Dubstar began life in the early 90s as a two-piece consisting of Chris Wilkie on guitar abd Steve Hillier on keyboards and vocals. By 1994 they had a new vocalist in Sarah Blackwood.
Like an awful lot of bands kicking around in that era, they were able to land a record deal as the industry decided that Britpop, however you wanted to define it, was the in-thing. Nobody wanted to miss out on the next Blur or Oasis (not that anyone came along and fulfilled the A&R mens wet dreams).
Dubstar were however, more worthy than most of their compatriots and recorded a number of quality songs across Disgraceful and Goodbye, the LPs released in 1995 and 1997 respectively.
A further album, Make It Better was released in 2000 but to little fanfare or acclaim. The band seemingly went their separate ways. Over the past decade Sarah Blackwood has been busy, forming the band Client in 2002, an electronic act that never really got beyond cult status other than a Top 30 single in 2005, thanks in part to the lead vocal being performed a former member of The Libertines.
She also released a solo record in 2008 which featured live and acoustic versions of songs by Dubstar and Client. Earlier this year, Dubstar announced they were going to get back together and record new material.
That's all the facts. And while I will never claim to be hugely interested in a lot of their work, or even all that aware of the stuff by Client, I do have a fondness for this Top 20 hit from 1995:-
mp3 : Dubstar - Not So Manic Now
Reminds me an awful lot of St Etienne.....
It was released on 2 x Cd formats, with CD1 having remixes of the singles and CD2 having three new songs. It's a huge contrast......
mp3 : Dubstar - Not So Manic Now (Way Out West Remix)
mp3 : Dubstar - Not So Manic Now (Mother's Whole Dub)
mp3 : Dubstar - Not So Manic Now (Way Out West Prophecy Dub)
mp3 : Dubstar - If It Isn't You
mp3 : Dubstar - Song No.9
mp3 : Dubstar - A Certain Sadness
And here's a reminder of how they all looked at the time of the hit:-
Oh and I shouldnt forget that they did a more than passable cover version of a Billy Bragg song on their debut LP:-
mp3 : Dubstar - St Swithin's Day