Virginia Astley | News 2002

24th December 2002

Happy Christmas to all visitors to the website and best wishes for 2003!

If you’d still like a chance to win a rare copy of the compilation album If
You Can’t Please Yourself You Can’t Please Your Soul
then visit our Competitionpage for details. The deadline for the end of the competition has been extended
to 31st January 2003 .

Available from early January 2003, Martin Stephenson with Duncan Kennedy are releasing a beautifully produced
limited edition collectors item entitled The Well of Harmony ,
which features a CD and book containing original songs, prose and guitar music.

For more details, please visit Martins official site at

9th December 2002

Caroline Lavelle will be touring with The
as guest cellist and vocalist on their forthcoming 2003 US tour.

The tour starts off in Scottsdale, Arizona on January 13th 2003. The tour will include 30 dates, ending at a venue still to be confirmed in New York City on March 17th.

More details via Caroline’s official website

30th November 2002

ex-Be Bop Deluxe leader Bill Nelson is playing
a one off show at the Jazz Cafe, London on 8th December 2002.

Due to guest with the band on a few numbers is Kate
St John
(who was part of the Channel Light Vessel project with Bill). Bill had this to say recently on his website

“Unfortunately it wasn’t possible for Kate
St John to make this (16 Nov 02) rehearsal (as she lives in London), so we will
have to rehearse with Kate at the soundcheck on the day of the concert. Scary,last
minute stuff !!. I’ve sent her a CDR of the tracks that I’d like her to play on
but,of course,the final choice is hers,depending how much time she has to work
on the music. She’s a busy mum these days and has responsibilities to her young
daughter. Fingers crossed that she’ll be confident enough to take on board as
much as possible”

The Jazz Cafe is located at: 5 Parkway,Camden Town, London. Nearest Underground
station: Camden Town (turn right out of tube station into Parkway).

TEL: 020 7344 0044 tickets £17.50 adv, £20 on door

More details via:

19th November 2002

As well as his recent studio collection Collective Force,
Martin Stephenson
has also released a new album with Jim Hornsby. Down
To The Woods
is described as a “binaural album” recorded on location at
Shining Cliff Woods,in the Peak district.

Meanwhile, Martin has added more tour dates:

29.11.02 Rickardos, Anstruther Fife, Scotland 07947 276 306
19.12.02 The Blue Cat Stockport 0161 432 2117
29.12.02 The Howwood Inn, Howwood Paisley, Scotland 01505 703119

As ever, further info is available via Martin’s official website at

8th November 2002

One of the projects Anne Stephenson has worked
on is a special benefit CD for the Tourette Syndrome Association (one of Anne’s own children is a sufferer). The CD EP Dance
With Me? Christmas Tree
features Anne singing on the title track – a wonderful
pop song that does indeed conjure up a Christmas feel to it.

If you would like to buy a copy of the CD – and help the Tourette’s Syndrome
Association at the same time, then it can be ordered for �5.50 (inc P+P) with
Cheques/PO’s payable to

Tourette Syndrome (UK) Association

and sent to:

Tourette Syndrome (UK) Association
PO BOX 26149
KY12 7YZ

All proceeds from the sales of the CD are in aid of the TSA.

You can also visit the Tourette Syndrome Association website at

4th November 2002

If you’re still looking for a copy of the rare compilation album If
You Can’t Please Yourself You Can’t Please Your Soul
then you’ll be happy
to know that the Virginia Astley website is giving you the chance to win one in
our new Competition.

Simply answer three questions and you could be the proud owner of this copy
of If You Can’t Please Yourself You Can’t Please Your Soul – the album that features the classic and rare Virginia song Waiting
To Fall
. Click here for details: Competition.

30th October 2002

More forthcoming tour dates from Martin Stephenson plus contact number change for the Stockton gig:

02.11.02 Coach House Inn, Killen Perthshire  

Georgian Theatre

Stockton 01642 674115 or 01642 616147

Carnegie Hall, Dunfermklin


The Caledonian Hotel


As ever, further info is available via Martin’s official website at

29th October 2002

Jon Astley has once again been working with Tori
on her new abum Scarlet’s Walk at her
Cornish home studio, Martian Engineering.

As well as being mastered by Jon, he’s also credited in the Personal Thanks
section of the liner notes: “Jon Astley-our favourite frequency
and clam-baking dude”

Scarlet’s Walk is released in the UK, Europe
and Australia on 28th October and in North America on the 29th.

26th October 2002

More forthcoming tour dates from Martin Stephenson :

20.10.02 The Blue Cat Stockport 0161 432 2117
09.11.02 Georgian Theatre Stockton 01642 801700

As ever, further info is available via Martin’s official website at

14th October 2002

UK visitors to the website might be interested to know that Stanley Kubrick’s
last film Eyes Wide Shut will be shown tomorrow on
TV. As regular visitors will know, the soundtrack to the film features music by
Jocelyn Pook .

The film will be shown Tuesday at 10.05pm on Channel 5.

9th October 2002

Audrey Riley’s collaborative performance went
off without a hitch last night and featured an interesting mix of composers and
musicians that made for a very entertaining evening.

Check the Forumfor a review of the performance.


6th October 2002

Congratulations to all those that managed to get the right answers in our
recent Competition. The lucky winner drawn randomly from
the correct entries was Paul Moloney who wins a copy
of the ultra-rare A Bao A Qu EP for his troubles.
The answers were as follows:

  • Who produced Hope In A Darkened Heart?
  • Ryuichi Sakamoto
  • Futility takes its lyrics from the work of which poet?
  • Wilfred Owen
  • What was the original title for Shadows Will Fall Behind?
  • I Live In Dreams

A new Competitionwill be posted online soon.

2nd October 2002

Updates to the Discography: Both Love’s
A Lonely Place To Be
and Tender have been
added as playable music files. The version of Love’s A Lonely
Place To Be
is the original version (as found on the single and also on
the album Promise Nothing ). The songs are in Real
format and you will need RealPlayerto hear them. More details via the Discography.

Thanks to all those that entered the recent Competition.
We’ll announce the winner here on the News page in due course. A new Competitionwill be posted up soon.

24th September 2002

An update on Audrey Riley’s forthcoming performances:

The show is titled A Change Of Light and features
original compositions commissioned by Audrey from artists including
Gavin Bryars, David Lang
and Damian LeGassik .
Audrey will be performing on cello alongside Andrew Zolinsky on piano. Philip Riley will be producing visual works
for the performances. The dates are as follows:

03.10.02 Djanogly Recital Hall, Lakeside Arts Centre 7:30pm Nottingham 0115 846 7777
08.10.02 The Warehouse, 13 Theed Street 8:00pm London SE1

Tickets for Nottingham are �10/ �8 (concessions) and London �10/ �5 (concessions).
The nearest tube station for the London performance is Waterloo.

A biography of Audrey is also available at details Audrey’s work with Virginia.

Meanwhile, direct info can be obtained by visiting www.a-change-of-light.comand also via:

16th September 2002

Martin Stephenson (who posted some generous comments
on the Guestbook recently) has more dates on the way:

27.09.02 Howwood Inn, Main St, Howwood, Johnstone Scotland 01505 703119
28.09.02 Anchor Hotel, Tarbert, Kintyre Scotland  
29.09.02 The Boat, Rothersay, Isle Of Bute Scotland 07748 278920
16.10.02 Canterbury festival, Canterbury Kent 01227 452853
18.10.02 West End Centre Aldershot 01252 330040

The Scottish dates are with Scott Macdonald ,
while the last two dates are solo performances. For further info please visit
Martin’s official website at

8th September 2002

Martin Stephenson will be performing at the Anchor
Hotel in Tarbert, Kintyre on 28th September. More details via Martin’s official
website at

Brilliant Midnight 2.0 – the revamped version
of Caroline Lavelle’s last album will be released
in the UK and Eire tomorrow, Monday 9th September. Anyone who has the original
album and would like to hear the newly added tracks, should visit the official
website Monday where you will be able to download these tracks for free.

1st September 2002

The Virginia Astley Website now has a new feature in the form of a Competitionpage. Just answer 3 trivia questions on Virginia’s musical career and you could
win a copy of the rare A Bao A Qu 10″ EP. Access
the Competitionpage via the Featurespage or just click here: Competition.

Some new Virginia Astley-themed avatars have been added to the Forum.
Have you registered yet?

27th August 2002

Earlier this year,the January 2002 edition of Sound
On Sound
(Europe’s No.1 Hi-Tech recording magazine) featured an in-depth
look at Jon Astley’s career and his methods in recording/mastering.

You can read this article by clicking on the following link:

13th August 2002

More on cellist Audrey Riley ‘s forthcoming live
performances: She’s asked Cathal Coughlan to write
a piece for the performance. Cathal (formerly with The Fatima
) has obliged with a 6 minute piece called There’s
Some Body Under Premierland
which features Audrey, a guitar and piano which
will be played by James Woodrow and Andrew

As previously mentioned, the shows will be taking place in October. See the
11th May news entry for dates.

3rd August 2002

Dionysus ,the opening track on Jocelyn Pook’s
last album Untold Things is currently being used
as a trailer for Martin Scorsese’s new film Gangs of New
. For further details,please visit

Caroline Lavelle’s latest album Brilliant
is now due for UK release on 9th September 2002. Recorded at Caroline’s
home studio,the album features guest musicians Michael Nyman and Hector Zazou . For further details please visit

24th July 2002

One particular music website lists the planned release date for the From
Gardens Where We Feel Secure
reissue as 1st January 2020(!). There might
be delays with the album, but 18 years might be a bit off the mark 😉

Meanwhile, there’s more forthcoming dates for Martin

05.08.02 12 Bar Club, Denmark St London 0207 916 6989
06.08.02 Walled Garden, Down Grange Basingstoke 01256 465566
07.08.02 Hanbury Ballroom Brighton 01273 325440

For further info please visit Martin’s official website at

29th June 2002

The July issue of Record Collector features a
brief update on the reissue of From Gardens Where We Feel
. We still have no firm details of a release date just yet, but as
soon as we get the info, it will be posted up here 🙂

17th June 2002

You may notice a few cosmetic changes to the Virginia
Astley Website
(including the News page) which are part of a series of
updates. More are on the way, so expect some surprises 😉

Martin Stephenson has a brand new album entitled
Collective Force released on August 5th.

A limited number of advanced promotional copies (including a 12 page booklet)
are available via mail order and at Martin’s June live dates.

For details,please write to:
Martin Stephenson
P.O.Box 5957
IV18 0YL

Please remember to enclose an SAE if writing within the UK and an IRC if writing
from overseas.

Anyone who is already on Martin’s mailing list, will be receiving an email/letter
with full details.

7th June 2002

Anyone interested in listening to the rare version of Synergy by Martin Stephenson and Virginia (from Martin’s album High
Bells Ring Thin
) should click on the following link:

The song can be heard in both MP3 and Real Player formats.

3rd June 2002

A new Dream Academy fansite titled Waterloo
is now up at

We’ve added details to the Linkssection as well as updating some of the links to other websites.

1st June 2002

One of the most frequent requests we receive is from people eager to track
down copies of Hope In A Darkened Heart . Although
Virginia’s 1986 album is now quite rare, copies do occasionaly turn up. Below
is a list of links to online record dealers, shops and private sellers who have
advertised that they have copies for sale:

Please note that the Virginia Astley Website is not responsible for any of the
transactions between these sites and people wishing to buy the records! We also
cannot verify that the records are still available, but good luck to all those
people who manage to source copies.

The Virginia
Astley Forum
is also available to post details of records you wish to buy
or sell.

29th May 2002

Japanese artist Kahimi Karie has produced a cover
version of Melt The Snow . The song appears on her
2001 album My Suitor . Some copies of the album feature
a bonus acoustic version of the song, but there’s also an enhanced version which
features a video for Melt The Snow as well.

Courtney Love might not be the first person you
think of that’s inspired by Virginia Astley 😉 However, she did make an interesting
comment in a recent interview:

“When rap in LA first started I remember that I couldn’t
help but think, what if I took that part from Joy Division’s ‘Dead Souls’ or that
weird bit from the Durutti Column 12-inch I’ve got or the piece from the Virginia
Astley EP, just stuff not yet ‘mined’… I really felt that the Grand Royal/Rubin
aesthetic on rap was cool, but how much cooler could it be if people who had grown
up with impeccable taste in their Postcard records collection, who knew those
riffs, were in charge of the ‘beats’. ”

Access the whole interview via this link:

Meanwhile, direct info on the forthcoming Audrey Riley performances can be obtained by visiting

25th May 2002

The 21st May saw the release of a Pete Townshend compilation CD entitled Scooped . This double cd features
35 tracks (remastered by Jon Astley ) which have been
taken from the first 3 volumes of the Scoop anthology
series. This release also include tracks featuring collaborations between Pete
and his father-in-law Edwin Astley . The cd set will
be available in US shops (and as imports elsewhere) and by mailorder via

Anyone interested in what Jo Wells (longtime
friend of Virginia’s and musical collaborator) got up to in the 1980’s, should
pop by this Kissing The Pink website:
Kissing The Pink are probably best known for their 1983 chart hit The
Last Film
which reached No, 19 in the UK charts.

17th May 2002

Congratulations to Jocelyn Pook for her Speaking
In Tunes
performance last night at the ICA. The performances continue across
the UK this month – see the dates below for details.

Meanwhile, the Forumgets updated with a small review of the performance.

As previously mentioned, Jocelyn Pook will be also be taking part in this
years BBC proms, Prom 9, at the Royal Albert Hall on Thursday 25 July 2002. Jocelyn
will be performing a specially commissioned piece as part of the Queen’s
Golden Jubilee
celebrations. For more information, visit

11th May 2002

This autumn, cellist Audrey Riley undertakes
a recital tour covering the UK, Europe and the USA. As well as original compositions,
the performances will feature specially commissioned works by Gavin
Bryars, David Lang
and Damien LeGassik . Audrey
will be accompanied by pianist Andrew Zolinsky and
the shows will feature visual works by Philip Riley .

The world premier will take place on 3rd October 2002 at the Djanogly Centre,
Nottingham University. The London premier is at The Warehouse, Theed Street, London
on the 8th October 2002.

Audrey Riley worked with Virginia in the studio
and in live performances throughout 1983-85.

Meanwhile, Caroline Lavelle’s last album, Brilliant
, is to be released worldwide in August. This new version will
contain 3 brand new tracks. The original Warner/ Atlantic version of Brilliant
will be withdrawn in June.

One of the albums songs, Anxiety has been specially
orchestrated and is being used over the end credits of the new John Dahl film
Roadkill (aka Joyride in the USA).

8th May 2002

More forthcoming dates for Martin Stephenson :

02.06.02 MAYFEST : “The Park” Brent Pelham, Herts
05.06.02 The Roadmenders Club Northampton 01604 604603
06.06.02 The Witchwood Ashton Under Lyne 0161 330 5028
07.06.02 Fibbers York 01904 65125
08.06.02 The Queens Head Belper 01773 826750
10.06.02 New Roscoe Leeds 0113 246 0778
11.06.02 The Ceol Castle Birmingham 0121 440 4278
12.06.02 The Studio Hartlepool 01429 424440
13.06.02 The Ropery Sunderland 0191 5147171

For further info please visit Martin’s official website at

7th May 2002

Ever wondered about the background to the title of Virginia’s debut EP? Well,
wonder no more – Rob Brown presents a new article
exploring The A Bao A Qu Mystery.

3rd May 2002

A new Surveyis now online: Which
is your favourite track from the album Hope In A Darkened Heart?
Pay the Surveypage a visit and cast your vote.

30th April 2002

More details on Jocelyn Pook’s forthcoming live
performances: The open rehearsals (as mentioned on the news item dated 13th February)
take place between 2.00pm – 6.00pm on Monday 13th, Tuesday 14th and Wednesday
15th May at the ICA Theatre, London. The concerts take place at 8.00pm on Thursday
16th and Friday 17th May.

More details from the ICA Box Office, The Mall, London SW1Y 5AH. Tel: 0207
930 3647. Open 12.00 midday – 9.30pm.

Meanwhile, Jocelyn has recently completed work on her fourth French film score
La Guerra A Paris (Wartime In Paris).

Thanks to Graham at this info.

14th April 2002

All change with Martin Stephenson’s website address – it’s now become

19th March 2002

Additional dates for Martin Stephenson’s tour:

01.06.02 The Masque Theatre Liverpool 0151 708 8708
03.06.02 The Verge London 020 7267 9452
16.10.02 Canterbury festival Canterbury 01227 452853
18.10.02 West End Centre Aldershot 01252 330040

For further info please visit Martin’s official website at

16th March 2002

A last minute item: UK television viewers may like to know that a short 10
minute programme is being aired on BBC2 at 11.45pm tonight. Dance
For The Camera: Horizone
is described as “Jocelyn
Pook’s depiction of a strange creature emerging from a spartan desert landscape”

Novelist Judy Astley has recently been nominated
for an award. Her eighth novel Excess Baggage has
been put forward by the Sierra Leone Library for
the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 2002 .

For those who aren’t aware, Judy Astley is the wife of Jon
(Virginia’s brother) and Virginia’s sister-in-law.

10th March 2002

Anne Clark is planning some live dates in France:

30.04.02 Le Grande Mix Tourcoing, France 00 33 (0)3 20 70 10 00
02.05.02 Le Cafe De La Danse Paris, France 00 33 (0)1 47 00 05 51

Virginia has collaborated with Anne Clark in
the past, notably on Anne’s 1984 album Joined Up Writing .
Anne also supported Virginia for a live performance the same year.

More information on Anne Clark is available on her official website via this

8th March 2002

Disregard any details you might see about a definite release date for the
reissue of From Gardens Where We Feel Secure . Although
sites such as Amazon have flagged up the CD as being
released on April 22nd, Rough Trade have confirmed
that a release date has still not been set. In fact, they’re still awaiting the
artwork for the album before they can schedule the release.

27th February 2002

Jocelyn Pook has composed some of the music for
Phantasmaton – a performance by the Shobana
Jeyasingh Dance Company

Jocelyn’s piece features vocals by Natacha Atlas and designs by Jo Parker . Phantasmaton will be taking
place at the Royal Festival Hall in London from 17th – 19th April 2002. Box Office:
020 7960 4242. The Shoana Jeyasingh Dance Company are also performing throughout
the UK in the run-up to the Royal Festival Hall performance. More details from

26th February 2002

Caroline Lavelle’s new album Brilliant
is due for release in the UK in June.

We also have more details on Martin Stephenson’s tour dates:

28.02.02 Blackheath Concert Hall London 020 8463 0100
01.03.02 The Komedia Brighton 01273 647100
03.03.02 The Sun Inn Hitchin 01462 711164
11.04.02 The Pheasant Sheffield 0114 231 3976
12.04.02 The Trades Club Hepden Bridge 01422 845265
13.04.02 The Brewhouse Theatre Burton 01283 516030

Between 7th and 17th March Martin will also be making various appearances
in the state of North Carolina, USA. Please e-mail Dddram@aol.comfor details.

For further info please visit Martin’s official website at

20th February 2002

Jocelyn Pook’s Bury St Edmunds concert is at
the Theatre Royal and is between 8.00pm and 9.15pm on the Sunday 19th May. There
is also an aftershow discussion with Jocelyn.

Meanwhile, Martin Stephenson has a solo gig at
the Blackheath Concert Hall in London scheduled for Thursday 28th February. More
details can be obtained by telephoning 020 8463 0100.

18th February 2002

Updates to the Discography: The Albumssection gains the cassette release of Hope In A Darkened
while the Compilationssection gains the sleeve art for Spools Paradise .

13th February 2002

More on the forthcoming Jocelyn Pook UK tour:
The National Touring Programme funded tour of Speaking In
will begin at the ICA in London as part of their Week
To View
series from the 13th – 17th May. There are three days of open rehearsals
with performances on the 16th and 17th May.

Tour dates are as follows:

19.05.02 Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds Festival
22.05.02 QEH Theatre Bristol
23.05.02 Phoenix Hall Exeter
24.05.02 Chesterfield Arts Centre Chesterfield
25.05.02 Unity Theatre Liverpool
26.05.02 The Square Chapel Halifax

Thanks to Graham for the info. More details at

11th February 2002

Jocelyn Pook is planning a UK tour of Speaking
In Tunes
alongside visual artist Dragan Aleksic which is scheduled for May 2002. Thanks to Graham for the info and more details are available at

1st February 2002

A new Surveyis now online: Which
of Virginia Astley’s singles do you think was the best?
Pay the Surveypage a visit and cast your vote.

There’s also been a few cosmetic tweaks around the site and other changes
are underway: The Discography section is being expanded
and will also see some graphic updates and changes in the near future.

30th January 2002

The Links page gets updated with 2 new sites: Glass
and Dreams
& Desires
– the latter concentrating on the Pleasantly
label. The more knowledgeable fans will recognise the label due
to Virginia featuring on some of the compilation tapes they issued.

26th January 2002

From Gardens Where We Feel Secure finally gets
a release date? Don’t be thrown by entries on the Amazon website which state a
release date of 4th March. According to Rough Trade, they haven’t set a release
date yet.

15th January 2002

A new section has been added to the Virginia Astley website: The Articlessection is designed to feature comment, interviews and written pieces on Virginia’s
career, her music, the people she’s worked with and much more.

The first article is a collection of quotes compiled by Rob
which details the history of The Ravishing Beauties
– In Their Own Words

13th January 2002

On the 18th September 2001, CEDAR Audio announced
its annual award winners (CEDAR Audio Awards recognise outstanding contributions
in the field of audio restoration.). In the ‘Modern Recording’ ( CD remastering
from a modern recording post 1949) category,the winner was Jon
(Virginia’s brother) for his work on George Harrison’s All
Things Must Pass

This is the second time that Jon has won an award in this category. The first
time was in 1998 for his work on the Led Zeppelin BBC sessions on Atlantic Recordings.

8th January 2002

Happy New Year to all visitors to the Virginia Astley website!

If you want to read the news pages for 2001, then please click on the link
on the left hand side.

The reissue of From Gardens Where We Feel Secure is scheduled for Spring this year on the Rough Trade label. Virginia has also
hinted at new material in the pipeline – more news as we get it.

Meanwhile, Kate St John is planning to accompany
husband Sid Griffen on two live dates:

03.02.02 Hotel du Nord Paris, France 01 53 19 98 88
04.02.02 Hotel du Nord Paris, France 01 53 19 98 88

The doors open 8.00pm and the show runs from 8.30pm to 11.00pm.

Interestingly enough , when Kate performs, it will be 20 years to the day
when Kate was performing with The Ravishing Beauties supporting The Teardrop Explodes at Sheffield City Hall (3rd Feb 1982) and Manchester
Apollo (4th Feb 1982).