Review by Ryan Leach
Dunedin’s Look Blue Go Purple is underrated. Formed in the early ‘80s, the group released three EPs before calling it a day in ’87. Bewitched (1985) was the band's debut. The four songs on the album are incredible—especially “Circumspect Penelope” and “As Does the Sun”.
Look Blue Go Purple employed Byrds-inspired harmonies. This element of the band is caught hauntingly and best on A-side track “Circumspect Penelope”. The lyrics to the song are compellingly unintelligible, adding to its ethereal quality.
The two songs on the B side (“Vain Hopes” and “As Does the Sun”) have a baroque pop, folk feel to them—not all that different from The Cake’s eponymous debut album on Decca. This is largely attributable to LBGP’s melodramatic vocal delivery and Norma O’Malley’s flute playing. Although recorded in 1985, Bewitched could’ve just as easily been recorded at Gold Star Studios in 1966.
Look Blue Go Purple contained some New Zealand heavyweights. After the group’s dissolution, Lesley Paris would go on to form Olla with future King Loser members Sean O’Reilly and Chris Heazlewood; along with Paul McKessar, Paris kept Flying Nun credible in the ‘90s by signing some of the label’s best acts during lean years. Guitarist Denise Roughan went on to the 3Ds and Ghost Club and Norma O’Malley formed Chug.
Of course, everything Look Blue Go Purple released is highly recommended.