giovedì 17 dicembre 2009

The cinema show

In the fall of 1979, ex 'Berlin' members Simon Brighton (guitar) and Terry Welbourn (bass) got together with 'Stress' musicians, Colin Hopkirk (vocals) and Nick Green (drummer), to form the first of many Sinking Ships incarnations.In 1980, this line-up went onto record two tracks, "Third World" & "Weight Loss", for a local New Wave compilation, 'Household Shocks'. Released: Summer 1980. Label: STARK LPCO1. Soon after this release, vocalist Colin Hopkirk departed the band and Terry Welbourn took up the lead vox along with his bass duties.The now 3 piece band were building a solid reputation live with gigs supporting The Psychedelic Furs, the Modettes, Spizz Energi and other big name indies.In the Spring of 1980, the band went back into the studio to record a 7" Double 'A' side, vinyl single released as a Stark Products/Dead Good Records joint effort (November 1980. DEAD 14 / STARK 2). The two tracks recorded were 'The Cinema Clock' & 'Strangers' (published by Dead Good Tunes / Street Corner Music Ltd). Critics were quick to talk up the band including plays on John Peel's Radio 1 show and many favourable reviews;John Gill from the New Musical Express wrote in the November 29th 1980 issue:"You can laugh all you like, but I swear this lot sound like early (censored). Spindly, clanking found noises give way to finger lickin'/finger clickin' bass and steamy metronomic drums. It trundles along and goes flying over the edge, retaining stable altitude just lke those classic Liebezeit/Czukay rhythm departures of yore. Smart."The Ships had written two indie classics with journos and radio stations agreeing alike.Alarmingly, the band chose to increase their numbers from 3 to five then to six, with the addition of keyboards, synths and saxophone. Confusing their growing army of fans, this then turned out to be a 'relatively bad move'. Bar the notable live performance at 'Sleaford Rock 80' plus a well received London debut at the original 'Marquee Club' in Wardour Street, the Ships were sinking in a deluge - arguably of their own making.In late 1980 they went back into the studio to record tracks for a six-track 12" set for release in January 1981 which never saw the light of day thanks to their label joining forces with 'Stevo' to form Some Bizarre records and all things Soft Cell...etc...Tired and embittered, the band shrank back down to the 3-piece lineup and tried once again to rediscover the magic with a 7" vinyl single released on the 'Recession' label, April 1981 with the tracks, 'Dream' & 'After the Rain - Live' published by Express Songs / Leeds Music Ltd.Sadly, the 80's had moved on, electronics and New Romantics were taking over the world of music - rock n roll seemed doomed. The Sinking Ships original line-up split, with some of the members moving out of Lincoln to London with just Terry Welbourn left to pick up the flotsam.During the 80's Terry continued to play live under 'The Sinking Ships' name with numerous lineups adding guitars and drums. There have been no further record releases since 'Dream'.Now in the decade of 2000, what do we see? A resurgence in interest in the original Sinking Ships, an American metal band who also go under the Sinking Ships moniker, and yet, the band members play on in numerous seperate projects. Where are they now?

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