Tamworth Bands - History 1960-1990


PondweedMusical Genre/Type: Groove Rock
Formed: 1989 Split: 1990

Mike "Jester Deksun" Wood (Vocals/Instruments) from Tamworth
Mark "Mable Syrup" Wallis (Lead Guitar/Backing Vocals) from Tamworth
Dave "Excellent" Preston (Bass Guitar) from Tamworth
Warwick "Scogg" Schofield (Drums) from Tamworth
JD (Keyboards) from Tamworth

It's All There
The Tong Song
Linda McCartney

First Gig: Tamworth Arts Centre

Tamworth Herald Articles:

Tamworth Herald – 26/10/90
Musicbox – Eight Ball Joe – Phoenix Productions Event – Tamworth Arts Centre
YOU know the old gag about the bloke who rings up the football ground and says ‘What time does the game start?’ and they say ‘What time can you get here?’.

This was a case in point.

I know this was arranged at short notice, and they didn’t want this date, but when will local promoters learn that Friday night shows just don’t pay.

By the end of the night, the bands could have gone round and shaken the audience individually by the hand.

Which was a shame, because openers, Pond Weed (who?) weren’t bad during what was their first ever gig, and Eight Ball Joe were simply excellent.

Half an hour or more of tight gritty blues played in a manner that always makes me wish I’d persevered with guitar lessons and delivered a smile.

Don’t ask about song titles, because generally they’re not that relevant. The point is that this is great, gutsy toe-tapping good time music, that definitely perked my evening up in a big way.

Eight Ball Joe won’t ever sell truckloads of records but for a great live show, they’re a guaranteed winner.

Sadly, by the end of their set, the evening had degenerated into a shambles, with the bar closed early, and Chemikill not hitting the boards at all. I’ll watch them next time though – as long as it’s not on a Friday night.

Martin Warrilow

Tamworth Herald – 21/12/90
Musicbox – Impressive Foundations
Pondweed/Empire Falls/The Foundation
Tamworth Arts Centre

Pondweed are living proof that appearances can be deceptive. The reason I say that is that Pondweed look absolutely awful ( a bizarre mixture of boiler suits, beards, hippy garb and New Model Army t-shirts) but they manage to sound pretty good. They have two very impressive and intelligent vocalists, a stylish use of keyboards and samples and a couple of tunes that sat in the mind long after the band departed the stage. Despite the look (or maybe, perversely, because of it) they are immensely watchable and could I feel be quite a cult band in the next few months. Strange but strangely interesting.

Empire Falls
Devastating stuff! I was warned in advance by one or two people that I would like Empire Falls but they were wrong – I LOVED them! Blasting onstage with a ferocity and anger that has rarely been seen in these parts, the band went on to perform a blistering set of power-tunes which brought back happy memories of The Ruts, Killing Joke, The Clash and The Ramones. This was a vital, extraordinary power, unleashed and performed by three stylish looking hunks (my wife Carla was in a state of deep lust), who looked and sounded quite tremendous.

The Foundation
Wonderful! That is the only way to describe this excellent debut from The Foundation, a band who are living proof that in John ‘Rocking’ Reeman we have one of the finest songwriters this area has ever produced. For, in the past 12 months or so of stage-absence, our man Reeman has been producing some absolute gems to the extent that the Foundation’s own crop of songs far outshine the two DHSS toons given a rehash on Sunday night There is still a lot of the old DHSS sensibilities in there of course, but John, Ed and Anice have injected the added ingredients of dance and pop so we now have a band that would be at home in any club you could wish to visit. At times the undisguised punk influence is supplemented by Pet Shop Boys relevance and as usual lyrics are every bit as interesting as the tunes in a way that so few local bands manage. Of the songs, I especially liked the dancey ‘Paris’, the charming ‘Chime’ and best of all the majestic ‘Whispers’ a song which is destined to be a minor/major classic in my books. It all finished in typical good-humoured fashion with a beaut of a track with the immortal hookline ‘Never trust a hippy no-no, burn the hippy yeah-yeah’ surely a new slogan for a new generation if ever I heard one.


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