Trixie's Big Red Motorbike

Trixie's Big Red Motorbike are an indie pop band formed on the Isle of Wight, United Kingdom, in 1981. They released two singles, one EP and one flexidisc. A vinyl compilation album of their music was released by Accident Records in 1995. A retrospective album was released on Lobby Lud Records in February 2012.[1]

Trixie's Big Red Motorbike
Trixie's Big Red Motorbike live in Osaka, Japan, July 2012
Trixie's Big Red Motorbike performing in Osaka, Japan, July 2012.
Background information
OriginIsle of Wight, United Kingdom
Years active1981–1985, 2012
LabelsChew Records
Lobby Lud Records
Nathan Records
In Der Tat
Accident Records
Associated actsSarah Goes Shopping
Marine Girls
  • Jane Litten (vocals, keys)
  • Mark Litten (programming, guitar, backing vocals)
  • Ai Matsuda (backing vocals, percussion)
Past membersMelanie Litten (vocals)

Formation and early recordings

In 1981 telephone technician Mark Litten and his sixth-former sister Melanie began performing cover versions of songs by The Undertones and Marine Girls. At this time they were known as 'Pocket Money'. These early recordings are now lost. Their first original song was "Invisible Boyfriend", and this became their first single under the name Trixie's Big Red Motorbike.[2] This was recorded at "Trixieland"-a box-room in their house on the Isle of Wight. Only 100 copies were pressed, and the record came with photocopied sleeves and no labels.

A copy of the single was sent to BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel, who played it on his show and invited the band to record a session. On 28 July 1982 they recorded four songs, and these were broadcast on 24 August.[3]

Their second record was the EP Five Songs, recorded in Portsmouth.[4] 500 copies were pressed, and this also came with photocopied sleeves.

Jane Fox

By this time TBRM had become friendly with Jane Fox of Marine Girls, and she was invited to join them for their second John Peel session, recorded 17 August 1983.[5] She also joined them for a recording session at Rod Gammons Sound Studio on the Isle of Wight. At this session three songs were recorded: "That's the End of That", which was released as a 7" flexidisc,[6]"Norman and Narcissus" and "In Timbuktu". Their next single release was "Norman and Narcissus" (Lobby Lud Records).[7] This was the band's first and only entry in the UK Indie Chart, peaking at number 29.[8]

TBRM rehearsing, 1983

Later work

In 1984 a compilation album of Isle of Wight bands was released.[9][10] TBRM contributed two tracks: "When He's by my Side" and "Fairytales". These were the last studio recordings by the band. In 1986 a compilation cassette of various indie bands was released by In Der Tat, a German record company. TBRM contributed two tracks: "That's Quite a Lot" and "I'm Gonna Ride Away", both recorded at Trixieland. Around this time Melanie moved off of the Isle of Wight, and TBRM disbanded. Mark contributed one song "Once I've Seen Him", and played guitars on an EP by Sarah Goes Shopping,[11][12][13] a band formed by Twa Toots leader Sarah Brown. The TBRM song "That's the End of That" was covered by the New York band The Poconos.[14][15][16]


Trixieland was a 7'x7'x7' box-room in the Littens' house in Shanklin, Isle of Wight. It was used for recording TBRM's first single and demos. It was also Mark's bedroom.

Mark Litten at Trixieland, 1982

Recording equipment consisted of a TEAC 1/4" reel to reel tape recorder and an Aiwa tape to tape cassette recorder. There were no mixing facilities. The microphone stands were handmade from broom handles. Most tracks were created by first recording the drum machine, guitar and vocal together, then adding instruments one by one; bouncing between the two machines. The instruments were very inexpensive: a simple drum machine, a Westbury electric guitar, a non-Fender precision bass, and various percussion instruments. The sound resulting from this set-up was variable in quality, and should probably be described as lo-fi.

Interviews and reviews

In 1982 TBRM were interviewed by BBC producer John Walters in Shanklin. Writing in Honey he said "Melanie sings as if doing her fingernails at the same time", and called them "talented".[17] They were interviewed by Alvin Smith for the St Albans fanzine "Wally's Dog" in summer 1983.[18][19] Their flexidisc was issued with this fanzine.

Wally's Dog Fanzine
"Wally's Dog" fanzine.

In "Caught in Flux" magazine Mike Appelstein wrote that TBRMs songs were "among the sweetest, breeziest songs I've ever heard, complete with minimal instrumentation, thin/understated vocals, and melodies to die for."[20][21]

In Plan B magazine in 2008 the influential British music critic Everett True described the band as "so twee they were beyond twee".[22]


TBRM signed a publishing deal with Twist and Shout Music, and received enquiries from several independent record companies. However, they never had a recording contract, a manager or an agent. A combination of shyness, lack of business acumen, and a determination to stick to the DIY punk ethos of the time caused them to miss opportunities again and again. Physical isolation from the centres of the music industry was also a problem. Their first two records were sold by mail order, and in the pre-internet early 1980s, most of their contact with the outside world was by post.

Guest members

  • Jim Bycroft (tenor saxophone, keyboards)
  • Kevin Sparrow (handclaps)
  • Jane Fox (vocals, celesta)
  • Nathan Thomas (speech, sneezing)



Title and Track list Release Date Label Catalogue Number
"Invisible Boyfriend" / "A Splash of Red" 1982 Chew Records CH 9271
Five Songs EP: "Hold Me", "Whatever Happened to the Treetops?", "You Took Him Away From Me", "Trixie's Groove", "One Nation Under a Brolly" 1983 RAM 510
"That's the End of That": "That's the End of That", "As Soon as She's Gone" (by Clive Pig and Lee Valley) 1984 Nathan Records NAT 001
"Norman and Narcissus" / "In Timbuktu" 1983 Lobby Lud Records L100001
Feet on the Street: "When He's by My Side", "Fairytales" plus twelve tracks by other Isle of Wight artists. 1984 C-Side Records C-SIDE 1
The Intimate Sound of Trixie's Big Red Motorbike: "Trixie's Big Red Motorbike", "Invisible Boyfriend", "A Splash of Red", "Hold Me", "Trixie's Groove", "One Nation Under A Brolly", "Whatever Happened to the Treetops?", You Took Him Away from Me", "That's the End of That", "Norman and Narcissus", "In Timbuktu", "When He's by My Side", "Fairytales", "Hold Me (Hands on mix)", "One Nation Under a Brolly (Long version)", "One Nation Under a Brolly (Longer version)", "You Took Him Away from Me (Tea-time mix)", "That's the End of That (Wight noise mix)", Norman and Narcissus (Shanklin version)", "I'm in Love with You (Norton version)". 1995 Accident Records DENT 1


Title and Track list Release Date Label Catalogue Number
Adventures in Trixieland: "Fairytales", "I'm in Love with You", "Hold Me", "One Nation Under a Brolley", "That's the End of That", "Michael and Mandy", "Just a Minute", "Invisible Boyfriend", "Whatever Happened to the Treetops?", "You Took Him Away From Me", "A Splash of Red", "That's the End of That", "One Nation Under a Brolley", "Norman and Narcissus", "In Timbuktu". 1984 Lobby Lud Records LC100004
Reynard the Fox: "That's Quite a Lot", "I'm Gonna Ride Away" plus twenty-one tracks by various other indie bands. 1986 In Der Tat tat 18


Title and Track list Release Date Label Catalogue Number
The Post-Punk Singles Volume 7: "Hold Me", "One Nation Under a Brolley", "You Took Him Away From Me", "Whatever Happened to the Treetops?", "Trixie's Groove" plus twenty tracks by other Post-Punk bands. 2000 07NW0109


  1. ^ "All Day Long In Bliss" L100003
  2. ^ Invisible Boyfriend/A Splash of Red. Chew Records. Cat.# CH9271. 1982
  3. ^
  4. ^ Five Songs. Cat.#RAM 510
  5. ^
  6. ^ Trixie's Big Red Motorbike/Clive Pig and Lee Valley. That's the End of That/As soon as She's Gone. Nathan Records Cat# NAT 001
  7. ^ Norman and Narcissus/In Timbuktu. Lobby Lud Records. Cat#L100001
  8. ^ Lazell, Barry (1998) Indie Hits 1980–1989, Cherry Red Books, ISBN 0-95172-069-4, p. 238
  9. ^ Feet on the Street. C-Side Records. Cat# C-SIDE 1
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Money Speaks Louder than Words" Sarah Goes Shopping, Crystal Clear Records. Cat# CC1002
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Days are Getting Shorter" The Poconos. Jigsaw Records 1999 Cat# PZL007
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ Honey Magazine January 1983
  18. ^ "A wee chat with Trixie's Big Red Motorbike" Wally's Dog 1984
  19. ^ "wally's Dog" Alvin Smith 1984
  20. ^ Caught in Flux magazine No. 6 Summer 1997
  21. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 10 August 2011. Retrieved 1 August 2011.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  22. ^ Plan B Magazine No. 40 (2008)

External links

Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight (; also referred to informally as The Island or abbreviated to IoW) is a county and the largest and second-most populous island in England. It is in the English Channel, between 2 and 5 miles off the coast of Hampshire, separated by the Solent. The island has resorts that have been holiday destinations since Victorian times, and is known for its mild climate, coastal scenery, and verdant landscape of fields, downland and chines. The island is designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

The island has been home to the poets Swinburne and Tennyson and to Queen Victoria, who built her much-loved summer residence and final home Osborne House at East Cowes. It has a maritime and industrial tradition including boat-building, sail-making, the manufacture of flying boats, the hovercraft, and Britain's space rockets. The island hosts annual music festivals including the Isle of Wight Festival, which in 1970 was the largest rock music event ever held. It has well-conserved wildlife and some of the richest cliffs and quarries for dinosaur fossils in Europe.

The isle was owned by a Norman family until 1293 and was earlier a kingdom in its own right. In common with the Crown dependencies, the British Crown was then represented on the island by the Governor of the Isle of Wight until 1995. The island has played an important part in the defence of the ports of Southampton and Portsmouth, and been near the front-line of conflicts through the ages, including the Spanish Armada and the Battle of Britain. Rural for most of its history, its Victorian fashionability and the growing affordability of holidays led to significant urban development during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Historically part of Hampshire, the island became a separate administrative county in 1890. It continued to share the Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire until 1974, when it was made its own ceremonial county. Apart from a shared police force, there is now no administrative link with Hampshire, although a combined local authority with Portsmouth and Southampton was considered, this is now unlikely to proceed.The quickest public transport link to the mainland is the hovercraft from Ryde to Southsea; three vehicle ferry and two catamaran services cross the Solent to Southampton, Lymington and Portsmouth.

List of indie pop artists

This is a list of indie pop artists who have either been important to the area of music or have had a considerable amount of exposure (such as in the case of one that has been on a major label). This list does not include little-known local bands. Bands are listed by the first letter in their name (not including the words "a", "an", or "the"), and individuals are listed by last name.

Marine Girls

Marine Girls were a post-punk group from Hatfield, Hertfordshire. The group was formed in 1980, by two sixth form school friends: Tracey Thorn and Gina Hartman. Originally, Thorn just played guitar and Hartman was the lead vocalist and percussionist. Thorn overcame her shyness and started singing too by the time they started making records. They were later joined by Jane Fox on bass and her younger sister, Alice, on joint vocals and percussion.

Murray Dalglish

Murray Dalglish is the original drummer for The Jesus and Mary Chain from their formation in early 1984 until November 1984 when he was replaced by Bobby Gillespie. Aged 16 when he joined the band, Dalglish played a two-piece drum kit, which he did whilst standing up; this style would later be carried on in Gillespie's playing. His drumming can be heard on the band's first single "Upside Down", along with its B-side, the Syd Barrett cover "Vegetable Man". He was reportedly kicked out of the band as his father demanded that Dalglish be given more money despite the fact that the band at the time was making little, if any, money at all.Dalglish was drummer for Baby's Got a Gun, Trixie's Big Red Motorbike, The Sux Pastels and The Decay, and as of 2014, he owns a hair salon in East Kilbride.

Sandown Bay Academy

Sandown Bay Academy, formerly Sandown High School, was an academy status secondary school located in Sandown on the Isle of Wight, England. From 2012 to 31 August 2018 it was sponsored by the Academies Enterprise Trust. On 31 August 2018, the academy closed.


Shanklin () is a popular seaside resort and civil parish on the Isle of Wight, England, located on Sandown Bay. Shanklin is the southernmost of three settlements which occupy the bay, and is close to Lake and Sandown. The sandy beach, its Old Village and a wooded ravine, Shanklin Chine, are its main attractions. The esplanade along the beach is occupied by hotels and restaurants for the most part, and is one of the most tourist-oriented parts of the town. The other is the Old Village, at the top of Shanklin Chine.

Together with Lake and Sandown to the north, Shanklin forms a built up area of 21,374 inhabitants (2011).

The White Horses

The White Horses is a 1965 television series co-produced by RTV Ljubljana (now RTV Slovenija) of Yugoslavia and German TV (Südwestfunk).

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.