Tamworth Bands - History 1960-1990

Band Name

Caption: The Crowd…young and eager and reaching for the top,
The Crowd
Photograph courtesy: Tamworth Herald
The Gallery

Musical Genre/Type: Soul
Formed: 1984 Split: 1984

Band Members:
Paul Hanlon - Lead Vocals
Neil Sheasby - Bass Guitar
Nick Thomas - Lead Guitar
Phil Ford - Drums
Jim Stretton - Trumpet

Dream Factory
The Crowd
Soul Exit

Tamworth Arts Centre

Dream Factory
The Crowd

Tamworth Arts Centre

Tamworth Herald Previews and Reviews:
Tamworth Herald – 23/03/84
Musicbox – Crowd scene with that Sixties feelin’?
A NEW YOUNG soul band who are aiming to recreate the sound and feeling of the sixties, have just launched themselves on the area. The Crowd are five enthusiastic and ambitious youngsters who say they have formed a band to try and liven up the ‘rubbish music scene’ in their native Atherstone.

Inspired by bands like early Dexys, Secret Affair and a number of soul acts from the Sixties. The Crowd say they are determined to go right to the top.

“We want to take this band very seriously and get our name know by as many people as possible,” said lead vocalist Paul Hanlon.

The Crowd were formed in October last year after singer Paul’s first unsuccessful attempt to set up a band in Atherstone.

Despite the setback, Paul was determined to set up a group and his luck began to change when he teamed up with keen bassist Neil Sheasby. The duo found they had many ideas in common and when they enlisted Nick Thomas on lead guitar, Phil Ford on drums and finally Jim Stretton on trumpet, The Crowd changed into a productive and enthusiastic band.

The group were at first frustrated by the lack of suitable venues in Atherstone, but when they met kindred spirits The Dream Factory, things took a definite step forward.

“We owe a lot to the Dream Factory,” admitted Paul. “They pushed us along and offered us gigs and we are very grateful,” he said.

The Factory took an interest in The Crowd the moment they heard of them and soon offered them support slots at concerts. And the reaction at concerts and the general experience of the gig has certainly excited the band.

“We really love playing live and we hope to do a lot more gigs in the future,” said Paul.

The band admit that they seem to fit in better in Tamworth due to the strange fact that there is a massive following of sixties-type music in the town. Whenever The Crowd play in Tamworth they are almost guaranteed a good –sized audience and when they team up with the Dream Factory and Soul Exit at the Arts Centre in May, a sell-out is a certainty.

At the moment The Crowd’s set is made up exclusively of cover songs but they hope by the time they do their next gif they will be able to incorporate some of their own material.

”We have written about four of our own songs now but we want to get them all just right before we play them live,” said Paul.

With youth on their side – the oldest member of The Crowd is only 17 – the sky really is the limit for the band but before they go any further they want a keyboard player to complete their line-up.

They feel that five is company but six is The Crowd!

Tamworth Herald – 19/04/84
Musicbox – Coming Soon…
The Dream Factory and The Crowd are now selling tickets for their exciting-looking double-bill at the Arts Centre on May 18. Tickets are just 75p from band members. But is seems that Dream Factory fan-clubbers will get a discount and priority.

Tamworth Herald – 18/05/84
Musicbox - A night of Dreams with a new plot

Dream FactoryTAMWORTH’S most popular band, The Dream Factory, will tonight step out onto the Arts Centre stage for their long-awaited return to a major tow venue.

The band who have spent the past few months building up a following throughout pubs and clubs in the area will be hoping to show their legion of supporters just how much their set has been revised and upgraded since their last appearance at the Centre late last year.

Since, then their line-up has changed slightly, their songs have changed completely and the band are now much closer to the national recognition they crave.

Their excellent demo cassette, plus the superb promotion done by their new ambitious manager, Andy Payne, from Belgrave, has helped the Factory to be in the sort of position where the next inevitable step is a succession of visits from record company PR men.


For anybody who may not know the Factory’s sound, the group play Sixties-style soul music which has a force and originality all of its own.

Recently, the band has been influenced by many obscure psychedelic acts whose majestic moments reflect in many of the group’s most recent numbers. It adds up to an enjoyable and very varied set which is certain to be a winner with the capacity Arts Centre crowd that is expected tonight.

Joining The Factory tonight will be kindred spirits – The Crowd – who will be making the journey from Atherstone in an attempt to win over the town’s audiences.

The Crowd have received generous praise from many quarters – including the Factory themselves – because despite their age and relative inexperience, they can still turn in an enthusiasm and well-balanced set.

Musically, they are on a similar level to the Factory and although they have played considerably less gigs, it is unlikely that this, their largest concert to date, will unduly worry them.

Tonight’s gig begins at 8pm and the 75p tickets are going fast, although there may be a few available on the door.

For the Factory, tonight’s show will be the continuation of a long series of gigs which will continue next week when they take a coachload of supporters to a special gig at Burton Technical College.

This prestigious gig takes place on May 25 and just three days later, the band will be on show at the Boldmere pub, in Sutton. On June 6 the Dream Factory entourage will converge on the Mackadown pub in Birmingham and they will close this present series of dates with a trip to Minworth Social Club on June 14.

Obviously things are really moving now for the band and if you want to find out what all the fuss is about, the place to be is the Arts Centre tonight.

With the added attraction of The Crowd, it all looks set to be one of the most exciting gigs in the town for a long time – miss it at your peril!


Tamworth Herald – 25/05/84
Musicbox - Factory flood-gates!
Dream Factory/The Crowd – Tamworth Arts Centre

Going to see The Dream Factory these days is becoming quite an inspiring experience.

For not only do the band turn on the style musically but they have managed to do what very few Tamworth bands have ever done – fill a venue with fanatical, devoted followers.

The spectacle of seeing literally scores of people crowd around the band dancing and singing is not an everyday happening in Tamworth.

The moment the Factory hit the stage, the audience hit the roof and then proceed to hit the dance floor. It is an overwhelming site and you just can’t help admiring the Factory for taking the trouble to find their market and capitalise upon it.

But it wasn’t all the Factory’s show on Friday, for they were supported by an exciting new outfit from Atherstone called The Crowd. The Crowd are a band who everyone I spoke to liked for some reason or another.

They were a young, energetic and full of genuine feeling for their music – in fact a perfect example of the type of band Paul Weller is now championing.

Their relative youth only server to make their tight, well co-ordinated sound even more impressive and with their smattering of melodious original songs it is clear they are a band with a great future.

A special mention must go to superb vocalist Paul Hanlon who carried off every song well and young Phil Ford who, despite his stature and age, turned in some of the most naturally flowing drumming I have heard in a long time.

If the gig was a success for The Crowd, then it was almost a triumph for the Factory. With the audience on its feet, it seemed the band couldn’t go wrong – and they didn’t. Their set was totally different to previous gigs, with newer numbers outweighing their standards such as the absorbing ‘Haze’ and the climatic ‘Keeping Myself to Myself’.

Of the newer numbers, two stood out for me – the delicate ‘Waterfalls’ and the exciting ‘Leisure Land’. The latter was built around an enticing distant guitar sound which combined with all the other instruments to make a powerful and very catchy chorus.

After a lengthy set the weary band left the stage to allow the even more weary audience to disperse out of the Arts Centre.

Watching the masses pour out, you can’t help feeling that some sort of movement is under way. If the Factory and indeed The Crowd – can excite this sort of response locally, what happens when they step outside the narrow confines of this area Long may both bands continue to excite and delight their enormous group of supporters.


The Dream Factory have changed their venue for this Friday’s gig at Burton. The concert will now be held at the social club of Burton Albion FCs Eton Park ground and a special coach will call at Polesworth Square at 7.30pm and call at the Assembly Rooms at 7.45pm. The all-inclusive fare and entrance fee is £2.

Tamworth Herald – 06/07/84
Musicbox – Snips.
THE CROWD are no longer The Crowd. The young, promising Sixties orientated outfit have dropped their name after hearing that another act has already got that same monicker. From now on the band will be called Dance Stance – an altogether more agreeable name and for the sake of the uninitiated, a Dexy’s Midnight Runners standard.

The Gallery

Caption: The Crowd…young and eager and reaching for the top,

The Crowd…young and eager and reaching for the top.

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