July – September 1986

The Clock House Roundabout, Farnborough Summer 1986. Thanks to Farnborough (Hants) Nostalgia Facebook page

Danny bought our drummer, Kevin’s Mini 1275GT for £750. It was black had a little sun roof. He bought a new stereo tape player which got nicked after two days when he parked it in the multi storey in Camberley, so he had to buy another one. We decided to drive it to Saint Tropez. I had been the previous summer and loved it, I wanted Danny and my friend Clare P to share in the delights of the South of France with me this time.

We drove to Dover and got the ferry to FranceDanny and I had got a little tent from Millets and Clare had borrowed one from a friend. After driving in France for three hours or so, we decided to camp in the beautiful town of Tours. We got our tents out and started to put them up. Clare laid the canvas of hers on the ground and asked us how it was meant to stand up, ‘where are your poles?’ I asked. ‘Poles? I don’t know, I wasn’t given any?’ she replied. Oh dear. Poor Clare slept the night on the back seat of the mini, the window open with her legs sticking out! She was covered in bites the next morning. Incredibly we were able to find a camp shop where she got some poles and we continued our journey.

The mini started to splutter and we had to pull over and call AA Europe (which we had had the foresight to join before we left). We were patched up and back on our way after a few hours but now delayed on our drive. We climbed through the steep hills, heading further south, the only car on the road in the dead of night. Nervous we would break down again and even more nervous of the road bandits Clare had read about! We arrived in time for breakfast and spent pretty much all our money on coffee and croissants over looking the harbour, delighted and relived to have arrived.

We found a campsite and pitched our tents (Clare now with poles).

We spent a fabulous couple of weeks, walking through the trees to the beach every day, swimming in the sea, eating and drinking at the campsite every night, then falling asleep exhausted from wine, sunshine and laughter.

1 July – Gary Lineker becomes the most expensive British footballer ever in a £2.75 million move from Everton to FC Barcelona.

2 July – 24 hours after Gary Lineker’s transfer, Ian Rush sets a new transfer record for a British footballer when he agrees a £3.2 million move from Liverpool to Juventus of Italy, but is loaned back to Liverpool for a season and will not play his first game for Juventus until at least August 1987.

When we returned I was moved to the Aldershot Our Price. Handy really, as we ran the Buzz Club at the West End Centre in Aldershot. My manager was Adam Huthert.

Adam Huthert

On Sundays there was a tradition for the crowd that drank at The Hero in Bagshot to meet at the Frimley Green Rec and play rounders – here’s a snap captured by Graham ‘Polo’ Mawdesley, including Danny and Rudy with me just visible at the back.

Bluetrain had a photo shoot.

Danny.

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Jo.

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Kevin.

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Rudy.

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24 July – 2 August – The Commonwealth Games are held in Edinburgh.

28 July – Estate agent Suzy Lamplugh vanishes after a meeting in London. She was declared legally dead in 1994, but as of 2020, her body has still not been found and the case remains unsolved to the present day.

Dan Treacy invited us to record a Bluetrain 12″ for Dreamworld Records (we had previously released one as Go! Service). I was thrilled. He recommended a studio, with an engineer called Wilsom Sharp in North London, so we booked ourselves in.

Once again I have turned to Dave Newton from The Mighty Lemon Drops to help with this. I knew that his band had recorded ‘Like An Angel’ there. My only real memories are that when we fluffed a little on the recording, Wilsom would say ‘It’s the human touch’ and encourage us not to re take! The studio was upstairs in a flat and we invited Jon Hunter from The June Brides to play trumpet on our song ‘Parade’.

Dave – ‘So, I’ve been thinking: I believe that there were two diff Electrorhythm‘s. We recorded the Like An Angel EP at the first one Aug 1985, it was on Wightman Rd (directions scribbled in my original 1985 diary, pictured). It was just one room (with a small iso booth) .. the mixing board was in the same room as where the band played. I remember Andy Winters telling me that the next time he went there it had moved, not too far away, and was still small but actually had two rooms.’

Thanks very much to Dave Newton for letting me use these great photos of The Mighty Lemon Drops recording ‘Like An Angel’ with Wilsom Sharp, at the studio we may, or may not have recorded our Bluetrain e.p. for Dreamworld Records.

September – GCSE examination courses replace both GCE ‘O’ Level and CSE courses for 14-year-olds

The first Buzz Club after the summer was a rather special one.

September 6th 1986

I had managed to get hold of main man, Michael Head‘s phone number a few months earlier and would call him regularly, trying to persuade him to come and play The Buzz Club. A lady would usually answer the phone (his Mum?) and call for him. He told me he was thinking of changing the band’s name and wasn’t really into doing any more gigs as The Pale Fountains, eventually he agreed though. Was this the last Pale Fountains gig? If not, certainly one of the last. This is one gig I am very proud to have promoted.

Why have The Pale Fountains if you don’t get your own band to support? Here, from that night, Bluetrain – myself and Rudy, we must have been doing Rudy’s song ‘I Just Don’t Know’ as Kev and Danny have left the stage.

For ages I didn’t have a flier in my collection from this night (I used to hand them all out or get them displayed on local Our Price counters), so this photo was the only evidence I had – see the wall behind me (plus all my gig tickets, now sadly long gone, all around).

And from the same day, Danny. Again, look at all those lovely tickets, fliers and posters on the walls.

In August 2018, Buzz Club regular Philip Hutchinson got in touch. He had loads of live recordings, fliers and photos from various Buzz Clubs which he unearthed for me.

Here’s a signed flier from the night, on the back of the one above.

Best of all – here’s the full gig, recorded on Philip’s Walkman:

For soundcheck recording check here

At the end of September, New Order released their fourth album, ‘Brotherhood’ including this.

Read October – December 1986 here

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