WORK IN PROGRESS!
January 10th 1987
Working in Our Price gave me a chance to listen to records by bands I had read about but never heard. ‘Growing Up Absurd’ by The Brilliant Corners was one such record. A classic piece of ’80s indie guitar music. The band were from Bristol, I got their address and I wrote to Davey the lead singer. That was how I booked lots of the early gigs, by writing letters or somehow getting ‘phone numbers and calling people at home.
Working in Our Price, also meant Danny I pushed their ‘What’s In A Word’ album pretty hard, including giving fliers for the gig to everyone who bought a copy.
Here they are having a drink in the bar before they played. They were pretty confused that so many people had come to see them and couldn’t quite believe the crowd was really for them!
Here they are on stage. Whisps of smoke in the air, you were still allowed to smoke at gigs.
Tim Paton took this picture. I think Guy Van Steene took the ones above.
I recently got sent these two picture by Pat Doherty who worked on the Buzz Club nights at the West End Centre. A lovely colour shot plus Kevin, the Bluetrain drummer, back stage (we supported The Brilliant Corners that night).
22nd February 1987
We’d been getting radio plays in France, so played live in Tours in Mid-France – a gig organised by JD Beauvallet who now edits the France music magazine ‘Les Inrocks’ (and promoted It’s Jo and Danny in Paris in 2000).
Live at The Forum in Tours.
Champagne backstage afterwards!
We put The Brilliant Corners on at Camberley Football Club – this is them on stage there. It was packed! We supported them and they asked me if I’d do the backing vocals on their new single, ’Brian Rix’, which I did. We recorded it at Battery Studios in London (where The Stone Roses would later record their debut album).
Here’s Danny and Kev on stage at Camberley Football Club.
The West End Centre in January 1987.
Rudy in the studio.
About six months after Kevin Moorey had joined on drums, we changed the name from Go! Service to Bluetrain, and recorded a new 12″ single, again for Dan Treacy’s Dreamworld Records.
We recorded 4 tracks, with ‘Land of Gold’ and ‘Wheels Go Round’ (one of Rudy’s songs, which he sings and also plays saxophone on) on side 1. ’Parade’ (with Jon from The June Brides on trumpet) and my first instrumental, ’Because of the Dollars’, on side 2. 3/4 of our later psych/prog instrumental group, The Yellow Moon Band are gathered here – myself, Danny and Rudy.
We were lucky enough to also make a video as Dan Treacy knew a film student, Daniel Weinstein, who wanted to film a band. We filmed it in the London Docklands in 1987. The area is being knocked down all around us, to make way for the skyscrapers and Canary Wharf.
Phil King who at the time was in C-86 band, The Servants (and has since been in Felt, The Jesus and Mary Chain and Lush) recently sent me these magnificent photos taken at the video shoot by Sandy Flemming.
Here’s Phil sitting with Rudy’s Rickenbacker guitar while director Daniel Weinstein and the camera man organising a shot.
Here’s Dan sitting with The Servants. I thought that band looked so cool, all in thier black polo necks -even when just hanging out together!
Dan Treacy was a real inspiration to us. We started The Buzz Club after we had played at Dan’s club, The Room At The Top in Chalk Farm, in North London, on numerous occasions. We decided to start putting bands on ourselves in Surrey and then Hampshire. This gave us some of the knowledge we needed to start the Green Man Festival a few years down the line. Dan was a real maverick. His labels, Whaam! and then Dreamworld were both wonderful. The Mighty Lemon Drops and 1,000 Violins were label-mates and we often played gigs together. Dan’s hand-drawn fliers are now a classic example of indie d.i.y. art. At the gig below, where Bluetrain supported The Soup Dragons in Brixton, Dan had also organised films and a light show. It made the night feel more like a ‘happening’ then just a simple gig.
Dan was also the main man in the T.V. Personalities, who we had supported on tour around Europe as Go! Service. We realised that you could be in a band and also promote gigs. Dan wrote the sleeve notes to the debut It’s Jo and Danny album, ’Lank Haired Girl To Bearded Boy’ in 1999 and MGMT wrote ‘Song For Dan Treacy’ about him in 2010.
Here are some more shots of the video shoot.
Rudy, Kevin and myself
Danny being filmed.
The crew working.
The actor who played the lead and a couple of the crew.
I think this is what that area looks like now!
Anyway, here’s the end result, ’Land of Gold’ was released on Dreamworld Records in 1987.https://www.youtube.com/embed/7nkEUIDoQgk?version=3&rel=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&fs=1&hl=en&autohide=2&wmode=transparent
The single gathered some reviews and bits of press.
A poster designed by Nick Pyne
Various Bluetrain photos and fliers….
Rudy decided to leave the band at this point and head off around Europe busking. His last Bluetrain gig was supporting The Bodines in Western Super-Mare. Our musical paths would cross again a few years later though.
So, we were on the look out for a new guitarist.
He came in the form of a Californian living in London, one Mark ‘Frank’ Nemetz.
Mark would get the coach down from Hammersmith to Camberley to rehearse. We were still living in Surrey and I was lucky enough to be at my parent’s house in Frimley Green, where we were able to rehearse and Mark could stay over. My Mum ran a large nursery school from the house and we were a big family, so the vibe was always fantastic there.
We had a photoshoot on the roof…
and in the garden….
Like Rudy, Mark played a Rickenbacker guitar. He also used a classic Vox AC30 amp.
We played at The Buzz Club (of course).
We supported The Mighty Lemon Drops at Guildford University.
We played the Glastonbury Festival in 1987. Rodney Allen (who had played The Buzz Club a few times) was booking bands to play the Cinema Tent and we were asked to play. We had a wild weekend! Just about made our slot on time – running backwards and forwards through the mud to get our gear set up. I’m fairly sure Kev played the set with his muddy wellies on!
We toured Scotland, supporting The Pastels in Edinburgh. No pics of that i’m afraid. I think these are mainly of Dundee. We certainly had a good time!
We had French TV come along to a gig we played with label-mates, 1,000 Violins at The Green Man pub on the Edgware Road. (Don’t know if the pub name help to inspire our festival name!).
We put out an appeal to get people to come along to the gig, via the Adrian Creek column in the Camberley News – which is also writing about 1,000 Violins playing The Buzz Club.
Here from that night is ’Some Greater Love’ – unfortunately Danny is hidden behind the PA speakers!
So….here’s where Mark, without a visa had to head home to California.