Fatal Charm: Summer Spies

Last week I was playing some of my old favourites which I only own in the form of 7″ singles. The one I most wanted to hear was Fatal Charm’s Summer Spies. Back in 1984 I had to wait three or four weeks to listen to it after placing an order with Rockaway, the record shop in Newport market which at that time was pretty much the only place you could easily find indie music or would know what you were talking about – even though it’s real purpose was punk. I recall going into town each Saturday to see if it had arrived.

Fatal Charm had appeared on the Tube and I remember Janice Long playing Summer Spies a lot on her evening Radio 1 show. In fact I seem to remember they’d recorded a version of it as a jingle. In my memory it was one of those songs that was always playing when I was doing my homework.

Unfortunately, the combined effects of over-playing on rubbish stereos and damp meant that in 2011 my much-cherished single sounded more like a crackly 78 so I was overjoyed to find that it’s just appeared on itunes and – forget about month-long waits – 79p later, was back on my stereo.

If I’m honest, it sounds rather dated and I don’t think it would even be considered alternative now. I certainly didn’t buy any other music by Fatal Charm. Even so, I still have a real soft spot for the song. You can hear it on their myspace page if you don’t want to pay 79p.


UPDATE 24th Sept 2011

What would have the teenage me have thought when I was checking my order at the record shop week after week if I’d known that one day the singer of Fatal Charm, Sarah Simmons, would one day send me a message. I’ll add it in full below this. I was overjoyed to hear from her and feel bad that she read my comments about it sounding dated, particularly since the more I listen to it again, the less I think that. Here’s the comment:

Hi there. I am the singer of Summer Spies! Glad you like it! We have an official facebook page now:
Plus a website – of course! http://www.fatalcharm.co.uk
We are looking for a bass player at the moment as we want to play live again – before we croak! If you know of anyone within a reasonable radius of Nottingham who might be interested – get in touch!
see you
sarah x

4 thoughts on “Fatal Charm: Summer Spies

  1. Great post in regard to an all-time underrated classic. Disagree that it sounds dated, I think it’s matured with age and sounds as fresh today as it did back in 1984.

    1. Thanks very much. I think I was probably being a bit harsh about it sounding dated – it has certainly sounded pretty good to me every time I’ve listened to it since. It is a fantastic song and I’m glad there are others out there who feel the same way.

    1. Hi Sarah,

      Thanks for getting in touch – my younger self, going back and forth to the record shop to see if the single had arrived, wouldn’t have believed it possible! It’s still one of my favourite songs and now that I can play it again properly it’s often on my stereo. I’m afraid I’m unlikely to know any bass players in the Nottingham area but I will add your comment to the blog post and maybe that will yield something. I’ll look forward to seeing you live.

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