An elusive simplicity became the trademark of the Cardiff trio, with Stuart Moxham’s muted guitar riffs and toytown organ, his younger brother Phil’s staccato bass lines and Alison Statton’s measured, haunting vocals.
A vinyl debut with two tracks on Is The War Over? – a self-financed compilation of unsigned Cardiff bands – led to Geoff Travis at Rough Trade releasing the trio’s 1980 LP Colossal Youth.
Recorded in five days – each track took just 20 minutes to mix and the band used a drum machine built by Phil and Stuart’s cousin, Peter Joyce – the album gave Young Marble Giants an indie chart hit.
The band toured America, but they were barely out of their teens and wracked with stage fright. Alison and Phil were also just then breaking up as a couple, while Stuart’s pot habit made him oblivious.
In later years Stuart Moxham’s other profession as an animation painter gave him a credit on the film Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988).