Cleaners From Venus About

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The Cleaners From Venus is the creative vehicle of English singer-songwriter & poet, Martin Newell. The band began as a collaboration between Newell & Lawerence ‘Lol’ Elliot, releasing their first singles in the early eighties. The band remains local to Newell’s hometown of Wivenhoe, Essex.

The Cleaners From Venus blended the low budget sound of home music making with melodies & lyrics which are some of the finest England has to offer. Newell describes his early music making strategy for the band by saying: “I wanted to make pushy little pop tunes with nasty lyrics.”

The band was mainly bread out of the frustration of playing the music industry game without success, Newell was inspired by his struggles to begin promoting his own works by himself. Newell & Elliot began to work at self-releasing their album, relying on fanzines & word-of-mouth for sales.

The Cleaners From Venus began recording & releasing their albums on cassette, often times with alternating track listings depending on who was recording the tape & promoted the copying of their albums by fans. Their sophomore album, ‘Midnight Cleaners,’ included the message: “No rights reserved. If you have money, buy it, if you don’t copy it. If you do copy it write to us (S.A.E. please) for a cover.” The covers of their albums were also hand-made by Newell & are used in the the recent Captured Tracks vinyl reissues as well.

The band is heralded as a key part of the DIY music scene & cassette culture. They are also credited as as pioneering the lo-fi sound. Despite their underground nature, they are not against the sound of popular music. Their work ethic, nature of creation, & mode of thinking is probably best summed up in another message from the cover of ‘Midnight Cleaners:’ “Anti-fashion but pro-pop.”