Chris Wardman: Easy on the Politics

Toronto-based band Blue Peter has just released a new EP entitled Up To You. Last time they played at Ballinger's I talked to Chris Wardman, guitar player and songwriter for the band.

CKMS: Why did you call the EP Up To You?
WARDMAN: We thought that would show that people are responsible for themselves. We were trying to hint at that in a subtle way.

CKMS: Do you think that music can influence or change people?
WARDMAN: Not really. I think if people are barraged by a lot of propaganda that they'll subtly pick it up. So we're just trying to counteract that.

CKMS: So yours is alternative propaganda?
WARDMAN: Exactly.
PAUL HUMPHREY: (lead singer) I want to say something about propaganda. They're the type of lyrics that make people shy away from propaganda. and make people perhaps start cutting the strings that make them puppets.
WARDMAN: It's alternative propaganda.

Ready Records Press Release 1983

Produced by Englishman Steve Nye, (XTC, JAPAN) , BLUE PETER's second album, FALLING (LR034) marked an important progression for the band, establishing their new line-up, (with keyboardist Jason Sniderman and drummer Owen Tennyson), as a hook heavy power-pop outfit.

At the same time FALLING's hit dance single, Don't Walk Past" and its inventive video, entrenched BLUE PETER's aggressive beat in the clubs. The video also gained the band entry to the important American arena, airing on WARNER AMEX's MTV and charting top 10 at L.A. video hot-spot, REVOLVER.

Chart action at THE AMERICAN RECORRD POOL and breakouts with ROCKPOOL and WARD were further reflections of the video' s impact.

In Canada the video won two important awards: Best Video of 1983 fron the prestigious CANADIAN FIlM AND TELEVISION ASSOCIATION and Most Popular Video at SONY 's VIDEO CULTURE FESTIVAL.

Responding to the demand from clubs, BLUE PETER released VERSION (ER040) , an EP of extended dance versions of the most popular cuts fron FALLING.

In addition to the success of their video and single, the last year also saw BLUE PETER open for THE POLICE twice - once in

Blue Peter Could Be a Bit Neater

Edmonton

The first thing that strikes you about Toronto's Blue Peter is that they're a lot of fun to listen to.

The second thing that hits you is that it all sounds a little familiar - sort of like Roxy Music.

But trailblazers are hard to find in the new music mode, and if dancin's on your mind, this Eastern Canadian fivesome definitely has a persuasive, foot-fidgeting quality.

The group - which plays the Mayfield tonight and the Highway tomorrow through Saturday - casts its shadow with the romantic, lanky figure of singer Paul Humphrey.

Leather cummerbund slashing his billowing shirt and pirate pants, he swashbuckles between the Teddy-Boy look of guitarist Chris Wardman and punkish bass player Rick Joudrey. Blue Peter revolves musically around Humphrey, too.

Catchy melodies, dreamy keyboards

The group's catchy melodies depend on his strong vocals and the dreamy keyboards of Jason Sniderman.

Using a reverb that sometimes gives him the artificially deepened quality of Dion or Fabian, Humphrey is compelling as he powers out the lyrics.

Blue Peter Taking Off

The Windsor Star

Blue Peter performs at Ambassador Auditorium, University of Windsor, Thursday April Sat at 8 p.m.
By Ted Shaw
Star Entertainment Writer

It took five years but the Toronto rock band, Blue Peter, finally "got its foot in the door" of commercial success in 1983.

With the release of a four-song dance record aimed at the nation's feet, Blue Peter started to get wide recognition.

Chris Wardman, a Blue Peter founding member, said the times may have caught up to his group's heavily rhythmic brand of rock and roll. "We're now considered a trendy bond but we've been doing basically the same thing for six years."

The formula for success was last year's hot dance number, Don't Walk Past, and the credit goes to Wardman and Blue Peter for figuring out the formula and using it to advantage.

The Lexicon: 'All Through The Night' Review

Blue Peter: All Through The Night (Greatest Hits)
If anything distinctive  can be said musically for the year of 1997, it was the year of remembering. For some strange reason the music of the 1980's made a comeback when songs that were hard to find resurfaced in 80s compilations (Choose 80s, Made in the Eighties and Retro Night). Eighties compilations also resurfaced in movie soundtracks: (Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion and Grosse Pointe Blank).

And now Canadian band Blue Peter has stepped forward to release a greatest hits retrospective from 1979-83. A band that was a part of the early stages of the Canadian rock scene, Blue Peter achieved a high level of success like no other at the time. Though Blue Peter broke up in 1983 they are still widely known by 80's nostalgia.

The album is a great selection of tracks that transport the listener to a sound very deeply entrenched in the sounds of the 80's. The one thing that shocked me was how much the music still holds up, as it doesn't sound too dated.

It's nice to see a Canadian band enscribed in retro history.

North of the Border Radio's Weblog

The Canadiana Classic:

If I had to choose one Canadian band to laud from the aftermath of punk’s first generation it would be Blue Peter. Most of the material on their three full length albums and three E.P.’s sound like they could have been released yesterday. The two mainstays of Blue Peter have always been Paul Humphreys and Chris Wardman. Both have remained active as musicians and producers on the Canadian music scene, but their subsequent work hasn’t garnered the kind of attention still given to their first band. (An interesting side note: Humphrey’s brother John, also a musician, was once a member of Jean Luc Ponty’s touring band.) Although Blue Peter is no longer actively making music, all of their recordings have been reissued and they continue to play a couple of shows a year. I recommend you investigate.

http://northoftheborderradio.wordpress.com/2011/01/15/week-eleven-words/

Tandem Magazine Review of Mod Club Show

By Kerry Doole

January 21, 2011

BLUE PETER/CHALK CIRCLE:
Despite minimal media attention and coldest night of the winter to date, a capacity crowd showed up at The Mod Club recently to support two heroes of the ‘80s rock scene in Toronto. That was gratifying, and even moreso was the fact that both bands sounded great at a show that marked the first time they shared a bill in 25 years. It was unfortunate that the club’s entrance policy meant some of the crowd shivered outside as Chalk Circle started their set. The group’s melodic and intelligent brand of modern rock was showcased nicely, and virtuoso violinist HUGH MARSH contributed effectively to some songs.

On The Beat 80's Tribute

On The Beat
’80s Tribute
JUNOS ’80s NIGHT: The second of four Juno Awards tributes to the decades nights at the Horseshoe took on the ’80s recently. A capacity crowd turned the club into a sweltering sauna, and some hot action took place on stage as well. The night was started and finished by, respectively, up and coming rockers MODERN SUPERSTITIONS and SAN SEBASTIAN, each playing spirited versions of some Canadian classics of the ’80s. In between, original stars from that decade offered up their hits, in generally impressive fashion. The night was certainly musically eclectic, ranging from rap (MAESTRO FRESH-WES), to new-wave and synth-pop (BLUE PETER, THE SPOONS), commercial pop-rock (PLATINUM BLONDE), and hard rock (ANDY CURRAN of CONEY HATCH and RIK EMMETT of TRIUMPH).

On The Beat ’80s nostalgia

By Kerry Doole
Originally Published: 2011-01-16

BLUE PETER/CHALK CIRCLE: Feeling nostalgic for the ’80s sounds of Toronto new wave? If so, do we have a double bill for you. Two of the best Canadian bands of that decade, Blue Peter and Chalk Circle, are reuniting to share a stage for the first time in 25 years. The show, set for The Mod Club on Jan. 21 (an early show), promises to be a real treat, for the music of both groups has stood the test of time better than that of many of their peers. Their careers ran somewhat consecutively, as Blue Peter formed in 1979 and split up in 1985, while Chalk Circle’s life spanned the 1985-90 period (both groups were smart enough to call it quits at the right time). Each scored national success with many of their singles, but their largest following remained that of their Toronto hometown (heavy airplay on CFNY helped). Perhaps you (or older siblings) remember such hits as “Radio Silence” and “Don’t Walk Past” (Blue Peter) and “April Fool” and “This Mourning” (Chalk Circle), while albums like Radio Silence and Falling (BP) and Mending Wall and As The Crow Flies (CC) were consistently strong. This gig is strongly recommended.

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