Two Weeks of Red Guitars

Red Guitars video shoot photo by Richard Duffy-Howard

It’s been a great two weeks of Red Guitars! All the band together again, much of it all round at JR’s place – room rehearsals working up the new album, mixing, recording extra parts and plotting next year’s anniversary release.

This week, we’ve had a fantastic time playing the new songs loud on the big stage with an excellent sound at O’Rileys in Hull, very exciting!

We’ve had three fab days video shoot with Factor Fifty Films at great locations.

And absolutely loads of laughs with friends throughout.

So now, Hal’s preparing to go back to Cape Town, the rest of us as near and far as Brighton and Yorkshire and indeed for now, Rome. We’ll continue polishing up the songs online. Here we are (above) on day two of the film shoot.

Below, room rehearsals, all round at JR’s

Live and loud new song rehearsals at O’Rileys. We’ve gone ampless for these rehearsals. The amp is being used as a table! Sounds excellent. Only my bass amp to lug around. I might have to investigate …

Hal’s nailing some licks, sounds fantastic. look at Pepper, she’s singing along.

We’ve had a brilliant time!

If our new songs have a touch of spaghetti western to them it’s because of the films we’ve been watching after rehearsals.

So, it’s hasta la vista for now, back to online chatting and playing for a while. More stories coming too, so see you next time! 🤠😎

Red Guitars at Birmingham O2 Institute 2022

So that was it, our Slow to Fade reunion tour was over and we had a joyous adventure and the response has been unexpectedly amazing for us. Here’s the last set of photos and round up from the final gig of the tour at Birmingham’s O2 Institute. Big high five to all involved and a heartfelt thank you from all of us to everyone who came to the shows. Here’s to the next chapter!

Here we are, all the original band back together, Hallam Lewis, Jeremy Kidd, John Rowley, Matt Higgins and Lou Duffy-Howard, joined in 2022 by Jos Allen and Doug Swallow.

Fab set of photographs by Richard Duffy-Howard, have a look:

Thanks to our special guests Turning Black Like Lizards for a fab set and being great to work with. A big shout out to those who have been to more than one of the shows, sometimes nearly all of them, it’s been great to see familiar friendly faces – and to Andy who came the furthest to see us, all the way from Dubai to Birmingham.

Thank you to everyone who sent us lovely messages on social media, here’s a few:

“The Birmingham gig was breathtakingly brilliant. I still haven’t come back down to Earth yet! Absolutely inspiring.” Tony Gillam

“I only wish I could have attended more than just the one; it was an absolutely fabulous night. If you can do it again, please, please do! Failing that, a live album would be a very lovely thing. Thank you.” David Brown

“Red Guitars it’s taken 4 decades to see this band live, utterly awesome. A great night, you all sounded immense. And you all looked as if you enjoyed it.” Chuck Middleton

“Was the 3rd night in a row seeing this great band – last seen in 1986! Such utter joy to see these amazing people and musicians performing the songs that have shaped me, with sounds that turn you inside out. Thank you!!” @MrRober16070170

“A 38-year gap, but definitely worth the wait to see Red Guitars, recently reformed with all the original members. Thanks for a great show!”

“Overjoyed to catch you live again last night – lovely to see the whole gang back together. Thanks for a great night – you nailed it! Many thanks also for all of you signing my 38-year-old gig poster (adding to Johnny Marr!) Safe journeys back to your various homes & continents.” Tim Bourne

“I think that the whole tour has been so enjoyable for everyone involved, and especially for the fans attending the gigs. The songs are just so good, and the musicianship has been spot-on, Jerry’s lyrics ever prescient and moving.” Ian Stacey

“I saw Red Guitars last week. First gig in over two years. A great night, and a real mental health boost.“ Pete Moxon

“Last night was one of those ‘moments’. A band that clearly meant a lot to people, sonically and politically. And the lyrics are so fresh still. Shaken not Stirred, Good Technology, Sting in the Tale, chillingly spot on. Am still buzzing.” Steve Morgan

“Lovely stuff. I was a fan. Had GT (which still sounds great) after seeing them on The Tube and Marimba Jive. They got heavy rotation from me back in the day.” Steven McKevitt

“I never caught them first time round so this was a MUST!!! Excellent night, that bass, those guitars. Cracking night, much love!!!” The New Fools

“Yup, brilliant night ! And another vote for more gigs please!” Mike Jeffries

“Brilliant gig; and really nice to be able to talk to some of the band.” John McCabe

“They say never meet your Heroes. Well that does not apply to the Red Guitars. Brilliant band, Brilliant Gig and brilliant people. I waited 38 years to see them live and it was worth every single minute.”

“April ended with yet another gig in Birmingham and this was the best I’ve been to in many a long year. Birmingham’s O2 Institute played host to a reformed Red Guitars – one of my favourite indie bands of the 1980s. In the early eighties, while the aforementioned Spandau Ballet were topping the charts with hits like True and Gold, Hull-based Red Guitars were crafting a unique blend of indie rock and African jit-jive and releasing a classic gem of an album called Slow to Fade. Seeing Red Guitars play songs like ‘Remote Control,’ ‘Crocodile Tears’ and ‘Good Technology’ more than 30 years after this short-lived band split up seemed nothing short of miraculous and I was completely overwhelmed with a combination of joy and nostalgia for my youth. It was a pleasure to shake hands with bassist Lou Loudhailer, (who has featured elsewhere on this blog as part of Agent Starling.)” Tony Gillam, Passengers in Time

“Please do another show fantastic !!” Keith Phillips

“What a night. I’ve waited since 1984 for this and you did not disappoint. Brilliant. Please tour again……PLEASE.” Steve Buck

And to close the post, Rob Slade’s review made me laugh out loud. I didn’t know he was there until the next day when it popped up on Facebook:

“On Saturday night my cousin Lou Duffy-Howard was playing for her band Red Guitars in the final concert of their first tour for many years, possibly their only and last gig so I felt the need to see them even though I get bored after five minutes unless the music is really good, eg Beethoven’s 9th

It was a good decision – see the video … where I’ve alternated their promotional video of Good Technology from 40 years ago with my video of the band on Saturday. It’s the same band, the same people, playing the same music and better on Saturday night. My video is better as well!

I’m in the middle of playing a tennis marathon of more than 30 tennis matches in 30 days so so fitting it in wasn’t easy

On Saturday I had a match at David Lloyd Trafford at 12pm which finished at 2:30pm and the gig started in Birmingham at 6pm

So it was just possible but I didn’t really feel like making the effort for something I probably wouldn’t like in a place I didn’t like (Birmingham) so I had a leisurely shower and coffee (enjoy the moment, why rush was my new rule of thumb).

I tried but failed get the online tickets through ticket master but I decide doing this journey would be a challenge and adventure. Luckily Man U wasn’t playing or this would have been impossible, because the my route was past the Temple of Mammon.

I got to the excellent NCP car park in Store St (£6.80 for 24 hours) with 30 minutes to spare and I’m by the platform with 15 mins to spares when I see a Greggs.

Who can walk past a Greggs if you haven’t eaten all day (the emanating smells reminded me)

I queue for 5 mins then I’m served by a slow motion Koala Bear who is cute but takes five minutes to assemble my vegan sausage roll, vegetable bake, pizza slice and assorted sandwiches so I figure a coffee is a step to far. My diet is not going well!

I make the train by two minutes. Clearly I enjoy living on the edge.

At Birmingham New St I discover that the cheapest hotel near the centre of Birmingham is £150 a night which is at least twice what I’m willing to pay for for somewhere to sleep. How can that be? Who wants to stay in Birmingham on a Saturday night or any night?

So I book the Belmont Hotel, £65 and four miles west in Hagley but that means no time to check in and leave my bag.

Its now 6:30 and the gig is from 6:00 to 9:30 but the Red G’s won’t be on until 7:30 I figure so still plenty of time.

I get to the O2 Academy for 6:45 where I discover that the Red G’s are playing at the O2 Institute (why don’t our brains ever read the second word of well known two word phrases?) but I meet there two Red G fans who look coolish so that’s a good sign, they have at least two fans who are not weird 😂

I get to the O2 Institute by 7:05 and I’m refused entry because I have a bag bigger than A4. Who reads admission rules!?

I arrive back at New St station and I’m overjoyed to find a left luggage depot. I didn’t think they still existed. Not cheap. £7.50 for three hours.

It’s now 7:30 so I’m gonna miss the beginning of Red G’s and I’m getting a bit travel worn. I need a decent beer or two and a sit down

My Camra ap tells me there is only one good pub in the entire eastern half of Birmingham city centre, the Spotted Dog and Gmaps tells me it’s not far from the venue.

So I can make the Spotted D and still get to the gig for the last hour at 8:30.

Gmaps is wrong however and while the Spotted Dog is good, well worth a visit, well worth missing 30 mins of a gig, I finally make it to the venue at 8:45.

But I’m almost out of phone battery. I always carry a powerpak back-up but I had the wrong lead 😱

Can you imagine seeing something really really good, perhaps the only time you may ever see this thing and you can’t take even one photo, not even one minute of video? I can’t, and I couldn’t, so I set off back to the station to get the lead from my bag. I calculated that if I ran I could be back at the venue for the final 30 mins 😂

On my way, a few hundred yards, I pass a small Asian convenience store that looked like it might magically have anything and it did, or at least an Apple lightning lead which pretty much is everything. How is that possible? So I’m back in the venue at 8:55, only 35 minute of music left but obviously the the best bit of the gig, and 35 minutes is my boredom threshold for doing nothing, no matter how good the entertainment, unless it’s Beethoven’s 9th symphony, and even then I might have to wriggle and stifle a few yawns.

The Red Guitars is an alternative rock band (skank with soul?) and not overly accessible music but it was good, and some bits where in fact awesome, so well worth the journey. If they play again, I’ll be there for longer. Perhaps an hour 😂

Birmingham not as bad as I thought btw. Lots of interesting or beautiful buildings and spaces, and I almost like the accent. How can you not, if it’s how Noddy Holder or Frank Skinner speak.” Rob Slade

Back to the beginning of the tour, here are the dress rehearsal photos: https://loudhailer.net/2022/04/16/red-guitars-tour-2022-dress-rehearsal/

Heres’s to everyone who came to the Red Guitars Slow to Fade reunion tour. We had a brilliant time. Looking forward to the next adventure …

A big thanks to Steve Homer at AEG Presents for inviting us to reform for this tour and coming to see us play. The AEG reps at every gig have been brilliant. We have truly had an absolute ball! We’re looking forward to what comes next …

Red Guitars at The 100 Club London 2022

A massive thank you to everyone who came to our Slow to Fade 2022 tour. It’s been a joyous adventure, and the response has been unexpectedly amazing for us. Our show at the legendary 100 Club in London’s Oxford Street was sold out and crammed with people dancing and singing along, teeming with friends old and new.

Thanks to the team at the venue and a special thanks to sound engineer Pascal who did a superb job for us, we had a great sound which made for a great atmosphere for us on stage.

So, here we are, all the original band back together for our Slow to Fade tour, Hallam Lewis, Jeremy Kidd, John Rowley, Matt Higgins and Lou Duffy-Howard, joined in 2022 by Jos Allen and Doug Swallow.

Fab set of photographs by Richard Duffy-Howard, have a look:

Thanks to Rob Telford for his great shots:

Thank you to our special guests Fragile Creatures for a terrific set to open the show they’re here sound-checking together with Rich’s other photos of the day:

Thank you to everyone who sent us lovely messages on social media and reviews here’s a few:

“So much joy in the room for @RedGuitars at the @100clubLondon last night. Uplifting to see brilliant musicians playing together again after 38 years. Slow to fade, as the song says.” John Pullman

“Friday evening with the fabulous Red Guitars at The 100 Club. I had waited 35 years for this tour and they did not disappoint!” Rob Telford

“I’m at a gig – a real live gig with Red Guitars and they are rocking!” Liz Treacher

“What an extraordinary bunch of musicians @RedGuitars. I will need my jaw rewiring after watching that. Utterly joyous. I am 17 again.” Steve M

“You were absolutely brilliant. Overwhelmingly so. (I NEARLY plucked up the courage to speak to you in the audience during the support but didn’t want to intrude). Thank you so much. Seeing you again 38! years after Coventry Poly meant a lot. Heartbeat Go!!” PeteM.

“Wonderful to see Red Guitars in London last night. Absolutely loved it! I was 17 when I first saw them and I felt 17 again. Hoping to see them in 2060, if not (preferably) before!” Andrew Hook

“Last night was one of those ‘moments’. A band that clearly meant a lot to people, sonically and politically. And the lyrics are so fresh still. Shaken not Stirred, Good Technology, Sting in the Tale, chillingly spot on. Am still buzzing.” Steve Morgan

“Wow guys what an extra special treat to see you at the 100 club last night I had the best fun, thank you best wishes to all from David”

“I knew you were good. I didn’t realise after 38 years away it could still be THAT good. Such an intricate sound, yet so accessible. Great onstage chemistry, too.”

“Red Guitars on top form at The 100 Club last night. I described Brighton as brilliant, and this was better than Brighton.“ Roger Millington

“Two absolutely stunning gigs – last week in Manchester and last night in London. Please don’t leave it another 38 years until your next tour… ‘cos I might be getting on a bit by then.” David Gibson

“Amazing night at @100clubLondon with stellar sets by @RedGuitars @FragileCreatures. Great to meet the amazing Lou @LoudhailerUK in person & what a bass guitarist she is. Lovely to see Adam & Neville again & what a great audience.” Neil March

Another full house and belting show for @RedGuitars this time at the 100 Club in London.” Phil Ascough

“I’ve waited 40 years! And I was not disappointed… such a brilliant show full of energy and just the best music!” Tia K Iqbal

“Magnificent gig in London last night.” Keith Phillips

“A stunning evening and nearly forty years after I first saw you live you’ve just got even better. Oh and I even got to replace the t-shirt I lost many years ago.” Simon Maurice

“Fantastic night. Looked like the band were all having a great night too playing a superb set. Thanks.” Darren Lewis

“Thank you for last night, I really enjoyed it. I never thought I’d get the chance to see you live. I’ve loved your music for 35 years and I still play your albums now. Thanks again.” Peter Lane

“It’s not an exaggeration to say I have waited nearly forty years to see you play live. And I was not disappointed.” Gary Couzens

“An iconic band playing an iconic venue, it was pure magic.” Simon Higgins

“… to the unbridled joy of a packed venue, they surge into a scintillating rendition of Marimba Jive, Hallam’s South African inspired guitar figures playing off against Lou’s sumptuous sliding fretless bassline. It takes seconds to establish that Jerry has lost nothing of the power and distinctive character in his voice and the band have lost nothing of their interlocking groove-making chemistry… ” Trust the Doc

Here’s Transistor Bassman’s video of Good Technology at The 100 Club. Keep watching for more clips of the set:

A big thanks to Steve Homer at AEG Presents for inviting us to reform for this tour. The AEG reps at every gig have been brilliant. We have truly had an absolute ball! Here’s to what comes next…

Next up have a look at the photos from our gig at Birmingham’s O2 Institute here: https://loudhailer.net/2022/05/04/red-guitars-at-birmingham-o2-institute-2022/

Read Phil Ascough’s review in The Hull Story: https://www.thehullstory.com/allarticles/red-guitars-tour-wrap

Red Guitars at Brighton Green Door Store 2022

A massive thank you to everyone who came to our Slow to Fade 2022 tour. It’s been a joyous adventure, and the response has been unexpectedly amazing for us. We had a terrific time at Brighton’s Green Door Store. Big thanks to Sweeval for a great job on the sound.

So, here we are, all the original band back together for our Slow to Fade tour, Hallam Lewis, Jeremy Kidd, John Rowley, Matt Higgins and Lou Duffy-Howard, joined in 2022 by Jos Allen and Doug Swallow.

Fab set of photographs by Richard Duffy-Howard, have a look:

Thank you to our guests Fragile Creatures for a terrific set in their home town to open the show. Fantastic to see you guys play, making it a special night.

Thank you to everyone who sent us lovely messages on social media, here’s a few:

“There was always one band I wish I had seen live but never got the chance. Tonight my wish came true and after almost 40 years, I finally saw the amazing @RedGuitars live. It was the best gig ever and there are not enough words to say how incredible the band were live.” Skylla

“Thank you, never thought I would get the chance to see you live again and it was even better than I hoped.” David Ealey

“Fantastic gig! I hope you enjoyed it as much as the audience seemed to.” Nigel Herron

“What an impact you’ve made up and down the country – well done all!” Rachel

“I was 16 when I saw you steal the show from The Smiths and have had those images of you stamped in my memory ever since. So it was great to see your parents on stage last night playing that excellent set!!” Steve Atkinson (🤣🤣haha very good Steve!)

“An evening spent with one of my oldest friends, @MrRober16070170, singing along to one of my favourite bands, with the biggest smile on my face. Thank you @RedGuitars, that was brilliant. See you at the 100 Club.” Roger Millington

A big thanks to Steve Homer at AEG Presents for inviting us to reform for this tour. The AEG reps at every gig have been excellent. We have truly had an absolute ball!

Next up have a look at the photos from our gig at The 100 Club London here: https://loudhailer.net/2022/05/02/red-guitars-at-the-100-club-2022/

The RGs team after Brighton breakfast, photo by Jacquie

Red Guitars at Hull Adelphi Club 2022

Thanks to everyone who came to our full house hometown show at Hull Adelphi on our first Red Guitars tour in 38 years. We have had a fantastic time on the northern leg of the tour, it’s all been brilliant fun and a real heart warming experience. Thanks to our friends special guests Terra Fin, Steve Homer and the team at AEG. We’re excited to head south later this week.

So, here we are, all the original band back together, Hallam Lewis, Jeremy Kidd, John Rowley, Matt Higgins and Lou Duffy-Howard, joined in 2022 by Jos Allen and Doug Swallow.

Fab set of photographs by Sydpix and Richard Duffy-Howard show the fun and energy of the gig and the brilliant home town crowd.

Here’s Sydpix’ gallery from the front

Here’s Richard’s from the back

Big thanks to our special guests Terra Fin, who played an awesome set and went down a storm with our crowd. Great to see the full band with Chris on drums, that’s my son Corey there on bass, and our youngest son Dexter joined them on violin for this gig. Charismatic singer/guitarist Jonas flew over from his home in Lithuania for the tour.

Thank you to everyone who sent us lovely messages on social media, here’s a few:

“You guys absolutely smashed it, what an atmosphere.” Dylan Price, Hull Adelphi Club

“I’ve been to hundreds of gigs over the years, but @RedGuitars at  @TheAdelphiClub tonight was one of the best. Amazing songs and musicians who seem to be loving being back on the stage playing them.” Mark Powell

“Wow! Songs still very relevant and poignant 30+ years on. Amazing tunes. Thanks @RedGuitars @TheAdelphiClub” Tiger Sue

“A sold out @TheAdelphiClub with the imperious @RedGuitars Amazing gig. The love in the room was palpable.” The Gold Needles

“Well @RedGuitars – I hope you enjoyed that gig at Adelphi Hull as much as we did!!!! Not danced so much in ages!!! Glad Lou still plays the fretless guitar! I feel 18 again!!! Come back soon!!!” Pauline Thornton

“Great gig. Top 5 @TheAdelphiClub for me.” Andy Currie

“Seems like all of Hull was crammed in! It was fab.” Sue Leighton

“It was unbelievable. Everybody I spoke to had a fantastic time. The collective and individual performances were stunning.” PA

“Great night with the Red Guitars at the New Adelphi. Stupendous set and atmosphere.” Rupert Creed

“Absolutely fantastic gig. Hallam is a brilliantly inventive guitarist.” Stephen Roe

“Turns out the @RedGuitars are still the best band from Hull. Fantastic gig at the Adelphi tonight.” Stephen Roe

“Great gig tonight by @RedGuitars at @TheAdelphiClub.Amazingly tight considering they haven’t played together since Thatcher was a lad. They were properly enjoying themselves as well. Cracking stuff.” Dave Lee

“Red Guitars – Great gig, tremendous sound, nostalgic for us old folks, but also great music and message… when’s the new album out! Steve Morantz

Next up have a look at the photos from our gig at Brighton’s Green Door Store here: https://loudhailer.net/2022/05/03/red-guitars-at-brighton-green-door-store-2022/

Read Russ Litten’s review in The Hull Story: https://www.thehullstory.com/allarticles/red-guitars-adelphi-review

Red Guitars at Glasgow Garage 2022

Thanks to everyone who came to our Glasgow show of our first tour in 38 years, a lovely audience to play to. We have had a fantastic time. Thanks to AEG, to the venue team, and to Chelsea for a great sound.

Here we are, all the original band back together, Hallam Lewis, Jeremy Kidd, John Rowley, Matt Higgins and Lou Duffy-Howard, joined in 2022 by Jos Allen and Doug Swallow.

Fab set of photographs by Richard Duffy-Howard tell the story, have a look:

Thanks to our guests The Mind Sweepers and Ian Stacey for the memorabilia.

Thank you to everyone who sent us lovely messages on social media, here’s a few:

“The wonderful return of Red Guitars in Glasgow last night. I’ll be grinning for weeks – all of Slow To Fade, and the early singles played with pride, skill, and love to an audience who loved them back. Slow To Fade means a lot to me, remembering a lost friend – I was so moved.” @IRobStacey1

“This is theeeeee red guitar. It sung last night, all the way from Cape Town. Small stage Big band, Huge noise, Tre-bloody-men-dous” @pegdeg

“Well, thank you very much @RedGuitars that was smashing. Just heard about gig the other night on  Gideon Coe @gidcoe, so glad I went. All filled up with emulsion (as my old malaproping auntie used to say).” JM

“Thank you guys so much for a wonderful gig last night in Glasgow, so good to finally see you live.” Scott McLuckie

“Yep! I was excited as soon as the re-union was announced, and the gig I went to in Glasgow was a lovely celebration of great songs, by a band who clearly were enjoying being back together and performing again. So many highlights – Cloak and Dagger being one of mine.” SR

“The set also reinforced my view on the strength of the band’s catalogue. They played pretty much everything they ever released and three of the four singles were played in the first half dozen songs, yet that didn’t affect the show’s momentum one bit. Album tracks like ‘Remote Control’ and ‘Dive’ were spectacular yet B-sides ‘Within Four Walls’ and an extended ‘Heartbeat Go!’ (used to introduce the band) were every bit their equal. All of this built the set nicely for a sensational (and complete!) ‘Good Technology’ which provided a singalong finale to the main set.” Manic Pop Thrills

“I’d been following Lou and her band on Twitter for a while, and when it was announced that the original line up of the Red Guitars was going to get back together and tour, I had to keep checking that it wasn’t some elaborate joke being played on me. It was truly a “dream come true” for me, as I’d loved the band in both line ups, and collected their back catalogue in record form over the years. A ticket was purchased as soon as they became available, and on Friday 22 April, I travelled across to Glasgow to attend the gig in The Attic, at the Garage on Sauciehall Street. It was lovely to recognise all the band as they mingled with us in the venue, and I reverted to being a gawky, diffident, teenage fan, asking for a 7″ single of Good Technology (The bands first single) to be signed, and offering a old Red Rhino Records bag as a bribe. The shop was based in York, and was where you bought the records that were outside the top 40, and released on independent labels, before “indie” became a musical genre. The gig was just a total joy – I have to admit that I’d shared my love of the band with a friend who lived in Belfast, on a road-trip to watch motorbike racing a few years ago, and it turned out he’d seen them when they supported The Smiths, and loved the title track of their first album, “Slow To Fade”. He’d had his demons, and died suddenly in 2006, and as soon as the opening guitar riffs chimed out, beautifully played by Hallam, and the superb John Rowley, my eyes welled up at the memory. I’m afraid to say that I was a bit of a mess during the whole song, but eventually composed myself – it was such a moving moment. The band encored with Paris France, and we all sang along, not wanting the night to end. A band that managed to combine brilliant lyrics, with music that was as uplifting as it was complicated, The Red Guitars remain my favourite band, and I just wanted to say “Thank You” to the band, and everyone associated with them for making me, and many other fans, so happy. With much love x” IRS

Next up have a look at the photos from our Hull Adelphi gig here: https://loudhailer.net/2022/04/24/red-guitars-at-hull-adelphi-club-2022/