Living On Dreams and Custard Creams

Earlier this year Derek Bowyer of the Facebook page FANS OF ALL LINE UPS OF THE HOTKNIVES began to invite an international array of bands to record covers of classic songs by The Hotknives. The Specialized Project are proud to be releasing this wonderful collection on Specialized Records. Currently the bands are recording their tracks and Derek expects the album to be ready in the new year.

Ska legends The Hotknives were originally formed in 1982 by a group of friends interested in ska, dub, reggae and Northern Soul. They recorded two live albums, “Live at the boatman” and “Live and Skanking” before recording their first studio album, “The Way Things Are” in 1989. Having reached the top of the 3rd Wave ska scene and been banned from Radio in the UK, the band decided to call it a day in 1993. In 1994 the band reformed, this time with Marc Carew of Long Tall Texans fame and Richard “Bosky” Allen from Too Many Crooks . The band started to regularly tour Europe with their infectious ska rhythms and memorable melodies. In 1996 the band released their second studio album “Home” to rave reviews on the ska scene. In 2000 the band released their next studio album, “Screams, Dreams and Custard Creams” getting in the top 10 in the Zoom charts in Germany. In 2003 they had their most recent and dynamic line-up change to date with the addition of Stuart Brown on guitar and Marc Carew taking over on lead vocals.

Derek has this to say about how he decided to curate the album
“About nine and a half years ago I was searching on line for information about The Hotknives, not only what the current line up were up to but also what former members of the band were up to. It was difficult to find anything… I’d seen other fanpages on Facebook and I wondered why on Earth no-one had decided to do a fanpage for The Hotknives. Then I thought… Why not do it myself! So I did.

Nearly a decade later, the fanpage has over 1300 active members from over 50 different countries worldwide, and many of those are musicians in other bands. There is a lot of love and respect out there for The Hotknives. The band had their first rehearsal back in 1982 and I thought what better way to celebrate 40 years of the band than doing a compilation album featuring new versions of all their old favourites! Almost immediately from when I posted about this idea on the fanpage, I had an unbelievable response. So many bands and artists wanted to be involved that it was a truly humbling experience.

We have 40 tracks from 35 different artists, from 13 different countries involved in this covers album, including many former members of The Hotknives.The time is right to celebrate this outstanding British ska band who should have had the mainstream success that their talent and superb songwriting deserved. Their songs talk of everyday working class life and have melodies that once heard, stick in your head for weeks, so much so that hearing their songs gives you a warm feeling and is very much like greeting an old friend!

Let’s celebrate the music of The Hotknives… Long live the “Holsten Boys” !

The track list will be

Album 1 of 2…

1 – “Dave and Mary” by The Abruptors (USA)
2 – “Don’t Go Away” by The Mighty Offbeats (UK)
3 – “Liquidator” by The Bakesys (UK)
4 – “Doing Alright” by Riff Raff (UK)
5 – “Driving Me Mad” / “Dick Barton” by Los Chicklets (Mexico)
6 – “Holsten Boys” by The Nicks (Germany)
7 – “If You Don’t Know Me” / “Believe It” by Mick Clare * (UK)
8 – “Julie Julie” by Joe Scholes * (Germany)
9 – “She’s A Lady” by Gary Marshall (UK)
10 – “Alcoholic Nightmare” (Sinister Dub Version) by Doctor Ring Ding (Germany)
11 – “Rio” by Intensified (UK)
12 – “Harsh Reality” by Bosky B (UK)
13 – “Dust of Death” by Magic Lord and the Mighty Drakkers (France)
14- “The Way Things Are” (Special Extended Version) by Judge Fudge and the Skatterbrainz (featuring Dave Clifton and Paul Mumford) – (New Zealand/UK)
15 – “Mr DJ” by The Man On The Bridge (UK)
16 – “Dave’s Song” by The Soho-lites (UK)
17 – “Man In The Cellar” by Boss Riot (USA)
18 – “Driving Me Mad” by Gangsters (Ireland)
19 – “One Man and His Dog” by Spicy Roots (Germany)
20 – “Crying” by The Man On The Bridge (UK)

Album 2 of 2…

1 – “Don’t Go Away” by Mick Clare * (UK)
2 – “Bedsit Land” by Gary Marshall (UK)
3 – “W.L.N.” by Mike, Toni & Alex of The Abruptors * (USA)
4 – “Summer Never Comes Too Soon” by Paul Captain Watson * (UK)
5 – “Rules Of The Game” by Loonee Toons (UK)
6 – “Alcoholic Nightmare” by The Exceptions (USA)
7 – “Gör Mig Galen” by Skabara – “Driving Me Mad” in Swedish (Sweden)
8 – “Julie Julie” by Kardamomo Ska (Colombia)
9 – “Doing Alright” by Skanking Beat (in Spanish) – (Colombia)
10 – “In My Dreams” by Spicy Roots (Germany)
11 – “You Again” by The Slapstickers (Germany)
12 – “Another Day” by lennymcartney (UK)
13 – “W.L.N.” by Natural Killer Sound System (Venezuela)
14 – “Knocking On Heaven’s Door” by Antigua Joe (Antigua!)
15 – “Dave and Mary” by Judge Fudge and The Skatterbrainz (featuring Dave Clifton) – (New Zealand/UK)
16 – “Driving Me Mad” by Wersja De Lux (Poland)
17 – “In My Dreams” by Dr Woggle & The Radio (Germany)
18 – “Last Song On The Jukebox” by Sombrero Club (Argentina)
19 – “Skin Up Harry”/”Doing Alright” by The Wacetonians (in the language of Normandy) – (France)
20 – “Jungle Reggae” by The Soho-lites (UK)

* = Acoustic versions