Tamworth Bands - History 1960-1990
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Tamworth Bands History : 1981

January to March

Rock-it Records SaleTamworth Herald – 02/01/81
Musicbox – Gary Numan and David Byrne

Tamworth Herald – 02/01/81
Musicbox - Magnets on Tape
LOCAL music fans look out for the special 20-minute cassette recorded by Tamworth band Those Attractive Magnets.

Called Pictures on the Wall, the tape is on sale at the Rock-it Records store in the Victoria Arcade, Aldergate, at the bargain price of £1.25.

Tamworth Herald – 09/01/81
Decision on Centre Control
THE wrangle over who should manage Tamworth Arts Centre was being thrashed out by councillors last night.

The council’s leisure activities committee was discussing who should be responsible for future operation and management of the building.

The committee had previously recommended the centre be put under the control of the council’s public halls manager, but this was thrown out by the policy making resources planning committee.

Now the leisure committee is to further consider letting the town’s arts advisory council run the centre.

CB radio enthusiast Barry John WrightTamworth Herald – 09/01/81
CB Radio theft – reward offered
CB radio enthusiast Barry John Wright is offering a reward for the return of equipment stolen from his car on Tuesday night.

He is even prepared to run the risk of prosecution from the “smokies” and “buzbies” – better known as the police and the Post Office – in his efforts to trace the “rig”.

Tamworth Herald – 09/01/81
Musicbox – Why Ethis will surprise you…
Mark the words of Andy Higgins, guitarist with Tamworth’s newest heavy rock band Ethis: “I wouldn’t like anyone to call us heavy metal.”

Ethis during a break in rehearsals. From left: John Haslam, Ralph Sandland, Mick Onions and Andy Higgins.

Ethis during a break in rehearsals. From left: John Haslam, Ralph Sandland, Mick Onions and Andy Higgins.

The remaining members of the band are in agreement: “That’s right,” says keyboards man John Haslam, “we’re not jumping on the new wave of heavy metal bandwagon.”

And three cheers for that attitude is what I say! At the moment the music business is full of untalented, plodding Motorhead impressionists who play with all the grace and skill of a tractor driver on his first ploughing lesson.

So it’s nice to welcome onto the local scene another band who play their rock heavy but still like to slow it down and get the notes right.

Ethis lead singer Ralph Sandland tells me the name is Greek, and they have been formed out of the ashes of a band that had been trying to get a set together for two years.

After the umpteenth change in the line-up the other week, the current foursome came together with drummer Mick Onions and Andy joining on the same day.

Now after a blistering performance at a recent CND meeting, the band are looking to rehearse and put together about one-and-a-half hours of material before hitting the road in February and March. Before that, they will play a one-off gig at Wigginton Village Hall, Saturday January 24.

Rehearsals at the moment are intensive and gradually they are gathering together enough home-spun and cover material to play a forceful set.

John points out: “We won’t be playing the sort of cover material that people usually expect of a new band. We’re looking towards slightly more obscure stuff.”

This “more obscure stuff” includes the Deep Purple classic “Soldier of Fortune”, and early AC/DC number plus material from the U.F.O. and Zeppelin stables.

But all are looking forward to the challenge of etching their name on the local scene following in the footsteps of the big brother bands regularly featured on this page.

Watch this space for developments.

Richard Whitehead

Tamworth Herald – 09/01/81
Musicbox – Folk Venture
THIS week witnessed the start of a brand new folk music club in Tamworth.

Called Back Room Folk, the venture was scheduled to start at the Three Tuns pub in Lichfield Street, Fazeley, last night (Thursday).

The organisers hope the club will be able to hold weekly sessions featuring local musicians.

There will be acts from Tamworth group Franklyn and solo artists Andy Dwyer and Roger Sargeant.

So, folk fans, get along to the Three Tuns in Fazeley and support this worthy venture.

Tamworth Herald – 16/01/81
Scene Around – Jazz king will top the bill.
British jazz king Humphrey Lyttleton – Tamworth College January 23 1981

Tamworth Herald – 16/01/81
Musicbox - Mike is making Beatles’ music live on in print
Mike TurnerTHIS week Musicbox takes time out to highlight the fascinating hobby of 16-year-old Mike Turner, of Kettlebrook, who during the past year has watched the circulation of his monthly Beatles magazine grow from a couple of dozen copies to more than 100 with subscribers from several foreign countries.

IT WAS after watching a concert by Paul McCartney’s Wings group at the Royal Court Theatre in Liverpool just before Christmas of 1979 that Mike Turner got his first taste of journalism.

A writer from a German magazine asked him to compile a review of the show, he later got a letter back from the publishers of a Wings fan club magazine asking him to write more stories about the group.

He says it was the success of these articles that first prompted him to start hos own official ‘fanzine’ (Fans magazine), on his favourite group.

Fans in Tamworth can buy their copies of “Every Little Thing” from Rock-it Records in Aldergate’s Victoria Arcade.

Tamworth Herald – 16/01/81
Arts group wins fight to run centre
TAMWORTH’s arts groups have won their long-standing battle with the council to take control of the arts centre.

Tamworth Herald – 16/01/81
Impressive list for Arts Centre

24/01/81 – Second City Theatre – Jack and the Beanstalk
31/01/81 – Rodent Arts Trust – The Ladder Gig
07/02/81 – Belt and Braces – Coming Up
14/02/81 – A Musical Evening for Valentines Day
21/02/81 – Fine Arts Brass
26/28/02 – Little Theatre
07/03/81 – Paul Hansard’s Puppets

Discos and Club Bands
Close Encounters, Johnny Green, Kippa, Nij Redfern, Pete Perry, Square Pegg, Gemini, Johnny Slade, Barry John.

Tamworth Herald – 23/01/81
Musicbox – Putting a fine edge on rock…
A TINY parish hall in the middle of a picturesque Staffordshire village is not the first place you’d think of looking for a rock concert. But a peep round the door of this polite little building revealed an enthusiastic gathering packing the place to the rafters.

And they’d all come to get a look at Ethis. Four young gentlemen embarking on the first rung of the long and winding ladder to that elusive goal called stardom.

So there was a definite air of expectation when Ethis shuffled nervously on to the miniature stage to begin their set.


In my Ethis feature a few weeks back, the band were keen to stress that they were not interested in any heavy metal label and as the evening progressed it became clear that they intend to stick to that assertion.

At times the sort of thing that Ethis were playing was as restrained and thoughtful as a student’s seminar on the work of Shakespeare.

But just when you thought they might get too slushy they picked up the pace and were off and into some aggressive, menacing hard rock.

The important difference between Ethis and other budding ‘heavies’ is the keyboard sound given by John Haslam, reminded me of the keyboard masters of old as he thoughtfully picked his way round the ivories adding all-important touches of subtlety here and there.

Add to that the excellent drumming of Mick Onions, the driving guitar of Andy Higgins and Ralph Sandland’s remarkable bass and outstanding vocal work and it’s clear to see why the audience were shouting for more at the end.

Considering Ethis have only been together for a few short weeks the sound they achieved was remarkable. Give them another six months and their potential will be enormous.

Wigginton Village Hall

Andy Peebles Radio 1 DJ
Drayton Manor
Manor Discos

Tamworth Herald – 30/01/81
Musicbox – Trying a new brew
BREWSTER – the Tamworth band that rocked local audiences for more than five years – have split up.

The news came this week that the energetic get-up-and-go band had gone.

But all is not lost, for three of their members are planning to forma new group with the same dynamic approach that the old Brewster band had.

And lead singer Tony Beaumont, bassman Ron Allcott and recent addition, guitarist Mick Griffiths, want to hear from anyone who’s keen on joining the new outfit.

The other two members, drummer Gary Norris and guitarist Tony Stanley are also open to offers. Gary says “anything and everything” will be considered but Tony wants to get involved with something completely different and try his luck with a jazz/jazz rock band.

All the five members agree the split was amicable, but even so, they’ll certainly be missed. Brewster have always been one of the most consistent bands in the area and were very popular with the crowds.

Tamworth Herald – 06/02/81 - The Lounge Lizards, Those Attractive Magnets, The WarrenTamworth Herald – 06/02/81
Call for bigger Palace – a box office smash hit.
Record audiences - £96,000 for the year.

Tamworth Herald – 06/02/81
The Lounge Lizards
Those Attractive Magnets

The Warren

Tamworth Herald – 06/02/81
Musicbox - Top class Jigsaw fits the bill
Chart-topping band Jigsaw are to play a one-off concert in Tamworth. The five piece group will play Glascote Working Men’s Club on 8th February 1981.

Tamworth Herald – 06/02/81
Musicbox – When Magnets meet Lizards
TWO Tamworth bands line up alongside each other next week for what promises to be the best gig in the area for some time.

Those Attractive Magnets and a newly-formed group, the Lounge Lizards, will be playing a special double-header at The Warren, Mile Oak Hotel on Thursday February 12.

The gig will also feature a solo spot from Tamworth folk singer Nick Lowe and the super sounds of the Buttercup Roadshow.

And to make things easier for the unemployed and students, the two bands have cut some admission charges.

Normal admission is 60p but if you bring along your dole card or students’ union card, it’s 30p. So, be there!

Those Attractive Magnets
Lounge Lizards

Mile Oak Hotel

Tamworth Herald – 13/02/81
Back-home punk hunts for his girlfriend
RUNAWAY punk rocker Darren Roberts returned to his Kingsbury home this week and now wants to find his still-missing sweetheart.

Tamworth Herald – 13/02/81
Musicbox – top rock names for Lichfield Leisure Centre?…so why not bring talent to Tamworth?

Midlands dates for IceTamworth Herald – 13/02/81
Midlands dates for Ice

Tamworth Herald – 20/02/81
Musicbox – Weak brew that failed to mix
Review: Nick Lowe/East Park/Those Attractive Magnets/The Lounge Lizards – The Warren
FOUR artistes for 60p can’t be bad can it? Oh yes it can! My apologies to the Lounge Lizards who gamely tried to save this evening from disaster but even they, lovable loonies that they are, failed.

All right, I know this was only a semi-serious sort of event anyway and most of the fair-sized crowd seemed to appreciate that fact.

But the mixture of talents (?) on offer simply didn’t work together to provide a coherent programme of entertainment.

I’m sure most of the crowd would agree that, until the Lounge Lizards gave the event a kick up the backside, the gig was definitely dying a death.

First on the boards was Nick Lowe. Nick has been strumming his acoustic guitar around town for a few years now. His set was pleasant enough to start with but the novelty soon wore off.

Nick was also dogged by the fact that most of the audience were so busy chatting to each other that they apparently failed to notice that there was anyone on stage at all.

East Park had come all the way from Leicester. They needn’t have bothered.

They had an electric guitar as well as an acoustic but really the world has seen enough electric folk bands for another ten years or so.

Next up were Those Attractive Magnets who have received much attention from my colleague Robert Sly on this page.

Shortage of time meant they could only play three (or was it four) numbers and frankly no-one was more relieved than me when time ran out.

Trying to look like Gary Numan and making noises with synthesisers seems to be a popular pastime these days for a number of people.

The Magnets are no worse or better than hundreds of other groups doing the same thing.


Where the Magnets are going wrong is in their apparent inability to realise that the likes of Keith Emerson. Jon Lord and Rick Wakeman were proving ten years ago that keyboards make funny noises.

So really all this futurist nonsense is just taking us further backwards not forwards.

I don’t know how serious the Lounge Lizards were supposed to be. Not very, I suspect.

Tamworth Herald – 27/02/81
Musicbox – Apathy rules…and it’s not OK
TAMWORTH is famous for Pigs, Peel, three wheeled cars and…APATHY.

We’ve had Anarchy in the UK, now it’s time for Apathy in the Big T.

Two weeks ago I posed the question – can Tamworth become a major centre for live rock music again?

Well the response from people already involved in the local rock scene has been very good.

But as usual, it’s another matter when we come to the public at large.

Apathy rules OK seems to be the attitude of punters in the Tamworth area.

The one conclusion that I can draw from this dismal response is that most of you out there can’t be bothered whether quality live bands appear in Tamworth or not.


It looks to me as if most of you are arm-chair rock enthusiasts content to sit in your comfortable homes listening to your fave bands through expensive stereo equipment.

I’m sorry if that sounds a bit harsh to those of you who do bother to attend local gigs but I have only just begun to realise the full extent of the problem facing any would-be concert promoter in Tamworth.

Short of dragging people out of their homes and making them fork out the admission fee, there doesn’t seem to be any way in which to improve the situation.

The views of other people are reproduced below and as you will see, the sentiments are not all gloom and doom.
Richard Whitehead

Tamworth Herald – 27/02/81
Musicbox – Gary takes a jazzy new line
Musicbox – Gary takes a jazzy new line.JAZZ rock could become a regular sound in Tamworth if former Brewster drummer Gary Norris has his way.

For Gary has teamed-up with an un-named jazz rock guitarist and they are now looking for a bass player.

If and when they find one Gary and his new band will be looking for a regular venue in Tamworth to play their new style of music and attract other bands in a similar vein.

“We’re keeping a low profile at the moment,” said Gary: “But when we have found a bass player we hope to start up a regular jazz rock venue somewhere in the town.”

But Gary stressed that any likely applicants for the post must have “more than the normal amount of talent” and be able to handle the complexities of jazz rock.

Tamworth Herald – 27/02/81
Musicbox – Band’s high hopes
A SIX-BAND extravaganza at the Assembly Rooms with the Lounge Lizards topping the bill.

That’s what the Lizards will be trying to set up.

And while they admit that their plans could be a trifle on the ambitious side, the latest and craziest addition to the local scene are willing to give everything a try.

The Lizards are currently working on new material following their successful debut gig at the Warren.

The only problem is they need a drummer.

Anyone who thinks they can play the drums for a band in the Cars, Motels mould should contact “Chip” of the Lizards.

Tamworth Herald – 27/02/81
Musicbox - A cooler for Ice
Mick Rutherford, lead singer with one of the area’s biggest names, Ice, reckons an unwillingness to part with cash is at the heart of Tamworth’s problem.

“The people of Tamworth don’t want to pay to go and see a live band”, Mick said.

“They are quite prepared to come and see us at the Chequers in Hopwas, where they don’t have to pay but we have played at Tamworth Arts Centre and twice at the Assembly Rooms and the attendances have been terrible.

“It doesn’t give the promoters any heart. If the people won’t come out to see the local bands, they won’t come out to see anybody else”, he added.

Ice, who played before a crowd of a thousand at a bikers rally last year, have always been disappointed with their Tamworth audiences.

”We play at a place called Mere near Stoke and the last time we went there it was £1 to get in and the doors had to be locked at 9pm,” said Mick.

“Both times we played at the Assembly Rooms, the turn-out was abysmal. There is no way we can get back the money paid out to hire the place.”

And Mick’s final word seemed to sum up the plight of the local bands.

“We’re a Tamworth bands and we can’t afford to play in Tamworth,” he said.

Tamworth Herald – 27/02/81
Musicbox – Locals ‘out of touch’
The man who masterminded Titan’s recent helter-skelter climb to local stardom thinks that apathy is still the biggest single thing against Tamworth’s bid to attract bands.

Frank McVicar, Titan’s mentor, is blunt and to the point. “The people of Tamworth get exactly what they deserve.

“I believe that apathy among the Tamworth public is at the core of the problem”.

Tamworth Herald – 05/03/81
Musicbox – In tune for rock tour
TOMORROW (Saturday) sees what could be the dawning of a new era in the history of rock music in Tamworth.

The Assets

Those Attractive Magnets and three other bands are taking to the road to do a six date tour of youth clubs around the Tamworth area.

Wigginton village hall is the setting for the first of these important gigs.

Then the circus pitches its big top at youth clubs all over the area, finishing at Kingsbury on March 17.

The Magnets are backed by three new names on the local scene, The Assets, The Travelling Dog and (Fetch the) Comfy Jigsaw.

Musicbox will like to congratulate all concerned with this enterprising venture.


Lately, we have been complaining about the lack of live music in the area and if the youth clubs could be opened up as regular venues for local bands it would be a big step in the right direction.

So we urge everyone reading this column to go along to at least one of these concerts and give the new talent that is emerging in the area the support and encouragement it deserves.

The Magnets are already known to all of you but below we profile the three other bands on the tour.

As they say in Hollywood. This could be the start of something big!

Saturday March 7: Wigginton Village Hall; Monday March 9: St. John’s Youth Club; Tuesday March 10: Polesworth Youth Club; Thursday March 12: Dosthill Boys Club; Monday March 16: Wood End Youth Centre; Tuesday March 17: Kingsbury Youth Centre.

Richard Whitehead

Tamworth Herald – 05/03/81
Musicbox - Dog has its day
SONGS about everyday life aimed at giving the audience a good time – that’s the philosophy of the Travelling Dog.

Travelling Dog

The band’s five members hope that the tour with The Magnets will get them some recognition in the area and they are also hopeful that the current line-up will stay together for some time to give them a settled base to work on.

The line-up is: Mark Mortimer (bass and vocals); Steve McDaid (guitars and vocals); Simon Webster (drums); Chris Underwood (vocals) and Gary Overton (keyboards).

So far they have penned four songs including 'An Experience' and 'Venus'.

As Mark said: “We just want people to have a good time and after the tour we’ll take it from there.”

Tamworth Herald – 05/03/81
Musicbox – Punk ‘thrash’ comes to town
ROGER Moore and Brian Pear had been trying to get a band together for some time when Andrew Wiggall joined them as vocalist and the ambitious Mark Mortimer was roped in.

Now The Assets find themselves on the tour and they are promising to play the most wild, undisciplined punk thrash Tamworth has ever seen.

“We just want the public to get up and dance,” said drummer Roger.

The Assets compare themselves to Discharge and with titles like State Control, Fight Against This Government and Religion Causes Wars in their set, I think everyone knows what to expect.

“Our music is anti-IRA, Anti-Wedgewood-Benn and anti-Thatcher,” said Roger.

Tamworth Herald – 05/03/81
Musicbox - DHSS
After a few months cosmetic surgery, DHSS are back on the local scene with a gig next week.

For the revamped line-up of Vince Watts, lead guitar and vocals, Wayne Thompson, guitar, Barry Douce, bass and Martin Watts drums will be supporting the Lounge Lizards at the Warren next Thursday March 12.

Vince promises me that DHSS are better than ever so if you missed the Lizards last time – why not go along and take a look.

The DHSS will be supporting the Lounge Lizards at the Warren next Thursday March 12.

Tamworth Herald – 05/03/81
Musicbox - Jigsaw fit together
HOWARD, Sense of Doubt and The Perfect Gift – these are just three of the songs (Fetch The) Comfy Jigsaw will be debuting on the tour.

The four-man outfit came together at the beginning of the year after all of them had been in

(Fetch the) Comfy Jigsaw are: Donald Skinner (drums), Matthew Lees (guitar and vocals), Andrew Baines (lead guitar) and Garry Dorrell (bass guitar).

Those Attractive Magnets
The Assets
The Travelling Dog
(Fetch the) Comfy Jigsaw

Wigginton Village Hall

Those Attractive Magnets
The Assets
The Travelling Dog
(Fetch the) Comfy Jigsaw

St. John's Youth Club

Those Attractive Magnets
The Assets
The Travelling Dog
(Fetch the) Comfy Jigsaw

Polesworth Youth Club

Those Attractive Magnets
The Assets
The Travelling Dog
(Fetch the) Comfy Jigsaw

Dosthill Boys Club

The DHSS v3
The Lounge Lizards
The Warren

Victorian Parents
The Ulterior Motives
The Middle Man (formerly 45 rpm)
Lichfield Arts Centre

19/03/81 - Lichfield Mercury
Sounds Around - Ulterior Motives reaching fruition
ULTERIOR Motives will soon be a musical force to be reckoned with. That prediction comes after a sample of their work at a double bill in Lichfield's Art Centre last Friday.

The four-piece band its erratic and somewhat nervous entry into the local music scene by paving the way for the daunting Victorian Parents.

Undaunted by the fact they had no sound check, the band forged ahead with a set that got better and better and...the audience seemed to like them too!

Bassist Steve Thompson introduced each number with obvious enthusiasm and some of the music which was produced throughout the evening generated its own excitement.

Basically the band was led with guitars, each with their own sound and rhythm creating some rousing effects. The interesting result, helped by Brian Cropper's drumming, improved as confidence grew.


Chris Barlow and John Wilcox make up the other half of Ulterior Motives, but they were joined on three numbers and an encore by a dubious character called, I think, Edward ian Armchair

The idea of his abstract ideas in spoken voice across a background of music was good, but didn't quite come off somehow but as predicted earlier, Ulterior Motives are likely to mature into an excellent band.

Tamworth Herald – 12/03/81
Musicbox – New boys learn a painful first lesson
Review: THOSE Attractive Magnets/(Fetch the) Comfy Jigsaw/The Travelling Dog/The Assets – Wigginton Village Hall
ON FRIDAY I heralded this gig as the possible dawning of a new era. At the end of Saturday night I was beginning to have my doubts.

Those Attractive Magnets

Those Attractive Magnets

Apart from Those Attractive Magnets – more of them later – the three ‘new’ bands were shockingly under-prepared, out of tune and baffled by the whole situation.

Of course they will get better, develop and find their own level in a few years or maybe in a few months, but while the idea for this tour was enterprising and adventurous, some members of the groups plainly hadn’t got the talent to deliver the goods.

Best of the three were (Fetch the) Comfy Jigsaw. They battled on, despite the fact that they were out of tune, and played the most listenable music of the evening.

The songs they did play were sort of power pop, new wave style, and I felt that with a lot of hard work and concentration, ‘Jigsaw’ could become quite a force. Good luck lads.

The Travelling Dog were hampered by the fact that they were hopelessly out of tune, under rehearsed and had lost Gary Overton and Steve McDaid just a couple of days before the concert.

Donald Skinner, drummer with Jigsaw, deputised on guitar, but, despite the enthusiasm of Mark Mortimer, they never really got going.

By the time The Assets took to the stage things were even worse and far from providing us with a “wild punk thrash” as they promised, they just looked nervous and desperately lacking in preparation.


Back to the beginning of the evening and the Magnets, who, to my surprise, opened rather than closed the entertainment. No ego tripping for them, which was a good sign I suppose.

Sound problems hampered them when I saw them at The Warren with the Lounge Lizards, but tonight they seemed to have some of that sorted out.

Constructive criticism is what they wanted, so I’ll do my best to give them that. For a start there is no doubt that TAM are very serious and thoughtful about their music, they want to succeed, and that’s as good a start as any.

But where I feel they are going wrong is in the construction of their music. All the songs they played at Wigginton were far too long and complex for the sort of audience they are trying to reach.


The ‘new’ electronic music that is selling records and gaining recognition, is despite the synthesisers, very commercial. But the Magnets are more like Hawkwind than Gary Numan, playing lengthy numbers with layer upon layer of sound.

I feel that if they concentrated on getting some catchy hook lines within their music they could be very good indeed. They have a superb drummer in John ‘Hurricane’ Higgins and showed with … they can write good stuff.

All in all then a very mixed evening. The low points were the bad turn-out and the lack of co-ordination shown by the three newcomers.

However, John Higgins, Donald Skinner, Matthew Lees and Mark Mortimer deserve some credit for wholehearted, skilful performances.

To the three new bands the message is continue to work hard and don’t be discouraged.

Richard Whitehead

Tamworth Herald – 12/03/81
Musicbox - Rock on at college again
TAMWORTH College could soon be awakened out of its musical slumber and become a major venue for live rock music again.

Students’ union officials are formulating plans for a series of gigs at the college.

Tamworth Herald – 12/03/81
Musicbox - New girl
EMERGING Tamworth rock band Ethis have added a new recruit to their line-up.

Sally Arnold, from Elford, has joined the band to do backing and lead vocals on some of their numbers.

Sally has been involved with a number of bands in the area and her presence should add considerably to the Ethis vocal department.

Those Attractive Magnets
The Assets
The Travelling Dog
(Fetch the) Comfy Jigsaw

Wood End Youth Centre

Those Attractive Magnets
The Assets
The Travelling Dog
(Fetch the) Comfy Jigsaw

Kingsbury Youth Centre

Tamworth Herald – 20/03/81
Musicbox - Making a Ripple on surface of the rock scene
TOP NAMES on the national rock scene could soon be appearing regularly at Tamworth Assembly Rooms.

A London agency are thinking of sending some of the top names on their books to Tamworth following the Musicbox campaign of recent weeks for more live music in the area.

But…and there always is a but…you the Tamworth punters have got to prove to this agency that you are willing to dig into your pockets to support concerts in the town.

Carl Ingram and John Westwood, two local men with an interest in seeing the town get back on the road map, have set up an organisation to promote town concerts.

On April 2 at Hopwas British Legion Club they will be holding a “shop window” for artists who may later appear at the Assembly Rooms.

Ripple Music – the official name for the Tamworth organisation – hope to promote the concerts.

And if enough people turn up and show that the interest is there in the town, they can then go back to London with proof that there is a market for live music in Tamworth.


As John Westwood puts it “We are determined to get things going again.

“I saw the Beatles at the Assembly Rooms and I realise how much the building is going to waste at the moment”, he added.

So the onus rests with local bands and solo artists to approach Ripple Music and take it from there.

Tamworth Herald – 20/03/81
Musicbox - Review Spot – DHSS/The Lounge Lizards – The Warren
CONSOLIDATION was the name of the game for the Lounge Lizards.

After the success of their debut gig the band wanted to build on that encouraging start and they achieved this goal without any hiccups.

In some ways perhaps they lost the riotous spontaneity which was the most enjoyable feature of their debut but on the other hand the whole evening had a more organised feel to it which was no bad thing.

Their set was enjoyable without being scintillating but taking into account the fact that the Lizards had an emergency bass player – the sound they achieved was pretty good.


Led by the amiable Richard Bujack, the Lizardz played a mixture of cover versions and their own material.

I enjoyed the covers more but given time to work on their own compositions, there’s not telling what they might come up with.

Best of the lot was once again “Sultans of Swing” featuring some quite astonishingly stylish guitar work.

DHSS, back on the boards again after a lengthy lay-off, failed to win much recognition from the audience but they had one or two interesting moments with Vince Watts playing some mean lead guitar.

Tamworth Herald – 20/03/81
THOSE Attractive Magnets’ drummer, John ‘Hurricane’ Higgins has left the band.Musicbox - ‘Hurricane’ goes and in comes the computer!
THOSE Attractive Magnets’ drummer, John ‘Hurricane’ Higgins has left the band.

John’s sudden departure after the recent concert at Wigginton Village Hall means the Magnets had to pull out of the youth club tour after just one date.

Now they plan to go totally electronic with a computer replacing “Hurricane’s” drum sound.

Rikk Quay explained “We were sorry that the tour couldn’t continue. There is no animosity between us and John”.


Now the Magnets have been booked for a May 9 gig at a new “Blitz” club at Kingstanding.

One important line-up change is that Mark Mortimer, bass player with The Travelling Dog, has joined (Fetch The) Comfy Jigsaw while ‘Dog have split.Despite the fact that the Magnets had to pull out of the tour, the other bands battled on, drawing a crowd of over 100 to St. John’s Youth Club on Monday.

One important line-up change is that Mark Mortimer, bass player with The Travelling Dog, has joined (Fetch The) Comfy Jigsaw while ‘Dog have split.

However, The Assets have continued to improve with a barnstorming display at Polesworth.

Watch this space for more developments.

Tamworth Herald – 26/03/81
Ice man, Dave Westmancoat with T-shirt and poster.Musicbox – Fans warm to an Ice idea
DAVE Westmancoat finds it hard to explain what is so special about the music of top local band Ice.

“It’s the sort of music I like,” he says thoughtfully, “Ice are completely original, there’s no way they can be classified.”

That was the first thing that struck Dave the first time he saw the band at Glascote Working Men’s Club less than 12 months ago – they were totally original.

Over the next few months his liking for the band grew and in January he hit on the ideal way of making his own contribution to the Ice bid for stardom.

“I thought about ways of helping the band along before I hit on the idea of the “Ice Fan Club”, he said.

Now the first fan club for any local band (as far as I am aware, anyway) is in full swing.

Membership is 90p and for that the member gets a booklet packed with information about Ice plus a membership card and a discount on T-shirts and badges.

In addition, Dave compiles a newsletter with a full gig list every two months.

And the most recent copy of the newsletter features a blow-by-blow account of the January “Winter Blizzard” tour.

The idea is to get people involved with the group in a small way and to spread the word about Ice over an even bigger area”, Dave says.

Anyone thinking of joining the Ice fan club should write to Dave Westmancoat.

Tamworth Herald – 27/03/81
Musicbox - How JC emerged from the desert
BLESS his cotton socks he’s in the news!

Well I’m fed up of moronic Radio 1 disc jockeys introducing The Teardrop Explodes as a “Liverpool band”.

For the geographical information of Messrs. Peebles and all the other cronies, Julian Cope, Teardrop’s vocalist, is from TAMWORTH.

Julian, who I’m told, once played the lead in a Wilnecote High School production of Oliver! Is the latest Tamworth musician to make it.

With the recent success of the album ‘Kilimanjaro’ and the current chart position of the excellent single ‘Reward’, Julian is certainly making a name for himself.

His appearance on Top of the Pops and in the music papers are the best possible inspiration to young musicians in the area who think they are living ina rock music “desert”.

Congratulations and keep up the good work, JC.

The Chequers

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