Mike Smith R1 play.
Hugh’s latest mix of "Blue Emotion" is delivered for appraisal.
Gig: Dingwalls London.
Picked up band and set off for
by 10am. Quick meeting at Chris Carr’s office before dropping band off
for haircuts in Notting Hill. Sound check at 4pm then meeting about
having a custom made backdrop for stage shows. Gig goes well.
Afterwards band do an interview with BBC Radio London, before retiring
to the Columbia Hotel.
“Secrets” unexpectedly drops to 75 in the UK singles chart. Questions
asked of “strike force” and Marketing at Polydor.
To Chris Carr’s office at 11am for interview with a German music
paper. Then onto Hampstead Heath for a photo shoot with David
Westerner in the Grecian style ruins of the Victorian cemetery. Then
to Melody maker offices for interview with Paul Strange. Then all
reconvene to local pub along with Helen Fitzgerald and Sue Johns. In
the evening another photo session, this time a studio based one for
Polydor and the “Blue Emotion” sleeve with Sheila Rock. Stylist Ray
prepares clothes for the band. This takes about five hours longer than
expected, but eventually I take the band back to the Columbia Hotel to
rendezvous with Chris Carr and Sarah, Malcom Dunbar and Ali from
Polydor plus Ali’s sister Marylin. They introduce us to their new
signing Lloyd Cole and The Commotions and an evening of drinking
Meet Lucian at RCA Music to discuss publishing deal. Then onto Asgard
agency offices to meet Mick Griffiths in situ. I then take Ian and
Steve back to Yorkshire while David remains and goes to Polydor to try
an edit idea on "Blue Emotion". Using a safety copy tape in Billy’s
office he takes out a few bars of instrumental to make the song more
“single friendly”. Then another evening spent socialising with Malcom
and Lloyd Cole at the Columbia.
at Polydor studios supervising his edit idea being made on the master
tape. For some reason this takes three hours. Once successful Alan
Sizer and Billy and Nicky from A&R treat David to a meal at Ho Ho’s.
meets Billy at Trident studios for the disc cutting of "Blue Emotion"
which is done by a man called Mick. Hugh Jones contributes tips over
the phone. On completion the acetates are taken over to Polydor for
evaluation by the A&R department. David has an afternoon studio
session in Polydor’s basement studio to make a "Blue Emotion" backing
tape for live work. Engineer is Graham. Hugh Jones arrives at Polydor
and approves the cut. David accompanies Malcom Dunbar and Zeke from
Orange Juice to the LSE to see The Red Guitars in the evening.
Janice Long BBC Radio 1 Interview.
I bring Steve and Ian to London from Yorkshire. Chris takes us all to
BBC Broadcasting House by Taxi at 7.45pm. Sonnie Rae our plugger is
waiting in reception. After interview the band sign things for
autograph hunters outside then go for a meal with Sonnie. We all meet
up with Janice Long again plus journalist Betty Page at the Columbia
hotel for drinks.
Ian, Steve and David back to Yorkshire.
Odyssey Studios London.
Drive David to London for 12” mix of "Blue Emotion". Hugh Jones arrives
there at 4pm and mixing continues throughout the night. Sue Johns from
Beggars Banquet gives me a break by driving them back to The Columbia
in time for breakfast!
Lunchtime meeting with ATV music publishers. Chris Carr, David and
myself in attendance. Another meeting with MCA music mid afternoon,
then to Polydor, who seem to have a muted reaction to the "Blue Emotion"
12” mix. Then we are shown a feature on the band in the new Melody
Maker and song lyrics for Secrets in Smash Hits. Drive David back to
Yorkshire in the evening.
Rehearsal at Smithy Brook Farm Wakefield. Preparation for Janice Long
BBC Manchester Janice Long Session.
BBC sessions are recorded at an old Hippodrome theatre right in the
middle of an infamous Manchester council estate. The car park has its
own CCTV system! We arrive at 11.30am and are met by producer Dave
Shannon and engineer Paul. The band have to set up on the theatre
stage while the mixing control room is up at the top of the theatre
gallery. There are lots of orchestral instruments that they get
interested in. There is a tea lady serving just for us in the circle
bar. Four songs are recorded for the session completed to satisfaction
by 7pm. Drive everyone back across the Pennines.
Take David back to BBC Manchester to oversee mixing of yesterday’s
session. Finish at 12.30pm. We then drive to Bradford to collect some
gear we are hiring for forthcoming tour.
Return David home to do final gear checks and restringing while I
accompany Ian and Steve to watch local band The Bland Brothers
performing in Wakefield.
Fat Sam’s Dundee.
This is the start a run of UK headline dates. Get everybody on the
road by 9am, but we miss a scheduled 2.15 interview at Radio Tay. We
don’t get there until 4.15, but they are very nice to us and we tape
one for the following Monday. The venue is a good looking nightclub
with a good PA system. We have a new banner which makes its debut.
It’s also the first time Sleepless Nightmare is played live. A
success. Didn’t leave the venue until 2.30am.
Henry Afrika’s Glasgow.
After a phone interview with Smash Hits from the Dundee hotel, we
arrive in Glasgow in plenty of time. Ian, Steve and David spend the
afternoon looking around the city. I pick up an NME which has an
article on Fiat Lux by Bart Bartlet. Sound check at 7pm goes well, and
the band Passionate Friends who we’ve gigged with before pop in to say
hello. Take David to Radio Clyde to do a “round table” programme. They
have a finished copy of "Blue Emotion" which they give us! Back to the
gig which is now packed and goes well.
Chris Carr rings us in Glasgow to say that Polydor are planning to
hand the tapes to someone we haven’t heard of to attempt another 12”
mix for "Blue Emotion". Set of for Manchester at 2pm. Sound check is
good – another good PA.
BBC Radio 1 Roundtable play for "Blue Emotion".
Steve is suffering from a sore throat but the gig is appreciated by
the audience although it’s a bit smaller than we’re used to, probably
because we were competing against Thomas Dolby at Manchester Hacienda.
Back home after the show.
BBC Radio 1 Saturday Live play.
Arrive at the venue at 3pm to find all the backline gear set up but no
PA system. Frantic phone calls establish that our agent Mick had
accidentally cancelled it. I organise a replacement which doesn’t
arrive until 7.30 pm. Quickest of sound checks before doors open, but
it turned out to be a fine gig with a full house and two genuine
encores. Stayed in a local guest house.
Returned to Yorkshire. David prepared backing tapes for shorter set at
forthcoming Thomas Dolby support and for approaching Whistle Test TV
Blue Note Derby.
Seemed very small and we had trouble with David’s Jupiter 8 in the
sound check which our soundman Paul eventually fixed. Expectations were
not high before the doors opened.
BBC Radio 1 Peter Powell play 5.45pm.
Conversely this turned out to be one of the best gigs yet with a
packed enthusiastic crowd and three encores which meant we had to
repeat a song for earlier in the set. Back to Yorkshire afterwards.
Meeting in Wakefield with the director that Polydor have line up for
us to do the Blue Emotions video. Look around a few possible
locations. (Strangely his name is Sebastian).
Have a fish and chip lunch before making for Sheffield. First
appointment is with Richard Tandy at Radio Hallam for an interview. At
the venue meet up with Bland Brothers who are supporting us plus a
number of Wakefield crowd including the rock n roll band Sha-Boom.
Also a lecturer that taught David, Steve and I called Dave Lambert is
there. The show is a bit tepid tonight and the audience response
reflects this a little. Drive everyone back home afterwards.
The Venue Liverpool.
BBC Radio 1 Simon Bates play.
Get to Liverpool just in time for 4pm sound check. There’s no rider –
instead the manager takes us to Pizzaland for a meal! Tonight is a
good show well played and a good response.
Pack up quickly afterwards to travel to London overnight.
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