Now this is where I first encounter Amsterdam and Ian Prowse. They had been booked as the opening band on The Wonder Stuff’s tour in March of 2005. We were quite excited about this gig as our friend Luke Johnson was in town and we hadn’t seen him in a while. Turns out there was a problem for Amsterdam as their drummer likely wasn’t going to make the start of the show. Their Roadie was going to sit in on a few songs but couldn’t do everything. Luke, who BTW is a phenomenal drummer, agreed to sit in with them. So my first sighting of this band my brother had been raving about was them walking out at Wolverhampton Civic Hall with a drummer they’d never played with. The first song they launched into was the title track from this album, “The Journey”, and they fair blew the roof off the place. I remember thinking it was the “Mod-est” thing I’d heard in ages.
“Attitunes” had been released via a very small independent (privately ?) but with “The Journey” they had the backing of a label. As we mentioned earlier we’d meet some “Attitunes” songs again and “Taking On The World”, “Nostalgia”, “Love Phenomenon” and You’re A Phoney” all make their 2nd appearance here. We must also make special mention of “The Glorious Day”, as great a song as it is, it owes a huge debt to Billy Bragg, recycling indeed.
“The Journey” is packed full of winners. WE already encountered the title track, then there is “Joe’s Kiss”, a beautiful tribute to Joe Strummer. But what cannot be ignored is that there is one song here that towers over everything else, towers over Ian Prowse’ whole output, it will likely be the song that defines Ian Prowse full stop and I’m sure he has absolutely no problem with that.
“Does This Train Stop On Merseyside ?” is, at its heart, a hymn to the city of Liverpool, it’s an incredible song, one for the ages. It could reportedly bring a tear to the eye of the great John Peel whenever he heard it. It doesn’t pull any punches, it covers the good (the poets and the music along Mathew Street and the quirks of the city) and the dark side (the slave ships, Hillsborough, James Bulger) of Liverpool but there is a love and a pride in his city that shines through it all. No Prowsey gig is complete until we’ve all communed along to “…Merseyside…”.
Does This Train Stop On Merseyside ? - https://youtu.be/z6GK4vUtqCQ