Friday, August 29, 2014

Blink and you'd miss it

A press release arrives, breathless with excitement - guys, they've got the band back together:

Irish indie legends “Blink” have announced a comeback show in The Button Factory on October 25th to celebrate the 20th anniversay of “A map of the universe” and a career spanning greatest hits compilation “catch that moment” out on October 24th.
Yay! Blink! Blink are back together...

Hold on. Who?

Genuinely, I spent a couple of minutes staring into space, trying to recall Blink. Blink?
Best remembered for hits like “Cello”, “Going to Nepal”, “It’s not my fault”...
I'm sure it's more me than them, but this isn't sounding familiar at all. And a quick check at the official charts website suggests that the band managed one entry, at 57, with a song that they're not best remembered for. Happy Day.

And that brings it back - the slightly irritating sub Frank And Walters act who did this:

Just me and you and you and me,
In a little mad hat
Down by the sea.
It barely counts as a ditty.

And from that comes memories of shouting at The Chart Show "why are you playing this again from the indie chart?", and what I presume was the follow-up single (orangey-browny sleeve?) cluttering up the mark-down dump bins of every record shop in Liverpool for an age and a half.

So, one grating number 57 hit in the UK, and a landfill problem for the sale-or-return department at Parlophone to solve. Somehow I doubt that's going to make it into the press release:
Blink had a string of top 10 singles, 3 hit albums one of which was Billboard Album of the Month in the US, Meteor award nominations
A "string of top ten singles" probably refers to Ireland, although the band's brief Wikipedia page offers a different view:
Blink's first singles 'Going To Nepal' and 'Happy Day' reached the top 20 in Ireland. Their third release 'It's Not My Fault' debuted at No 8.
And worth noting that the third 'hit' album waited two years for a release in Ireland.

But there must be more to them than this?
...and in between the even found time to be the first ever band to appear on the old Eircom Phonecards
They were on a phonecard. That must have been a fun conversation in the office:

- We really need to stress that this isn't just a small band who were marginally important and of their time. We've got to make it clear that they're timeless. What can we find that will resonate with a modern audience?
- Let's mention those phonecards. That'll make the teenagers interested.

But it wasn't just phonecards. Oh, no.
... as well as a much publicized spat with some guys who wanted to be in Blink too. They changed their name to Blink 182.
Yeah. I know this might seem like Blink won, but... which band is easier to Google? Which wound up with a stronger branding?

Still, nice to be reminded of a band I'd totally forgotten ever existed. And, astonishingly, reminding myself who they were, an even more obscure name fell out the internet, from an interview with the band in 1994:
it was a college tour and the NUS organised the dates with ourselves and Orange...
Orange! Surely they must be about to reappear for a 20th anniversary shindig any moment now, right?