Saturday, 14 July 2012

SONG FOR TODAY: Red Guitars - Good Technology

Today's Song For Today comes courtesy of Facebook pal, fellow Chelsea supporter and friend of the blog Bill Ainsworth. Like me, he also posts a daily song on his Facebook page and the outstanding quality of these tracks keeps me checking what he has posted. A few days ago he posted this brilliant track by Red Guitars, which I had not previously had the pleasure of hearing. For days it's been bugging me trying to think of what song this reminds me of, but I couldn't figure it out. Then earlier today this song was playing in my head and somehow morphed into 'Still Life' by The Horrors. So NOW I know...

Jerry Kidd (born Jeremy Kidd, vocals) and Hallam Lewis (guitarist) met in 1979 at a Community Arts program in Hull. The two formed the short-lived project, Carnage in Poland. After several line-up changes, including the addition of Mark Douglas, the band changed their name to the Czechs, billing themselves as 'eastern European reggae'. After more line-up changes, including the departure of Douglas, the Czechs abandoned their name and reggae sound, becoming the Red Guitars.

Playing a mixture of punk, blues, electrified folk and African rhythms, the Red Guitars built a small but loyal national following, playing mostly benefit shows for left-wing causes. In 1982, the band recorded their first single "Good Technology". In keeping with the band's anti-corporate ideology, the Red Guitars released the single on their own record label, Self Drive Records, selling 60,000 copies. Constant touring to support follow-up singles "Fact", "Steeltown" and "Marimba Jive", added to the daily pressures of running a record label resulted in internal pressures in the Red Guitars, culminating in the departure of Kidd in 1984, two months after the release of debut album Slow to Fade. The band continued on without Kidd for a further two years, bringing on Robert Holmes for vocals, but failed to achieve the previous critical or commercial success, although "Be With Me" also reached the top spot on the UK Indie Chart in May 1985. 

The Red Guitars disbanded in 1986, after their appearance at the Pukkelpop festival near Hasselt, Belgium. Two of the ex-band members, Hallam Lewis and Lou Howard, formed another group, The Planet Wilson  who in 1988 released the album 'In the Best of All Possible Worlds' and in 1989 they released the album 'Not Drowning But Waving'. Jerry Kidd released a solo single "Petals and Ashes (a song for Emma Goldman)" in 1985 after leaving the Red Guitars: it had a mix of "Crocodile Tears" on the b-side. Lewis went on to run a recording studio in Hull. Holmes released a solo album in 1989, entitled Age of Swing."

Cheers Bill!

Frustratingly no music by Red Guitars is featured on Spotify, so 'Good Technology' cannot be included on the mega 'Song For Today 2012' playlist which you can listen to HERE.

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