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Rachel Stamp - Hymns for Strange Children

  by Dave Goodwin

published: 30 / 8 / 2023

Rachel Stamp - Hymns for Strange Children
Label: Select Label
Format: N/A


Dave Goodwin re-examines the debut set by London glam rockers Rachel Stamp, who looked set to break into the mainstream at the start of the new Millennium.

Rewind yourself back to London’s rock scene in the mid-90s. Grunge had taken root at the start of the decade and the metal scene had gone a little bit pear-shaped. The Britpop come glam sound had just about had its day. Enter stage left the voice of reason and harbinger of boom, David Ryder Prangley and his curiously named band Rachel Stamp. Actually formed in 1994 by Ryder Prangley and fellow riffmeister general Will Crewdson, the outfit made their name on the London circuit before signing to WEA. Their first album for the outlet ‘Rachel Stamp Fight The Force of Evil’ went unreleased thanks to their A&R representative leaving the label. Striking out on their own with newly recruited drummer and breacher of the peace Robin Guy, the ‘Stamp graced the lower reaches of the national charts with the single ‘My Sweet Rose’ on their own Bitch Vinyl label. Fast forward to now, a mere 23 years after the release of what did become their debut album, ‘Hymns for Strange Children’ receives a re-vamped reissue. There’s no denying that Rachel Stamp should have been bigger than they actually were judging by Ryder Prangley’s prolific solo career. This offering, released on CD and on an in-yer-face pink vinyl, sports 17 tracks to please both the die-hards among you and the virgin listener too. If you remember the sleaze side of the band you will recall ‘Brand New Toy’ along with ‘Ladies And Gents’ and the kinkily titled ‘Spank’. The band had to undergo a few changes in staff over their duration but their best known line-up included keyboard-player and mistress of synthesis, Shaheena Dax. At the time Rachel Stamp became serious contenders in the music press, including the likes of Kerrang!, Melody Maker and Metal Hammer but it was The Sun who rose to the challenge of slagging the band off the most for the band’s not so straight image. ‘Hymns for Strange Children’ was recorded in just seven days, produced by John Fryer of Nine Inch Nails, Love And Rockets, White Zombie and HIM fame. Finally issued in February 2000, the release was flagged up with a gig at the 2,000-capacity London Astoria, supporting No Doubt, Korn and Cheap Trick. The CD version I have in front of me is very pink and glam with a booklet hidden inside the gatefold cover which gives a lowdown of the band and some great images taken by Morat, Nigel Crane and Miam Davidson. Having grown up an awful lot since this sleazed its way into the music (almost) mainstream it sounds slightly dated today. None the less it’s good to give it a blast and transport yourself back to a time when you didn’t give a shit. And we all had one of those, right?

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Rachel Stamp - Hymns for Strange Children

Rachel Stamp - Hymns for Strange Children

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live reviews

Agincourt Rock Club, Camberley, 2/4/2004
Rachel Stamp - Agincourt Rock Club, Camberley, 2/4/2004
Goth influenced rockers Rachel Stamp flirted briefly with major label Warners in the late 90's, but now seem destined to playing small key gigs. Phil Vincent watches them play an empassioned set at Camberley's Agincourt Rock Club

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