THE AMERICAN PUBLIC LIKES PEACH UNION. The British Band was virtually unknown until a few weeks ago, when its debut single "On My Own" broke the Billboard Top 40. So, is this just another British fad? Not likely. Its debut album, Audiopeach, available in the United States on Epic Records, is full of listenable dance-pop tunes, and each band member boasts a solid musical history. But what's really unuaual about Peach Union is that is has had more success here in the States than it its native Britain. "It's funny," says singer Lisa Lamb over the phone from Orlando, Florida, "when you're at a Billboard convention and they're just wheeling uou around, saying hello to everybody. It's a sharp contrast to being at home." Songwriter/producer Paul Statham couldn't agree more. "The song has already been released in England, and it didn't do anything," he says. Lamb remarks "We couldn't get arrested in England!
So why has the band caught America's ear? Its members have interesting backgrounds, to be sure. Statham spent a decade working with ex-Bauhaus singer Peter Murphy, the famed poster boy for Gothic rock. Lamb was a jazz buff who was reared in London and educated in the United States. The trio is rounded out by dance-music maestro Pascal Gabriel, who gave us such acid-house acts as S'Express and Bomb the Bass. How did these three over hook up in the first place? "We met at an art exhibit", Lamb recalls. "It was a show of naked males and flying turds! I got the giggles, just walking around, and I started talking to Paul and Pascal. We started talking about music". The three clicked and soon began writing songs together. Their differences worked in their favor, with each band member adding something unique to the mix.
Paul Statham, a self-taught guitarist and keyboard player, grew up in a working-class town in northern England. He moved to London at age 19 and fell in with the glam-rock scene. He says his gloomy childhood is responsible for the bittersweet sound of Peach Union's music. "There's a slight sadness in our songs," Statham says, "but it's counteracted by Pascal, who is a more upbeat person. Me, I'm a miserable bastard!"
Pascal Gabriel is a Belgian expatriate who ganered several club and radio hits after moving to London as a teenager in the late '80s. Lamb is the ptractical one with the pop sensibilities. "Personally, I don't feel connected to the dance side of the music," she says. "For the most part, I'm a songwriter. Not that people shouldn't get out and dance, but I'm more of a straight-ahead pop person."
With a single on the charts and their dance remixes faring well in clubs, the members of Peach Union are scrambling to drum up support for their work. "I love doing the promotions and all that," Lamb says. But life isn't all rosy. "I'm still single." she sighs. "It's difficult to get into serious relationships with guys. I'm never in one place long enough. When I'm done with work, I need to collapse and call my Mom."
So, how does Statham, and old-school rock guitarist, fell about his new-found success on the dance charts? "I love the dance remixes," he says. Statham's not the type of musician who hoards his work. "It's great to give your music to someone else and see what they make of it. If I produced a club version, it would probably clear the dance floor," he laughs.