Tamworth Bands - History 1960-1990
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Big Noise

The Big Noise
The Big Noise
Photograph courtesy: Tamworth Herald
The Gallery

Musical Type/Genre: Pop
Formed: 1989

Band Members:
Ben Machin
Carl Harris
Ana Situnyake

Gigs:
12/02/89
Tamworth Rock Festival - Indoor Festival
CATCH 23
Emma Gibbs Loves Badges
Big Noise
Shock Culture

Tamworth Arts Centre

14/01/90
Rape in Yellow
Big Noise
Lincolns

20/01/90
Spiral Eye
Fetch Eddie
Big Noise
Tamworth Arts Centre

03/03/90
Big Noise
Bradford Battle of the Bands

20/12/90
Rhythm Damage
Catch 23
Emma Gibbs Loves Badges
Vindaloo Breakfast
Big Noise
Guilty Party
Sindy’s Sonic Garden

The Rathole

Tamworth Herald Features:

Tamworth Herald – 03/02/89
Musicbox – Festival set for powerful launch
Tamworth Indoor Rock Festival 1989
THE Tamworth Indoor Rock Festival begins a month long stint at the Arts Centre on Sunday with a tempting looking concert combining the old and the new of the local music scene.

Over the next four Sundays, 15 bands will play under the Indoor Festival banner concluding on Sunday March 5 with the eagerly awaited return of the mighty Wolfsbane.

Before then however there are bags of goodies to look forward to. Scream Dream, DHSS, Bash Out The Odd (ex-Space Seeds) Never Say Die, Spiral Eye, Kraze and several brand new bands will combine their talents for the festival and on Sunday the whole rambling charabang gets off to a powerful start.

The four acts who will hit the Arts Centre stage this week are the award-winning Catch 23, the much-admired Emma Gibbs Loves Badges and two brand new groups – The Big Noise and Shock Culture.

For Catch 23, the show will be a triumphant homecoming. The band have not headlined the Arts Centre for many moons and they are keen to show their natural audience just what has made them one of the most talked about young bands in the country. For the past two years they have been chosen as the best school/college age rock band in the whole of the Midlands and this year they are hoping to extend that to the whole country by winning the final of the TSN Rockschool contest. They have powerful allies to that end – dj Mike Read is an acknowledged example – and if you want to see why, then just stand back and listen on Sunday night. Their all new set will include the three songs that won them the TSB regional heat, including MUSICBOX song of year ‘Hangin’ On’ plus many, many more that may be unfamiliar to those who haven’t caught the band in a long time. Expect to be impressed.

The other established band on the line-up are Emma Gibbs Loves Badges, who specifically requested to play alongside Catch 23. Lee Revelle’s band have undergone somewhat of a transformation since their early days and the increased profile and popularity of their performance indicates that it is a change that has been welcomed by the masses. I have become an admirer but being as I was slagged of for disliking them in the start and then slagged off for LIKING them in their last gig-fanzine I will offer no opinion at all because it would obviously be invalid. Suffice to say that they are very watchable these days. Try not to miss them.

Teaming up with these two old bands (seems daft calling Catch 23 old doesn’t it!) are two brand new acts – The Big Noise and Shock Culture. The latter, Shock Culture are a complete mystery to me unfortunately, and all I can say is that they are ideal festival material. By that I mean something which you can watch without any preconceptions allowing YOU to pigeon-hole them (if you must) before I do (if I must). There, that was a good way of hiding my ignorance wasn’t it.

Interesting

Completing the show is The Big Noise. This outfit made up of Ben Machin, Carl Harris and Ana Situnyake say they are influenced by the likes of That Petrol Emotion, Teardrop Explodes and Captain Beefheart.

“The band are crispy in a crunchy sort of way.” Insists their manifesto. “You’ll have to listen to see what you think.”

Actually they sound pretty interesting and they are almost certain to get a good review because Ben Machin’s sister Helen is a Herald scribe who will no-doubtedly beat me up if I dare to dislike them.”

That’s the line-up then, pop kings Catch 23, the unique Emma Gibbs, the mysterious Shock Culture and the alt-popsters The Big Noise. It is a very entertaining looking line-up and at just £1 per person entry it represents the best value of the year.

The proceeds from the show (starts 8pm) will go towards this years Tamworth (outdoor) Rock Festival so that’s another good reason not to miss it. We’re looking for a capacity crowd on the night, you won’t let us down will you?

Tamworth Herald – 03/02/89
Musicbox – Newsbeat
I‘m afraid the demos are beginning to pile up on my desk again and I would ask bands to be patient in waiting for reviews as the scene is getting busier. As well as those already mentioned we have had tapes from the likes of Big Muff and The Big Noise.

Tamworth Herald – 03/02/89
Musicbox – Festival set for powerful launch
Tamworth Indoor Rock Festival 1989
THE Tamworth Indoor Rock Festival begins a month long stint at the Arts Centre on Sunday with a tempting looking concert combining the old and the new of the local music scene.

Over the next four Sundays, 15 bands will play under the Indoor Festival banner concluding on Sunday March 5 with the eagerly awaited return of the mighty Wolfsbane.

Before then however there are bags of goodies to look forward to. Scream Dream, DHSS, Bash Out The Odd (ex-Space Seeds) Never Say Die, Spiral Eye, Kraze and several brand new bands will combine their talents for the festival and on Sunday the whole rambling charabang gets off to a powerful start.

The four acts who will hit the Arts Centre stage this week are the award-winning Catch 23, the much-admired Emma Gibbs Loves Badges and two brand new groups – The Big Noise and Shock Culture.

For Catch 23, the show will be a triumphant homecoming. The band have not headlined the Arts Centre for many moons and they are keen to show their natural audience just what has made them one of the most talked about young bands in the country. For the past two years they have been chosen as the best school/college age rock band in the whole of the Midlands and this year they are hoping to extend that to the whole country by winning the final of the TSN Rockschool contest. They have powerful allies to that end – dj Mike Read is an acknowledged example – and if you want to see why, then just stand back and listen on Sunday night. Their all new set will include the three songs that won them the TSB regional heat, including MUSICBOX song of year ‘Hangin’ On’ plus many, many more that may be unfamiliar to those who haven’t caught the band in a long time. Expect to be impressed.

The other established band on the line-up are Emma Gibbs Loves Badges, who specifically requested to play alongside Catch 23. Lee Revelle’s band have undergone somewhat of a transformation since their early days and the increased profile and popularity of their performance indicates that it is a change that has been welcomed by the masses. I have become an admirer but being as I was slagged of for disliking them in the start and then slagged off for LIKING them in their last gig-fanzine I will offer no opinion at all because it would obviously be invalid. Suffice to say that they are very watchable these days. Try not to miss them.

Teaming up with these two old bands (seems daft calling Catch 23 old doesn’t it!) are two brand new acts – The Big Noise and Shock Culture. The latter, Shock Culture are a complete mystery to me unfortunately, and all I can say is that they are ideal festival material. By that I mean something which you can watch without any preconceptions allowing YOU to pigeon-hole them (if you must) before I do (if I must). There, that was a good way of hiding my ignorance wasn’t it.

Interesting

Completing the show is The Big Noise. This outfit made up of Ben Machin, Carl Harris and Ana Situnyake say they are influenced by the likes of That Petrol Emotion, Teardrop Explodes and Captain Beefheart.

“The band are crispy in a crunchy sort of way.” Insists their manifesto. “You’ll have to listen to see what you think.”

Actually they sound pretty interesting and they are almost certain to get a good review because Ben Machin’s sister Helen is a Herald scribe who will no-doubtedly beat me up if I dare to dislike them.”

That’s the line-up then, pop kings Catch 23, the unique Emma Gibbs, the mysterious Shock Culture and the alt-popsters The Big Noise. It is a very entertaining looking line-up and at just £1 per person entry it represents the best value of the year.

The proceeds from the show (starts 8pm) will go towards this years Tamworth (outdoor) Rock Festival so that’s another good reason not to miss it. We’re looking for a capacity crowd on the night, you won’t let us down will you?

Tamworth Herald – 17/02/89
Musicbox – The first (fab) instalment
Gig Review
The Tamworth Indoor Rock Festival got off to a cracking start on Sunday night. A huge 200+ crowd, a marvellous sound (best ever methinks from Den and Gaz Byfield) and four cracking sets. They went something like this…

The Big Noise
An extremely accomplished and confident debut from a band who clearly have a good future locally and beyond. The band played honest to goodness guitar music (in spite of an honest to goodness drum machine!) and the axe-attack was relentless and exciting. The powerful Ben Machin tended to dominate the stage with his aggressive and angry vocal-line reminding me of pre-braindead Weller. The songs were all of a very high standard from the band’s own gritty ditty ‘Always The Same’ to a note-perfect cover of the tremendous ‘Pump It Up’. Altogether it made for a splendid set from a trio who made an awful lot of new friends and admirers on the night.

Review – Sam Holliday

Tamworth Herald – 03/03/89
Musicbox – SNIPS
A couple of gigs on the horizon see the Comic Relief show on March 10 at the Arts Centre, a possible Searching/Rape in Yellow gig on March 12 and a Big Noise show on April 2. The Big Noise are looking for support acts for that one.

Tamworth Herald – 24/03/89
MUSICBOX – IT’S A DEMO BLITZ
Yes at last! After months of hording two million local demo tapes in my bedroom, I have finally allowed ten or so to escape to be reviewed. With the help of fellow MUSICBOX scribes Martin Warrilow and Helen Machin we have sifted our way through all the demos listed below and given your our individual guide to each.

The star rating for each is given out of five and is personal to the individual reviewer but as a guide it is…

*****…Mega, Mega
****…Mega
***…Quite Mega
**…Not Mega
*…Mega Crud

The Big Noise – Emergence (****)
Fine debut demo from a group who show both professionalism and maturity for a new act. In just a few months the group have identified their sound and direction in a positive and strong way and the result is a big noise which is a great noise. The vocals are always impressive, the songs are original and well-balanced and the only thing missing here is a real ‘oomph’ whereby you feel the group need perhaps an extra hard edge to make their attack hit home still harder. Best of the four tracks herewith is the splendid ‘Still I Read’ which is a real corker.
Sam Holliday

Tamworth Herald – 31/03/89
Musicbox – Big noises at the Arts Centre
Tamworth Arts Centre opens its doors for another fine night of entertainment on Sunday when three relatively new acts hit the boards.

The stylish guitar-act Big Noise lead the charge with the able support of MUSICBOX poll favourites Flowers in the Attic and new Smithites Shock Culture.

The gig described as an ‘April Fools Binge’ (but it’s April 2nd boys!!!) has been organised by Big Noise and it is possible they will add a fourth act before the big day.

This very interesting looking new band showcase will cost just one pound of you hard earned cash and that should bring a big and noisy crowd into the Arts Centre. Sunday’s the day!

Tamworth Herald – 12/05/89
Musicbox – Get set for some more (big) noises!
THE BIG NOISE return to blast the Arts Centre on Sunday with their very own brand of powerful guitar music. Lead singer Ben Machin has promised the band will be bringing their usual mass of followers (if she can make it!) Volatile stuff this!

They will be joined on the night by Shock Culture, Fudge Tunnel and the New Puritans – and all at the bargain price of £1. How can you resist? Be there or be somewhere else!

The New Puritans welcome trainspotters as usual - and with their new acoustic sound they claim they will “blow the audience’s pants off”. Could be interesting!

Nottingham-based Fudge Tunnel look set to convert a whole lot of Tamworth music lovers with a sound that has been described as indescribable. Noisy tunes, they say. Could be a great thing for the Arts Centre.

Finally Tamworth’s most oft-seen sons of late, Shock Culture will be showing off their ripped jeans and jangly guitar sound complete with tambourines and a lot of energy.

It all promises to be a great night – so come on down at 8pm!

Preview – Helen Machin (No relation to Ben – HONEST!)

Tamworth Herald – 18/05/89
Musicbox – Gig Review
Fudge Tunnel/Big Noise/Shock Culture/New Puritans – Arts Centre

Fudge Tunnel
LOUD and very rude! Great guitars, great music, this thrash/metal sound went down a storm with the Arts Centre crowd – it was Fudge Tunnel’s first appearance in Tamworth and it doesn’t look like their last. But what happened to the vocals.

Big Noise
More big noises from the band who know how to make them including two new songs – “Can’t help myself” which was BRILLIANT. Their other newie “Volatile” was not so ho, but the powerful “Crawling up the wall” plus the Arts Centre fave – their cover of “Pump It Up” ensured that Big Noise made another big impression in Tamworth.

Shock Culture
WHY oh why do they do cover versions when their own songs are so much better? “Tumbledown” and “Six Ways” were fantastic, but their “Going Underground” was very disappointing. Not that their huge following would agree with me though.

New Puritans
FANTASTIC. I’ve only seen these once before, but I’m now a conformed follower – even down to buying their demo “No Such Chance” was definitely the song of the night. If you haven’t seen them yet, you are definitely missing out. And by the way, Ben and Carl those wigs don’t fool anyone and don’t pretend it’s for tax reasons.

Review: Helen Machin

Tamworth Herald – 25/05/89
Musicbox – Take your pick!
LAST week we printed a review of the Shock Culture/Big Noise and New Puritans show. In the same week no less than three alternative reviews/letters appeared on the gig, and as I am always trying to open this column to readers, I am using two of them. Right, fire away…

Dear Sam,

I am writing to you to give you my review of the ‘Trainspotters’ concert at the Arts Centre on Sunday June 14th with Fudge Tunnel, The Big Noise, Shock Culture and The New Puritans.

First on stage was Fudge Tunnel providing an original underground sound, comprising of a lot of feedback which they managed to keep in key with the rest of the music.

Not bad for a first gig, but unfortunately did not go down too well with most of the indie-inclined audience.

Next on were the Big Noise whose set was a bit weak to start with but became a lot stronger further into the set.

Biggest disappointment of the night were Shock Culture whose ‘jangly’ set merely irritated the more discerning music fans. Although they got a good response from the audience I do believe this is because most of them go to the same college as Shock Culture!

Headlining for the first time were the New Puritans. When they started with ‘The second before you go’ and ‘No such chance’ they proved that they are losing The Wedding Present sound and are starting to sound like the New Puritans at last. The Wedding Present covers were covers and not rip-offs and their new song ‘So lonely’ was the most original sounding to date. The audience were picking up on the electric atmosphere the Puritans were creating, and they loved it, and for the first time since I have been going to the Arts Centre people were dancing.

A fun night out for all the family, that is if they’re not trainspotting!

C. Kennedy

Tamworth Herald – 02/06/89
Musicbox – Letters to the editor

Dear Sam,
Well another good night down the Arts Centre – put it this way – one band were good but we were lacking in numbers! Tamworth missed some good sounds from Big Noise who were as brilliant as usual.

Shock Culture improve all the time and they have proved they are better than just some cuddly school band! (so less of the bitching back row). Next come the ‘New Puritans’, well just fab, no other words and their tape is worth getting with numbers such as ‘No Such Chance’, but sadly no ‘Green Door’. It was basically just a good line-up and lets hope its not too long before they are back!

All the best,
Big Noise fan

Tamworth Herald – 16/06/89
Musicbox – Reviews
BIG NOISE DEMO – EAT AT BENS*****
THE NOISE is getting bigger and bigger. Another fab demo which is even better that the first. Six quality tracks, well-produced with strong vocals and a real sense of humour.

These lad have already proved they’re brilliant live and are now well on the way to proving they can do it in the studio as well.

“Hang on to it” may not be THAT inspiring – but say what you will, their sound is UNIQUE – no rip offs here!

Hearing is definitely believing – so ‘Eat At Bens’ and let the Big Noise boys server you a treat.

P.S. When do we get to see drummer Stuart Farquar??

J.B

Tamworth Herald – 25/08/89
Musicbox – SNIPS…NEWS
The Big Noise are playing at Tamworth Arts Centre on Sunday September 17 alongside The New Puritans. A third band is now being sought to join the festivities.

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 – 15/09/89
Musicbox – Snips
The Big Noise who are in the midst of some interesting label deals (more info soon) are still looking to acquire a drummer. They are getting pretty desperate so if you CAN help then please ring.

Tamworth Herald – 22/09/89
Musicbox – Special Review

The Big Noise – Tamworth Arts Centre
Not the best big Noise gig I’ve seen I must admit. That infernal drum machine was either too loud or too Bolshie to give the rest of the band a chance to shine and the group themselves seemed conscious of their unhelpful rhythm back up. Songwise this was a real sandwich, with the best two songs being the opener and the closer and the filling being a mixed day of allsorts. Ben Machin was once again an alarmingly good frontman but the sooner he has a backsman with a drumkit the better and bigger this noise will be.

Sam Holliday

Tamworth Herald – 20/10/89
Musicbox – Loadsagigs
IT’S a busy week gig-wise with a host of the area’s best bands in action in venues as diverse as the Tavern in the Town and the Mean Fiddler, London. Here is a quick gig-guide so you know where to go and what to look out for…

Sunday – Tamworth Arts Centre
A good night out for those of the gothic persuasion as Curious Oyster steam in for their first headlining show at the Centre. They were hoping to have local support but at time of going to press we could not confirm who that was. It starts at 8pm.

Tuesday – The Mean Fiddler, London
Around 150 fans are expected to make the convoy to London to cheer on Catch 23 in this their second appearance in Das Kapital. The band, fresh from more TV appearances than Jason Donovan, expect to premier some new material including the 215th remix of the classic ‘Love Explosion’.

Thursday – The Tavern in the Town
The Magnets return to the scene of their former crimes for a nostalgic night of fun. A band borne out of the Tavern they return home after a couple of useful recent shows much raved about by my old mate Jack Napier. Expect electricity and check out the excellent Manns Brown Ale.

Tuesday (Oct 31) – Corvettes
A fine looking line-up here a week on Tuesday as Bash Out The Odd and The Big Noise team up with King Woderick and The Yogots for a show that promises to fill Corvettes completely. All three bands are bursting with quality and a super sweaty night is definitely in prospect. Advance warning on this one because it looks like packing out!

Tamworth Herald – 17/11/89
The Big NoiseMusicbox – Gig Reviews
Another Big weekend
WE have two nifty looking local gigs to tell you about this week.

Tonight (Friday) the legend that is Spiral Eye returns to Tamworth when they play a special show at the Chequers, Hopwas. This, part of a regular series f rock shows at the venue comes complete with a rock disco and admission is £1.50.

Then, but 48 hours later, Sunday night’s venue is the Arts Centre for a splendid four band show of raw young talent.

The Big Noise will spearhead proceedings and they will be joined by The New Puritans (hurrah!), King Woderick and The Yogots and the delightfully named Fudge Tunnel.

Such a line-up would be worthy 50,000 pfennigs of anybody’s dosh but it costs just £1.50 so anyone not tempted enough to go will be hung, drawn, quartered and forced to watch Beadles About for two hours a night.

That’s it in a nutshell – tonight Spiral Eye at the Chequers and Sunday night The Big Noise, King Wodericks, The New Puritans and Fudge Tunnel at the Arts Centre.

Laugh? I almost did.

Tamworth Herald – 24/11/89
Musicbox – A fine bag of goodies
Fudge Tunnell/Big Noise/New Puritans/King Wodericks – Tamworth Arts Centre

Is this 1977 or 1989? Well, with the Buzzcocks reforming, UK Subs, 999, The Vibrators and TRB also gigging again and The Banshees, The Ramones, The Stranglers, Joe Strummer and The Damned all still around one can get a feeling that the white riot is still on. The Fudge Tunnell clearly believe this and their punchdrunk powerplay harks for the days of pins and passion once again. Personally I can’t get enough of 77isms and all we need now is Sid to be dragged from the grave, NME to wise up and Callaghan to get back into number ten and we will have gone back to the future. Wistful thinking or the deranged rambling of a boring old hippy? You choose.

The Big Noise
Another positive, well-executed set from a group with considerable charisma and quality. They bop about with a sureness of purpose and poise and make up for a lack of drumkit with on-stage powerhouse performances best characterized in the song ‘Volatile’ which is as unpredictable as its title.

King Wodericks
The stars of the night – and that’s no mean compliment in such a strong line-up. This was the best I have seen The Yogots and they have clearly cleaned up and matured their act considerably in the past few months. The songs, especially one or two of the newies, have real style and substance and every musician now plays his part in a strangely unnerving sound which has strands of two of my very favourite bands, The Psychedelic Furs and Spiral Eye. Quite magical.

The New Puritans
A fine end to a fine night. The Puritans were at their hearty best again, pouring forth with a selection of killer tunes and delicious guitar work that made everybody smile. Onesofter-than-yer-average number (the title of which I didn’t catch) was tearjerkingly lovable and there were other moments of fire and fizz. One of the undoubted finds of 1989. Pure.

Sam Holliday

Tamworth Herald – 01/12/89
Musicbox – SNIPS ‘N’ NEWS
The Big Noise are being entered into the North of England Battle of the Bands contest. They will be in action at the Royal Standard in Bradford on January 6 and they are hoping to get a coach organised. Nearer to home next week (Sun 10) Big Noise will join forces with Catch 23 at the Arts Centre and on the following Sunday they will be part of the New Big Christmas Puritan Noise Experience. More details soon.

Tamworth Herald – 08/12/89
Musicbox – ATHERSTONE INVASION!
THE two greatest bands ever to come out of Atherstone descend on Tamworth this week for a brace of top quality gigs.

On Sunday Catch 23 will join forces with the Big Noise at the Arts Centre and then on Tuesday night the area can at last say a big ‘welcome home’ to the mighty ‘Dance Stance’.

To get these two globetrotters to play in the same area so close together heartens those of us who would love to see them unite for a special major Tamworth concert for all those that take their pop ‘n’ soul seriously.

For Catch 23 their trip to the Arts Centre is hardly an unusual event, but for Dance Stance, who are appearing at the Old Liberal house in Amington this is a keynote gig and their first in their home area for the best part of three years.

Here is a preview of both gigs starting, chronologically with Sunday night’s Arts Centre bash.

Catch 23/Big Noise (Sunday)
For the ever improving Big Noise (who are already doing well in the BOX poll) Sunday’s gig will be the latest in a long series of bashes at the Arts Centre to build up a hardcore following and there is no doubt that Sunday’s team up with Catch 23 should open them up for a new audience altogether. Catch 23 appeal to a wide cross-section of people, all of whom appear to get ‘hooked’ the moment they discover their power and pop passion. The band currently on a nationwide tour which will take them to Lancaster, London, Bath and Birmingham in the next seven days or so have been moving into ever more poppy waters of late and some of their new material (i.e. ‘Stand Back’, ‘Million Years’ and the splendid ‘What You Want’) should make an immediate impression on Tamworth on Sunday. The band who are now fully professional are very keen to play at Tamworth again and they are looking for Sunday to be a major pre-Christmas triumph. Get along and make their day!!!!

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 – 15/12/89
Musicbox – Manhattans Marvels!
MANHATTANS – New Puritans/Big Noise/Rape in Yellow/Roma
New Puritans: A great performance which sadly didn’t attract the audience it deserved, but those who had made the effort were not disappointed. A superb set which included the brilliantly catchy ‘Laugh At Your Face’, ‘No Such Chance’ and a Polish (?) version of Green Door. Pure enjoyment.

Big Noise: A volatile set from Ben, Carl and Ana who seem to have reached new heights of confidence, giving a powerful stage performance where even Ana was seen to move…Highlights of this one were the excellent ‘Can’t Help Myself’ and a brilliant cover of the Buzzcocks ‘What Do I Get?’. With the help of their new drummer (at last) the Noise can only get bigger.

Rape in Yellow: Generally a much tighter, slicker performance from these and they got a great sing-along reception from the few people who turned up. Much improved classics and some great new stuff. A very enjoyable set with old favourites “Reggie Receipted” and “Hippy Dog Inn” topping the lot.

Roma: Very Kraze-like, very loud, very good. A group of excellent musicians and a powerful vocalist – Roma are sure to go down well on any heavy metal night. Not my sort of music really, but nonetheless, this group undeniably have great talent as both musicians and performers. And I have a sneaking suspicion that they’ve got a ‘Feeling For Love’.

Review by Half An Eric

Tamworth Herald – 15/12/89
Musicbox 23 more reasons to smile
Big Noise/Catch 23 – Tamworth Arts Centre
The Big Noise – The Biggest Noise yet. Yep this was the finest show and one which brought them a very encouraging reaction indeed. There were positive whoops of delight throughout as the area’s most tuneful rocketeers blasted through a set full of punch, drive and unashamed aggression. Their ‘What Do I Get?’ was a pleasing (and surprising) addition but their own numbers held their own with as much command as the covers and clearly won over a largely Catch 23esque audience. At the end of the day Ben Machin was grinning so broadly anyone would think he had scored a century. As if.

Big Noise/New Puritans
Well, it is Christmas. Whatever happened to conventional gigs where each band played individually and in sensible stage clothes? Big Noise and the Puritans jointly hit the boards in fancy dress for what can only be described as an extended jam session. Dodgy versions of each others songs, an even dodgier version of Elvis’s ‘Blue Christmas’ (sacrilege!) and a totally shambolic run-through of ‘Pump It Up’ (for Jim and Helen…).And they got better audience reaction than Catch 23 last week…Strange indeed.

Martin Warrillow

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 Sherbert 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.

Yours,
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 – 12/01/90
Musicbox - Hello Yellow
Rape in Yellow return to the live scene this weekend with a special concert at the home of the old Rathole. The venue, the upper room of Lincolns in Church Street, is increasing its musical profile and is looking to put bands on regularly. In addition they are now holding an Indie night every Thursday and frequently hold rock discos with popular DJ Colin Wall.

Sunday’s show at Lincolns will feature Rape in Yellow, The Big Noise and a full disco. It costs just £1 for admission and lasts between 7.30pm and 10.30.

The Big Noise will be aiming to start 1990 as they ended 1989 - in full flowing live action - and spearheading the gig will be Rape In Yellow who have spent the last six months since the festival reconstructing the band and writing a lot of new material.

They have been featured on radio stations in London and Birmingham lately and will have been encouraged by a useful result in the 1989 MUSICBOX poll.

Don’t forget then, the venue is Lincolns and the time is between 7.30-10.30.

Tamworth Herald- 19/01/90
Musicbox – Big Noise Letter (No.2!)
Dear Sam,

After reading Carl’s ‘big moan’ in last week’s Herald. I would like to voice my opinion on these matters as, if I was not a member of the band, the article would have given ,e the distinct impression that The BIG NOISE are a bunch of mardy, ungrateful, selfish wazzocks. (My word – Ed!)

Martin is obviously entitled to his opinion and I thought he was fairly accurate in fact, if a little short of Christmas spirit. The whole point of gigs is surely to entertain people and all I can say is if the audience enjoyed every gig as much as this one I for one would be very happy. As for the Arts Centre – it has helped us get off the ground and it is understandable in these times that raising money is necessary when funds are so short for the venue. I personally think that $40 is fair – but that’s just my opinion. Finally thanks to all those that saw the gig on the 17th – it was above all a great night.

See you soon
Ben Machin (The Big Noise)

Tamworth Herald- 19/01/90
Musicbox - Art for Arts sake!
Tamworth- Arts Centre this weekend stages three cracking fund-raising concerts with some of the biggest names on the local scene.

Catch 23, Kraze, Fetch Eddie, Spiral Eye and a ‘Euphoria’ rave are just a few of the delightful events planned to raise money for the centre this week and it promises to have all the feel and fun of a festival.

All three shows are designated to help finance the various improvements at the Arts Centre in recent months and all the bands have offered their services free of charge.

Six great bands will be playing over Saturday and Sunday- Spiral Eye, The First Conspiracy, Kraze, Fetch Eddie, The Big Noise and Catch 23 - but the whole thing kicks off tonight (Friday) with a Euphoria rave. Here is what is happening when, starting with a preview of the Euphoria gig by Ms. Jo Marsh…

Tonight (Friday) Euphoria Dance Event
‘Euphoria’ does its humble bit for stage salvation tonight by holding the second of many happenings. The previous December event was considered an astonishing success by the organisers, if only for the realised vision of a strobe flickering Arts Centre jammed solid with sweat-soaked dancers. The very few murmurings of discontent received on the night have been accounted for and thus the musical cross section covered will be broader than before, catering for the more discerning (i.e. whinging) ‘Indie Fan’, although dance is still the key word of the night. The message is clear: ‘do the magic boogie till we all black out.’ The rave is on! (7.45-Midnight, cost £1.50)

Saturday Night - Spiral Eye/ Fetch Eddie/ Big Noise
In real ‘Festival’ style, a very diverse trio indeed. The Spiral Eye boys are currently on a major national tour, picking up friends as they go with their rambling psychedelic rockslog and they will no doubt receive a big welcome from their hometown crowd. Fetch Eddie have also been away from these shores for a some time and will also be welcomed back with open arms by their Tamworth followers while The Big Noise make a bravely early return to the Arts Centre considering recent events! All told however it makes for a cracking three band line up and one which is likely to bring in a big Saturday night crowd.

Sunday Night - Catch 23/ Kraze/The First Conspiracy
Another splendid and highly varied line up comprising everything from pure metal to pure pop. At the metal end of the spectrum we have Kraze who deserve enormous credit for putting this whole Arts Centre fundraising event together. Kraze will continue to pull the crowds in with great regularity as do Catch 23 of course who will be looking for a celebratory concert for winning the MUSICBOX Band Of The Year accolade. Completing another spiffing line up are The First Conspiracy, a group who will use this important show as a major comeback gig after a recent line up change. They have been much missed and their re-appearance is just one more reason why you shouldn’t miss Sunday’s bash.

So there you have it, three good nights with, I am certain you will agree, something for just about everyone. All the funds raised will go towards the Arts Centre and as all the bands have volunteered to help and shown their concern for the place, surely YOU can do the same by getting along on one, two or three of the nights. It costs £1.50 on each occasion and starts 7.45-8 pm Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The weekend starts (and ends) at the Tamworth Arts Centre. Are you ready for it?

Tamworth Herald-19/01/90
Musicbox - Carl Gets ‘em going.
The recent letter from Carl of the Big Noise slamming the Arts Centre and a review of his band at the venue brought a big response. Several top bands contacted me to say they thought he was ‘out-of-order’ (some said a bit stronger than that!) but he wasn’t entirely without support. Here are two conflicting views of Carl’s letter - one in support, one very much not…

Dear Carl,
Congratulations on your letter (January 5), your usual waste of time and space, only this time a non-musical venture?

From you’re loathing the Arts Centre (‘dreadful reverb’ etc) – take it you won’t be performing there again?

Don’t worry, I’m not as optimistic as you are moronic.

Oh! But you really fancy yourself as the tortured artists don’t you? How dare Martin Warrillow ‘slag’ ‘Your baby’ (‘my idea originally’).

Oooh, Careful! You do seem to have difficulty grasping the concept of irony/sarcasm didn’t you?

Above your head? Something simpler?

You want clarity?

“Stop whinging you soft *******”
Mark,
Glascote Heath

Tamworth Herald- 16/02/90
Musicbox – Snips – News
The Big Noise are in action at the Battle of the Bands in Bradford on Saturday March 3. A coach is on the way picking up at Polesworth and Tamworth and anyone interested should ring Ben.

Tamworth Herald- 02/03/90
Musicbox - Big Smiles for Big Noise!
Caption: First contender for a new Rogues Gallery? A splendid photo of Ben Machin, the Big Noise singer, when the only noise he made was the thwacking of a ping pong ball.
THE Big Noise travel to Bradford tomorrow (Saturday) hoping to dish out the medicine to the opposition to the latest round of the national Battle of the Bands contest.

Machin’s men will take on three as yet unknown acts in the hope of progressing further in the event. If they do so they will go one step further than fellow Tamworthians Shock Culture who disappointingly missed out in their recent round despite a very well-received performance.

The Big Noise will travel to Bradford happy in the knowledge that they have already received a major vote of confidence outside these boundaries. For, in the middle of last week, the band’s ‘Can’t Help Myself’ demo was played on Radio WM and was given an eight out of ten rating and voted as the Best Demo of the Month by Jenny Wilks who deals with unsigned Midlands acts.

Tamworth Herald – 09/03/90
Musicbox – SNIPS
JUBILANT members of The Big Noise are being extra noisy this week having won through to the next round in the national Battle of the Bands awards held in Bradford.

A superb performance by Ben, Carl and Ana ensured the success of the band, who were only recently Radio WK’s ‘demo of the month’ winners.

The Noise boys now join with the bizarrely named ‘Virtually Fat Freez’ (almost equally impressive!) to go into the next round of the contest.

Anti Poll Taxers seek more bands

Dear Sam,

Since a letter was printed in a recent copy of the Tamworth Herald, we at Rock Against The Poll Tax have been very pleased with the response from local as well as national bands.

On a national level we have received backing from bands as diverse as Spandau Ballet, The Primitives, Jimmy Summerville, Beat International, Egypt, Wolfen and Tony MacFee and the Groundhogs, on a more local level, Dance Stance, Shock Culture, Crosstown Traffic, Big Noise and The Jessie Presley Mystery have shown their support.

We are now in the process of negotiating for a venue for the poll Tax Mega-fest and we are hoping to make an announcement about this in the near future.

We still need, however, other local bands to get in touch.

Also needed are local venues who will donate them for concerts to raise money to finance the outdoor festival.

The money, after expenses, will be put into a trust fund, to be used to help people over the legal difficulties caused by the Poll Tax.

We would like to thank you for your support in this matter.

Local groups and venues who wish to donate their services for this cause please ring Mick.

Yours faithfully,
Mick, Rock Against the poll-Tax

Big Noise boys make a Big Wow!

Big Noise boys make a Big Wow!Hello Sam,

This is just a quick review of last Tuesday’s gig by the Big Noise at Sobers in Nuneaton. They were excellent, dancing with the crowd, dancing with themselves, and still playing perfectly for almost an hour (must have been the lack of alcohol),

Some unusual cover versions filled up their set, including a blistering ‘Helter Skelter’. It’s about time they played in Tamworth again. I think I wouldn’t mind a copy of the video someone was doing at this gig, mad!

Cheers,
Mary,
Hartshill

Sam Holliday’s Footnote:
It is wonderful to get so many letters and the more the merrier as far as this column is concerned. But please bear in mind that the amount of stuff we get in means we can’t usually print your letters immediately. Thanks again.

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…

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

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

THURSDAY NIGHT
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.

Thursday – The Rathole
Rhythm Damage/Vindaloo Breakfast/Catch 23/Guilty Party/Emma Gibbs Loves Badges/Big Noise/Sindy’s Sonic Garden
Some big names here on what should be a big night – with all proceeds going to the Rock Festival Fund. Catch 23 will be dropping in just to play three quick tracks from their new demo. Rhythm Damage will be cranking it up to ruin everyone’s Christmas and The Guilty Partner will be shooting down from Manchester to razzle , dazzle ‘em. In addition The Big Noise will be providing just that. Emma Gibbs will be laying on the sweet pop-tones and Sindy’s Sonic Garden will be planting some splendid blooms. Completing a hectic crazee line-up will be the lovely Vindaloo Breakfast who will blast their way to more undoubted glory on a night brimming with noise and quality. The actual line-up won’t be known until the night but all proceeds will go towards the Tamworth Rock festival fund.

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.

The Big Noise – The Rathole
It was a great Christmas treat to see The Big Noise back in action and making a bigger and better noise than ever. They’ve unplugged the drum machine and they now make their music with four very real musicians including new guitarist, talented ex-Conspiracy man Roger Moore, Ben ‘Swan Lake’ Machine was on good form, despite rumours that he had taken to watching the occasional ballet, and Carl Harris now aged 25, put in a good performance for a man of such advanced years, Highlights of an excellent set were the old fave ‘Can’t Help Myself’ and a cover of ‘Jumping Jack Flash’.
Sean Atkins


The Gallery

The Big Noise

The Big Noise

The Big Noise


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