1981 – 1984

“Too few certificates, too many daydreams…”

I left school August 1980 into the unknown wide webless world. Too few certificates, too many daydreams. Youth is indeed wasted on the young. The ’80’s has a reputation ( quite rightly in some cases) as a decade of decadance; mullets; ( guilty as charged), and self obsession ( not guilty your honour). All I’ll say is; Echo and The Bunnymen; Wah!, Teardrop Explodes; China Crisis; The Pale Fountains, Icicle Works, Big In Japan. That’s just one city. British music was second to none, and was taking all the influences from the past, and infiltrating the future. ‘Shine So Hard’ in Buxton, January 1981. At last the faraway towns were getting their rewards, it wasn’t about In The City or London Calling anymore. We were here all the time if only they would have looked. It wasn’t all local music for local people though.

Just as New York had been the catalyst for punk, that same unique city was now transmitting sound waves over the water which were to influence the destination of my next musical direction. Was Not Was; The Bloods, Bush Tetras; ESG; and the Sugarhill label encapsulated the first few years of the decade. Funky 4 Plus 1, The Treacherous 3, The Furious 5. Talking Heads had always been there, but now they were adding rhythm to their sound. A Certain Ratio; New Order; Dislocation Dance; The Durutti Column; Quando Quango;experimenting, grooving, understated. Another (northern) city. It’s only since looking back and listening to our demos and rehearsal tapes how much we were ploughing the same furrow as all the above, in some cases I only discovered this through retrospective listening!
2-Tone, Factory, Fast, Rough Trade, Small Wonder; just a few of the record labels that had also grown out of the punk ethic of Do It Yourself. A starting point for many bands that went on to do bigger things.

To counteract the post punk music was the New Romanticism movement. The glamorous, androgynous look of the Blitz boys and girls was the antithesis of the anti fashion stance of groups like The Pop Group and The Slits. I am not ashamed to say that I was drawn into this for a while, but only on a small scale. No Pill Box hats or pirates outfits,just the subtle application of make up and a cavalry shirt/Tukka Boot/primary coloured trouser combination. All done at the fraction of the price.

But things were about to get very unglamorous.