To Hull And Back LP
Queen Mum Records
Watch out all you Powerpop Ultra Fanatics & 1979 Heartattack Rhythm Lovers ´cause after having elevated your skinny tied soul to seventh heaven top floor with the incredible full-length vinyl comeback of THE JETZ last year, Queen Mum Records is back with another masterstroke that you´ll rub your hands and wet your pants for.
Talk is of the legendary CITY LIMITS from Leeds, best known for their unbeatable Powerpop Manifest “Morse Code Messages” from their lone 1979 three track 7″ wonder of the same name fetching up prizes up to 500 Euros as of now.
A treasure chest tailor-made for Kidnap and his dedicated labelwork to dig deeper in and start the hunt for more hidden diamonds that even the most nerdy collector hasn´t dared to dream of yet while cuddling his near mint Clive Culbertson and SUDDEN FUN originals.
Founded by Ted Waite and Jonathan Beardsworth in 1973 at the age of fifteen under the moniker GYPSY bashing out their first teenage efforts with a cover of “Radar Love” it wasn´t until 1976 when Paul Hart-Woods and Colin McCaig joined, that they started to play their first original material accompanied by covers like “Suffragette City” or “Black Magic Woman” due to the fact of Punk and it´s ancestors still being stuck in the traffic jam up the M1 to West Yorkshire. After, in their own words, trying to exhaust the capacity of crap band by turning into ORION they finally saw reason in 1977, cut with that tradition and became the CITY LIMITS.
Right in time with Anthony Peart joining on rhythm guitar as the fifth member and increasing the number of original songs within´ their set, their personal musical trigger button was hit by by the bomb pop sounds of Elvis Costello and his debut “My Aim Is True” on Stiff Records.
Now their way to write breakneck speed pop songs drenched in sweat and fuelled by nothing stronger than Tetleys Bitter has been paved and they walked it tall through beer stained and smoke filled venues in and around Leeds and Bradford. Eventually this led them to record mentioned one and only 7″ for the Luggage Label at Ric Rac Studios in early 1979.
Finally feeling like a proper band they built up a steadily growing following and even reached an upstart band´s dream come true back then when being played on the radio by John Peel, enthusiasticly and repeatedly. Unfortunately that support didn´t neither lead to a wider audience nor to any interest by the record companies with Arista ignorantly commenting their effort with: “Close but no cigar.”.
Nevertheless they recorded another 7″ in 1980 featuring the songs “Dancing In The Heat” and “No Regrets” which sadly never saw release. Another proof why the major record companies have always been dumb and dickfaced nuts as these two songs, which are featured on “To Hull And Back” LP as well, are instantly memorable Powerpop strikers embedded in upbeat Reggae chords. In case you wanna convince yourself, just have a listen to both songs at the MY LIFE`S A JIGSAW Blog and you´ll be stuck on it rightaway.
Although trying to carry on and contineously working on improving their sound, the lack of success finally forced the band to leave their dreams at the door and call it a day in 1982 until 2007 when the band reformed with a gig at the The Courthouse in Otley celebrating their impending fiftieth birthdays.
Due to the post at the Jigsaw Blog linked above, Kidnap caught up with the band in late 2014 offering them to release a full-length of unreleased CITY LIMITS material on his label Queen Mum Records which will now see the light of day at the 15th of September 2015.
Besides featuring “Morse Code Messages”, “If I Had The Time” and “Just Can´t Say Goodbye” from said sole cult 7″ it also has the whole unreleased second 7″ to offer plus three more songs from the same studio session, three songs from a local Leeds Radio Session and two songs recorded live in 1979.
Naturally the whole output has been remastered in just the right way pushing through through the massively addictive impact of the songs but still keeping that glance of dirt that Powerpop needs to be played with. The quality of all songs on this release can absolutely stand the test of time far beyond an abstract marker like collector´s status.
If you are searching for another addition to your teenage anthem gallery besides top notch purveyors like THE JAGS, DONKEYS, TOURS, EXITS or THE HEATS, if you want some more Powerpearls to dance the night and your sorrows away, then this record´s for you and you should hurry up to catch a copy as it will be released in a limited edition of 500 only.