Tamworth Bands - History 1960-1990

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The DHSS - The Department of Happiness and Self-Satisfaction

The DHSS - The Department of Happiness and Self-Satisfaction
The DHSS
Photograph courtesy: Tamworth Herald
(The Gallery)

Musical Genre: Electronic
Formed: 1979 Split: 1980

Band Members:
Rikk Quay - Synthesiser
[Also in: StarTrax Disco, Rikky Patrick DIsco, Those Attractive Magnets, The Cradle, Pakistani Brothers, XPD, The DHSS v.4, Rhythm Damage]
Edward ian Armchair - Vocals
[Also in: Ed Ake & the Painkillers, The Reliants v.1, The Reliable Duo, The Reliants v.2, The DHSS v.2, The Ornaments, Edward ian Armchair - Performance Poet, Ulterior Motives, Norman Conquest, Formaldehyde Daffodils, The DHSS v.4, The DHSS v.5, The Foundation]
Vince Watts - Guitar/Backing Vocals
[Also in: The Reliants v.1, The Reliable Duo, The Reliants v.2, The Ornaments, The DHSS v.2, The DHSS v.3, Formaldehyde Daffodils]
Sam Norchi - Bass Guitar/Backing Vocals
[Also in: The Reliants v.1, Rits, Somethin' Else)]

Gigs:
November 1979
The DHSS (B. Bumble on Guitar)
St. John's Youth Club

28/12/79
Ice, The DHSS
Tamworth Assembly Rooms

Songs:

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Recordings:
Packaged Pleasure

Tracks:
The DHSS, The Factory, Test Tube Adults, Fibre and Art In Time, Rewind, The End

Recorded Steve Adams Studio, Birchmoor.
Produced by The DHSS
All tracks written by Armchair and Quay


Tamworth Herald Features

Tamworth Herald – 07/12/79
Musicbox – THE NEW SOUND OF DHSS…
UNUSUAL is probably the only way to describe one of Tamworth’s newest bands – the Department of Happiness and Self-Satisfaction.

Their music travels past the space-age Gary Numan style and well into computer rock and synthesisers – linking up into a totally new sound.

They have a cassette out on sale this week called “Packaged Pleasure” and their intention at the moment is to get it played on Radio One’s Tony Blackburn Show!

The four members, 18-year-old Sam Norchi, Vincent Watts and Edward ian Armchair and Rikk Quay aged 24 have been friends for a long time.

Rikk is a former disc jockey who wanted to do something different because he says there were no facilities to “be outrageous” in Tamworth and the others played in the Reliants.

CONCENTRATED

They formed about six months ago and have concentrated on recording. But hopefully in the New Year they plan to do a few concerts.

“Packaged Pleasure” which is on sale for £1.25 at Green’s Records, Church Street and Rocket records in the Victoria Arcade, Aldergate, is based on George Orwell’s book 1983 and includes “The Factory”, “Test Tube Adults” and Rewind Three”

They plan to bring out “The Factory” as a single and will start recording for an album or another cassette in a few months time.

OUTRAGEOUS

“We don’t want to be totally outrageous,” says Rikk. “We are just basic musicians. “We don’t use drums or anything manual.”

“The idea is to provide something totally new and different, a sort or new, new wave. I write the music and Ed writes the lyrics.

“We recorded the cassette at Steve Adams’ studio, in Tamworth but we hope to interest some big recording company for our single.”

And as for their ambition to get air play on the Tony Blackburn show: “Well if we don’t manage that we’ll try Jimmy Young,” says Sam.

Rough Trade have agreed to distribute the four-piece outfit’s debut cassette “Packaged Pleasure” and their single “The Factory”.Tamworth Herald – 14/12/79
Musicbox - ‘Packaged pleasure’
Look out for the Department of Happiness and Self Satisfaction’s debut cassette “Packaged Pleasure”.

Recorded by the band at Tamworth’s Steve Adam’s Studio in includes their single “The factory” and several other electrified, totally different tracks written by group members Rikk Quay and Edward Ian Armchair.

Selling at local record stores it is an absolute must for anyone enjoying something a little out of the ordinary.

Tamworth Herald – 28/12/79
Musicbox - Slade, Stewart and the Stranglers – the faces of the “strange” Seventies.
1979

DECEMBER – Wings and the Police play at sell-out Birmingham concerts. Tamworth new wave band Department of Happiness and Self Satisfaction topped as the local band of the ‘80s.

Tamworth Herald – 11/01/80
Musicbox – Happiness is…a contract

Packkaged Pleasure
'Packaged Pleasure' by The DHSS - Tamworth's first Demo Tape to be sold locally.

TAMWORTH’S “Band of the 80’s” – The Department of Happiness and Self-Satisfaction have won a contract with Britain’s largest independent record company.

Rough Trade have agreed to distribute the four-piece outfit’s debut cassette “Packaged Pleasure” and their single “The Factory”.

Lead singer Edward ian Armchair said that they intended to release another cassette soon which would be on sale in Tamworth and future singles would go out nationally through the record company.

DHSS are now looking for dates for local concerts and they have already got definite gigs fixed up at colleges in Manchester, Wigan and Liverpool.

“We really want to play in Tamworth,” Edward said. “But there is nowhere for us to play. We played at the Assembly Rooms but the acoustics are bad and the Arts Centre just isn’t big enough.”

“What we’d really like to do is get a hall and have some other local bands supporting us. At the moment we’re getting gigs in Birmingham but we don’t want to have to say to the kids that if they want to see us they will have to go into the city.

“We want to know what the locals think of us – after all we a re a Tamworth band for Tamworth people. If we know what the punters like and dislike we will be able to improve.”

DHSS have also found themselves a financial backer and are now just waiting for the “big break.”

In the meantime they are hunting for another synthesiser play or someone with a four track cassette to use in their set.

“Anyone wanting to book the band should ring Vincent Watts on Tamworth 62521.

Tamworth Herald – 11/01/80
Musicbox – Sound Appeal
THE DEPARTMENT of Happiness and Self-Satisfaction are an up and coming new band with a totally new sound. They are keen to provide for the local scene.

And around Tamworth there must be many other groups and singers with similar high ambitions.

Musicbox wants to encourage as many as possible by giving coverage. We would like to hear your views on any aspect of music

Let us know what you think of DHSS’s “Packaged Pleasure”, Ice’s charity concert at the Assembly Rooms or anything else that’s happening in the local music scene.

Tamworth Herald – 11/01/80
Musicbox – Not a slip from ‘Ice’
Musicbox – Not a slip from ‘Ice’The year ahead will be a crucial one in deciding the future of Tamworth’s top rock band “Ice.”

For it will see the release of their second album which they hope will catapult them to super stardom.

And their bid to join rock’s elite began with a special Christmas concert at Tamworth Assembly Rooms.

Armed with new material the band delivered the best set I have ever seen them play, easily eclipsing the last time I saw them at the Arts Centre almost a year ago.

The only let-down was the size of the crowd. Band member Andy Radek told me as the group prepared to take to the stage that they take inspiration from the audience.

It was just a pity that more local fans did not bother to brave the monsoon conditions to see them.

With all proceeds going to multiple sclerosis and with so much energetic organisation having gone into the event, the size of the crowd only served as a kick in the teeth for everyone involved.

Still, the deathly atmosphere did little to dispel the determination of “Ice”. Driven on by the searing lead guitars of Andy Radek and Paul Watts, they never let the heat drop from the moment they struck the opening chords of “Ride”.

I thought I noticed a slight shift in direction in the newer numbers. To my ears at least, “Ice” seem to have adopted a more-heavy metal style, aggressive stance of late.

Despite this though, the night’s show-stopper for me was “Asgard”, a track from their first album.

All in all, and despite the meagre attendance, the first “Ice” Christmas Party was a success and the band can now look forward to their year of decision with confidence.

Last-minute support band D.H.S.S. provided an interesting foil for “Ice” with their own brand of new wave music.

Singer, Edward Ian Armchair said later “We were a bit upset about the gig. The sound in the Assembly Rooms is bad and the crowd was not very responsive.”

Richard Whitehead


The Gallery

The DHSS - The Department of Happiness and Self-Satisfaction

The DHSS - The Department of Happiness and Self-Satisfaction

The DHSS - The Department of Happiness and Self-Satisfaction - Packaged Pleasure

'Packaged Pleasure' - cassette on sale for £1.25 at Green’s Records, Church Street and Rocket records in the Victoria Arcade, Aldergate, is based on George Orwell’s book 1983 and includes “The Factory”, “Test Tube Adults” and Rewind Three”

The DHSS - The Department of Happiness and Self-Satisfaction

The DHSS - The Department of Happiness and Self-Satisfaction

The DHSS - tipped as the local band of the '80s (they split up on December 29th 1979!! - Ed.)

If you have any further information about this band please email: info@tamworthbands.com


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