Profile: W.K.W.Y.L. - Indie 'Supergroups' II

Earlier this month I wrote a little post of my musings about nineties band Vent 414 and their claim to be the first great Indie 'Supergroup'.

There was another side to that specific coin however; We Know Where You Live (WKWYL). Formed from the ashes of The Wonder Stuff and EAT ('Stuffies Malc Treece, Martin Gilks and Paul Clifford plus EAT's Ange Dolittle) the band put out two singles/EPs (Don't Be Too Honest and Draped) and went on a major UK tour in 1995. Check below for a couple of tracks from the former EP. There is also a video for Don't Be Too Honest floating around online, but I won't link it here as sadly the quality isn't too great.

This simplified version of the history is just a part of the story however, click on the image at the top of the post to see a more in-depth 'family tree' of how all the bands mentioned inter-relate.

For me, WKWYL hailed from an era that I class as my own personal 'Golden Age', before so-called indie music became completely mainstream, and alongside a renaissance in dance music, it felt as if something really special was happening. A more than average number of songs seen in the charts were well-written and oft-times subject matter was of a fairly intelligent level - and frequently positive without being inane. As dance beats melded with rock/pop guitar stylings, and people had cows on their t-shirts - it seemed like something decidedly interesting was going on, until along came Grunge and folks felt obligated to become serious again ... Booo!

Anyhow, what sprung forth from the combination of The Wonder Stuff plus Mr Dolittle's songwriting I actually think is considerably overlooked. To some extent there is a harder sound compared to the more jangly spectrum of the Stuffies, Miles Hunt too headed in a similar direction with Vent 414. But Ange lent an odder, slightly darker twist without falling into the trap of taking things too seriously. Check for example a demo version of Me and Libby - A surreal take on Librium dependancy (correct me if I'm wrong there) which Ange went on to later revisit with Big Yoga Muffin and more recently as Dolittle.

WKWYL - me and libby (demo)

Sadly all good things must come to an end and can be all too brief. WKWYL went their separate ways before they had a chance to put out an full album and morphed back and forth n further project. The legacy remains of the two singles, which can be found with a little rummaging and also the double LP collection of mainly demo material It's Nice To Be Nice, which was released in 2006 following the tragic death of Martin Gilks. This can be picked up from The Wonder Stuff's Room 512 site and all profits go to a charity nominated by Martin's family.

And finally,for the true Indie Archivists out there: Here's a discovery from YouTube. An interview in two parts with Malc Treece and Martin Gilks at The Derby Wherehouse from the 1995 tour, covering all things WKWYL:

part one:

part two: