A brief history – formed in 1980 by myself and Ian 'Truff' Threlfall whilst at Lancaster University (in the North-West of England, for non-UK readers!), we were completed by Ian 'Donkey' Brown on drums and Dave Slamin on vocals. Did lots of local gigs, recorded a demo tape etc – you know the drill. Finished university, didn't want to get a 'proper' job so relocated to Truff's hometown of Lichfield (in the middle of the UK, non-UK readers!), but didn't bring Dave & Donkey with us as they had stuff to finish up at Lancaster. I took over on vocals (well, I was writing the material anyway…), we recruited Throbbin' Robin Baxter on drums and off we went again.
Loads more gigs ensued and we started to build up a local following. We recorded another demo and sent it off to legendary rock weekly 'Sounds' (sadly missed, or what?), where the equally legendary Geoff Barton gave it a great review in the now-legendary 'Wooargh!' column. (Luckily, there was no charge for legendary-ness…) We then hawked the demo around several record companies – including local Midlands 'metal' labels, but no-one would bite. ('I don't hear a single' said one of them, home to several artists who troubled no singles or album charts, ever. Bitter? Me? Hmmm…..) So we decided to press up a single ourselves, following in the footsteps of another local Lichfield band, Big Daisy.
Like the Daisy boys, we used a record-pressing plant in London (non-UK readers will probably have heard of that particular town) and used their in-house record label 'Ellie Jay', to save on artwork costs. And thus was born the first 500 copies of our single, 'Running Blind' b/w 'My My My'….
We quickly sold all of them locally. So we decided to press another 1000 and get a distribution deal for the UK, which we did with Pinnacle. The second pressing was on our own label, Grafitti Records, and had better-quality, professionally-printed sleeves (same design as the original run, which were all photocopied and stuck together by us!). And they all sold, too! But we could not get a record deal, for whatever reason. We added a second guitarist, Tony 'Bones' Jones (aka Blakoe Energiser) and recorded some more demos but still couldn't seem to progress beyond the local circuit (despite trekking south for gigs at The Marquee and The Ruskin Arms).
And that's basically it. I quit in '84 and moved to London. 25 years on I'm back Up North and back on the local gig circuit with noisy rock covers band 'Brute Force & Ignorance' (www.myspace.com/bfandi). A few years ago I was contacted by High Vaultage Records, in Germany, with a view to putting out a CD album, which we did. It's called 'It's About Time' and contains everything we ever recorded – all 10 tracks! I'm not sure if High Vaultage still exists, or whether you can still get the CD, so I'm including three tracks from it on this site for free download - just remember that they're all basically demos! They are:
'Running Blind' – yup, the rare track that changes hands for lots of money on the internet in 7' vinyl format. But do I ever see any of that money? No – so here it is. Help yourself!
'It's About Time' – my tribute to Status Quo, who were my absolute favourite band as a youngster. And in all honesty I'd probably still name them as my favourite ever band. I was even there at their 'farewell' gig at Milton Keynes (non-UK readers – get a map!) in, er , 1984…. So Francis & Rick, check out this tune and do a cover of it, so I can die a happy man.
'Nicotine Kiss' – first or second song I wrote specifically for the band, and one of our heaviest. One take, no messing, with Big Dave Slamin on vocals (who, incidentally, is still screeching away to fine effect in a band called 'Riff Raff'.
So there you go, folks. Hope you enjoy these old tunes and please get in touch if you want to share any memories, photos, lawsuits, or just wanna say hello.
It's a long way to the shops if you want a sausage roll, as we used to say.
All the best
Rob Tidd (January 2009)