Doves rose from the ashes of their club music origins with the mesmerizing melodic melancholy of this fervent fulgent firesuite. The Manchester trio of Jimi Goodwin and twin brothers Andy & Jez Williams met in high school in Cheshire and played in various groups until they reconnected at legendary Manchester club The Haçienda and decided to form Sub Sub. The dance group released two albums ('Full Fathom Five' and 'Delta Tapes') and had an underground dance hit with "Spaceface" and a number three hit single in the UK with "Ain't No Love (Ain't No Use)".
Goodwin looks back on the evolution of their sound: "House music and Hip Hop came and sort of swept away everything before it, for us. We were 17, 18 years old when the so called ‘Acid House’ scene took hold and at that age you kind of become exclusively into this or that almost at the expense of everything else… That’s how powerful it was for us. We nailed our flag to the wall for a while. Me, Andy and Jez were guitarists and drummers but that took a back seat while we embraced this new music. Still, not that much later we started getting disillusioned with clubbing, It was getting ugly and violent out there and around 1993 after we had the hit! [Aint’ No Love] we felt that its heart had gone and we slowly started to think about incorporating our guitars and drums and tried and blend that with all we had learnt from the club scene...The change took time! Also around 1994/95, Live music seemed to be in resurgence and it felt natural for us to explore this."
Andy Williams adds: "We stopped going to clubs and became more interested in hypnotic guitar sounds. You can hear that on our final compilation LP Delta Tapes which is already closer to Doves than to our previous Sub Sub recordings. It’s the missing link."
The fortunes of the group took a dramatic turn when all of their equipment was destroyed in a fire on the twins' birthday in February of 1996. Andy Williams says: "It’s so hard when you think about ‘what if’, but there’s no doubt that the fire was a major turning point for us. A lot’s been written about it, but we had begun to change our approach in Sub Sub to incorporating more live instruments, so perhaps something like this could have happened. The fire happened at something of a transitional stage for us, I think."
Jez Williams considers: "We were faced with a really black and white decision: throw the towel in or carry on. And if you’re going to carry on, you’ve got to put everything into it to justify it, because before that you’ve lost everything. That was quite a liberating feeling, actually. It really was such a simple decision, which with hindsight I kind of enjoyed. It’s nice to have not quit, and everyone goes through ups and downs… It comes down to what kind of character you are, really."
They renamed themselves Doves and began working on new material at New Order's studio in Cheetham Hill. They had been looking for a lead singer until they decided that Goodwin was the man for the job. Manager Rob Gretton helped them form their own label Casino Records with which they released three EPs before signing to Heavenly Records. Goodwin remembers: "Once it was decided that I was gonna be the singer the songwriting started really gaining momentum and strength. It was really empowering to realise that we didn’t need anyone else we already had it within the three of us. A real breakthrough song was "Break Me Gently". That’s the first song I remember us doing with me in mind to be the finished thing! Songs started flowing fast and it was around this time that we decided to change our name to Doves. It felt like a personal breakthrough for us. No more indecision. This would have been late 1997 perhaps."
'Lost Souls' features Jez Williams on electric and acoustic guitars, backing vocals, and programming; Jimi Goodwin on vocals, bass, acoustic guitar, and samples; and Andy Williams on drums, vocals, harmonica, and samples; with Martin Rebelski playing piano on "Here It Comes"; Stuart Warburton adding harmonica on "Rise"; Richard Wheatley contributing piano and Rhodes on "Firesuite," "Sea Song," and "Break Me Gently"; and the strings on "The Man Who Told Everything" by Kate Evans, Jane Coyle, Barbara Grunthal, and Wendy Edison. Steve Osborne did the production and mixing on "Catch the Sun" with Doves producing the rest of the tracks over several years. Andy Williams reveals: "We really did lock ourselves away for three to four years until we discovered how we wanted to sound, it was a pretty oppressive place with no windows and thieves trying to break in! But it was also an inspiring place to be as it belonged to New Order and we were fans... The garage there was full of their old gear; it was full of vintage keyboards, sequencers, drum machines and was like some weird techno graveyard in there. I also remember finding Stephen Morris' Rogers drum kit that he used in Joy Division stuffed behind some knackered flight case."
'Lost Souls' found its way to number seventy-two in Ireland, sixty-eight in Australia, and number sixteen in the UK, where it was nominated for the Mercury Prize. It lost to Badly Drawn Boy's 'The Hour of Bewilderbeast', on which the band had played as backing musicians.
"Catch the Sun" went to number thirty two in the UK.
"Here It Comes" went to number seventy three in the UK.
"The Man Who Told Everything" hit number thirty two in the UK.
Doves 'The man who told everything' from Rogue Films on Vimeo.
"The Cedar Room" found its way to number thirty three in the UK.
Andy says: "It was the first song where Jimi sung all the way through. I wrote the verses, he wrote the chorus and it was a nice thing getting it together. We’ve written a lot of songs up to that point but this was the first one where it really worked out and where we thought ‘We can do this by ourselves'."
All songs written and composed by Jez Williams, Jimi Goodwin, and Andy Williams.
1. "Firesuite" 4:36
2. "Here It Comes" 4:50
3. "Break Me Gently" 4:38
4. "Sea Song" 6:12
5. "Rise" 5:38
6. "Lost Souls" 6:09
7. "Melody Calls" 3:27
8. "Catch the Sun" 4:49
9. "The Man Who Told Everything" 5:47
10. "The Cedar Room" 7:38
11. "Reprise" 1:45
12. "A House" 3:40
US bonus tracks
13. "Darker" 5:51
14. "Valley" 4:26
15. "Zither" 2:36
Japan bonus tracks
13. "Valley" 4:26
14. "Crunch" 4:00
15. "Your Shadow Lay Across My Life" 3:45