I read about Hula when I first arrived in Sheffield, in a student magazine, which also sang the praises of fellow Sheffielders the Designers Republic. This was late 1986 or early '87, so Hula were still very much active — Poison was released in '86 — and tDR were just starting out, possibly still on the Enterprise Allowance Scheme.
What I read made it seem like Hula were right up my street. They must have played in the city, but I never saw the posters or the listings. Their records must have been in the local shops, but I never saw them.
A decade or so later, I crossed paths with former Hula member, John Avery (bumped into him again at the Incredible String Band theme night this summer). After that, and just before I left Sheffield, I briefly met Ron Wright and maybe Mark Albrow too. The back sleeve of this record is like a where-are-they-now page in reverse. Produced by Mute founder Daniel Miller, engineered by our old friend Paul Kendall (1, 2, 3), an ackowledgement for Radio 3 presenter Rob Worby. A reminder that mid-eighties Sheffield was the Cambridge Footlights of a generation of industrial sound artists. The sleeve was by Simon Crump, now a writer: Tim lent me his Monkey's Birthday and Other Stories, a very strange book (though I think it had the edge over his sleeve design).
The only way I ended up with a Hula record was when I scavenged this one from what I'm calling the "te collection" (see original account) in 2003. He (te) knew Hula well and collaborated with some of them separately.
By 2003, my curiosity of 17 years earlier was on the wane, and I never actually played the record. Until just now. I might have liked it then, but now I'll just add it to my Alternative Eighties playlist.
Meanwhile the Hula fan site report excitedly that "Some members (at least 3 out of 4) 'have been chatting about getting together and making a few new tunes…the public has to be patient. Progress is slow… With some luck in 2010 we might hear some tunes …'"
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