WORK IN PROGRESS!
Intro – C-86 Explained
C-86, for those that don’t know, is the name commonly given to the start of what is now called ‘indie’. One of the N.M.E.’s series of compilation-tapes, C-86 was compiled by NME writers Roy Carr, Neil Taylor and Adrian Thrills. They licensed tracks from labels like Creation, Subway and Dan Treacy’s Dreamworld Records. The ‘C-86’ name was so influential it is now used as a term to cover that early indie sound. Although I wasn’t on the original tape, I was very much part of that scene. My bands Go! Service and Bluetrain released 12″ singles on Dreamworld Records.
Dreamworld Records – Go! Service and Bluetrain 1983 – 1988
I had been in my first band aged 14, singing and playing bass in The Essential Extras. We played a couple of gigs and I knew I would always be in a band. Here’s our demo, Rudy on guitar aged 12 and Kieran on drums is 17. It makes me smile to hear it.
It started properly for me in 1983, with The Service. Myself on guitar and vocals, Danny Hagan on bass, Dom ‘Rudy’ Carroll on guitar and vocals and Mick ‘Hi Hat’ Highgate on drums.
We practised at my parents house in Frimley Green in Surrey and borrowed my Mum’s nursery school mini-bus to play gigs.
We recorded a couple of songs and sent them off to various pubs, clubs and independent record labels.
This is me on stage at Fleet Country Club in 1983 when I was 17.
We sent one of the tapes to Dan Treacy at Whaam! Records. Our drummer had heard that they were signing bands. Here’s a little flavour how how we sounded….
Dan Treacy phoned up a few weeks later saying he loved our music and wanted to put as 12″ out by us.
We had a line-up change – Mick Highgate was replaced by Mick Auton on drums and we started to sound better. We had some photos taken by Tim Paton.
(Danny Hagan, Jo Bartlett, Mike Auton and Rudy Carroll)
We played our debut gig as Go! Service at Dingwalls in Camden, Summer 1984.
We went into a studio just off the King’s Road in Chelsea and recorded a couple of tracks.
Before even seeing us play live, Dan invited us to support his band, The Television Personalities round Europe in September 1984. We are off the scale excited.
‘The Camberley News’ weekly pop column was written by Adrian Creek.
Here are the tour dates –
We travelled to Germany and met up at the house of Matthias, the guitarist from the other support band, Fenton Wells. It was a misty, fresh day. He lived in the mountains, in the town of Altena, North Rhine-Westphalia, next to the town of Nachrodt-Wiblingwerde, where Thomas Zimmerman, the organiser of this and a few other wonderful tours – including the Creation Records package tour also in 1984.
Kai drove us a round in his Campervan. It got sprayed with the bands names early on and ended up covered in paint. We got pulled over by the police once as it looked so odd.
On the fourth night of the tour, we played Maxim in Stuttgart. Amazingly, in 2019 someone sent me footage from that night! I was 18 and Rudy, on guitar had turned 17 the day before. I refer to ‘the single’, but we changed our minds before releasing that song. Anyway, here’s ‘Too Much To Hide’ followed by Rudy’s song ‘ Pick Up The Beat’ – well worth hearing this young man’s voice! (By the way, I’m wearing pale jeans – not shorts!)
Here are my photos of the tour..
The Loft in Berlin’s flier. Such an amazing list of bands – every gig looks awesome.
Dave Newton from The Mighty Lemon Drops recently sent me these scanned images from a live recording made on this tour. It seems to be called ‘I Know Where Dan Treacy Lives’. I seem to remember it later getting released on vinyl and being called ‘Look Back In Enger’.
When we returned from Europe, I made this little booklet, which I sent round with a cassette to try and secure some gigs.