It's a typical grey day in late Autumn Manchester, England, home of such notables as Factory Records and Factory 2, Joy Division, New Order, the Happy Mondays, The Smiths and, latterly and most notably, the Gallaghers and their cronies - Oasis.

Not that any of them have rushed the offices of BMG records to acquaint themselves with this strong, earthy, pretty woman with the long blonde hair and winsome smile who just happens to have done something Oasis have struggled to achieve: crack the US top 10.

In early December, Merril Bainbridge's anthem "Mouth" - the song that resisted all comers atop the Australian charts for six weeks last year - sat proudly and deservedly at No 4 on the Billboard US Top 10. But there's more, much more. "Mouth" was also No 4 on the radio charts, was the most requested song on American radio for three of the previous six weeks, was selling 55,000 copies a week with total sales of more than 600,000 in the US alone and was recently No 1 in Canada. Earlier in the year, "Mouth" also went Top 5 in Japan, Hong Kong and the Philippines.