“SONG FOR EWE”
with MANDA RIN of BIS
“SONG FOR EWE” is the feature where artists beloved by VELVET SHEEP choose an obscure song they’ve been listening to that day.
Today’s guest is one third of the kung-fu kicking, day-glo flicking power punk pop trio BIS from Glasgow. This week the band released the CD version of their Record Store Day compilation including their multifarious early EPs and singles. It’s life-affirmingly titled “I Love Bis”, and since I whole heartedly agree with the sentiment it seemed timely to catch up again with the face that launched a thousand(ish) cartoon superheroes – the inimitable and irrepressible MANDA RIN…
I first met Manda (with John Disco and Sci-Fi Steven) at the Beggars’ Banquet offices in Wandsworth in the late 90s when I was working for MTV2 and we were giving guest bands the chance to control the channel (ie. choose an hour’s worth of videos).
I can’t remember what they selected but I know for a fact the mix would have been cool, since the band had great taste and over the years been on some very cool labels like Chemikal Underground, Che, Grand Royal and of course Gary Walker’s Wiiija Records, where I first came across them via “This Is Teen-C Power” (which features on the new comp).
Manda was a fan of many of the riot grrrl bands and people that had inspired me to write Velvet Sheep in the first place – Huggy Bear, Bikini Kill, Bratmobile etc and as a band Bis combined some of their vitriol with the angular future pop edge of DEVO and the arch humour of Sparks. It was an irresistible combination, strychnine and saccharine, deadly yet more-ish. Along with Helen Love and Spearmint if there had been a C96 comp they’d not only have been a shoo-in, they’d have been the stars.
The whole Top of the Pops appearance playing “Kandy Pop” has been well-documented, and during my watch at MTV2 the “Eurodisco” video got played a-plenty, but what appeals to me most about the band most since those halcyon days is that they’ve not only performed in animated form on CBBC but they’ve also scored the credits of the cartoon series “The Powerpuff Girls”. Since much of my day job involves making kids’ TV – I can see the appeal in their larger-than-life all action presence and as a role model for young girls you don’t get much better than the hyper-kinetic, whip smart Manda Rin.
I was pleased she agreed to choose a “song for ewe” and it’s suitably futuristic and undeniably catchy, as befits the band and the woman herself. Plus since they were big in Japan (if you have song tourettes you’ll have the tune playing in your head), it’s full of Eastern promise.
Over to Manda:
“A band that stood out to me recently was Trippple Nippples, a duo from Japan. I’ve always been a fan of Polysics, the Plastics and Melt Banana, so this bonkers band certainly appealed to me! Punk mixed with electronics is always a winner. Crazy, but great!”
Check out Bis’ site here: