I know from past experience that the number of hits and visits to the blog goes down quite dramatically at this time of year and so I’m going to use the period to look back at some postings from September 2011.

This was a significant period for the old blog as it was coming up to its 5th Birthday and it was marked by a series of fresh postings reflecting in part why I was performing this labour of love and it built up to an announcement that I was going to, for the first ever time, promote a live gig under the banner of ‘The Vinyl Villain presents…..’

Here’s the posting from Saturday 3 September entitled “Approaching the Age of 5 (Part 3)”

Red-Guitars-Good-Technology-474587

Normally on a Saturday I’m to be found taking a look at a song by The Smiths. I will return to that particular series in October, but for today I thought I’d have a quick look at the band who supported Moz & Co the first time I ever saw them away back on 2 March 1984 at the Queen Margaret Union in Glasgow.

The support act were Red Guitars, one of the three bands from Hull who The Housemartins thought were better than themselves. They consisted of Jeremy Kidd (vocals), Hallam Lewis (guitar), John Rowley (guitar), Louise Barlow (bass) and Matt Higgins (drums).  They were another of the bands from the early-mid 80s who were happy enough to play at gigs that were seen as supporting left-wing/socialist causes in the UK and internationally (the hint is in the band’s name….) and naturally enough got some positive press in the NME.

But the music they were making did mark them out as well worth a listen. Their first single was Good Technology, released in 1983 on their very own label which was called Self Drive Music. It was a hit in the Indie Charts and at student discos up and down the land. They were a band that always seemed to be out on tour and were considered a very good act which is probably why they landed the job of supporting The Smiths on their first ever UK-wide tour.

Despite being a well-respected band, they never really achieved mainstream success – indeed the debut single, which was re-released in 1984 at the time of debut LP Slow To Fade – is their best-known song and is reckoned to have sold around 60,000 copies between the two issues.

It was a copy of the 1984 re-issue that I picked up a few weeks ago, bringing the total of Red Guitar singles in the cupboard to three – all from 1984 and all on the label mentioned above:-

mp3 : Red Guitars – Good Technology
mp3 : Red Guitars – Paris France

mp3 : Red Guitars – Steeltown
mp3 : Red Guitars – Within 4 Walls

mp3 : Red Guitars – Marimba Jive
mp3 : Red Guitars – Heartbeat Go

The constant touring, comboned with the pressures of running their own record label,  led to tensions and lead singer Jeremy Kidd quit in late 1984 just a short time after the release of said debut LP. The band continued on bringing in a new vocalist in Robert Holmes for vocals, but were never the same again, even among the critics.

But you can never take away the fact it was a cracking debut single.