Tamworth Bands History : 1989
What a year, what a year, what a mighty, mighty, fine year.
The year started with the fantastic news that Catch 23 had won throught to the final of the TSB Rockschool for the second year running.
The year saw the appearance of several new and exciting local bands, the one with the most irritating of names: What’s This Head Down Mindless Boogie About Nothing, Big Noise, the Herb Garden, New Puritans and many more. Alreday established bands consolidated themselves in 1989 especially Emma Gibbs Loves Badges, Fetch Eddie and Spiral Eye.
Atherstone favourites Dance Stance appeared on 'Opportunity Knocks'.
1989 also saw the start of a new local entertainment phenomenon - the Cabaret Night. Friday nights at the Arts Centre saw a selection of acts appearing for your entertainment - these included the then 'unknown' Frank Skinner.
In March, a whole coach load of us went off to Bradford to see Catch 23 compete in the TSB Rockschool - and yes...they WON!!!
On the journey back from Bradford, Rikk Quay of The DHSS and Sam Holliday while chatting about Tamworth F.C. and the fact that they were to appear in the F.A. vase final that year - came up with the bright idea of The DHSS doing a football song!! And yes, they did it. In April The DHSS and several Tamworth F.C. football players produced 'Tamworth Boys' which was released as the official Wembley song. Loosely based on a rearrangement of The DHSS's anthemic "Ooh, Ooh, Ooh, La, La, La" song - the song was an instant hit.
Later that month, in less celebratory mood, Lee Revelle and Edward ian Armchair organised a Hillsborough Benefit gig for the victims of the Hillsborough football disaster. Bands appearing included WIN. Shock Culture, Fetch Eddie, Emma Gibbs, Catch 23 and the debut appearance of Armchair Thrash - a spin-off of The DHSS comprising Edward ian Armchair and John Reeman.
Members of The DHSS continued to do everything other than actually perform as a band when they backed Buttercup with his debut release "Can't Get My Breath" as Big Butty and The Wide Boys recorded the track at Expresso Bongo and filmed an action-packed video at the Tavern in the Town. The band did finally get their act together and performed (what was to be their final gig) at the Scumball in June at the Assembly Rooms alongside Scream Dream and Flowers in the Attic.
Breaking Point disappeared forever only for 'Divine Intervention' to emerge from their ashes.
The Festival once again was a monster hit! with Wolfsbane headlining the two-day event - and just a week later they released their debut album 'Live Fast, Die Fast' on July 24th 1989. They had spent the year touring the States, had produced their first video, had toured Europe, headlined the Tamworth Rock Festival and now released their first LP, selling 15,000 in it's first week, entering the charts at No. 48.
In August, it was officially announced that The DHSS had split as a four-piece with Rikk Quay's services no longer being required by remaining members John Reeman, Anice Byfield and Edward ian Armchair. These three had performed successfully without Quay at the Festival but did not officially explain their reasons until a special feature appeared in the Herald.
There were better things to celebrate in the autumn with Dance Stance and Catch 23 repeatedly playing the Mean Fiddler. Wolfsbane regularly played the Marquee and also supprted Guns 'n' Roses. Catch 23 appeared several times on national TV.
October 1989 saw the first 'rave' in the town with 'Spectrum '89' taking place at Polesworth. In contrast the same month saw the emergence of the Expresso Bongo Orchestra as a new 'different' type of local band.
November saw Wolfsbane release their first Def-American single - 'Shakin' - receiving a luke-warm reception it was seen as a teaser ahead of the 'blockbuster' release in early 1990 of 'I Like It Hot'.
And then finally at the end of the year, the local Musicbox Poll saw Catch 23 and Wolfsbane sweep the board and the month also saw Edward ian Armchair announcing the sacking of all members of the DHSS, vowing to start 1990 with a new-look band, playing 'real' instruments.