Formed in 1980, the sombre post-punk quartet were mentored by Section 25 before impressing Rob Gretton and Tony Wilson at an early New Order gig in Blackpool in September 1980. Two songs from their first demo were mixed by Martin Hannett at Britannia Row and released as a 7-inch single (Fac 39) in June 1981, sleeved by Martyn Atkins in an opulent sleeve referencing dictionaries and leather-bound books. After several more gigs with New Order and other Factory artists Tunnelvision taped a second strong demo, mixed for release by Peter Hook. However the turbulent teenage band disintegrated before a second single emerged.
Newly remastered from the original analogue reels, Watching the Hydroplanes features includes all 8 tracks from their two Cargo demos, including the Hannett mixes of the title track and Morbid Fear. The set also features Emotionless, recorded live at Bristol Trinity Hall in March 1981.
The outer sleeve is printed using silver PMS with a matt varnish. The printed inner bag features new liner notes and an attractive facsimile flyer for a gig with New Order at the Forum, London, in May 1981.