The Veil

The Veil

History - Best of - CD 2015

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 musically.

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 UK.

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 1986.

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 track “Enchanting”.

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.

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