Hipsway were formed in Glasgow in 1984 featuring ex-Altered Images member Johnny McElhone on bass, Grahame Skinner (vocals), Pim Jones (guitar) and Harry Travers (drums). They were quickly signed up by Mercury Records and and after two flop singles, struck payola in March 1986 with this fabulous piece of pop, which reached #17 in the singles chart:-

mp3 : Hipsway – The Honeythief

They toured a great deal in 86/87, including as openers for Eurythmics and Simple Minds, and by the time it came to make a follow-up album, McElhone had quit, going on to form the multi-million selling Texas.  The remaining three members went into the studio and presented the label with an album called Scratch The Surface, but there were delays in getting into the shops and in the interim the band split for good.

Skinner and Jones continued to work together on other projects for a number of years before also going their separate ways, although they each remained active in the Scottish music scene.

The duo decided to get back together as Hipsway to play some gigs to mark the 30th Anniversary re-release of the self-titled debut album and were pleasantly surprised to sell out a number of shows at decent sized venues in Glasgow.  This led to them reforming on a more permanent basis, writing and recording new material, with the album Smoke and Mirrors due for imminent release before an extensive Scottish tour this coming December, including a gig at the Barrowlands.




Given yesterday’s posting referenced Joy Division Oven Gloves, this seems quite apt.

I was out socializing with Aldo the other week when he showed me the bottle of the brew that he was drinking.  It was called Hipsway.

‘As in the band?’, I asked him.

‘As in the band JC’, he replied.

And he wasn’t joking.

Williams Bros Brewing Company is a Scottish family owned microbrewery, based in Alloa, which is some 35 minutes north of Glasgow.  They’ve been on the go since 1988 and currently churn out around 30 different brews which they bottle or put in kegs and distribute across Scotland and beyond.  Aldo is a big fan of their stuff…

The company website says this:-

A great Glasgow band and a great name for a beer. We coax the amazing aromas out of some New Zealand and Slovenian hops, blend with an eclectic mix of light malts and cold condition on an infusion of cone hops mixed with freshly pressed strawberries. It has an ABV of 5.0% and under the tasting notes it claims

Taste: Malty, Strawberry, Zesty, Fruity
Colour: Gold, Slight Haze
Smell: Strawberry, Citrus Fruits, Peach, Pine

I can’t vouch for the sales pitch as I’m strictly a vodka man myself.

The company also have a bottle called The Honey Thief which, as all connoisseurs of 80s pop music will, tell you, was the one hit single that Hipsway enjoyed, reaching #17 in the spring of 1986.

Here’s the company blurb on that particular brew:-

A warm Golden Ale brewed with a blend of choice malts and hops to which we add a prepared infusion of honey and whole cone hops. The delicate sweet honey notes balance beautifully with the lemon and gooseberry aromas of our Cascade and Nelson Sauvin hops. It has an ABV of 5.2% and under the tasting notes it claims

Taste: Slightly Sweet Honey, Lemon, Citrus Fruits
Colour: Golden
Smell: Sweet, Straw, Citrus, Gooseberry

The really bizarre thing is that back in the early 90s a Hipsway song was used to advertise a particularly vile and cheap brand of Scottish lager whose name was also emblazoned across the jerseys of one of our most prominent football teams:-

I’m guessing the band members are a bit prouder of the newer association with bevvy.

mp3 : Hipsway – The Honeythief
mp3 : Hipsway – Tinder