Click here for a report of the Alison Statton Tribute evening on October 12, 2023 at the Wales Millennium Center in Cardiff

Click here to listen to Heads on Sticks with Alison Statton








Alison Statton
and Spike






Born in Cardiff, Alisom Statton's career in music began in 1978 as the singer for the band Young Marble Giants. After Young Marble Giants split up in november 1980, she formed the jazz-influenced band Weekend with Simon Emmerson (Booth) and Spike Williams, releasing the album La Varieté in 1982 and a live EP, Live at Ronnie Scott's, the following year. Back in the mid-90s, an album of demos recorded at the band’s genesis was discovered, and released on CD by the Vinyl Japan label – these demos were the perfect porthole into Statton and co’s process, offering rare, skeletal visions of tracks which were fleshed out on the albums, as well as exclusive material.

Weekend live at Paradiso in Amsterdam, 5 February 1983 (Photo: Jos van Vliet)



Weekend live - "Woman's Eyes"

Weekend live - "Summerdays" and "Drumbeat for Baby".


Weekend live - "Summerdays" (above) "Past meets Present", "Midnight Slows" & "Carnival Headache".

Click here to enlarge this NME article about Weekend from 1982.





Weekend in Amsterdam (Photo: Jos van Vliet)






Weekend was actually a merger between two projects. Statton began writing with Spike of Z Block Records and Reptile Ranch in Cardiff, Wales in the summer of 1981 before moving to London where she teamed up with Simon Emmerson (at that time using the name Simon Booth) of Methodishca Tune. The band signed to Rough Trade Records in December 1981, but recorded only one studio album, La Variete. La Variete was released in 1982 on the Rough Trade label and made it to no.4 in the independent charts staying there for 15 weeks. It was revered by critics on release as a bold new departure from the prevailing post-punk ethos and served as a major influence on Saint Etienne, the Sundays, Belle and Sebastian and many others.

After splitting up in 1983, members Simon Booth and Larry Stabbins formed the more jazz orientated Working Week. In March 2023, unfortunately, the message came that Simon Booth had passed away...

After the Weekend split, Spike returned to Splott and formed Bomb and Dagger with singer Debbie Debris and a handful of Cardiff musicians - the original line-up included both Alison Statton and Phil Moxham, and Andrew Moxham.


-La Varieté LP (1982) - Rough Trade

-Live at Ronnie Scott’s - 12" mini-LP (1983) Rough Trade

-Nipped in the Bud (1984) - Rough Trade (includes tracks by YMG and Gist)


-The View from Her Room / Leaves of Spring - 7" and 12" (1982) Rough Trade

-Past Meets Present / Midnight Slows - 7" (1982) Rough Trade

-Drumbeat for Baby / Weekend Off"- 7" and 12" (1982) Rough Trade

-The '81 Demos EP (1995) - Vinyl Japan





During the mid-'80s, Alison Statton took an extended break from music She returned to Cardiff and trained to be a chiropractor while teaching t'ai chi.

During this period she occasionally made demos.
Click here to listen to some songs.

Alison with her friend Pete in 1989 in Cardiff (photo Jos van Vliet)



Reviews: "A classic statement of understated, perfect pop. The superb selection of emotive ballads includes the intimate Under the Weather, the serene and longing Never Coming Back and a bouncy We Deserve It. I feel another crush coming on" Melody Maker, 05/1989

"A deceptively breezy LP of late-nite lullabies for thinking people" NME, 06/1989




Alison Statton (Devine and Statton live at Nighttown Rotterdam, April 26, 1989) with Blaine Reininger (Photo: Jos van Vliet)



Devine and Statton
Alison returned to music in the late 1980s and released two recordings with the guitarist from Ludus, Ian Devine as 'Devine and Statton'.They released two records. Blaine L. Reininger of Tuxedomoon plays accordion on the first record. The music was predominantly composed by Ian Devine, but Statton's distinctive vocals and influence are clear on many of the songs, and anticipate the sounds and musical ideas she would later explore with Spike..

Ian Devine: "After Ludus, I got into a few projects in South Wales." One of them was Heb Gariad, an abrasive Welsh language trio. They featured Devine as vocalist, and made one record with Anhrefn Records. "It was post-Heb Gariad," Devine says, referring to the sequence of events that led to his collaboration with former Young Marble Giants singer Alison Statton. "I felt a song coming on, I suppose. I wanted to write something more laidback and poppy and timeless, and didn't think my voice suited. I had a relationship with Les Disques du Crépuscule and thought they might not want a grotty rock'n'roll band from Wales. So I thought of Alison Statton - who better? We were living barely a few miles away from each other in Cardiff. Geographically, it was interesting. Historically, it was interesting. She was in her own musical limbo at the time, Weekend having ended in 1983. She went for it once she heard the songs. I took it back to Crépuscule, we rehearsed a few times and a couple of months later, we were doing the record."

The pairing of Devine and Statton led to two albums of exquisite charm and elegance - 1989's deeply personal The Prince of Wales, and the following year's Cardiffians. Devine's songs and arrangements are delicate, restrained, sharply observed: never lapsing into the weepy neuroticism that usually hampers such a tender sound.Devine understands well the power of silence. All feature her precise but unmannered singing and clear, simple backing from Devine, creating an uncluttered soundscape reminiscent of a much folkier YMG.

The two albums appeared during the first flush of grunge, amid concerts bogged down by layers of feedback-deranged guitars. In such a climate, their breezy, light arrangements, European pop sensibilities and deft melodies seemed almost indecent. They stood little change of exposure, or sales. Too pan-continental years before the media deigned to recognise anything beyond its own doorstep, too sensuous at a time when noise was all. Never mind that on their cover of New Order's 'Bizarre Love Triangle' on The Prince of Wales, Devine and Statton stumbled across a feeling, indubitably timeless - as I wrote at the time, "possessed of such languid, easy beauty as to make me catch my breath in sharp relief, again and again."

Cardiffians, released in 1990, added New York jazz musicians Curtis Fowlkes and Roy Nathanson, plus Tom Waits guitarist Marc Ribot. New Order's Peter Hook also contributes occasional bass. Once more the sound was sparse and delicate without ever seeming wimpy or cute. 'Hideaway' and the Crystal Gale cover, 'Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue' both possess a delightful lightness of touch, reminiscent of several of Devine and Statton's Crépuscule label-mates and Weekend themselves. Lyrics could be bitter, but never self-pitying. Again, Statton's voice is stunning in its purity of touch. "The intention behind the two records was very different," Devine says. "The first record was a composite of one's life and one's take on the world, from history to culture to family to personal and back again. The second was more of a way of trying to present a musical backdrop to the city, a paean to Cardiff. The first was catharsis, the second was all to do with palettes.

Review: "Exotic woodwind, natty synth lines and Statton's frail voice dominate proceedings. Imagine Everything But the Girl performing the Fifth Dimension's Up, Up and Away and you're close to capturing the charm of their work"
NME, 02/1991.

Alison Statton after the Devine & Statton gig in Rotterdam, April 1989 (Photo: Jos van Vliet)

















Alison Statton and Spike

Alison and Spike teamed up with guitarist Simon Booth to form Weekend, a breezy fusion of jazz and pop intended to last just a year. Their only album, La Variete, arrived in 1982, and was followed by the EP Live at Ronnie Scotts, by which time the project (always something of a compromise) had run it's course. Simon Booth went on to form Working Week, while Alison and Spike quit London and returned to South Wales, where they continued to write as a duo.

In 1991 Geoff Travis of Rough Trade commissioned another demo from Alison and Spike, which was recorded in a Cardiff studio in ten hours flat after a single rehearsal, and featured Phil and Andrew Moxham among the guest musicians. However, history repeated, and the demo was rejected. The five songs were eventually released as the EP Weekend In Wales in 1993, credited to Alison Statton and Spike. Reviewing it in CMJ Music Monthly, Steve Burt noted: "the EP combines Matisse-style sketchiness with swaying nods to pre-rock pop; the title suggests that Alison and Spike are trying to pick up where Weekend left off. But the new stuff is more focused; there is a spare sureness to the riffing on A Greater Notion that Weekend never reached. The vocals hold a new and careful self-confidence; she is picking her way across a long line of slick rocks at high tide, but she knows she can do it."

Recorded and mixed at home, self-produced debut album, Tidal Blues, was released by Vinyl Japan in January 1994. It featured a larger band, including Andrew Moxham on drums, and along with the brilliant title track features ten other genially delicate songs. Mr. Morgan clicks and coalesces around an organ line, resurrecting the YMG sound, while Seaport Town coasts on jaunty, high-life rhythms. "It's a bunch of songs," recalls Spike. "We bounced ideas back and forth on tape between London and South Wales. Neither of us responds particularly well to the formal recording studio environment, so it was a question of looking for more comfortable ways to catch Alison's voice.  


The last time Alison Statton and Spike were on stage together (and Stuart Moxham) was on 11 November 2018. They performed at Café Oto, London.

They played 'Find and Seek' from the CD 'Tidal Blues'

The video was recorded by 'Dark Glassly'

The second Statton and Spike album would not appear until 1997. Having worked towards releasing this sophomore set through Crépuscule-affiliated label Pretty Inside, various tracks and offcuts were eventually released by Vinyl Japan as The Shady Tree. Recorded at home in Penarth, Cardiff and London, the album explored the complex relationship between mathematics and music.

"In December 1994 the duo also toured in Japan, and even though the visit was marred by problems with hired equipment, the resulting live CD, Maple Snow, recorded in Tokyo and Osaka, makes for a fine souvenir. Guest musicians on the tour again included Andrew and Phil Moxham.


Live recordings from Muse Hall, Osaka, 14-12-1994



After 20 years, the fourth album "Bimini Twist" by Alison Statton and Spike . was unexpectedly released in 2017. Their return is both unexpected. Bimini Twist is the work of the two alone. Apart from some vocal tracking in a local studio to best capture Alison's still wondrous voice - everything was recorded in their homes, much of it 'live', and these new songs show the duo's charm and diversity, featuring Alison's most personal lyrics and Spike's peculiar musical genius.

Click here to listen to this C86 podcast,from October 2020. You can hear Spike's story about his connection with YMG, Weekend and "Alison Statton & Spike"(and more).


Click here for a webpage about the 'forgotten'song 'Rebirth' with Alison Statton on the "Enter the Dragon" Cardiff compilation cassette (1983)




Alison Statton & Spike + Stuart Moxham live at Primera Persona 2017
Centre de Cultura Contemporània, Barcelona (13th may 2017)

One of Alison Statton's last performances took place in Barcelona in 2017.

Alison performed with Spike, Stuart did a solo performance. There was also a Q&A!


Click here for an interview in the French magazine Le Petit Bulletin (March 2013)

(Click here for more interviews)




Click here for a nice interview with Alison statton for "Tone Glow" (in December 2020)

(Click here for more interviews)







< Alison in ink, acrylic and
..watercolor over Xerox image

..This Drawing was made by
..Danny & Sara Ceballos form
..Appleton, Wisconsin







Click here for the YMG Homepage

Alison Statton Hand sculpted and painted doll 1/1 made by "shebop" on instagram 3/2021