1. Shake the World Awake Spray 3:28

Founded in 2001, Spray is comprised of Ricardo Autobahn (synthesizers) and Jenny McLaren (vocals, guitars), both formerly of the Cuban Boys, who took their chaotic technopunk to number 1 on the Festive 50 (twice), recorded one of the best Peel Sessions ever and went head-to-head with Sir Cliff Richard in a Christmas Chart Battle. Their hit single Cognoscenti Vs Intelligentsia (a.k.a. The Hamster Dance Song) sold a million copies, reached number 4 in the UK single charts, landed them on Top of the Pops and, in the words of John Peel, was “the most requested song I’ve had since God Save The Queen”.

In a mathematically constructed list presented by RockListMusic.co.uk, the Cuban Boys registered as the 30th most popular band in the history of the John Peel Show, ranking ahead of the Inspiral Carpets, The Cure, Nirvana and The Stone Roses. BBC producer Mike Engles selected the Cuban Boys’ first Peel Session as one of his top 10 all-time favourites, alongside Nirvana, The Damned and Ivor Cutler.

Following their transition to a more electro sound as Spray, the duo released their debut album Living In Neon in 2002 on U.S. indie label Ninthwave Media. This was followed by Children Of A Laser God in 2006, which included their smash cover of Lisa Lougheed’s Run With Us (also The Raccoons theme song). After a hiatus Spray’s fourth album Enforced Fun was released in 2016 on cult dance label Banoffeesound.

Behind the scenes Spray were the secret weapon behind the UK’s 2006 Eurovision hit Teenage Life, having written and produced it with their friend Daz Sampson, as well as singing the treated vocals for the track. Ricardo Autobahn and Sampson would also collaborate on a dance version of Rhinestone Cowboy under the name Rikki and Daz, recording it with the legendary Glen Campbell himself and filming its expensive video in the Arizona desert. This track also went top 10. More recently Spray recorded music with anarchic BBC star Hacker T. Dog, and Ricardo also plays keyboards with Welsh punk pop legends Helen Love.

In 2019 Spray released their first album with AnalogueTrash and live performances continued – having been a studio-based outfit for many years this began a new phase with classics from Spray’s catalogue, some of their bona-fide chart hits, and some surprises getting outings at their shows.

Following the pandemic, the twosome triumphantly returned to the live stage in August, not only with a great homecoming comeback show in Liverpool but Jenny rocked out with St Lucifer, and Ric also returned to punk rock playing keys with Helen Love.

2020 saw a lot of bored artists streaming their content online, and Spray were no exception – with live performances from their respective homes and the launch of Spray Social Mondays. These ad hoc video diaries, usually less than two and a half minutes to fit on Twitter, kept the nation informed on Spray’s activities, history, skills and has made their mother an internet sensation.

Featured image by Phil Fletcher

SOURCE: Official Bio