IN SPRING 1990 MARTIN STEPHENSON AND THE DAINTEES RELEASED THEIR THIRD ALBUM, SALUTATION ROAD. THE MOUTH MAGAZINE HAS RECENTLY POSTED A PREVIOUSLY UNPUBLISHED INTERVIEW WITH MARTIN STEPHENSON FROM MAY OF THAT YEAR, HERE.
To complement the discovery of the interview in our archives, Stephenson and occasional collaborator Jim Hornsby agreed to record an exclusive video session featuring performances of songs from SALUTATION ROAD.
The duo were in fine form during the afternoon of recording, in York. Relaying how they’d just been for a stroll round the city centre and posed for a caricature artist, Stephenson’s boyish grin lit up as he showed the sketch and explained “I think the fella who drew this was a wee bit sweet on me… He’s made me look real cute on here, see? So I had to tell him me and Jim are, yes, just married”… Hornsby decided to keep his flat cap on throughout filming “to reinforce the Northern stereotype”, though Stephenson elected to change his own for his more familiar trilby: “We don’t want people thinking we’ve going for a big Pet Shop Boys visual concept… Anyway, our vibe’s more like the Betting Shop Boys, eh?”
Clearly enjoying the camaraderie of being out on the road, Hornsby and Stephenson offered to extend our agreed time, and threw in extra performances during the filming (“We’re really on fire at the moment,” Stephenson had told us earlier). HOME and ROSE OF THE SOUL’S TRUE DESIRE were unexpected treats, but the SALUTATION ROAD section of the afternoon’s session comprised a blistering run through the album’s (almost) hit single LEFT US TO BURN (an attack on the destruction of industry in the North-East during the 1980s by the then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and her government) and a delightfully understated take on the gentle WE ARE STORM. All four songs in the playlist (right).