Out Now – Living on Dreams & Custard Creams

We’re delighted to be asked by Derek Bowyer to assist him in the release of his album Living on Dreams & Custard Creams. This two disc CD contains 40 covers of classic songs by The Hotknives.
Living on Dreams & Custard Creams is now available to buy. You can buy the CD from our webshop or you can stream and download it from out Bandcamp page.

You can also download 5 bonus tracks

This includes three tracks from The Room (featuring former Hotknives Mick Clare and Clem) that were recorded, but never released, back in 1992 – “Notice Me” and “Sister” which were both covered by The Long Tall Texans on their fantastic “Aces & Eights” album, plus a track that has never previously seen the light of day, “I Always Make You Cry”. These tracks are real buried treasure!

Mick Clare performing a stripped down harmonica led acoustic solo recording of “Don’t Go Away”. This cool new version really showcases Mick’s iconic soulful vocals.

There’s also be a brand new song from former Hotknives lead guitarist Dave Clifton under the moniker of The Man On The Bridge. The song is a really catchy brand new ska track entitled “Did You Ever” and just happens to mention a few Hotknives songtitles in its lyrics which is why I thought it would make a perfect addition to the album and I’m pleased to say that Dave agreed with me!! The band line up for the recording is Dave Clifton on lead vocals and guitar, and he is joined by Erin Bardwell on keyboards, Pete Fitzsimmons on bass and M.M.McGhee on drums and percussion.

Derek tells us…
The first time I ever heard live ska it changed my life! I was walking around the streets of Brighton (I was 20 and I’d just moved there), it was a Sunday lunchtime and I heard some excellent music being played live, so I walked into the pub where the sound was coming from, The Old Vic, and the first tune I heard the band (The Hotknives) perform was “Dust of Death”…
To my ears it was perfect ska, not too fast, not too slow, and the band really connected with the audience, and everyone (and I mean everyone) was dancing! That was the day my life changed! … and my Hotknives obsession started !

The Hotknives were formed in 1982 by a group of mates from their local pub, The Hurst Arms, in the town of Horsham in Sussex. Very popular in their local area they started off as a reggae band and over the course of the years incorporated more and more ska into their set and even sped up some of their live favourites. Towards the end of the 80’s they rode the wave of the ska explosion and played further afield to include London, Scotland, Up North and mainland Europe. They released the live albums “Live at the Boatman” and “Live & Skankin’ to critical acclaim and this was followed by the outstanding studio album “The Way Things Are”. In Gary Marshall and Mick Clare, they not only had outstanding songwriters but also iconic vocalists too. Dave Clifton provided the guitar licks and has to be right up there in the list of best ever ska guitarists. Micky Matthews was a bundle of energy on stage, playing sax and occasionally singing. Jim Mills was a master of the keyboards and was backed up by the engine room of Mick “Stripey” Merritt on bass and Clem on drums. Respect also goes out to Colin Jones RIP (sax), Paul Mumford (sax), Kev Clements (keys then trumpet) and Will Kevans (trumpet) who were also part of the band at various times.

The band sadly split soon after the studio album was released, and after a hiatus where several members played in a band called The Room, they re-appeared a few years later as a slimmed down version of The Hotknives, a 4 piece, that still included two original members, Mick Clare and Clem, and they were joined by Mark Carew of Long Tall Texans on bass and Richard “Bosky” Allen of Too Many Crooks on keys. In 1996 the album “Home” came along and this was followed four years later by “Screams, Dreams and Custard Creams”.

The Hotknives still regularly perform live but tend to play mainland Europe rather than gigs in the UK.

Legendary vocalist Mick Clare left the line up in 2003 and was replaced by Stu Brown, with the vocalist baton handed over to Mark Carew. Several years passed before the new line up of the band ventured into the studio again for 2010’s aptly named “About Time”.

The band have a special place in the hearts of ska music. Their songs have outstanding melodies that once heard stick in your head for weeks and their superb songwriting has to be right up there with the best of the songwriters that our proud island nation has ever produced!

For the past decade or so, I have run the Facebook page The Hotknives’ Fan Page, and as the band were approaching their 40th anniversary, I came up with the idea of putting together a tribute album of Hotknives covers and the response was mind-blowing! This has led us to have a double album of 40 tracks to celebrate 40 years, with fantastic bands from 12 different countries, all paying their respects and tributes to the band.

The Hotknives richly deserve this tribute for all the years of entertainment and enjoyment that they have provided us with over the last four decades.

I am very, very proud to be the curator of this album and I can’t wait to get it out there and share it with all of you.