Donnerstag, 30. Juli 2009


I fell in love with british indiepop back in 1986 and became an collector soon after i left school a year later. Beside all those lovely records i was always into demotapes. To locate those obscure stuff always giving me the biggest thrill. I was getting very nervous the last year when i received an offer to buy an demotape collection from an english ex radio dj who was on air between the mid 80's – early 90's. From the start it was a sure thing for me that i have to buy this amazing collection. I collect nearly 100 hundred tapes from him and it will not surprise you to hear that the lot contains some of the most greatest stuff i've ever heard. I wrote about demos from well known bands as The Jeremiahs or The Rain before but now it is time to go deeper into the more obscure stuff. Some of you may remember the excellent “Beyond The Fence Begins The Sky“ compilation LP released in 1986 on Plastic Head Records. Full of hits there was a band called BEYOND THE BLUE which really kicks me. I once wrote that their song “The Return Of The Prodigals“ is one of the most finest indiepop songs ever written. All the years i've tried to track down this band to get the chance for more recordings by them. Without luck i was an happy man to found one of their demotapes among the collection i've bought. This untitled collection contains six songs recorded back in 1986. i can't stop listening from the start as all of the songs contain some of the most fantastic jangly guitars i've ever heard. How great ! The tape contains an different version of “The Return Of The Prodigals“ plus five other tunes which left me sleepless. I have to think of all those classic bands as The Love Parade, Mighty Mighty or The Aurbisons while listening to those recordings. The tape's tracklist looks as follows:

Beyond The Blue
Time To Smile
The Return Of The Prodigals
A Time In My Heart
The Never Never Girl
Acid Rain

To my surprise i found out that the band's members played in two other band's as well whose tapes were also part of the lot. Although i'm not sure i believe that SIDEWAYS LAUGHING were pre BEYOND THE BLUE. Songs full of love and vocals somewhere between Edwyn Collins and Paul Haig. I received two tapes by them with 12 tracks in total, no filler, hits only ! I really wonder why i never heard about them before ! They should have became huge and i'm more than sure that everyone who is into the first Orange Juice album would have fell in love with them.
As it seem's BEYOND THE BLUE split up in 1987 and members of the band formed an group called THE TENDERHOOKS and tell you what, the band's demotape contain some of the greatest song's i've heard in years. Unfortunately no songtitles were given on the tape's sleeve but can let you know that it contains an new version of one of the SIDEWAYS LAUGHING tracks. Over all those years, some songs became special to me in the likes of Mighty Mighty's “Is There Anyone Out There, Aurbisons “Ring Collector“ or Close Lobsters “Mirror Breaks“. It's that wonderful feeling that hit's me while listening to those songs. Some of Tenderhooks song's now means the same to me and it's not often that i can say something like that. Now it's up to you, try to locate them and when you found them let them know that there is an label who would love to release an retrospective by them !!!!


  1. I know it's some time back since you posted this blog but I've just come across it coutesy of my brother. It took me by surprise as I hadn't seen much of this stuff for a long time. I was actually the drummer in two of these bands, I joined Sideways Laughing sometime in 85 I think, I'm not sure if it's me playing on all of the recordings but should be on the later ones. The band was made up of two brothers Brendan (Guitar & Vocals) and Kieran O'Sullivan (vocals), there was also another brother who didn't play in the band but wrote many of the lyrics. I don't recall the name of the bassist. When that band split Brendan and myself went on to form Beyond The Blue with James Field on bass and Noel Attride on guitar. I wasn't involved in The Tenderhooks but I think it was Brendon again. I'm not really sure where any of the guys are now although I haven't tried to contact them in recent years.

    With hindsight I think that Brendon and his brother were probably the best songwriters I worked with and I'm sure if we had the right Management we could have made more progress. It's good to hear that someone is enjoying the stuff though. You've insprired me to open up some old boxes to see if I can find any of the tapes when I get home tonight.

    Nick Warren

  2. Hello, Nick Warren e-mailed me after tracking me down, to tell me about the above. I am really pleased somebody out there liked our music.

    I am Noel Attride, the guitarist and backing vocalist in Beyond The Blue, and I was more involved in the later stages of the band. Basically as Nick has said, the band was formed from Sideways Laughing, which Nick joined first from Breaking The Ice, the band that James, Nick and I were in along with two others.

    We did a few gigs around Reading, Berkshire and one in London at the Hippodrome (Peter Stringfellow's nightclub) and recorded the demo you now have a copy of.

    I am still in touch with Nick and James but lost contact with Brendan. I think I also have an early demo from Breaking The Ice, I'll try and transfer it to MP3/4 and send it over to you.


    Noel Attride