Formed in Sydney (Australia) at the end of 1978, XL Capris soon acquired a healthy following on the punk/alternative circuit when they formed their own Axle Records and released two singles, including Red Bikini Runaway, about 18-year old Lillian Gasinskaya – a young Ukrainian woman who was briefly famous in 1979 when, seeking asylum, she jumped from a Russian cruise ship in Sydney Harbour wearing only a red bikini – and an album (Where Is Hank?) in 1980.
The songs on the album were mainly written by guitarist Tim Gooding, featuring simple instrumentation, sparse production and the plaintive vocals of Johanna Pigott (who also played bass), singing lyrics that were very Sydney-oriented.
Joining drummer Julie Anderson (aka Nancy Serapax), former Dragon bassist Todd Hunter boosted the lineup and a second album was recorded.
Weeds (1981) featured many Pigott/Hunter compositions, providing a fuller, more polished sound.
The band employed a second drummer, Michael Farmer – an unusual move which did not enhance the material and the band broke up shortly afterwards, at the end of 1981.
Original drummer Julie Anderson married Dave Fenton, the frontman for UK band The Vapors, and guitarist Kimble Rendall was a founder member of The Hoodoo Gurus and married TV music host Basia Bonkowski in 1984.
Tim Gooding and Johanna Pigott worked together creating the successful 1984 Australian TV series Sweet and Sour which chronicled the activities of a fictional Sydney band.
The XL Capris single My City of Sydney (1979) was the only Australian disc found in legendary DJ John Peel‘s battered wooden box – containing his 142 favourite records – following his death in 2004. The contents of the box were revealed to the public in a Channel 4 television special.
Guitar, keyboards, vocals