Tamworth Bands - History 1960-1990
«Start Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Tamworth Bands History : 1985 : October

Tamworth Herald – 04/10/85
‘Profit Making’ plans to be studied - Rock festival boost for arts?
TAMWORTH arts officials are hoping to get together with local bands to organise a major benefit making rock festival.

Tamworth Herald – 04/10/85
Musicbox - A clash of metal for men of passion
Caption: Breaking Point…ready for their biggest ever challenge. TAMWORTH’S premier passion players Breaking Point were this week putting the final touches to the set of their most important gig ever.

For on Sunday, the talented trio will play alongside heavy metal favourites Torme at London’s Walthamstow Hall.

The prestigious support slot will give Breaking Point the chance to play at a venue which seats 2,000 – and the popularity of the main band ensures that nearly all those seats will be filled.

And even though Breaking Point admit they would rather alongside someone more in line with their musical philosophy, they can’t mask their obvious excitement.

“This is a great break for us and we are obviously going to be nervous on the night,” admitted guitarist Kevin Briggs. “It is certainly our biggest gig yet we hope it will lead to many other gigs.”

Breaking Point will be opening Sunday night’s show to be followed by London-band Elixier and then finally Torme – a group who boast several of the most popular HM musicians in the circuit.

But Breaking Point are being realistic. They know the perils of holding the support slot, a peril increased because their music is so different to that of the main band. In fact they are expecting the worst…

“We don’t expect to go down very well,” said Kevin. “There will be people from Tamworth their supporting us, but I think most of the heavy metals fans may not like us too much.”

The concert will be especially nerve-racking for new drummer Jason Farrow. He ahs only been with the band a matter of weeks and now he is being called on to play a very important gig indeed.

“He has already done JB’s Dudley for us and everything is going well with him so there should be no problems,” said bassist Daydo.

A supporters coach will be travelling to London on Sunday, leaving the Tavern at 2.30pm. Fare around £6.50, people will get a £3 ticket to the gig, transport there and back and a few precious hours in London. The band need the support so why not treat yourself to a day out. It is an important day for Breaking Point – and an important day for Tamworth’s music scene as a whole.

Tamworth Herald – 04/10/85
Musicbox – GOSSIPBOX
AREN’T things quiet at the moment. After all the heady action of the summer with the Festival, TamAid and a million other things, the Tamworth music scene seems to be having a well-earned siesta.

This week, for example there are no Arts Centre concerts at all but fear not, things are still happening.

The chirpy Dickens will be taking their stageshow – Mick Rutherford hat et all – to Hinckley nightclub on Monday night for a headlining slot. I have a few free tickets if anyone wants one.

Tamworth Herald – 04/10/85
Musicbox – GOSSIPBOX
Also this weekend the Dream Factory begin work on their second single with a session at the Expresso Bongo studios. The band wants a few Tamworthians to go down and do a bit of backgound talking, so if you want to get yourself on vinyl no matter how, give Mark a ring.

Tamworth Herald – 04/10/85
Musicbox – GOSSIPBOX
One On One are also sharpening their spurs for another show at the Arts Centre next week. They will be playing with the very hardworking Powerplay who have lined up to more shows – at the Railway on October 27 and JBs Dudley on December 5.

Tamworth Herald – 04/10/85
Musicbox – GOSSIPBOX
And finally just a message to people wondering what The Parade are up to. Well contrary to popular belief they are not dead. Guitarist Brian Lacey said that the band’s low profile of late had caused people to think they had split up or contracted a mystery disease.

The truth is that the band are bursting with ambition to get going again. So don’t listen to rumours…stick with GOSSIPBOX. We always tell the truth…

Tamworth Herald – 11/10/85
Musicbox – COMMENT
Keep this prize well under control!
SUDDENLY, it seems all of us who were involved in the Rock Festival are being seen as heroes. Recently councillors, policemen and leading local trade unionists have said how wonderful our little jaunt in the Castle Grounds was. Now we have yet more people jumping on the rock and roll band wagon in the form of Tamworth Arts Advisory Council.

As you may have seen in last week’s Herald, the Arts Advisory people believe the Festival can be a money spinning success and they are thinking of helping us to achieve this.

Nothing of course is definite, apart from one small thing. And that is, the rock festival MUST stay in the ultimate control of the musicians of the town.


It is our ‘magnus opus’, the thing we spend the year thinking about and working towards. It is there to provide a showcase of the spirit of Tamworth’s music scene and the fact that it is organised, financed and slaved over by genuine enthusiasts makes it a feather in Tamworth’s cap.

Personally, I would not like to see that feather dislodged. While it would obviously be a good thing to build the festival up even more, when people start talking about profits, I must admit I get a little worried.

Money and local music are not normally very good bed partners and the language of profitability seems strangely out of place in the land of youth talent.

If we start becoming obsessed with how we can make it more profitable, we could start going down the line ‘which bands would be profitable?’ and then we will start looking towards commercial prowess instead of musical variety and enthusiasm.

I am not saying that we should reject this help and enthusiasm – far from it, the more people involved the better – but I think the musicians in the town should not let this prize slip out of our control.

The whole of Tamworth will benefit if the Arts Advisory Council gives the Festival a big boost but the people who have struggled to make this event a success must not be overridden in the search for commercial gain.

Tamworth Herald – 11/10/85
Musicbox – GOSSIPBOX
STAR TREK has boldly gone where no man has been before – right into the back of a van. For the blond bombshell lead singer of Sacred Oath was involved in a motorbike accident recently which left him with arm, hip and pride injuries.

All we can do is wish him a speedy recovery and remind Star Trek that motorbikes can be more trouble that the Starship Enterprise.

Tamworth Herald – 11/10/85
Musicbox – GOSSIPBOX
Also enterprising is new Herald reporter Dan Collins who is about to unleash the first ever ‘modzine’ in the area called ‘Shake-Up’. The first issue contains a number of news and reviews but the main feature is on our very own Dream Factory. More details about Dan ‘The Face’ Collins’ venture shortly.

Tamworth Herald – 11/10/85
Musicbox – GOSSIPBOX
Speaking of the Factory, they have recruited a mad-keen Wolfsbane supporter as their new trombonist! Paul Stansfield, 17, is more used to ‘Clutching At Straws’ than ‘Wine and Roses’ but according to the band he has already fitted in well. The group are still looking for trumpeters – Sacred Oath, Femme Fatale or Magnets fans this time?

Tamworth Herald – 11/10/85
Musicbox – GOSSIPBOX
On the subject of Wolfsbane, this week should finally see the confrontation to upstage Ali v Frazier, Thatcher v Kinnock or Sarah Keays v Cecil Parkinson. Yes, Bayley Cooke is going to the police station! He is handing over a £50 cheque from the rock festival to the police’s SPACE scheme.

Rumours that the police have brought in a water cannon to protect themselves from Bayley remain unconfirmed…

Tamworth Herald – 11/10/85
Musicbox – GOSSIPBOX
And finally, the loveable Scarab will be back this weekend selling tickets for their show at the Coach and Horses, West Bromwich, next week. They will visit the Arts Centre on Saturday night and for a mere £2 you will get a seat on the coach, entry to the gig and a free Scarab single.

Selling tickets

All that for just £2! If this wave off goodwill continues, Mike Fleming might volunteer to have a haircut, Ian Gibbons might have a shave and Love On Board might even buy me a drink!! No, that would really be asking too much.

One On One
Tamworth Arts Centre

Tamworth Herald – 11/10/85
Musicbox – Powerful pair out to kill
ONE ON ONE join forces with Powerplay tonight in a show that looks set to be another Arts Centre sell-out. Both groups are currently riding on the crest of a wave thanks to two very, different – but still very well received – demo tapes.

One On One whose following is probably as strong and committed as anyone’s in Tamworth, play music which blends English ideals and approach, with American influences and style.

It is a mixture which has earned them almost universal praise – not least from former Dexys man and Expresso Bongo producer Paul Speare who said the group shone out at this year’s festival as having the best musicians in the town.

Expresso Bongo has also helped Powerplay recently, producing for them a very strong and well orchestrated demo tape. The group have an image and style that has aready made them many friends among Tamworth’s shock-metal fraternity, but their American cars and girls style, is sure to appeal to a great deal of Springsteenian followers, who want a good night out. A fine double-bill tonight, which kicks off at 8pm.

Tamworth Herald – 18/10/85
Musicbox – Jumble for sale – by the funny Psycho
Anarchy In WonderlandTAMWORTH’S newest and most unashamedly scurrilous fanzine has finally been unleashed on the streets. For “Anarchy In Wonderland” – the magazine that features that now infamous interview with Mike Turner – has finally been completed by its mysterious editor and mastermind The Sage Side Psycho.

The Psycho, who refuses to give his real name and prefers the anonymity of an unused CB handle, has spent up to six months working on the fanzine which is messy, confused, humbled – and very, very entertaining.

It is not in any sense a local fanzine. The bands it covers are bands that The Psycho – a John Peelite of the first order – like and admires.

Thus “Anarchy in Wonderland” features groups like Balaam and the Angel, The Sinister Cleaners, UK Subs, Big Flame and even the charmingly-named Cruxified By Christians.

It also features an interview with The Sway – and of course the Mike Turner article that sparked off a wave of protest locally.

“I don’t want people thinking I don’t like the Tamworth scene, but I just like to cover the bands I like or have something interesting to say. I think many Tamworth bands take themselves too seriously but I wouldn’t mind featuring some groups from this area if they want to contact me,” he said.

Local bands

“Anarchy in Wonderland” is primarily for national consumption. The Psycho hopes to get orders from all over the country – which is why he feels he can support local bands in a real, practical way.

“Too many Tamworth bands seem stuck at the Arts Centre. I would like to be able to write about one or two so their name can get around and they can get other gigs.”

Musically, the fanzine has a definite Peelesque feel. It appears to reject even the mainstream alternative sounds of The Cult and Sisters of Mercy in favour of the more small-time, honest mayhem merchants. So who does The Psycho listen to when he’s not insulting Tamworth?

“The Membranes, Big Flame, Jesus and The Mary Chain and so on. The real reason I started the fanzine was that I liked a lot of bands no-one else had heard of round here, so I thought I could let people know about them.”

And he has done it all very well. I found the fanzine to be frenetic, fast and often very funny. It talked to bands I did not know anything about in an interested, witty and never sycophantic way.

It is littered with obscenities, offbeat comments and often almost unreadable reviews and insults.

He accuses me of being the biggest clichés in the history of journalism. (I am sick as a parrot about that comparison) and he doesn’t care about who he offends or whose nose he chooses to get up. Which is, of course, exactly what you want from a fanzine.

If you want a copy you can send a large SAE, plus 20p to The Sage Side Psycho. It is possible copies may also be on sale at Tamworth Arts Centre, so support your friendly neighbourhood Psycho and buy one!

Tamworth Herald – 18/10/85
Musicbox – Only The Sway was left at breaking point!
IAN GIBBONS has been roving outside the town recently watching three of the areas top bands, Breaking Point, The Sway and The Royal Family, take on new audiences in London, Birmingham and Dudley respectively. Here are a few of the comments he made about these very contrasting gigs:

The Royal Family – (playing with hardcore punk band Conflict). Dave Smith looked scared to death and come to think of it, I don’t blame him…The Royal Family firmly stamped their blend of R ‘n’ B on the anarchist punk audience who just looked on spellbound as the band went from strength to strength.

Fun approach

In a night of political anarchistic numbers, the audience really appreciated this type of fun approach and it seemed that every member of the band grew in confidence as the set went on – my only criticism of the band is that I would like to see them write some of their own numbers, but thanks anyway lads for a good night out!

The Sway – Birmingham would not know a good band if it trod them on the foot…It soon became apparent to the band that this was going to be hard work and after their best number “The Sea”, lead singer Chris asked when they would start the bingo which summed up the whole situation perfectly…It seemed a great shame that the small and boring audience didn’t seem to want to listen, but don’t worry lads, the music was fine – though not the ideal sound for a funeral parlour.

Breaking Point – I was left completely overwhelmed by the performance of Daydo and company…Breaking Point looked and sounded hungry and raw, they worked hard for their applause and looked genuinely grateful when they received it. ‘Ode to Nicholas Romanov” was performed with conviction and feeling which in turn produced a strength, power and raunchiness miles above the other two bands that were to follow.

A new band with a Cramps feel sent out an urgent appeal for a new guitarist. The unnamed band can be contacted via Simon Mills.

Coach and Horses
West Bromwich

Tamworth Herald – 18/10/85
Musicbox – Scarab back in power
METALLIC madmen Scarab are back! The group play their first gig in months tonight and included in their new repertoire will be a song written for – and about Tamworth.METALLIC madmen Scarab are back! The group play their first gig in months tonight and included in their new repertoire will be a song written for – and about Tamworth.

The group have inherited the town as their own and have been touched by the loyalty of their fellowship here, so much that they have written the song – “When You Rock, Rock With Pride” – especially for their Tamworth fans.

“The people over here don’t care about what other people think, they just come to our concerts to enjoy themselves. We have been slagged off by some people before, but our Tamworth crowd don’t seem to mind,” said lead singer Paul Britton.

The band, who are at the Coach and Horses in West Bromwich tonight, have been away for so long because of a split-up that nearly killed them off altogether.

Drummer Paul Brookes left and was then followed by bassist Neil, leaving just the exhuberent duo of Dave Parrish and Paul Britton.

Things looked grim, until Paul Brookes agreed to rejoin. Mr. Britton swapped his lead guitar for a bass, and Scarab Mark Two were born.

“We are only a trio now but I think we are more powerful than before,” said Paul Britton. “I am doing all the things I was doing on my lead guitar on bass now, making for quite a dynamic sound,” he said.

And Paul was quick to stress that although the band has lost a quarter of its membership, it hasn’t lost any of its ear-shattering qualities.

“If anything we are now faster, louder and noisier. We haven’t softened up or anything like that, we are still, and always will be, a heavy metal band.”

And you can’t get a bolder statement of intent than that. A coachload of Scarab fans from the town will be taking the trip across to West Bromwich tonight and the band have promised that they will be returning to their favourite venue – Tamworth Arts Centre – very shortly.

Tamworth Herald – 18/10/85
Musicbox – Looking out and listening in…
AO Terroa are in the process of arranging an alternative night at Tamworth Assembly Rooms designed to be a showcase for all the bands who are trying to produce music that does not fit into the mainstream of rock and pop.

They are in need of bands to complete the line-up and anyone who can help can ring John. Poison Passionade are expected to make their debut at the show.

The Dream Factory play an historic concert at Polesworth Top Club on Saturday. It is important because it will be the last show with sax player Andy Codling who is leaving the band after a two-year stint.

He is to be replaced by Paul Stansfield (trombone ) and Steve Hacking (sax). The band have just completed their second single and more details about this will follow.

AN ambitious young heavy metal/heavy rock band who write and play their own material have sent out a search for a guitarist, drummer and singer preferably between 15-17. The band are keen to start gigging as soon as possible so if you would like to know more about them Wol or Matt can provide the details.

TED WILSON and Robin Norman, the former Gaf The Horse In Tears members, are still looking for musicians to form a new and original rock band. They have plenty of ideas and ambition and want to meet any available musicians who want to try and do something different, initially in an informal workshop atmosphere.

Tamworth Herald – 25/10/85
Musicbox - Space Age Bayley!
Caption: Blaze Bayley (left of course!) hands over the £50 donation to Superintendent Don Robinson.BLAZE BAYLEY, the eccentric lead singer of Wolfsbane put on his smartest attire last week for a trip to Tamworth Police station.

But Bayley was not heading for the cells, instead he went to meet Superintendent Don Robinson who gratefully received a £50 donation for the police’s summer SPACE scheme.

The money had all been raised by the Tamworth Rock Festival which as Bayley explained to the clearly impressed Superintendent, was a classic example of what Tamworth’s young people can do if they are given the chance.

”There is so much apathy in Tamworth that we are having to fight against,” said Bayley. “But when we are able to raise money for charity like this, it shows how successful the event is.”

During this short visit to the station, Bayley was shown photographs of the SPACE scheme, which annually keeps hundreds of young Tamworth people busy during the long summer holidays.

The obvious thread is that the SPACE scheme is trying to do exactly what the Rock festival is doing – only for different age groups. Both events are set up to try and encourage people to take part in enjoyable and varied fun right on theor own doorsteps. And both are proving very successful.

“It is hard to try and get people interested, but every year more people take part which is very encouraging,” said Inspector Bob Langley, one of the most active officers in the SPACE scheme.

The police were so pleased with their donation that they have agreed to put the Rock Festival on next year’s agenda of SPACE events, in the hope of attracting many more young pop fans to the two-day rock bonanza.

A special meeting of all bands in Tamworth is to be held at the Tavern in the Town on Sunday, November 3. The subject of the meeting is the future of the rock festival plus a possible new Battle of the Bands contest. All musicians and festival committee members are urged to attend.

The ParadeTamworth Herald – 25/10/85
Musicbox – SNIPS
On Parade
The Parade are playing a special free concert tomorrow night (Saturday) at their ‘home ground’ – the Swish Sports and Social Club on the Lichfield Road estate. The group, who have just recorded their second demo, will be hoping to showcase a great deal of their new material which they have been working diligently during the summer months.

Tamworth Herald – 25/10/85
Musicbox – SNIPS
A5 have been lined up for an Arts Centre show this Sunday although at time of going to press there was no more details about the show or the support.

Tamworth Herald – 25/10/85
Musicbox – SNIPS
Both The Sway and Dickens have both been working on videos lately. More news shortly on the high-tech duo.

Tamworth Herald – 25/10/85
Well it’s here at last – the first ever Rogues Gallery. After months of sorting through the murky depths of MUISCBOX files I have finally found out my favourite top ten photos that no-one would want to pin on their walls. They show the bad, the ugly but never the good features some of Tamworth’s top popsters, past and present, all caught over the past few years by Herald photographers Johnnie Walker and Paul Barber. They have been arranged as a top ten – the only modern top ten not to include something by Madonna – and I am sure you will agree there are some beauties (and I don’t mean faces) among them.


Rogues Gallery

Rogues Gallery


The Parade
Swish Sports and Social Club

Tamworth Arts Centre

«Start Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec


Copyright & Disclaimer © TamworthBands.com 2017 | Contact Us |
All photographs unless otherwise stated - courtesy of the Tamworth Herald.
Punk Poet - Edward ian Armchair
Return to the Tamworth Bands Home Page