Welcome to the latest Squire newsletter! We have been enjoying an extended break basking under the never ending blue summer sky and the experience has reminded us of the Sugarplum album - Blue Summer Days!
Released on 5th June 1997, the album followed the Anthony Meynell - Passengers On Trains solo album and debuted a new band name ‘Sugarplum’!
The sound of the recording stepped away from the previous acoustic and reflective approach into a more upbeat sound, capturing the warmth and timelessness of 'blue summer days' in a soundscape of lush harmonies, exotic instrumentation and sound effects to create a seamless soundtrack to summer, so the track order follows a theme as it immerses itself into the nostalgia of the never ending hot summer. An album of 'postcard pop’!
"I wanted to capture the essence of the unfolding of a long hot memorable summer, the adventure, romance, village fete, english rain, sweltering heat, fairground rides, nostalgia and childhood memories - like a compilation of holiday snapshots”
The songs trace a summer holiday of discovering new destinations, people and feelings which crystallise into the title track Blue Summer Days, describing the warmth of the sun and the blue skies of summer. Images of summer continue with a visit to the local village fete and annual holiday in the English rain. You feel carefree as a skylark high in the warm evening sky, suddenly bought to earth as it's ‘back to work’ while everyone around seems to still be on holiday. Snatching glimpses of summer at the weekends, the never ending heat-wave boils over into a psychedelic haze, the dizziness like a roller coaster ride. As the ride ends, you discover a summer long since gone, dissolved in the passing of time.
The album cover was painted by Japanese artist 'Bisous’ ( the original is the same size as the CD cover!) and the fairground pictures that illustrate the booklet were taken at Clarence Pier amusement park in Southsea, on the south coast of England, and also at
Although the album was released in the UK on the new Antenna record label, the main market was Japan and so the CD was designed to include an extra Japanese translation booklet of the lyrics and sleeve notes, with an Obi band reviewing the record (with price and release date!)
Indeed, the album was given its own stand and listening post in the Wave record shop in Tokyo on release and sold out!
Sugarplum songs were debuted at an early solo set at Poptopia in Los Angeles in 1997, and performed with full band in the early 2000’s notably at the Dublin Castle, Camden Town, London and The Cavern in Liverpool.
The album was supported by various radio performances and interviews, including the above in Bucketful of Brains!
You can hear the album on Spotify here:
We have very few copies of the original release, with obi band, in stock, available here!
All the best from Squire!