Shop Assistants Will Anything Happen

Label
Chrysalis Records
Released
26th July 2024

Format Info

2CD
LP - black vinyl
LP - Clear (Monorail/Rough Trade exclusive)
Limited to 500 Monorail / Rough Trade Exclusive Clear Vinyl

Will anything happen? Oh you know, just some of the very best pop scuzz of the past 40 years. Landmark LP, essential remaster.

Shop Assistants, briefly Buba & The Shop Assistants, formed in Edinburgh in 1984 and quickly gained a cult following, playing with kindred spirits The Pastels and the Jesus & Mary Chain. Their sound was a blizzard of melodic guitar noise, twin drums and a thick thud of low-end bass. Guitarist, David Keegan had an unending supply of winning tunes which the others contributed to – Alex the perfect vocalist for this instantly likeable group.

Fanzines, music press and John Peel were all over them. Their Shopping Parade EP and Safety Net single both hit the top of the indie charts and charmed listeners with an unbeatable blend of punk rock and 60s pop which actually wasn’t so far from where My Bloody Valentine were at this point. They even made Edinburgh cool for a moment – the lynchpins of an exciting scene of young groups getting stuck in and making something important – The Thanes, Jesse Garon & The Desperados, The Fizzbombs, The Vultures…

They signed to Geoff Travis’ new Chrysalis Records imprint, Blue Guitar, in 1986 for the release of their debut album ‘Will Anything Happen’. Would it live up to their brilliant run of singles? It sounded different, slightly more polished in places, but rightly came to be seen as a cult classic influencing so much music that came in its wake – I can hear Shop Assistants in almost everything on Slumberland. So many stand-out songs but ‘I Don’t Wanna Be Friends With You’, ‘All Day Long’, and especially ‘Somewhere In China’ are bruised beauties.

This newly expanded edition has been remastered from the original master tapes and compiled in collaboration with David Keegan and Laura McPhail from the band. The sound is superior to the original LP. The CD features a plethora of extras – B-sides from the era, plus previously unreleased instrumental demos from 1986, 18 previously unreleased tracks including recently unearthed alternate versions and rough mixes from the making of the album, live recordings from London and Deinze, and a John Peel session featuring a cover version of Motorhead’s ‘Ace Of Spades’. These discs are housed in a 6- panel digipak sleeve with a 12- page booklet  featuring lyrics and photographs. In other words you probably need both.