A few weeks ago, I published an article which concerned itself with rock bands who first reached prominence between the late 60s and early 70s and who are now facing questions about their continuing careers following on from the death or retirement of prominent members:
It looked primarily at U.S. bands but did make some reference to UK bands. Following on from this, opportunity arose for a follow up article looking at bands in similar circumstances but this time from the mid-70s to the early-80s and this time UK bands.
I grew up in a coal mining town in Yorkshire. Descendant of a long line of coal miners. In 1979 / 80 or thereabouts, I would have been playing Subbuteo on my Mum’s kitchen table with my friend, Andrew Spence. He’d always be Barnsley, I’d always be Leeds. At the side of the pitch on a chair, I’d have a cassette player set up where I would force Andrew to listen to my taste in music. Around that time it would be Sad Cafe’s “Facades” album. He didn’t rate it. That year he got me into John Foxx, Gary Numan, David Bowie. I got him into precisely nothing. Last time, I was in Barnsley, I called in on him as a a surprise. I looked through his cd racks. I spotted “Aja” by Steely Dan which was one of the albums I would have recommended back in the day. He just said he’d got it because he’d read about it in the music press but he couldn’t see what all the fuss was about.
The members of Sad Cafe have been working on an album. Their lead vocalist, Paul Young (no, not the other guy of the same name – this one was also in Mike & the Mechanics) passed away. Before he died he had completed vocal tracks for around 30 new songs. A plan was put together to get the surviving musicians together to turn this into the fully fledged album that Paul had envisaged. I had been working on getting re-releases for the band’s back catalogue and so I became a key player in making this happen.
The only question is where we would make the album.
Manchester was mentioned – after all it is the guys’ hometown…….. Various other cities were put on the table and discarded. And then they decided on Gothenburg, Sweden. "Darren, could you come out and do your part of the work in January?" January in Gothenburg.
And I don’t like snow.
There’s a lot of snow in Gothenburg in January and I just got back. I’m glad the snow in London is gone.
The album sounds excellent (if I say so myself) and with about 10 tracks completed, we enter into the tricky business of getting the right record company on board. All this in what is a difficult climate for the music industry. Did someone mention climate……bbbrrrrrrrrrr…………