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About The Stray Trolleys

English eccentric Martin Newell carved out a long career in the band Cleaners from Venus and under his own name, cranking out cheerfully poppy tunes and lots of albums throughout the '80s and beyond. His musical career started in the mid-'70s with the glam rock band Plod, then the more progressive group Gypp. Though they had built up a strong following during the three years that he was a member, Newell left the band in 1979 to pursue his own course. Before long, he was recording his own songs, thanks to the encouragement and help of an engineer friend Dave Hoser. The two gathered up a band, drummer Michael "Stix" Natkanski, former Gypp bassist Tony Phillips, and guitarist Malcolm Burch of Braintree, named themselves the Stray Trolleys, rehearsed a little bit, and recorded a batch of Newell's songs. Ranging from rambling pub rock to poppy new wave jangle, a total of 14 songs were recorded at Hoser's Octopus Studio over the course of the spring and summer of 1980. The band went their separate ways as quickly as they had formed, and the tracks sat on the shelf until 1982 when they were released by Newell on cassette under the title Barricades and Angels. After a much longer wait, Captured Tracks reissued the songs in 2017, adding one, "Mrs. Killer," that wasn't on the original cassette. ~ Tim Sendra

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