Tamworth Bands - History 1960-1990
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Tamworth Bands History : 1990 : July

Banned in Yellow
Spiral Eye
Rhythm Damage

Mean Fiddler

Eight Ball Joe

Tamworth Arts Centre

Bomb Disneyland
The Prudes

The Rathole

Tamworth Herald – 06/07/90
Musicbox - £400 Fest Booster
WTH just a week to go to the Tamworth Rock Festival, delighted organisers received a £400 civic booster towards their funds.

The money has come in equal £200 dollops from the ever-supportive Tamworth Borough Council and also from the Tamworth Arts Advisory Council who made their generous award at their AGM last week. Both organisations deserve great credit for realising the vast importance of rock music to the Town’s young people.

The timely cash boosts will ensure that next week’s festival will be (hopefully!) free of cash fears and with the usual support of you, the punters, none of the organisers should end up debtors prison this year.

Generally, excitement for the festival is reaching fever pitch. Worries about the weather apart, there is nothing but optimism for next week’s event and once again big crowds are expected to crowd into the Castle Grounds to lap up 20 of the area’s very best bands.

Already a number of bands from around the country have been in contact with MUSICBOX trying to find a place on the festival line-up and with interest increasing in the regional press all the indications are that festival 90 will be another very big hit.

The quality of the festival line-up is once again very high with classic acts Wolfsbane, Catch 23, Kraze and Spiral Eye enjoying their usual high profile slots and equally impressive acts like Dance Stance and Bash Out The Odd enjoying renewed acquaintance with that famous Festival stage.

Once again the action kicks off on a Friday night (that’s a week tonight) with a four band show at the Arts Centre. The Magnets were originally going to play but they are going to see some unknown alternative act called ‘Prince’ instead leaving four very different bands in Broken Dreams, Vindaloo Breakfast, Never Say Die and blues kings Eight Ball Joe.

Once that is happily completed the attention switches to the Castle Grounds for the weekend of July 14/15. from around 11am when the music starts up on the disco, right through to 6pm when the final band strike their final note, you will have a plethora of smiles.

It is all getting excitingly close now so get in the mood and get set for a weekend to remember.

A full preview will appear in next week’s MUSICBOX special – don’t miss it.

Tamworth Rock Festival 1990
The full official line-up for the seventh annual Tamworth Rock Festival.
Friday July 13 – Tamworth Arts Centre Indoor Party. Admission £1.50
Broken Dreams, Never Say Die, Vindaloo Breakfast, The Magnets, Eight Ball Joe

Saturday July 14 – Tamworth Castle Grounds. 12 noon – 7pm. Admission free.

12.30 – What’s This Heads Down Mindless Boogie About Nothing
01.00 - Sherbert Trees
01.30 – The Red Cardigans (formerly Flowers in the Attic)
02.00 – The Big Noise
02.30 – Chemikill
03.00 – Catch 23
03.30 – Kraze
04.00 – Bash Out The Odd
04.30 – Emma Gibbs Loves Badges
05.30 – Spiral Eye

Sunday July 15 – Tamworth Castle Grounds. 12 noon – 7pm. Admission free.

12.30 – The Naked Touch
01.00 – Litany of Fear
01.30 – Cuddly Spiders
02.00 – Breaking Point
02.30 – Shock Culture
03.00 – Dance Stance
03.30 – Banned in Yellow
04.00 – The New Puritans
04.30 – Scream
05.00 – Wolfsbane

Line up subject to alteration.
Timings may alter. Bands may be on either 15 minutes before or after published times.
Any problems for bands re: times or organisation please contacts either Den Byfield or Blaze Bayley.

Tamworth Herald – 06/07/90
Musicbox – Monkeys to the World Cup
The Shakespeare MonkeysFOUR brave local bands descend on the Arts Centre on Sunday night to play a ‘who cares if its World Cup Final night’ concert.

The Red Cardigans, (the entire crop of whom are pictured here with 2,000 liggers) team up with The Shakespeare Monkeys, rappers Suicide Petch and Coventrians Big in Texas for a four band bash at the Church Street venue.

The fact that the Cardi’s. the Monkeys, The Petchies and the Texans are playing on the same night as the World Cup Final is a gamble but it could pay off if the legions of soccer haters pile in to live it up.

Shakespeare Monkeys however are a little more realistic. In a witty note they say…

“Due to the bad timing of the gig I suppose we can only expect an audience of about five so if you could give any kind of mention in the Herald we would be very grateful.”

No problem boys and good luck. The odds are the final result will be World Cup 3 Arts Centre Gig 0 but you never know a late second half fightback could swing it back in the favour of the bands which would undoubtedly make them over the moon, Brian.

Tamworth Herald – 06/07/90
Musicbox – The Musicbox (Wedding) Album of the Week
The Musicbox (Wedding) Album of the WeekMusicbox is having a rare burst of sentimentality this week as we salute former punk rock singer Anice Byfield’s entry into the noble state of matrimony. As you know ex-DHSS singer Anice recently married Steve from The Soil Brothers after first meeting one another at the recording of Tamworth’s very own ‘LiveAid’ tape. Musicbox has been singularly rotten to Anice over the years so we thought we would make up for it by printing this lovely picky of her at the wedding a few weeks ago. The dress was designed by the multi-talented Shirley Byfield, the picture was taken by the multi-talented Carla Cordell and the Littlewoods Cup was taken by the multi-talented Nottingham Forest.

Red Cardigans
Shakespeare Monkeys
Suicide Petch
Big in Texas

Tamworth Arts Centre

Tamworth Herald – 13/07/90
Musicbox – Tamworth Rocks!
Captions: Wolfsbane – Sunday night’s heroes yet again.TAMWORTH’s huge army of music fans will be out in force this weekend for their greatest event of the year – the annual Tamworth Rock Festival.

The event, which will take over the Castle Grounds for the whole of Saturday and Sunday kicks off with a special party at the Arts Centre tonight (Friday) ensuring a wonderful rocking weekend from start to finish.

Caption: Catch 23 – catch ‘em Saturday.Relative giants of the local music scene like Wolfsbane, Dance Stance, Catch 23 and Kraze will team up with new bands like Vindaloo Breakfast and Broken Dreams to make for three days packed with tingling quality.

As usual most attention will be focused on the Castle Grounds on Saturday and Sunday where no less that 20 local bands will parade their wares totally free of charge. The line-up is excellent, the atmosphere is unique and exciting and the spirit of the whole weekend should be exceptional.

Caption: The New Puritans – one of the Sunday highlightsSo, who will you see, where will you see them and what time will they be on? Here is your MUSICBOX cut-out-and-keep guide to the weekend to come. Don’t forget the Castle Grounds is totally and utterly FREE, refreshments and various stalls will be on the site and you might as well park yourself there for two long and happy days.

Your festival weekend looks like this…

Tamworth Arts Centre
Vindaloo Breakfast/Broken Dreams/Eight Ball Joe/Never Say Die
Caption: Dance Stance – back in action on SundayThe traditional pre-festival party night which costs a mere £1.50 and offers you the punter, four great bands and one great atmosphere. These nights have become know as real scene setters and have produced some cracking shows to boot and tonight should be no exception.

Eight Ball Joe are set to headline with their powerful brand of brash and moody, boozy rock and they will be joined by the silky guitar skills of Never Say Die, the brand new and as yet unheard Broken Dreams and one of the area’s very best new bands Vindaloo Breakfast who turned in a killer show to grab the limelight at the indoor festival some months ago. Four fine bands all told and with the exciting festival programme (produced by messrs Revelle and Hynds) on sale for the first time, tonight is a night NOT to be missed. It runs from 7.30 onwards so be there. Entry is a ludicrous £1.50 a head at the Arts Centre.

Tamworth Castle Grounds – Ten bands on offer – 12-7pm
Caption: Bash Out The Odd – expected to go down a storm on Saturday.And so we turn to the Castle Grounds. Ten great bands, one great price (nothing) and plenty of smiles. Our timings are approximate, bands should be on anything between 15 minutes before or after these printed times.

11am – Disco
Throughout the various gaps during the days you will have sounds galore from a variety of guest djs which could include Lee Revelle, Suicide Petch and the Juice MCs, Gary Byfield, Mark Hynds and more. It starts at 11am on Saturday.

12.30 – What’s This Heads Down Mindless Boogie About Nothing
Your first festive sounds will arrive from this ‘cult’ group of alternative musos who look terrifying but are actually big soft teddy bears underneath. A hard and angry way to start.

1.00 – Sherbert Trees
Everyone’s favourite sherbert dip, this crazy bunch of axe-wielding Indie boys have established a reputation for strong and memorable live sets. Saturday’s set should show why.

1.30 – The Red Cardigans
The boys from Flowers in the Attic parade their angelic Bunneymen charms once again in this their outdoor debut. Straight from playing a gig on World Cup Final night this lot are certain to score a big hit.

2.00 - The Big Noise
A strong trio of cricketers this, and not a bad bunch of musicians either. Recently won the punters over in a National bands contest in Bradford and this will be their second successive attempt to win over the punters of the Castle Grounds.

2.30 – Chemikill
A very high profile position for this band of thrash eccentrics who are about as cuddly as a rottweiler covered in spikes. It’s loud, it’s brash, it’s uncompromising and it will probably scare half of Tamworth to death.

3.00 – Catch 23
Atherstone’s leading heart-throbs with the ability to write the cutest of pop toons. Not as regular visitors to Tamworth as they were, ensuring that ever gig is a treat for young, old and very, very old (Rikk Quay) ALWAYS interesting.

3.30 – Kraze
More metal mayhem from a band who are as traditional to the festival as raid and dodgy burgers. A newish line-up compared to previous festivals but the same combination of good looks, good sounds and good fun.

4.00 – Bash Out The Odd
A festival debut this one and potentially one of the very best sets of the weekend. Bash Out The Odd have a deserved reputation for slick and powerful sounds and this promises to be an eye-opening 20 minute session. One I am particularly looking forward to.

4.30 – Emma Gibbs Loves Badges
And yet more lovely pop music from a group of lovely pop musicians. The Gibbos don’t play too often these days but as with good England performances when they do play well it lifts the spirits. Immensely watchable.

5.00 – Spiral Eye
Saturday’s headliners – and how. One of the finest things to come out of Tamworth since the Robin Reliant and just as powerful. The look amazing, sound amazing and leave you amazed that they are not bigger than Jason, kylie and Bros put together. These boys can do no wrong whatsoever and anyone who suggests they can will be run over by their second-hand ambulance. Nuff said.

Tamworth Castle Grounds – Ten bands on offer. 12-7pm

And so it begins again. Ten more great bands, dozens more great memories and lots to tuck into. Here’s the guide but please bear in mind that times are approximate.

11am – Disco

12.30 – The Naked Touch
It is one of the oldest festival traditions that Michael J. Fleming opens the event on one of the days. 1990 continues this proud (?) tradition with some naked fun which should set the morning off to a nice start.

1.00 – Litany of Fear
A band with an excellent name and a plethora of admirers who look so hard as butter from the fridge and play from the heart. Powerful, endearing and leather-jacketed. Great gear.

1.30 – The Cuddly Spiders
Another r festival institution brings Uncle Norman and Auntie Piglet to our stages yet again. It might be the Blues but it is designed to lift the spirits and keep you grinning throughout.

2.00 – Breaking Point
More Tamworth legends here in the shape of a band who once reduced me to tears with their power and melody. A lot of water has passed under the bridge since then but they always have the capacity to touch parts that other bands cannot reach.

2.30 – Shock Culture
A high profile appearance for one of the area’s genuinely nicest bands. They make good solid Wonder-stuff kinda sounds which betray a host of excellent influences and this really could be a major show for them. One to impress methinks.

3.00 – Dance Stance
The eagerly-awaited return to the festival stage of one of the most highly-regarded outfits in the area’s musical history. Not even meeting Bob Monkhouse has shaken this lot off the tracks and what they have is musicianship of the highest quality and soul down to their boots. They will go down a storm.

3.30 – Banned in Yellow
A contender for the best surprise of the year this lot, a band who have matured beyond belief and now represent one of the very best musical happenings in the Town. Stylish pop, well played, well presented and well sung. Terribly lovable.

4.00 – The New Puritans
Another mighty band (good day Sunday!) and one capable of slaying everybody. It’s guitars, wicked lyrics, singable melodies and big smiles. It’s as tasty as a huge Mars bar smothered in fresh cream.

4.30 – Scream
Scream? You probably will while seeing this lot because their powerful hybrid mixture of power goth and power metal will get your toes tapping from start to finish. The ideal band to keep the Wolfsbane hordes on their toes and a vital ingredient of Festival 90 in their own right.

5.00 – Wolfsbane
The kings return to their Tamworth throne. Just 24 hours after earning the best part of £2,000 in a festival in Cumbria, Wolfsbane will PAY their £24 to play at Tamworth as an indication of their love for this Town and it’s music scene. If America and fame has changed them at all, it has actually made them nicer and even more committed and their appearance in the Castle Grounds again is an indication of their respect for what Tamworth has done for them. Music fame and music fortune is just around the corner for our boys and Sunday’s epic finale to the Festival should show you all why. Get set to go ‘LOCO!!’

Tamworth Herald – 13/07/90
Musicbox – ‘Normal’ Musicbox
With the Festival taking over all our interests, the usual Musicbox material has been suspended for this week and next week. Info about gigs at the Arts Centre or the Rathole should be available during festival weekend. ‘normal’ services should be resumed in a fortnight.


Open Air Festival

Tamworth Herald – 20/07/90
Musicbox – Hot fest is Hot Stuff!
Musicbox Special on the Tamworth Rock Festival 1990

WolfsbaneA WILD and crazy thunderstorm brought a dramatic finale to two hot and sweaty days at the Tamworth Rock Festival during the weekend.

The monsoon-like blitz stunned the hordes of festival-goers early on Sunday evening and brought a shock end to what had been the hottest festival the Town has yet experienced.

By 7pm on Sunday, most of the 1,200 or so festival fans were sunburnt to varying extremes and were totally unprepared for the avalanche that hit them right in the middle of a cracking set by headliners Wolfsbane.

It was as if the sheer power had split the cloud into bits and it resulted in the quickest exodus from the Castle Grounds since the Danes were sent scuttling home by Ethelfleda.

Still, rain apart Festival 90 will be remembered with affection by all who played it and all who watched it. The blazing ball of fire in the sky tended to dominate the whole weekend producing the biggest crowd yet and the most leisurely and relaxed atmosphere which left everyone calm, peaceful and sunburnt.

Tamworth Mayor Coun. Ron Birbeck and the Mayoress Ann BirbeckAmong those who felt the sun and heard the noise was the Tamworth Mayor Coun. Ron Birbeck and the Mayoress Ann Birbeck who paid a full civic visit to the festival and admitted they were bowled over by what they saw.

“If you just went on appearances alone when you look at people you could get totally the wrong impression,” explained the mayor. “But, as I walked around the crowd and talked to people I found them to be very friendly, very positive and very pleased to see the mayor at the event. The people I talked to were among the friendliest I have met,” he said during the event.

This civic boost was one of many weekend smiles which began on the Friday night at Tamworth Arts Centre with a fundraising party. A huge crowd set the scene for Saturday and Sunday’s record attendance as they piled in to enjoy the skills of four very different bands.

RicardoBroken Dreams kicked off the whole thing an impressive debut which offered great promise for the future while at the opposite extreme one of Tamworth’s oldest acts Never Say Die produced comfortably their best set for many moons as they cranked it up high and produced some powerful metallic touches which surprised many of us. Headlining were Eight Ball Joe whose skilful manipulation of the audience was the result of some stylish guitar work and clever melodies but for me the highlight of the night was the splendid uplifting show by Vindaloo Breakfast who produced some classic slices of ’77 and ‘78isms, complete with Mick Jones guitar licks, thundering rhythms and excellent guitar and vocal work. Truly one of Tamworth’s greatest hopes this lot.

Once Friday was successfully dispatched all attention switched to the Castle Grounds again for the two days of sun, fun and sound. News that both Kraze and Banned in Yellow had both pulled out meant that there was no immediate rush to get things moving in the searing heat so the first band did not hit the stage until around 2pm – 90 minutes late. No-one seemed to mind however because the weather was already creating a very relaxed atmosphere. First up were What’s This Heads Down who I am delighted to say, will soon be changing their name to the much more apt Vampire Circus. The Boogie men, rather like Litany of Fear on Sunday suffered a little bit because their stark, broody Sisters sound, is more suited to black rooms and dry ice than outside in the summer sun. In spite of that Duggie led the boys home well and perfectly warmed the crowd up for the rest of the day. The Sherbert Trees and The Red Cardigans were next up and both sadly failed to grab the audience’s undiverted attention by fluffing around a bit too much on stage. Neither played as well as I know they can but they seemed happy enough with their lot and proved that they are almost as good onstage as they are on the footie field. The Big Noise took over next and also took a little while to get going. They showed a little more fire than of late however and by the time they reached a thundering version of ‘Can’t Help Myself’ things were looking decidedly more promising. Sadly however rumour has it that the show has led to a split in the Big Noise ranks which means they can’t have enjoyed themselves too much.

Catch 23Chemikill hit the stage next and they were (by popular acclaim) one of the best bands to play the whole event. The Festival was crying out for something loud, heavy and obnoxious and Chemikill weighed in with all these ingredients and more to really wake up some of those who had succumbed to sunbathing. It was without doubt the best I have ever seen Chemikill and I am assured that the massive amount of bottles thrown at them was a perversely positive reaction. Well so they tell me! Catch 23 were next and they were joined on stage half way through by the Mayor who looked a little bit older than the Atherstonian teenagers he teamed up with! The Catch boys in truth never hit the heights we might have expected mainly because they simply couldn’t live up to the sheer power and strength of splendid opener ‘Stand Back’. The band tried hard to get the audience moving and ‘I Wanted To’ was pretty damn gorgeous but I can’t help feeling this wasn’t quite the joyous celebration I was hoping for.

Bash Out The Odd however were at the peak of their form and produced one of the three or four best sets of the whole weekend. The brass provided a welcome and powerful alternative to what had come before and the band were riveting to watch. Mark Brindley sand as well as I have heard him sing in a long while and it made me tingle to hear that classic old ‘Memories’ track again. Other Bashite material also impressed me and by the end of the set many of the musos I talked to felt we had seen the band of the day. I think it was a toss up with Spiral Eye myself but there was no doubt it was close.

Programme scribe Lee Revelle took his Emma Gibbs loves Badges troupe onto stage next and (bless their little cotton socks) they actually got people DANCING. From all around the Grounds young would-be Mancunians strode up to the stage and bopped around to some gently meandering dance pop which led to a feast of Happy Mondays comparisons and gave Tamworth audiences their first and only RAVE of the weekend.

The departure of Emma, led to the arrival of The Eye. We had all been looking forward to Spiral Eye and we are not to be disappointed.. These boys just look so at home in a Festival format that reading, Glastonbury and the like must be informed immediately. They handled the audience brilliantly and entertained them thoroughly with a killer set dominated for me by one new track and one old. The new track was a thumping, punchy rap-dance number which was made all the more visually and audibly absorbing by the remarkable appearance of Tamworth rap man ‘Wordz’ who left most of the audience open-mouthed in surprise. The old track that really hit me was that old fave of mine ‘Uncertainty’ which rather like good wine and good Stranglers records (sorry!) gets better with age. It was STUNNING, as was the set, as was the atmosphere of Tamworth Festival Day One.

WolfsbaneSunday swiftly followed Saturday (no shocks there) and a horde of sunburnt music fans headed for the Castle Grounds again for more heat and for more fun. It all started late again (no one minded a jot) and it began with The Naked Touch who were quite simply The Naked Touch. Sisterites Litany of Fear were next and were pretty damn frightening in their own gothic way but suffered in the same way as I mentioned above with Whats This. When Litany of Fear returned to the coffin it led to the altogether more traditional rock sounds of The Cuddly Spiders who proved to be a pleasant surprise for me in that this was a lot closer to Fleetwood Mac than the usual blues label I associate with them. It was listenable, watchable and popular with the biggest cheer reserved for Norman’s annual ‘hello Donington’ cry. Breaking Point were next up and they to provided a surprise or two. They had clearly decided that the festival crowds wanted to hear oldies as well as newies and so we were treated (and treat it was) to a revived blast of the classic ‘Guns of Ambergold’ next to impressive newies like ‘Go’. They seemed fresher than they had done at the Rathole some weeks ago and who knows maybe there’s life in the old boys yet?

One of the newer breed – Shock Culture were next and there’s certainly some life in them. They have matured amazingly over the past few months and they now have a fuller sound which is boosted by neat keyboard work and more driving guitars. Songwise they sounded better too and they certainly went down well proving that all the recent positive noises around them should be heard.

The brass men were back soon after. On Saturday, Bash Out The Odd had won over the audience with the help of brass and Dance Stance did exactly the same on Sunday. This was a much tighter and more disciplined show from the Dance troupe with the tracks having an extra edge than of late and as a result grabbing more respect and appreciation from the crowd. They finished in dramatic style and went down very well indeed. They looked pleased afterwards and deserved to do so.

One of the Holliday fave-raves The New Puritans were next to warm the cockles of our hearts and although they had a little problem trying to get the sound they wanted early on, when they got it they ROCKED. Those guitars were red-hot and the version of ‘Fat Man’ stands out for me as one of the songs of the weekend. They looked good, sounded good (in the end) and gave me a t-shirt. Three reasons to vote the New Puritans a HIT!

Scream DreamScream Dream (yes they’ve added the Dream again) followed swiftly on and really were mega-powerful. They seem to have waved a final farewell to any hints of gothic influences and have now cruised straight down the Guns and Roses road with gay abandon. I’ve always liked these chaps and feel entirely comfortable with this cranked up sound which earned its usual festival adulation.

And so to the grand finale…Wolfsbane. The festival crowds had been looking forward to seeing them since, well last year’s event, and they did not disappoint. Clearly buoyed up be their triumph at the Cumbria Metal Fest on Saturday, Wolfsbane were in absolutely wicked form and looked set to produce one of their killer sets to end all killer sets until the rain got in the way. Before it did however we were treated to a crop of the old ‘Live Fast’ collection faves and most excitingly of all two newies of classic status, the aptly titled ‘Tough As Steel’ and the sleazy style of ‘Totally Nude’ which was wickedly good. Musically all four members of the band were in dazzling form. Jeff and Steve never put a foot wrong and looked like they were having a ball, Blaze was magnetically watchable and sounded amazing but best of all was Jase the Ace who seems to get better by the day. He teases and cajoles his guitar into producing such delicious sounds that it made me want to rush home and grab my tennis racket again. Everything was pointing in the right direction until the lightening pointed at the stage. Steve The Roadie nearly exploded and the heavens opened. With the final crashing bat of .Manhunt’ Wolfsbane left the stage and the Festival went out in memorable style.

WolfsbaneIt had been a weekend of fun, scorching heat and an incredible peace-loving atmosphere. Organisers of the likes of Neil Marklew, Den Byfield, Gaz Byfield, Alan Webster, Mike Fleming and Blaze Bayley deserve immense credit for getting the thing on and Tamworth deserves immense credit for being able to stage such a marvellous event once again.

Musically I don’t honestly believe this was the best festival ever but the atmosphere and sunbathing it took some beating. As I sit here now with my face as red as the Russian flag, I look back on the weekend with pleasure. It was hot, it was (at the climax) very, very wet but at the end of the day I wouldn’t have been anywhere else at the weekend.

The Tamworth Rock Festival remains a jewel in the Town’s entertainment crown. Long may it stay that way.

Tamworth Herald – 20/07/90
Musicbox - Boxman weds
MARTIN Warrillow, the Musicbox deputy editor, says a loving farewell to freedom tomorrow (Saturday) when he gets married.MARTIN Warrillow, the Musicbox deputy editor, says a loving farewell to freedom tomorrow (Saturday) when he gets married.

Just a couple of weeks after we lost Steve ‘Soil Bros’ MacNamee and Anice ‘DHSS’ Byfield to the married state, Martin will tomorrow join forces with one Carmel Gallagher.

It will be a marriage of musical extremes. Uncle Martin is a fan of everything metallic (very much including our own Wolfsbane and Kraze) as well as old punk music and a lot of modern stuff. Carmel on the other hand is a keen fan of one Barry Manilow a man who has about as much in common with Wolfsbane as Roger Miller has with Windy miller. Despite this, the Musicbox Editor and I am sure everyone on the local Musicbox scene who knows Martin sends the couple our very best wishes and hope they enjoy their honeymoon at the ‘Copa Cobana’.

Tamworth Herald – 20/07/90
Musicbox – Senseless Smiles
ONE of the hottest young bands in the UK – The Senseless Things – team up with the mighty Yogots for an explosive show on Thursday night at the Rathole.

The duo, along with Lichfield outfit The Moneygods, combine their considerable talents for a show that promises to be one of the very best the Town has seen this year. The Senseless Things are a serious happening act. They have been booked to play the Reading Festival this year as proof and they have been in and out of the Indie charts for eons and have had more appearances in NME than Prince. They are excellent and fully recommended by this column.

Such sentiments also apply to those loveable Yogots. Despite missing out on the Festival they remain one of the best things that Tamworth has to offer and they produce cracking music and an electric atmosphere. They shone with the New Fast Automatic Daffodils and they will shine with the Senseless Things as well. With both these and The Moneygods, Thursday night is UNMISSABLE. It’s at the Rathole, it costs £2 so be there!

*Sunday night sees the dark and broody Hunters Club in Rathole action. They have hit the Rathole before and went down a storm. Sunday should show why.

The Senseless Things
The Yogots
The Moneygods

The Rathole

Shock Split

Tamworth Arts Centre

Tamworth Herald – 27/07/90
Musicbox – Metalmen take on the Fan Club
Tamworth returns to being a two-gig Town this weekend when metal takes over the Arts Centre and a mixture of power and dance descends on ‘The Rathole’.

The Arts Centre’s metallic offering pairs Midlands rock favourites Shock Split with Burton rockers Rezist in a powerful double-header.

If dance and hard-edged pop is more to your taste then the Rathole will be your natural home on Sunday as it pairs the well-known national popsters The Teenage Fan Club with the well known local popsters Emma Gibbs Loves Badges.

Details on both these shows…

Shock Split/Rezist – Tamworth Arts Centre
A treat for metal and rock fans this week as the Arts Centre welcomes a popular pairing. Shock Split, billed as being one of the best metal bands on the Midlands circuit, will top off the line-up and will be showing some of the style that has made them quite a name on the scene. The band, who have a new demo available for sale on the night, will be backed up by Burton’s Rezist a group who have hot Tamworth before and should delight metal-lovers. A two band power show which costs a mere £1.50 and takes place at your very own Tamworth Arts Centre.

Teenage Fan Club/Emma Gibbs Loves Badges – The Rathole
A popular pairing this one which is likely to keep them piling into The Rathole from early on. The Teenage Fan Club are regular visitors to the national Indie chart although according to my spy Mr. Revelle they are a little harder than your traditional indie chart acts. I have a huge book of reviews on the band which says among other things that they are ‘absolutely vital’ (Melody Maker), ‘their potential is stunning’ (NME) and they are ‘distressingly appealing’ (Sounds). Variously described as being the Glaswegian equivalent of Dinosaur Jnr. And having being accredited with making an album that Primal Scream and The Pastels would be proud of, the Teenage Fan Club promise to be hot. Supporting them are a band we already know to be H.O.T. The Emma Gibbs Loves Badges crew were one of the best things about the Tamworth Festival 1990 and even if lead singer Lee Revelle did upset a few people via the programme, the band upset nobody at all with a distinguished and disciplined show of dance-pop which had them raving in the aisles. Expect a number of new converts at the Rathole on Sunday and expect a fine double-header.

Tamworth Herald – 27/07/90
Musicbox – Yogots demo will stay on the decks!
The Yogots – Demo reviewed by Sean Atkins
The fact that I’ll still be listening to this demo tape long after I’ve reviewed it is an indication of how good it is. This collection of four of The Yogots songs is so enjoyable that I’ve been playing it through choice and not – as is sometimes the case – out of devotion to duty to MUSICBOX.

‘Don’t Shout Taxi’, ‘Je Suis’, ‘She’s Gone’ and ‘Mr. Rainbow’ are usually among the highlights of any Yogots gig and the tracks sound better than ever on this tape. The songs all sound very polished but thankfully, the Yogots distinctive brand of insanity remains an important aspect.

And this is just the story so far from the Yogots…I’m sure there’s a lot more to look forward to.

Sean Atkins

Tamworth Herald – 27/07/90
Due to the incredible amount of local gigs and the like in recent months Musicbox has got way behind with it’s up-to-date demo reviews. Box writer SEAN ATKINS has volunteered to try and sift through them all over the next few weeks and hopefully we will have regular demo write-ups from now on. For future reference, if any bands want their tapes reviewed send them to MUSICBOX for the attention of Sean Atkins.

Tamworth Herald – 27/07/90
Musicbox – Going for a Burton?
The annual Festival of Bands is to be held in Burton again in September and YOU could be part of it.

The event, which runs on 5, 6 and 7 September offers local bands a chance to play in a major venue (Burton Town Hall) alongside some of the best bands from this neck of the Midlands woods.

It’s a good gig and a good event to be part of so if you fancy being involved why not contact Tina Snowball.

Tamworth Herald – 27/07/90
Musicbox – Wolfsbane Party Night with Vindaloo Breakfast and Rhythm Damage
Caption: Wolfsbane – their best show ever.The Rathole, Thursday
Every so often you see a gig which makes you realise that music at its best is the most exciting thing you can do with your trousers on. This was such a gig. It was not widely publicised, it was not widely hyped and yet it attracted a big audience who were served up with what I can only describe as several hours of pure magic. Take note o’regular Musicbox readers – this gig was one of the classics of all time Tamworth shows and proved once and for all that Wolfsbane now have no peers. If Iron Maiden had seen this gig they would have thrown Wolfsbane off the support slot of their forthcoming tour for genuine fear of being blown to smithereens.

The facts…

Vindaloo Breakfast
Sadly I had to miss this show by my latest raves because I was trying on my best-man’s garb for the wedding of Musicbox deputy editor Martin Warrillow. However, I asked three people I respect to sum up the Brekkies and their view was unanimous: ‘They were excellent’ (Ed Armchair), ‘they played brilliantly’ (Rikk Quay) and ‘it was a wonderful set’ (Neil Marklew). All three seasoned voices in enthusiastic support proves what I have suspected for some time, that Vindaloo Breakfast are seriously happening. Catch them before its too late.

Rhythm Damage
Buoyed on by receiving the first copy of their debut single on the same day, Rhythm Damage coolly and stylishly slipped into playing their best set to date. It was fresh, alive and very noisy as a result of a sound system which ranks among the best I have ever heard. Facing hundreds of Howling mad Wolfheads (I think that’s what they call them!!!) the Vulgar Squad joined in a mutually abusing session and went on to show that they have finally got exactly the sound they want. ‘Energise’ was great, the boys looked great and even one or two Damage-doubters had to admit to being impressed afterwards. Luvverly.

OK, mark these words – this was the best set I have EVER seen a ‘local’ band play. I have seen many great Wolfie shows over the years, as well as spinetinglers by Catch 23, Dance Stance, Dream Factory, Spiral Eye, Breaking Point, Terroah, DHSS and more but nothing came anywhere near watching this magnificent 75 minutes or so. Wolfsbane were just out of this world, playing as if their lives depended upon it and [roving that as showmen and entertainers they have no equals at all. If there is a singer in rock n rollsville who is as sleazy, as funny AND as talented as Bayley well I have yet to hear him and Jeff, Steve and Jase are now so good with their weapons (ooh-err sounds a bit rude) that you would have to be deaf, stupid or brain dead not to disintegrate with pleasure at the sound. As well as being in a riotous and deliberately playful mood the band also managed not to put a single note wrong and sounded like it would be a physical impossibility to get any tighter. And the songs? Well the ‘oldies’ (all of 12 months some of them!) were as good as ever with my favourites this time being a dramatic version of ‘Shakin’ and a stunning rendition of ‘Pretty baby’ which brought tears to my eyes but the ‘newies’ were of equal power. If there had been any doubt about the Wolfmen it was that they wouldn’t be able to keep up their incredibly high standard of songwriting but this show blew that theory apart. ‘Tough As Steel’ could become an absolute rock-standard classic, ‘Totally nude’ is Totally Infectious, ‘Hey Babe’ is as cute as it’s title, ‘Cathy Wilson’ is amazing and the list just goes on. Throw in the usual Bayley stagemanshp, the brilliant relationship between band and loyal fan and the united spirited betwixt those four musicians and you have a stageshow par excellence. It was so good that I felt immensely proud to even come from the same Town as these boys, let alone to regard them as mates, and I just left the gig on such a high that the Wolfies jumped into my list of long-standing heroes along with Woody Allen, Brian Clough, Marlon Brando and The Meninblack. They possess Allen’s class, Clough’s arrogance, Brando’s style and the Stranglers dedication and they can count on my loyalty forever.

If you missed this show I’m sorry for you. If you witnessed it you will know that not one word I have said is over the top. Wolfsbane can be as big as Wolfsbane want to be. And when I say big, I mean BIG!!!

Sam Holliday

Tamworth Herald – 27/07/90
Musicbox – Mixed emotions at Fest success
Festival Reaction Letters

ANOTHER year, another rock festival, but the same old set of people doing all the work while the vast minority of band members did nothing. Lee Revelle’s programme made up in vitriol what it lacked in journalistic ability. Some points for you, Mr. Revelle regarding your comments on me and the festival in the programme…

1) If I didn’t enjoy it, I wouldn’t do it, especially with all the *** I have to put up with from obnoxious little ******* like you.
2) I understand that your attempts to contact me for my festival comments were limited to leaving a message on my answerphone (which I didn’t get). No one who knows me would think for one minute that I would pass over the opportunity to appear in print (again!)
3) People who throw stones shouldn’t move into glass houses. I certainly did take not of the bands, like Emma Gibbs, who did no work at all and couldn’t be bothered to get there early and stay there afterwards.
4) Even someone like you should be able to spell my name right after it has appeared regularly in the Herald for the last nine years. It is Fleming with one M.

And now to Darren of Shock Culture who also slagged me off in the programme. I was on the committee, I tried to get my band in on the grounds that a) we are good b) I had worked my but off for the seven previous festivals and a lot of the bands Sam had selected in his original line-up were (from previous showing) SKIVERS. Where were they all, those bands with the God-given right to play, when they work had to be done.

Furthermore, Darren, your logic over whether I should have the guts to say no to play
Defies me. Possibly because I am a Mensa member, with an IQ in the top percent of the population, and you are as thick as dung (intelligent stuff from a Mensa man – Box Ed) One last thing, your clothes awareness is appalling. Baggy Levi 501s, which I wear, are fashionable. They are not, repeat not, flares. Try catching up with fashion sometime.

Scream also commented in the programme that the Festival has lost its spirit. How the hell would they know – they’ve never been present for day-starts and ends to do some work and get the real festival spirit.

Where were all you when the heavens opened and the PA had to some down I want to know?

MIKE FLEMING (with one M) The Naked Touch, Tamworth

Dear Sam
Festival letter from Neil Marklew
I wonder whether I could take some of your column space to thank a number of people who worked so splendidly with me on the stage to make the Rock festival such a success last weekend. Doubtless there will be a few critical points to discuss and improve next year, but these people are beyond praise.

Steve Jones was my right-hand man with two other young lads called Steve and Jeff; Chris and Gary from Chemikill and Stu from Bash Out The Odd also worked instantly and without question as required. And Mike Fleming who liaised with the bands and therefore took any flak that was going did a heroic job and he was there from 8am to 8pm on both days.

The sound was good this year, so congratulations to Reverb Sound, and I’d like to thank Wall to Wall Sound for providing a monitor desk from Birmingham at a moments notice and Chetwynd Transport for providing the trailer., also at the eleventh hour.

As you will know from past experience the Rock festival depends entirely on voluntary effort from very many people and the good-will expressed to me by both public and the bands made the whole experience worthwhile.

Finally, God was good to us providing glorious weather until Wolfsbane went on and the heavens opened. God and Councillor Dick Hudson who helped Wolfsbane to clear up the litter afterwards, smiled on us.

Thanks and all best wishes.

Stage Manager, Tamworth Rock Festival 1990

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