They say that Americans don't have a sense of ironic humour or the fullest appreciation of puns - this is rubbish. One swift scan of successful Californian rockers Train's rather swish website reveals that, not only do these chaps know how to craft a tune, play shows and sell themselves, they can raise a wry smile AND money while doing it, in the hope their fans will also nod knowingly and grin in agreement and very sick kids' families can get temporary housing when needed. This truly is, the age of the Train. But we'll come back to this later.
Right now, Train the band are celebrating. After achieving considerable success in 2001 with the album and single, 'Drops of Jupiter', the band fell off a creative and critical cliff for the next five years, with many observers wondering if the term 'one-hit wonder' would haunt them. Not so - after a three year hiatus and two indifferent albums, they struck back in 2009 with the single 'Hey, Soul Sister', a Top 10 smash in nine countries (it clawed its way to #18 here), with a parent album 'Save Me, San Francisco' also seeing them extend their reach beyond the U.S.
That pattern has continued to a larger degree with latest album, 'California 37' - #7 here, #4 in the U.S., Top 20 in five other territories. In addition, Train have also been investing their time and indulgence of wine and chocolate with a sideline called the Save Me San Francisco Wine Co.. Named after that same comeback album, the non-profit organization produces vintages with Train themes throughout - a red called Drops Of Jupiter, a white entitled Calling All Angels, another red with the moniker California 37 etc. Yes, you can see what they did there. A local San Fran children's hospital is set to benefit from these and other products - it's all good.
Also good is the news that Train are heading back to the UK for a slew of shows next year. First stop will be Newcastle on 14th February 2013, followed by Dublin, Manchester, Leeds, Hammersmith and finally for now, Wolverhampton on the 23rd. We will have tickets for these shows from Friday 5th October, priced £21.50 for regional dates, £26.50 for London and 29 for Dublin.