|DAVE WRAY - VOCALS||NICK DAVIES - RHYTHM GUITAR|
|DAVE WOODROW - DRUMS||GLYN WARREN - BASS & VOCALS|
|STEVE RICHES - GUITAR & BACKING VOCALS|
Lets get down to the facts as well as I can recall;
The group was started by Steve Riches, excellent guitarist & backing vocals, who probably still lives in Bentley, Doncaster with Nick Davies on rhythm guitar, Dave Wray on vocals with pints of beer on the audience.
Dave Woodrow, drums& women; he still works (I think) at Northern Upholstery at Carcroft near Doncaster. Glyn Warren, bass & vocals & quite often sheer lunacy (shudder).
This all started about mid 1978 when Steve & Nick asked me to have a bash just for fun; this turned out quite good as everybody could already play ok, & soon the drummer was enrolled. This left the problem of the singer (lack of) & we found Dave Wray singing in a night club band (shhhh), sufficiently cheeky to get away with whatever & ugly enough to be rock n roll.
We put together quickly a good repertoire of punk covers with some original material of Steve & quickly made a name for ourselves by...
1. Playing material that no one else in the area dared to / was able to
2. Playing venues that didn't take this sort of band (W.M. Clubs, Night Clubs! ) often by booking ourselves under a different name until we fired up on stage; often not finishing the set!
3. Having an outrageous stage show (not rehearsed) eg beer on the public, mooning during guitar solos, dancing on the club organ / playing the club kit, distribution of Bingo balls from the machine around the room, playing with masks or false humps on the back, the singer leaping in the air & going through the stage on landing (more than once), guitar amps overheating with the volume & catching fire (not rehearsed at all), winding up the D.J. (my speciality).
All this was done with a great professionalism & musicianship, resulting in either playing for 5 minutes or playing 5 times in a year at the same venue, always on time , in fact, a combination which worked.
The band lasted until about Nov 1979 with only one change in the line up; Dave Woodrow finding his drums relocated to the car park on arriving to play: I never knew why! He was replaced by Decca Wade who had already done a spell with the Angelic Upstarts, who became a good friend both in Doncaster & later on in London together in the Upstarts; he is also one of the best drummers one can see / play with that I've known in 30 years of music at all levels.
Throughout this period we played around the country in all sorts of venues & all sizes of venues; supports (The Fall, Ponders End!, Showbiz Kids who included Olga on guitar, later to form the Toy Dolls & who I met again a couple of years ago in France) headlining double bills, small halls to sports halls, we did it all.
the few songs that were recorded exist surely with somebody on an old cassette but unfortunately Lost mine when I moved house in London. Try & trace one with the information I have given you; try to find the ex wife of Steve in Doncaster; she's a hairdresser and is now called Barbara White. If you manage to trace any recordings I would like to hear them (not sure if they were good).
Nov 1979; the end approaches for several reasons as I see it looking back;
1. Nothing was happening as regarding a record deal; we did have a manager, Rob Gambino, his real name I believe, who was effective but as we were a bunch of 22 year old cunts who knew everything his best ideas did not happen; we couldn't see any further than the next gig / piss-up!
2. Dave Wray decided he wasn't earning enough money?$£!
3. Nick & Steve who were long standing friends went on holiday together,& never spoke again from the day of their return! Ideal working situation!!
4. Steve wanted to try other styles of music to try & make his way better as guitarist / compositor; but he never achieved the same notoriety again; he did ask me to play but I don't think you should go back. My opinion!
5. I was already involved in contractual negotiations with Warner Brothers & The Angelic Upstarts (yes the business side took its toll as well) with the approach of an album release (songs not recorded yet and instable line up & no photo session) & a British tour for promotion.
6. Tiredness bordering on exhaustion after a year of constant gigging (finish work, climb in the van, travel do the gig, climb out of the van at7am to work) sometimes 7 days a week, took its toll & at the end there was very little communication; the band just stopped one day!
All in all it was a great experience & I for one would try it again (not at my age) with the same people & we wouldn't change a great deal, certainly not the world! for me rock & roll is to have a good time & if anybody listens to what you have to say then so much the better, providing they form their own opinion from that & get off to the music at the same time.
You can quote me on anything that I have written & if somebody doesn't like it then fuck him! which also means there must be some truth there.
Well that's all that comes to mind for now but if I remember anymore like fighting with The Fall backstage I let you know!
The above snippet appeared in 'Sounds' on the 6th February 1982
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