Tamworth Herald – 21/12/79
LOCAL schoolboy band the Fretz played their first official concert at Tamworth’s St. John’s Youth Club to an enthusiastic audience.
The band – who are aged 14 and 15 – are made up of Matthew Lees on vocals, Mark Mortimer, bass and vocals, Donald Skinner, on electric guitar; Philip Hobbins on drums and Des Goodwin, backing vocals, trombone, keyboards and dancing.
All pupils at the Queen Elizabeth Mercian High School, the Fretz play new wave/mod crossover music, which includes cover versions of the Who’s classic “Baba O’Reilly” and the Purple Hearts’ song “Beat That”.
The band also have a lot of very good songs of their own. The best received being the fiery punk numbers like “Slum Living” and “Confusion”, as well as three glorious bouncy pop ones like “If I Lose You”, the stylish “Heroine” and the hilarious show stopper “Rock It Down The Club”.
The atmosphere was one of excitement and anticipation as the band moved from the mature sounding songs like “The Sun” to the crowd pleasing “Simon Webster” dedicated to a friend of the band’s.
After about 40 minutes the Fretz were forced to stop even though bassist Mortimer was determined to play everything again.
Reluctantly the happy, dancing crowd dispersed but the great stage presence and the musical maturity of the band was still firmly in everyone’s minds.
True, there were problems – the microphones kept seizing up and there is no stage at the club – but this did not stop the band putting on one of the best concerts Tamworth has been graced with for a good while.
If the Fretz continue to improve (as I feel sure they will) both in musical maturity and confidence it is clear that the Fretz will soon become a band local teenagers can be proud of.
Anyone wanting to book the band should ring Mark Mortimer on Tamworth 68530.