Review Revue: The Rhythm Sisters – Road to Roundhay Pier

It seems every other time I find a record by a band I’d never heard of before and then go online to find out what became of them, it turns out they’re still out there making music, and probably released an album in the past few years. The Leeds, UK sister act The Rhythm Sisters — made up of Mandi and Debi Laek and “third Sister” Bill Byford — is one such group. Their debut album Road to Roundhay Pier was released in 1987 to much critical acclaim, and followed up in 1991 by Willerby, about which Mandi says on the band’s web site, “it was an interesting experiment but it had little to do with the direction we had originally set to follow with the Rhythm Sisters.” Without any discussion of what happened in the intervening 16 years between releases, Mandi merely goes on to say that their new (2007) album Tell Me How Long the Boat’s Been Gone“builds on the roots established by our first album.” I have no idea how much a listener might agree with that statement, but let’s see what the KCMU DJs had to say about that root-establishing first album, shall we? Well, at least as long as they can keep on-topic, anyway…

“Two sisters + a brother [well, maybe someone’s brother, but not theirs] from Leeds form the nucleus here + it’s very nice. Sometimes it reminds me of Clive Pig’s last record. I can find no track I dislike. H.”

“Boy they’re CUTE.”

“Physical appearances aside — this is a very pleasant record. A nice variety.”

“A good point!”


“Trippy girls havin’ fun… great breakfast music!”

“Any time o’ day.”

“This is not up to H in my opinion. Too similar & familiar.”

“Quit putting stickers over the Kaiser’s gals or I’ll kill ya!! -Kaiser”

[Modified ‘bonehead’ drawing with a question mark next to it.]

“What and who do the Kaiser + Bonehead think they are?”

[Word bubbles written in coming out of the Sisters’ mouths:]

“Look at that skinny guy on the beach!! Needs some fiber, like sauerkraut, eh Debi?”

“Yeah, but I like him better than that pudgy guy with the cherub-face he’s with who looks like he’s eaten too much mutton + Wonder Bread.”

“… and then they heard of the man they call CREED.”

“Har har har. But they aren’t laughing.”

“I am. This is really annoying LP.”

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One Comment

  1. Damon Creed
    Posted September 24, 2010 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    Nice find from the archives, Levi. This one swell record. If I recall, “American Boys” got the most airplay from this lp and the rest of the songs got their fair share. “American Boys” is one sweet piece of acoustic pop with the melody carried elegantly by a melodeon. “Homework” will appeal to students everywhere and to students long graduated, too. There’s a hint of the Kinks in their story song “Henry’s Married Daughter” and the whole thing is topped with great vocal harmonies as only siblings can pull off. Well worth seeking out this title.

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