Signing a US deal with Instinct Records in New York, Night Trains toured Europe and Japan headlining at venues such as The Jazz Cafe and the Marquee in London, Club Yellow Tokyo, Magazinni Generali Milan and the Paradiso and Melkweg Amsterdam, as well as touring with artists as diverse as Afrika Bambaataa, Jamiroquai and the late great Gil Scott-Heron.
Always looking to keep the sound and vibe fresh, Brooker would constantly change the live and studio line-up of the band and a number of key musicians from the soul, funk and mod fraternity would perform with the band including Spider Johnson, Jennie Bellestar, Damian Hand, Mike “chilli” Watts, Tony Watts, Dave Priseman, Julian Bates and Gary Foote.
Taking a break for Night Trains duties temporarily, in 1993, Brooker formed The Humble Souls with UK rapper and Fatboy Slim cohort, MC Wildski, which resulted in the album ‘Thoughts and Sound Paintings’ (1993), again released on Acid Jazz Records. After a successful year of international promotion, he returned to work on the new Night Trains album ‘Obstruct The Doors Cause Delay and Be Dangerous’ (1997). At the time, Acid Jazz records secured a major sponsorship deal for the band with legendary Italian fashion house Cerruti which resulted in various runway and TV appearances for the band across Europe creating extensive worldwide exposure.
After a hiatus, Night Trains returned to Acid Jazz Records in the summer of 2012, with the 7” vinyl release of ‘No More Heroes’, a stomping northern soul reinterpretation of The Stranglers’ new wave classic. Three years later, the band teamed up with Back Burna Records and released the dancefloor filler ‘Black Whip’, before returning once more to their spiritual home at Acid Jazz Records with the release of ‘Lovesick 1987 – 2017’.
Outside of Night Trains, Hugh Brooker DJs globally and has co-written, remixed and produced for artists as diverse as Sophie Ellie-Bextor and Earth Wind and Fire.