Some of you will know that in my youth I attempted to make a career in "rock". I played keyboards in several bands with my mate Jim who could really sing and wielded the bass guitar like a poppier version of Jean Jacques Burnel. Despite his short stature and pilsbury doughboy build, Jim had masses of charisma and could pull the women like few I have met before or since.
I initially crashed Jim's existing band, The Promise, who were playing mostly covers. It took a while, but eventually in a feat of youthful ambition and creative, manipulative planning which seems fairly far removed from my current self, I managed to engineer the pair of us through various line ups and incarnations until we ended up as a duo called Perfect Circle (after the track on "Murmur". My idea.)
We recorded this single over a weekend in 1985 in Edinburgh's Palladium Studio, which was used a lot by 4AD. Most of This Mortal Coil's stuff was recorded there. The session was produced by Norman Rodger, ex of TV21. Norman was a lovely guy who brought a lot to the recordings in terms of both brilliant ideas and fun.
"Only When It Rains" was a co-write between me and Jim, although most of the credit should go to him. "On Returning" on the flipside was my song, but was transformed from the initial electropop demo into the spaghetti western theme tune you hear here by Norman. I stole the title from the Wire song based upon the idea that once you left, you could never go home again. In my head, I was already leaving for London. There are several bum notes in this, which still case me to wince even now, but I attribute them as much to time constraints as much as musicianly ineptitude.
We did fairly well of the back of the single, even getting as far as being signed to Chrysalis for a publishing deal. We also very nearly got signed to Cherry Red, which would have been much hipper, but alas was not to be.
We returned to Palladium the following year to record a couple more songs, but these two are better.
And then I'm not sure what really happened. I think we just grew up a bit and realised that there were other things we could be doing. I think we fell out over money, I'm ashamed to say, and I moved to London.