Tamworth Bands - History 1960-1990
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Tamworth Bands History : 1990 : August

Vindaloo Breakfast
Rhythm Damage

The Rathole

Tamworth Herald – 03/08/90
Musicbox – It’s the festival post-mortem


THIS year’s Rock Festival proved once again that Tamworth has so much to offer on the music scene – and, helped by the weather, was probably one of the most successful to date.

When you take into account the problems encountered during the run-up, the temporary committee can feel satisfied that their hard work was worthwhile, but there can be no doubt that it could and should have been so much better.

If this event is to become a real showpiece and demand the attention it deserves, it is important that it has very firm foundations, with a strong hard-working committee all year round.

The present committee have therefore called a post-mortem meeting for all bands, this Sunday, August 5th at 7.30pm. It is important that as many bands as possible are represented as there is a great deal to discuss, before the Annual General Meeting next month.

The meeting at the ‘Tavern’ will take the following format:

  1. Bands to air their views on the way the Festival was run this year, while everything is fresh in their minds.
  2. Discussion of the proposed rules drawn up by the committee which many people feel are vital to the continued progress of the Festival.
  3. The takings of nomination for all committee positions.

No votes will be taken at this meeting but if you want to have a say, this is your last chance before proposals are put to the Annual General Meeting next month. MISS IT AND YOU’LL REGRET IT!

From Alan Webster (Tamworth Rock Festival)

Tamworth Herald – 03/08/90
Musicbox – Learn about the ‘A to Z’ of Pop
Tamworth College has wisely decided to cater for the huge amount of local people interested in the business of pop and rock music.

For commencing in September, there will be an evening course at Tamworth College called ‘The A to Z of Rock/Pop’.

It will be held every Tuesday evening and will be of interest to fans, musicians, would-be musicians, managers, roadies, in fact anyone interested in the music business.

Enrolment has started at the college and you can enrol for this course between 10am and 4pm, Monday to Friday.

This course comes at a time when the first B.A. (Hons) Degree in pop music is starting at Salford University.

It will consist of Music History from Rock ‘n’ Roll to the present day, looking at various contracts, what a manager, agent, publisher, publicist and record company actually does, how to start a band, get gigs, make contacts and also chart the great bands careers through music tapes and videos.

It sounds a great idea, so get involved.

Tamworth Herald – 03/08/90
Musicbox – SNIPS
Vesuvius are still looking, asking, begging and pleading for a keyboard player and male and female vocalist to join their combo. They have a brass section and piles of enthusiasm but they need these extras to complete their jigsaw. No transport is needed and the band describe themselves as having a ‘rock/blues and individual A-level style sound’ with age ranges 16-35. It all sounds mindboggingly interesting so why not contact them.

Tamworth Herald – 03/08/90
Musicbox – SNIPS
The Searching are re-forming with a new name and a new identity. The original trio are now seeking a drummer to complete their line-up and interested people can contact them.

Tamworth Herald – 03/08/90
Musicbox – SNIPS
Bands who fancy playing well outside the Town are being invited to contact a new indie/rock venue in Sheffield. The complex, the Marples House is being run by an ex-Tamworthian who is keen to show Sheffield audiences how good are bands are. If you want to test your wares to a new audience this could be one for you so why not ring Martin.

Tamworth Herald – 03/08/90
Musicbox – SNIPS
Former Anti-dote guitarist Simon Hewin is now setting up private guitar tuition for rock and pop axemen (or women).

Tamworth Herald – 03/08/90
Musicbox – SNIPS
One of the saddest things about the Festival was the news that Kraze appear to have split up. As well as virtually destroying our very own Martin Warrillow, the news will also come as a major upset to a Mrs. Gail Neal from Porthcawl., mid Glamorgan who wrote a long letter to Musicbox just before the Festival explaining that having moved to Wales she had encountered a Kraze and Wolfe fanatic down there in the Valleys who wanted Kraze items by the score. Well, sad to report that it looks as though things aren’t so Krazy anymore but if one of the band gets in touch with me I will forward the letter and we can find out what made this great local group bite the dust.

Tamworth Herald – 03/08/90
Musicbox – SNIPS
Scream have confirmed that they are playing at the Arts Centre on Sunday August 12. Support will be from Chemikill and A.N. Other. More info next week.

Tamworth Herald – 03/08/90
Musicbox – Onions that WON’T make you cry
ONIONHEAD provide the big name attraction at the Rathole on Sunday night. They will be joined by The Big Trip in a double-header with a fair amount of clout.
Rathole entry on Sunday night is £2.

Tamworth Herald – 03/08/90
Musicbox – Brilliant Yogots inspire sheer AWE!
The Moneygods/Loaded/The Yogots/Senseless Things – The Rathole, Tamworth.

THE LAST time I came out of a Tamworth gig feeling this good was way back in 1981 when, after seeing a wild and wonderful Classified Ads performance, I walked home sufficiently motivated and inspired to want to form a band myself. (Whether that was a good thing or not is beside the point!)

But as I came away from what was supposed to be a Senseless things event, I couldn’t help but marvel at the sense of real excitement and sheer awe that Tamworth’s home grown Yogots expel. This show at the ever-improving Rathole venue, marked the coming-of-age of one of the finest young bands I have ever seen.

Their arrival on stage quite literally sent an absolute buzz about the place. Helped by a batallion of inflatable bees. The Yogots pounced on the platform and proceeded to blow open a real hornet’s nest of a set featuring old and new material, played with such ferocious energy and verve, that most of the audience was left simply staggered by such a captivating and enigmatic performance.

New tracks like ‘Falling Down’ show that the band’s songwriting ability is getting better all the time, and one now wonders just how long The Yogots are going to remain a ‘local band’. On this performance, they won’t have long to wait.

Their stable-mates The Money Gods, in comparison, were just another brick in the wall that’s now been reduced to rubble. About 13 years ago they may have been considered as a half-decent band, but with each song possessing just one good line that they then dragged out to last three minutes, just isn’t good enough anymore.

Loaded were an improvement but failed to ignite any real passion.

The Senseless Things are good, but not that good! To think that they’re on the bill at reading this year, should give the Yogots much hope for what they are capable of achieving this time next year. They can now bask in what must be the satisfying knowledge that they have supported two ‘happening’ band sin Tamworth and stung them both.

Mike Turner

Tamworth Herald – 03/08/90
Musicbox – LETTERS
When will they be almost famous?

Dear Sam,
We are regular readers of Musicbox in the Tamworth Herald and wonder if you could give a local group a mention on your page. They are known as ‘Almost Famous’ and have been playing most clubs and pubs around Tamworth and Nuneaton, they have become very popular and always get invited back wherever they play.

The group first formed a year ago with keyboard, guitarist, a lead singer, then last November they were joined by a bass guitarist and a drummer, their music is mostly the ‘60s era.

Two weeks ago they travelled to Blackpool for an audition to appear on Sky Television. If they pass the audition they will then be on their way to the TV studios in London. Hopefully they will pass the audition and we wish them every success.

Your faithfully,
Ann, Nance, Nobby and Janet.
Ardent followers.

Tamworth Herald – 03/08/90
Musicbox – Demo watch by Sean Atkins
EIGHT BALL JOE – Dance Higher, Dance Faster (Rating on a scale of one to five stars) ***
IF I ever make a Western, I think I’ll get Eight Ball Joe to do the soundtrack. The illustrations on the inlay card – and the songs on the tape – show that these three North Warwickshire boys never really grew out of the Cowboys and Indians phase.

Joe Delfuego, Chief Ferdinand II and Dino La Rocka (that’s what they call themselves) have the look to match their names, and the cowboy theme is carried through to the songs on this six-track tape. It’s an unusual and perhaps limiting concept but at least they’re being a bit different.

The music is not really Blues, although that’s surely a big influence. It’s straightforward guitar-based rock music I suppose, but its not as powerful as I remembered them to be when they last played the Arts Centre. The tracks on the tape are very moody and the whole thing sounds laid-back. My only slight complaint is that the songs are played and produced so well that they don’t sound as raw as they should.

Eight Ball Joe aren’t exactly breaking new ground with this tape and I don’t expect they want to. Its clear that they enjoy what they are playing, and I’m sure a lot of people enjoy listening to it. They may not get a ten-album recording deal on the strength of this demo – but they’re certainly worth watching the next time they play in Tamworth.

Sean Atkins

Don’t forget keep those demos coming to Sean Atkins, Musicbox, Tamworth Herald, 10, Aldergate, Tamworth, Staffs.

Tamworth Herald – 03/08/90
Musicbox – Festival Letter Response
Lee Revelle v Mike Fleming (Part III)
Last week we printed an amazing letter by Naked Touch man Mike Fleming complaining about comments made about him in the Festival programme by it’s editor Lee Revelle. As the programme sold only a couple of hundred but the Herald sells nearly 30,000, we felt that Lee deserved a more public reply which duly arrived on Friday morning. It is actually very funny – as was Mike’s letter – and I can’t help feeling this battle of words is more fun than most of the festival. Anyway Lee, let him have it!

I pen this regarding the correspondence of ‘Mr. Angry from Belgrave’ (or Mike Fleming as he is known to big chums) (Herald, July 27, 1990)

Could I take your letter, if I may, point by point…

1) By claiming to ‘enjoy it’ (music) whilst in the same breath referring to me as an obnoxious ‘little’ asterisk, you reinforce the point I made: Your attitude seems to be centred around the belief that music is solely judged by technical merits. Sad. You may know your bass runs, baby, but everyone detests your band.
2) Mike, I left a message on your answerphone which you claim not to have received. I can only suggest you contact British Telecom immediately. You will find their number in the ‘phone book’.
3) I am a member of a BAND called Emma Gibbs Loves Badges (please note: not I repeat, not, the only member) who, admittedly, did little to help with the Festival. They considered the assembled masses the gig of the weekend quite enough, thank you.
4) To even suggest that I personally did nothing for the Festival borders on farcical. This year’s programme, an obviously marked difference to that of previous events, was met by vast approval by most people (with a couple of notable exceptions). Most bands were interviewed personally, and – in all – it’s completion took over a month of solid work. You claim to have helped the Festival, but two days a year doesn’t make you a saint – where are you throughout the year when new local bands need encouragement and support? Are you scared of lending them your ears and money in case their following grows enough to warrant ousting you from your opening slot on the second day?
5) Any spelling mistakes in the programme were entirely due to the printers. Honestly, I’m sooooooooooooo sorry that you took such offence! Never again shall I insert that naughty other ‘M’ Mr. Flemming (ah, shucks! Did it again!)

And finally, in defence of Darren of Shock Culture who attacked you in the programme, to which you replied that your band deserved to play because you were good and because you work your butt off for the festival.

A) Your band are NOT good. No sir, they are abysmally poor. Very bad indeed. (Of course this is only a personal opinion, despite being shared by every single person I have spoken to who was unfortunate enough to witness your Festival set)
B) The very size of your butt these days suggests to me that you haven’t entirely worked it off.
C) Darren’s rather flippant comments were part of an hour long conversation (which I’m sure you would have granted me if your answerphone had been in order). He made the mistake of naming names. If you look through your programme once more you will find that the majority (and remember the Festival is about democracy) agree with the points he made. You slate Scream Dream for criticising the loss of Festival spirit. They weren’t referring to lugging a P.A. about (important as this is) but to the general good vibes that vanished forever in one evening early this year. Because of spite, because of greed and because of the great god of ego. And now I’m simply quoting other people. You want to know where we were when the heavens opened and the P.A. had to come down? Running for cover to save a drenching like any sensible bod, where do you think? (Hey, I’m in MENSA so I’ll stand in the rain for half an hour dismantling scaffolding – very intelligent!)

This year, my dear Michael, your goodwill has struck me as false, in a poor attempt to gain some recognition. If you care so much about people and music why not open a bass workshop in the Third World prior to next year’s Festival?

With undying love.
Lee Revelle
(Emma Gibbs Loves Badges)

Sam Holliday’s response – This man should write for Ben Elton/.

The Brothers Grimm
Loose Connection

Mildenhall Rock and Blues Festival

The Big Trip

The Rathole

Tamworth Herald – 10/08/90
Musicbox – Gig bonanza!
Tamworth turns into a ‘four gig’ Town again this week with two contrasting Sunday night shows, a Wednesday night Chequers gig and then a remarkable six band local event on Thursday night.

On Thursday your eyes will see the glory of Spiral Eye, The Yogots, Bash Out The Odd, Vindaloo Breakfast, The Sherbert Trees and Shakespeare Monkeys but before then there are two very different Sunday night shows to capture your attention and a Chequers gig.

Here in a nutshell is what is on offer before we give you a more detailed breakdown of what your eyes, ears, noses and throats can lap-up…

The Rathole – The Honeyturtles/Divine Pet
Tamworth Arts Centre – Scream Dream/Chemikill

The Chequers (Hopwas) – Shakespeare Monkeys

The Rathole – Spiral Eye/The Yogots/Bash Out The Odd/ Vindaloo Breakfast/ Sherbert Trees/Shakespeare Monkeys

Intrigued? Well, read on to find out more about what you can see…

The Honeyturtles/Divine Pet (The Rathole, Sunday)
£2.00 is the entry fee for this key note gig which brings to the stage a band who have supported The Stone Roses and Ned’s Atomic Dustbin. The Honeyturtles come from the famous Stourbridge School of Rock (Wonderstuff, PWEI etc.) but sound more in line with the Roses and the late Sixties. They were described in Melody Maker as having a ‘bouncy feel somewhere between The Housemartins and Transvision Vamp’. Rathole promoter Ian gibbons says they sound ‘fab’ but like me has no idea of who support act Divine Pet are. Rathole 7.30pm £2.

Scream Dream/Chemikill – Tamworth Arts Centre – Sunday
Splendid double-header this from two of THE bands of Festival 90. Chemikill are loudly and correctly vaunted as being the band that really broke the Festival ice and there is no doubt that their outside Castle Grounds show earned them a great deal of new friends. They should see the benefit of that with an increased turnout on Sunday night. Scream Dream also turned in their usual high-standard Fest-set and as a result are sure to have strengthened their already formidable base following. It’s hard, it’s driving, it’s whistleable and it’s fun. A good night to sweat this one. Arts Centre. £1.50ish and well worth a visit.

Shakespeare Monkeys (The Chequers, Hopwas)
The Chequers is now setting itself up as a major weekly venue and hopes to attract some for the best local bands from the Tamworth and Lichfield areas to its Wednesday night shows. This one is by a relatively new Tamworth act (more info below) who are being hotly tipped to go places. If you want to find out more, hit the road to Hopwas on Wednesday.

Spiral Eye/The Yogots/Bash Out The Odd/Vindaloo Breakfast/Sherbert Trees/Shakespeare Monkeys – The Rathole, Thursday
A hugely ambitious Thursday night project this one, but one which is certain to be a sell out success. Designed as a special bonanza-show the promoters believe is the strongest local line up (outside of the festival) witnessed in years and that would certainly take some arguing with. The real beauty of this show is the combination of the old established class acts Yogots/Bash Out The Odd and the Spirals) with three of the best up and coming bands to make for a line-up that should please the older scene-follower and the new young blood that has poured into Tamworth in recent months.

Not to much needs to be said about the three ‘star acts’ Spiral Eye and Bash Out The Odd were two of the best four bands at the Festival and they are bands that seem to get better and better all the time. The Yogots missed out on the Fest but made up for it with a killer show with the Senseless Things last week and the noise around them is quite deafening. Of the newer bands, Vindaloo Breakfast are the MUSICBOX hit of the year combining old-time power with new-time realism while the Sherbert Trees (in spite of a rather iffy Festival show) have all the charisma and style to be one of the foremost members of the new wave of Tamworth music. And the Shakespeare Monkeys? Promoter Gibbo takes up their story…’they played at their debut with confidence and self belief which generated great excitement. They are a creative band with lots of ‘unusual ideas’. A good combination of qualities that, and one which could help propel the band upwards and onwards. Six bands in all then and each one of them having their own following which should ensure that this is one of the best attended Tamworth gigs of the year. It’s a Thursday night, it’s a most reasonable £2.00 and it is pretty strictly timed with the first band on at 8 and the final act (Spiral Eye) hitting the stage at 11.30. Enjoy yourself.

Tamworth Herald – 10/08/90
Musicbox – The Fest Test
ALL the bands involved in the Tamworth Rock Festival are to be sent a detailed questionnaire asking their views on how they think the event went – and how it should go in the future.

The questionnaire prepared by Alan Webster (with help from Mike Fleming) will give bands a chance to outline their views on the festival in a private and honest way. In addition to this questionnaire bands will be receiving a set of rules which will be the foundation for future Festivals. And, on top of all that, you will have a chance to nominate your band’s choice for future Chairman, Vice Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary for the event. One or two names have already been circulated but I would ask that all people interested in any of these roles should contact me, Sam Holliday, at MUSICBOX. Then on the Friday before the election (which will take place on September 2 when all bands will be called to attend) we will list the names of who is running for what.

All the bands involved in Festival 90 should have received a copy of the questionnaire by now but if you haven’t yet received yours contact Alan Webster.

Tamworth Herald – 10/08/90
Musicbox - SNIPS
The great Revelle v Fleming Festival debate continues apace. MUSICBOX has received another letter from Mike Fleming which we may print next week along with several other letters on general MUSICBOX items which have had to be held back due to the incredible pressure on space. Mike says he has had a lot of people support him over the weekend but I know for a fact that many have also backed Lee. Bets are now being taken on Lee Revelle becoming Festival Chairman and Mike his deputy!!

Tamworth Herald – 10/08/90
Musicbox - SNIPS
Kraze have written a detailed letter about their recent split. Sadly space is again the problem but we hope to print it next week. Suffice to say, the basis of the old Kraze is staying together under a new name. More info next week.

Tamworth Herald – 10/08/90
Musicbox - SNIPS
Ark have announced details of a major concert at Nuneaton in a fortnight’s time. The show, at Nuneaton Arts Centre, will premier many new tracks that take Ark away from their more theatrical base and expose their new modern sound. More info shortly.

Tamworth Herald – 10/08/90
Musicbox – Demo watch by Sean Atkins
Steve Adams – Knight of the Long Knives. Rating (Out of Five Stars) ***
Most demo tapes on the MUSICBOX desk feature studio versions of songs that have been played at the Arts Centre, Rathole, festival etc. and are usually quite familiar.

These two tracks, by Amington-man and former studio chief Steve Adams, were clearly born in the studio and they are both very, very polished songs. In true SAW tradition Steve wrote, produced and performed the songs with guest vocalists Vicky Leigh in ‘Long Knives’ and Gayle Force (Wind?) in ‘Silences’.

The unusual aspect is that much of ‘night of the Long Knives’ is spoken by Steve’s ten-year-old daughter Chloe. It’s got to be difficult to do something like this without it sounding corny – but it just about works.

‘Knight of the Long Knives’ is a haunting song which appears to be about the destruction of the rain forests. This is a good contrast with ‘Night of the Silences’ which is a more powerful and conventional pop song.

I can’t imagine NME raving about this tape or John Peel playing it – because its note exactly alternative stuff. But it is a good tape and another example of the depth and diversity of musical talent in Tamworth.
Sean Atkins

Keep those demos coming to Sean Atkins. Musicbox, Tamworth Herald, 10 Aldergate, Tamworth, Staffs.

Tamworth Herald – 10/08/90
Musicbox – Local Live Review
It’s Emma that deserve the Fan Club!

Emma Gibbs Loves Badges/Teenage Fan Club
Apart from their recent Festival appearance, it has actually been a long time since Emma Gibbs actually played in Tamworth. And, it is clear that since the last time I saw them, the music has moved on once again.

The Manchester influence is there but, as with all good bands, the influences are combined with the inventiveness which gives Emma Gibbs a sound of their own. They are a band who are constantly changing but it is done in such a way that you don’t feel that they’ve abandoned their old sound or that they switched to a new direction just for the sheer hell of it. And, just to remind us that some things never change, singer Lee Revelle still seems to be wearing the same old shirt.

Emma Gibbs didn’t appear to me to be one of the most outstanding bands of the Festival but this show at the Rathole proved that they are as good as ever.

I’m sure that bands find it difficult to know how often to play in Tamworth and I also know that many bands can outstay their welcome but Emma Gibbs don’t play locally enough.

This bigger-than-average crowd at The Rathole showed that apart from the Emma Gibbs following, a lot of people had come especially to see the Teenage Fan Club. But the reputation that preceeded the promising Indie band was much more than the band could live up to and, quite honestly, it was all a bit of a disappointment.

The people that had come to see the Teenage Fan Club seemed to enjoy the gig, but I didn’t know if the band will win over any new converts. One observer (Tamworth’s Old Kid On the Block, Rikk Quay) said he’s seen it all done better in ’78.

The Teenage Fan Club have got a busy schedule at the moment, supporting the Soup Dragons and maybe this was just an off night. But on the strength of this performance, I’m in no hurry to see them again.

Sean Atkins

Tamworth Herald – 10/08/90
Musicbox – Video-man offers treats for £100
Ian MacNameeA TAMWORTH pop-video maker – who has already made a cracking promo for DHSS – is looking to work with more bands in the area.

Ian MacNamee – whose brother Steve plays for The Soil Brothers – is hoping to get into Film School in a couple of years and in the meantime he has set up a video-business with a special interest in pop and rock bands.

Ian tested his wares a couple of weeks ago with the new-look DHSS and the end result is sensational.

“We were delighted,” said singer Ed Armchair. “Ian was such an easy bloke to get on with and it was fun to do. We thought the end result was excellent.”

The video, to accompany a stirring version of ‘Clark Gable’ features Ed and the very photogenic Jessica in various scenes to a backdrop of startling colour and a host of vivid and imaginative camera tricks. It is very reminiscent of the sort of top quality Indie promos shown on the Chart Show and Ian is confident he can work with all types of music.

“My own tastes are irrelevant to my work and I would feel comfortable doing a pop band on one day, an indie one the next and a metal one the day after. If bands have their own ideas about how they see their song I will do my best to accommodate them and I hope I can also advise them in my own way,” he said.

Ian took only a day shooting the DHSS tape but a full four days editing it. The end result has pleased everyone and the cost of around £100 is incredibly cheap for the quality produced. Ian feels he can produce promos for that cost for anybody and sees it as a useful tool for bands seeking record company interest.

“When bands send off their demos to record companies I am sure a lot of them fear their tapes are just thrown away because of the volume received. If a video appears through the door it might just capture the attention needed,” said Ian.

Ian is able to peg the costs of the videos because he has brought all his own equipment through a Government scheme. £100 is a rough guide to what you would pay for the tape and considering bands can spend four of five times that amount on producing demos alone it is extremely good value. Just ask DHSS man Ed if you want that confirmed.

“I couldn’t recommend Ian enough,” he said “The tape has come out really well and I am sure he can help a lot of bands.”

Ian also gets the MUSICBOX seal of approval for the excellent DHSS demo and he has already interested Yogots boss Ian gibbons who was knocked out by the DHSS tape. If you are interested in working with Ian, ring him to discuss when you van get your mugs on the box…
Sam Holliday

*A copy of the DHSS video was lost in the George at the weekend.


Tamworth Arts Centre

The Honeyturtles
Divine Pet

The Rathole

Shakespeare Monkeys
The Chequers (Hopwas)

Spiral Eye
The Yogots
Bash Out The Odd
Vindaloo Breakfast
Sherbert Trees
Shakespeare Monkeys

The Rathole

Tamworth Herald – 17/08/90
Musicbox – It’s Three Cheers
THERE are three lovely gigs for local music fans to tuck their teeth into this week.

Sunday night, Wednesday night and Thursday night all have something for you to get along to and the range of music on offer is pretty dramatic.

In a nutshell this is what you can see during the course of the next six days or so…

Sunday Night – The Rathole
Korova Milkbar/Rhythm Damage plus possible special guests.

Wednesday Night – The Chequers, Hopwas
Vindaloo Breakfast/Sindy’s Sonic Garden

Thursday Night – The Rathole
Swervedriver/Head in the Heavens/The Filipinos

And here in more detail is what these gigs can offer in exchange for your hard-earned readies…

Rhythm DamageSunday – The Rathole – Korova Milkbar and Rhythm Damage
A promising double-bill this, combining one of the most popular Tamworth acts with one of the most popular out of Town teams. Korova Milkbar always play well in Tamworth and their combination of New Order sounds and Indie awareness makes them a hit across the musical board. The band have emerged from the embers of old faves The Surf Drums who themselves moved in the same circles and boasted the same class as Wonderstuff and PWEI. A fine band. Joining them will be our very own Damage Boys who will be aiming to repeat their incredible success at the recent Wolfsbane Party Night. On that night everything went well for the Vulgar ones and if they can play half as well on Sunday they should go down a storm. Other special guests may yet be added to the bill. Get along on Sunday and all will be revealed. Kick off is 7.30pm.

Wednesday – The Chequers, Hopwas – Vindaloo Breakfast/Sindy’s Sonic Garden
Hopwas hosts another top show on Wednesday as spikey-tops aplenty will head for the Chequers. Vindaloo Breakfast have emerged as serious championship contenders in recent months and their goal will clearly be to keep up their consistency of late. Sindy’s Sonic Garden are a newish one to me although they are not unfamiliar in Tamworth circles and are clearly regarded as ideal stablemates for the Breakfast Club. Starts 7.30, costs £1.50.

Thursday – The Rathole – Swervedriver/Head in the Heavens/The Filipinos
New Creation signing and media darlings Swervedriver drop into the Rathole on Thursday as part of a 40 date UK Tour which has seen them reviewed with real enthusiasm. Swervedriver are, according to the Rathole press release a real combination of talents. Our scribe writes… “Swervedriver are not heavy metal, heavy maybe, metal absolutely not. They go in for hard, fast music with a tune to go with it. Manic music with laid back things on top. ‘Power-gen or what!. Head in the Heavens meanwhile come from that stable of success Stourbridge. 18 months old they have already supported our very own Birdland as well as legendary old punksters The Vibrators (at last a band I’ve heard of – Sam H!). Highly regarded and vaunted recently by Melody Maker this crew.

Finally on Thursday’s action packed night we find The Filipinos who, apparently, recall late 60s Detroit and mid-70s New York with just a hint of 90s Seattle. Geography students should love ‘em. Three bands, five hours (8pm-2am) and two quid.

Tamworth Herald – 17/08/90
Musicbox – Letter
Kraze – what happened?
Dear Sam

I would just like to put the record straight regarding the current position of Kraze.

Two weeks before the Festival we received a phone call from one of the girl vocalists, who informed us that they no longer wanted to continue with the band. They gave no real reason for leaving, other than they couldn’t see any progress after the release of the demo.

This came as no blow or terrible shock to us as we were considering a line up change anyway. However, we were upset because this meant we couldn’t play the Festival which we had already paid for.

I asked whether they would help us out on the day and call it quits and end on a ‘good note’. They replied that they had already something booked on that day and they didn’t know what Mike wanted to do. So the rest of us got together and thought about asking Mike if he would help us out. He later declined but gave no reason why.

We felt let down by this as when the two former guitarists with raze, left, they carried on helping the band out with gigs for 12 months after they originally left, so we assumed that it would work both ways – obviously not.

As regarding the future of raze, we are still going strong and will undergo a name change. Currently we are auditioning a replacement frontman, the remaining members will handle backing vocals.

The new material is a lot heavier, but with a bouncier feel. We hope to have a new demo CD out in the near future, and you guys at the Herald will be the first to know of forthcoming gigs and new releases.

We as a band feel that it was probably the best thing that happened to us as we feel we were flogging a dead horse, cow, pig etc.

We hope our fans won’t be disappointed with the new sound.

Lots of love and kisses,

Daz, Dave, Andy and Rob.

Tamworth Herald – 17/08/90
Musicbox – Demo watch by Sean Atkins
Red Cardigans – Fake Manchester Accents Rating (out of five) **
There are so many good ideas on this tape that they are wasted on a demo. They should have been saved for an album. ‘Fake Manchester Accents’ is a brilliant title, and there are some shrewd marketing ploys, such as the dance remix of ‘Jessica’ and the limited edition bonus track, ‘Rock and Roll Nigger’ on Side Two.

Although their business sense may be good, it’s the music that counts and to be honest, I’ve never really been impressed before. I’ve sent the band as Flowers in the Attic (which they when they recorded this demo) and also as the Cardies – and they’ve always appeared to be a very average band. As it is they sound better on this tape than they have ever done before and I actually enjoyed listening to them. The quality of the recording is such that the same songs sound so much better and a couple of them are even quite catchy.

But the most encouraging thing about this tape is the potential of this band, which I have never noticed before. This demo may only be worth two stars on this super rating system but – for the first time – I feel there’s something to look forward to from the Cardies.

Sean Atkins

Keep those demos coming to Sean Atkins, MUSICBOX, Tamworth Herald, 10 Aldergate, Tamworth, Staffs.

Tamworth Herald – 17/08/90
Musicbox – Local Reviews and Views
Chemikill – Tamworth Arts Centre
An unholy row and a pretty damn thrilling one at that. Chemikill have improved and matured by considerable degrees in recent months and this show was the culmination of all that hard work. It’s still loud, brashy and uncompromising but the tunes are a lot more accessible these days and the whole thing seems to have more of a Ramones-like fun about it. As their individual musicianship has improved, so the band have relaxed and although they still bash it out with the same speed and venom the whole thing is just a lot more jolly now. Vocally it was exactly as it should be – like demonic, rabid and raging. Not the sort of stuff you would play to your Great Auntie - unless that is, you were in her will…

Sam Holliday

Scream Dream – Tamworth Arts Centre
Scream Dream possess a wonderful consistency. No matter how many personnel, direction or even name changes the band endures they can still produce the goods when and where it really matters – onstage. They are part of a near non-existent club of local bands who have never disappointed live and always leave me with something to chew on as I depart for home. This show was no exception. In spite of a pretty dodgy PA there was no denying the clarity and power of the Screaming tunes and mixture of old and new worked very well indeed. ‘Another Lonely Night’ was again the pick of the bunch and I really believe the band should consider investing all their limited funds into turning this gem into a single. It is packed full of quality and tuneful buoyancy and would sound simply delicious on vinyl. Indeed the one lasting thought I had after this gig is it really is time that the band took a major step forward. Time and Time again they have proved their local credential and it is now time I think that they threw everything into making the band hit those heights. They should jump in a van and head north or south and ‘do a Wolfsbane’ by playing everywhere and anywhere to build up a following. They are now, without question, good enough and strong enough to make it and they should risk everything to do so. They deserve a bigger audience than an Arts Centre one and the only was to do it is to go out and find it. One of the finest bands this area has ever produced. I am now convinced that the big, wide world is ready for Scream Dream. The real question is are Scream Dream ready for the big, wide world?

Sam Holliday

Tamworth Herald – 17/08/90
Musicbox – Scene Snips
The Searching are recruiting again. This time the band, with renewed confidence and a bagful of new songs, looking for a drummer and a bassist for their combo.

Tamworth Herald – 17/08/90
Musicbox – Scene Snips
You will have noted this week that we haven’t after all printed the Mike Fleming letter in response to Lee Revelle’s festival comments of a few weeks ago. The reason is that we thought booth sides had now stated their arguments and it was merely going over the same ground again to repeat the, Just one set of lines I had to print for you though. It genuinely raised a titter or two…

Mike (in his original letter) “I tried to get my band on the festival because I had worked my butt off in the previous seven festivals.”

Lee (in his reply) “The very size of your butt these days suggests to me that you haven’t entirely worked it off.”

Mike (in his new letter) “So the diet isn’t working!”

Classic stuff.

Tamworth Herald – 17/08/90
Musicbox – Scene Snips
The Chequers at Hopwas continues to book bands on a regular basis. As well as the Vindaloo Breakfast gig mentioned elsewhere here, they have announced several other key not Wednesday shows. On August 29 the brass and brash of Bash Out The Odd hits the venue, on September 5 it is Virgil Spirit and then on September 12 it is The Big Trip. All gigs are pegged at £1.50 and doors open on each occasion at 7.30.

Tamworth Herald – 17/08/90
Musicbox – Scene Snips
Lookout soon for a special Rathole inspired album from the Reptile House. A joint Lichfield and Tamworth collection is currently being put together and from this area it will feature all the bands involved in last night’s Rathole bonanza – Spiral Eye, Bash Out The Odd, The Yogots, Shakespeare’s Monkey, Sherbert Trees and Vindaloo Breakfast. It should hit the street in the next couple of months and a special promotion night will follow with it.

Tamworth Herald – 17/08/90
Musicbox – Scene Snips
Still with records, both Emma Gibbs and Rhythm Damage expect to be releasing singles in the next couple of weeks. With Spiral Eye and The Yogots also due to hit the 45 market soon and Wolfsbane set to release their killer EP in September it promises to be quite a year for the local record collector.

Tamworth Herald – 17/08/90
Musicbox – Scene Snips
Further to the Kraze letter on the elsewhere. I understand the new Kraze could be called ‘X-Offender’ and could feature the former singer of Dressed To Kill. Watch this space.

Tamworth Herald – 17/08/90
Musicbox – Scene Snips
A new local band The Red, Red, Groovy are on the lookout for a bass player to complete their line-up. They describe their music as Indie-pop and are looking for someone with youth, enthusiasm and fresh ideas. Contact Kev.

Tamworth Herald – 17/08/90
Musicbox – Letters Special
Yogots were good but not THAT good
We have received the following three letters about our recent review of the Yogots/Loaded/Moneygods/Senseless Things gig. As they all appear to take a similar tone – and all have arrived from out of Town – it seems like a bit of a conspiracy but as we are always prepared to print relatively constructive criticism we will leave you to make your own mind up on the views expressed…

Dear Sam
Wasn’t Mike Turner’s Yogots review in last week’s Music Box just a little over the top? To say that people were ‘staggered by such a captivating and enigmatic performance’ and filled with ‘awe’ is taking things just a little too far surely?

Yes, the Yogots put on a fair show, but so did the Moneygods, who were dismissed out of hand in the review and yet their set was the topic of conversation and yes ‘disbelief’ by many seemingly impressed punters at the bar afterwards.

The crowd reaction to them and the Senseless Things was not a million miles away from that of the Yogots, but I don’t recall any ridiculous adjectives describing their performance in the article.

Personally I enjoyed all four of the bands on the bill and surely even the most ardent Yogots fan would have to agree that the three other groups didn’t deserve the criticism given to them by Mr. Turner, who I suggest climbs down from ‘cloud cuckoo land’ and starts telling things how they really are instead of attempting to brainwash people with his over-enthusiastic propoganda.

Yours ‘awe-inspiringly’,
M. Smith, Manor Road, Burntwood

Dear Sam Holliday
On Thursday July 26, I attended the ‘Rathole’, but after reading Mike Turner’s review in last weeks ‘Herald’, I am beginning to wonder if we actually went to the same gig.

Never before have I witnessed such bias towards a band (The Yogots) in an article that blatantly dismissed the other three bands on the bill.

His beloved Yogots performed an average set of dated keyboard influenced songs that couldn’t fail to please their partisan followers – turning up was enough to do that.

The Loaded received two lines and despite going down like a lead balloon surely deserved more of Mike’s attention than that and The Senseless Things received criticism for a performance that the other 150 people at the Rathole lapped-up.

My biggest complaint though is about Mike’s treatment of the Moneygods. Here was a band playing too a totally new audience (unlike The Yogots and The Senseless Things) whose efforts resulted in roars of approval from the crowd and a well-deserved encore. There was no mention of this is the article.

The bands lyrics and tunes were inventive and entertaining and the energy they put into their show on a sweltering night was remarkable. To say that 13 years ago they may have been a ‘half decent band’, is a totally insulting statement. – they were far less dated that the Senseless Things and look where they are now!

By all means Mike Turner, support your local scene, but please take off your blinkers.

Simon Vincent, Hammerwhich, Walsall
Dear Musicbox
I’m a keen fan of The Moneygods and was rather surprised when I saw the review of them in last weeks Musicbox.

Was Mr. Turner wearing ear plugs during the gig to state in his column that their songs possessed just one good line and that they were 13 years too late?

Is this the same band who received an encouraging response from the big Tamworth crowd.

Is this the same band who’s ‘dated’ sound led to them getting regular airplay on local and now National radio and who were voted ‘Best Live Band 1989’ in the West Midlands by the Walsall Musicians Collective?

Is this the band who despite being ‘just another brick in the wall’ have played all over the country with many top bands, who make jingles for radio stations, who recorded a World Cup song for Radio WMs Tony Butler, on request and who recently signed a record deal and who’s single has won ‘single of the week’ on Radio Trent’s Indie Show two weeks before its release?

Mr. Turner was definitely in the minority with his views – take your earplugs out mate!
Su Evans,
Handsworth, Birmingham

Mike Turner Replies…
I can only review what I see. In my opinion The Yogots were by the far the most exciting group on stage that night and I stand unashamedly by what I wrote in my review. I must say that many other people I spoke to at the gig after The Yogots’ set, were similarly well impressed by what they had just seen.

I came away from that gig genuinely feeling that something really was happening in Tamworth again, something I haven’t honestly felt for a number of years. In fact I think that The Yogots probably account for much of my re-enthusiasm for the local scene.

I did say that The Senseless Things were good, ‘but not that good’. I didn’t think they were anything out of the ordinary, but they were OK. There are other people out there doing the same stuff and doing it better.

As for The Moneygods, well it’s a bit of a shame that I’ve upset their family and friends so much that they felt compelled to write in. Maybe I caught the band when they were having a bad night. Perhaps if I’d have had 15 pints by the time they came on stage I might have enjoyed them more.

I was merely expressing (for what it’s worth) a purely personal view. If they can’t cope with someone not liking them at this level, how are they going to react if ever a ‘serious’ music critic didn’t like them?

If The Moneygods were the best live band in the West Midlands in 1989 then I assume they were competing against brass bands. Give me back my ear plugs matey!

Mike Turner

Korova Milkbar
Rhythm Damage

The Rathole

Vindaloo Breakfast
Sindy’s Sonic Garden

The Chequers, Hopwas

Head in the Heavens
The Filipinos

The Rathole

Tamworth Herald – 24/08/90
Musicbox – Dance Club meet the Slow Club!

Dance Stance

The Rathole turns itself over to sophisticated dance music on Sunday with a combination of two classy acts.

Our very own Dance Stance team up with the much-mooted Slow Club for a double header for those who like to see their pop played with style and distinction.

Dance Stance fresh from a return to form Festival appearance, will be known to most of you but Slow Club are a new act to Tamworth one who are keen to develop a base-following here.

Slow Club are described as being a funk-rock dance act and are regarded as band who followers of the likes of Dance Stance, Catch 23, Dream Factory and Bash Out The Odd should enjoy greatly. They have already built up a large amount of contacts and followers throughout the Midlands and Sunday night should show why.

Two good bands then for those who don’t necessarily think that gigs require leather jackets. It starts at around 7.30 and costs a mere £2.

Tamworth Herald – 24/08/90
Musicbox – Demo watch by Sean Atkins
The Glascote Ramjets – Favourite Land/Revolution Dancer (Rating Our Of Five - **)
Don’t worry if you’ve not yet heard of the Glascote Ramjets, they only formed six months ago and this tape is the first offering from the bands. It’s a humble beginning for The Ramjets who performed these two songs in an unknown recording studio called ‘Pandora’s Mum’s front room’.

Although the quality of the recording is understandably a bit dodgy, the quality of these two songs shines through. Both songs are quite powerful and – for a first effort – they are surprisingly catchy. And The Ramjets already sound more professional than some bands that have been playing together a lot longer.

For a band with no previous experience, The Ramjets have a lot going for them and they will definitely be worth seeing when they eventually play live. In the letter that came with this tape they said that they hope to play the Rathole soon – I hope so too.
Sean Atkins

Tamworth Herald – 24/08/90
Musicbox – Paul’s 24 cheers
Paul SpeareTHE TAMWORTH music scene has been given a health shot in the arm this week with the opening of the Town’s first ever 24 track recording studio.

The Expresso Bongo re-opened it’s Lichfield Street doors at the end of last week to unveil the revamped 24-track studio which will increase the options and possibilities open to local musicians of all shapes, sizes and sounds.

The acquisition of that 24-track capability is the realisation of a dream for the studio owner Paul Speare who first opened his doors with a humble eight-tracker some five years ago.

“I always hope to increase the size of the studio in due course and I am just about on target,” he said. “When we first opened a lot of people said there wasn’t enough work to sustain a studio in Tamworth but we have proved them wrong and business is going very well indeed.

Paul Speare first let Expresso Bongo loose on the world in the summer of 1985. His first recording and his first introduction to the local scene – was the first TAMAID tape for local charity and since them he has worked with practically every local band worth their salt. Old favourites like the Dream factory and Breaking Point were regular visitors and in more recent years it has hosted all the best in Tamworth and Atherstone acts including Catch 23, Dance Stance, Bash Out The Odd and of course Wolfsbane. The Wolfies have spent a long time at the studio over the years including recording their debut single ‘Clutching At Straws’.

Paul Speare“Working with Wolfsbane has really helped me,” admitted Paul, “Whenever metal bands ring up from around the Midlands and ask who has worked with me I only have to say Wolfsbane and I can feel their interest level rise.”

A lot of other people’s interest will also now rise as a result of Paul’s conversion from 16 to 24 track complex. He did it, he said to accommodate and attract bigger names but he is adamant that he doesn’t want to scare anybody local away.

“The rate we will be charging for a 24 track is far, far lower than anyone else in or around the Birmingham area. New local bands should not be scared by the size of the studio now, they should see it as being able to bring the very best out of them, “Everyone should benefit from it and I am very excited to be working with the 24 tracks,” he said.

The 24-track facility has been boosted with an ‘auto-muting device’ (‘which is wonderful’ enthuses Paul) and digital mastering ensuring your demo will sound better than ever.

“We should be able to do bigger and better acts now but we will still be able to look after all the local bands who have been so loyal over the years,” said the former Dexys Midnight Runner.

The rate for the 24 track is £15 per hour weekdays – compared to around £25 on average in and around Birmingham – and for that Paul offers guaranteed quality and the usual relaxed and happy atmosphere that the Bongo provides.

“People seem to enjoy the spirit here. We work hard but try and enjoy ourselves as well and the amount of people that come back proves that we must be doing something right!”

If you would like to know more about this excellent studio Paul’s number is (as ever) Tamworth 64600.

Tamworth Herald – 24/08/90
Musicbox – Wolfies Joy at LP
WOLFSBANE have emerged from a week’s hectic recording in London absolutely delighted with the end product – a new six-track mini-album.WOLFSBANE have emerged from a week’s hectic recording in London absolutely delighted with the end product – a new six-track mini-album.

Both Bayley and Jeff said they believe that it was the best thing the band have ever recorded and it leaves the ‘Live Fast Die Fast’ album several miles behind.

“This sounds like Wolfsbane should sound,” enthused Jeff, “It is far superior to the album because it is the sound WE wanted.”

The album, officially set for release on October 1, will be titled ‘All Hell’s Let Loose At Cathy Wilson’s Place’ and will feature a mixture of old and new Wolfie classics.

WOLFSBANE have emerged from a week’s hectic recording in London absolutely delighted with the end product – a new six-track mini-album.Of the new, ‘Steel’ is the first lead-in track and it is joined by the gorgeous ‘Totally Nude’, the elaborate title track and new smoothies ‘Hey Babe’. Of the old, get set for a revamped ‘Loco’ and a thrill-a-minute version of ultimate Tamworth Wolfie-fave ‘Paint The Town Red’.

The six tracker will be released as an album and will thus quality for the LP charts even though it is only six tracks long. A single may be released from it in the future but in the meantime Wolfsbane are happier than they have ever been with the vinyl they are about to inflict on the rock and roll world.

“I was all for recording four more tracks and making this the new full album,” said Jeff. “We all feel great about the record and we think our real fans are going to love it.”

The album is set for release at the start of October but it may be brought forward to tie in with Wolfsbane’s sellout tour with Iron Maiden in September.

Tamworth Herald – 24/08/90
Still with metal, a top class power trio line up at the Rathole on Thursday night. Much-hyped Rhode Island Red team up with rocksters Kruger and our own faves Eight Ball Joe. Rhode Island Red have earned fave reviews from Kerrange, Raw and Metal Hammer and feature members who have been in bands along the lines of Saxon, Gary Moore and Wild Horses. A big loud noise is assured. Cannock-based Kruger meanwhile have grabbed their slot after a raw and ready demo which saw them in fine, live form and the band are keen to play here in what they see as ‘Wolfsbaneville’. Completing the trio is our very own Eight Ball Joe of cracking-festival show fame. Their appearance on such a heavy bill should finally bury the ‘blues only’ tag and they are certain to bring in the Thursday night punters.

Tamworth Herald – 24/08/90
Musicbox – Fine bash from six of the best
Rathole Review
Shakespeare’s Monkey/Sherbert Trees/Bash Out The Odd/Vindaloo Breakfast/The Yogots/Spiral Eye – Thursday
Helluva night this. With a mighty six bands on offer it could easily have disintegrated into an over-long and under-satisfying parade of the undistinguishable but remarkably everything went delightfully smoothly. Six bands of kindred spirit (and surprisingly kindred sound) combined to provide a real barnstormer of a gig for a huge audience that was positively-spilling out of the door. The mini-festival nature of the gig was matched by the mini-festival size of the crowd and the major-festival attitude of all competing. It was well arranged, well staged and well pleasing and it’s epic finale (Spiral Eye at around 12.15am) there was still a huge amount of people there lapping up every one of Barry Fox’s blood-curdling screams. It all began some four hours earlier with Shakespeare’s Monkey. This was my first viewing of the Hamleteers and I came out of it feeling they are a very bright prospect indeed. They boast a very strange collection of influences – and a host of contrasting and occasionally conflicting directions – but wrap them all up in a sound that is overtly entertaining and surprisingly professional. A number of songs caught the eye (or should that be the ear?) but one of them stood out like a tank in a greenhouse – a little gem of a tune called (I think!) ‘You’re So Bizzare’. A fine way to start the night. Second on the bill was the Sherbert Trees who completely blew away their rather disappointing Festival show. They are certainly one of the most creative, unusual and deliberately uncomfortable bands in the area, resembling something like the early days of Spiral Eye/Thirteenth Reunion or a more psychedelic version of the Damage Boys. With keyboards doing their own thing, Ian Curtis vocals haunting every melody and guitars going off at wonderful tandems, it is a sound that isn’t to everyone’s taste but is not actually designed to so be. It got a little bit self-indulgent towards the end to be honest but such imaginative ideas should be encouraged rather than doubted. Bash Out The Odd bravely took to the stage next. I say bravely because all but two or three of the members of the band were missing through various reasons and it took a lot of guile for those remaining to not let down their many supporters on the night. As it was, the sparse sound actually helped in a way to show the sheer depth and strength of the band’s melodies and the sudden and unexpected appearance of the brass crew for the last number made for a rousing end to a generally uplifting 20 minutes or so. Vindaloo Breakfast hit the stage next and immediately – and angrily – stated their claim to be THE band of the night. There is a raw and uncompromising edge to the band’s sound these days and I love the way they attack their instruments as if they want blood out of them. The effect of that is to produce a sound packed with spirit and not inconsiderable venom – a sound today’s wishy washy pop world needs more than it knows. And so to The Yogots a band who clearly have local audiences eating out of their hands these days. They received their usual adoring reaction but in truth this wasn’t the best Yogots show I have seen. The band looked to be a little less buoyant and ‘good blokey’ than usual and that onstage lack of ‘fun’ reflected in their sound. In spite of that there were occasional glimpses as to what makes them so precious – a wicked version of ‘She’s Gone’ and an admirable ‘Mr. Rainbow’ for example – and if a band can be this good on an off-night one can only realise how GREAT they can be at other times. Spiral Eye concluded the night in real style. They play nowadays with the arrogance and commitment of a band who know they have got something special and want all the world to share in it. Musically they are getting more and more difficult to accurately define but I do suspect that they are moving a little more into the mainstream in their old age. Every song has it’s own fresh and original direction and best of all was a track which I think goes by the grandiose title of ‘4 x 12 Groove Machine’ which was simply gorgeous. It all climaxed with a quite stunning three-track encore which had people bouncing around with unashamed glee. It was a nice final sight to take back home with me and it is one that has stayed in my rather hung-over mind as I sit and bash this out the morning after. Few gigs get people dancing and fewer still get people dancing to all the groups on offer. This did exactly that and as such was a night to treasure.

Sam Holliday

Dance Stance
Slow Club

The Rathole

Bash Out The Odd
The Chequers

Rhode Island Red
Eight Ball Joe

The Rathole

Tamworth Herald – 31/08/90
Musicbox – Picture this – the 80s local scene
A SPECIAL 84-page book about the local music scene throughout the past ten years is being prepared in time for Christmas.

The book is being set up by ‘Magic Ear Ltd’ and is set to be a photographic history of the great gigs and great bands of the 1980s in Tamworth.

It will cover everything from local bands who played together for just a couple of months to mighty acts like The Wonderstuff, Pop Will Eat Itself and Dr. Feelgood who have all played in Tamworth throughout the hectic Eighties.

The book is designed to be a nostalgic trip through a decade of success on the local music scene and YOU can be part of it.

The publishers are actively looking for any photographs you may have of local or national acts who have played in Tamworth between 1980-1990. If you have any good quality black and white pictures from the Rathole, the Arts Centre, The Assems or any of the other indoor venues then you could be part of this unique project which has the working title of ‘Pop Down your Local’.

As well as featuring pictures of the indoor gigs, the book – which is being supported by both the Rathole and MUSICBOX – will also feature pictures from Tamworth Festivals throughout the 80s and any pictures you have for those heady times are also being actively sought.

The photographic collection – which will be supported by a short history of the local music scene throughout the past ten years or so – is to come out before Christmas and as a result if you have any pictures you want to be considered you MUST let the organisers have them by September 10 at the latest. If you have any suitable pictures and want them to be part of this unique enterprising collection, then send them to Magic Ear Ltd. 1a Silver Street, Tamworth, Staffs. Please put the name of the band on the back of the picture, the name of you, the photographer and your address plus the date and venue the picture was taken if you have it. The organisers are not just seeking good gig shots but also any studio or general pictures of local bands you may have. Pictures will then be included on their merit alone. This is not a definitive guide to the local music scene and if your band’s picture is not included but you see that lesser mortals may have been, then it is simple because the picture was not quite up to it. So if you have any better snaps than those that might be in the MUSICBOX vaults then get them to Silver Street NOW!

We will keep you posted on the progress of the book in due course but for the time being sort out your favourite pics and let us have them ASAP.

As a final pointer on this exciting project fully 50p from each book sold will go to the Tamworth Rock Festival. Nice touch that.

Tamworth Herald – 31/08/90
Musicbox – Fest ‘91 Time!
ALL bands in the area who are interested in the local music scene are being called to a special and unique meeting at the Tavern in the Town on Sunday night.

The meeting is to choose the new Chairman and Vice Chairman for the Tamworth Rock Festival – and also for bands to register their interest in the event for 1991.

Although the summer of ’91 seems as far away as a league championship for Walsall, the idea is to register all the active working bands now to insure that the right bands play in July 1991.

All bands who see themselves as being around in the summer of 1991 and are willing to play the festival should register their interest on Sunday and must then play three paid Tamworth-area gigs before a set time next year to ensure they will be considered for the event. More will be revealed on Sunday but in a nutshell this meeting is as important as any will be next year and any band who isn’t there will immediately be placed at a disadvantage for the next annual Tamworth Rock Festival.

Of equal interest and importance is the election of new ‘officers’ for the Festival. As you will know a month before Festival ’90, Sam Holliday and Rikk Quay resigned after six years in the hotseats leaving vacancies. A provisional committee including Alan Webster, Den Byfield and Blaze Bayley got the last festival out but now it is the time to choose someone who will hold the Chair and Vice Chairman position for at least the next year – until the next Festival AGM in September 1991.

People can be nominated by bands on the night but already a few names have emerged. The Magic Ear team have put together a collective nomination which puts former Sitting Pretty singer and Herald reporter Mike Turner as Chairman and Ian Gibbons as Vice Chairman. Along with John Garforth, Neil Marklew and Alan Webster this ‘team’ has been supported by the likes of The Yogots and Spiral Eye although Alan does not wish to be included within it. Other candidates whose names have been mentioned for the top slots include Den Byfield, John Reeman, Mike Fleming, Rikk Quay, Steve Webster and our own MUSICBOX writer Sean Atkins. Not everybody necessarily wants the roles – Blaze Bayley has ruled himself out for instance – but if you can think of anyone who may fill the top roles then do so before Sunday. Providing there is a ‘quorum’ of bands on the night (i.e. at least 20 bands must vote) a new Chairman and Vice Chairman will emerge on the night so it should be quite fun.

In short, the message to all bands who care about the future of the local scene is to get along on Sunday night and see what happens. It starts at around 7.30pm and once again it must be stressed that this is a very important meeting and if you want to leap into the reckoning for Festival ’91 then get along…

The Rathole will be hosting an Indie disco on Sunday from 8-11.

Tamworth Herald – 31/08/90
Musicbox – Well what a brilliant night
ONE of the biggest names to hit The Rathole arrives on Thursday night with the prestigious appearance of Indie kings The Brilliant Corners.

Support will be our very own Banned in Yellow a band who deserve such a high profile support because they are so blinking good themselves. It costs a mere £2 and runs from 8-12 on Thursday night. Get there!

Tamworth Herald – 31/08/90
Musicbox – Yogs and Eye hit London
THURSDAY night is a big night for both Spiral Eye and The Yogots as the duo hit London for a double-header.

The gig at the Moy Club in Islington is being watched by a couple of very major record companies and it is hoped it will also be watched by a lot of local gig-goers as well. A special coach has been organised to ferry local fans to the gig and for an all-in price of £6 you can watch a very impressive looking concert.

The Moy Club is famous for its 70s connections and the way it proved a central part of the punk scene means it is clearly a respected venue which will do The Yogots and the Eye no harm whatsoever.

Tamworth Herald – 31/08/90
Musicbox – Joe goes for a Burton
The annual Burton Rock Festival is invaded by Tamworth acts on Wednesday night when no less than four of the five bands on view hail from Tamworth.

Following an opening show by a group called The Gatecrashers, Burton rock fans will be able to see Satellite Spies (ex-A5), Breaking Point, Scream Dream and then headliners Eight Ball Joe as Tamworth well and truly goes for a Burton.

The three day Fest – at the impressive Burton Town Hall – runs on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday with other bands on offer including The JFKs (Thursday), The Lemondrops (Friday) and the National People’s Gang (Friday). Eight Ball Joe are pictured.

Tamworth Herald – 31/08/90
Musicbox – Drummer seeks band
A drummer new to the Tamworth music scene is looking to join a local rock band.

Mick, who has been taking drumming lessons for several months, now feels he is ready and willing to join a band and is keen to speak to any groups who may need a sticksman.

Tamworth Herald – 31/08/90
Musicbox – Damage News
We have received an amazing review of the recent Rhythm Damage gig by new people to the area ‘The Fish Sisters’. We will hopefully print it next week because they’ve got a wicked sense of humour.

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