Tamworth Bands - History 1960-1990
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The Parade

The Parade
The Parade
Photograph courtesy: Tamworth Herald
The Gallery

Musical Genre/Type: Pop
Formed: 1984

Band Members:
Brian Lacey: Guitar and Vocals
Andy Stokes: Bass Guitar and Backing Vocals
Ian Simpson: Drums

Gigs:
22/09/84
Sacred Oath
The Parade

Tamworth Arts Centre

26/10/84
The Parade
Ideal Standard

Tamworth Arts Centre

20/12/84
Sitting Pretty
The Parade

Tamworth Arts Centre

11/01/85
Ideal Standard
The Parade
Coleshill Town Hall

08/02/85
Edward ian Armchair
The Parade
Love On Board
Tamworth Arts Centre

26/10/85
The Parade
Swish Sports and Social Club

16/02/86
Wolfsbane
Depth Charge
The Me
The Parade
Battle of the Bands
Tamworth Arts Centre

27/02/86
Femme Fatale
The Parade
Coventry

15/05/86
The Parade
Burton Blue Posts

17/01/88
The Great Express
The Parade
Acoustic Shock
Tamworth Arts Centre

Tamworth Herald Features:
Tamworth Herald 21/09/84
Musicbox - On Parade for a busy weekend
TAMWORTH’S ROCK FANS can look forward to another Arts Centre ‘double-header’ this weekend when the venue plays host to two very diverse gigs.

Tonight energetic Burton trio Delusions of Grandeur will return to the centre to play alongside two acts which they say reflect the dual side of their music – new wave band A5 and synth duo Select Elect.

And then 24 hours later there won’t be a synthesiser in sight when new trio The Parade will play alongside youthful power rock outfit Sacred Oath.

Delusions of Grandeur will be coming to the Arts Centre for the second time this evening when they hope to build on their first show a few months ago.

Then the band impressed everyone with their tight modern pop sound – but turned a few people off with their onstage verbosity. But tonight lead singer Geoff Noble has promised more music and less verbals and hopes his band will win over everyone to their powerful entertaining music.

Supporting Delusions to night will be A5, a band who made considerable impression at Tamworth’s pop festival recently. A5’s sound was described by everyone at the time as being new wave meets Hawkwind, which seems to be an apt description of a band who combine very modern touches with effect-induced psychedelia.

Back-up

Select Elect will need no introduction but they have promised a more ‘live’ set than ever before. Th eband say they have become increasingly wary of letting tape recorders do their back-up work so tonight the band will be aiming at playing live as much as possible.

Tonights gig begins around 8pm and tickets from the Arts Centre cost 60p or £1 on the door.

Then on Saturday night the Arts Centre will pay host to two guitar-based bands who couldn’t be further apart musically. Sacred Oath, the young and enthusiastic new heavy group will be playing their second gig in about a month at the centre and will no doubt be out to catch the legions of rock fans who have recently taken Wolfsbane and BHX to their hearts.

Playing with Sacred Oath will be a band new to most people – The Parade. The band, formerly known as The Visitors, are a powerful trio influenced by bands such as Stiff Little Fingers, The Buzzcocks and The Stranglers. As this probably implies, they play new wave orientated music – but the story doesn’t end there.

“We are influenced by a lot of people but we have a sound all of our own,” said guitarist Brian Lacey.

The Parade are a band who feel they have a point to prove and are determined to get away from the image that most people have tried to hang on them that they are a Jam-copy band.

“I never even listen to The Jam anymore and we sound nothing like them. I can’t understand why people think we do, unless it’s just because we are a trip,” said Brian.

The Parade play a set of originals that vary in speed, feeling and sound and they are not sure who they will appeal to.

The Parade will be playing alongside Sacred Oath tomorrow night in a gig that kicks-off at 8pm. Tickets are just 50p and like tonight’s show, an intriguing night is in prospect.

Tamworth Herald 05/10/84
Musicbox – Making music simply great
Bands aim for a pure magic
The Parade – Sacred Oath

IN these days when the music profession is regarded as a multi-million pound business, it is sometimes all too easy to forget the real values involved in creating sound.

Music has nothing to do with the pound in your pocket or the record company moguls, it should be all about creating a sound that you love to play and hoping that as many people as possible will love to hear it.

That is why it is always refreshing to see young bands starting out full of enthusiasm and anticipation and as yet untainted by the ugly, industrial reality of the pop biz.

Two such bands are Sacred Oath and The Parade – groups that could not be further apart musically, but who both share a common heartfelt belief in the music they make and the effect it can have on people.

Take Sacred Oath, probably the youngest band in the area, they have a pure non-cynical approach to their sound which makes them enjoyable to watch and very enjoyable to listen to. Their sound is straight and heavy and owes much to ancient punk rock riffs which they have metallised into epic, fully-blown rock numbers.

Musically, they play with an enthusiastic mania made all the more palatable by the admirable democracy of letting both guitarists – Paul Keaton and Murray Pickett - share the inevitable guitar solos. Both have considerable talent and as poseurs, they are even more adept.

Add to this the searching and sometimes very emotional vocals of Star Trek, the bruising bass of Niz Concannon and the almost overwhelming power of female drummer Vick the Viking and you have got a truly winning combination.

They all looked good, smiled a lot and treated the audience to a wonderfully crazed ending when people were diving into the centre of the stage with buoyant glee. All in all a terrific show packed full of potential.

Potential is also a word that sticks in mind about The Parade.

After starting with a little uncertainty, they just got better and better and the crowd became increasingly excited at their music. The music had overtones of The Clash, The Quads and yes, The Jam.

I can’t really understand the group’s claims that they sound nothing like The Jam – it’s as if sounding like one of the greatest groups EVER is a bad thing!

Still, influences or no influences, The Parade are still very much their own band. Some of their songs have infectious tunes and meaningful angry lyrics and if there was one criticism I would make of an otherwise superb night, I would say the band failed to get their true power across by keeping the bass and drums at a disappointingly indistinguishable level.

So two bands to watch out for in the future. Both have a lot to say and a lot to play and until they feel the beckoning clutches of the outside world, they should delight a lot of people with their sheer, honest approach to music.

SAM HOLLIDAY

Tamworth Herald 05/10/84
Musicbox – Making music simply great
Bands aim for a pure magic
The Parade – Sacred Oath

IN these days when the music profession is regarded as a multi-million pound business, it is sometimes all too easy to forget the real values involved in creating sound.

Music has nothing to do with the pound in your pocket or the record company moguls, it should be all about creating a sound that you love to play and hoping that as many people as possible will love to hear it.

That is why it is always refreshing to see young bands starting out full of enthusiasm and anticipation and as yet untainted by the ugly, industrial reality of the pop biz.

Two such bands are Sacred Oath and The Parade – groups that could not be further apart musically, but who both share a common heartfelt belief in the music they make and the effect it can have on people.

Take Sacred Oath, probably the youngest band in the area, they have a pure non-cynical approach to their sound which makes them enjoyable to watch and very enjoyable to listen to. Their sound is straight and heavy and owes much to ancient punk rock riffs which they have metallised into epic, fully-blown rock numbers.

Musically, they play with an enthusiastic mania made all the more palatable by the admirable democracy of letting both guitarists – Paul Keaton and Murray Pickett - share the inevitable guitar solos. Both have considerable talent and as poseurs, they are even more adept.

Add to this the searching and sometimes very emotional vocals of Star Trek, the bruising bass of Niz Concannon and the almost overwhelming power of female drummer Vick the Viking and you have got a truly winning combination.

They all looked good, smiled a lot and treated the audience to a wonderfully crazed ending when people were diving into the centre of the stage with buoyant glee. All in all a terrific show packed full of potential.

Potential is also a word that sticks in mind about The Parade.

After starting with a little uncertainty, they just got better and better and the crowd became increasingly excited at their music. The music had overtones of The Clash, The Quads and yes, The Jam.

I can’t really understand the group’s claims that they sound nothing like The Jam – it’s as if sounding like one of the greatest groups EVER is a bad thing!

Still, influences or no influences, The Parade are still very much their own band. Some of their songs have infectious tunes and meaningful angry lyrics and if there was one criticism I would make of an otherwise superb night, I would say the band failed to get their true power across by keeping the bass and drums at a disappointingly indistinguishable level.

So two bands to watch out for in the future. Both have a lot to say and a lot to play and until they feel the beckoning clutches of the outside world, they should delight a lot of people with their sheer, honest approach to music.

SAM HOLLIDAY

Tamworth Herald 26/10/84
Musicbox
THE ARTS CENTRE will be under the spotlight again tonight when two energetic young bands will bring their fresh, powerful sound to Tamworth.

Headlining will be the always interesting Parade and playing with them will be Coleshill’s finest outfit Ideal Standard who are said to have a Jam/U2 sound.

For Ideal Standard, who we intend to feature in a future MUSICBOX, it will be their second gig after they recently made a strong impression with The Dream factory. The band are said to be young and very enthusiastic and although their set is mainly cover-orientated, it is hoped they will play some original numbers on the night.

The Parade meanwhile are hoping the gig will further enhance their growing reputation which will continue when they go into the studio shortly for their first ever demo tape. All in all an intriguing night is in prospect and the action begins at 8pm.

Tamworth Herald 14/12/84
Musicbox – Noisy carollers raise the roof
BOTH Breaking Point and Sitting Pretty will this week play their special Christmas Party gigs. Breaking Point will line up alongside popular Lichfield act Artful Dodger on Sunday and Sitting Pretty fans will have to wait until Thursday to hear their Christmas good tidings.

Pretty’s Arts Centre gig will be unique for a number of reasons. Not only will the band selling videos and tapes on the night but they will also be coordinating, a strange Christmas Carol Service by many of Tamworth’s local musicians.

People as varied as Mike Turner (Sitting Pretty), Brian Lacey (The Parade) and myself will join together in a series of traditional carols while a hat goes round for donations.

All the money raised will go straight to the Ethiopian appeal and any local musicians that want to help by joining in this most original of carol services is urged to come along on the night.

As well as the carol service the night will feature Sitting Pretty playing a host of new seasonal tunes and dynamic young trio The Parade – currently doing well in the Musicbox poll.

Farewell

Breaking PointThe night of fun starts at 7.30pm and everyone is urged to be early. For Breaking point their farewell to 1984 comes this Sunday and it will probably be the first time many fans have seen new powerhouse drummer Chris Orton in action.

Chris, formerly of Wild Child, has helped to instil a fresh power into the band and they are hoping to play several new numbers to make it a night to remember.

“1984 has gone pretty well for us and we are now confident that ’85 can be even better,” said Breaking Point vocalist Kevin Briggs.

So, two unmissable concerts which should put you really in the mood for a noisy, happy Christmas.

Tamworth Herald – 04/01/85
Brian LaceyMusicbox – Brian’s fine talent goes on Parade

The Parade – New Beginnings (Demo Tape)
A COUPLE of years ago a highly promising young band called The Visitors split up.

The band, spearheaded by the powerful forces of Brian Lacey and Mark Mortimer seemed destined for success but somehow the personalities of the two mainstays just couldn’t click at the right time.

After the split there was a certain amount of regrettable animosity but through it all Mark Mortimer, who of course went on to create The Dream Factory, always said ‘Brian will go far, he is genuinely talented’.

Mark still believes that, and after listening to this excellent new demo I think a lot more people will be believing it as well. For Brian’s songwriting on this three-tracker reveals a maturity and talent that far belies his teenage years.

One number in particular – ‘A Kinda Living’ – is quite simply irresistible and is my first contender for next year’s Musicbox local song of the year.

Strength

For it is the songwriting above all that makes this tape stand out like a shark in a fishpond. The actual playing, production and packaging are good but you get the feeling that the strength of the tunes on offer would shine through if the tape was recorded in a bathroom.

The tape opens with The Parade standard ‘Welcome to the Working Week’ which has nothing to do with the Elvis Costello song of the same name but is equally palatable.

It has a snappy, uncomfortable beat layered over by Brian’s smooth textured voice which only hints at the onstage aggression with which he normally delivers this song. ‘WorkingWeek’ is over far too quickly. It acts as a perfect foil to the outstanding second track ‘Before’.

Here, the beauty of Andy Stokes’ bass line carries a mellow and rather melancholy lyric, evoking a mist of emotions which take you right into the mood Brian was feeling in when he wrote it.

That is an almost unnerving and unique experience but you’re soon back to smiling with ‘A Kind of Living’. This is a buoyant, good-humoured pop song packed with ‘ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-baers’ and complemented by a tune that would have fitted perfectly on the Jam’s superb ‘Sound Affects’ collection.

Classics

It is exactly the sort of music that, if things had gone differently, The Visitors would now be making. As it is, this is a clear statement by Brian Lacey, which proudly says: “this is me as I am now – you can take it or leave it.”

Well I will certainly take it, Drummer Ian Simpson and Andy Stokes both do their jobs well but the sheer presence of Brian Lacey’s contribution to this tape takes it out of the Good Tapes League and into the Local Classics section.

If they can keep up this standard, The Parade look set for a very bright future and this tape can do nothing but good in their search for that elusive success.

SAM HOLLIDAY

Tamworth Herald – 08/02/85
Musicbox – Sitting in on a poet with the pits at heart
Caption: Edward ian Armchair…out of retirement to support the miners.TAMWORTH’S alternative poet Edward ian Armchair will come out of retirement tonight to join The Parade and Love On Board in the first ever miners’ benefit concert in the town.

Edward who gave up stagework in 1983, felt it was time local musicians did something positive to support the miners – and so he decided to take the initiative himself.

After gaining the support of fellow sympathisers The Parade and Love On Board, Edward booked the Arts Centre and is now set to perform tonight’s unique show.

“Although I gave up performing a while ago, I have wanted to do a miners’ benefit for several months, and so I finally made the decision to go ahead and do it,” said Edward.

He is convince that local young people support the miners’ cause, and he is confident many of them will rally round to attend the gig.

“I think is important we do concerts about issues at home because a lot of people are suffering hardship through this dispute. Even if they reach agreement there will be a lot of families in financial difficulty so we must do everything in our power to help them,” said Edward.

Politics aside, the concert will also be a chance for some people to hear Edward’s unique brand of poetry for the first time.

Rare chance

Since being a founder member of legendary punk band The Reliants, Edward has always had a high profile in the local scene. But it is with his original poetry performance that he has probably made most friends.

His poems cover a whole variety of modern issues – serious and not so serious – and give people a rare chance to hear modern live poetry.

Joining Edward tonight will be a superb trio The Parade who dedicated one of their songs at the ‘Rock for Ethiopia’ gig to the miners. The band who have an excellent three-track demo under their belts, play powerful new wave-orientated pop which combines speed with subtlety and aggression with sobriety.

Completing the official line-up is Love On Board whose recent re-appearance at the Tamworth Rocks for Ethiopia gig brought delight to many people. Their jovial modern pop sound has made them many friends and there is no doubt that their appearance will bring extra money – and people – into the event.

Tonight’s gig – which may also feature other as yet unconfirmed names – kicks off at around 8pm and Edward is banking on a good response from local people.

“The miners are fighting for the working man and we will all suffer if they lose that fight.”

Entry to the gig is £1.

Tamworth Herald – 04/10/85
Musicbox – GOSSIPBOX
And finally just a message to people wondering what The Parade are up to. Well contrary to popular belief they are not dead. Guitarist Brian Lacey said that the band’s low profile of late had caused people to think they had split up or contracted a mystery disease.

The truth is that the band are bursting with ambition to get going again. So don’t listen to rumours…stick with GOSSIPBOX. We always tell the truth…

The ParadeTamworth Herald – 25/10/85
Musicbox – SNIPS
On Parade
The Parade are playing a special free concert tomorrow night (Saturday) at their ‘home ground’ – the Swish Sports and Social Club on the Lichfield Road estate. The group, who have just recorded their second demo, will be hoping to showcase a great deal of their new material which they have been working diligently during the summer months.

Tamworth Herald – 01/11/85
Musicbox – Parading some fine musical talents
Caption: The Parade (from left): Brian Lacey, Ian Simpson, Andy Stokes – another stunning demo.The Parade – Time For Change (Demo)
EARLIER this year The Parade made quite an excellent demo tape. Containing the now immortal ‘Kind of Loving’ it towered above many of its contemporaries as one of the best demos to have ever come out of the town.

Everything looked promising for the band at the time – but they sadly failed to capitalise on the success of the demo.

Gigs became fewer and fewer, they missed the Festival for the second year running and it seemed if all the zest that made their first demo such a triumph died a premature death.

Noe, enter the resurrection. For the band are back, raw and hungry and sounding once again if they have re-discovered their once illuminating vision.

The four songs on this demo are all very enjoyable and more proof – if it was needed – of the sheer weighty talent of Brian Lacey as a songwriter.

No matter how long he stays away he always comes back with something you wish you had written – songs of a craft and inventiveness that show his talent is a natural, vital one.

Whether they like to admit it or not, and I suspect they won’t – the overall direction of the tape is still very much that of The Jam circa ‘The Modern World’. One track in particular, ‘Tonight’ sounds just like an unreleased demo from that much under-rated album, and the ghost of Paul Weller still, however unconsciously, haunts the writing of Brian Lacey.

But there is so much more than The Jam’s influence detectable to the discerning listener.

Almost as dominant is the feel and sound – particularly in the rhythm section – of The Who in their ‘My Generation’ mood. It is music with a sparse, dance-orientated atmosphere that would become very popular indeed with many of today’s mods.

I am sure the band would rather stick pins in their eyes than be considered a mod band, but there is no doubt of their appeal in this arena.

Elsewhere, I spotted The Small Faces, The Boys and most pleasingly of all The Undertones. Put all these very strong elements together and surely The Parade can’t fail – and they don’t.

“Time For Change” is a memorable, well-rounded demo packed with good tunes and impressive musicianship. Drummer Ian Simpson lets rip with some occasional Rick Buckler-esque drumming and Andy Stokes beefs up the rhythm section with some never predictable and always interesting bass work.

Occasionally the bass becomes the lead instrument which sounds not unlike – dare I say it – Jean Jacques Burnel.

Stronger

And then of course, there is Brian. His voice is getting stronger all the time (the emotion on ‘I’ll Cry instead’ is very real) and his guitar playing is faultless. With fine production from Expresso Bongo and a wise choice of ‘A’-side (the catchy, powerful “All of the Time”) it is a demo to play again and again.

Now the band’s priority must be to ensure that they don’t let the promise of this tape fall away as it did after the last blast from the recording studio. The Parade are a very good band who are slowly becoming a great band. Keep on keepin’ on indeed!

1986

Tamworth Herald – 17/01/86
Musicbox - Parading talents on an album of variety
THE PARADE are to appear on a special low price compilation album featuring a host of top Midlands bands.

The album features a number of artistes who already have contracts under their belts and The Parade are hopeful that it will give them a great start to 1986.

“A publisher has already bought the song and things are beginning to look good,” said singer Bryan Lacey. “This whole thing has been very exciting for us and the album as a whole is very varied.”

The song the band will be parading on the tape is ‘All Of The Time’ – the premier track on their second demo. They were asked to appear on the record after the track was heard in Birmingham and with the LP costing only around £1.50 it seems an awful lot of people are going to be able to hear the band’s excellent music in the near future. We will carry a full review of the album when it is released probably later this month.

Depth

The Parade are now looking for a new guitarist/singer to give them the added depth to deal with their new more complex material. Ideally the replacement should be youngish and enjoy playing music that combines the 60s with later 70s new wave.

Dedication and enthusiasm are also required, contact either Bryan or Ian.

Tamworth Herald – 17/01/86
Musicbox – Bands tune up for five nights
TAMWORTH’S second annual Battle of the Bands contest looks set to be a great success with 16 groups – some completely new to the scene – taking part. The event has been stretched over five nights, with four heats and a final which will possibly be judged by a celebrity.

And as well as winning the accolade of Tamworth’s best band, and a Young People’s Arts Festival trophy, the successful band will also win £50 worth of recording time at the Expresso Bongo studios.

The whole event will get underway two weeks on Sunday at Tamworth Arts Centre.

Sunday February 2Caprice and Femme Fatale take on the unknown quantities of Coleshill’s Burnin’ Sky and new Anice Byfield group Precious Toys.

Sunday February 9 – The Australians, One On One, Dance Stance and another new one, Drowning Pool.

Sunday, February 16Depth Charge, Wolfsbane, The Me and The Parade.

Sunday, February 23Terroa, Spirit Lake, Judas Cradle and Breaking Point.

Friday February 28 – The Final.

Tamworth Herald – 14/02/86
Musicbox – Another battle royale
THE THIRD intriguing night of the Battle of the Bands contest gets underway on Sunday when heat-favourites Wolfsbane take on the varied talents of Depth Charge, The Me and the always-interesting Parade.

It is probably the most diverse night yet in the contest ensuring another bumper attendance at the Arts Centre from a Tamworth audience that has really taken a liking to the competition.

First up – at around 5pm – will be Depth Charge the progressive rock band fronted by former BHX favourite Mick Goodby. The outfit, who were given a good reception the last time they played the Centre, play melodic rock that appeals to more than just rock fans and they should set the night off to a vibrant start.

That vibrant atmosphere will be more than sustained by rock and roll degenerates Wolfsbane who come up second. Their dynamic 100 miles per hour sleaze has the ability to stun an audience at 30 paces and they go into the heat as red-hot favourites to win.

Probably the least known band on the line-up is The Me who take the third slot. The Me, who scored well in the MUSICBOX poll are an amalgam of well-respected musicians with good track records. As little is known about them they should prove a big draw and the other three bands on the night will obviously worry about not knowing quite what to expect.

Finally on the night, will be The Parade – a good outside bet for victory. The committed trio play powerful modern music, built around the songwriting prowess of lead singer Bryan Lacey. They rarely disappoint and if they are on form they could be very difficult to beat. So yet another heat looks like causing quite a stir in the local music scene. Entry is once again free – even the February 28 final will only be 75p or less – and the night looks like being another great success for musicians and spectators alike.

Tamworth Herald – 21/02/86
Musicbox – Sparkling Wolf in winners’ clothing
WolfsbaneBATTLE REVIEW
Battle of the Bands – Tamworth Arts Centre

POWERFUL Wolfsbane scraped through to the final of the Battle of the Bands on Sunday night, in another close-fought encounter.

Wolfsbane won their heat by just one point, to conclude a night that was once again a triumph for the local scene.

First up were Depth Charge, who turned out to be, perhaps, the biggest surprise of all. A new mood of confidence and aggression has hit the band, and the resulting sound is one that won them many friends among the packed Arts Centre crowd.

The opening two numbers, ‘Running Away’ and ‘In My Car’ were two of the best I have heard in the whole contest, and they were both sparkling and very well played. The tight power of the band was quite inspiring and to many ears – mine included – it seemed hard to see how they could be beaten.

Wolfsbane, perhaps because they were carrying around their necks the unwelcome albatross of being the red-hot favourites, started their set off uncharacteristically uncertain. Slowly, however, things began to ‘click’ and it was clear that whatever Bayley, Jase, Stakk and The Slut have been up to these past couple of months, it has been worthwhile.

‘I’m Not A Baby No More’ was particularly dynamic, but the award for best song of the set – and the night – certainly went to ‘Clutching At Straws’ which is a track to get your rock and roll hankies out to.

As Spirit Lake singer Dylan said afterwards, the song is a real classic, and as Dance Stance guitarist Nick Reed also said afterwards, Wolfsbane were tremendous.

By way of a contrast, The Me were next to show. The Me are a likeable r ‘n’ b combo with a cheerfully spaced-out sound that is very soothing. Lead singer Andy Meakin was especially good, coming across as a sort of erstwhile Lou Reed character. He gave the sort of impression all r ‘n’ b singers should aim for – a kind of alcoholic nonchalance.

Exciting demos

Finally, came The Parade, who turned in a show made up largely of their exciting two demos. It was direct, powerful and impressive and even when Bryan Lacey’s guitar cut out, the group’s on-stage enthusiasm couldn’t be denied. The three judges on the night, Paul Speare, Phil Smith and Graham Phelps, were all agreed on one thing – with the right handling, The Parade could go a long way.

In the end, however, there could be only one winner and although two bands were almost neck and neck in the judges’ view, Wolfsbane were given the nod to take part in next Friday’s final.

Tamworth Herald – 09/05/86
Musicbox – SNIPS
The Parade continue their bid for world domination with a show at the Burton Blue Posts on Thursday night.

Tamworth Herald – 06/06/86
Musicbox – Memories linger on – as two bands split
TWO OF TAMWORTH’S best known bands have split up. The Parade and Femme Fatale both decided to split within hours of each other, leaving two large holes in the local scene.

The Parade describe their split as being ‘by mutual agreement’ after an increasing lack of direction which saw them miss a few vital concerts. In fact hours after the split, the band were offered a last minute substitution slot at the Dome’s ‘Battle of the Bands’ in Birmingham – a concert that singer Bryan Lacey reluctantly had to turn down.

It is not known what will now happen with Bryan, bassist Andy and drummer Simmo, but it is hoped that all three will continue to pursue musical ambitions. They leave behind a legacy of two of the very best Tamworth demos ever recorded and a host of hot sweaty concerts at the Arts Centre. They will be missed.

Femme Fatale’s decision to quit is probably less of a surprise. For months the band have been unable to practise on regular basis due to the commitments of guitarists Mark Poyner and Martin Higgins.

Understandably this created tensions within the band and last week they decided to throw in the towel. Martina and Mark will probably carry on working together and the same probably applies for Jim and Debbie – both of whom are highly respected musicians on the local scene.

When Femme Fatale first arrived I said that Tamworth had been waiting a long time for such a band. Now sadly the Town will have to wait a little longer for a new one.

Tamworth Herald – 21/08/87
Musicbox – SNIPS
Parade lead singer Brian Lacey has just returned from ‘vacances a la France’. In typical Tamworth style the whole thing was somewhat flawed for bubbly Brian when he went to Boulogne…and his luggage went to Calais. Oh la la!

Tamworth Herald – 04/09/87
Musicbox – Power and glory songs
Breaking PointSpotlight on two opposites with a certain bond
The Parade – Demo/Breaking Point – Demo

ON THE SURFACE, Kevin Briggs and Brian Lacey have very little in common. They don’t listen to the same music, like the same music, share the same dreams or believe in the same attitudes. And yet these two highly-contrasting individuals have a unique and precious bond – they are both totally natural, gifted songwriters.

For some bands’ images, style – even politics – are easy enough to sort out but songwriting is murderous. For both The Parade and Breaking Point this is not the case. These two demos show perfectly their ability to make difficult songwriting seem easy, and prove that to be able to pen the tunes is far more important than to be able tom play them.

The Parade’s demo, for example, is a mixture of the all-new line-up in ‘live’ Expresso Bongo action, and a host of solo acoustic material by Mr. Lacey. The former tracks show that The Parade have settled on a stronger, more defined line-up and sound.

New drummer Alan Bayliss shows surprising confidence and competence for one so relatively inexperienced, while new backing singer Heidi Thomas adds some lovely well-pitched edges to Brian Lacey’s more aggressive tones.

The ParadeOf the tunes on offer on this 45-minute collection, oldies like ‘A Kind Of Living’, ‘All Of the Time’ and especially ‘Seventeen’ have been given a new uplifting feel while one or two new tracks seem quite priceless. I was particularly won over by the mesmerising ‘Understanding You’ and the romantic ‘I’ll Be With you Tomorrow’ which reminded me very much of Simon and Garfunkel. This is less of a demo, more of an experiment but on both counts it works very well indeed. Welcome back Parade.

As for Breaking Point, well they have been going for so long now that we have perhaps become a little blasé about their immense songwriting panorama. The two tracks on their latest demo – ‘Brotherhood of Israel’ and ‘Come On Brittania’ show that the band can still produce those tear-jerkingly flowing melodies that made Breaking Point such a revelation when they first hit the scene.

‘Brotherhood’ is the stronger number with its almost metallic drive and thumping chorus, but I was just as impressed with the more pop-angled ‘Come On Brittania’ where Kevin Briggs’ passionate appeal for ‘change’ adds a harder edge to an unusually soft musical base.

The two tracks together represent Breaking Point at their punching, powerful best. It could be argued that the band have just missed out on a time when this music was more popular, but when they have the ability to write songs like this they should never lose their faith.

They are STILL one of the finest creations of the Tamworth rock scene and when they have the talent of songwriting – which they share with The Parade – they have a talent which is immortal.

Band come and go. Songs live forever.

Tamworth Herald – 25/09/87
Musicbox – SNIPS
The Parade who are hoping to go on a low-key mini-tour before Christmas want a keyboard player to join their ranks. The enthusiastic combo, who will soon make another demo tape, can be contacted via Brian.

Tamworth Herald – 04/09/87
Musicbox – Power and glory songs
Breaking PointSpotlight on two opposites with a certain bond
The Parade – Demo/Breaking Point – Demo

ON THE SURFACE, Kevin Briggs and Brian Lacey have very little in common. They don’t listen to the same music, like the same music, share the same dreams or believe in the same attitudes. And yet these two highly-contrasting individuals have a unique and precious bond – they are both totally natural, gifted songwriters.

For some bands’ images, style – even politics – are easy enough to sort out but songwriting is murderous. For both The Parade and Breaking Point this is not the case. These two demos show perfectly their ability to make difficult songwriting seem easy, and prove that to be able to pen the tunes is far more important than to be able tom play them.

The Parade’s demo, for example, is a mixture of the all-new line-up in ‘live’ Expresso Bongo action, and a host of solo acoustic material by Mr. Lacey. The former tracks show that The Parade have settled on a stronger, more defined line-up and sound.

New drummer Alan Bayliss shows surprising confidence and competence for one so relatively inexperienced, while new backing singer Heidi Thomas adds some lovely well-pitched edges to Brian Lacey’s more aggressive tones.

The ParadeOf the tunes on offer on this 45-minute collection, oldies like ‘A Kind Of Living’, ‘All Of the Time’ and especially ‘Seventeen’ have been given a new uplifting feel while one or two new tracks seem quite priceless. I was particularly won over by the mesmerising ‘Understanding You’ and the romantic ‘I’ll Be With you Tomorrow’ which reminded me very much of Simon and Garfunkel. This is less of a demo, more of an experiment but on both counts it works very well indeed. Welcome back Parade.

As for Breaking Point, well they have been going for so long now that we have perhaps become a little blasé about their immense songwriting panorama. The two tracks on their latest demo – ‘Brotherhood of Israel’ and ‘Come On Brittania’ show that the band can still produce those tear-jerkingly flowing melodies that made Breaking Point such a revelation when they first hit the scene.

‘Brotherhood’ is the stronger number with its almost metallic drive and thumping chorus, but I was just as impressed with the more pop-angled ‘Come On Brittania’ where Kevin Briggs’ passionate appeal for ‘change’ adds a harder edge to an unusually soft musical base.

The two tracks together represent Breaking Point at their punching, powerful best. It could be argued that the band have just missed out on a time when this music was more popular, but when they have the ability to write songs like this they should never lose their faith.

They are STILL one of the finest creations of the Tamworth rock scene and when they have the talent of songwriting – which they share with The Parade – they have a talent which is immortal.

Band come and go. Songs live forever.

Tamworth Herald – 27/11/87
Musicbox – Trio of Tasty Morsels
MUSICBOX always welcomes reviews sent in by you, the readers. It helps us to comment on the concerts we missed and also gives you the chance to show your journalistic talents. Here we have three reviews by Musicbox readers of concerts in the last couple of weeks.

If you ever want to send in local – or occasionally national – reviews, please keep them as brief as possible and please be patient as we have masses of material to get into the column and can’t always guarantee immediate publication.

The following reviews are all snippets of their original length, which we hop gives an indication of the respective band’s merits…

The Parade – The Tavern
This present line-up is the tightest and most powerful The Parade have ever had. The new partnership of Andy and Alan on bass and drums provides a very powerful backdrop to Brian’s unique guitar and vocal sound. They play music they enjoy with sincere lyrics, and they have that unique ability to make people tap their feet. It’s great to see The Parade back in action again. They will be one of Tamworth’s favourites this time next year – and I can’t wait.

Edward ian Armchair

Tamworth Herald - 15/01/88
Musicbox – Kicking off with fine trio
Tamworth Arts Centre opens its doors on Sunday for the first major local concert of 1988.

Making their way to the venue will be Musicbox poll favourites The Great Express and The Parade and one of Lichfield’s finest exports Acoustic Shock.

The three band line-up represents a very strong one, which should appeal to a wide-range of local music fans. The Great Express emerged as one of the best new bands of the year in ’87 with their unique and powerful sound, and they are keen once again to show local audiences just how they have developed and diversified since their early appearances. Their sound is resilient and memorable and the size of their audiences imply they are a band who a lot of people take very seriously indeed.

Joining The Express will be fellow Tamworthians The Parade. The group – now back as a three-piece once again – made a triumphant return to the local scene at last year’s Rock Festival and have since done a series of low-key gigs which have further sharpened their live capabilities. On their night, their high-energy pop can make them a classic, classy live act and they will be keen to make their night on Sunday.

Competing what looks to be a very strong trio will be Acoustic Shock. This Lichfield group have a strong following in their home town for their alternative-based power-sound which has more than the odd touch of the Buzzcocks and a lot of late Sixties influences.

Putting the three elements together, this looks to be a very god show indeed and will really set 1988 off to a bang at the Arts Centre.

Tamworth Herald - 03/06/88
Musicbox – SNIPS
THE Parade, who have just recorded a brand new demo as a two-piece, are on the lookout for a new bassist. If you enjoy playing high-energy new-wave orientated pop then this could be just what you are looking for. Incidentally, if you keep your eye on our cricket pages you may notice that Parade songwriter Brian Lacey is as talented with a bat as he is with an axe. He is currently blazing his way to glory playing for Hopwas CC to add to a long list of local musical superstars, who are pretty adept at sports including Ian Gibbons, Jed Moore, Dave Smith, Mike Turner, Lloyd Barnet, Tim Goode, Lee Preece and Buttercup. ‘Buttie’ unknown to most is a star croquet player who was also school marbles champion.

Tamworth Herald - 17/06/88
Musicbox - SNIPS
…demos shortly. Among those to surface is the debut work from Mark Mortimer’s new band The Space Seeds, a new tape from Never Say Die and a brand new demo from The Parade.

Tamworth Herald - 24/06/88
Musicbox – QUALITY ON PARADE
Caption: The Parade…ring EMI to tell them how good their new demo is.Here are a selection of demos that have found their way to my ears lately.

The Parade – Up For Grabs
WHEN I find something I like, admire and believe in. I stick to it with dogged loyalty. That is why I have travelled to four European countries and gone into considerable debt to see the Stranglers, why I have live din Tamworth all my life and why I continue to get excited when I hear sings penned by The Parade songwriter Bryan Lacey. In my eyes the man can do little wrong and this new demo represents one of the best things he has ever done. Along with the excellent assistance of soul-mate Alan Bayliss (a first-class drummer) Bryan has produced another corking tape, rather more upbeat than those of the past and bursting with life and potential. ‘A Little Joy’ is a little gem and it sets the tone for a five-track which has more Beatles hallmarks than the Jam ones usually attributed to The Parade’s work. I can’t help thinking that Bryan should have been born in Atherstone because he could then have joined Catch 23 who share that same musical style, influence and direction – and what a combined force that would make. As it is, some record company should give Bryan and Alan £10,000 NOW to make a record. I would not be a wasted investment.

Tamworth Herald - 30/09/88
Musicbox – SNIPS
Well do you fancy parading your talent?
THE Parade who have at last attracted major record company interest, are seeking to finalise their line-up to make one all-out assault on fame. Band stalwart Brian Lacey is convinced that out there somewhere in MUSICBOXland there are the musicians he is looking for – ambitious and enthusiastic youngsters who want to play strong Sixties pop/Seventies new wave – and he is searching for the people to complete his line-up. With record companies already demanding to hear everything the band produce and another demo due shortly Brian is looking for any musicians (bassists, guitarists, volcalists) to come forward and see if they can fit somewhere in the Parade landscape. The band now feel they have their first real sniff of major success and if you are a talented and ambitious musician aged between 17-25 and want to know more, Brian will be delighted to give your more info.

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 Parade – At Your Convenience (*****)
The pick of the pack. Another stunning three track demo which shows the band have diversified and matured into a powerful new force. Brian and Alan have added a new range of ideas and instruments to their sound and the result is a real blockbuster. All the tracks have epic themes and sounds and the addition of brass and violins makes for a totally new departure for this most under…of acts. ‘Rose Of The North’ for example (a magnificent toon by the way) sounds like an acoustic Mission song while both ‘Now That You’ve Gone’ and ‘Simon Shaft’ are quite mesmerising. A huge step forward for the band this and with real recording company interest being registered at last let us hope this cracking tape pushes the band over the success edge at last.

Sam Holliday


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