THE GERMAN LLOYD COLE & THE COMMOTIONS

I was browsing through some list or other about indie bands from the 80s who should be better known than they are or more popular than they were.  On the list was a group called The Jeremy Days, which was a new one on me.  Then I read the blurb:-

The Jeremy Days. The German Lloyd Cole & The Commotions. Presumably there was a need for one of those. Their self-titled 1988 debut album was actually produced by Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley, the men in the chair for the Commotions’ 1985 set ‘Easy Pieces’, and picked up coverage over here – if not any genuine sales.

Wiki was my next friend….except the page was in German….but this is what the translation seemingly says:-

The Jeremy Days was a German pop band from Hamburg , which was founded in 1987 and disbanded in 1996. The band originally consisted of Dirk Darmstaedter (vocals, guitar), Christoph M. Kaiser (bass, vocals), Louis C. Oberlander (keyboard), Stefan Rager (drums) and Jörn-Christof Heilbut (guitar). In 1994, Rager left the band and was replaced on the drums by Rob Feigel.

In 1988 appeared on Polydor debut album The Jeremy Days , which was produced by the English producer team Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley. The record sold about 150,000 times. The single Brand New Toy came up to number 11 on the German charts .

Sporadically there are reunions of the band for special occasions; so the complete original cast at the festival “Save the FC St.Pauli” played in August 2003 at the Millerntor Stadium in Hamburg. In March 2011, Dirk Darmstaedter, Jörn-Christof Heilbut and Christoph M. Kaiser performed in the Hamburg club Grünspan at the memorial event for the late former Palais Schaumburg singer and media designer Walter Welke (née Thielsch). In June 2018, the band announced for January 2019 a reunion concert in Hamburg with all founding members except Christoph M. Kaiser. This took place on 18 January 2019 in front of a sold-out house in the docks.

The FC St Pauli thing caught my eyes. It has never been the most succesful of football clubs but it is one for which I have a soft spot  as it has encouraged an alternative fan scene over the 30-40 years, leaning towards left-wing politics and social causes, often linked into the punk music scene in Hamburg.

I was guessing that The Jeremy Days weren’t punk, but the fact they had taken part in a fundraiser for FC St Pauli at a time when the club was at a low ebb, instantly made them worth checking out.

They actually shared a record label with Lloyd Cole & The Commotions and released four albums and ten singles on Polydor between 1988 and 1994 before moving to Motor Music (which was a German subsidiary of Polydor) for whom there was one album and four singles in 1995 and one futher single in 2001 (which I’m assuming coincided with the FC St Pauli gig).

Let’s start with the song that gets a mention in the wiki page

mp3 : The Jeremy Days – Brand New Toy

Musically, it’s not immediately similar to LC & the Comms…..but good god, the voice is spooky!

That was actually their third single, this was the debut:-

mp3 : The Jeremy Days – Are You Inventive?

It sounds more akin to Go West than it does to jingly-jangly pop, and I can understand now why it all passed me by.

Jumping forward to 1990 and a track from their second album:-

mp3 : The Jeremy Days – Sylvia Suddenly

Again, there’s nothing to get me too excited, but I can hear why it would find favour with pop fans.

In 1992, they went to New York and recorded an album with Fred Maher who had worked with Lloyd Cole at the start of the solo career. Here’s a single from that era:-

mp3 : The Jeremy Days – Loved

And finally, here’s the single from 2001:-

mp3 : The Jeremy Days – It Is The Time

In doing a bit of research for this piece, I learned that 2001 was also the year that a compilation album was released of different mixes of old songs and unreleased material. This wasn’t actually a new song but a new mix of one that date from 1992.

So there you go…..The Jeremy Days from Hamburg. Most certainly NOT the German Lloyd Cole & The Commotions……just another example of shit and lazy journalism…no surprise it was from the modern era NME in a piece that was headed up “50 Unfashionable But Brilliant 80s Bands That Time Cruelly Forgot”

JC

6 thoughts on “THE GERMAN LLOYD COLE & THE COMMOTIONS

  1. I sometimes despair on the amount of money wasted on cds due to a “sounds like Prefab Sprout “ type of review.

  2. I liked “Brand New Toy” after seeing the video on MTV’s International Hour and I actually have owned the Jeremy Days debut album since it came out. It got a US release on Polydor and that was that. Decent pop music, for certain, but nothing to get your feathers ruffled over.

  3. I recognised the name of the band but couldn’t for the life of me remember why. None of the linked songs rang any bells. Thankfully Discogs came to the rescue and reminded me that I had at some point purchased their 1989 single “Julie Thru The Blinds”. I treasured this piece of vinyl so much that I’m guessing it had left my collection by 1990. A bit hasty maybe – listening to it again now it’s OK – but how much would I have played it over the last 29 years?

  4. One of those band I remember making a note to self to check out, did, and moved on. In the late 80s that seemed to be the way things worked. By ’88 I was well into my Deep/Garage/Chicago House phase and aside from Shoegaze/JAMC guitars began to mean less and less to me.

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