Bluetrain ‘Some Greater Love’

I’m delighted with this compilation album, by my bands Go! Service and Bluetrain which came out on vinyl last Monday, 16th November 2020. Released by Firestation Records in Berlin, there is soon to be a cd version coming out in Japan.

These are my sleeve notes on the artwork –

When I was 17, my band Go! Service, recorded a couple of songs in a small London studio. The songs were ‘Too Much To Hide’ and ‘Find Another Way’. We heard Dan Treacy from The Television Personalities was looking for bands for his Whaam! label so put a cassette tape in a padded envelope and sent it to the address we had for him. About two weeks later he phoned me (still living with my parents) and said how much he liked the tape and that he’d love to put a 12” out by us. It took a while for the 12” to actually get released as Dan had to change the name of his label from Whaam! (George Michael wasn’t happy) to Dreamworld (using the money George Michael gave him). While we waited, Dan invited us to support The TVPs on their European tour. September 1984. Rudy had his 17th birthday on tour and I was 18 by now. Exciting times. When we got back we recorded the tracks that made the ‘It Makes Me Realise’ e.p. and this was our first release. A few months after that, we got a new drummer and changed our name to Bluetrain. We recorded the ‘Land of Gold’ e.p., which also came out on Dreamworld. We shot a video with some film students in London’s docklands and played countless times at Dan and Emily’s Room at the Top club in Chalk Farm. We supported bands including The Pastels, The June Brides and The Mighty Lemon Drops. Bluetrain played Glastonbury in 1987. We had a few line up changes along the way and Danny and I ended up in California for six months in 1988 where we played and recorded for the last time as Bluetrain. The end of a wonderful era!

Translated from German, a review by Andreas Hess:

” The UK in the mid-eighties. The highland guitars had failed to sustainably conquer the charts, the wave of the New Jazz Pop just started rolling. Apart from the major labels, there is an enormously multi-layered scene of interesting guitar bands, which finally gets overstuffed with the release of the C 86 Tape a label that not all bands like. Besides Creation Records, Dreamworld Records was one of the labels that have legendary status today. Originally lifted by Television Personalities founder Dan Treacy for the re-release of the first TVP productions from baptism, some of the heroes of the indie scene gathered there between 1985 and 1988, such as the One Thousand Violins or The Mighty Lemon Drops. The only regular release of Bluetrain appeared on the label, the Land of Gold 12 “. This record has become a classic over the many years. There has been a CD compilation with the single and other material of the band in the zero years, but it’s long out of stock. Now we can be delighted that fellow Firestation Records are presenting a fancy vinyl compilation with Some Greater Love. Bluetrain was created as in the band Go! Service of drummers switched and Kevin Moorey added to the crew consisting of Jo Bartlett, Danny Hagan and Rudy Carroll. He brought the band closer to the Pale Fountains and A Certain Ratio with his musical taste. They also listened to a lot of Blue Note Jazz and named himself in worship of John Coltrane after his album Bluetrain.The album starts with the 3 tracks the band is Go! Service, originally also appeared as 12 ′′ on Dreamworld. Jo Bartlett’s vocals come with an economical but beautiful indie instrumentation and reminds in It makes me realise and Real Life of the sound of the Marine Girls or The Gist.Land of Gold EP’s 4 tracks bring a slightly jazzier sound. Wheels Go Round is a wonderfully breezy number that would also do well on the first Everything But The Girl LP. Land of Gold comes like a sun-drenched female version of a Friends Again Ballad. Well is this heaven or just the state of art? In Parade, Jon Hunter of the June Brides, with which the band has performed several times, performs the trumpet and puts the icing on a very good song. Because of the dollars brings a trail of the nervous white funk that A Certain Ratio also liked to tune into.Some Greater Love has appeared on two tape compilations, the guitars are played in the slightly fired Haircut 100 manner. Decline is then again a classic laid back indie, which is more oriented towards the less bombastic Pale Fountains pieces from their early days. Reason to be might have been a blueprint for Camera Obscura, singer Jo Bartlett also cites Lloyd as one of her essential influences, which can be heard in Twenty Years.A video recorded then captures the spirit of the band and the Zeitgeist quite well, the London Docklands before gentrification.The last two tracks Find Another Way and Too Much To Hide are the oldest shots and have been named Go! Service recorded. They were the ticket to the later single on Dreamworld.Once again a successful release of Firestation Records. Only on vinyl at label direct or note to me. Japan is waiting for the limited release, so better not think too long.”

This is the video we made for ‘Land of Gold’ – the building work going on around us is the London Docklands getting built.

Dan Treacy at the video shoot. (Photo by Sandra Fleming)

And here’s some footage of us on stage as Go! Service, supporting the Television Personalities in Germany, 1984. Rudy, on guitar, turned 17 the night before. I am 18 and Danny and Mike are 21. (I am wearing pale jeans, not shorts!)

I’ll be writing about that European tour in 1984 in more detail soon….

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