Back On The Train

16 Apr


The Electric Bluebirds were a great London-based good-time band from the 1980s.  I first bought this, their first and only album on cassette- discounted – about a year after it came out in 1986.  (My purchase was prompted by the fact that  Richard Thompson was guesting on one track (‘Tell It Like It Is’) and Glen Tilbrook of Squeeze produced some tracks).   The original  record company, Making Waves, issued three or four wonderful albums around this time before rapidly going bust! Sadly few of these albums have ever seen the light since. (Whoever now owns the rights to these recordings really ought to get them back in print).

Presumably the Electric Bluebirds bought back their tapes because this reissue appeared on CD , with a shedload of bonus tracks [24 in all], in 1996 on the Diamond label.  (The actual CD proudly proclaims the band to be  Genuine Diamond Geezers!) and it has a great sleeve note (fold-out poster rather than booklet) from violinist Bobby Valentino (previously in the Fabulous Poodles).

Weird though it may seem, during the mid-1980s,  there were TWO top-notch South London Cajun bands (the Bluebirds, from Deptford, and also the Balham Alligators – from, err, Balham). Although I saw the Alligators play on their home turf [literally] of Clapham Common- I never witnessed the Bluebirds live but this is a reminder of what I missed.

It’s music to cheer you up when you’re down or to party to: A mix of original material – mainly by lead vocalist Paul Astles – and standards, all played with a sense of fun  and cameraderie

A couple of quotes from the notes really sum them up: 1. “File under Could/Should have been” and 2. “Most of us still live around Deptford and are still involved in music”.


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