Remember hearing The Saints Are Coming, She Sells Sanctuary or Wasteland for the first time?
Claytown Troupe's debut album Through The Veil (1989) is full of those moments. One of my favourite ever albums.
I remember the day I bought the Prayer Cassette Single (Cassingle) back in 1989 and what I was doing that day. I even remember asking my Mum for the 99p to buy it. Iwas so excited, I KNEW it was going to be GREAT.
I was lucky enough to later see them support Pearl Jam in a small club and they were brilliant (though I was there for the Headliners and the Alive single I had recently bought). But that in many ways was the beginning of the end of the band I loved. The musical landscape was changing, and whatever the band might say, the follow up album Out There (1992) is full of Grunge influences. The fast songs are few and far between (the two fastest date back to 1990 anyway!) and the songwriting is not on a par with their debut. It's not all bad, but it's just not as good as many hoped. Soon after their major label days were over and the band disappeared. Recently an early (1987) 5 track demo has been released for download, which is an interesting listen. The songs in many ways fall between the differing styles of their two albums - despite their date. The Native American influence is already there, but there are no classic songs yet. Recently a "third" album "Songs Of The Swan" was released (according to the Bristol Archives this is a collection of 1992 demos). It is a disappointing collection which really suffers with a poor lifeless production. The standout track for me is "Middle Of the Night". the band produced some new demos recently (2005?) that sound much more interesting and inspiring. "Drawn To You" being my favourite, closely followed by "Silence Is". Hopefully they will release these and some other new stuff soon.
Who do they sound like?
Well, their influences include The Mission, The Cult and New Model Army. But I would also include contemparies such as Dawn After Dark and The Purple Effect. Alternative Hard Rock with a touch of Metal and a bit of Goth.
Listen to MP3's at the bottom Left of the page!
Rare Tracks, B Sides & Remixes
1987 Patience Demo (Available on Amazon, itunes etc)
A Good Day To Die
Take It On Up
Part Of Me Now
House Of Dolls Magazine free 4 track 7" vinyl:
Features one CT track: "Prayer" incorrectly listed on the record as "Real Life" - no production details listed, probably a demo, and a very different recording to the album and single releases on Island Records. Nice to hear a different version of the song. More raw than the ultimate version, and as such sounds like a demo.
Prayer CD single (CID417)
Chiricahua Sun (3.55) (Longer than the Album Version, which is only 3.14)
Alabama (3.50) (Live at Moles Club, Bath) Storming live version.
Prayer (Extended) (5.59) Excellent remix
Hey Lord CD single (CID428)
Hey Lord (3.45)
The Night Is Ours (Extended Version) (8.26) Non album track.
Hey Lord (12" Mix) (7.08) Another excellent remix.
Hey Lord 7" has the shorter version of The Night Is Ours (5.00)
Real Life (CD single (CID446)
Real Life (7" version) (3.05)
The Saddest Day (4.31) (Different recording to that which features on the 2nd album. I prefer this version as the lead guitar has such a clear tone as it plays that great lead break. The guitar on the later version just isn't quite as uplifting.)
Wonder (3.55) (Live at Moles Club, Bath) Another good live version.
Real Life (12" Version) (6.58) One of the best remixes.
Through The Veil (Vinyl version) Bonus 12" of remixes:
Prayer (6:00) (Same as the CD single Extended version)
Hey Lord (7:08) (Same as the CD single Extended version)
Bury My Heart (5:10) (Not much longer than the album version, but a completely different mix, like a 12" remix)
The Veil (7:11) A longer, 12" type remix.
Ways Of Love CD single (CID 464)
Ways Of Love (3.36)
Heartbreaker (6.09) Non album track.
Freedom (Live BBC Session) (3.52) Non album track.
Wanted It All CD single (CDMT 102)
Wanted It All
How Can Anybody Do This
Feel Like A Woman (Non album track)
Inside The Fire (demo) (Non album track)
Devil's Highway (demo)
Rock Island in association with Raw magazine IS REP1. According to the bumf on the sleeve "Never before released demo version of this new song which will appear in its final form on the as yet untitled new album from the Claytown Troupe in the new year. Exclusive to this EP."
This demo is slightly different than the later album version and is produced by Ralph Jezzard (who seemed to produce the band from their debut up until 1990).
Claytown Troupe Myspace page