The Bodines special with John Rowland
The Bodines, consisting of Mike Ryan, Paul Brotherton, Tim Burtonwood and Paul Lilley, emerged from Glossop, Derbyshire, England, in 1985. Fronted by the floppy-fringed Ryan, they became one of the better-known outfits from a crop of jangly indie bands that sprang up around that time. They made their debut with "God Bless", an early release by Creation Records. Shortly afterwards, Lilley was replaced on drums by John Rowland. Two further singles followed; their second, "Therese", was included on the C86 compilation album. Like their contemporaries Primal Scream, The Mighty Lemon Drops and The Weather Prophets, The Bodines went on to sign up with a major label with great hopes of transferring their success to the mainstream charts. The group joined Magnet Records, where a remix of "Therese" became their major label debut.
In July 1986, The Bodines participated in the Festival of the Tenth Summer. The Bodines's debut album, Played (produced by Ian Broudie, later to enjoy success as a recording artist as the Lightning Seeds) scraped into No. 94 in the UK Albums Chart, in the summer of 1987. None of the Bodines' singles got into the UK Singles Chart. Under pressure for failing to deliver the hit record that their major label backers required, the Bodines split up, albeit temporarily. Rowland went on to play with The Rainkings.
In 1989, a reformed line-up of Ryan, Brotherton, new bassist Ian Watson, and new drummer Spencer Birtwistle released the single "Decide" on Manchester's Play Hard label and contributed a further new track to the same label's Hand to Mouth compilation. A couple of years later, Ryan reappeared with a new band called Medalark Eleven (misnamed after Harlem Globetrotters' Meadowlark Lemon), assisted by Gareth Thomas on bass and Adrian Donohue on drums. Reunited with Creation Records, they released a couple of singles ahead of the album Shaped Up, Shipped Out.
On 23 August 2010, The Bodines debut album Played was reissued with seven bonus tracks on the Cherry Red label.
Sarah Records special with Michael White with David Eastaugh
From 1987 to 1995, Bristol, England s Sarah Records was a modest underground success and, for the most part, a critical laughingstock in its native country sneeringly dismissed as the sad, final repository for a fringe style of music (variously referred to as indie-pop, C86, cutie and twee ) whose moment had passed. Yet now, more than 20 years after its founders symbolically destroyed it, Sarah is among the most passionately fetishized record labels of all time. Its rare releases command hundreds of dollars, devotees around the world hungrily seek out any information they can find about its poorly documented history, and young musicians some of them not yet born when Sarah shut down claim its bands (such as Blueboy, the Field Mice, Heavenly, and the Wake) as major influences.
Featuring dozens of exclusive interviews with the music-makers, producers, writers and assorted eyewitnesses who played a part in Sarah s eight-year odyssey, Popkiss: The Life and Afterlife of Sarah Records is the first authorised biography of an unlikely cult legend.
The Railway Children with Gary Newby in conversation with David Eastaugh
Factory Records recorded their debut single "A Gentle Sound" in 1986, followed by their first album, Reunion Wilderness in 1987, which topped the UK Indie Chart. They left Factory shortly afterwards and were signed to Virgin Records.
1988 saw the release of their second album, Recurrence, on Virgin Records, and support tours with R.E.M. in Europe (Work Tour) and The Sugarcubes in the US. A national chart hit eluded them with singles "In the Meantime", "Somewhere South" and "Over and Over". In 1990, they released Native Place, an album that saw the band take a more pop oriented direction, with keyboard textures coming more to the fore than previously. "Every Beat of the Heart" became a Top 40 hit in the UK with a peak at No. 24, and the song became a No. 1 hit on the newly founded Modern Rock Tracks chart in the U.S.
The band parted with Virgin Records in 1992, and broke up soon after. Keegan later had a spell in the Wigan-based folk rock band The Tansads, The Crash Band, and The Ultras, while Hull and Bateman left music for good.
Newby continued solo, and has since released several albums as The Railway Children: Dream Arcade (1997, Ether Records), Gentle Sound (2002, Ether Records) and two collections of rare recordings: Rarities #1 in 2007 and Rarities #2 in 2010; the latter available only by download from his official site (listed below). Newby spent several years in Japan from 2002 onwards, writing/arranging music and lyrics for several major Japanese artists, including Anna Tsuchiya, Every Little Thing, V6, Detroit Metal City, Sailor Moon and Yoshikuni Douchin.
In 2016, the original line up of Newby, Keegan, Hull and Bateman began rehearsing together and went on to play several times, including the NYC Popfest, the Shiiine On Weekender and concerts in Manchester, Berlin and London.