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Amsterdam
Amsterdam are a Liverpool band, formed in 1999 by front man Ian Prowse, formerly of early Nineties group Pele.

In 2001 they released their debut album, "Attitunes". The outfit were championed by Radio 2's Janice Long and also secured some high profile support slots that year with Elvis Costello. Late 2002 saw the digital-only release of second album "The Curse", which contained the stand-out track, "Does This Train Stop On Merseyside?". The song was brought to Peel's attention following its inclusion on a compilation LP and instantly became one of the DJ's favourite tunes of 2003. It was subsequently voted into that year's Festive 50.

In 2005 the group released the album "The Journey", which compiled the pick of the material from their first two albums plus three new songs. The title track of the album was released as a single in January 2005 and was a Top 40 hit in the UK. "Does This Train Stop On Merseyside?" was finally released as a single in June that year, charting in the UK at #55 [1]

Amsterdam's next album, "Arm In Arm" was issued in 2008. As of 2014, Ian Prowse and Amsterdam continue to tour.

Links with Peel

"Does This Train Stop On Merseyside?"

"What a genuinely great record that is, too." (10 December 2003)
"I get all choked up every time I play that. Why am I such a twerp?" (04 December 2003)

Although originally released by Amsterdam in 2002 on the self-issued LP "The Curse", Peel only seems to have heard "Does This Train Stop On Merseyside?" towards the end of 2003 when it was included on a promotional album issued by the Liverpool club The Picket, which was then fighting closure plans - unsuccessfully as it transpired. It was first played on the programme on 16 October 2003, with Peel noting, "this sounds amazingly like something that Pete Wylie might have done".

A sentimental man who often confessed how easily he was moved to tears, Peel admitted that he couldn't hear the song without feeling choked up:

"This is a record which I played once about three or four months ago and apparently you the consumers very keen on it. And I listened to it a few times since then and it's now reached the point at which it makes me cry every time I hear it so I may have to segue the next couple of records." (10 December 2003)

"That upsets me every time I hear it, isn't that ridiculous?... Why do I get like this? Perhaps I need psychiatric help." (24 December 2003)

One can imagine that Peel found the allusion to Hillsborough in the lyrics particularly affecting.

The song was voted into the 2003 Festive Fifty at #31, although in Peel's judgment, "that would be in my top five".

During Radio One's 'Peel Night' tribute of 16 December 2004, Sheila Ravenscroft was invited to play a track for John. Her choice was "Does This Train Stop On Merseyside?". She commented:

"Whenever John played it, whether it was live on air or just in his room I had to go and give him a hug because he'd be in floods of tears, because it was just so Liverpool."

When eventually issued as a single in 2005, the record sleeve included the tribute, "This song is dedicated to the memory of the late great John Peel 1939-2004... without whom."

In October 2008 Liverpool's Merseytravel introduced into service on the railway a locomotive named after the DJ [1]. In a ceremony attended by Sheila Ravenscroft and several of their children on October 23, Ian Prowse performed "Does This Train Stop On Merseyside?" on board its inaugural trip (video clip).

In July 2016, Ian Prowse shared his memories of Peel and the song with the KeepingItPeel website:

"Just before John went to Peru he called me and we spent a precious hour yapping about on the blower about music, life and my song ‘Does This Train Stop On Merseyside’. We were going to meet up when he got back and do a session for him.

If it wasn’t for John perhaps I’d never of gotten another record deal and ‘Pele’ would of been my only band of any note. His championing of the song and the extreme emotional reaction he had live on air sent the song on it’s journey. There’s literally 100’s of covers of it now, thanks in the main to Christy Moore’s version, but it was Peelie who got onto it first."[2]

Festive Fifty Entries

Sessions

None.

Shows Played

Amsterdam - Does This Train Stop On Merseyside

Amsterdam - Does This Train Stop On Merseyside

'Does This Train Stop On Merseyside?', #31 in the 2003 Festive Fifty

2003
2004
  • 06 July 2004: Does This Train Stop On Merseyside? (LP - Rhyme Pays: Liverpool Compilation) Picket
Others

External Links

Footnotes
  1. Official UK Charts.