The Blue Aeroplanes

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The Blue Aeroplanes
Blue Aeroplanes 2.jpeg
The Blue Aeroplanes performing live, April 2006
Background information
Origin Bristol, England
Genres Alternative rock, post-punk, art rock
Years active 1981–present
Labels Party
Fire
Ensign
Beggars Banquet
Art Star
Harvest/EMI
Associated acts Art Objects
Massive Attack
Strangelove
Rita Lynch
Witness
Exploding Seagulls
Oyster Band
Suede
Website theblueaeroplanes.com
Members Gerard Langley
John Langley
Wojtek Dmochowski
Rodney Allen
Gerard Starkie
Max Noble
Chris Sharp
Rita Lynch
Angelo Bruschini
Cover of Huh!: The Best of, 1987–1992

The Blue Aeroplanes are an English rock band from Bristol,[1] the mainstays of which have been Gerard Langley, brother John Langley, and dancer Wojtek Dmochowski. All three had previously been members of the new wave "art band" Art Objects from 1978 to 1981.

History[edit]

The Blue Aeroplanes first performed under that name at the King Street Art Gallery in Bristol in 1981. They consisted mainly of former members of the Art Objects, with the addition of Nick Jacobs, former guitarist and vocalist of Southampton band The Exploding Seagulls.[2] The same line-up played three or four concerts over the next couple of years, either at the gallery or for benefits, including a Karl Marx centenary performance at the Victoria Rooms, with the addition of trumpet and didgeridoo.[3] The Blue Aeroplanes' first album Bop Art was released on their own Party Records in 1984, and was rapidly picked up by the Abstract (US) and Fire (UK) labels.[4] It contained material that had been considered as a follow-up to Art Objects' only album, Bagpipe Music. Gerard Langley's largely spoken poetic lyrics were combined with a heavily guitar-centric band that went on to release Tolerance (1986) and Spitting Out Miracles (1987) and several singles and EPs whose B-sides were brought together in the compilation FriendLoverPlane (1988), all on the Fire label.

In 1990 the band released probably their most critically acclaimed album, Swagger, this time on a major label Chrysalis/Ensign. This was followed by Beatsongs which was recorded in the United States and released in 1991. This second album on the major label was their highest charting, reaching no. 33 in the UK album charts. A second compilation of rare B-sides and out-takes, FriendLoverPlane2 (Up in a Down World), was released in 1992.

The follow-up to Beatsongs was delayed until 1994 when the album, Life Model was released on the Beggars Banquet label, followed by Rough Music in 1995. "Broken & Mended" from Life Model was the band's last single to chart and is a favourite at gigs.

A long break and another label change to ArtStar preceded the release of Cavaliers in 2000. Following negotiations with EMI who now owned the rights to Swagger and Beatsongs, The Blue Aeroplanes made a surprise return to this major label. EMI re-released Swagger Deluxe as a 2-CD version in January 2006. This was followed by an album of new material called Altitude later that year, released on EMI's Harvest imprint. The group then recorded an album of cover versions of classic tracks that were originally recorded by artists signed to the Harvest label. The album, called Harvester, was released by EMI/Harvest in 2007.

As well as the two FriendLoverPlane compilations, several other compilations have been released in recent years. Huh! The Best of The Blue Aeroplanes (1987–1992) was released by EMI/Chrysalis in 1997 and featured many of the songs from Swagger and Beatsongs. Also in 1997, Warhol's 15 The Best of the Blue Aeroplanes (1985–1988) was released and covered the preceding period when the band was signed to Fire records. In 1996 Fruit (live 1985–1995) was released on Fire records and covered 10 years of live performances recorded at various venues. Then in 2001, ArtStar released Weird Sh*t which featured both rare tracks and alternative versions of some of the band's best-known songs from Swagger through to 'Cavaliers.

In 2008 and 2009 limited edition live albums were released and sold at the annual Christmas gig at Fiddlers in Bristol. Live in Cheltenham (2008) and Skyscrapers (2009) were limited to just 100 copies each and each featured songs not included on the other live CD.

Live performances[edit]

Lead singer Gerard Langley (right) and classically trained Polish dancer Wojciech Dmochowski, April 2006.

Much of the appeal of The Blue Aeroplanes lies in their excellence as a live act.[citation needed] Happy headlining gigs in small indie venues or supporting big acts such as REM[5] and Siouxsie & the Banshees on major international tours, The Blue Aeroplanes have a reputation for keeping their set list as fresh as the line-up of guitarists. Frontman Gerard Langley has a huge stage presence,[citation needed] always wearing his trademark shades even at night in dark venues, and will move from casually introducing songs and making cryptic comments to answering questions from the audience back to his half-sung, half spoken snarling delivery of his lyrics. Memorable[citation needed] performances include the band's 1992 appearance at Glastonbury which was broadcast on BBC Radio 1, the finale at the Hammersmith Apollo when 12 guitarists were seen on stage performing "Breaking in My Heart" and their annual appearance at Fiddlers in Bristol[6] which has now been relocated to the band's own venue, The Fleece.[7]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

  • Bop Art (1984), Party
  • Tolerance (1985), Fire
  • Spitting Out Miracles (1987), Fire
  • Friendloverplane (1988), Fire
  • Swagger (1990), Ensign
  • World View Blue (1990), Chrysalis
  • Beatsong', (1991), Ensign
  • Friendloverplane 2 (1992), Ensign
  • Life Model (1994), Beggars Banquet
  • Rough Music (1995), Beggars Banquet
  • Fruit (1996), Fire
  • Weird Shit (1996), Self-release
  • Huh!: The Best, 1987–1992 (1997), Chrysalis
  • Cavaliers & Roundheads (2000), Swarf Finger
  • Warhol's 15 – The Best Of The Blue Aeroplanes 1985–1988 (2002), Nectar
  • Altitude (2006), EMI/Harvest
  • Harvester (2007), EMI/Harvest

Singles & EPs[edit]

  • "Action Painting & Other Original Works Of..." (1985), Fire
  • "Lover & Confidante And Other Stories of Travel Religion & Heartbreak" (1985), Fire
  • "Tolerance" (1986), Fire
  • "Bury Your Love Like Treasure" (1987), Fire
  • "The Janice Long Session" (1988), Night Trax
  • "Veils of Colour" (1988), Fire
  • "Jacket Hangs" (1990), Ensign
  • "...And Stones" (1990), Ensign
  • "The Loved EP" (1990), Ensign
  • "Yr Own World" (1991), Ensign
  • "The Boy in the Bubble" (1991), Ensign
  • "Stranger" (1992), Flexi-disc given out at Bristol University gig.
  • "Fun" (1992), Ensign
  • "Up In A Down World" (1993), Fantastic Plastic
  • "Broken & Mended EP" (1994), Beggars Banquet
  • "Detective Song" (1994), Beggars Banquet
  • "Sugared Almond EP" (1995), Beggars Banquet
  • "China Brilliance Automotive" (2020), Albino Two Recordings

Compilation appearances[edit]

  • Bludgeoned (1985). Includes different version of "Action Painting".
  • Imminent Episode One (1985), Food. Includes an alternate version of "Outback Jazz".
  • On The Dotted Line (1997), EMI. Includes two live tracks from the ICA, listing unknown.
  • Great Fire of London (1989), Fire. Includes the uncredited version of Dave Brubeck's "Unsquare Dance" (an out-take from Bop Art), and a different version of "Gunning The Works".
  • Lime Lizards (1991), CAS. Includes "Autumn Journal XV".
  • Volume 2 (1991). Includes the original album version of "Aeroplane Blues" (pre-overdubs, etc.).
  • Ruby Trax (1992), NME. Includes "Bad Moon Rising".
  • NME Presents Viva! Eight (1992), NME. Includes "Yr Own World (live)".
  • The Indie Scene 1985 – The Story of British Independent Music (1992). Includes "Action Painting".

Lineups[edit]

Album credits
"P" = Primary member, "S" = Supporting member
Player Bop Art Tolerance Spitting Out
Miracles
Friendlover-
plane
Swagger Beatsongs Friendlover-
plane 2
Life Model Rough Music Anti-Gravity
Alex Acuna - - - - - - S - - -
Joe Allen - - - - - - - - P -
Rodney Allen - - - S P P P P P -
Johnny Baker - - - - - - - S - -
Bill Bell - - S S - - - - - -
Richard Bell - P P P - - - - - -
Tracey Bowen - - - - - - - S - -
Vivian Bowen - - - - - - - S - -
Bob Bradley - - - - - - - P P -
Paul Bradley - - - - - - - - S -
Angelo Bruschini - S - P P P P P - -
Antoinette Burrell - - - - - - - S - -
Steve Bush S - - - - - - - - -
Dan Catsis S - - - - - - - - -
Dave Chapman - P P P - - - - - -
George Claridge - - - - - - - - S -
Christian Clarke - - - S - - - - - -
Ruth Cochrane - P P P - - - - - -
John Cornick - - - - - - - S - -
Richard Crabtree - - - - - - - S - -
Simon Crump S - - - - - - - - -
Fiona Davies - - - - - - - S - -
Stephen Davies S - - - - - - - - -
Jedrej Dmochowski - S - S - - - - - -
Wojtek Dmochowski P P P P P P P P P P
Patrick Duff - - - - - - - - S -
Chris Evans - - - - - - - S - -
Nigel Eaton - - S - S - - - - -
Rhian Evans - - - - - - - S - -
Mark Espiner - - S S - - - - - -
Pat Fish (Jazz Butcher) - - - - - S S - P -
Alexandra Frean - - - - - - - S - -
Matthew Gale - - S S - - - - - -
Roger Goslyn - S - S - - - - - -
Caroline Halcrow - - - P - - - - - -
Simon Heathfield - - - P - - - - - -
Bob Hewerdine - - - - S - - - - -
Clare Hirst - - - - S - - - - -
Susie Hug - - - - - - - S S -
Nick Jacobs P P P P S - - - - -
Luís Jardim - - - - S - - - - -
Tom Johnson - - - - - - - - S -
Rachel Jones - - - - - - - S - -
Francis Kane - - - - - - - - S -
Ian Kearey P S - P S S S P S -
Tim Keegan - - - - - - - - S -
J.J. Key S - - - - S - - - -
Robin Key S - - - - - - - - -
Dave King - - S - - - - - - -
Kenny Lacey - - - - - - - S - -
Elizabeth Lane - - - - - - S S - -
Andrew Lang - - - - - - - S - -
Gerard Langley P P P P P P P P P P
John Langley P P P P P - P - P P
Alex Lee - - - - P P P - P -
Jeremy Little - - - - - - - S - -
Charlie Llewellin S - - - - - - - - -
Georgia Lowe - - - - - - - S - -
Rita Lynch - - - - - - - - - P
David Mansfield - - - - - S - - - -
Jerry Marotta - - - - - S S - - -
Andy McCreeth - - - - P P P S - -
Paul Mulreany - - - - - P P P P -
Dave Newton - - - - - - - S S -
Max Noble - - - - - - - - S P
Iain O'Higgins - S - - - - - - - -
Nick Powell - - - - - - - - S -
Roger Power - - - - - - - - P -
Simon Preston S - - - - - - - - -
Graham Russell - - - - - - - - P -
Andy Sheppard - - - - - - - - S -
Michelle Shocked - - S - - - - - - -
Bill Stair S - - - - - - - - -
John Stapleton - P P P - - - - - -
Michael Stipe - - - - S - - - - -
Elaine Summers - - - - - S - - - -
Danny Timms - - - - - S - - - -
Neti Vaandrager - - S - - - - - - -
Marcus Williams - - - - - - - - P -
Nick Williams - - - - - - - S - -
Sharon Williams - - - - - - - S - -
Hazel Winter - - - - - - P P - -
Tony Wrafter S - - S - - - - - -
Jon Wygens - - - - - - - - P -
Loki Lillistone - - - - - - - - - P
Chris Sharp - - - - - - - - - P
Gerard Starkie - - - - - - - - P P

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ruhlmann, William. "The Blue Aeroplanes – Music Biography, Credits and Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 18 February 2013. 
  2. ^ http://www.bristolarchiverecords.com/archiveRecordLabels/fried_egg_records.html
  3. ^ "The Blue Aeroplanes Austin Shows on Do512". Do512.com. Retrieved 18 February 2013. 
  4. ^ "The Blue Aeroplanes". otherworldly.com. 7 December 2009. [dead link]
  5. ^ "Blue Aeroplanes Myspace Blog". myspace.com. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Blue Aeroplanes at Fiddlers". Headfirst Bristol. 18 February 2011. Retrieved 21 February 2015. 
  7. ^ "The Blue Aeroplanes + Kezia + Damn Vandals + The Darwin Republic @ The Fleece, Bristol". All Events. 7 December 2012. Retrieved 21 February 2015. 

External links[edit]