The last few days of 1990 – a loft flat in Bournemouth – with a four track recorder, guitar and drum machine, a handful of half-written songs and a passion to play music. This was pretty much how Secret Shine began. Jamie and Scott recorded a hollow sounding 3-song demo and without any real hope popped a tape in the post addressed to Sarah Records in Bristol.
We forgot about it for a while until we went back to Bristol for Christmas. We’d put Jamie’s parents address on the demo and when we arrived back we came across a small hand-written envelope. The letter inside was from Matt and Clare at Sarah Records and just said something like we really love the demo, we’d like to record a single!. We didn’t have to read any more before jumping around Jamie1s parent’s garden in a state of euphoria. We had long been fans of everything Sarah since the release of Pristine Christine by the Sea Urchins in 1987.
About two months after that letter we drove up to Matt and Clare’s flat with nervous tummies. With a couple of guitars and a drum machine in the back of the car we followed them to Weston-Super-Mare (about 20 miles outside Bristol) to the studio where we recorded our first single “After Years” (Sarah 53). Secret Shine was still just Scott who played all the instruments and Jamie who sang. It was such an intense, tiring two days working with a fussy sound engineer called Martin who insisted on absolute perfection. We weren’t used to this and, as a result, came away with a very soulless single. Nevertheless it was still a special day when our first ever Sarah release appeared in the shops.
The early Secret Shine sound didn’t really reflect what we wanted to do with the band. Jamie and Scott loved the emerging “shoegazing” sound of the late eighties, early nineties and were intrigued by bands like the Cocteau Twins, Jesus and Mary Chain….............. and My Bloody Valentine. It was only a matter of time before this influence started to seep into the new demos. It was also decided at this time that we needed more band members.