Tamworth Bands - History 1960-1990

The Sherbert Trees

Musical Genre/Type: Dodgy Psychedelic Indie
Formed: 1988 Split: 1990
Band Members:
Lead Vocals/Guitar:
Stefan Wilson (Warton)
Rhythm Guitar/Backing Vocals:
Christian Kennedy (Dordon)
[Also in: Cosmic Vibes]
Bass Guitar/Backing Vocals:
Paul Hudson (Dordon)
[Also in: Cosmic Vibes]
Roland RX8
Chris Kennedy/Danny Lee (Dordon/Polesworth)
The Mouse Song Something Held Back
Sherbet Forest Cheap Day Return to Stoat City

Spiral Eye
Sherbert Trees

Tamworth Arts Centre

Sherbert Trees
Poll Cats
Great Stan

Jolly Sailor

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

The Rathole

Shakespeare Monkeys
Sherbert Trees
Thrice Nays

Tamworth Arts Centre

Litany of Fear
Sherbert Trees

Tamworth Arts Centre

Spiral Eye
Peter Tuesday
Big Trip
The Great Divide
Sherbert Trees
The Poppy Charmers
Crystal Injection

Lichfield Arts Centre

Litany of Fear
The Ancestry
The Sherbert Trees

Tamworth Arts Centre

The Yogots
Crystal Injection
The Sherbert Trees
Fly on the Wall

The Jolly Sailor


Tamworth Herald Features

Tamworth Herald – 15/09/89
Musicbox – Big, Bad Fivesome!
FIVE varied and tasty bands combine their talents for an Arts Centre special on Sunday night.

The Big Noise will spearhead the five-pronged attack which will also see the return of much vaunted duo Infinity Incorporated and the New Puritans, the re-emergence of Shock Culture and the all new Sherbert Trees.

The five acts will all be packaged together and put onto the Arts Centre stage for a mere £1.50 so a cheap and very tasty night is promised for all.

Opening proceedings will be The Sherbert Trees. I asked Ben Machin of the Big Noise to describe the Sherbert ones and all he could come up with is ‘no one knows anything.’ This is indeed useful so look out for a band that could sound like anything from Abba to Anarchy. Suck it and see.

Second up will be Shock Culture making their first Tamworth appearance for far to long. The band, who were sadly ruled out of the festival for medical reasons (well of a kind anyway) will be more than happy to slice their guitars onstage again and their strange audience of lovers and haters alike will be very numerate again I’m sure.

Third up will be the New Puritans, a truly mighty act who boast a singer with a Bros-like smile and a sound with a Buzzcocks-like edge. According to Ben this is ‘music to trainspot to’, but don’t let THAT put you off.

Following the oh so puritans will be Infinity Incorporated of which I now know stacks. The band – who are widely travelled but have described Tamworth as having an amazing and unique scene – will be out once again to win over the crowd as they did very much at their last Arts Centre show. Hopefully this time they will be on before 4am unlike the last event and we will all be able to delve into their dungeons.

Completing Sunday’s pretty package will be The Big Noise a band so spiffingly wonderful that when faced with the group countless record companies have said ‘big who?’ We won’t say too much about the Big Noise because frankly they are very good at saying things for themselves anyway. Simply watch them and smile.

So that’s yer lot then. Five potentially cracking bands for just one pound and fifty pence. I know this Sunday night ‘War and Remembrance’ thing is pretty gripping but go on, get out and enjoy yourself.

It starts at 8pm so get there early and don’t miss a note.

Tamworth Herald – 22/09/89
Musicbox – Special Review
Sherbert Trees – Arts Centre
Interesting if somewhat over-drawn opening to Sunday’s Big band Fivesome night. The band had plenty of likeable bass warblings and a wicked overbearing guitar sound that gave them the occasional feel of a mix between our own King Wodericks and Spiral Eye. Guitar wise and tune wise this was fun but vocally it was a bit dreary and reading lyrics from a piece of paper destroys the whole point of an improvising sound like this. There’s some good songs in there but at the moment there’s too much Tree and not enough Sherbert.

Sam Holliday

Tamworth Herald – 06/10/89
Musicbox – Burnin’ Bright
The Searching – fresh from their successful appearance on the compilation album ‘Yup in Flames’ – kick off a series of dates with a major Tamworth Arts Centre show on Sunday night.

The impressive Indie popsters will join forces with the dank and mysterious Curious Oyster and new Indie guitar-act The Sherbert Trees.

The night mainly belongs to The Searching who will be making their first Tamworth appearance since a highly successful and well received Festival show. The group who number Joe Strummer among their fans, have since recorded a track for a top class compilation album ‘Yup In Flames’ and they see Sunday’s gig as the first of many.

“We want to play everywhere and anywhere in the next few months and this is the ideal place to start,” explained bassist Mark Chapman.

The Searching who are pictured here with their old line-up now feature popular local drummer Vicky Gwinnett and boast a strong set full of new material. They are keenly looking forward to the show on Sunday and will be selling copies of their album at a heavily discounted £3 apiece.

Joining The Searching will be the unique coupling of The Sherbert Trees and Curious Oyster. The Oyster belong somewhere in Bansheeville and command a lot of interest from alternative gig-goers while as The Sherbert Trees are a new Tamworth phenomena altogether. They made their debut a few weeks ago alongside the New Puritans and created a strange but lasting impression.

This entertaining looking three band show kicks off at about 8pm and a good and original night out seems assured. The Searching for something to do on Sunday night stops here.

Tamworth Herald – 20/10/89
Musicbox – Local Reviews
Just Brilliant!

Sherbert Trees – Tamworth Arts Centre
The biggest hopes that Tamworth’s (ahem) Indie scene has been able to produce in months. The Sherbert Trees have somehow learned to play in time and in tune since their brilliants Arts Centre massacre a few weeks ago. The Sherberts are (at their best) a shambolic noise and it was only the last two songs that captured the enthusiasm of that first gig. Sold out already? I hope the lads realise that practise makes imperfect in time for their next outing.
Jo Marsh

Tamworth Herald – 15/12/89
Musicbox – FESTIVE FUN!

WE have plenty of pre-Christmas shows to tell you about this week so feast your eyes on the collection of goodies below and get set for plenty of smiles in the next few days…

Tonight (Friday) – Tamworth Arts Centre
A hastily arranged show this which sees Whats This Heads Down Mindless Boogie About Nothing team up with Shock Culture for a Friday night bonanza. With the possible addition of Special Mystery Guests this promises to be a tempting alternative to Friday night pub crawling and it starts at 8pm.

Sunday Night – Tamworth Arts Centre
You are cordially invited to the Bignewyogotsherbert Christmas Show which offers you four top quality local bands and the possibility of a few carols! As the rather long title may suggest the four bands you can see are The Big Noise, The New Puritans, King Woderick and The Yogots and The Sherbert Trees all of whom have more fizz and bubbles than a bucket full of coke. It costs a mere £1.50 and apparently fancy dress is optional. I’m not sure about the Christmas Carols but I am sure this will be a heap of fun gig-goers!

Monday Night – The Castle Hotel
Another happy collection of mirth and music is in view as the meaty, beaty big and bouncy Also Smith and Jones spearhead ‘A Silent Night’. As well as enjoying the Smithies, you can laugh to the likes of Frank Skinner, Terry Cavelle, Shaun Percival and the amazing Jed ‘Everton nil’ Moore. Music is also provided by former Strap on Jack men, True Grit and Nick Lowe and all told this promises to be a riotous night of debauchery. It’s at the Castle Hotel remember and it should set Christmas off with a bang.

Monday Night – The Mean Fiddler, London
Catch 23 return to their London base again on Monday as part of the Best Band of the Year series. The boys will be taking a horde of their t-shirted fanatics again and if you want to see if there are any seats left ring. Could be a big night for the band this so here’s hoping for real festive cheer!

Tamworth Herald – 22/12/89
Musicbox – Sunday View
Sherbert Trees
I’d never seen this band before and they immediately struck me as being refreshingly different. The Sherbert trees play some instantly likeable music but they did seem to go on a bit with every song sounding like a 12-inch extended version of what it should be. Still, they lightened things and entered into the festive spirit by wearing fancy dress including a version of ‘Silent Night’ and giving out free Sherbert to a bemused Arts Centre crowd.

Sean Atkins

Tamworth Herald – 05/01/90
Letterbox - Big Moans from the Big Noise Man

Caption 1: In the Blue Corner- Martin from Musicbox Hello Sam/Martin,
This might be a long letter but please bear with me because I am quite annoyed.

Firstly, our gig with The Yogots and Sherbet Trees. Mr Martin Warrillow, who reviewed it seemed to think it was ‘dodgy’, ‘shambolic’, ‘sacrilege’ and not ‘sensible’. What we tried to do (my idea originally) was to do something ‘different’, but as I have learned in 1989, a band can’t do ‘different’ things, even in Tamworth because of people like Mr. Warrillow.

‘Whatever happened to conventional gigs?’ he says. I may be wrong, but I thought it would be boring to see The Big Noise and The New Puritans yet again, so we tried to enjoy ourselves, in an original way- something Mr. Warrillow obviously has no perception of at all.

Caption 2: In the Red Corner- Carl from Big Noise ‘Better audience reaction than Catch 23 last week.’ He said. It’s so difficult for Martin to understand, it’s a week before Christmas, the last gig of the year for most people, balloons, a Christmas tree, a vicar, a monk, a nun, etc…on stage, everyone just wanted to party, which they did, I’ve never seen so many people dancing at the Arts Centre.

Admittedly, we played not very well, but live gigs are not about musical ability: the Musicbox poll would be very different if this was the case. (Editor’s Note: You came fifth, remember!).

Obviously, Mr Warrillow would enjoy himself more at a ‘Bash Out The Odd’ gig, where they play their instruments properly, note perfect and technically good.

I know what you’re thinking, if you’ve read this far- it was Mr. Warrillow’s personal opinion, yes, and this was mine!

Secondly, this Arts Centre business. The band was playing for the paying of the lights and the stage. Well, perhaps I’m being very cheeky, but I think it’s a disgrace. New bands often make a loss on gigs there, £40 for an acoustically awful room, and a bar (which they must make money on). It doesn’t open until after 5 o’clock, so you have to rush to get the gear in, set up the PA and sound-check four bands (expected by Tamworth for some reason). Fortunately, the new bar staff are very helpful. The best thing that could be done is for the money ‘raised’ to be spent on polystyrene tiles or old carpet for the walls, to get rid of the dreadful reverb of the room.

I know that all this bitching is not your scene at all, but too many people just accept everything as they are. I don’t want to sound like a ******* but I am!

As for Mr. Warrillow, I don’t want him to come to any more of our gigs, because he will definitely be appearing in future handouts.

Carl (The Big Noise)
(P.S. This is all my view only, not The Big Noise or the New Puritans.)

Sam Holliday replies…

- In defence of Martin Warrillow – I thought this review was quite fun and conveyed to those who missed the gig that it wasn’t your average Arts Centre bash. I thought his tongue was in his cheek and his comments were fair, and I’m amazed you took so much offence. Perhaps, bands in Tamworth are so used to getting ‘nice’, ‘positive’ reviews from me that when someone even slightly criticises, they can’t cope. Sad really.

- In defence of the Arts Centre – The debate around the Arts Centre has not fallen on deaf ears, and I have been impressed by the genuine desire to improve matters shown by manager Dave Fortune. Many groups, Catch 23, Kraze, Fetch Eddie, etc. – have rallied around since the last public attack and I for one feel that the criticism is a little unfair while they are trying to change things. Ask yourself this Carl, where would The Big Noise (or for that matter any local band) be without the place? Not fifth in the poll, that’s for certain!

Love, Sam, XX

Tamworth Herald – 27/04/90
Musicbox – It’s Eyes Down
Dateline: Friday April 27. Venue: Tamworth Arts Centre. Bands – Spiral Eye/Nutmeg/Sherbert Trees
THOSE loveable chappies from Spiral Eye hit home base tonight (Friday) when they spearhead a three band show at Tamworth Arts Centre.

The Spirallers will be enjoying their own version of ‘Friday Night Live’ alongside the tasteful Sherbert Trees and highly regarded psychedelic crooners Nutmeg.

It is a show which promises a lot and judging by the endearing popularity of Spiral Eye it should break the usual sequence of disappointing Friday night audiences.

Headlining the night will be the Spiral boys who are in Tamworth action for the first time for several months. The band who have been travelling around Britain playing a series of impressive shows are looking forward to coming home and showing loyal local followers some of the tricks they have picked up en route.

“We are trying to cram as many gigs in as possible at the moment but we like to come back to Tamworth every so often and play a show like this,” explained singer Baz. “We are particularly pleased this time to have not only the Sherbert Trees with us but also Nutmeg who really are a happening band.”

The Spirals have started to attract good attention throughout the UK having earned fanzine interest in the South and also being hyped as a heavy metal sensation in Barnsley! They are now keeping a particular eye on the London scene and they are hoping that their frequent trips to the Capital will result in some much needed national press interest.

“We are looking very hard to contact people in London and it is starting to pay off although we can’t say too much at the moment,” said Jim.

Teaming up with the MUSICBOX faves will be the Sherbert Trees a band who have the unlikely distinction of being one of Rikk Quay’s favourite groups. The Sherbert Trees are one of the few groups in the area that genuinely deserve the term ‘unique’ and all we can advise is if you want to see what they’re like you are going to have to get along on the night. Let’s just say they suit the bill perfectly and are always interesting.

Completing tonight’s show are Nutmeg who hail from Cambridge. Spiral Eye met them at a concert in London and were absolutely wowed by them. They play classic late Sixties style thrash psychedelia and they have already attracted some of the national attention that Spiral Eye crave.

“They are an excellent band and I am sure they will go down very well,” said Baz.

It sounds like a fine night of entertainment and if you can break your normal ‘I am not going out on a Friday night’ philosophy, methinks you are going to enjoy this one’. Entry fee is a ludicrously cheap £2.

Sherbert Trees/Nutmeg/Spiral Eye – Tamworth Arts
Sadly the BOX never made it to this gig but we received this most curious of reviews which was written on a brown paper bag. It said simply…

‘The Sherbert Trees – Where’s Christian? Nutmeg – Spiral Eye, Spiral Eye, Spiral Eye, Spiral Eye – WOW!
Harold and Hilda

Tamworth Herald – 04/05/90
FOUR local acts take part in a special May Day Bonanza gig tonight (Friday).

The show at the Jolly Sailor features the respective talents of musicians The Sherbert Trees and The Poll Cats plus local comics The Great Stan and Buey.

All the performers on offer combine their talents under the ‘Big red Event’ banner from 8pm-11pm. It costs £2 waged, £1 unwaged.

Tamworth Herald – 11/05/90
Musicbox – More local reviews

Spiral Eye/Nutmeg/Sherbert Trees – Tamworth Arts Centre
Sherbert Trees: They had a good sound and were enjoyed by the large crowd that turned up. Nutmeg: They gave a very good performance with strong exciting songs with good guitar work and powerful vocals. They kept the crowd interested and I think many others in the crowd share my opinion when I say they would be very, very welcome back at the Arts Centre. Spiral Eye: They gave a full performance with a good mixture of old and new songs and I am sure the new tunes will become as popular as the old classics. Overall: One of the better nights at the Arts Centre and well worth the £2 entry fee.


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.

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

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 – 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

Tamworth Herald – 07/09/90
Musicbox – Gig Previews
Gritty Monkys line-up
Tamworth is a two gig Town again on Sunday with two very contrasting shows on offer.

At the Rathole former Strap On Jackites True Grit team up with powerful metallurgists Suicide Blonde while down the road at the Arts Centre there are Indie pleasures to enjoy in the shape of The Shakespeare Monkeys, The Sherbert Trees and a new local band the Thrice Nays.

Tamworth Arts Centre – The Shakespeare Monkeys/The Sherbert Trees/ The Thrice Nays - £1.50 entry Fee (I think!)
A fine trio of new Indie blood this featuring two of the area’s most enterprising and much vaunted new acts and one completely unheard outfit. The two ‘relative’ oldies are The Sherberts and The Monkeys both of whom impressed at the Rathole recently and are keen to warn the cockles of your hearts yet again. Completing the line-up are The Thrice Nays a brand new group who describe themselves as ‘a bizarre mix of Black Lace/Wonderstuff and Indie fun.” Sounds good.

And oh! Yes, a final point. Apparently, The Monkeymen have been called many different things in the past (mainly by this paper) but the DEFINITIVE is The Shakespeare Monkeys so get it rights!!!

Tamworth Herald – 14/09/90
Musicbox – Gigs Galore
We have no less than five fine local concerts for you to think about this week featuring top local faves like Wolfsbane, Catch 23 and Sherbert Trees as well as classy out of Towners like Walk on Fire, The Prudes and more.

The gigs – three in Tamworth and one each in Lichfield and Bedworth – offer local punters a chance to enjoy a whole array of talents so without further ado here is gig-list followed by a more detailed breakdown.

Tonight (Friday)
Tamworth Arts Centre: Litany of Fear/Sherbert Trees
Lichfield Arts Centre: Wolfsbane/Roma/Gates of Purity

The Rathole: Walk on Fire/The Wilsonz

The Rathole: The Prudes plus support
Bedworth Civic Hall: Catch 23

And a little more detail? Well tonight, Friday you can make the short journey to Tamworth Arts Centre to enjoy the double talents of Litany of Fear and The Sherbert Trees. The duo, both of whom walk on the wilder side of life, offer an interesting mixture of gothic enterprise and modern experimentation and the gig costs just £1.50 on the door and runs from 8pm onwards. Meanwhile up the road at Lichfield Arts Centre, Wolfsbane play one of their final warm-up shows before the Iron Maiden Tour when they join forces with Roma and Gates of Purity. Lichfield fans – and a fair sprinkling of Tamworth travellers – are sure to lap this one up and it costs just £3.50 with a £1 reduction for the unemployed.

Sunday night has only one show on offer – the pairing of Walk On Fire and The Wilsonz. Headliners Walk On Fire are a rock inspired act whose big lists of names of the calibre of Bryan Adams, Alex Harvey, Frankie Miller among influences and they offer ‘strong’ songs, memorable melodies and most of all ‘a voice’. Having recently recorded with a man who has worked with Big Country and The Cars they look a different kind of band for Tamworth and could go down well. Support is provided by The Wilsonz, a band who have been compared in the past to Wolfsbane and have the same kind of ‘live fast, die fast’ style material. MUSICBOX has heard good things about this band. Nuff said.

And so on to Thursday night where Atherstone heroes Catch 23 make a welcome return to live action with a concert at Bedworth Civic HALL. We don’t know a great deal about this one.

Meanwhile nearer to home. The Rathole hosts the highly-rated Prudes. This is a band of serious note who have made regular incursions into the Indie and Alternative charts and boast a mixture of good guitars, Smiths-appreciation and a bevy of adoring press critics in their pockets. Big band, big night and big (as yet unknown) support act which admirably rounds off a BIG week of gigs.

Tamworth Herald – 28/09/90
Musicbox – Chemikill shoot to the top in fine Arts Centre bash
Chemikill – Tamworth Arts Centre
I was on my way to the pub when I was astounded to see that Chemikill were playing at the Arts Centre as support to The Sherbert Trees and Litany of Fear. I didn’t review those bands as no doubt there is someone who enjoys their sounds better than I do but it was great to see Chemikill as a late addition to the bill.

At last it seems as if they have got a stable line-up with an extra guitarist called Mick and old veteran Mick Goodby on vocals. As I watched it soon became apparent that even though Mick was a little worse for wear this was going to be a great gig. Their music has changed a lot with the extra guitarist adding edge and the vocalist singing very well. They even resurrected the old BHX standard ‘The Reaper’ which sounded even better that the original. The highlight of the set was ‘The Ripper’ and the instrumental ‘Into The Unknown’. Also smilemaking was the way the new guitarist played ‘Last Of The Summer Wine’ on the mouth organ!
Malcolm The Metal God of Glascote.

Tamworth Herald – 05/10/90
Musicbox – Spiral Silliness
Spiral Eye/Peter Tuesday/Big Trip/The Great Divide/Sherbert Trees/The Poppy Charmers/Crystal Injection – Lichfield Arts Centre
THE PICTURESQUE and tranquil city of the three sisters tends to bask in its memories of Georgian ways and heroes like Dr. Johnson, Garrick and Huxley, who are not only respectable, but also dead.

Last Wednesday, hard by the Bishop’s Pool, Lichfield received its rudest shock since Cromwell’s army besieged the city and all but demolished the cathedral in 1645.

Repitle Records took over the Arts Centre to launch its latest compilation of Indie pop groups and seven local bands drew the biggest audience of teenage fashion strutters in living memory.

Local heroes like Peter Tuesday and Big Trip rose to new heights in their quest to conquer the Midlands. The Great Divide played a mysterious and parallel set in the picture gallery while The Poppy Charmers and Crystal Injection did their stuff to a delighted audience in the main auditorium.

Less familiar to the trendy natives were Sherbert Trees on a marauding visit from Tamworth. “Who were they?” the kids scuttled around asking, “They were good!”

Spiral Eye on the other hand were on a marauding visit from another world. The audience had come to see their Lichfield favourites and probably had no idea who these hypnotic monsters were, but they watched with curiosity, then with enthusiasm, then with rapture. They joined the Spirals on another planet.

At the end of their set they played the usual encore but the audience demanded more. They played ‘Uncertainty’ which is their golden oldie and is usually no longer in their repertoire. But still the audience demanded more.

Rev. Dr. JC Feedback

Tamworth Herald – 30/11/90
Musicbox – three to make you smile!
Tamworth Arts Centre and The Rathole will be competing for your attention this week with three fine looking shows to choose from.

Sunday night offers two good strong alternative/Indie/pop line-ups and then on Thursday it is a very big night at the Rathole when the doors are opened to welcome the powerful Telesopes in a much vaunted show.

Here are more details of what to expect this week, so take your pick and plan your night(s) out…

Tamworth Arts Centre – Litany of Fear/The Ancestry and The Sherbert Trees
The Rathole – The Australians/Honeyjump

The Rathole – The Telescopes/Slow Drive/The Big Trip

That’s the line-up in general then, here are the previews in a wee bit more details for those who may not know much about who or what is on offer…

Litany of Fear/The Ancestry/Sherbert Trees – Tamworth Arts Centre
A rip-roaring line-up this, one which combines some fine local talent with some splendid out-of-town music. Litany of Fear and The Ancestry are kindred spirits who will be in action on Sunday as the first part of a series of link-ups between the bands in future months. Litany of Fear you know all about, a talented and powerful band from the alternative/neo-gothic frame of mind while The Ancestry are a three piece alternative group influenced by the likes of Ghost Dance and Siouxsie and the Banshees. It is hoped that the two bands will be on a major national tour together very soon and this will be the first chance for Tamworth fans to see them on the same stage. The Sherbert Trees meanwhile make a relatively rare Tamworth appearance as well bringing their unique charm to the proceedings and making it a very strong line-up for you all to enjoy. Tamworth Arts Centre, Sunday.

Tamworth Herald – 14/12/90
Musicbox – What a week!
Tamworth’s music lovers are set for a real Christmas treat this week with no less than FOUR major concerts on offer.

Everyone from firm favourites like The Yogots and Rhythm Damage to the all-new Foundation and the revamped Scream Dream will be in action this week in easily the busiest week since the Festival.

In a nutshell here is what is happening, where and when…

Tamworth Arts Centre
The Foundation/Empire Falls plus Special Guests.
The Rathole
Scream Dream plus Guests

The Jolly Sailor
The Yogots/Crystal Injection/The Sherbert Trees/Fly on the Wall

The Rathole
Rhythm Damage/Catch 23/Emma Gibbs Loves Badges/Vindaloo Breakfast/Big Noise/Guilty Party/Sindy’s Sonic Garden

Here in a bit more detail is what you can expect to see on the various nights, so take your pick of the shows on offer and get your dancing boots on.

Tuesday – The Jolly Sailor
The Yogots/Crystal Injection/The Sherbert Trees/Fly On The Wall
A big night for the Yogites as this is the highly popular band’s Christmas party! The Jolly Sailor is a suitably jolly venue to round off the very jolly year for The Yogots which has seen them support the New Fast Automatic Daffodils and the Senseless Things, cut a single and earn mass press acclaim. New songs are promised and a jolly night is assured. In support are the weird and wonderful Sherbert Trees, those likeable, those likeable noise-mongers from the Birdland and Mary Chain school called Crystal Injection and finally Fly On The Wall a fresh-faced pop band with plenty of quality. It kicks off at 7.30 and don’t forget the venue – the Jolly Sailor.

Tamworth Herald – 28/12/90
Musicbox – Bags of smiles at festive shows
PRACTICALLY every local band worth is (or her) salt has been in action over the Festive period and here we try and catch up with two of the biggest shows on offer.

Sherbert Trees – Jolly Sailor
Not my favourite band, I must admit. They are good at what they do but the over-indulgent instrumentals didn’t really capture my imagination and I found myself losing interest. Unfortunately, the set didn’t get much better as it went on – maybe they should have covered a few classic Christmas songs to liven it up.
Sean Atkins

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