This is the feature
where we revisit bands or albums that are worthy of attention but may well
have been overlooked over the years we also signpost the definitive
CD versions and related albums worth investigating.
If you have your
own neglected band/album send us a
River City People
consisted of two brothers Tim and Paul Speed (guitars and drums
respectively)and Dave Snell (bass) who in 1987 were all studying at Liverpool
Polytechnic. Vocalist Siobhan Maher had previously worked with Snell in a
band called Peep Show and had also achieved some fame as a TV presenter in
the mid-eighties. The band's break came in 1989 when they received funding
from the pop programme 'The Chart Show' to make a video and were subsequently
signed to EMI.
The band's debut album
(producd by Don Gehman who had worked with REM) was perhaps out of its time; had it been released ten years earlier on the
heels of Fleetwood Mac's 'Rumours', it may have fared better. Although the
band's melodic style owed something to other great stylists (for example
U2 and Simple Minds in addition to Mac), they were in the grand tradition of pop-rock mainstream
with some killer hooks, riffs and melodies. A cover of 'California Dreamin'
only served to further their pop credibility and actually achieved a UK Top
20 slot when released as a
Sadly, after releasing
the "difficult" second album in October 1991 internal bitching about the direction of the band led to an impasse and they were dropped the following year by EMI. Maher found
short-lived work with ex-Bangles drummer Debbi Peterson under the name of
Kindred Spirit whilst the Speed brothers returned to the 'Pool. They later
surfaced in a band appropriately named Speed who released one dreadfully
marketed album in 1998. Dave Snell went into band management.
Siobhan Maher, married
briefly to Snell, subsequently sought her fortune in the States and,
newly-married to top Nashville producer Ray Kennedy, released an excellent
solo album in March 2002.
River City People: Say
Something Good (reissued version includes the single, California Dreamin')
(EMI CDP 7 94838 2)
Walking On Ice, Under
The Immigrant Flower (2002)