The Telescopes

The Telescopes

Infobox musical artist
Name = The Telescopes

Img_capt =
Img_size =
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Background = group_or_band
Alias =
Origin = Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire, England
Genre = Experimental, Space Rock, Shoegazing
Years_active = 1987 – present
Label = Cheree Records, What Goes On Records, Double Agent Records, Antenna Records, Hungry Audio, Trensmat Records
Associated_acts =
Current_members = Stephen Lawrie
Bridget Hayden

Past_members = David Fitzgerald
Joanna Doran
Robert Brooks
Dominic Dillon
Notable_instruments =

The Telescopes were formed in 1987 by Stephen Lawrie and could best be described as a noise/space rock band - the Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine and Spacemen 3 being influences and contemporaries.

Original Line-up

*Stephen Lawrie - Vocals And Acoustic Guitars (b. 28 March 1969, East Hartford, Northumberland, England)
*Joanna Doran - Backing Vocals And Rhythm Guitars (b. 17 October 1969, Wednesbury, West Midlands, England)
*David Fitzgerald - Lead Guitars (b. 30 August 1966, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, England)
*Robert Brooks - Bass Guitars (b. 11 April 1969, Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire, England)
*Dominic Dillon - Drums And Percussion (b. 26 September 1964, Bolton, Lancashire, England)


Their debut release was a split flexi disc with Loop on the Cheree label in 1988, which was given away with the "Sowing Seeds" fanzine.cite book |last=Strong |first=Martin C. |title=The Great Alternative & Indie Discography |year= 1999 |publisher=Canongate |isbn=0-86241-913-1 ] cite book |last=Larkin |first=Colin |title=The Guinness Who's Who of Indie and New Wave Music |year= 1992 |publisher=Guinness Publishing |isbn=0-85112-579-4 ] There followed their debut single, "Kick the Wall", and "7th# Disaster" also on Cheree Records. They moved to the American What Goes On Records and released their debut LP, "Taste" and "The Perfect Needle" single which is perhaps their most famous song. A live album appeared on Fierce Records and following What Goes On’s bankruptcy they signed to Creation Records. In contrast to "Taste"'s noise-rock, a more laid back, baggy influenced sound followed, described by journalist Alexis Petridis as having "an almost fragile sense of elegance and melody",Petridis, Alex (1991) "Set The Controls For The Heart of The Fun" (Telescopes feature), "Lime Lizard", August 1991, ISSN 0961-8104] and the band scraped the lower reaches of the UK singles chart with the single "Flying", and released "The Telescopes", their second album, in 1992. Lawrie explained the change in direction: "Your idea of perfection changes as you move on. I think we still hold the same approach to our music now, we still try just as many mad ideas, it's just a lot more subtle and works to a different end". "The Telescopes" was a commercial failure and the band disappeared from the public eye.

They toured again with a different line-up, new sound and all new songs in 1994 and later evolved into Unisex releasing a number of records. Unisex were Stephen Lawrie (Vocals) Jo Doran (Guitars/Backing Vocals) Nick Hemming (Guitars/Keyboards) Dan (Drums) Foz (Bass)

In 2002 they made a surprise return with "The Third Wave" on Double Agent Records. By this time they were a core of just Stephen Lawrie and Jo Doran and were a much more experimental band specialising in electronic soundscapes. In 2005 they released their fourth album "The Telescopes #4" on their own Antenna Records. They continue to tour, release singles and make numerous appearances on compilation CDs.


"Loop/Telescopes" split 7" flexidisc with Loop (December 1988, Cheree / CHEREE 1)
#The Telescopes - "Forever Close Your Eyes"
#Loop - "SoundHead" (live at ULU)
"Kick the Wall 7"" (Cheree / CHEREE 2) Jan. 1989
"Kick the Wall", "This is the Last of What's Coming Now"

Ltd edition initital pressing of 1,000 in blue sleeve, followed by a re-press of 500 in numbered red sleeve.
"7th# Disaster 12"" (Cheree / CHEREET4) Apr. 1989
"7th# Disaster", "Nothing", "This Planet", "Cold"
"The Perfect Needle 12"" (What Goes On / WHAT GOES 15T) Aug. 1989 (UK Indie #9)cite book |last=Lazell |first=Barry |title=Indie Hits 1980-1999 |year= 1997 |publisher=Cherry Red Books |isbn=0-9517206-9-4 ]
"The Perfect Needle", "Sadness Pale", "S.H.C. Burn", "You Can Not Be Sure"
"Taste LP/ CD" (What Goes On / GOES ON 32 / GOES ON CD 32) 1989 (UK Indie #5)
"And Let Me Drift Away", "I Fall, She Screams", "Oil Seed Rape", "Violence", "Threadbare", "The Perfect Needle", "There Is No Floor", "Anticipating Nowhere", "Please, Before You Go", "Suffercation", "Silent Water", "Suicide"

Re-released in 1990 on Cheree (CHEREE 9 / CHEREE 9CD)
Re-released in March 2006 on Rev-Ola (CR REV 152) with bonus live tracks: "There Is No Floor", "Sadness Pale", "Threadbare" and "Suicide".
*"To Kill A Slow Girl Walking" 12"/CDS (January 1990, What Goes On / What Goes 18T / What Goes 18CD)
#To Kill A Slow Girl Walking
#Forever Now
#Pure Sweetest Ocean
"Trade Mark Of Quality Live LP/ CD" (Fierce / Fright 039 / Fright 039CD) 1990
"There Is No Floor", "Sadness Pale", "The Perfect Needle", "7th# Disaster", "Threadbare", "Violence", "Anticipating Nowhere", "Please, Before You Go", "Suicide"
*"Precious Little" 7"/ 12"/ CDS (April 1990 Creation / CRES 081 / CRES 081T / CRESCD 081)
#Precious Little
#Deep Hole Ends
#Never Hurt You
#I Sense
*"Everso" 7"/12"/CDS (December 1990, Creation / CRES 092 / CRES 092T / CRESCD 092)
#Never Learn Not To Love
#Wish Of You
"Celeste 7"/ 12"/ CDS" (Creation/ CRES 103 / CRES 103T / CRESCD 103) Feb. 1991
"Celeste", "All A Dreams", "Celestial"
"Flying 12"/CDS" (Creation / CRES 108T / CRESCD 108) Jul. 1991(UK #79)
"Flying", "Soul Full Of Tears", "High On Fire", "The Sleepwalk"
"The Telescopes LP/CD (AKA Higher'n'Higher)" (Creation / CRELP 070 / CRECD 070) May 1992
"Splashdown", "High On Fire", "You Set My Soul", "Spaceships", "The Presence Of Your Grace", "And", "Flying", "Yeah", "Ocean Drive", "Please Tell Mother", "To The Shore"

Re-released in 2004 on Rev-Ola as "# Untitled Second" (CR REV 81) with bonus tracks "dnaanb" and "tornado".
*"Third Wave" LP/CD (April 2002, Double Agent / DA017LP / DA017CD)
#A Cabin In The Sky
#3D Jesus Ashtray
#Tesla Death Ray
#My Name Is Zardak [Drop Your Weaponz]
#A Good Place To Hide
#When Nemo Sank The Nautillus
#Winter #2
#Moog Destroya
#The Atoms Of The Sea
#You And I Are The Foxboy Noises
*"As Approved by the Committee" CD compilation (June 2003, Bomp / EVIL 10)
#I Fall She Screams
#There is No Floor
#Anticipating Nowhere
#Please Before You Go
#Silent Water
#Pure Sweetest Ocean
#Never Learn Not to Love
#The Sleepwalk
*"Where the Sky Is Low" split 7" with Füxa (2003, Mind Expansion Records)
**Limited to 500 copies
#Where The Sky Is Low
*"Mooga Destroya" split 7" with Lo Casta (2003, Jonathon Whiskey Records / Brian Whiskey 37.)
**Limited to 250 copies
#Mooga Destroya
*"Premonitions 1989-1991" CD compilation (2003, Midsummer Madness)
#S.H.C. Burn
#You Can Not Be Sure
#Please Before You Go
#Oil Seed Rape
#To Kill A Slow Girl Walking
#Forever Now
#Precious Little
#High on Fire
#The Sleepwalk
*"Altered Perception" CD compilation (2004, Space Age Recordings / ORBIT014CD)
#The Perfect Needle
#Sadness Pale
#And Let Me Drift Away...
#Deep Hole Ends
#Extended Intro Piece
#Wish of You
#All A Dreams
#Soul Full of Tears
#From the Inner Void I Fear...
#You Set My Soul
*"Winter" 7" (November 2004, Hungry Audio / YUMS1)
#Winter #7
#The Perfect Needle #4
*"The Telescopes #4" CD (Antenna Records / Antenna 004CD) 2005"The Hypnotic Pulse of the Motor Driven", "Link #1", "On a Dead Man's Bones By the Light of the Moon Skeletons Dance a Demon Dance of the Doomed", "All the Leaves", "A Measure of Imbalance", "Singularity", "Fear the Eye Became the Tone", "The Yearning", "Winter #4", "It Bleeds"
*"Live At Audioscope" split 10" with Vibracathedral Orchestra (2005, Fourier Transform transform007)
** Limited to 500 copies on blue vinyl
# Household Objective #3
* "Night Terrors" 7" (2006, Trensmat Records TR001)
# DSM-IV Axis 1:307.46
# Household Objective #4
* "Hungry Audio Tapes" CD (2006, Hungry Audio YUMCD6)
# Another Sky
# Where It Comes From Where It Goes
# Household Objective #2
# Demon Landscape
# Winter #7
# The Perfect Needle #4


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