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STIFF RECORDS TOUR TRAIN 1978


jamie92208
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Sometime in October 1978 I had to go to Huddersfield to try and get a mortgage (There was a famine on at that time)   I caught a Trans-Pennine from Leeds to Huddersfield after work one afternoon, arriving in Hudderesfield about 3pm.  We arrived on the Island platform (As they did then) and parked on No 1 platform, the main one by the station and pub, was a train of grey and white coaches with loco attached.  There were several people lolling about inside the compartment stock and a few music fans on the platform.  the train had at least one full brake.  It was still there when i got back and someone said it was a private charter for the bands signed to Stiff Records (I believe a punk label)  They were apparently doing a tour of the UK by train playing gigs in the towns they stopped at with the sound equipment in the Full brake.  

 

I would be interested (out of pure curiosity) if anyone has any more info about this.  I think it was probably the last time that such a tour train has ever run in the UK.  I suspect that the bands slept on board.

 

Out of interest I did manage to get the mortgage and am still in the house that we bought. Though with somewhat whiter hair and larger wasitline.

 

Jamie

Edited by jamie92208
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if anyone has nov/dec 1978 ROs, the info might've been reported there

 

i've got the 1979 volume and thought it would be in there (given a possible 2-3 months lag in publishing), but the january edition only mentions sightings from november

 

i'm sure i've seen a pic of at least one coach,i'll have a rake around to see if i can find it

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Wiki ain't far out with its history of Stiff.  Yes, the label did release the first record by a UK punk band (New Rose by THE DAMNED), in autumn '76.  By '78 however, they had more of a New Wave roster with successful acts like Ian Dury & The Blockheads and Elvis Costello.  I think the tour you saw featured Rachel Sweet and other artists that Stiff were trying to break at the time.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stiff_Records

 

EDIT:

 

Jamie - you're correct, Lene Lovich was on that tour, her debut hit was the quirky 'Lucky Number.'  Later she charted with 'Say When' and 'Bird Song.'.  Incidentally I saw her for the first time, this year - twice in fact!  Cabaret pop-punk!

Edited by 'CHARD
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Thanks for the link Chard.  The article lists the acts as follows.

 

Wreckless Eric, Lene Lovich, Jona Lewie, Mickey Jupp and Rachel Sweet. The mainland section of the UK tour was undertaken by train and the Irish section by coach,

 

At least it confirms some of my memories.

 

Jamie

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Further research into Lene Lovich (nee Lilli-Marlene Premilovich) suggests that the tour was entitled the 'Be Stiff Route 78 Tour.'

Research into Lene Lovich, now that phrase could be misinterpreted.

 

Jamie

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Don't want to pull the thread too far off topic, but...

 

 I think it was probably the last time that such a tour train has ever run in the UK.  I suspect that the bands slept on board.

 

I shot this just last year, which was a similar music tour by train concept, they even did mini-gigs on the platforms:

 

47810_Cardiff_06092012%20%28148%29-XL.jp

 

http://www.africaexpress.co.uk/ is the website of the tour. From memory they travelled (and rehearsed) on the train, did evening gigs, but didn't sleep on the train. Nice random collection of stock though. :)

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http://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:BE_STIFF_TOUR_78_Kensington_Olympia.jpg

 

http://paulbartlett.zenfolio.com/brexhibitiontrain/h144a9f56

 

Mr Bartlett of this parish would confirm its origins also!

 

He also has other useful images of other stock.

 

 

I would defo think they are of LMS origin.

 

It looks like there was a mark one FK part of the train.

Edited by Ian Fisher
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If I was modelling that era it would be a very different train to try and model.  The date on the rachel Sweeting photo dates the tour to late November.  That would probably fit as we agreed to buy out house in the October then spent several weeks trying to get the mortgage before I was instructed to go to speak to the guy at Huddersfield by my father in law who must ahve pulled some strings.    The photos show quite a mixed rake of stock.

 

Jamie

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Any idea why the exhibition train stock was numbered in the BR(SR) series?

It used to be based at Salisbury, for some reason. I remember seeing lots of odd-looking vehicles in the goods yard, which I believe was where the diesel depot is now.

Did they use the 'Stiff' slogan, I wonder? 'If it ain't Stiff, it ain't worth a ****'

I have a vague feeling (not the gout this time..) that I may have gone to see this lot somewhere.

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Melody Maker article from mickey jupp site lists the tour dates: http://www.mickeyjupp.co.uk/scrapbook_images/mm_9_9_78_org.jpg

shows they booked dingwall and wick!

 

huddersfield poly was 3rd november

 

a collage image shows the route taken: http://www.mickeyjupp.co.uk/scrapbook_images/kollage.jpg

 

Edited by keefer
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Looking through all the Urban Image shots No 37 shows a coach No E13306.  So at least one is identified along with the SR registered exhibition van.   Certainly does look like a flat with a generator on behind the van.  Some of the interiors look Mk1 to me from the windows but I'm no expert.

 

This has certainly stirred some research.

 

Jamie

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I used to go In Stiff records to pickup boxes of 45's for the shop  I worked for exporting singles.I liked the punk era  .The companies were a lot  smarter than the image .Stiff would delete a  record after a week or two  to ensure   that they were bought quickly by the fans and got in the charts ,a bit like Bachmann  collectors club today :-)   .We were a chart return shop so always got more than we needed.I used to drive like a maniac round all the record companies in London  ,except CBS who wouldnt let us pickup ,and then out to a trucking company at Heathrow.No M25 in those days .Our Escort van was hotted up by a race car builder  and engineer Colin Hawker who built the well known  VW Variant saloon with an F1 Cossie in the back and a Lola chassis .great days and good old Stiff .

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