Just remembered how important the first four Cocteau Twins albums were to me and my tiny cohort of Barrovian Goths at the age of 16. Treasure especially, inevitably. What a world they promised was waiting out there for us. What (rococo) palaces, what pleasure domes, what spiralling ecstasies and transports. Listening back for the first time in literally decades I can hear now how influenced they were by the Durruti Column and The Banshees and Felt (though I suppose they were effective contempories) in a way I had no idea of at the time.
I heard Felt a lot at the time too and never got into them though they were oddly admired by people who were into stuff like SPK, Coil, Psychic TV. They did have a sort of pale, bedsit occult, Crowleyish quality too, sickly and febrile, with hints of decadence and inner-questing, I guess. Forever Breathes the Lonely World, all that. And the guitarist was a bit of an experimentalist and tortured seeker who left to do the full instrumental visionary stuff wasn't he? I don't really recall them being an Indy-kid band. Definite goth outliers at the time. More like the Comsat Angels in a sort goth/post punk/industrial crossover zone than anything on or out of C86. More Velvets than the Byrds in their sound, or rather more of the esoteric and ritual elements of Velvet Underground and Nico rather than the open hearted and wide eyed stuff on The Velvet Underground.
I should give them another go. Only one I really like is Primitive Painters, coz of Liz.
update: The Only Ones where in this mini crossover zone too. Of course this was a time when people generally weren't eclectic but had fairly thick lines around there aesthetics and affiliations so there was an overarching sense of the Magikal intruding into The Only Ones, Felt, The Comsats, who else? Maybe early Bunnymen? Sonic Youth up to EVOL. Weren't Starpower and Godstar out the same year?