Devine & Statton The Prince of Wales / Cardiffians

There was always something so exotic about Les Disques du Crepuscule, the Belgian label and European cousin (in essence) of Factory Records. Thus it was perfectly suited for the sophisticated pop music that Alison Statton came to be associated with. She had already been involved in two bands that had reached cult status overnight (Young Marble Giants and Weekend), so it is only fitting that her third musical venture ended up being held in equally high regard. Partnering with Ian Devine (who was part of forgotten Mancunian band Ludus), they continued in a similar vein to Statton’s work with Weekend: light, jazzy pop music that was reminiscent of early Everything But the Girl. Their first release, 1989’s The Prince of Wales, was a glorious showcase for Statton’s exquisite voice and the pair’s devotion to Welsh nationalism, even if it was done in a subtle, melodic way. 1990’s Cardiffians followed a similar template to its predecessor but in this case, more of the same was a very welcome thing. It featured a more substantial band (including New Order’s Peter Hook), although it is hardly noticeable, yet the under-riding Welsh theme is still evident. Both reissues feature extensive sleeve notes (by Everett True) and some rather unnecessary bonus tracks that only serve to show how good the albums are by themselves. Once again LTM are bringing a couple of overlooked gems to what will hopefully be a wider audience. (LTM)