hopefully spirited and excellent too. Most of the really enthusiastic people that we met weren’t British but Japansese, French, Italian, kids that had travelled to see us and one or two others. Elsa and her friends were probably the most enthusiastic.
We met her a few years later in Edinburgh and I think learnt that she was a real scene mover in Portugal in the vanguard of their DIY scene with tapes, fanzines and then eventually a compilation record, Teenagers From Outer Space. Her friend, Manuel Simoes remembers someone whose enthusiasm brought things together even when the music platforms didn’t exist. She was DIY because it was the only way, not because it was fashion. Her own group, Little, recorded everything with cassette recorders, she put on her own shows, brought people together, making inexperience work in everyone’s favour. She documented so many group’s first recordings, and her Bee Keeper label seems a little like a Portugese K.
Sadly, Elsa took her own life in 2002. It’s taken her friends a long time to fulfill their dream of celebrating her life with a new compilation in the spirit of the original Teenagers From Outer Space. Most of the album, and most of the most meaningful contributions are by her friends including Manuel. There’s a gorgeous Rafael Toral track called Life Goes On Forever, he expertly mastered the album as he did the original. The Pastels contribution is a track we recorded for a theatre collaboration with the excellent 12 Stars. It’s called Guest Of Honour and is probably a step along the way from our music for The Last Great Wilderness soundtrack leading up to Two Sunsets with Tenniscoats.
The album also features Tullycraft (a group that Elsa was a big fan of) and lots of the musicians she worked with during her lifetime - Jaguar, Radioactive Man, Pinhead Society, Alien Picnic, Plasticine, More República Masónica, Toast or Yolk. These are all unreleased songs recorded simply at home with Elsa in mind. It’s very much its own personal space, a perfect tribute to a special person.
Stephen Pastel, Glasgow 2020.