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Tuesday 14 April 2009


I think I mentioned before that I had a self-imposed limit for buying this crap off ebay; and this is only the second time I've broken it, the first was The Lillies and this time it's Tramway. So, who were Tramway? Why did I feel the need to spend over a tenner of my hard-earned on a little known 7" from an even littler known band? And why did I get all excited when I heard the recorded loveliness? Well...

As a bit of background, along with shit old C86 bands, one of my great loves is the sport of cycling; which is a good indie past time. Fruitbat out of Carter is a big cycling fan, as is Nigel from Half Man Half Biscuit, so is the oft-mentioned Gideon Coe. Anyway, I happened across mention of a song called "Gianni Bugno Wheels" (Gianni Bugno was a great Italian cyclist in the mid-80s to mid-90s) on my meandering about the internet and as part of my hunt for the mp3 - which turned out to be a rather lovely instrumental number - I discovered the band who'd recorded it were called Tramway, were a bit 1991 and had also recorded a song called Tour Du Pont.

And then my interest was really piqued.

It turns out that the one time and briefly employed drummer in the band was one Jez Butler; which rang a bell but I couldn't place. Until I found his personal web page. Jez Butler had been in a band called "Cake" with not one, but two ex members of The Flatmates! Oh and the band's only two singles were released on - your favourite and mine - Sarah Records. That's got to be an indie full house! And is also why I had to dash over to ebay and waste my money on this.

right click, saves as, to download

The band released two singles, Maritime City (as above) and Sweet Chariot on Sarah and an album called 'A Brand of Lovin' (where Gianni Bugno is name checked) on the Siesta label. On 'Maritime City' the band consisted of Chris Young and Matthew and Nancy Evans, although the band variously employed the talents of the aforementioned Jez Butler and someone known only as A Henderson as well.

Oh and there's what turns out to be a Portuguese site (which I only worked out after some aimless buggering about with Google's translate thingy) which says of Maritime City it sounds a bit like Felt and "it is nothing but excite other that gives the disc a charming nonsense" and furthermore "wronged those bands that appear and vanish without leaving more records" - which I rather like the sound of.

So there you go. I'm no investigative journalist, but if that's not increased the sum of knowledge on the internet, I don't know what has.

1 comment:

  1. I loved Sarah but Tramway were one of those bands that made me think twice about their quality control. At the time this just seemed like a really insipid indiepop dirge and the years that have passed since its release haven't improved it at all I'm afraid.