The so long expected album of The Five Year Plan is now out. A co-release between Old Bad Habits label and Breaking Down Recordings. The time has come for this great album to saw the light. All songs recorded between 1984-1985, before C86 explosion and before even Sarah records exists, otherwise they could have been one of the best choices for our beloved label. Here is the story: Tim Rippington and Rob Pursey were teenagers living in the Bristol backwater of Frampton Cotterell who got caught up in the excitement of the late 70s/early 80s independent music revolution. They taught themselves to play their instruments, recruited a few more like minded ‘musical outsiders’ and, after a name change or two, formed The Five Year Plan. In less than a year the band had written and begun to perform enough songs to record an album. They became friends with Martin Whitehead, who was on the verge of creating Subway Records, also in Bristol. He lent them a 4-track on which they recorded some very rough demos, but Martin really liked them and wanted to do more. Convinced they were heading in the right direction, the band went into a proper studio to record the first two songs of what they hoped would be a fruitful relationship. But it wasn’t to be. The band themselves were utterly underwhelmed with the results and refused to play them to anyone else. They told Martin that, sadly, these recordings weren’t worth putting out. They would try again. But then... Time moved on, and so did Subway Records. The music The Five Year Plan were making didn’t quite fit with the new times. Some band members took up college places. Others were obliged to get jobs. They did manage to release two singles eventually, the second of which ‘Hit The Bottle’ was played by John Peel and got some great reviews in the National Press. But then the band split up and went their separate ways. The Five Year Plan’s debut album, all those songs written in a burst of enthusiasm and wonder back in the early part of the 1980s, never materialized. ...cut to 2022. Tim found himself listening to The Five Year Plan’s old demos and live recordings - and thought: this album really should have seen the light of day. These songs were good and they mattered deeply. He contacted Rob (bass), Dave (keyboards) and Katy (vocals) and proposed that the time had come to record them properly. All three agreed.(Phil, the original drummer, had moved to Spain, so his parts were faithfully reproduced by Bristol indie legend Rocker.) ‘It was like opening up an old diary and remembering the person you were thirty-eight years ago’ is how Rob describes the recording process. ‘You change a lot over such a long period of time – but you also stay the same.’ The passion to create emotive, ambitious, atmospheric pop music doesn’t go away. These old songs felt strangely familiar, like longlost friends. The band made the decision to record the songs exactly as they would have played them in 1985. No additional frills, no editing of the lyrics. Just the way they might have sounded with a bit of cash and a decent production from someone who understood their music. The resulting album is a vivid picture of an indie scene in a provincial city where C86 hadn’t yet happened – where the band’s main influences were The Only Ones, The Go-Betweens, The Triffids, The Comsat Angels: all the groups who had started to chart a more ambitious, more intricate way out of the punk cul-de-sac. The Five Year Plan’s lead vocals were always shared by Tim and Katy, creating a wide range of tones – from the robust indiepop of Tense to the gentle melancholy of A Final Scene. On Six Feet Under, the two voices interweave in a kind of blurred duet. On Peacetime Broadcast, Katy’s fragile voice describes a country where the Culture War has been lost and military service has resumed. And on the opening track Wiser Older But Wiser, the young band accidentally wrote a song that would have a personal resonance twenty-eight years later. Older? definitely. Wiser? Maybe not. As Tim says “we were totally naïve young kids from the sticks, who knew nothing of the history of rock and roll, but we were inspired by the amazing new tunes we were hearing every night on John Peel. When I listened back to the old demos of these songs, scratchy 4-track recordings, they somehow still held a wonder for me and I wanted to get them out into the world. I really think we’ve done them justice now and I hope everyone enjoys listening to them after all this time.” A brief description of what happened in the intervening thirty-eight years: Tim Rippington and Rob Pursey, the band’s main songwriters, went on to play in many other bands – and are still playing now. Tim joined The Flatmates for a while, then The Beatnik Filmstars, who toured the USA with the Flaming Lips in 1996 and recorded a number of Peel sessions. He later released new material as The Forest Giants and The Short Stories. He’s currently recording with The Charlie Tipper Rebellion. Tim runs Breaking Down Recordings. Rob, meanwhile, was one of the founder members of Talulah Gosh, didn’t much like it and left after three gigs, but re-convened with Amelia Fletcher and Peter Momtchiloff to form Heavenly, who had a good deal of indie success. Rob and Amelia are now playing and recording as Swansea Sound and The Catenary Wires, as well as running Skep Wax records. Dave Squire created his own band The Long Last Looks and has recorded in Nashville with some of his country heroes. Katy West realized it was possible – and maybe easier – to live a happy life without being in a band at all. Here are The Five Year Plan ladies and gentlemen!