Norwich band The Phantom Cowboys celebrate their debut album’s 20th anniversary with vinyl re-release

The Phantom Cowboys. Photo: Miguel Rios

The Phantom Cowboys. Photo: Miguel Rios - Credit: Miguel Rios

Norwich-based band The Phantom Cowboys are celebrating their debut album's 20th anniversary with a special vinyl re-release.

The Phantom Cowboys playing at The Islington, London in 2017. Photo: Peter Kirk

The Phantom Cowboys playing at The Islington, London in 2017. Photo: Peter Kirk - Credit: Peter Kirk

Having formed in Norwich in 1994, The Phantom Cowboys are celebrating the 20th anniversary of their debut album Down And Out At The Club Cruella.

Released originally in 1998 via their own Diogenes Records label, the album will be re-released on vinyl to mark the occasion.

The 11-track album, which was entirely self-financed and self-released, was recorded at Purple Studios in Trowse and went on to gain something of a world-wide cult following in the early 2000s, despite the band having split up in 1999.

The band were notable for their distinctive sound combining elements of rockabilly, alternative pop and speakeasy swing.

Their lyrical content was deliberately dark but equally tongue-in-cheek touching on topics such as grave robbing, Hammer Horror films and Victorian ghost stories.

The Phantom Cowboys in 1997. Photo: Alan McLean

The Phantom Cowboys in 1997. Photo: Alan McLean - Credit: Alan McLean

Despite flying against prevailing musical trends, The Phantom Cowboys made several appearances at Norwich Arts Centre and other prominent local venues during this time.

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After a gap of 15 years, The Phantom Cowboys reunited in Summer 2015 and played a reunion gig in their hometown of Norwich.

In early 2016 the band released four new original tracks as a 7' vinyl and CD EP entitled 'Dead Men's Clothes'.

This was followed by several appearances at festivals and other events across the UK, including their first headline show in London at The Islington in 2017.

Speaking of the new vinyl release, double bassist Rob Gillham said that 'In 1998 vinyl seemed all but extinct and the cost of pressing it was beyond our means.'

'We love the format however and we always craved a vinyl release for the album. It felt like a piece of unfinished business, so the twentieth anniversary seemed as good a time as any to do it!'

'Having the album sold via the likes of iTunes and Spotify helped us realise we had an audience far beyond Norfolk. In fact our top three cities for online listeners are Los Angeles, Tampere in Finland - and Norwich, of course!'

'That gave us the confidence that a vinyl reissue of 'Club Cruella' would sell. In fact, we've already received several orders for the vinyl release from the US and Japan.'

• The vinyl reissue features the eleven original songs re-mastered for the vinyl format with a revamped cover design

• The album is available to purchase via The Phantom Cowboys' website

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