Pale Saints

Pale Saints

Infobox musical artist
Name = Pale Saints

Img_capt = Live in Rennes (France), April 1990
Img_size =
Landscape =
Background = group_or_band
Origin = Leeds, England
Genre = Shoegazing, Dream pop, Britpop
Years_active = 1987–1994
Label = 4AD
Associated_acts = Edsel Auctioneer, Spoonfed Hybrid, ESP Summer, Lorimer, The Terminals, Kuchen, Lush, The Heart Throbs
Current_members =
Past_members = Ian Masters - Bass, Vocals
Graeme Naysmith - Guitar
Chris Cooper - Drums
Meriel Barham - Vocals, Guitar
Colleen Browne - Bass, Vocals
Ashley Horner - Guitar
Notable_instruments =

Pale Saints was formed in 1987 by Ian Masters (bass/vocals), Graeme Naysmith (guitar), and Chris Cooper (drums) in Leeds, England. The group began as a jangly indie pop band, influenced by Primal Scream's early sound.


By the time they recorded their first EP, "Barging Into the Presence of God" released in 1989, the band went into a direction that displayed a mix of Ian Masters' choirboy-like vocals along with dark atmospheric and noisy pop tunes. Ashley Horner from Edsel Auctioneer briefly joined the band on guitar in the same year. The band was signed to 4AD Records records after their first London show by the label's chief Ivo.

The group's first album, "The Comforts of Madness", was released in 1990. The album's tracks were respectively produced by John Fryer and Gil Norton. The album includes a cover version of "Fell From the Sun" by Opal.

In late 1990, Meriel Barham, the original vocalist from Lush, joined the band as second guitarist and vocalist. Meriel contributed backing vocals and guitars to the "Half-Life" EP, then joined permanently for the "Flesh Balloon" EP.

In 1992 the band recorded their second full-length album, "In Ribbons", which was produced by Hugh Jones. Ian Masters left the band in 1992. Former Heart Throbs bassist Colleen Browne joined afterwards.

Sticking with producer Hugh Jones, the group released the EP "Fine Friend" in mid-1994 followed by their third album "Slow Buildings". This album was less appreciated by critics and fans than the groups previous recordings with Masters.

The group toured Europe and the United States in late fall of 1994. Their final studio recording was a version of "Jersey Girl" for the Tom Waits tribute album "Step Right Up". Meriel Barham departed in September of 1995 and the group eventually disbanded in 1996.

Post-Group Bands and Projects

Ian Masters continues to create music, often of an experimental nature. His first project after Pale Saints was Spoonfed Hybrid with Chris Trout. They relased their self-titled debut album in 1993, and their second album, "Hibernation Shock" was in 1996.

In 1994, Masters teamed up with His Name Is Alive auteur Warren Defever and they began to release music as ESP Summer.

In the fall of 1998, Ian released a 7" under the name Friendly Science Orchestra entitled "Miniature Album", which became an NME 'Single of the Week'.
As of 2005, Masters lives in Japan. His current projects, including Wingdisk with Mark Tranmer of Gnac and The Montgolfier Brothers, can be viewed on his website, "The Institute of Spoons".

In April 1998, Colleen Browne said: "I can tell you that Graeme Naysmith and Chris Cooper are still in Leeds and are currently in a band called Lorimer with their friend Phil Pettler, who was once in Leeds-based band Edsel Auctioneer. I had stints in London-based bands Rialto (eastwest) and The Warm Jets (Island Records) and am currently in an unsigned band called White Hotel with drummer Jean-Marc Butty, who played with PJ Harvey for 3 years during the "To Bring You My Love" period and singer/songwriter/guitarist Ken Low who has played on some Barry Adamson (once of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds) albums. Fact|date=July 2008"

After Lorimer, Graeme Naysmith and Chris Cooper continued working together and went on to form Leeds band The Terminals, the band released a single in December 2006 called "Dictator" on Double Dragon Records.

Meriel Barham has gone on to record melodic electronica under the name Kuchen. She has released two albums on the Karaoke Kalk label: "Kids with Sticks" in 2001 and the collaboration "Kuchen Meets Mapstation" in 2003 with Stefan Schneider of To Rococo Rot (who also records as Mapstation).

Ashley Horner is currently (2008) a film producer based in Newcastle upon Tyne.



*1990: "The Comforts of Madness"
*1992: "In Ribbons"
*1994: "Slow Buildings"

Compilation album

*1990: "Mrs. Dolphin" (Japanese release containing "Barging into the Presence of God" and the "Half-Life" EPs with the tracks "Colours and Shapes" and "A Deeper Sleep for Steven")


*1988: Children Break
*1989: Barging into the Presence of God
*1990: Half-Life (12" contains a bonus spoken-word track "Colour of the Sky")
*1991: Kinky Love
*1991: Flesh Balloon
*1991: Porpoise
*1992: Throwing Back the Apple
*1994: Fine Friend
*1994: Fine Friend (US promo including "One Blue Hill" live acoustic @ KCRW)


*1993: Blue Flower
*1993(?): Throwing Back the Apple
*1994: Fine Friend
*1994: Angel (Will you be my)

Compilation albums with various artists

*1988: "Diamonds and Porcupines" - "She Rides the Waves" (demo version)
*1990: "Gigantic! 2" - "A Deeper Sleep for Steven"
*1990: "Indie Top 20 Vol. VIII" - "Sight of You"
*1990: "Music for the 90's: Vol 2" - "Time Thief" (edit)
*1990: "Peel Session" - "Time Thief"
*1991: "Indie Top 20 Vol XI" - "Half-Life, Remembered"
*1992: "...and dog bones, too" - "Neverending Night"
*1992: "Lilliput" - "Throwing Back The Apple", "Featherframe", "A Thousand Stars Burst Open" (Tintwhistle Brass Band version)
*1992: "Precious" - "Kinky Love"
*1993: "4AD Presents The 13 Year Itch" - "One Blue Hill" (demo)
*1994: "All Virgos Are Mad" - "Fine Friend"
*1995: "No Balls" - "One Blue Hill"
*1995: "Step Right Up: The Songs of Tom Waits" - "Jersey Girl"
*1997: "Joyride" - "1000 Stars Burst Open"
*1997: "Shoe Pie" - "A Thousand Stars Burst Open"
*2005:1980 "Forward" - "Sight of You"

External links

* [ Colours and Shapes] - Unofficial Pale Saints site
* [ Pale Saints on MySpace]
* [ The Institute of Spoons] - Ian Masters site.
* [ The Terminals] - Chris Cooper & Graeme Naysmith's current band.
* [ White Hotel] - Colleen Browne's current band.
* [ Rykarda Parasol] - Colleen Browne's current band.
* [ Kuchen] - Meriel Barham's current project.
* [ Eyesore Discography]
* [ Pale Saints Lyrics]

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