With his cult-favorite bands the Vaselines and Eugenius, Eugene Kelly joined compatriots like the Pastels, Teenage Fanclub, and BMX Bandits at the forefront of Scotland's indie pop renaissance. Born in Glasgow in 1965, Kelly formed the Edinburgh-based Vaselines in 1987 with fellow singer/guitarist Frances McKee, later adding Kelly's brother Charles on drums and James Seenan on bass. Soon signing to Pastels frontman Stephan Pastel's newly formed 53rd and 3rd label, the Vaselines' first-ever studio session yielded their debut single, 1987's fantastic Son of a Gun. Lewd but naïve and abrasive yet tender, the band's shambling, primitivist squall remains a perfect distillation of pop at its most guileless and euphoric, earning a devoted fan base that included Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, who regularly cited the Vaselines' influence in interviews with the music press during the years to follow. Their existence proved brief, however. The demise of 53rd and 3rd proved fatal to the Vaselines as well, however, and the group dissolved the same week their lone studio LP, 1989's Dum Dum, was released via Rough Trade, although the following year the original lineup briefly reunited to open for Nirvana in Edinburgh. Renewed interest in the band also resulted in the 1992 Sub Pop release of The Way of the Vaselines, an assemblage of all 19 of their official recordings. Kelly resurfaced in 1990 with a new band dubbed Captain America, releasing a pair of outstanding EPs, Wow! and Flame On, before the threat of a copyright lawsuit filed by Marvel Comics forced the group to rechristen itself Eugenius. Their 1992 debut LP, Oomalama, raised Kelly's profile as a pop tunesmith par excellence, updating the Vaselines formula via more robust arrangements and production. After Eugenius split following its tepid second album, 1994's Mary Queen of Scots, Kelly spent the latter half of the decade under the radar, joining the supergroup-of-sorts Astro Chimp alongside Teenage Fanclub's Norman Blake and Gerard Love in addition to writing in collaboration with the Lemonheads' Evan Dando. Kelly finally resurfaced in 2000 with his first-ever solo recording, a cover of Dennis Wilson's Lady contributed to the Beach Boys tribute collection Caroline Now! His first proper solo EP, Older Faster, did not appear until three years later. The full-length Man Alive appeared in Japan in 2004, with an American release following some months later. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi
Nirvana with Eugene Kelly - Molly's Lips (Reading Festival)
Glasgow Music City Tours: Eugene Kelly (The Vaselines)
Endorsement: Eugene Kelly, Councilor Whitfield Town Division
I'm Done With Drugs
Eugene Kelly - Son of A Gun live in Glasgow
Long Time Walking
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