Genres: Pop / Rock
Decades: 1980s 1990s 2000s


Based in Portsmouth, England, the Cranes initially drew clear inspiration from the Cocteau Twins and My Bloody Valentine. The band was formed in 1985 by sister/brother team Alison Shaw (vocals/bass) and Jim Shaw (drums), who comprise the principal songwriting unit. As children they would listen to New Order, Nick Cave and the Young Gods, which became an approximation of their later sound (though they ferociously objected to the ‘gothic’ tag they earned in their early days). After five years of introspection, writing and perfecting songs for themselves, and contributions to a vast number of various artist compilations, the Shaws picked up support from BBC disc jockey John Peel with 1989’s mini-album, Self-Non-Self, which featured recent recruits Mark Francombe (guitar) and Matt Cope (bass). They signed to RCA Records subsidiary Dedicated in July 1990, attracting further plaudits for Wings Of Joy, described variously as ‘foetal, minimalist,...

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