Welcome if you’ve just joined us!

Greetings one and all. You’re probably here either because you really like the Lightning Seeds or you’re fed up with me spamming your social media feeds

Back in 1999 I started up what was then the Sugar Coated Lightning Seeds Website at http://www.lightning-seeds.co.uk – I kept it going for about twelve years and changed the name to The Works of Ian Broudie. Then I fell out with my domain provider, the website ceased to be and then I fell out with the internet in general.

My main passion musically has always been the Lightning Seeds. They got me out of some sticky situations when I was a teenager, and provided the soundtrack to my years growing up. Now they provide the soundtrack to my car stereo. So I couldn’t just let the website be, I needed to do something. As I already had a blog (of dubious quality), the best thing to do would create a Lightning Seeds blog alongside. So here it is – the aim of it is to focus on what has gone before, hence the name Lightning Seeds Archives. The discographies are currently under construction (albums can be found on the top menu bar), and have added Cloudcuckooland, Sense and Jollification this evening. Rarities that I own (too many to mention here) will be catalogued and I will be reintroducing Rarity of the Month – a feature I used to do on my website. Photos, interviews, reviews and more will be coming. So have a nose around and be prepared to be underwhelmed 😉

If you have anything you’d like to submit, be it a photo, an article or even your own musings, let me know.


Ian Broudie interview – Mojo 1996

Interview with Ian Broudie from Mojo, 1996.

How much is prepared before you go in the studio?

All I have us “La la la de lah” and some chord changes. That’s it. I deliberately blur the writing process into the recording process because I work best when I’m responding instinctively to the situation.

You seem to operate with your own little rep company.

Definitely true. I have a bunch of people, like Dave Bascombe, Simon Rogers and Terry Hall, who are not the group as such but it’s a mega thing to have people around that you can trust. On top of that I’ve used Martyn Campbell and Chris Sharrock, the bassist and the drummer from the touring album, on this album.

So this is more a group effort than Jollification?

It’s a group album but it’s two groups. Some tracks have parts played by the live band, with other sections featuring maybe me, Simon and Dave. A song might start off based round a tape loop, the go live, then back to the loop and so on. And we all swapped jobs, so there was no division either side of the studio window. Anybody could play and anybody could work the board.

What about guest players?

I almost never use session men. I prefer to get in my mates or people I happen to have bumped into.

How do you know when a song is finished?

I’m totally disorganised in the studio but, generally, something happens in the process which is very hard to explain. I wobble my way to the final version. A great idea happens that sets the song alight and I just know I’ve got it. I know that song has become a definite. Meanwhile this other one could be fantastic, but the something hasn’t happened yet.

Why did it take so long for you to succeed as an artist?

In the ’80s, I was a bit of an idiot. I came to London with Big In Japan and I thought these people here knew better than me and what I should be doing. In fact, the recording industry had been reduced to a set of rules. Studio engineers were all yuppies with electronic diaries. There was nothing emotional or musical about what they did, and because I trusted them, I lost faith in myself.

How much of what you do is craft and how much inspiration?

Well, sometimes I think craft is inspiration. I’m comfy in the studio and that’s a thing about music at the moment. At the start of the ’90s, we had a lot of bands that were great live but couldn’t do it in the studio. Now we have bands who make great records. I dipped my toe in the water with the first Lightning Seeds album and it’s been a gradual process since then. Now I’ve finally got the job I wanted.

What kind of producer are you?

The great thing about being a produce is that there’s no rule about what the job is. Sometimes all you have to do is go out and get beers, make sure everybody feels OK, and let the band get on with it. Sleeper was like that. They have a thing that they do really well, so you let them do it. Dodgy was the other extreme. They have so many things they can do that we knocked the songs about relentlessly and tried lots of things before we got a result.

Can you be objective about producing yourself?

For Lightning Seeds, Dave and Simon are definitely co-producers, but I’d find it hard to be Ronnie Spector and just let Phil control it because I’m pretty good at knowing how a song could sound. I think Dave and Simon tend to let me get on with it and then guide me when they think I’ve got wrong.

In the long run, will Three Lions be a blessing or a curse?

It could be a platinum millstone, but I can’t knock it. It was like Jim’ll Fix It all summer, going to the matches and meeting the teams.

Were you really born in Penny Lane?

Yeah. Funny that, because I saw it in Record Collector and I said to my wife “Look, they’ve made this up”. Later I mentioned it to my dad and he said it was true. I was born in the maternity hospital in Penny Lane, but we’d just never talked about it before.

An Interview with Johnny Black from Mojo Magazine

Pure Lightning Seeds – Mojo Magazine review

Pure Lightning Seeds

Ian Broudie is proof positive that if you’ve got it, and you keep using it, eventually you’ll get somewhere. Paying dues in Big In Japan and Care, he found acclaim as a producer (The Fall, Echo & The Bunnymen etc), formed the Lightning Seeds as a one-man-in-a-studio project in 1989, and set about proving that he had a pop sensibility far more refined than any of his previous collaborators. Culled from his first two Virgin albums, these 18 bites of spiced candyfloss pre-date, but are in no way inferior to, his later chart successes. Buy without fear.

From Mojo Magazine

Jollification – Q Review 1994

The third instalment of Ian Broudie’s five-year plan to reshape pop music is every bit as strong as both predecessors Cloudcuckooland and Sense. His softly spoken pop vignettes have stealthily lockpicked the oak-panelled doors of mainstream acceptance and it can only be a matter of time before Broudie is swapping dressing rooms with Marti Pellow. The bespectacled Scouser, a rare hybrid of Neil Tennant and early John Lennon, has hit upon a blindingly attractive pop formula which is predicated upon instantly accessible, priceless melodies which run through the album like a crystalline watermark. Any of these 10 songs would lord it imperiously atop the singles pile but the pick of a fine bunch are Perfect’s intensely addictive pop tune, My Best Day’s hopscotch beat and tender vocal and closing songs Punch & Judy and Telling Tales with their combination of incongruous hip-hop beats, moptopped vocals and spectral piano.

Q Magazine – Rating: 4 out of 5

Sense Review – Q Magazine 1992

Best known for the Pure hit of 1989, Lightning Seeds is effectively bespectacled Liverpudlian producer Ian Broudie, once of Care, makers of the luscious Flaming Sword. Sense follows the moderately familiar format of Broudie’s plaintive voice set against effortlessly memorable tunes. It’s a simple formula and it works well, conjuring up visions of a more homely The Monkees or less self-conscious Pet Shop Boys along the way. Ex-Special Terry Hall co-writes a trio of tunes, notably the irresistible A Small Slice Of Heaven and one-time Icicle Work Ian McNabb co-writes Happy, where Neil Young meets Wet Wet Wet. The result is occasionally almost too melody-laden for its own good but set amongst the grunge of the new guitar groups and dance’s missing tunes, the pure pop of Sense is a distinctly desirable alternative.

Q Magazine – Rating: 4 out of 5

Cloudcuckooland Review – Q Magazine 1990

The Lightning Seeds are not, as you might imagine, an obscure American garage band from Buttclench, Indiana, but the pop brainchild of Scouse wunderkind Ian Broudie (he of the almost legendary Liverpool groups Care and Original Mirrors). Possibly better known for his production work with Wah!, Echo And The Bunnymen and lcicle Works, Broudie’s first solo LP is an understated affair packed full of gentle semi-precious pop songs. Echoing the plaintive and highly unfashionable tones of bedsit balladeer Al Stewart, Broudie’s voice wafts angelically through the LP, counterpointed by a collection of neat and massively hummable songs, sometimes reminiscent of New Order’s surefire melodic touch. Aside from the energised percussive blast of Love Explosion, the delicately textured love song Joy and the effervescent pop of Pure, the finest cut is the beautiful and quietly despairing ballad Bound In A Nutshell, which mourns the disenfranchised and put-upon city of Liverpool, yearning for its regeneration through a breath of life to make our engines roar.

Q Magazine – Rating: 3 out of 5

Cloudcuckooland Review, Feb 1990

Paul Davies, Q, Feb 1990.
From the book “Encyclopedia of Albums”.

Liverpudlian Ian Broudie had been at the centre of Merseyside music for a decade, firstly as guitarist and songwriter with Big In Japan and later of Echo and the Bunneymen before this, his first “solo” album albeit under a group name. It emerged on the Ghetto label before being picked up by Virgin and was released by MCA in the States.

“Broudie’s voice drifts angelically through the LP counterpointed by a collection of neat and massively humable songs…the finest cut is the beautiful and quietly despairing ballad Bound In A Nutshell, which mourns the disenfranchised and put-upon city of Liverpool…”