The Railway Children (band)

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This article is about the alternative rock band. For other uses, see The Railway Children.
The Railway Children
The Railway Children.jpg
Background information
Origin Wigan, Greater Manchester, England
Genres Alternative rock, new wave
Years active 1984–1991, 1996–present
Labels Factory
Members Gary Newby
Stephen Hull
Brian Bateman
Guy Keegan

The Railway Children are a British alternative rock band, formed in Wigan in 1984, by Gary Newby (songwriter/vocals/guitar/keyboards), Brian Bateman (rhythm/guitar), Guy Keegan (drums), and Stephen Hull (bass).[1]


Factory Records recorded their debut single "A Gentle Sound" in 1986, followed by their first album, Reunion Wilderness in 1987. Both releases topped the UK Indie Chart, along with their second single, "Brighter".[1] They left Factory shortly afterwards and were signed to Virgin Records.[1]

1988 saw the release of their second album, Recurrence, on Virgin Records, and support tours with R.E.M. in Europe (Work Tour) and The Sugarcubes in the US. A national chart hit eluded them with singles "In the Meantime", "Somewhere South" and "Over and Over". In 1990, they released Native Place, an album that saw the band take a more pop oriented direction, with keyboard textures coming more to the fore than previously. "Every Beat of the Heart" became a Top 40 hit in the UK with a peak at No. 24, and the song became a No. 1 hit on the newly founded Modern Rock Tracks chart in the U.S.[2][3]

The band parted with Virgin Records in 1992, and broke up soon after. Keegan later had a spell in the Wigan-based folk rock band The Tansads, The Crash Band, and The Ultras, while Hull and Bateman left music for good.

Newby continued solo,[1] and has since released several albums as The Railway Children: Dream Arcade (1997, Ether Records), Gentle Sound (2002, Ether Records) and two collections of rare recordings: Rarities #1 in 2007 and Rarities #2 in 2010; the latter available only by download from his official site (listed below).[1] Newby spent several years in Japan from 2002 onwards, writing/arranging music and lyrics for several major Japanese artists, including Anna Tsuchiya, Every Little Thing, V6, Detroit Metal City, Sailor Moon and Yoshikuni Douchin.

The original line up of Newby, Keegan, Hull and Bateman have recently been rehearsing together and have announced a number of dates, the first in New York on 22 May 2016 at the NYC Popfest, a Manchester gig at the Ruby Lounge (16 July 2016), Shiiine On Weekender in Minehead (11 November) and The 100 Club in London (18 November).



  • Reunion Wilderness, Factory Records, FAC185, 1987 - UK Indie No. 1
  • Recurrence, Virgin Records, V2525, 1988 - UK No. 96
  • Native Place, Virgin Records, V2627, 1990 - UK No. 59
  • Radio One Evening Sessions, Strange Fruit, CDNT002, 1993
  • Listen On: The Best of, Virgin Records, CDOVD451, 1995
  • Dream Arcade, Ether Records, ETH1, 1997
  • Gentle Sound (acoustic compilation album), Ether Records, ETH3, 2003
  • Rarities 1# (download only) 2007
  • Rarities 2# (download only) 2010



  • "A Gentle Sound" (1986)
  • "Brighter" (1987)
  • "In the Meantime" (1988)
  • "Somewhere South" (1988)
  • "Over and Over" (1988)
  • "Every Beat of the Heart" (1990) - UK No. 24, US Alt. No. 1[4]
  • "Music Stop" (1990) - UK No. 66
  • "So Right" (1990) - UK No. 68
  • "Something So Good" (1991) - UK No. 57
  • "Skinship" (2002)



  1. ^ a b c d e "Biography by Stephen Thomas Erlewine". Retrieved 3 April 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 448. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  3. ^ "Allmusic (((The Railway Children > Charts & Awards > Singles)))". 
  4. ^ Alternative Songs,, issue date 8 September 1990

External links[edit]