Goya Dress 1994-1996

Goya Dress 1994-1996

Goya Dress • 2014

CD • MC • DL

One Little Indian

Goya Dress 1994-1996
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If I Know
Strange Death
King Thong
Ruby Ruby
In Me
Dusted Down
20th Century Box
Glorious (Piano Version)
To All My Girlfriends
Sweet Dreams For You
Greatest Secret
Katie Stood on the Benches
Any John
Picture This
The Maritime Waltz

Astrid formed Goya Dress in London in 1993, along with American bassist Terry de Castro, who also sang backing vocals, and Leeds-born jazz drummer Simon Pearson. Having spent most of her life learning how to play classical piano, Astrid had wanted to form a rock band as opposed to something more sedate. The name Goya Dress came from John Galsworthy’s novel “The Forsyte Saga”. The character Fleur Forsyte, attempting to seduce her lover, wears a dress resembling one which appears in a Goya painting: she calls it her Goya dress.

Astrid had started writing the songs which would appear on Bedroom Cinema and Rooms while still living in Glasgow. Guitarist Anton Kirkpatrick, who would later perform on Rooms, was instrumental in introducing Astrid to the electric guitar, and encouraging her songwriting.

In 1994, Goya Dress made demos on a four track recorder in Astrid’s kitchen for the songs Strange Death, King Thong and Katie Stood On The Benches. The trio started performing around London in venues such as the Samuel Beckett and the Water Rats. After only six shows they were offered half a dozen record deals. They signed to Nude records in October 1994 and immediately went on tour supporting Suede on the “Dog Man Star” tour.

In 1995, Goya Dress caught the attention of Velvet Underground luminary John Cale, who went on to produce their only full length album, Rooms. Released to a muted reception in 1996, Rooms was out of step with the then-swaggering Britpop phenomenon: intimate piano ballads such as Katie Stood On The Benches appearing next to the likes of the full throttled electric-guitar driven Scorch. With the exception of 20th Century Box (lyrics by Terry de Castro and Jo James), all Goya Dress’s songs were written by Astrid and arranged by the band.

When it was time to record what would become Boy For You, the band decamped to New Orleans to work with Malcolm Burn. His approach was quite different to Cale’s, each song being built from the lead vocal. Terry and Simon added their parts individually as opposed to working together as a rhythm section as they had previously done. Malcolm was also much more present on the album as an arranger; programming beats, playing synths and contributing some backing vocals. Primarily due to label pressure, Boy For You was released under Astrid’s own name, marking the end of Goya Dress’s all-too-brief career.

Terry de Castro would do go on to work with David Gedge in Cinema and The Wedding Present – and would later record and release versions of To Love You and Glorious. Simon Pearson played drums on Astrid’s solo album Day Of The Lone Wolf.