Let's get straight down to the basics. Your name is Pascal Gabriel, and you're sixteen years old and living in Belgium. You are due to be drafted into military service, so you run away to London where after a couple of years in an art school band and the occasional performance of ambient music at such venues as a Europa Foods supermarket you become a record producer. You meet Mark Moore and Tim Simenon and, within a year or two, you've written and produced some of the most influential dance records ever made under the group names S'Express (three Top 5 UK singles, 1988-89)and Bomb The Bass (four Top 10 UK singles, 1988-91). But your story is only just beginning.
Meanwhile in the North of England, Paul Statham is writing and recording with Bauhaus vocalist Peter Murphy, which collaboration leads to "Cuts You Up," a mid-chart US hit for Murphy in 1990. After five albums, however, Statham is bored with the Goth world (bats, crypts, etc.) and opts to stay true to his secret pop heart. During his work on his last album with Peter Murphy, Paul goes to Istanbul to meet a potential co-producer by the name of Pascal Gabriel. Minds meet, bands split, and Peach Union is formed (though known simply as Peach in the UK).
Around this same time, a young Londoner, Lisa Lamb, graduates from the Chelsea School of Art and decides to try her luck in the USA. There she joins a jazz band, makes a jungle record, and dons feathers, glittery suits and false eyelashes to dance in a Las Vegas revue. She has some poetry published, comes back to London, and stays at home listening to Roxy Music, Patsy Cline and Dusty Springfield.
One night a friend asks Lisa to come to the opening of an art exhibition, where she overhears two young men enthusing about Kraftwerk and Beck. Her courage fortified by drink, Lisa joins their conversation, talking about Pulp and the Grease soundtrack. The two men introduce themselves to her their names are Pascal Gabriel and Paul Statham and the three arrange to meet up another time. A few trips to the demo studio later, the Peach Union jigsaw becomes complete.
And so Peach Union began to write music that could straddle the disparate influences of each band member. There's Pascal's penchant for the singing and songwriting skills of Serge Gainsbourg, Cole Porter and Bacharach & David along with the modern electronica of Kraftwerk, Stereolab and Jimi Tenor; Paul's love of '70s sounds, rooted in Bowie and T-Rex; and Lisa's desire to emulate the showmanship of Marvin Gaye and Isaac Hayes, singers who could reach out and grab you by the guts with their emotion and sheer individuality.
These influences converge with the common aim of producing melancholy pop music that is very much a product of the Nineties but that wouldn't look out of place on a Stax revue. Peach Union, says Pascal, "are all about that pop thrill." Lisa agrees, adding: "It's all about that stumbling pop tune with a twist the one that will define a moment in time, the one that will be used in years to come on some trashy TV show to sum up an era."
The result? An album, AudioPeach (Epic), a debut of love and joy, death and loneliness that in its lush orchestral sweeps and sweet vocal hooks, all set to a Europop backbeat creates in its three and a half-minute songs, a blend of Dusty Springfield, Phil Spector, and Soft Cell with a millennial twist. After all, Pascal believes the three most important moments in pop history are "when Kraftwerk abandoned live drums and guitars, when Cerrone created 'Supernature,' and the day Burt Bacharach met Hal David." AudioPeach is timeless music that can be grasped and cherished
as much in the context of today's Europop world as in that of the sweet soul world of yesterday.
Peach Union intend to put pop music back on the agenda: the real life-enhancing stuff that makes us turn up the radio, laugh and cry. The future is bright. The future is Peach Union.