Formed originally in 1984 in Wigan by Gary Newby, Brian Bateman, Guy Keegan and Stephen Hull, The Railway Children with their dreamy, jangly,melodic indie pop seemed destined for great things.

Signed to Factory Records, regulars on the John Peel Show and touring the world supporting REM and The Smiths success seemed assured but despite releasing some great records which topped the indie charts, they failed to achieve mainstream chart hits with only Every Beat Of The Heart managing to break into the top 40.

The Railway Children | © Steve Hampton | For FOTF

The Railway Children | © Steve Hampton | For FOTF

A change of record label to Virgin didn’t help and in 1992 when the company dropped them they decided to call it a day.

30 years after their debut single A Gentle Sound, The Railway Children augmented by Glenn Hodges on keyboards step out on stage at The Ruby Lounge in front of a packed crowd of what are clearly fans, most of whom were probably fans in 1984!

The sound is sublime and we are instantly taken back to the late eighties yet somehow the songs have a very contemporary feel about them, Collide and A Gentle Sound  would not be out of place on the radio today and Every Beat Of The Heart is pure New Order.

Tonights set covers the bands first three albums with a couple of songs thrown in from the later Listen On and everyone sounds magnificent with the crowd loving it. Highlights for me were Brighter, So Right and the encore A Gentle Sound but there is not a weak song in the set.

The Railway Children | © Steve Hampton | For FOTF

The Railway Children | © Steve Hampton | For FOTF

At present there are no plans to record new material but if Gary Newby can come up with songs as good as these then The Railway Children might finally achieve the success that has so far eluded them.

You can catch the band at Diggers Festival 10/9, Shiiine On Weekender 11-14 November and at the 100 Club London 18/11.