Grace Maxwell was born in Lanarkshire. She moved to London in 1980, where she met Edwyn Collins. Since 1984 she has been his manager and partner. They have one son, Will and now live in Helmsdale, East Sutherland. Edwyn Collins sold his stamp collection at the age of 16 to buy a guitar and never looked back. In the early 80s his band, Orange Juice were the first act on the now legendary Postcard Records label. His wonderful songs, dandy looks and cultured wit made him an idol of the burgeoning indie scene. With Orange Juice and as a solo artist he has released a total of thirteen albums including Gorgeous George, that contained the worldwide hit ‘A Girl Like You’, and most recently Badbea, Edwyn’s first release since moving both home and studio to Helmsdale.
From a career spanning almost 40 years, here’s some of the highs and lows:
In 1980, in Glasgow, formed Postcard Records of Scotland with Alan Horne.
Home of Orange Juice, Aztec Camera, Josef K and the Go-Betweens.
In 1985, after four albums, disbanded Orange Juice and began a solo career.
In 1995, Edwyn’s third solo album, Gorgeous George, spawned his biggest hit record, A Girl Like You. A global smash, indeed.
After 12 years of making and producing records for himself and many other artists in his West Heath Studios in London, in 2005 Edwyn suffered a serious brain haemorrhage which hospitalised him for six months and necessitated a rehabilitation period lasting several years. Alongside language and mobility restrictions, as a result of the loss of use of his right arm, Edwyn could no longer play the guitar as he had.
In 2007, Edwyn completed and released Home Again, a record he was working on when he fell ill.
In 2008, he undertook his first touring dates.
In 2010, Losing Sleep, a new record with a new style of singing and writing, and featuring many musical friends, received the warmest praise from supporters old and new. Edwyn toured the world in support.
In 2013, Understated, the 12th album of his career, appeared.
In 2014, The Possibilities Are Endless, a poetic documentary by young filmmakers Edward Lovelace and James Hall, receives amazing praise and is a surprise success. (Well, to us.)
In 2015 Edwyn quits London and moves permanently to his home in Helmsdale, in the far north-east of Scotland, where he continues construction of a brand new recording studio on a hill behind his home, overlooking the vast Moray Firth.
In 2016, Clashnarrow Studios is open for business and welcomes its first bands and musicians to take inspiration from its glorious setting.
Early 2017 – work begins on a new album at Clashnarrow.
March 2019 sees the release of Badbea, Edwyn’s first studio album in six years, in part inspired by his return to Helmsdale.
Reviews for Badbea:
“Fantastic ninth album sees Orange Juice frontman recalling past glories. Collins’ first album since 2013 sees the singer in pleasingly superb form.” Uncut – 9/10
“The man’s a marvel” Mojo – 4/5
“A record of a very fine sort” Q – 4/5
In May 2019 Edwyn announces the ‘Hide The Biscuits…It’s Edwyn Collins Outside Tour’ in August and September 2019 and releases a new Double A Side Single: It’s All About You/Sometimes Always Never. Both tracks, written and recorded with Sean Read, are taken from the soundtrack of the film Sometimes Always Never which stars Bill Nighy and Sam Riley and is the directorial debut of Carl Hunter, who makes and teaches film in Liverpool and is a long-standing member of The Farm.
Keep on chooglin’.
With in excess of 10,000+ record sales, countless sold out shows nationwide and a 4000 strong Facebook fan base, that includes a man who dresses as a pink poodle, Evil Blizzard have evolved beyond the ‘Four basses and a pig’ stage show.
In 2014, amongst those attending a sold out show in Manchester, was legendary Indie music icon, Mark E Smith of the Fall, who immediately offered to finance their debut album and take them on tour with him. The result of which, being the critically acclaimed ‘The Dangers of Evil Blizzard’.
With word spreading rapidly, Richard McNamara of Multi-Platinum selling Embraced, locked the lads in his Magnetic North studio and produced their follow up album, the haunting and bombastic ‘Everybody Come to Church’. The album went on to sell-out on-line in TWO HOURS! With this, came shows opening for the likes of Public Image Ltd, Killing Joke, Space, Sleaford Mods, Ruts DC, Embrace and Hawkwind. It soon became apparent, that no musical genre was immune from their infectious live show.
With the band now in full flow, Classic Rock Magazine went on to describe ‘Everybody Come to Church’ as ‘THRUMMING WITH DYSTOPIAN MENACE AND MADNESS’. A very accurate description indeed.
From the album came the anthems ‘Sacrifice’ and ‘Are you Evil?’, the latter being lauded by Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue as his ‘Single of the Month’ on his globally acclaimed Sixx Sense show in August 2015.
2016 and the band took most of the year off for a well earned break.
2017 began with a sold out show at the Underworld in Camden, followed by Blizzard opening for Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow at the Stone Free Festival at London’s O2 Arena. Not to rest on their laurels, it was time to write another album.
2018 arrived and it saw their ranks swelled by the addition of former Hawkwind singer and virtuoso Mr. Dibs. Prior to the release of ‘The Worst show on Earth’, the video single for ‘Hello’ was premiered on KERRANG!’s You Tube channel and promptly smashed through 40k views in two hours. Praised as ‘Album of the Year’ by Louder Than War magazine, the album sold out on-line and in record shops virtually overnight. Throughout the remainder of the year Evil Blizzard took their thunderous live event ‘The Worst Tour on Earth’ careering across the UK with sold out shows in Glasgow, London 100 Club, Leeds Brudenell, Preston, Birmingham and Manchester Academy.
In April 2019, alongside the release of their double live album ‘Vile Live Evil’ Evil Blizzard played their most ambitious show to date – a Sold out homecoming show at The Guildhall, Preston. A massive achievement for the masked powerhouse and a childhood dream fulfilled.