Red Guitars were a product of the vibrant Hull music scene of the late 1970s and early 80s. Encouraged by a review of their demo tape in the Melody Maker the band recorded a single, Good Technology, and released it on their own Self Drive label. John Peel played it on the radio, Tyne Tees Television filmed them for the Tube and Johnny Marr invited them to tour with the Smiths. They were up and running.
This site covers the original Red Guitars, before they signed to Virgin Records, when the lineup was Hallam Lewis, Jeremy Kidd, Lou Duffy-Howard, John Rowley and Matt Higgins.
[The Red Guitars] contribution to the evolution of music, particularly the diversification of the Post-Punk canon, is more important than many recognise…
Neil March, Trust the Doc, June 2019.
Red Guitars…a suitcase full of freshly crafted tunes, intelligent thought‑provoking lyrics and razor‑edged, always cutting sounds…nothing less than astounding.
Melody Maker's assessment from 21/01/84.
The Red Guitars steadily built up to a tail‑chasing frenzy of angry frets and throbbing rhythms.
Melody Maker review, 07/01/84.
From the cold but warm, hard but mellow, slow but fast version of Good Technology to the African‑influenced beat‑fantastic of Marimba Jive the audience shook its hip and swung its leg in time to the sub‑pop monster rhythm of Matt Higgins' drums and Lou Barlow's bass guitar.
Dave Roberts, Sounds, 11/02/84.
Red Guitars have a good guitarist in Hallam Lewis, who uses swirling African influences in the excellent Marimba Jive and Remote Control.
Robin Denselow, the Guardian, 14/11/84.
Via one delicious melody and an ominously building beat Good Technology itemises the sundry achievements of modern science, from underarm personal hygiene to the hardware of instant Armageddon...an unforgettable vision of a world that's grown too clever by one‑and‑a‑half at least.
Paul Du Noyer, the NME, 27/08/83.
Fact was one of the best guitar records since the demise of Television.
The Guardian, 11/05/84.
I had trouble sleeping after hearing the magnificent Steeltown.
Dave Henderson, Sounds, 10/11/84.
In Crocodile Tears lead guitarist Hallam Lewis plays the fleet‑fingered sabateur behind Jeremy Kidd's dry lyric…
Adam Sweeting, Melody Maker 24/11/84.
The Red Guitars: a rare blend of ambitious dance and creative advance. A band for the moment with a keen eye on the future.
Frank Worral, Melody Maker 21/01/84.
Good Technology is one of those tracks that grabs you by the ears on first listen, the sort of thing that even before it's halfway through you know you love…but the thing that sets it apart and makes it worthy of remembering 30 years on is the arresting lyric.
Dust On The Stylus blog.
Impressive and refreshingly original…
Cambridge Rock Review, December 1983.
Slow To Fade is a bit of a classic - quite a bit. And a grower, too, featuring songs with melodies, guitars, drums, bass and a singer who can sing.
Dave Henderson, Sounds on 10/11/84.
…music which comments on its “art” without losing beat and breadth.
Creem Magazine, January 1984.
A fingerpopping streak of soulful skank…runs through the core of their music.
Adrian Thrills, NME, December 1984.
Slow To Fade is a rock record with a brain by a group who have a point of view worth hearing.
Adam Sweeting, Melody Maker 24/11/84.
Marimba Jive - this is more like it! Mayhem with a motive. Jive and power in double dealing duplicity and in jarring juxtaposition. Rock and Roll has few gutsy groups today and the Red Guitars are one of these.
Paul Shaw, Northampton Evening News.
I just wait for that certain chord - the chord is blue it swings it rocks and when it comes I belt it!
Lyric from Czech It Out by Sean O'Brien.
The Slow to Fade album plus all the early singles.
- Good Technology
- Heartbeat Go!
- Paris France
- Within Four Walls
- Jamaican Homecoming
- Remote Control
- Cloak and Dagger
- Crocodile Tears
- Shaken Not Stirred
- Sting in the Tale
- Marimba Jive
- Slow to Fade