I Wanna Be Your Pigmy / What Am I Gonna Do About You / Heart Complaint
Catalogue Number - (S/80/CUS 627) WHIP ONE
Label - Trendy Records
Year Of Release - 1980
Quantity Pressed - 1000 (Confirmed)
|BAZ - LEAD VOCALS||OATSY - BASS|
|MARK - GUITAR & BACKING VOCALS||MELV - DRUMS|
It’s hard to cast a jaded mind back to the end of the 70’s and pull out information so long after the event , but the bones of the story begin with Mark and Baz school friends since the early seventies and heavily into music of all shapes and sizes, they bought guitars and pissed around with said guitars until a tune was spotted, with no drummer and no bass player and no vocals , more often a freeform jam transpired, due to an inability to play anything recognisable.
1976/77 another school friend Oatsy was enlisted and ordered to buy a bass , if he wanted to be in this hot new happening band, as there was no room for another guitarist, Mark learnt some chords, Oatsy bought a bass, Baz got a mic.
Friday was piss up night at Marks house cheap cider and John Peel on the radio, was the staple diet.
Then it all kicked off, John Peel started playing short sweet records the likes of which made us sit up and take notice , Ramones, Damned , Clash, Pistols etc
Obviously other people in the town were latching onto this new music and it’s accompanying scene, it was easy to spot the kindred spirits, appearances were changing overnight, hair was chopped, flares were binned , Masonic swagger of arrogance was applied to those in the know, it's hard to think now that these youngsters stood out from the crowd, but they did , and you could always spot “one of us” as opposed to “one of them” clutches of us types found neutral ground like the playhouse bar and proceeded to ignore and laugh at each other , the party was about to begin , and last for a couple of years before everyone had enough and went home.
This was what we were waiting for and off we went, the non band soon became the Brazilian Psychopaths and Mark wrote us some cracking tunes and we threw in some cover versions to make the whole set last about 20 minutes.
A guy who owned a snare drum (another would be guitarist), recalled only as Jon was signed up to bang his snare, and the grounds for world domination were in place
First gig was back to school at the 6th form disco about 1978 this was going ok , everyone was standing as far away from the band as they could get and clinging to the walls, when about 15 minutes into the set an invasion of skinheads returning from a local gig decided to take the stage and demand we play something else, at which point, the gig ended ,we loaded the gear into the volkswagen beetle under threat of being dismembered and legged it just as the coppers were arriving.
A great start indeed , another name change followed The Mess was our new moniker and a couple of local gigs followed, but the drummer and his snare had to go, and another school acquaintance Melv was enlisted, this guy had a full drum kit and could play them as well.
The name then changed to the Groove, a few more gigs and then at the end of 1979 we went of to a recording studio to cut our (no doubt) chart topping single, this filtered out in the early months of 1980 and local gigs were played to promote it.
A gig in Chelmsford supporting the Neurotics at this time stays in my memory as it was a great gig, we had started to gel a bit and people were actually getting into it and not clinging to the walls, and as we loaded the gear into the van congratulating ourselves on how great we were, it was then we noticed the four flat tyres on the van, I like to think someone from the Neurotics camp was responsible for that out of spite for blowing them off the stage, unlikely but it’s a nice thought.
By this time it was falling apart a bit, the band members were getting fed up with, the mishaps, practice sessions, lugging gear around etc and the usual bickering that all bands have, Melv promptly got run over breaking both legs and unable to drum, the Neurotics drummer stood in for him for a gig at the Square Harlow in April 1980 but by this time the game was nearly up, Melv did play a couple of gigs in a plaster cast, the last ever gig was at Stortford Triad, Baz had left, the newly enlisted vocalist had gone on holiday , so with gig lined up and no vocalist , the old band joined forces to play the final gig, Mark and Oatsy (Mo) rested for a year or so before forming the Hermit Crabs another great local band and another story.
Pete Bower 2004
The above review appeared in 'Sounds' on April 5th 1980.
Above is an original gig flyer that features 'The Mess' which was pre 'The Groove' from 1979
Above is an original gig flyer that features 'The Groove' from 1980.
Thanks to Gordon Wilkins for the help on this page.
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