Virginia Astley | News 2004

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 7YU

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

You can also order the single online via this link

The Tourette Syndrome Association website is at

Further to our 21st March 2004 News entry, Kate St John will be in Australia in the New Year as one of the musicians involved in the theatre production of The Black Rider .

The Black Rider will be performed at the Sydney Theatre, Walsh Bay, Sydney between 8th – 22nd January 2005.

For details,please visit

23rd November 2004

The Jocelyn Pook soundtrack for the film The
Merchant Of Venice
is being released on the Decca label on the 29th November.

For more information, please visit this link: which features an interview with Jocelyn as well as sound files from the album.

26th October 2004

Radio presenter John Peel has died. The BBC website reports that 65 year old Peel died of a heart attack while on holiday in Peru.

John Peel was an early champion for Virginia Astley, especially for the legendary Ravishing Beauties Peel Sessions . In fact Peel regularly played new and unknown bands on his show, helping them achieve wider recognition.

Kate St John, who has recently returned from the US having been part of the house band in the musical The Black Riders , will be joining Bill Nelson for his two London shows at the Bloomsbury Theatre. It is planned that Kate will guest on two tracks.

Having already performed last Saturday, the next performance is scheduled for Sunday 31st October.

For more details, please visit

20th September 2004

As regular visitors might be aware, we’ve been planning on some big changes for the Virginia Astley website. A lot of those changes are work in progress behind the scenes and this is all building to a relaunch of the website in the near future.

Our plans at the moment will involve shutting down the Virginia Astley website for a period of time while we work on the design and upgrading of the new site. While this might be inconvenient for those that rely on the website for their regular source of Virginia Astley-related info, we’re sure that the wait will be worth it 🙂

23rd August 2004

The website for the Brilliant
has now relaunched. The website showcases the string collective’s
career and features the work of musicians such as Anne Stephenson and Gini Ball .

The site includes biographies of all
the musicians along with information on their work in film, theatre and with artists
and groups such as Marc Almond, Madonna, Siouxise And The
and many more besides – including of course Virginia

More details via

12th August 2004

Zoology – the Teardrop Explodes live/unreleased material album has finally been released on the Head Heritage label. The most interesting track for visitors to this site is Log Cabin as it features both Kate St John on oboe and Nicky Holland on cello. Appearing on many bootlegs, Log Cabin was always considered a classic lost song.

More details via Head Heritage

21st July 2004

Kate St John has launched her own website The site features an extensive Discography along with reviews and information on both Kate’s solo work and her work with other artists and musicians. It also flags up the forthcoming Best Of album which will cover Kate’s releases on the All Saints label. The album is due for release late 2004 or early 2005.

And talking of Kate St John, it appears that Julian Cope is rapidly finalising the tracklisting for a combined Live/Rarities album titled Zoology . The focus of the album is rare material from Cope’s former band The Teardrop Explodes and rumour has it that two of the songs that will feature on the album will feature Kate St John and “One another ex-member of The Ravishing Beauties”. More news as we get it.

9th July 2004

The brand new Caroline Lavelle album A Distant Bell was released online on Ringing Tree Records on 30th June. At the time of writing signed copies can be ordered (for �10, inclusive of postage in the UK) direct from the Ringing Tree Records Webshop at Caroline’s official website via

The album won’t be available in the shops until September 13th.

A Distant Bell was co-produced by Jocelyn Pook collaborator Harvey Brough and features drummer Roy Dodds (who also played on Virginia’s 1996 album Had I The Heavens ). The album was also mastered by Nick Robbins, who has engineered many of Virginia’s recordings throughout her career.

22nd June 2004

Virginia Astley was the topic on a Radio 6 show this Saturday just gone. The Stuart Maconie-presented Freakzone show had a segment called Specialist Corner featuring music writer Eddi Fiegel talking about Virginia’s work.

Apologies for not flagging this up on the site in time, but thanks to Mo who made a posting regarding the broadcast on the forum (which shows it pays to keep an eye on our dedicated message-board!).

The show appears to be scheduled for archiving so all is not lost yet. Additionaly, the BBC 6 website had a condensed biography and discography on Virginia.

More via

Jocelyn Pook’s new soundtrack album is called Wild Side and will be released in France (and elsewhere in Europe) on the Naive label.

The Jocelyn Pook Ensemble are also back in action with concerts at:

  • St George’s, Bristol on 8th July
  • The Cathedral, Exeter (as part of the Exeter festival) on 9th July

Then later in the month they’ll be playing at two film festivals:

  • Cieszyn in Poland on 24th July
  • Uherske Hradiste,Czech Republic on 25th July

Jocelyn also won an award last December at the first ever British Composer Awards. Jocelyn won the multi-media award for her Speaking In Tunes performances.

For more infomation,please visit

8th May 2004

A Letter from Caroline (dated April 29th) which
can be read in full on Caroline Lavelle’s official website at
reveals that she has now completed recording of her new album and is now working
out its running order.

It has also now been reported that Caroline will NOT be appearing at this summer’s Larmer Tree Garden Festival but instead will be appearing with the Chieftains in concert in Italy and in Spain.

24th April 2004

Further to our news report of March 5th, Martin Stephenson’s new album Airdrie has been delayed and will now be released by Blooming Generation Records on May 10th. A single (Martin’s first for eight years) called Mountainous Spring is also due for release in early June.

As previously reported, Martin is currently touring the UK in support of Airdrie and the album can be purchased from venues.

In June Martin will be undertaking concerts in the United States, although venues/dates have yet to be officially announced. For further info, please visit both and

10th April 2004

Caroline Lavelle is currently working on her
new album which is set for release in Japan on June 24th. Combining original compositions,
traditional songs and original music set to poems by Brian Patten and Simanto,
the album has a working title of A Distant Bell

For further information, please visit the revamped official website

21st March 2004

All Saints Records have scheduled a Kate St John compilation album due for late 2004/early 2005 release. Kate released two solo
albums on the All Saints label: Indescribable Night (which featured a collaboration with Virginia) and Second

Kate St John has also been chosen to be one of the band members for performances by Tom Waits due to take place this year. The shows, entitled The Black Rider , feature a collaborative work by Tom Waits based on work by William Burroughs (writer) and Robert Wilson (theatre director).

The London performance will take place at the Barbican between 21st May & 12th June, with previews from 17th May. Future shows take place in San Francisco August/September 2004 and Sydney in the Autumn.

More info via

10th March 2004

Sad news: John McGeoch , former guitarist with Siouxsie And The Banshees and Magazine amongst others, has passed away.

John McGeoch had moved in the same musical circles as Virginia, being an associate of Richard Jobson . He had also worked with Virginia for Richard Jobson’s 1981 album The Ballad Of Etiquette and again with her on the string arrangements for the 1982 Siouxsie And The Banshees single Fireworks .

Details were flagged up on Steve Severin’s website at

We have now sold out of
signed editions of From Garden Where We Feel Secure . The Merchandise Section will now be offline as part of a larger design overhaul for the entire website. More details to follow.

5th March 2004

Martin Stephenson’s new album Airdrie will be released on March 22nd. In the meantime, a specially signed and numbered
Limited Edition version is now available for �12.50 (incl p&p). Details via Martin’s

Martin is also currently undertaking a series of live performances. From his
latest appearances in Ireland, Martin has several gigs lined up for Scotland over
the coming weeks,interrupted only by two performances in Spain in Mid March. April
will see yet more Scottish dates,before heading south for a series of shows in
England which will spill over into May. August dates in Portugal are currently
being finalised.

Again, for full details on times, dates and venues please visit

11th January 2004

Happy New Year to all our visitors!

Virginia has continued working on her novel (as mentioned previously in our
exclusive Interview with Virginia) but is also keen
to do more music. In the wake of From Gardens Where We Feel
, the idea of a new instrumental album is something Virginia wants
to explore but she also has plans to finalise The Woodlanders project as well. More news as we get it.

Thanks for being patient to all those that have recently ordered copies of
From Gardens Where We Feel Secure from the website.
There were delays in getting a fresh batch of CD’s from Rough Trade and then those
CD’s had to each be signed by Virginia. The good news is that the signed CD’s
are now ready to send out and the first orders will ship on Monday.

Jocelyn Pook has recently been busy scoring the
French feature film Wild Side and co-writing
songs with Natacha Atlas for Natacha’s new album.

For further info, please visit Jocelyn’s new official website at

Meanwhile, Martin Stephenson has been keeping
busy with a series of live gigs in Australia as well as a new solo album Airdrie to be released within the next few months. Martin has also been working with David
on David’s new solo album which is due for release this summer.

For further info, please visit Martins website