The Attendants




Happy Families / Dead Beats And No-Ones

Catalogue Number - BW 2

Label - Black and White Records

Year Of Release - 1980

Quantity Pressed - 500????


Paul (Bert) Furtek - Vocals Alan Waites - Vocals
Pete Johnson - Bass* Malcolm Kew - Guitar
Robert Kew - Drums**
*Replaced by Ken Redding
**Replaced by Russell Chaney


Paul Furtek

Ken Redding Alan Waites Russell Chaney

"Live at Dingwalls"

The date of The Attendants first gig at Unit One in Uxbridge is lost in the mists of time but it would have been in early 1979. What is certain is that The Attendants stemmed from a couple of song writing sessions between Bert and Malcolm which produced a spoof song which later materialised into 'Hot News for the Blind'. Malcolm's brother Bob, bassist Pete Johnson and vocalist Alan Waites were enlisted for an evening in an Uxbridge studio just for a laugh!

Unexpectedly, this and subsequent sessions spurned songs like 'Mental Trouble', 'Sunday Drivers', 'OHMS' and the comical 'Cheese and wine Parties', by chance the band were invited to support local band The Injections at Unit One where the sight of the two vocalists both slumped in deck chairs performing 'Swimming in the Summer' was enough to secure several more gigs supporting the Uxbridge based band. Before they knew it The Attendants were performing in the heart of London at the Rock Garden and Dingwalls. With more support gigs under their belt, The Attendants headed for Slough where there was a thriving live music scene and from early 1980 they found themselves accompanying Slough bands The Arrogant, The Chaps and Robert and the Remoulds around the local pub and club circuit. The band began to attract a loyal following as their unique visual act began to gel with their punchy set of self written songs. The band were at that time incorporating into their repertoire 2 obscure covers, The Cure's '10.15 Saturday Night' and The Flys, 'Love and a Molotov cocktail'.

In the Autumn of 1980 The Attendants released a double A side single on Black & White Records containing the songs 'Happy Families' and 'Deadbeats and No-ones'. The single even found it's way onto Radio 1's airwaves via John Peel's late night show, remarkably 27 years later this piece of vinyl is something of a collectors item - especially the ones with picture sleeves! However, no sooner had the single been released and the band were forced into a line-up change. The arrival of Ken Redding (Bass) and Russell Chaney (Drums), both from the 'Great British Heroes' (aka GBH') helped bring a new tighter sound to the band and the new-look Attendants duly debuted at Southall's Hamborough Tavern on October 10th 1980. The band then signed up to the 'Not so famous' stable and their gigging schedule suddenly went into overdrive as they found themselves performing at established London venues such as the Moonlight Club, The Brecknock and The 101 Club.

The Attendants were by now a headlining act, although they continued to support Slough bands such as Arrogant, Broadcast and White Lines. The Attendants also had regular gigs at salubrious venues like the Hamborough Tavern and The swan in Southall as well as the Brookhouse in Hayes, The Cat Club in Slough and the Red Lion in Watford. In February 1981 the band were booked to support The Ruts at the Hamborough Tavern but, due to riots leading to the Burning down of the pub the week before, the gig did not happen. On April 17th 1981 The Attendants - who had now lost frontman Alan Waites - travelled to their farthest flung gig. Their show at The Greaves Hotel in Lancaster was watched by an enthusiastic audience (none of whom had ever seen or heard of them!) and the band chose the occasion to encore with a rare rendition of 'Mental Trouble'. Another landmark gig occurred later that year on November 26th when They supported Tenpole Tudor at Sloughs Fulcrum Centre. Around the same period the band recorded four songs at Unit One Studios in Uxbridge. From that session they were invited to submit 'Veranda Serenade' for the '1982 Tyger Annual' and a re-recorded version of the song became the bands third song to make it's way onto vinyl. Early 1982 saw them write the last in a series of 25 songs. Entitled 'Snapshots for the Simple Life', this was the only one of their songs which went un-recorded. The Attendants had been and gone in just under three years during which time they performed over 100 gigs.

The final performance - for which they reformed for one night only - was at Slough's Cat Club in December 1982. The last word comes from issue 8 of 'Strange Fruit' magazine which commenting on the demise of The Attendants said, "all good things must come to an end, even a 'Big Night Out' in 'Quality Street'. The band recently got together for a laugh to celebrate a significant birthday of Ken and just to see what would happen, 25 years after the event and, to their total surprise, they had lost none of their excitement and energy and, in some areas had a little more than they had way back then, they have decided that they will, occasionally, get together to enjoy just playing their music and, hopefully sharing the fun that was to be had at one of their gigs.


Malcolm Kew

Ken Redding Paul Furtek Alan Waites


The above advert for the bands debut release and gig dates for December 1980 appeared in the "NME" on 13th December 1980.


Paul Furtek Russell Chaney Malcolm Kew Ken Redding



Page Two



Thanks to Russell Chaney & Malcolm Kew for the above information and photographs.



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