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Wednesday, 7 January 2009

The Parachute Men

I've been looking forward to doing this one since I became aware of its existence. It's The Parachute Men. I think mostly because the track in question is this one:

The Parachute Men - Leeds Station.

(Right click, 'save as' to download

When I was a lad living in the arse end of West Yorkshire, Leeds seemed like a mythical, exciting, forbidden location that promised all the wonders of the big city that you couldn't get in Huddersfield, the closest proper town, and certainly wasn't available in Holmfirth; where the only thrill you might get was seeing the filming of Last of the Summer Wine or an underage pint in The Nook. Leeds Station after all was the gateway to the Duchess of York, that weird shop that sold goth clothes and Jumbo Records. And it was where David Gedge was from.

Anyway, The Parachute Men. Formed in 1985, released two albums and half a dozen singles and had what I've previously called the most indie of things: A lady lead singer. For all your actual information there's a Wiki page, some guff on the Fire Records page and this short interview.

The track above is great, it's a swooping homage (oooh, get him!) to that wonderful feeling you get arriving home when you get to that bit you recognise and know you're almost there. We've all got one, the wife likes the "Welcome to Essex" sign on the M11 for some reason, I've got the "Welcome to Kirklees, Home of Longley Farm" sign on the road over the tops from the M1 into Holmfirth, I used to know a bloke who swore by the "Oldham - Home of the tubular bandage" thing painted on the railway bridge on the way into town from wherever it was. Everyone's got something that tells you you're almost there and you're almost safe. You'll have to excuse me, I'm getting a bit tearful and emotional.

So, enjoy the track, have a good old reminisce about home, and with the wonders of new mp3ery you can buy the band's first single Sometimes In Vain here! Isn't living in the future great?

Oh, and I've just remembered, the vinyl this is taken from is a white label 12", how indie is that!


  1. Great (and ephemeral) band. Thanks, for remember it.


  2. Back in the day I had a demo from a band that I think were from around your way: Mercenary Tree Freaks. Ring any bells?

  3. Oh you do know how to tug at the old heart strings don't you, Kitson? I have one of those memorable locations here in Bergen: the roundabout at Indre Arna. Winding ones way back to the big smoke after a long day on the mountains you can either go left towards Nestun or right to the city centre, or plough straight-on into a rock wall if you're too tired to make the decision!! It has been done.

  4. Michelin Man24 May, 2009

    @Sarah -> 'Mercenary Tree Freaks' were a Dudley, dare I say 'Stourbridge' based band, which demo did you hold of theirs, they had a couple of good tracks in the early 90's.....

  5. garethbill@gmail.com04 October, 2009

    i would love to hear the mercenary tree freaks, all i remember of them really is the t-shirt i used to have of theirs with the gas mask on..

  6. Michelin Man11 October, 2009

    "all i remember of them really is the t-shirt i used to have of theirs with the gas mask on.."

    What like this ?


  7. Love "Leeds Station", I have it on some old cassette entitled 15 Flaming Groovies!

  8. MTF on youtube, my friend is the drumer!


  9. Coming home is a great feeling - wherever it is. I like Hackney/Dalston/Bethnal Green on the A12 at the Wick Interchange. As for going over the tops I regard that as the route from Camden Town to Homerton via Finsbury Park and Manor House but that's us soft southerners for you. Loved these tracks since I was a nipper and it takes me back to poly in Manchester and good times...ps Fiona a great vocalist, much better than almost any of her contemporaries...