Darkness in Me
In the late 1980's Larry Evilelf met up with European talent brokers Euramerican Link in the persona of Msr.Phillipe Beau who introduced him to Celia Hemken and her current band GG Goose. Larry pushed the act on label head Peter Yarmouth. Hemken and her band from the Finsbury Park section of London won Peter over. Yarmouth suggested they change the band name. In 1990 Black & Blue released it's first international act Blue Nouveaux. In 1992 Celia came to the US to support the release with an all American band. Celia ended up settling in LA and is process of releasing a new CD with the American version of Blue Nouveaux in 2008. While this debut album has a significantly different sound than the current outfit Hemken's artistic approach remains as the artistic driver. Celia states: Before I signed with Black and Blue records I had played classical flute with the Richard Hickox orchestra, recorded a John Peel session for UK Radio One and co-founded a theatre company. I'd busked (American transl: playing street music) round Europe playing flute as a Harlequin and had followed a Polish Circus with an Anglo/American punk-folk band. Back in England I appeared on Tyne Tees Television and at the London Hippodrome with a duo. I had made a music video based on the Twenties silent movie actress Louise Brooks and was a guerilla filmmaker with my first short, Dog Leap, throwing dummies off the 84 feet Newcastle Bridge. I'd done all this, but I hadn't yet achieved a main ambition - to go to America. Recording my second album in the States was something out of this world. Up to that point, I had only experienced America through it's popular culture in England, it's movies, telly programmes and music. When I touched down on American soil for the first time, the owner of the record company, Peter Yarmouth was there waiting for me at the airport in a Blue Nouveaux baseball cap and jacket emblazoned with my photo. This photo had been taken by my French manager, Msr.Philippe Beau who had seen my surreal music-theater performance "Psychotic Cocktail Songs" in London. I'd told him of my ambition to be signed by an American record company. I was living at the time in a Finsbury Park squat in London where I wrote and recorded the first album, "Darkness In Me" for Black And Blue Records. Granville Road, the squat where I lived, was like a dilapidated 'Munster's house'. I loved it. It was so atmospheric and eerie, it had a great impact on my song writing. I was also influenced by a lot of British pop. I thought of pop as an art form. I was more influenced by individual songs, say by Laurie Anderson's "Superman", Kate Bush's "Wuthering Heights", Sex Pistol's "Anarchy In The U.K.", Simple Mind's "Don't You" for example, than any one musician's body of work. I had written songs with bands and a few songs on my own, but this was a great challenge to write all the songs for an album. I was given carte blanche to do what I wanted. "Darkness In Me", this electronica album represents my quirkiness. I'm very grateful to Thomas Lane for helping me with some of the arrangements. Mr. Lane was a master of economy on the keyboards on songs like "Lullaby Of Treachery". He wrote and played "Spider Girl" which is why I think that song sounds so different from all the others. I wrote all the lyrics on the album and had the chance with this project, to experiment with many different forms like "Glass Heat" and "Obscurity". Simon Firnsby from the famous British band, "House Of Love" played on "Glass Heat" and the title song "Darkness In Me". He dragged his guitar over hill and over dale to play at the various recording studios I had chosen and later he explained that he had hoped for some recompense in the form of dark, satanic rituals I might dispense. So, he was not only from the House Of Love but also Pain. Andrew Philips, the other guitarist on the album, came through a contact of mine. We did two takes of each track in my small Granville Road studio and it was perfect. I was queen of the one/two takes. I was very influenced by a punk sensibility - that was how you kept it fresh, I thought. Viva The Clash!