The high energy French rock’n’roll band’s second album, with five bonus tracks recorded live at Dingwalls.
In the mid-70s in France, when progrock, Johnny Hallyday’s rock’n’roll fakes, bad MOR music and French chanson reigned supreme, only Roberto Piazza and his band Little Bob Story brought high energy rock’n’roll shows to provincial and suburban France. Formed in 1974, the band – Bob “Mino” Quertier (drums), Dominique “Blackbeard” Le Lan (bass), Guy-Georges Gremy (guitar), Christian “Bibi” Delahaye (guitar) and Dominique “Ginger” Guillon (guitar) – impressed local audiences who had never before heard this kind of music live.
It was due to the band’s pressure on manager Jean-Claude Pognant that their second album “Off The Rails” was released in the UK. “We told him OK, you can do what you want with our records in France. However, we will continue to manage our career in England as we wish. Chiswick Records was perfect for us. There were already quite a few good rock’n’roll bands on their roster like the Gorillas and the Count Bishops”, says Bob.
Dominique Guillon was no longer in the band by the time the album’s cover photo was taken. Serge Hendrix, who replaced him, appears in the shot. Sean Tyla, who played part of the guitar riff on ‘Riot In Toulouse’, produced the album. The sound engineer John Burns had worked on the first Ducks Deluxe album. “Motörhead had just left Escape Studios”, says Bob. “They had recorded their first album in five days and nights without rest. In order to keep up, John Burns had taken speed for the whole five days. He was totally wiped out by the time he started working with us. Still, we managed to record our album in eight days.”
The songs on the album are all original compositions bar ‘Baby’, a number from the repertoire of the Sorrows, one of Bob’s favourite 60s bands. “I loved the song’s guitar riff and the fast beat that followed. The way we played it was insane”, he says. Their cover of the Small Faces’ classic ‘All Or Nothing’, cut during the sessions, was included in the French version of the album. The live version contained here was recorded at Dingwalls in London in March 1978 with Paul Balbi on drums. Four more tracks from the same show also premiere here.
“Thinking back on it today, the English tours and the time when “Off The Rails” was recorded were some of the best moments of my life”, says Bob. “I see it as an epic saga. All of it really fed me and gave me energy that I still have to this day. Being successful and followed by a new audience was a fabulous experience. Of course, we didn’t look glamorous but then not many people did. One thing is for sure, though. We were really good and our audience could feel it and it excited them. It motivated us to get even better.”