Tamworth Bands - History 1960-1990

New Age Gypsies

New Age Gypsies
New Age Gypsies
Photograph Courtesy: Tamworth Herald

Musical Genre/Type: Rock

Band Members
Steve Haddon - Lead Vocals (Atherstone)
Richie Hudson - Lead Guitar/Backing Vocals (Nuneaton)
Steve Saunders - Bass Guitar/Backing Vocals (Atherstone)
Luke Morgan - Drums (Atherstone)

These dark days - Steve Haddon/Richie Hudson
Try me - Steve Haddon/Richie Hudson
World wthout end - Steve Haddon/Richie Hudson
Token of love - Steve Haddon/Richie Hudson
The bell - Steve Haddon/Richie Hudson
Without love - Steve Haddon/Richie Hudson
Let there be love - Steve & Dylan Haddon/Richie Hudson
Temples of the sun - Steve Haddon/Richie Hudson
Love don’t come easy - Steve Haddon/Richie Hudson
Cold heart - Steve Haddon/Richie Hudson

First Gig: New Swan, Atherstone - 1986

Final Line
New Age Gypsies
The Rathole

Battle of the Bands
New Age Gypsies
Cuddly Spiders

Tamworth Arts Centre

Battle of the Bands – FINAL
The Conspiracy
New Age Gypsies
Scream Dream

Tamworth Arts Centre

Scum Ball
Scream Dream
Spiral Eye
Mr. Cyn
New Age Gypsies
The Detroit Sinners

Assembly Rooms

Last Gig: Tamworth, Assembly Rooms – 1988

Title: New Age Gypsies
Track List: Try Me: World Without End

Tamworth Herald Aricles

Tamworth Herald – 19/06/87
Musicbox – Gypsy Treats
New Age Gypsies – The New Swan, AtherstoneNew Age Gypsies – The New Swan, Atherstone
FROM the moment the band hit the stage, we were treated to 40 minutes of original music by four very able musicians.

Guitarist ‘Houdi’ was the star of the night. He turned in a brilliant performance, which in place had a touch of Jimi Hendrix at his greatest. A song called “These Dark Days” which had a very unholy feel to it was laid down by drummer ‘Luke’ Morgan and bassist ;Mick Godber’ with slicing guitar and powerful vocals from former Spirit of Water vocalist ‘Gong’.

The longer the song went on the more you noticed everyone singing and joining in with the chorus.

The best song of the night was the very cleverly-written ‘World Without End’; which when Tamworth audiences hear it will become the band’s anthem. So all in all, a very enjoyable evening and as far as the New Age gypsies were concerned a very successful evening.

P.S. The band now need a new bassist. For more information contact Steve.

Tamworth Herald – 31/07/87
Musicbox – Gypsies from the past
New Age GypsiesNew Age Gypsies – Try Me/World Without End
AN interesting new slice of new psychedelia from an outfit who appear to have just stepped out of a time-travelling machine that left in 1967. The two songs are very different indeed, which implies the band have a wide range of musical ideas at their song-writing disposal.

The first track, ‘Try Me’ is the more conventionally psychedelic (if the term isn’t a contradiction in itself) with guitars doing all manner of strange things throughout, a and the general effect being quite bewildering.

The second number is a more modern pulsator which has a very impressive hook and and atmosphere tinged with late new wave/early Cure. It also boasts some pretty excellent bass-playing which makes it a plus in my eardrums and makes me feel there is a lot more power than you would suspect from a band who look so placidly mellow and hippish.

As a demo it certainly makes an impressive entry to the world of the Gypsies.

Tamworth Herald – 07/08/87
Musicbox – New guys make for a real curious night, rats
THE RATHOLE throws open its doors on Sunday night to welcome in three relatively new local bands.

Happy hippies The New Age Gypsies, new Tamworth band Jabberwocki and the all-new A5 will team up for a show which looks very promising.

Atherstonians The New Age Gypsies are certain to provide a lot of interest on the night as they bring their resurrected late-Sixties sound to the Arts Centre. As you may have seen in last week’s MUSICBOX, the band dress like members of the Charles Manson family but have a sound which adds an Eighties touch to a Sixties ideal.

This will be the first concert for Steve ‘Gong’ Haddon, Rich ‘Houdi’ Hudson, Steve ‘Grott’ Saunders and Luke ‘Puke’ Gordon and the curious are expected to be out in force to hear something which probably will be very curious indeed.

Also making their Tamworth debut on the night are Jabberwocki – who last week started their rock and roll careers with a show in Birmingham alongside Ruffian on the Stairs. The band who describe their sound as rock with a commercial feel have been together in their present format for just three months and feature Rachel Vince, Richard Reeves, David Caswell, Andrew Wood and Karen Wood.

They list their influences as the likes of Peter Gabriel, It Bites and The Fixx which certainly makes them rather different from the Gypsies who they team up with.

Completing the line-up are the most experienced of the three acts – the seemingly indestructible A5. The band who now line up as Chris Edden (bass, vocals), Karen Webster (vocals), Steve Hayes (drums) and Pete Fulleylove (guitar) have moved more into the U2 vein of late but add the likes of New Order, Cocteau Twins and the Banshees to their influences.

The quartet who describe themselves as ‘original and unlucky’ will follow the ‘Rathole’ show with four concerts on consecutive nights making it a full A5 tour! On Monday they are at Megas Winebar on Tuesday at Kaleidsocope, on Wednesday, they team up with Catch 23 at Charlottes in Leicester and then on Thursday that are at the Blue Posts in Burton.

Sunday night’s unique concert – another local showcase of new talent – starts at around 8pm and there seems something for everyone. And with The New Age Gypsies in town it promises to be a pretty cool night – maaan.

Tamworth Herald – 14/08/87
Musicbox – New age? New hope?
Final line/Jabberwocki/A5/New Age Gypsies – The Rathole
YES, an intriguing, divergent night this. Proof positive that new bands are emerging and appearing all the time, and yet more evidence that Atherstone is producing more musicians per head of population than just about anywhere. Anyhow, the facts and figures…

The Final Line
There isn’t a lot I can say about these because I didn’t see a minute of their set. Opinions varied afterwards but according to fellow Herald scribe they were ‘sort of loud, danceable and very good’. Seems reasonable.

Not really my cup of tea all this. Jabberwocki were clearly aiming for an early Seventies sound, the sort produced by the likes of Family, which is about as alien to my culture as eating lizards. The best bits were the double usage of female talent, Dave Caswell’s musicianship, the unusual instruments and a song called ‘I Don’t Remember’. The worst bits were an overlong drum solo which outstayed its welcome, a complete lack of onstage identity and presence and the fact that Jabberwocki were playing to totally the wrong audience. It all reminded me of the New Seekers actually. Anyone remember those anarchists?

Back with a bang. A5 have re-emerged from their lay-bys to produce probably their finest new collection of songs to date. The band’s usual experimental ideas have now been joined by a gritty aggression which works on several musical levels. Guitarist Pete Fulleylove has developed a meandering Edge style sound, while Bassist Chris Edden has tuned his bass to that wonderful old Jean Jacques Burnel feel which carried the whole thing superbly well. Several fine numbers were revealed and I was left with the distinct impression that A5 could well be the (surprise?) hit of this years festival. Highly recommended noise makers.

New Age Gypsies
Whole lotta Zeppelin. The New Age Gypsies will feel well satisfied with this set which completely won over an admittedly very biased audience. It reminded me of a mixture between pre-punk rock (aka Zeppelin) and post-punk rock (aka the Cult) and this mixture proved curiously palatable even to those like me with (relatively) short hair. Steve ‘Gong’ Haddon is a charismatic, lively singer with a powerful voice and another mention must go to Rich ‘Houdi’ Hudson who clearly enjoyed testing and teasing his audience with his cocktail of axe-attacks. A band who will always have a market and who you will like better the longer your hair is.

Tamworth Herald – 21/08/87
Musicbox – SNIPS
The New Age Gypsies were understandably rather miffed last week when someone pinched their cymbals after their triumphant Rathole show. If anyone knows of there whereabouts the band have promised a ‘no questions asked’ response for their safe return. And, as the band’s drummer is actually called The Undertaker, that seems very reasonable to me!

Tamworth Herald – 11/09/87
Musicbox – Metal package set to explode
ONE of Britain’s biggest new metal bands make their Tamworth debut on Sunday night. The band, Briar, have just been signed up by impresario Jonathan King who believes that they are going to be very big indeed.

Teaming up with Briar are three more bands of various metallic levels. Atherstone’s New Age Gypsies – fresh from two Arts Centre triumphs – return hoping for a happy hat-trick of hippy rock successes, while the all-new Shellshock will regard this as one of their biggest and most important concerts yet.

Both bands will certainly enjoy the experience of playing alongside a band who are very much on the make and Tamworth audiences will also be pleased to see the local debut of Nuneaton glamboys Dressed To Kill.

The band who used to be called Wulfbayne (yep, Wulfbayne) say they think they should go down well in Tamworth because they sound like Wolfsbane (yep, Wolfsbane). If they do sound like Wolfsbane they will go down very well indeed, and they sound a very intriguing prospect indeed.

Do that’s it, a package for every Hamlet’s- bound metal fan to lap up with glee. People often moan that there are not enough metal concerts in Tamworth, well on Sunday there is one that should make up for all that.

Briar are big news, their three support acts are good news, and the whole thing should be loud news.

Tamworth Herald – 18/09/87
Musicbox – Dressed to Kill…stone dead
Review: Heavy Metal Night – The Rathole
I DON’T THINK I am cut out for heavy metal. I don’t think my mind is complex, enlightened or intellectually tuned enough to appreciate the sheer quality of bands who ‘like to rock’. Therefore I felt somewhat out of it in Sunday night.

Sadly I missed the opening but by all accounts very impressive set by Shellshock and my only smile of the night was reserved for the next act, New Age Gypsies. They played with gusto and spirit and although they were the least ‘heavy’ band on the line-up, they had the most powerful effect on my ears.

The third outfit on the stage were Nuneaton fave raves Dressed To Kill. They were alright I guess (at a bit of a push) bit it sounded about as fresh and new as an eight-day old bread. Dressed to Kill dressed to please and on both accounts failed somewhat.

And so to the main band on the night – Briar. Briar as you may know, previously won the Birmingham Pernod ‘Hottest band’ contest and all I can say is, if this is the hottest outfit in Brum, it must be one hell of a cold city. Don’t get me wrong – Briar weren’t a bad band, they were just so mind-numbingly ORDINARY.

Wolfsbane have more charismatic style in one verse than these boys could produce in their whole set, and they were about as ‘hot’ as ice. Ok, they look pretty I guess and can play a mean cover version, but if this is the best Birmingham can offer, it just makes me realise how good Tamworth and Atherstone’s music scene really is.

Sam Holliday

Tamworth Herald – 04/12/87
Musicbox – Gems among a week of gigs
MUSICBOX reviewers have been out and about in the last week or so catching up on a host of bands at various venues. Here is a selection of their comments with the code to the reviewers being SH – Sam Holliday; DC – Dan Collins; HM – Helen Machin and DR – David Reeves.

New Age Gypsies – Tamworth Arts Centre
Brilliant as ever. Although they never seem completely satisfied with their performance, to my mind this was faultless. Luke’s frenetic drumming combines with Gong’s ever-powerful vocals to produce a superb set including favourites such as ‘These Dark Days’ and ‘World Without End’.


Luke’s drum pedal flying across the stage and some bloke saying he had his amp nicked and demanding to look in our van but he never asked any of the Tamworth bands who were playing on the night - what an asshole!!

I remember very well recording our demo in Tamworth and I loved every minute of it.

Our first gig at Tamworth Arts centre, people were so friendly to us. We played all over the place, never made any money but we had a good time.

Luke played drums with Edwin Starr once as I remember.

Thanks to: Steve Haddon

Fetch Eddie
New Age Gypsies
Tamworth Arts Centre

Tamworth Herald - 29/01/88
Musicbox – Triple attack of excitement
THREE of the area’s most refreshing outfits team up tonight (Friday) for an exciting Arts Centre showcase. The rejuvenated, hard-hitting A5 will be joined by everyone’s favourite pop-reggae combo Fetch Eddie and Atherstone’s punch rock outfit New Age Gypsies. The triple attack of melodic pleasure was originally set up to be the first official parade of the debut singles by both A5 and Fetch Eddie.

Now, however, that seems unlikely although there is still a slight chance that Fetch Eddie’s ‘Too Much To Ask for’, single may make its first appearance tonight.

When the Fetch Eddie single DOES appear, it is certain to make big waves both locally and beyond. The band have already gained a good reputation in Birmingham and their success in the MUSICBOX poll proves they have a lot of interest on the local scene.

As a live band they are strong and professional, and if you look good, entertaining pop then don’t miss tonight’s show.

Also bursting with confidence tonight will be headliners A5, the band who had hoped to release ‘Society Girl’ as their first 45 this month, have now put it out as a tape instead and it has already been played by the John Peel show. For those who don’t know A5’s music has a powerful new wave feel which mixes thumping bass lines with intelligent guitar work to produce a sound which leads to a plethora of comparisons. For the first time locally, the band will be introducing their two new female backing singers who have added a subtle edge to the raw, rock sound and should mean the band have even more to offer the listener.

New Age GypsiesCompleting the show are Atherstonian’s The New Age Gypsies, a band yet to play a bad concert at the Arts Centre. The group who came with a reputation as a ‘hippy, hippy hooray’ outfit have as much in common with groups like The Cult as with late-Sixties mindbenders and their overall attack is of meaty rock with unpredicatable edges.

The three band show (and remember it is tonight (Friday), not the traditional Sunday concert) looks set to be a highly-successful ear-battering covering everything from the pop lightweight to the Tyson heavyweight. It should be an enjoyable night out to get along and have a triple dose of delight.

Tamworth Herald - 12/02/88
Musicbox – SNIPS
Plans have been unveiled for a major new-band concert at the Assembly Rooms on Friday, March 11. The show, which should be a perfect finale to the new group ‘Battle of the Bands’ contest, have been ambitiously put together by members of Scream Dream and Spiral Eye who have taken the brave and highly commendable decision to go for broke at a venue that has seen the likes of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Dr. Feelgood and even Dickens! The bands on offer at this the ‘Scum Ball’ will be Scream Dream, Spiral Eye, Mr. Cyn, Detroit Sinners and The New Age Gypsies. Tickets must be bought in advance and cost a mere £1.50 but we have two to give away in a simple contest. Just tell us the answers to the following and two ‘Scum Ball’ tickets are yours. (1) What was Spiral Eye drummer Jim’s stagename as a member of Attica? 2) What band did Tim Latham and Ted Wilson used to play on?
3) What was Scream Dream drummer Duane, publicly labelled at this time last year? Simple isn’t it? Just send your answers to Musicbox.

Tamworth Herald - 12/02/88
Musicbox – Five-band fight is all heart
Caption: New Age Gypsies…in action Sunday.TAMWORTH’S ‘Battle of the Bands’ continues on Sunday with a St. Valentine’s Day Massacre by a host of new local groups. Once again all the bands on offer will be fighting for one guaranteed place in the March 4 final with trophies, a cash prize and considerable prestige for the eventual winners.

This Sunday’s array of bands – who will once again be judges by four top local musicians – has been slightly altered from the original announcement. Fetch Eddie have swapped with The BBC, Cuddly Spiders have come in for Mr. Cyn and Racer has been added as a replacement fro Jim Crows Blues Company. It means that the five bands who will line up at the Arts Centre on Sunday aiming to impress a packed audience and four discerning judges are…

Atherstone’s 60s/80s cross-over rock band, making their first appearance in Tamworth for a couple of months.

A band who will probably have a name by the night and will certainly have the charismatic Lee Revelle on vocals and a non-rock sound.

A totally new band to everyone, who will be making their debut locally. No-one has seen anything of them yet, lets lust hope we do so on the night!

A new rock band fronted by former Shellshock lead singer Andy Mottram, who have already impressed audiences and critics in the Ashby and Burtn area.

Norman Yates returns! Re-emerging from the wilderness. The Spiders are back again with a vengeance.

Once again the very nature of the contest – for new bands only – means that to find out what the bands are REALLY like, you have to get along. It all starts promptly at 8pm and as each band is allowed a maximum of 20 minutes to win over the judges, no-one will have to put up with anything that doesn’t tickle their fancy for too long!
So with entry at a mere £1 and five bands waiting to show off their wares, have you any option but to make it to the Arts Centre on Sunday night? No I don’t think so.

Will all bands arrive at the Arts Centre by 5pm at the latest: This week’s judges are: Mick Goodby (Depth Charge), Trevor Mugglestone (Never Say Die), Steve MacNamee (Soil Brothers) and Neil Gordon (Catch 23). Will all judges please arrive at the Arts Centre by 7.45pm.

Tamworth Herald - 28/02/88
Musicbox – SNIPS
There are only two weeks now to the ambitious ‘Scum Ball’ project at Tamworth Assembly Rooms. As a reminder, various enthusiastic new bands have pooled their resources and finances to book the Assems for the (Friday) night to put on an array of new talent. The five bands to be featured – Mr. Cyn, Spiral Eye, Scream Dream, The New Age Gypsies and The Detroit Sinners – are eagerly awaiting the chance to shine on such a big, impressive stage and they hope the audience will turn out in big, impressive numbers. Tickets are now on sale for the show, from members of all the bands involved or directly from The William Tolputt Press, George Street.

Tamworth Herald  - 04/03/88
Musicbox – How the Battle lines are drawn…
Four turn up the power on finals night

TAMWORTH’S highly successful Battle of the Bands reaches its exciting climax tonight (Friday) at the Arts Centre. Four bands will line-up in the event aiming to win the award as Tamworth’s most promising new band for 1988.

So far the contest has provoked good crowds, fine concerts and its usual share of elation, disappointment and controversy. Tonight promises to be just as tense and exciting as four bands attempt to win the overall award won in past years by One On One, Breaking Point and most recently Wolfsbane.

To decide who should win the prizes there will be ten judges. They are: Steve Webster and Nick Smith (Catch 23), Graham Walters (Shellshock), Pam Patten and Ian Gibbons (Rathole), John Reeman (DHSS), Ian Harwood (Rape in Yellow), Chris Edden (A5), Dave Caswell (Jabberwockie) and Alan Bayliss (The Parade). They will be judging the following four bands.

Heat One winners and a group who have made a dramatic impact locally since their formation some months ago. After first conquering Tamworth, they have now earned praise in both Atherstone and Lichfield and are soon to spread their wings further. Their passionate new-wave-based Cult-rock had been compared to many bands but still has that extra, vital ingredient of originality. If they win tonight it will be the icing on a bountiful cake of recent success.

Heat Two winners and another group who have developed very quickly since their early beginnings. Starting originally as a hippy band, the group soon smashed this concept with a sound that was far heavier and more direct that the whimsical late Sixties image they attempted to portray. Solidly supported in Atherstone and increasingly popular in Tamworth, they have a vitality and enthusiasm which could well be rewarded with victory tonight.

In as winners of Sunday’s heat and having attained the highest marks in the contest so far, could well be THE band to beat. Strong, powerful metal music from a band with a hallmark of quality.

Probably my favourite new band (along with Spiral Eye) to have emerged from the contest, the Dreamers have taken their place for being the highest scoring throughout the four weeks. Modern influences abound but these boys are very much their own scene-setters and they could be dark horses for inevitable glory.

All four bands will be given their usual 20 minutes to win over the Arts Centre judges and the corwds before the eventual winner is chosen. They will be awarded the title Tamworth’s Most Promising Band 1988 – Battle of the Bands Winners for the Tamworth Young people’s Arts Festival and will join the hall of fame with Breaking Point, One On One and Wolfsbane.

In addition to carrying the title for 12 months the winners will pick up a cash prize of £75 and individual ‘Battle of the bands’ trophies which will be theirs to keep. In addition of all goes to financial plan there should be one or two extra goodies on offer to winners and losers alike because above all, the final of the ‘Battle of the Bands’ is always a fun night and a cracking concert to boot!

If the past couple of ‘Battle’ finals is anything to go by, tonight will be packed to the rafters and the atmosphere will be red-hot. Get along at 8pm (any later and you may miss a moment which you shouldn’t) and get set for a wonderful exhibition of the very best of new music in the local area. The winners will have a marvellous title to carry around with them for 12 months. The losers will have the satisfaction of knowing they at least reached the last four, and all the punters should have a night to remember for the rest of the year.

The battle lines are drawn – let battle commence.

Will all bands get to the Arts Centre by 5pm. Will judges arrive by 7.45pm.

Tamworth Herald  - 11/03/88
Musicbox – Yes you CAN go the (Scum) ball
A UNIQUE concert takes place tonight (Friday) at the Assembly Rooms. Under the banner of “The Scum Ball”, the special concert is designed to be another major display of the area’s rising musical talent spotlighting five relatively new acts.

Among these are new Battle of the Bands winners Scream Dream plus three other groups who sparkled in the contest – Spiral Eye, Mr Cyn and New Age Gypsies. And to complete a strong line-up we find a totally new and not entirely serious act who call themselves The Detroit Sinners.

“The Scum Ball” is so unusual in that in the spirit of the Tamworth Rock Festival it has been totally paid for by all the bands on the show. The Assems does not come cheap and with all the attendant PA costs and more, it means all five groups had to put their hands deep into their pockets to ensure that we could all go to the ‘Ball’.

The five bands all see the concert as a chance to further discover the talents that were graphically unveiled during the ‘Battle of the bands’. One of the bands, Spiral Eye, say that all the groups will be playing longer, stronger sets than in the ‘Battle’ and will be offering one or two additional extras.

It should be a real party atmosphere and all the Scum Ball organisers hope that a successful turnout at Tamworth’s top venue will mean that more concerts of this kind will find their way onto a stage which has welcomed the likes of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones in former glory years.

The bands on offer – with the exception of the Detroit Sinners – should now be known to local audiences thanks to the Battle of the Bands. Scream Dream of course will come fresh from their triumph last Friday and will no doubt still be in celebratory mood at being acclaimed as Tamworth’s Most Promising New Band. Their sound has its roots in modern Sisterhood and latter-day punk and involves sterling guitar work and punishing vocals. The New Age Gypsies offers a rock-base dose of hippydom! While the Spiral Eye contingent offer a  hippy-based dose of hippydom! Their debut show at the Arts Centre was both amazing and eye-opening and combines Velvet Underground sounds with a later Sixties atmosphere and attitude which was quite intoxicating. It will be very interesting indeed to see how that translates to the wider theatre of the Tamworth Assembly Rooms.

Completing the quartet of bands who you will already know are the ‘new’ One On One – Mr. Cyn. The band opened their account with a professional, stylish show in the ‘Battle’ contest which would probably have won them a place in the final had it not been such an amazingly strong heat.

Unlike the more alternative-based bands on the ‘Scum Ball’ line-up, Mr. Cyn should appeal to people who like to hear rock in all its various shades and anyone who likes to hear first-class arrangements and first-class musicians. As for The Detroit Sinners they are a real ‘wait and see’ act who feature a host of interesting musicians and cause wide smiles whenever their name is mentioned. Watch that space.

So five different bands and one very different concert. The Assembly Rooms is a lovely, credible setting for rock concerts and if tonight’s show is the success everyone is hoping for, it could be opening its doors on many more occasions yet. All the musicians who set up the ‘Scum Ball’ (which starts at 7pm and goes on until 12.30am) deserve support and credit so if you want to support a worthwhile show and enjoy a fine concert to boot get along to the Assembly Rooms tonight.

It costs a mere £1.50 on the door and there are not many balls you can get into for that meagre amount.

Tamworth Herald - 15/04/88
Musicbox – SNIPS
New Age Gypsies are on the lookout for a new bass player after…decided to make the move to Weymouth.

Tamworth Herald - 06/05/88
Musicbox – SNIPS
Of kaftans, rockers and some outrage
ATHERSTONE rockers the NEW AGE GYPSIES return to live action on Tuesday, May 10 with a show at the New Swan.

The Gypsies whose impressive brand of rock gained them quite a few new supporters earlier this year, have been off the scene briefly since the bass player departed and new man Dylan of former North Warwickshire faves, Spirit of Water, will be making his debut with them on Tuesday. Time to get the kaftans and headbands out again.

Tamworth Herald  - 01/07/88
Musicbox – SNIPS
Rumours abound (well, Steve Webster told me actually) that the New Age Gypsies have split up and may have to withdraw from the Festival. While this is sad news in itself it also creates a festival problem so if any of the group’s billed for Sunday want to swap to a headlining slot on Saturday, please contact Sam Holliday as soon as possible.

The Gallery

New Age Gypsies

New Age Gypsies



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