Jenny McLaren – vocals, guitar
Ricardo Autobahn – synthesizers
The Cuban Boys were, are and will always be an experimental pop group who scored a huge hit in 1999 with “the most requested song since God Save The Queen” on the John Peel Show, ‘Cognoscenti Vs. Intelligentsia’. The Cuban Boys also topped the Festive 50 on two occasions, recorded BBC sessions, and appeared on Top Of The Pops like they were pop stars.
Following the demise of the Cuban Boys, Ricardo Autobahn and Jenny McLaren formed Spray, turning their attentions toward synthpop and releasing 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).
Spray was the secret weapon behind the UK’s 2006 Final at Eurovision for Daz Sampson ‘Teenage Life’, having written and produced it, as well as singing the treated vocals for the track. Ricardo Autobahn and Daz Sampson had already collaborated on their top 10 hit 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.
Spray also recorded a novelty song as the Barndance Boys called ‘Yippie I Oh’, which became a top 30 hit. Under the moniker The Attery Squash, Ric’s track ‘DEVO Was Right About Everything’ ended up being remixed and released by Devo themselves. More recently, Spray recorded music with anarchic BBC star Hacker T. Dog.
Ricardo Autobahn writes music for TV and radio, which can be heard from BBC4 to ITV2 and from Australia to the USA. He also plays keyboards with Welsh punk pop legends Helen Love, also known for their collaboration with Joey Ramone.
Throughout all of this, the duo has continued to record their verbose off-kilter indiedisco synthpop. Spray released their fifth album – a celebration-of-all-things-pop tinged with cynicism, despair and the band’s ironic humour – in 2019 on Analogue Trash, and the sixth will be out in 2021.
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 (31), The Cure (34), Nirvana and The Stone Roses (=tied at 35).
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.