Back when The Smiths and Morrissey ruled my life lots more than they do now, every band that Morrisey endorsed, from James to The Primitives became essential listening. But perhaps the most overlooked Morrissey-endorsed band were Bradford, whose beautiful 'Skin Storm' Morrissey covered so wonderfully as a solo artist on the b-side of 'Pregant for the Last Time' years after it was originally released.
But I was always more taken by Bradford's 'In Liverpool', the video of which seems to capture that late 80s feel better than any documentary made about the time could ever hope to.
Nothing ever became of Bradford, of course. They suffered from the Morrissey seal of approval curse that affected other, similar bands like Easterhouse. Yet Bradford were perhaps Blackburn's best ever band - and what a triumph that is. Their first, eponymous, album was released on the sometimes ace Midnight Music label, who also put out records from McCarthy, The Woldfounds and the amazing Popguns.
But then Bradford seemed to get all starry-eyed and, under the guidance of Stephen Street, went and signed to Sire. It could only go all wrong, and it did. Bradford's second album was poor, and they disappeared in or around 1991, along with a lot of post-Smiths bands.
Still, a skinhead band in the late 80s was a rare and wonderful thing, and for that I'll always cherish them.