Friday, November 03, 2006

The Sweet Alternative...

...was Irma Cetas, also known as Melanie Harrold and Joanna Carlin. As Irma she sang with the Hank Wangford Band, but before that she'd been with an early incarnaton of the Albion Band and before that made two solo albums - one as Mel and one as Joanna.

When The Albion Band came off their tour (this would be about 1977?), Mel was going to put a band together and was looking for a bass player. Barry Dransfield, who I knew quite well and was also in that Albions lineup, arranged for me to go round to her flat to audition but by the time I got there I think her regular bass player had returned and been offered the gig.

She gave me a copy of each of her solo albums and I unblocked her sink before I left.

Both these albums are nice, each has some outstanding tracks and some filler. She had - and still has as far as I know - a great voice.

Joanna Carlin - Fancy That

Dancing In The Dark
Laziest Gal In Town
Anyway My Guru Says No
The Hearse
I Want Some Sugar In My Bowl
So Close
I Wanna Roo You
There's Something In The Way He Moves
The First Time

Melanie Harrold - Blue Angel

I Live In The City
Blue Angel
Beautiful And Damned
Picture On My Wall
Trade Winds
Hard Luck Stories
Simply I Love You
What Are Friends For


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't thank you enough for putting the Melanie Harrold/Joanna Carlin stuff on the site. I'm a member of an amateur singing group Melanie runs at the Horniman Museum in Forest Hill, south London. She still has a stunning voice and is an enthusiastic teacher. Our next (free) concert is in April 2007, if you're interested... Plus I grew up in the same Northumberland village as Helen from Helen and the Horns, where her dad was a GP!

Martin Rice

10:18 am  
Blogger neoGurb said...


The file in rapidshare is deleted. Can you reactivate it?

I have searched the disk of Joanna Carlin years and years...


(I apologize my very bad english)

10:09 pm  
Anonymous An IrmaSexual said...

Seconded - the file is deleted. I'd love to hear some of Irma Cetas other stuff. Any chance?

9:37 pm  
Blogger Witchseason said...

I have recently re-upped both Mel's albums - see


8:49 am  
Blogger neoGurb said...

Thanks, thanks.


11:36 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

please, please, please..!
any chance the jocarlin file can be found anywhere else now this site is out of date..?
been lokking for some time, my vynl got destroyed, :(


4:33 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks very much for posting all the stuff. I never thought I would see the day that I found someone who liked Melanie Harrold AND Sore Throat.
In fact thinking about it, I struggle to find anyone who likes MH alone, but the whole world is wrong and I am right, surely? jw

12:40 pm  
Anonymous middleman said...

My Boss Steve has I think been searching for Joanna Carlin / Fancy That for about 20 years on and off. apparently so the tail goes he saw Joanna Carlin play live in some Jazz Club in Birmingham late 70's, was blow away by her voice and command of the audience and bought LP as a result , he then went to work in Australia left the LP with a good friend and took a cassette tape of the Album to Aus. The Cassette copy went the way of all TDK's ( screwed up and muffled!), Years Later back in the UK found out his friend had married and tragicaly passed away, and now suffered the quandry :- how do you get your records back now? Do you bang on the door and confront a bereaved partner who's never met you about an obscure LP from the 70's.
needless to say other means were adopted, 2nd hand record shops, when his kids became computer literate they were tasked with the now legendary search for Joanna and when I started work for him his muse was mentioned to me . I mentioned 'GEMM ' and this search prayed on my prowess for tracking down the obscure and to find out what was the fuss wa about ! I found a Single 'I live in the City ' amongst 100's of links to George Carlin, then knowing that there was some trail to follow trawled through pages of search engines eventually leading to your blog site. So endeth a 20year quest. not my type of artist normally I have listened to both Albums and I wonder if they were released again they would find favour Eva Cassidy like. My favourite woiuld be Trade Winds. So thanks from myself, as I was able to do a favour that led me to this wonderful site! Steve is reunited with joanna Carlin after a 20 year oddessey

11:11 pm  
Blogger horationelson said...

I'm lucky enough to have both Fancy That and Blue Angel on immaculate pieces of vinyl. I was listening to the former today for the first time in a decade and it's even better than I remembered. I won't be leaving it this long again. How this lady never got to be a superstar, I'm damned if I know. She had it all.

3:18 pm  
Blogger horationelson said...

I'm lucky enough to have both Fancy That and Blue Angel on immaculate vinyl, having acquired them 30-odd years ago through friends at her record company. I listened to the former today for the first time in a decade and it's still brilliant. How she never became a superstar, I'm damned if I know. She had it all. Is she still at the Forest Hill museum?

3:24 pm  
Anonymous Richard Guelbert said...

Please put the Joanna Carling stuff back, I, ve been looking for it a long time, and dearly miss her voice

7:34 pm  
Blogger Witchseason said...

I have re-upped these - see

9:35 pm  
Blogger Kate - ee said...

Hello - i have a copy of 'Fancy That' that is a cd reprint of a cd direct of the original album. If anyone would like a copy am happy to do so if you do p&p - address is
Such a fabulous album it needs to be out there !!


3:34 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any chance of putting the Melanie Harrold albums up again. I used to go to the Pegasus most weekends to see Melanie (Irma Cetas) with Hank Wangford. Happy days.

3:48 pm  
Anonymous Phil H said...

I have the very album of which so many of you speak - Fancy That. It is on Vinyl, purchased almost thirty years ago when she did a gig at the now defunct Cherry Trees motel (long since flattened and replaced by some soulless corporate B&B like Travellodge) in Alcester in Warwickshire
The album is signed with a personal dedication. I like the album, but my health has deteriorated to the point that I now consider what should happen to my posessions when that dude with the scythe comes calling. I would prefer it went to live with someone who will appreciate it rather than be turned into a retro seventies flower pot by someone with a twisted sense of style and a blowtorch.
I am open to *sensible and realistic* offers at

2:24 am  
Blogger Lea said...

oh thankyou so much.i have been looking for this for years. such a good album. L SHAW .UK

10:55 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My parents used to run the Cherry Trees folk club - it was called Gentlefolk (very 60s-70s!) - and I remember going to see Mel/Joanna there and loving her, too. I was very young, but absolutely fell in love with Valentino off my mum's album. I am now a singer-songwriter myself, and have been looking for a copy to remind myself of the words etc so that I can sing Valentino as a cover - thanks so much for this!
If anyone is interested in hearing my songs, go to
Happy music sharing xx

12:27 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting reading in the above – if I could add to it...
By chance I meet Joanna Carlin after travelling from Scotland to London for the England v Scotland match in 1977. Her car had just run out of petrol. It was very late at night and not the best area so my friend and I pushed her car to a nearby petrol station and in return she gave me a lift to where I was staying. The car (would it have been a Morris minor) was full of 45s and she personally autographed two which I still have to this day. Valentino/Anyway My Guru Says No. I feel the turntable will be out of the loft this weekend. Hope she is well ? she was a very happy person. I wonder if she remembers her Scottish knight in shining armor.

4:21 pm  
Blogger John L. Evans said...

Hello - I know this has lain dormant for a long time, however, just to prove that the www preserves our thoughts....

I have successfully downloaded the Jocarlin zip from Rapid share, but they seem to have deleted the MelHarold zip - any chance of getting a copy somehow? I have both albums on vinyl, but they are very scratched and the quality poor.

I first met Mel in 1977 when she played the Boggery at her home town Solihiull - it was just at the time when she decided to drop the nom de plume and revert to her own name again - the album I bought from her that night features the name on the front crossed out and her real name written in - by her!!

Loved her - would be fantastic to know she's well?

Cheers John
07957 190186

John L. Evans

3:26 pm  
Blogger RockRequester said...

Hi, Joanna Carlin's Fancy That LP will be the Featured Album Of The Week on The Rock Request Show on 6 Towns Radio (, Tuesday night 7-9pm 20/09/11.

10:07 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Melanie Harrold a.k.a. Joanna Carlin's complete 70s Albums (Fancy That and Blue Angel) are now available on CD on the Acrobat Music label.

9:34 am  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home