BY TIM HINELY
Long known as one of the main jangle pop purveyors in the Sarah Records stable of bands (see also Field Mice, Heavenly, Secret Shine, etc.), St. Christopher never got their due on these shores. Heck, they never really got it in their home turf of England, either. The band, basically the brainchild of one Glenn Melia (along with a cast of thousands over the year….included in the ranks at one time is Tree Fort Angst/The Saturday People/Dot Dash leader Terry Banks who also writes for The Big Takeover) have been at it in one form or another since the mid-‘80s.
The thing about Melia was the air of mystery he created with the songs. His voice was a bit whispery while the sounds he brought out of his guitar certainly sounded unique (a bit like what The Clientele would do years later). Cuts like “If Black Was Blue,” “Salvation,” “Say Yes To Everything,” “All of a Tremble” and the title track prove this theory (honestly, on a compilation this vast, there’s too many good songs to mention in this review, but there’s plenty here).
What you get here is 53 songs spread out over two discs, including all of their recorded output for the Sarah label plus rare singles and the like (the band also recorded full-lengths for Vinyl Japan and one for Parasol, as well as 7”ers for many other labels). Hell, this would be worth the money along to just hear the inclusion of the Bacharach 10” that was released on Sarah.
Inside the booklet includes an interview with Glenn as well as several rare photos. Kudos to the Cherry Red label for bringing to light the history of this great band that deserve to be heard by many.
DOWNLOAD: “If Black Was Blue,” “Salvation,” “Say Yes To Everything,” “All of a Tremble,” “Kerrie,” “Cathedral High,” “Chemical King”