OK…I’ll willingly confess.

I had no idea this was a debut single and indeed until the release of the release of the C87 box set by Cherry Red a couple of years back, I hadn’t even heard of The Waltones.

Although they were a Manchester band, this particular 45 and indeed two subsequent singles and a debut album were to be found on Medium Cool, a London-based indie label which also put out material by the likes of The Corn Dollies, The Raw Herbs and The Siddeleys.

As the reverse of the sleeve indicates, the band consisted of Alex Fyans (drums), Mark Collins (guitar), James Knox (vocals, harmonica) and Manny Lee (bass, backing vocals). The debut album came out just as their label went bust and so they made a move to Midnight Music for a second album, at which point the drummer upped sticks. A new bloke was brought in and the band was renamed Candlestick Park, but after just one single they called it a day.

Mark Collins soon afterwards, in 1991, joined The Charlatans as the replacement for the recently departed and original guitarist John Baker; it’s a move I don’t think he’s ever regretted.

Oh, and the reason I love the debut 45 by The Waltones? It’s such a close cousin to The Bluebells but with a great Manc sounding vocal……

mp3 : The Waltones – Downhill

Here’s the equally enjoyable b-side:-

mp3 : The Waltones – Closest To

Great guitar work on this one….no wonder Mr Collins was much in demand.