(4 / 5)
Record collectors who sold a kidney to get their sweaty hands on sought-after albums, singles and EPs from this Leeds post-punk explosion since the early 1980s, will be able to preserve their precious vinyl and spin this most welcomed four-disc release.
Four albums, singles, B-sides and remixes, in replica LP wallets and a booklet, with a specially commissioned interview with band member David Wolfenden. The set spans seven years of the band’s “hypnotic, dark, driving rock”.
A stonking 73 tracks across four discs, from their first two albums “Talk About The Weather”, and “Paint Your Wagon,” on Red Rhino Records and albums three and four; “Nothing Wrong”, and “Blow,” recorded for the Situation Two label, part of Beggars Banquet.
All four vital albums are included here, along with singles, B-sides and remixes, which chart a fascinating history through the 1980s. Red Lorry Yellow Lorry emerged from Leeds in 1981, known briefly as The Lorries, with their unique, demanding sound during the early 1980s. Guided by bandleader and figurehead Chris Reed and sideman David Wolfenden, the band took on board elements of the burgeoning gothic outlook of the post punk era, fused it with relentlessly rigid drum machine rhythms and an impenetrable wall of distorted guitars and won a strong following, both in the UK and abroad.
The band fought against music journalist’s descriptions of the band as a gothic rock outfit, and instead cited Wire and MC5s as their main influences. John Peel was a fan and had them record two sessions for his BBC Radio One show in 1983. Later released on CD in 2014 as “BBC Sessions 1983 – 1984”, part of the band’s 3-CD compilation “See the Fire”. They dropped 11 albums between 1984 and 2014, plus appearances on compilations. They released 15 singles and two EPs between 1982 and 1991.
March 1985 sees the band being invited for their first dates in America. They play a handful of US East Coast shows to find they have become total cult figures, playing New York’s Danceteria Club to a packed concert hall, twice in the same week. In the same year they toured Canada, the UK, France, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Holland and Belgium. In 1987 they did a full US tour, Canada, Mexico, UK and Europe. Back to the US in ’89 and ’90. The band toured the UK and Europe in 1991, 2003 and 2008.
Chris Reed and Red Lorry Yellow Lorry are still active today, performing gigs in the UK and mainland Europe. The current line-up is Chris Reed, Dave Wolfenden, Ding Archer and Martin Henderson.
By Sally Fox
(2 / 5) ‘OK Zone’
(3 / 5) ‘Decent Zone’
(4 / 5) ‘Super Zone’
(5 / 5) ‘Awesome Zone’