Sunday, 25 September 2011

Skeletons: Breaking Down the Barriers

Miracle Mile have been going long enough for there to be a skeleton or two lurking in the closet. Better out than in so, in a series of sensational revelations (it is sunday) I'll be exposing them bones afore they reveal themselves. The initial incarnation of Miracle Mile featured Steve Smith on bass and vocals, Phil Sands on drums and myself as an 'umble guitar player. There was a single 'Bless this Ship' which I believe was Mike Reid's 'Play of the Day' on radio one. I'll try and track that one down, but the B side was an earlier recording, 'Breaking Down the Barriers' which you can hear here (taken from scratchy vinyl), complete with dancing sleeve. It's not often that you'll find McArthur's Park, Joseph Clark (as God), Holy Joe and Captain Scarlet in the same song... Although its worryingly categorized alongside A Flock of Seagulls, it sounds pretty good to me; Steve always was the better singer, warbling like Steven 'Tin Tin' Duffy before The Lilac Time existed. Steve now lives in Hollywood and still writes as The Delta Boy.
You'll also hear the MM debut of saxophonist Phil Smith from Haircut 100 who became a fixture in the live band (on keyboards and sax) for a couple of years. Although the cover/beermat above looks a little tired after strutting its stuff so energetically in that You Tube video, it's notable as the first sleeve design done for us by my great mate Nick Reddyhoff (right) who went on to do the artwork on all of the Miracle Mile album covers. He still hasn't been paid a penny and now lives pennyless and destitute in a flimsy tent on the Norfolk coast with his wife Lucinda and my two god children Tats and Zac (he couldn't afford full names for them) and a dog whose name they've had to change by deed poll from 'Porridge' to 'Gruel'.
God bless that man...


  1. Wonderful stuff,Trev! I wanted to ask you for ages if you had any rare tracks,I could get to listen to, but thought it a bit cheeky as you already give us an excellent album almost every year!
    Looking forward to hearing more.Any chance of making them downloadable?Love to make a compilation CD.
    Tel Aviv

  2. Phil,
    glad that you've found me here. I'll try and get 'Bless this Ship' on. In fact if you'd like a 7" record you are welcome.
    There are some tracks (from Bluer Skies & God's Own Swimming Pool) that didn't make Bicycle Thieves... I think that you might have them but I will try and host them as downloads.

  3. Thanks for the offer ,but sadly I've no means of playing vinyl.I have 'Bluer Skies',a rather excellent album.Were any live gigs ever recorded ,hint hint.

  4. Phil,
    I think that there might be some live stuff around from the early days. I'd kind of put all that behind me but (of the back of the blog) am being reconnected with my past. If I find 'em (good or bad) I'll post 'em, warts and all...

  5. pennyless and destitute28 September 2011 at 08:37

    Hi Trev, great work keep it up!


  6. I know where you live!
    Are you in focus yet?
    Trev x

  7. I have about 19 demo songs (from scratchy cassette tape transferred to my iTunes) plus Bless This Ship from the 'Molly & The Moonjeans'CD. Some brilliant songs which I often play.

    Pleased I found your website. I will certainly check out the albums.

  8. Thanks for that.
    Who are you anonymous?
    I'd love to hear some of that old stuff. Maybe we could share it here.
    I didn't know that Molly and the Moonbeams (Steve Smith's band after he left MM) had a CD...
    Tell me more,,,

  9. Hello again Trevor,

    My name is Isobelle Gladstone and I was friends with Steve and Helena. I came to watch the early MM in numerous pubs and clubs and helped finance the single (I too have a signed copy). Alas, momentous things happened in Steve and Helena's lives as they did in mine, and sadly we lost touch. However, I have always loved those songs and play them often.

    Which songs you may ask....well, there are a couple of versions of 'Big Brass Bed' and 'Breaking Down the Barriers', but also 'Human to Human', 'Just Ask', 'Nothing to Do With You', 'Cassie & I', 'Miss You', 'Perfect Day', 'Waiting for the End of the World', 'The Better off I Get', 'Hush', 'I Swing', 'Love on Laughter', 'Rain or Shine', 'Shadow Boxing', 'Another One to You' and the brilliant 'Montgomery Clift'.

    I'll tell you more about the Molly CD this evening when I look at the case, but it has 6 tracks including 'Bless This Ship'.

    Listened to some of your songs on the weekend and have already bought a number of them that struck a cord. You have a plethora of emotion and poetry in your work.

    Chat again soon,

  10. Isobelle, thanks for your kind words about the music.
    I guess that we must have met if you saw the early MM gigs...
    I'd forgotten about most of those songs.
    Have you got them in digital form?
    If so I'd love to get copies; I could feature them here.
    Could you stick them on a CD or email the files?
    I'd make it worth your while; could I dangle 'Coffee and Stars' a MM compilation as a carrot?

  11. Hello Trevor,

    Make it a signed copy and you have yourself a deal!

    Yes, we did meet at most of the gigs, although I doubt you would recognize me now, even if you did remember. It's not something I'll talk about here, but perhaps if I'm sending you a CD I can elucidate. If my memory serves me, you were with Di then, so it is good to hear you're both still together.

    The copies I have are transferred from cassette via a tape-to-MP3 converter. The cassettes were old and well used, so there is static, but altogether not too bad. If you are technical, I'm sure you can tidy them up. I will burn them to a CD tomorrow and send this week if you can provide an address.

    Now Steve's Molly and the Moonjeans CD: it was recorded at St Mark's Studio in Nov/Dec 1993 and contains 'Hey Wonderful', 'When I'm Down', 'Bless This Ship', 'All For Love', 'Honey Tree', and 'Everybody Loves You'.

    I'll await your advice on sending,

    PS This is an interesting website - love the name!

  12. Isobelle,
    could you email me at:
    We can swap addresses there.
    I'm looking forward to re-aquainting myself with those old songs...