About Altered Images
Led by dreamy chanteuse Clare Grogan (then riding the acclaim of a role in Bill Forsyth's cult flick Gregory's Girl), Altered Images formed in Glasgow in 1979 and brought a youthful charity-shop chic to the charts in the early 1980s thanks to sugar-rush singles "Happy Birthday" and "I Could Be Happy," the aural equivalent of a teen mag thought bubble. Having recorded their debut single "Dead Pop Stars" with Banshees bassist Steve Severin (they had supported the Banshees on the Kaleidoscope tour), the band found their darker side bleached under the mega-watt glow of pop stardom, as attention inevitably became focused on Grogan's diaphanous good looks. While second album Pinky Blue saw them continue their upward curve, by third album, Bite, the band were plagued by musical differences which led to the departure of drummer 'Tich' Anderson and guitarist Jon McKinven. If later hits like "Don't Talk To Me About Love" weren't enough to keep the band afloat, Grogan's lyrics ("About the way girls catch boys," according to a Look In interview at the time) and the band's innocent appeal still serve as a direct antecedent to Belle And Sebastian, and -- sartorially at least -- Franz Ferdinand. After a spell in the ill-fated Universal Love School Grogan returned to acting, bagging roles in both Red Dwarf and, in a more unlikely twist, Eastenders.