Pram (band)

Pram (band)

Pram are a band formed in the Balsall Heath/Moseley area of Birmingham, England in 1990.

Originally from Yorkshire, Rosie Cuckston and Matt Eaton went to school together. Along with drummer Andy Weir, the three then moved to Birmingham in the late 80's. A chance meeting between Rosie Cuckston and Sam Owen at a local supermarkets Singles Night started off the unique band. They began gigging under the name Hole in 1988. The only sounds included her eerie vocals and a home-made theremin. Matt Eaton later joined the band playing multiple instruments. Keyboard player/sampler Max Simpson also joined, with Sam playing bass and Andy Weir on the drums.

The band's first album Gash was self-released and sold by mail order and at gigs. They portrayed a child-like theme to their music, using toy instruments. The band name 'Pram' also suggests a child-like theme. The band attracted the attention of Too Pure Records (already home to Stereolab, Mouse on Mars and P. J. Harvey), and between 1993 and 1995 the label released several increasingly sophisticated albums and EPs.

Early recordings were a krautrock-influenced blend of rhythmic guitar, keyboards and percussion, with Cuckston's eerie vocals and lyrics dealing with depression, loneliness and the dark side of childhood. A trumpeter (credited only as "The Verdigris Horn") played on several tracks, including the quarter-hour "In Dreams You Too Can Fly", on debut album The Stars Are So Big.... Second album Helium (1994) featured increasing use of the sampler, and later recordings show a marked interest in "exotica". The band's final Too Pure album, 1995's Sargasso Sea, was "awarded" a score of 0/10 when reviewed by the NME, which the band saw as a compliment. However, in 2004, NME tipped Pram as the next big band to watch out for. Unfortunately this was untrue as Pram are still unpopular. In 1995 Pram left Too Pure, and released a cassette compilation of early demos and live recordings, Perambulations - some of these recordings were added to the CD reissue of Gash. Singles and EPs were recorded for a variety of labels (including Stereolab's Duophonic Records), before the band found a new home at Domino Records.

The first album for Domino, North Pole Radio Station, was originally recorded for Wurlitzer Jukebox Records, but the label shut down before it could be released. 1999's "Keep in a Dry Place and Away From Children" was the soundtrack to an animated film, and also featured a remix by Mouse on Mars – while never strictly an electronica group, Pram have been remixed by several artists (Somniloquy features remixes by fellow Brummie experimentalists Plone and amongst others), and remixed LFO and the Aphex Twin for the Warp Records 10th anniversary compilation. Rosie is married to Tom who is better known as Tele:funken. The band's original theremin player left to become a bomb disposal worker. Their old drummer Steve Perkins had also been part of fellow brummie band Broadcast but soon left them also. From the release of 'Dark Island'. The song 'Track of the Cat' was used on a BT advert in 2003. However, this did not gain the band any recognition.

Grandmaster Gareth of Misty's Big Adventure produced the string arrangement on 'Peepshow' from the album 'Dark Island'. He also arranged all the strings on the album 'The Moving Frontier' and played the cello on 'The Empty Quarter' and 'Compass Rose'. Matt Eaton is currently DJing with Mark from Plone for Silver Dollar, a reggae club in Birmingham and produces his own music under the name 'Micronormous'.

Current Line-Up

  • Rosie Cuckston (vocals, keyboards)
  • Sam Owen (flute, clarinet, accordion, keyboards, guitar, bass, melodica, soprano sax)
  • Matt Eaton (guitar, bass, keyboards, samples,)
  • Max Simpson (samples, airsynth, keyboards, melodica, bass)
  • Laurence Hunt (drums, keyboards, bass, percussion, marimba)
  • Harry Dawes (trombone, theremin, stylophone)

Past members

  • Nick Sales (bass, theremin, guitar, zither, keyboards, samples)
  • Alex Clare (trumpet)
  • Steve Perkins (drums)
  • Mark Butterworth (drums)
  • Dave Turner (drums)
  • Daren Garrett (drums)
  • Andy Weir (drums)
  • Hannah Baines (trumpet)
  • The/Mr. Verdigris Horn (trumpet)
  • The Colonel (theremin)

Albums

Compilations

  • Brum Brum (1989, Pram's song 'Jack Sabbath' appears on this compilation, along with other brummie bands)
  • Perambulations (1995, cassette-only collection of early recordings, some live)
  • ''Telemetric Melodies (1999, collects various single/EP tracks from 1997-99)

Singles and EPs

DVD's

  • Shadow Shows of the Phantascope (2008)

External links

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