Tamworth Bands - History 1960-1990

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Dream Factory - No.5
Dream Factory - No.5
The Gallery

Musical Genre/Type: Pop / Soul
Formed: 1986 Split: 1986

Band Members:
Tim Goode - Lead Vocals (Gillway)
Dave Stevenson - Lead Guitar/Backing Vocals (Polesworth)
Lloyd Barnett - Rhythm Guitar/Backing Vocals (Polesworth)
Mark Mortimer - Bass Guitar (Gillway)
Andy "Batman" Holt – Drums (Amington Heath)
Greg Stevenson – Keyboards/Backing Vocals (Dosthill)

Paul Scragg : Tenor saxophone (Bolehall); Paul Stansfield : Tenor trombone (Gillway); Neil Gledhill : Alto and baritone saxophones (Hurley).

Sun And Smiles - Mark Mortimer
Uncle Albert - Mark Mortimer
Stop That Dragon! - Mark Mortimer
Wasted Time - Dave Stevenson
Feel Your Touch - Lloyd Barnett / Tim Goode / Mark Mortimer

Dream Factory
Bond Gate Social Club

Dream Factory
Catch 22

The Dream Factory
Jesters (Cannock)

The Dream Factory

The Dream Factory
Polesworth Top Club

06/07/86 - CANCELLED
Dream Factory
Grace and Danger
The Rathole

Dream Factory
The Rathole

Dream Factory
Atherstone Miners Welfare Club

Dream Factory (last gig)
The Rathole

The Dream Factory
Love On Board

The Rathole

Title: Stop That Dragon!
Track List: Stop That Dragon! / Feel Your Touch
Format: Demo

Title: Uncle Albert
Track List: Sun And Smiles / Uncle Albert / Wasted Time
Format: Demo

Title: Live Recording
Track List: Sun And Smiles / Uncle Albert / Feel Your Touch / Memory Lane / Love 15 / Wine And Roses / Mousetrap! / Fashion Toys / Stop That Dragon! / Wasted Time / Cold Turkey /
Format: Demo

Following a disagreement with both Steve Quilton and Lloyd Barnett, they were duly sacked from the band at the start of 1986 and replaced by young teenage guitar whizz kid Dave Stevenson (ironically also from Polesworth) and former Terroah drummer Andy Holt (better known locally as "Batman"). This was quite a major line up change and the result was a jazzier direction as the band started to move away from their Jam and Dexys-like sound to a more Style Council type of feel, something that I personally was never keen on. Nevertheless, by the time this line up got together the Dream Factory was a very tight, well-organised and well rehearsed band with a far superior sound than the line up that had recorded the two singles.

New brass section members came in the form of Paul "Scraggy" Scragg who along with Hurley's Neil Gledhill brought an element of jestering during journeys to gigs (i.e. they were the clowns who always made us laugh). Indeed, I remember both Gledhill and Scragg often wearing rubber gloves (Marigolds) on stage for no apparent reason. We also brought in a young teenage trumpeter from Birmingham whose name I have sadly forgotten. Greg Stevenson lasted another few months and then decided to quit but not before we recorded a really strong demo tape at the Expresso Bongo early in 1986.

After Stevenson left we had a change of heart about Lloyd Barnett who we were very much missing and he was invited back to rejoin the group, taking a more rhythm guitar and backing vocals role alongside Dave Stevenson. This line up was unquestionably the best and most talented the Dream Factory had and there was terrific creativity flowing from all directions with songs being written by almost everyone in the band. It was also a very happy and fun time to be in the band as we travelled up and down the country gigging at universities, scooter rallies and the like.

Following the recording of a live gig inside the Expresso Bongo Studios it looked like we would get a major deal with a top label and everything seemed rosy in the garden on the surface. But the arguments over the band's direction were never far from the surface. It looked as though we were closing in on a major deal but in the background we were still suffering from that age-old cliched problem of "musical differences"; I was dragging the Dream Factory to a harder edged 60s sound whereas Lloyd and Tim wanted it to be softer and jazzier. Sadly, the major deal never materialised as the dudes who came to see us at the Expresso Bongo decided to nurture and develop a then-unknown band from up north called The Stone Roses!! And the rest, as they say, is history!!

Because I was not winning my battle to take the Dream Factory into harder territory I formed a sideline band called The Great Express with former Private Property singer/guitarist Brian Lacey with the idea being I could express my noisier creative side through that channel. I originally felt sure I could operate in two bands at full pelt but it never worked out that way and eventually I decided I was going to quit the Dream Factory. Disheartened by us missing out on the BIG BREAK that we came so close to securing and totally fed up with trying to take the band into a tougher sound, I had basically had enough. At our last gig at the Rathole it was a great feeling and the night went swimmingly well despite the event being tinged with some heavy sadness. On the last song that sadness boiled over into full-on aggression as Tim Goode, my best friend since I was 5 years old, turned round and threw a superb punch straight in my face. It was his way of "grieving" at the band's collapse and because it had been me that had halted the Dream Factory Tim felt I deserved the black eye that he gave me and, in all honesty, I probably did.

Apart from a real FUN reunion gig - again at The Rathole - in December 1990 (sadly played in front of a handful of people due to the Arctic conditions) that was the end of the Dream Factory, a band who I remain very, very proud of to this day. We were never the greatest musicians in the town but we worked so incredibly hard and put so much energy, effort, time, blood, sweat, tears and money into it that we really did deserve the national recognition we received and maybe Wolfsbane took things on even further for Tamworth in terms of widespread success but we did, I strongly believe, ACHIEVE and we did - up to a point - put Tamworth back on the national music map again.

Reaching the charts was a kick and getting Radio One airplay was wonderful blah, blah, blah but for me the best part of the whole Dream Factory trip were the AMAZING rapport and relationship we enjoyed with our highly loyal and crazy band of followers who supported us all over the country, sometimes to quite bizarre levels of dedication. From the local scooter boys and mods in the Tamworth and Polesworth area through to the various scoter clubs in Birmingham and the various other people up and down the country who followed our every move, it was a pleasure and an honour to be part of that magical time and I have very fond memories of it with, as Scott Walker would croon...no regrets.

It was sociologically a real time of change. "Thatcher's Britain" - as it was back then - was a horribly polarised society where everything was teetering on the brink of the abyss; there was always a sensation of tension and the smell of aggression and rebellion in the air through the mid 80s and I think a lot of that vibe that afflicted society back then came into play during the Dream Factory career. We saw our fair share of violence at gigs and loads of social unrest and, in typical "angry young men" style we tried to write about it in some of our songs. But there were moments of non-violent beauty too and with loads of genuine, lovely emotion attached to it.

I remember CLEARLY when one of our most diehard fans had been involved in a road accident on his scooter and had died from his injuries in Birmingham - we got to hear about it a few minutes before we went on stage in front of a staggering 500 people at Kingsbury WMC (now called Kingsbury Country Club) and even though they were the noisiest, rowdiest, manic bunch of motherf***ers, when I announced it on stage the place went strangely silent so you could literally hear a pin drop.

There were great moments of bonding that went on between band and audience throughout the Dream Factory's time and I was always moved when people you'd never seen or met before in your life would come up to you and tell you how "important" your band was to them. Even if we felt a bit like charlatans (because we never actually had a very high opinion of ourselves at all!) - particularly at winning the Musicbox Band Of The Year award three or four times - we all felt honoured and proud of MEANING something to some people which, I guess, is really what you'd call proper success.

To this day at DC Fontana gigs I still have people coming up to me asking for us to play "Wine & Roses" or people reminding me of a certain gig or a certain song we played (i.e. The Dream Factory) that had a special meaning for them during their youth in the mid 80s. That's got to be cool!

Gig Memories:
I remember we played a big air force base in Lincolnshire (think it was RAF and not US Air Force) and they asked us to play for three hours which was a bit of a shock to the system!! We also played down south in Salisbury if I remember....

Song Memories:
The "Stop That Dragon!" recording had more of a "crunch" to the sound than previous recordings and was definitely "harder" which was, in part, due to the fact I was increasingly getting into more 60s garage stuff and started really enjoying the emergence of more guitary bands (indie bands??!?!) in 1986 such as The Mighty Lemon Drops, the Weather Prophets and so forth. "Stop That Dragon!" itself had nothing to do with heroin etc - it was just a silly, semi-joking psychedelic nonsense title for what was a powerful northern soul-sounding instrumental dominated by the big brass sound and also the dirtier guitars of Dave and Lloyd.

"Feel Your Touch" was a very commercial radio-friendly song that sounded a little bit like The Tams' "Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy" but also had a real jazzy verse with Dave Stevenson playing some clever little jazz guitar licks. As the charts were, at this time, infested with lots of pseudo "new jazz" with people like Sade and the Style Council being very successful, it kind of fitted in with what was happening but I was much more interested in the brasher, more harder-edged guitar stuff that was poking thru and, having hung around Julian Cope and Donald a lot and listening to loads of amphetamine-fired 60s garage and freakbeat that was much more where my heart and head were.

This inevitably led to some clashes of opinion on where the group should be heading. On the one side you had Tim Goode and Lloyd Barnett really into the more mellow jazz-pop side and on the other you had me desperate to crank the sound up and make it more aggressive. Dave Stevenson kind of sat on the fence as he loved both notions but on his own composition "Wasted Time" which appeared on the next demo we recorded, it was very much the cranked-up guitar sound that peered through and there was an aggression to the sound that was almost late 70s new wave in its feel. There were no horns and it was just a simple crash! bang! wallop! tune which I entirely related to.

"Sun & Smiles" was a catchy little minute-long instrumental based on a horns riff that I wrote and couldn't get out of my head and that was worked into "Uncle Albert" via a segue involving "Batman" playing this military drum roll. That gave way to some delay-heavy guitar from the inventive Dave Stevenson as I tried to push the Dream Factory BACK to a harder edged psychedelic sound (back towards the original blueprint of the group in fact from back in 1982). The song was about a fictitious guy in his late 40s who was an ageing hippy from the 60s and who was wreaking havoc with his mind on a cocktail of lysergic drugs while at the same time being prone to getting involved in all kinds of unsavoury sexual trysts - quite a departure really for a Dream Factory lyric and it marked a definite change in direction with my own personal song writing at that time.

During this period, Neil Rushton was very pro-active in hawking us around the music industry because he felt we needed a bigger and more dramatic platform to work from than his own small indie label, Inferno so his role changed from being record company guy to manager and guiding influence. And he did rather well to be honest - our own national reputation and also our tireless commitment to gigging meant we were ALWAYS in the press everywhere and although we hadn't taken advantage of the "breaks" we'd achieved with "Wine & Roses" we were still very much a force to be reckoned with.

We still commanded a fairly huge following wherever we played and reactions at gigs were almost always loud, rapturous and rockin'!! In fact, looking back, it was a real crash back down to earth when I started gigging with The Great Express once the Dream Factory folded a year or so later because the more "indie" type people we played to then were far less excitable and nowhere near as noisy as the scooter/mod crowd who religiously followed the Dream Factory around the UK.

Anyway, there were various management companies, music publishers and big-time record labels showing a great amount of interest in the Dream Factory and later on in 1986 Neil Rushton arranged for us to play a "live gig" inside the Expresso Bongo Recording Studios (we were crammed in like sardines into the live room - it was very uncomfortable!!) for an audience that consisted of some pretty sharp music industry types including various people from Manchester. After we did a half hour show in the studio (which, by the way, was one of the best live performances we ever gave and the band was truly cooking by now!!) the audience, such as it was, loved every second of it.

Thanks to: Mark Mortimer


Tamworth Herald 03/01/86
Musicbox – Factory floor the opposition to make a hat-trick…
Musicbox – Factory floor the opposition to make a hat-trick…THE Dream Factory have done it again! Yes, for the third year in succession, Tamworth’s favourite soul men have pipped all opposition to once again claim the top local band slot in the Musicbox poll.

They did so despite a fantastic turnout of votes for new boys Terroa, who just lost out by virtue of the masses of votes the Factory received not only for first place (which was worth three points) but also for second (two points) and third (one). Wolfsbane, Breaking Point and Royal Family fans by the score put the Factory as their second choice and as the poll entered its last frantic days, it was clear the band were going to do it again.


TerroaBut that was not the only joy for the band. Because they have had such a big national profile all year I allowed them to be included in the Top National Band sector – and they won that with a landslide.

And the same went for the band’s tremendous ‘Wine and Roses’ single which floored all the opposition.

Just to complete the (wine and ) rosy picture, the group had four songs in the top twenty local song section, and also had Mark Mortimer and Tim Goode voted into the top five local personality section.

Dream factory take a bow – you have won it again and you have deserved to do so.

It wasn’t only The Dream Factory’s poll though. Terroa as well as scooping the runners-up slot in the top local band, also won the best local song award with the excellent ‘Thunder and Lightening’. If the views of the hundreds of people who voted (we passed the 500 vote mark with ease) are anything to go by, Terroa are the group you think are going to make it next year.

Still in the local band section, The Royal Family finished a strong third well ahead of the bands beneath them. Like The Factory they seem to have universal support from people of all musical tastes and there is no doubt their popularity is now at an all-time peak.

It should bring a smile of Steve Martin-style proportions from Dave Smith and Eddie Blunt!

Places four and five went to two bands from the Atherstone area Dance Stance and The Me, a band who seem pretty big in North Warwickshire and will be investigated further in the near future.

It was nice to see Dance Stance up there – and also the likeable Paul Hanlon in the personality section – and with Nick Reed now in their line-up, I have a sneak feeling ’86 will be very good indeed for the Atherstone band.

Elsewhere, Freight Train showed they have made considerable impact and Wolfsbane proved that their appeal goes far beyond strict heavy metal types judging from the people who voted for Jeff, Bayley, Jase and Stakk.

Breaking Point also had their best ever poll result and it was very nice to see the now defunct Love On Board still hold a special place in a lot of people’s hearts.


Completing the top ten are Femme Fatale who will be delighted with their debut show in the poll, and then the next five or six bands all came very close indeed to one another. The Sway, Magnets and Sitting Pretty all started well but faded somewhat but overall it was nice to see that virtually every band in the whole district had some supporters.

Just missing the top twenty, for example, were Depth Charge, Banned Wagon, Scarab, Boozy Brothers and Pulsebeat.

The local songs section was pretty reflective of the local band poll but it was pleasing to see people voting for songs that were not by their favourite band, which showed there is a lot of unbiased ‘general’ listeners among local rock fans.

Perhaps the only surprise was that Breaking Point only managed a top twenty placing (and that was at 17) but you can’t have everything.

In conclusion, everyone who votes, many thanks and to all the bands who have made the year so exciting, a double-dose of thanks. Let’s now make ’86 even better.


Top local band
1. The Dream Factory
2. Terroa
3. The Royal Family
4. Dance Stance
5. The Me
6. Freight Train
7. Wolfsbane
8. Breaking Point
9. Love on Board
10. Femme Fatale
11. The Sway
12. Spirit of Water
13. The Parade
14. Sitting Pretty
15. Trout Meets The Cavalry
16. Dickens
17. Judas Cradle
18. The Magnets
19. Powerplay

And no here’s how I’d have voted
Just to complete the overall local music award section, here are the people, the musicians and bands that I think deserve credit in ’85:

Top Band – Breaking Point
Top Local Song – ‘Come The Day’ – Breaking Point
Guitarist – Jase The Ace/Tim Latham/Nick Reed
Drummer – Stuart Blane/Steve Quilton
Bass – Daydo/Mark Mortimer
Keyboards – Rikk Quay
Vocalists – Dave Ingham/Dave Smith/Debbie Whitty
Best Live Band – Wolfsbane
Most Improved Band – Dance Stance
Most Likely to Make it in ’86 – Dream Factory
Best Gig – Breaking Point, The Sway, The Magnets Tamworth Arts Centre
Best Demo – Wolfsbane
Best DJ – Buttercup
Best Songwriters – Kevin Briggs/Bryan Lacey/Jase The Ace/John Reeman
Best Lyricist – Bryan Lacey
Haircut – Mick Rutherford
Best Dressed Person – Jeff Hateley
Saying of the Year – “I can’t get me breath’ – Buttercup
Personalities of local music scene – Ian Gibbons, Tim Goode, Rikk Quay, Eddie Madden, Blaze Bayley, Dave Ingham, Mike Turner, Paul Speare, Phil Smith, John Reeman, John James, Mike Fleming, Sage Side Psycho, Mark Mortimer, Jeff Hateley, Kevin Briggs, Star Trek, Trevor Muglestone, Dave Smith, Mick Goodby, Buttercup and everyone else I’ve missed.


Tamworth Herald – 17/01/86
Musicbox – A single ‘thank-you’ for all the devoted fans…
THE DREAM FACTORY are about to rush-release a special limited edition single as a ‘thank-you’ to all their fans. The band are delaying releasing their official second single ‘Love 15’ until they can get a major deal, but in the meantime they have decided to put out a new two-track record to keep up the impetus and enthusiasm surrounding the band.

The songs ‘Cold Turkey’ and ‘Memory Lane’ were both recorded at the Expresso Bongo studios in Lichfield Street, making it the first single to come from the increasingly well-respected studio.

They were originally recorded for possible use at a later stage, but as it is now nearly 12 months since ‘Wine and Roses’ appeared the Factory decided it was time to get back on vinyl.

“We see this as a way of thanking all the fans who have supported us so far,” said bassist Mark Mortimer. The ‘A’ side ‘Cold Turkey’ is the most popular number live and I’m sure our supporters will welcome it.”

…but will not have any of the fervent ‘push’ that surrounded ‘Wine and roses. That will all be saved for the excellent ‘Love 15’ single which was recorded at The Abbatoir, UB40s studio.

“We will not aim to get a ‘hit’ with this record, it is merely to keep the ball rolling,” said Mark.

Eventually the single which could be out in the next two or three weeks, could become something of a collectors’ item. And the band hope it will whet the appetite of the record companies enough to get ‘Love 15’ out as early in the new year as possible.


‘Love 15’ is still the second single as far as we are concerned, but we are confident ‘Cold Turkey’ should make an impact,” said Mark.

The song itself is an obscure cover version – not the haunting Lennon song of the same name – and features some powerful Tim Goode vocals and a chanting almost thundering title line. The ‘B’ side by way of a contrast Is a jazzy style instrumental.

We must all hope that this single helps put Tamworth’s most popular band firmly on the road to success.

The band are keen to speak to anyone who plays keyboards and would be interested in working with the band.

Tamworth Herald – 28/02/86
Musicbox – SNIPS
The Dream Factory…a number of shows…before the release of their second single ‘Cold Turkey’. They are at the Bond Gate Social Club, Nuneaton on March 1, with a disco, and then on Tuesday March 18 they will probably be teaming up with Catch 22 at Cannock.

On Friday April 11, they are at Dordon Village Hall, and they are also planning a whole series of dates including some on the national circuit.

Tamworth Herald – 07/03/86
Musicbox – End of a dream…but Factory ideals live on
THE DREAM FACTORY Tamworth’s most popular and successful band of the 80s, have split up.

The shock news followed a concert last Friday when guitarist Lloyd Barnett and drummer Steve Quilton broke ranks from factory founder-members Mark Mortimer and Tim Goode. The two-way split has shocked the whole local scene but the clear message is the Dream factory will continue with a new line-up.

Bassist Mark and vocalist Tim have pledged to keep the name, music and ideals of The Dream Factory intact, with the addition of a new – as yet unconfirmed – guitarist and a drummer.

The emotional end to the Factory in the present line-up comes at a time when the band’s future seems rosier than ever. They are under the close scrutiny of at least one major label and they have two single set for imminent release.

In addition, hardly a week goes by without The Factory receiving praise from newspapers and rock magazines all around the country and the amount of prestigious gigs lined up is the envy of every other band in the district.

But Mark and Tim – sad as they are – are more determined than ever that The Factory ideals will continue.

“We want to wish Lloyd and Quilly (Steve) all the very best in the future and tell all the people that follow us that The Dream factory are most definitely not finished. Far from it, everything is still moving in the right direction,” said Mark.


Manager Neil Robinson and Inferno Records have pledged to support Tim and Mark and the duo are now looking for the replacements who can step in to what is potentially very lucrative positions within the band.

Anyone who would like to be in the band – and enthusiasm, dedication and talent are essential – should ring Mark.

One of the first casualties of this untimely – and to my eyes, very unfortunate split – is that several imminent gigs have had to be cancelled including one planned for tonight at Nuneaton.

Nuneaton has become The Factory’s second home and a massive crowd was expected – a crowd that will now be very disappointed.

“We’re sorry and have to apologise to all those people wanting to see us at the current batch of gigs, but we promise to make it up to everyone with a revised set of gigs as soon as physically possible,” said Mark.


So, in many senses this is the end of a very exciting era which has seen The Factory rise from being a good local band to being a good national one.

The dream is not over yet and with Tim and Mark’s resolve and ambition we can only hope that The Factory flag continues to fly in the right direction.

Lloyd and Steve are both talented individuals who will no doubt find other bands they will feel at home with, so the understandable sadness felt by all the band’s loyal followers must be tempered.

The split is a set back but let us just hope that what emerges from the division is as entertaining and productive as what came before.

Tamworth Herald – 14/03/86
Musicbox – New faces put Factory on its feet
THE DREAM FACTORY have recruited the two new members that will put them back on form. Joining bassist Mark Mortimer and vocalist Tim Goode are former Terroa drummer And ‘Batman’ Holt and Catch 22 guitarist Dave Stevenson.

The Factory are delighted with their new acquisitions and they are hoping they will be able to get back to live work and recording as soon as possible.

The first new member to join was Dave Stevenson who Mark feels is a tremendous guitarist.

“When Tim and I went to see him we couldn’t believe it. We had heard a lot of good reports about him, but he was even better than we thought. His parents are also very supportive and I am confident we have made the right choice,” said Mark.

Catch 22 will be carrying on without Dave although it is not known whether they will replace him or promote Ray Clenshaw to lead guitar.


‘Batman’ joined the Factory on Sunday after an audition which involved five other drummers. Tim and Mark were keen to find someone who fitted in with their personalities as well as having drumming ability and Batman won on both counts.

“He is a really likeable person and he seems quite dedicated to the idea,” said Mark. “We think with time he could become a very good drummer indeed.”

Tarroah are said to be rather upset at Batman’s decision to leave, said singer Eddie Madden. Although quit before joining The Factory, he told Terroa he wanted to be in a reggae band. Terroa are now looking for a new drummer (see Sits Vac on this page).

So, the Factory are now virtually back together again and back on course. Greg Stevenson is staying as keyboard player, Paul Stansfield remains as trombonist and Neil Gledhill has joined on sax.

There is still a vacancy for a trumpeter and anyone who wants to fill this gap in the Factory jigsaw should ring Mark.

Tamworth Herald – 21/03/86
Musicbox – Succeeding with talent and mouth
Bambu CurtainI HAVE recently been filing all my old MUSICBOX columns from the past three years or so and as one of those academic exercises, I decided to see just who has been the most featured band in the column over that time.

People often accuse me of bias in various directions but I think the ‘top ten’ of mentions shows that I have managed to cover the whole spectrum of local music from the ‘lightest’ to the ‘heaviest’.

This was not a scientific exercise, I merely flicked through the columns and noted the names of bands whenever I saw them. So a ‘mention’ could be just one line or a full feature. Anyway here’s the top ten from 1983.

1. The Dream Factory (60 mentions), 2. Sitting Pretty (57), 3. Breaking Point (53), 4. Wolfsbane (52), 5. BHX (51), 6. Love On Board (49), 7. One On One (37), 8. The Magnets (32), 9. Sacred Oath (25) and The Cradle (25), 10. The Royal Family (20).

Outside of this batch as a matter of interest were Terroa, Dance Stance, A5 and Caprice. At the other end of the scale there were local bands whose name were featured only once such as Alibi, The Fashionable Gents, Bambu Curtain and The Time Bandits.

Tamworth Herald – 28/03/86
Musicbox – The Dream that finished a sad Terroa
POWERFUL new wave outfit Terroa have split up. The shock news comes just three weeks after drummer, Batman, let to join The Dream Factory.

At the time Terroa said they would carry on with a new sticksman but late last week they decided this would be impossible.

“It just wasn’t going to be the same,” said sad leader singer Eddie Madden. “We always secretly knew when one of the original four members left, that would probably be it.”

Terroa have been together for just a few short months but in that time they have exploded to prominence on the local scene.

Their debut gig at the run up to the Bank holiday Festival was a sell-out success and the band mobilised massive support in the 1985 MUSICBOX poll.

But, recently the band had suffered a number of problems and last week they decided to finally throw in the towel.

“Things have gone terribly wrong of late and it was becoming very disillusioning,” said Eddie. “We haven’t been able to play any gigs in three months and all the old fire and spirit was slowly going away.”


The first of the band’s problems was an injury to guitarist John Reeman’s hand. This caused the band to pull out of the ‘Battle of the Bands’ and also to withdraw from a prestigious ‘bubbles’ show alongside Wolfsbane.

”When you have to miss gigs like that, it makes you wonder if it’s all worth it, and when Batman left it meant out future plans were all messed up,” said Eddie.

The band’s initial anger at Batman’s decision to quite has considerably cooled down. Eddie says they are still good friends with batman although he admits that the young drummer’s decision to leave was probably the last nail in Terroa’s coffin.

“We always said it would be alright, that we would soon find another drummer, but things didn’t work out that way. Without Batman it was never going to be the same and we realised this last week.”

In their brief six-month life, Terroa released one exceedingly good demo and played a number of fine shows – most notably alongside punk poetess Joolz who has become a friend of the band.

They have made very useful contacts in their time and Eddie has said that whatever band he reappears with, he wants to re-establish these links.

“I don’t quite know what to do in the future nut I am sure we will try and keep in bands. I have made too many good contacts and had too many good times already to want to give it all up”.

Terroa’s ‘passing’ is a rather sad event for the local scene, ever since their first triumphant show they have made many friends among the public and on the local music scene. They were due to open ‘The Rathole’ and were also included in plans for the 1986 Festival.

With The Dream Factory already having had a radical split down the middle, 1986 has started off somewhat ominously. Let’s just hope we have some better news in the future…

Tamworth Herald – 04/04/86
Musicbox – SNIPS
The Dream Factory have received their first white label copies of their second single ‘Cold Turkey’. It should hit the streets at the end of next week.

Tamworth Herald – 18/04/86
Musicbox – SNIPS
The Dream Factory have just released their second single – Cold Turkey which we will look at in more detail next week. In the meantime the band have fixed up their first two shows with the new line-up.

Tamworth Herald – 25/04/86
Musicbox – Fans’ favourite is Factory ‘thank you’
Caption: Monkeying about on the Cold Turkey sleeve…the Dream Factory aiming to catch a few eyes. THE DREAM FACTORY have this week released their eagerly-awaited second single – “Cold Turkey”. Designed as a ‘thank you’ to all the band’s loyal supporters it will be a limited edition that could become a collector’s item.

It has already been sent to a number of top record labels and music papers and the band are hopeful that it will give them the break they are looking for.

“The main aim of the record was to attract enough record company interest to get a major label for our next release ‘Love 15’”, explained Mark Mortimer. “But even if that doesn’t happen, we think this is an important release to let everyone know we are still around and still buzzing.”

It was recorded by the original Factory line-up – Lloyd Barnet on guitar, Mark Mortimer bass, Steve Quilton drums and Tim Goode vocals. In addition the two tracks – both I am pleased to say recorded at our own Expresso Bongo studios – feature Andy ‘Sat’ Codling, Dave Smith and also a ‘cast of thousands’ of backing singers.

Love it

“Although this is the old line-up our new members Batman and Dave Stevenson both love it and are happy for it to be released,” said Mark.

The record comes in a very tasty pic sleeve (see right) and comes complete with an explanation of the record’s intent from one Doctor Doberman.

According to the good Doctor…”It was recorded ‘live and raw’ on eight-track in the studio following loads of requests to recreate the unique atmosphere of our live performances”

The choice of ‘Cold Turkey’ (an obscure Big Boy Pete cover) was due entirely to the fact that it is the fans’ live favourite. Apparently ‘Cold Turkey’ is still the one the fans scream for at Factory concerts and that is why the band decided to choose it as the A-side rather than one of their own numbers.

“It is definitely a single for the fans and all those who follow us think it is better than our first record, “Wine and Roses”” said Mark.

The record should be available from local record shops in the near future but fans are urged to get copies from band members now to avoid disappointment. See review (right).

Tamworth Herald – 02/05/86
Musicbox – SNIPS
The Dream Factory have set all their attention on heading up a big concert at Polesworth Top Club on Friday May 30. Before then they will be at Jesters (Cannock) May 12 and Nuneaton on May 17. The group have asked us to point out that their new single is not seen as a trailer to attract record companies, just as a record for the fans.

Tamworth Herald – 23/05/86
Musicbox – SNIPS
THE DREAM Factory played two highly-successful concerts at the weekend – in Salisbury and Cannock. Reactions at both shows were quite overwhelming according to bassist Mark Mortimer and the groups are now eagerly awaiting their show next week at Polesworth Top Club.

Tamworth Herald – 30/05/86

Caption: The Dream Factory…back with a vengeance
Caption: The Factory’s brass and keyboard section (Left to right) Greg Stevenson, Neil Gledhill, Paul Scragg, Paul Stansfield and Nigel Atherley.

IT’S GOING to be a crazy night for Tamworth’s rock scene tonight (Friday) with no less than three excellent concerts on offer.

At the Sacred Heart Centre, the increasingly popular Dance Stance will hit the boards, at Tamworth Arts Centre there is another Rock Against The Dole show featuring The Green Swings and Depth Charge and finally at Polesworth Top Club there is the eagerly-awaited return of The Dream Factory.

Most local rock fans are going to be spoilt for choice so here is a description of what exactly is going on so you can make your decision on where to head for.

Probably the most talked about concert of the three is The Dream Factory’s return with their new line-up. The band haven’t played Tamworth since Lloyd Barnett and Steve Quilton quit and it will be the first time local punters will be able to assess the talent of new guitarist Dave Stevenson and drummer Batman. The success of a few warm up gigs for The Factory have left them in no doubt that tonight will be the triumph we are all hoping for.

“The gigs at Salisbury and Cannock were great and we are all feeling very confident indeed now,” said bassist Mark Mortimer.

A relatively new set is also anticipated at the Top Club so the band say that the new sound they are producing is better than ever, and no one should leave disappointed.

There is a chance a support band may join the bill, but regardless of this the band will be joined by a full supporting disco. It costs just £1.50.

Meanwhile up the road at Glascote. The Factory’s keenest rivals The Dance Stance will bring the legion of members (an increasing the legion of supporters) to the Sacred Heart Centre. A great deal of glowing praise has been uttered about the new look.

Dance Stance, lately their sound is now a tight, funky one – drawing on influences from the 60s, 70s and 80s. At everyone of their concerts recently they have won over new converts and their confidence is almost at fever pitch. They are due to hit the stage at around 9.30 but if attendance at recent concerts are anything to go by the message is get there early!

Finally, tonight, completing a quite incredible night of top quality concerts, is the Tamworth Labour Party sponsored ‘Rock Against The Dole’ gig. The concert is a good humoured evening of entertainment to focus young people’s minds on the most serious problems affecting the town at the moment. Spearheading the gig are powerful rock outfit Depth Charge – (whose excellent demo I still haven’t had time to review as they keep on telling me!) and the Green Swings; probably one of Tamworth’s newest bands. The two bands will be supporting tonight’s 75p Arts Centre show, and will probably also be in the running for a much larger Assembly Rooms concert to be organised by the labour party which may see Billy Bragg in town.

So a trio of concerts that offer a simply excellent choice for local rock fans. I can understand the dilemma facing people over ‘choice’ as I would personally like to go to all three gigs. But the simple message is make sure you go to at least one!

Tamworth Herald – 06/06/86
Musicbox – Sad Factory and the so-happy Royals
The Dream Factory – Polesworth Top Club
DESPITE the long faces from the members of the Factory (see separate letters – right) this was a wholly entertaining concert from a band who are still very much a force.

Technical problems alone couldn’t stop the power and songwriting ability of the band from shining through, with Mark Mortimer showing he has a lot of on-stage style and an almost insatiable appetite and enthusiasm for his music.

Best songs of the set were “Love 15”, “Moustrap” and the quite magnificent “Feel Your Touch”. The band were very disappointed by the gig, but I for one was not and to a lot more of the neutral observers I spoke to, this was a concert to remember.

Put these guys on a bigger stage with a bigger sound and they could be – can be – dynamite.

Tamworth Herald – 06/06/86
Musicbox – Shameful Show
I AM writing to you on behalf of The Dream Factory to express our disgust at some of the our supposed ‘followers’ from Polesworth, who shall remain anonymous.

I am talking about some of the disgraceful goings on at our gig at the Top Club last Friday, when some of the more ‘Fashion Toy’ type element of the crowd had come to the gig with only one aim in mind – to heckle us and cause as much trouble as possible… because their mates are no longer in the Factory.

Obviously, the great majority of our followers are great, and this doesn’t apply to them, but those who were there for trouble can be sure that we don’t want anything to do with them.

It now seems strange to think that those minority were fanatical about the band when they are fanatical only about booze and punches.

One last thing, we like to apologise to everyone who went to the gig for the ‘technical problems’ which were unfortunately nothing whatsoever to do with us. It was just one of those nights where everything seemed to go wrong. You can’t win them all I suppose!

We are now having to break for a month or two whilst the band take exams, and afterwards we will be back playing around the country not to FASHION TOYS!!!

MARK MORTIMER (Dream factory bassist)

Tamworth Herald – 04/07/86
Musicbox – Back ‘home’ and raring to go

Caption: The Dream Factory…ready for action

TAMWORTH’S most popular band, The Dream Factory, make their long-awaited debut on Sunday night – and have promised a concert to remember.

The group realise they will be under close scrutiny from a lot of people who may know a lot about the band but have never seen them before. And that is exactly what they want…

“We are really looking forward to playing to the normal Rathole people who are not necessarily our fans,” says bassist Mark Mortimer.

“It will be a real pleasure to play to others plus all the other local musicians, because I am sure a lot of people, still have the wrong impression about us.”

The Dream Factory today are about as far removed from the albatross-like ‘mod’ tag as it is possible to be. They are hoping above all on Sunday to win over a lot of Tamworth people who have had a mistaken impression about the group and show that they are one of the most easily accessible and genuinely talented bands Tamworth has ever created. To my ears their sound now resembles a winning mixture of Dexys, Style Council, modern pop, northern soul and high-energy ‘new wave’. It should have something for just about everyone.

“People often say to us that we should write to certain styles but that’s just not the way it turns out. Every song ends up sounding a little different and that is definitely the way we like it,” says Mark.

Sunday night’s show is the Factory’s first town-centre concert since the Assembly Rooms Ethiopia gig – and their first with the new line-up. The band say they are particularly keen to do well as they still (mistakenly in my opinion) think they let people down at their last local show at Polesworth.

“We haven’t really been able to practise much since the Polesworth show but we are determined to do better than then, And are all looking forward to it,” said Mark.

For those that don’t know, the ‘new’ Factory feature not only stalwarts Mark and Tim Goode but former Terroa drummer and Rathole regular Batman. Old Catch 22 guitarist Dave Stevenson and a five man brass and keyboard section – Greg Stevenson, Neil Gledhill, Paul Scragg, Paul Stansfield and Nigel Atherley.

Joining the Factory on what should be an excellent evening are Burton duo Grace and Danger – a well-respected outfit who Mark has been championing for several months.

“We don’t know a lot about them, but it should be interesting having an out-of-town support act and ‘G and D’ will make a refreshing change,” said Mark.

Sunday’s show starts at around 8-8.30pm and I would urge Ratholians in their multitudes to attend. Many people till have the wrong idea about the Factory and Sunday is the ideal time to destroy those preconceptions.

Tamworth Herald – 04/07/86
Musicbox – Back ‘home’ and raring to go

Caption: The Dream Factory…ready for action
Caption: The Dream Factory…ready for action

TAMWORTH’S most popular band, The Dream Factory, make their long-awaited debut on Sunday night – and have promised a concert to remember.

The group realise they will be under close scrutiny from a lot of people who may know a lot about the band but have never seen them before. And that is exactly what they want…

“We are really looking forward to playing to the normal Rathole people who are not necessarily our fans,” says bassist Mark Mortimer.

“It will be a real pleasure to play to others plus all the other local musicians, because I am sure a lot of people, still have the wrong impression about us.”

The Dream Factory today are about as far removed from the albatross-like ‘mod’ tag as it is possible to be. They are hoping above all on Sunday to win over a lot of Tamworth people who have had a mistaken impression about the group and show that they are one of the most easily accessible and genuinely talented bands Tamworth has ever created. To my ears their sound now resembles a winning mixture of Dexys, Style Council, modern pop, northern soul and high-energy ‘new wave’. It should have something for just about everyone.

“People often say to us that we should write to certain styles but that’s just not the way it turns out. Every song ends up sounding a little different and that is definitely the way we like it,” says Mark.

Sunday night’s show is the Factory’s first town-centre concert since the Assembly Rooms Ethiopia gig – and their first with the new line-up. The band say they are particularly keen to do well as they still (mistakenly in my opinion) think they let people down at their last local show at Polesworth.

“We haven’t really been able to practise much since the Polesworth show but we are determined to do better than then, And are all looking forward to it,” said Mark.

For those that don’t know, the ‘new’ Factory feature not only stalwarts Mark and Tim Goode but former Terroa drummer and Rathole regular Batman. Old Catch 22 guitarist Dave Stevenson and a five man brass and keyboard section – Greg Stevenson, Neil Gledhill, Paul Scragg, Paul Stansfield and Nigel Atherley.

Joining the Factory on what should be an excellent evening are Burton duo Grace and Danger – a well-respected outfit who Mark has been championing for several months.

“We don’t know a lot about them, but it should be interesting having an out-of-town support act and ‘G and D’ will make a refreshing change,” said Mark.

Sunday’s show starts at around 8-8.30pm and I would urge Ratholians in their multitudes to attend. Many people till have the wrong idea about the Factory and Sunday is the ideal time to destroy those preconceptions.

Tamworth Herald – 11/07/86
THE DREAM FACTORY have apologised to their fans for the late cancellation of their ‘Rathole’ show on Sunday night. Unfortunately the PA did not turn up, leaving a great deal of disappointed spectators – and to say an upset Factory entourage and Rathole management. Bassist Mark Mortimer said he was very sad about the whole affair, especially as it followed hot on the heels of a hugely-successful Lincolnshire show on Saturday night. The band have re-arranged another concert at ‘The Rathole’ for Sunday, August 31.

Tamworth Herald – 01/08/86
Musicbox – Great Escape that wasn’t….
I AM not going to bore you to death with my holiday details, but I have to say just one thing.

I thought the whole point of going away was to escape everything, so imagine my amazement when after travelling 1,400 miles, I realised I was in a hotel 60 yards away from Dream Factory lead singer Tim Goode!

We were on the same plane, had the same travel company, and even cried into our beer together when the mighty Bruno was beaten. But where on earth do you have to go to escape things? I guess next year I could always forget earth altogether, and head for the moon. Knowing my luck I will probably bump into someone like Glen Lewis or Mick Goodby up there searching for the Clangers…

Tamworth Herald – 01/08/86
Musicbox – SNIPS
The Dream Factory are searching for a new keyboard player following the shock decision of Greg Stevenson to quit the band. Greg has had to leave because of other commitments and the band say they are sorry to see him depart. If you have the talent and enthusiasm and dedication to replace him contact Mark.

Tamworth Herald – 22/08/86
Musicbox – SNIPS
THE Dream Factory have had to cancel tonight’s show in aid of the police’s SPACE scheme due to a problem with the licences. It has made them even more determined to enjoy their Rathole show on August 31.

Tamworth Herald – 29/08/86
Musicbox – Happy Factory welcome back a fine talent
Happy Factory welcome back a fine talentLLOYD BARNETT the former Dream Factory guitarist, who quit the band several months ago, has staged a dramatic reconciliation with the group.

Lloyd has re-joined the band as rhythm guitarist and will make his first Tamworth appearance with the new line-up at the ‘Rathole’ on Sunday night.

The rest of the band are delighted to have Lloyd back in the line-up, not only for his high standard of guitar playing but also because he is an outstanding songwriter. Lloyd penned many of the Factory’s best known numbers, including the classic ‘Love 15’ which will be the band’s next single.

“We are very pleased indeed to have Lloyd back,” admitted bassist Mark Mortimer. “HE is a very talented songwriter, a brilliant backing vocalist and a very good guitarist.”

Lloyd will not only be playing guitar alongside Dave Stevenson, but he will also be doing some extra percussion. The Factory have come to the sensible conclusion that they would only use two guitars when it was necessary, so as not to clutter their sound. It gives Lloyd a chance to experiment with more things than just a plectrum!

”We were very conscious of having too much guitar, as this is the best way round the problem,” said Mark.

Mark now feels that the Factory jigsaw is finally complete. He is the first to admit that the band has been through a lot of musicians in their four-year history but he now feels it would be difficult to improve on the present line-up.

“We always hoped that during the split, Lloyd may stay with us, but we are happy to have him back” said Mark.

Lloyd’s re-appearance with the Factory just adds more spice to the band’s show on Sunday. It had already been the source of much debate because the band’s last two Tamworth shows – at the ‘Rathole’ and Belgrave – had to be cancelled at the last minute. This Sunday they are determined to go ahead and Mark is as keen as ever to make a big name on his home town audience.

“We don’t know how we will go down because the ‘Rathole’ seems to be quite alternative and we aren’t really”! he said “But we are all looking forward to it and it should be a good night.”

Joining the Factory on Sunday, will be a band called 15 minutes from Birmingham, who are supposed to be a Dance Stance/Soul Exit/James Brown style.

It all starts at about 8.30pm and if the Factory can finally bury their Tamworth concert jinx, and all goes to plan, it should be an exciting night of entertainment.

Tamworth Herald – 05/09/86
Musicbox – Factory goods going stale
The Dream Factory – The Rathole
IT’S BEEN about three years now since I first saw The Dream Factory. Since then they have altered so dramatically, they are hard to recognise.

The have recruited new, talented musicians, extended their line-up to include an all-embracing brass section and reached the stage where they are easily Tamworth’s best paid and best-known local band.

But one thing has remained the same, sadly, they are still not writing enough material. Sunday night’s powerful Rathole set was marred for me – and several others I spoke to – because it was almost a carbon-copy of Factory sets of at least the past year.

For every new composition like ‘I’ll Be Back’ there are at least a couple of cover bversions, and even Factory standards like ‘Cold Turkey’, ‘Fashion Toys’ and ‘Moustrap’ are starting to sound just like, well, standards.

The set they played on Sunday would have gone down well just about everywhere but the Rathole. The band could and should have experimented with new, original material. A lot of the audience knew the songs backwards and playing tunes like ‘Knock On Wood’ just opens the group up to criticism from all sides.

Playing in front of a ‘home’ audience the band should have been a bit more risky, thrown out at least three of the cover versions and showed why they deserve their much-heralded tag as Tamworth’s top band.

Make no mistake, the set they played was good, and the quality of the musicians was second to none. But, some things were definitely missing ‘Love 15’ and ‘Feel Your Touch’ were both supreme and really are masterpieces, but the band should concentrate on writing more of them.

Otherwise, there is a danger that they could go stale and end up churning out ‘Knock On Wood’, ‘Cold Turkey’ et all for the next three years. They are too good a band to allow that to happen.

Tamworth Herald – 26/09/86
Musicbox – Review – THE DREAM FACTORY – Demos *****
Not actually released but so good I had to say something. Basically the Dream Factory are trying to record every one of their best numbers on demo and this is the collection so far. Contains interesting newies like ‘Uncle Albert’ with triumphant oldies like ‘Love 15’, ‘Mousetrap’ and the sizzling ‘Feel Your Touch’. Great stuff.

Tamworth Herald – 24/10/86
Musicbox – SNIPS
THE Dream Factory are to make their first ever appearance in the centre of Atherstone on Sunday when they play a special Labour Party benefit gig at Atherstone Miners Welfare Club in South Street. The band will be joined by a disco spun by Mark Mortimer (who!).

Tamworth Herald – 28/11/86
Musicbox – Clocking on to a fresh new sound

Caption: Bryan Lacey and Mark Mortimer…time for a change.
Caption: Bryan Lacey and Mark Mortimer…time for a change.

THIS WEEK we can reveal a musical secret which has been vexing local musicians for the last fortnight.

A couple of weeks ago, an anonymous well-known local musician put an appeal in Musicbox foe dedicated, committed musicians to try something new. Speculation raged for days as to who it was, and today we can reveal it was the Dream Factory’s bassist Mark Mortimer.

Mark had been keen to do something outside the Factory and he has now teamed up with an old adversary, Parade singer Bryan Lacey, to produce what he hopes will be a band truer to his musical beliefs.

“This does not necessarily mean the end of the Dream Factory, but this is a departure which I felt I had to make. Over the past few months, the Factory have been aware that I have not been as happy as I have been in previous years, and I needed to do something fresh,” said Mark.

Mark hopes to continue his new band, tentatively called The Great Express, alongside the Factory, but he knows this may not be possible. Whatever happens, he has a lot of confidence that in Bryan he has a partner he can respect as a musician, songwriter and musical accomplice.

The duo have worked together in the past (Private Property and The Visitors) but both now feel they are ready to take it all the way.

“We are both older and more experienced now and we feel that there will be a lot of people interested in what we can do now. It’s great to be back working again and I am looking forward to doing something very different from The Parade,” said Bryan.

The duo intend to be the mainstay of the band with other musicians helping out on a temporary or semi-permanent basis. They feel that way, they can avoid internal conflicts and stick true to their very firm musical ideas.”

“We both like a lot of similar music and hopefully the sound we produce will be hard, tight and original,” said Mark. “We both have a few of our own old songs, but we are already writing new songs and things are really starting to tick.”

The band do not have an idea of exactly what sound they will produce when they first hit the stage early next year, but say it will not be like the Dream Factory, not like The Parade, and definitely not like The Jam. It will, however, be very powerful, and I for one, can hardly wait to see The Great Express power in.

Tamworth Herald – 05/12/86
Musicbox – A dream ends but the triumph will linger on
THE DREAM FACTORY have split up. The group finally decided to throw in the towel after a crisis meeting last Thursday. They talked honestly with one another about what they wanted and what they had achieved and then agreed to split amicably, bringing to an end the career of one of Tamworth’s local pop institutions.

The sadness felt by all members is genuine, but through it all founder member Mark Mortimer is remaining as positive and optimistic as possible.

It’s hard within the space of one small article to explain the history and achievements of the Factory, but how many other local bands can match what follows. They have done concerts all around Britain supporting bands such as Bad Manners, The Meteors, Shrickback and The Bouncing Czechs.

They have played in front of 20,000 people and been featured in papers such as The Daily Mirror, Sounds and masses of fanzines, local newspapers and national scootering magazines. In addition they have released two singles, one of which broke the indies charts and received substantial airplay on Radio One.

They have had encouraging comments from Paul Weller, Julian Cope, Bruce Foxton, Micky Most and even Elton John. In addition they have won the Musicbox Band of the Year award for the past three years and have been an indirect influence on a host of local bands. They have also featured no less than 31 musicians in their three –year history including well-known local stars such as Donald Skinner, Dave Smith and Greg Stevenson
There is plenty more I could mention (amazing reviews, wonderful concerts, etc.) but the overall impression is there has never been a genuinely local band who have been as honestly successful as this.

“I’m proud of what we achieved together. We were possibly the first local band who decided it just doesn’t matter being top in your own back yard – you’ve got to get out and impress neutrals all around the country and we did just that. I’m proud we reached the indie charts ands all the other things and that pride stays with me,” said Mark.

The group’s brass section were the first to declare they were leaving followed by Mark, drummer Batman and the guitarist Dave Stevenson. Mark now looks forward to working with kindred spirit Bryan Lacey in the Great Express, while Batman, Lloyd Barnett, Dave and Tim Goode, may move into new spheres.

There is talk of the Factory’s manager, Neil Rushden releasing a mini album of their best work.

The dream however, is finally over.

Tamworth Herald – 12/12/86
Musicbox – SNIPS
TIM Goode and Lloyd Barnett will stay together despite the Dream Factory split. Now the ex-singer and guitarist are on the lookout for a new band to play music which sounds like the Factory but with more of a feel of bands like The Smiths. If you are a bassist, guitarist or drummer and want to know more you can leave a message for Tim.

Tamworth Herald – 19/12/86
Musicbox – Farewell Factory, hello party time
THE DREAM FACTORY make their last appearance on Sunday night in what promises to be one of the most moving nights in the history of the local scene.

Even though they will be without two key brass section members, the band are determined to go ahead with the special ‘Rathole’ show which will be a public ‘thank-you’ to all the people who have loyally supported them over the years.

It will be the last time local pop fans will be able to see Tim, Lloyd, Mark, Batman and the rest of the Factory crew together on a stage – and they are hoping o make it a show to remember.

The band haven’t practiced together for a month, but their understandable nerves about this are compensated by a belief that the genuine musical feeling will be enough to carry them through what should be a tremendous night.

It will be the last time we will all be able to hear classics like ‘Feel Your Touch’, ‘Wine and Roses’, ‘Uncle Albert’ and so on.

No Dream Factory – or for the matter local music – fan should want to miss it. It should be a cracker.

If you’re still not convinced, the support band on the night is one of Tamworth’s fastest improving outfits, Kara. The group are certainly on the ‘up’ at the moment and are being regarded as one of the area’s brightest hopes for success in the future.

So if you want to see one rising star and sadly one falling one, Sunday night at the Rathole is the place to be. The Christmas party starts here.

Dream Factory – (Final Concert)
Ironically I suppose, this must go down as one of the Factory’s best gigs. It will never be betted (because they probably won’t play together again!) and what made it really special was that the spirit for once outweighed the professionalism. In the past, the Factory have been so tight, so precise that occasionally they lost some of their edge and feeling but not here. It WAS rough around the edges, and occasionally chaotic but this helped the sound and the atmosphere Tremendously. New Factory followers and fans alike warmed to the rough and ready but still sweet and dynamic sound and I for one was left with a sense of emptiness when the band left the stage for the very last time. It was the end of a Tamworth institution but thankfully it was a fitting end. Sad but triumphant.

Tamworth Herald – 03/04/87
Musicbox – SNIPS
One of The Dream Factory’s lesser-known classics ‘Stop the Dragon’ is to be featured on a special soul compilation EP on Inferno Records. The label will be releasing several impressive soul EPs throughout the next few months and another Factory song ‘Mousetrap’ has been lined up for possible inclusion.

Tamworth Herald – 12/01/90
Musicbox - Great Local Bands of the 1980’s - week number two

The Dream Factory were one of the most exciting bands ever to come out of this area.Dream Factory
The Dream Factory were one of the most exciting bands ever to come out of this area and one who inspired the likes of Catch 23 and Dance Stance to pick up their guitars and play. A group who had an amazing following locally and nationally they earned massive press coverage and played several huge concerts in a hectic three year period. They ended up having dozens of members but it all came to a sad end when the key men started drifting away from one another. Their place in local music history is assured however because to many people they were the first real stars of the 80s. A great live act who were responsible for a killer single in ‘Wine And Roses’. A memorable outfit.

Tamworth Herald – 02/11/90
Dream FactoryMusicbox – The recurring Dream?
PLANS are underfoot for a unique Christmas concert which could see the one-off reformation of four of Tamworth’s most popular ever band – including the legendary Dream Factory.

The Factory boys – arguably the most important ever Tamworth band apart from Wolfsbane – could be reforming for a special charity concert which is also set to feature Love On Board, Sitting Pretty and The Classified Ads.

The idea initially came form Ian Gibbons who saw an ‘oldies but goldies’ night as a fun way to celebrate the Yuletide and it was made even more of a possibility when your friendly neighbourhood Box Editor Sam Holliday had such a ball reforming the Classified Ads for his wedding.

The four bands potentially on offer – all of whom genuinely feel they played their own part in creating the Tamworth music scene as it is today – were all very popular at the start of the Eighties and many of their ex-members are still actively involved in local music.

The idea is to try and reform the bands for a nostalgic bonanza with all the proceeds going to charity. Reactions to the idea from the various groups have been very enthusiastic with former Dream Factory bassist Mark Mortimer summing up the feeling…

“It would be great fun. I spoke to the Factory’s old singer Tim Goode and he got very emotional at the idea which makes me feel it could be a winner.”

The four bands all represent different strands of Tamworth musical history. The Factory were THE band of the Early Eighties, releasing a number of critically acclaimed tapes and records and playing to huge audiences throughout the country. They were the first Tamworth area band to get national publicity and were seen by many (though not unnecessarily themselves) as the forerunners of the renewed mod scene. Sitting Pretty were a pure pop band with a huge following who attracted various record company interest and a legion of devoted fans. Love On Board were simply YEARS ahead of their time, a classic Orange Juice style band who earned tremendous respect, while the Classified Ads were a post-punk bunch of pinko politicos who made a vile racket which surprisingly earned them a biggesh following at their demise. None of the four bands has been together properly for more than five years now but if all the ex-members can be dug up in time a Christmas charity bonanza is promised. It should be a great gig and it will also give any current local musician who has been slagged off by hacks Sam Holliday (Classified Ads); Mark Mortimer (Dream Factory) or Mike Turner (Sitting Pretty) a real chance for a revenge review!

Watch this space for more info.

Tamworth Herald – 07/12/90
Musicbox – Salute the Golden Oldies!
TWO of the greatest bands ever to come out of the Tamworth music scene reunite on Sunday for a nostalgic charity event.TWO of the greatest bands ever to come out of the Tamworth music scene reunite on Sunday for a nostalgic charity event.

The trail-blazing Dream Factory will team up with the sweet popsters of Love On Board to provide a musical tour-de-force which should make for a very special Rathole event indeed.

It had originally been hoped that both The Classified Ads and Sitting Pretty might be able to join them, but this isn’t possible at the moment although there are already plans for ‘Golden Oldies II’ in the New Year.

The idea for a ‘best of the 80s’ event has been circulating for some time, and now it is finally happening it looks set to capture a potentially huge audience – especially as all the profits will go to heart charities.

Topping the bill will of course be The Dream Factory. For those who don’t know, The Dream Factory can, I feel, be regarded as the most important band in the early genesis of this blooming music scene. Inspired by music-mad Mark Mortimer, they built up a huge following for their Sixties inspired Jan-style pop, releasing two singles, playing exactly 100 gigs and earning national as well as regional press acclaim. They directly inspired groups such as Dance Stance and Catch 23 and they practically made the MUSICBOX poll their own for a number of years. Over those years, the band went through a number of line-ups, a fact reflected by them having no less than ELEVEN musicians involved on the Factory stage on Sunday. They are; Mark Mortimer (Original member bass), Tim Goode (original member, vocals), Lloyd Barnett (original member , guitar and broken leg!), Dave Stevenson (guitar), ‘Batman’ (drums), Andy Codling (alto sax), Paul Scragg (tenor sax), Paul Stansfield (trombone), Neil Gledhill (alto and bass sax), Martin Cooper (trumpet) and Mark Allison (trumpet). We are promised goldies like ‘Wine and Roses’ and from the feedback I am getting we are also promised a pretty huge attendance. Many people loved The Dream Factory and I am sure many more will turn up on Sunday to see why…

Teaming up with them are one of the best pop bands ever produced – Love On Board. The group generally agreed to be YEARS ahead of their time were inspired by Orange Juice and appeared in the early 80s at a time when the national music scene was fighting to find it’s new direction in the wake of punk. Their impressive lovable pop is exactly the sort that the likes of Fetch Eddie and Emma Gibbs popularised later and individual members – Nick Reed (Dance Stance), Glen ‘Fireburner’ Lewis (Honeyjump) and Neil Jones – cannot be understated. Drumming for them on the night will be long term fan Nig Horton and all the indications are that this will be another night of nostalgic magic.

All told, a gig that can’t be recommended highly enough.

A great night and just £1.50 with all the profits going to heart research. Get to the Rathole and miss it not.

Tamworth Herald – 21/12/90
Musicbox – Nostalgic Smiles
Love On Board/The Dream Factory – The Rathole

Love On Board – The Rathole
Two great new bands on here, both with a very promising future behind them! Love On Board and The Dream Factory might as well have been playing their first gig because I had never seen them. It’s not quite that they split up before I was born but – while others remember these two acts with nostalgia – I grew up with bands like Wolfsbane, Catch 23, Emma Gibbs and DHSS as my Arts Centre favourites.

I soon realised what I could have been seeing on a Sunday night instead of doing my homework though. Love On Board are a great pop group with a great sense of fun. I don’t know if they were always this relaxed on stage but they were certainly prepared to enjoy this charity gig. Musically, they sounded very good together considering it has been so long since they played and they performed a very enjoyable set by any standards. I’m afraid I couldn’t name their best songs because I don’t know what any of them are called, but the set definitely got better as it went on.

The Dream Factory – The Rathole
Despite the changes and the new bands in the Tamworth music scene. The Dream Factory remain a legend and they’re a band I had always wanted to see. Dream factory fans are obviously a doddery old lot though and a disappointing number of them managed to venture out while there was so much snow on the ground. It was a shame there were so few people because it was a real treat to see The Dream Factory in action.

While others compare the old Dream Factory with later Mark Mortimer projects like Bash Out The Odd, I couldn’t help making the comparison the other way around. It was a bit unfair to do so because – despite the involvement of Mortimer and the brass section in both projects – the bands are quite different. The Dream factory played an impressive set though, the highlight of which was ‘Wine and Roses’. My only complaint is that their professionalism was so great that it made them take themselves a little too seriously at times on a night that I understand to be more for fun than anything else.



Dream Factory

Dream Factory

Caption: The Factory’s brass and keyboard section (Left to right) Greg Stevenson, Neil Gledhill, Paul Scragg, Paul Stansfield and Nigel Atherley.

Caption: The Factory’s brass and keyboard section (Left to right) Greg Stevenson, Neil Gledhill, Paul Scragg, Paul Stansfield and Nigel Atherley.

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