A Brief History of The Veil
The Veil was born from the ashes of San Francisco
band, Beast, who released three 7” singles
and one 12” single. Beast dissolved at the
end of 1983 following their last UK tour at which
time Andrella Canne (vocals) and James Christ (bass)
elected to remain in the UK where they felt the
climate was right for what they wanted to do next
Andrew DaKeyne (guitar) and John Kingham (drums)
were local Brits who completed the original lineup
of The Veil. This lineup recorded the initial demos
that quickly secured the group a record deal with
Stoke-On-Trent’s Clay Records.
The first single, “Manikin”, was released
as a 12” in 1984 on Clay Records in the UK.
It was recorded at Blackwing Studios, which was
in an old church and suited the music perfectly.
John Fryer (Depeche Mode, Fad Gadget, Cocteau Twins)
engineered and produced the single with label owner,
Mike Stone, assisting.
The record was greeted with immediate critical
success and garnered repeat airplays on John Peel’s
BBC radio show. The striking cover sleeve was a
Mannequin that belonged to Andrella and was created
by Bryan Gregory, original guitarist for The Cramps.
(The mannequin’s name was Jupiter, and her
photograph was taken by Barbara Trevino in Los Angeles.)
Following the release of the first single, London
drummer, Marcus de Mowbray joined The Veil on drums
and remained the rock steady heartbeat of the group
for all future recordings and live shows.
Due to contractual obligations a handful of the
earliest live shows that The Veil played in the
UK and Paris were actually billed as Beast.
In 1985 the band began recording the album, “Surrender”,
also released on Clay Records. Recorded again at
Blackwing Studios but this time with John Brand
producing (The Waterboys, Big Country, The Cult,
Go Betweens, Aztec Camera, Gene Loves Jezebel) and
with John Fryer as engineer.
“Surrender” was greeted with enough
critical and commercial success that Clay Records
decided to pull a track from the album to issue
as a single. The track “Twist” was chosen
and remixed by Mike Stone at Strawberry Studios
with the album track “Sway” on the B-side.
There was also a promo video shot that aired throughout
The single was immediately picked up by Radio Caroline
and put into heavy rotation garnering many multiple
plays per day, a rarity on UK radio in the 1980s.
This caught the attention of the BBC who again played
the band on The John Peel Show.
The whole of the summer of 1985 found The Veil
behind the Iron Curtain performing at a summer resort
in Rovinj, Yugoslavia. Groups of music lovers from
all over Europe would come to the resort to soak
up the sun and listen to music.
Every week new fans arrived at the club which in
essence made the residency equivalent to touring
without actually being on the road. By the end of
the summer The Veil had played well over 100 shows
consecutively to many tens of thousands of fans
from all over Europe. This was an amazing once in
a lifetime experience for the members of the band.
Upon returning to the UK the band discovered that
although their new album was garnering radio airplay
and sales, Clay Records was in a state of serious
financial instability. Seeing no way to repair the
damage The Veil broke off relations with the label
towards the end of 1985.
The group followed up the Clay releases with the
self-produced three song “Heavy Heart”
EP which was recorded at RMS Studios in London.
The EP was released through their own Amdusias International
Records (which also issued the early Beast singles)
In addition to the title track, the EP also featured
the songs, “Watching (The Nite World Work)”
and “Is This Sin?”. The cover artwork
was drawn by Luton artist, Sharon Foley, based on
a concept by Andrella and James.
Radio Caroline once again aired the new single
as well as BBC broadcaster, Janice Long on Radio
1. This led to a BBC session, which was recorded
at the famous BBC Maida Vale studios. The session
featured the songs, “ Twist”, “Heavy
Heart”, “Sway” and a brand new
However, trouble was brewing for the group in the
form of the UK Home Office in Croydon. It was becoming
increasingly difficult for the two Americans to
maintain a working residency in the UK.
Through the work of solicitors, promoters and managers
the two Americans in the group had been granted
permission to live and work in the UK over the years.
However toward the end of 1987 it became apparent
that the Home Office would not be issuing any further
work permit extensions. The two Americans were told
they would have to leave the UK for at least 6 months
before they could again apply for work permits.
Faced with the realities and logistics of a Trans-Atlantic
band partnership The Veil decided to call it a day,
leaving behind a well regarded recorded legacy along
with many live performances in the UK and the continent.
James Christopher & Andrella Canne returned
to the USA where they re-joined forces with Bryan
Gregory from the Cramps and recorded and played
as The Dials.
Andy Dakeyne joined moody instrumentalists The Workhouse
where he achieved success in the UK.
Marcus de Mowbray (always the clever one) started
manufacturing his own line of percussion instruments,
which he continues to do to this day.