Tamworth Bands - History 1960-1990

Eight Ball Joe

‘8 Ball Joe’
Eight Ball Joe
Photograph courtesy: Tamworth Herald

Musical Genre/Type: Rock
Formed: 1989

Band Members:
Snake Formby - Bass Guitar
Dino La Rocka - Drums
Joe Delfuego - Guitars and Vocals

Eight Ball Joe

Tamworth Arts Centre

Rhode Island Red
Eight Ball Joe

The Rathole

Burton Rock Festival
The Gatecrashers
Satellite Spies
Breaking Point
Scream Dream
Eight Ball Joe

Burton Town Hall

Phoenix Productions
Eight Ball Joe
Satellite Spy

Tamworth Arts Centre

Eight Ball Joe

Tamworth Herald Features:

Tamworth Herald – 21/04/89
Musicbox – Eight Balls of Fire!

Dear Sam,

Many thanks for printing Martin Warrilow’s review of the ‘Eight Ball’ demo in your recent demo blitz.

However, I feel I should set matters straight. ‘8 Ball Joe’ are not a Nuneaton band as Mr. Warrillow wrongly assumed but are based in Atherstone!

‘8 Ball Joe’ are, from left to right (see picture) Snake Formby, bass guitar, Dino La Rocka, drums, Joe Delfuego, guitars, vocals.

The band make their Tamworth debut when they play the Tavern tomorrow (Saturday).

The gig is for the Tavern Motorcycle Club and will take place in the ‘Barn’.
If you like disgracefully sexist (?) biker rock (quote) and I think you do, come along and review the gig.

Yours sincerely,
B. Prince for ‘8 Ball Joe’

Tamworth Herald – 24/03/89
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
***…Quite Mega
**…Not Mega
*…Mega Crud

Eight Ball Joe – The demo (****)
Now this is much better. An entertaining mix of Priest-Lizzy influenced, disgracefully sexist(?)/biker rock, sung by someone sounding not unlike Hugh Cornwell, Best is the final one of these four tracks ‘Crash My Car’, although ‘Do The Joe’, ‘Yankee Sandwich’ (more disgusting sexism…) and ‘Grease Monkey’ all have their moments. A promising Nuneaton-based band who will probably go down a storm if they play the festival.
Martin Warrillow

Tamworth Herald – 27/10/89
Musicbox – SNIPS
Eight Ball Joe, the rock a boogie outfit, are on the lookout for a new bass player. The group want someone capable of playing a mixture of heavy rock/ r ‘n’ b and good times boogie to contact them.

Tamworth Herald – 15/06/90
Musicbox – SNIPS

Eight Ball Joe have been in touch with some info about their current activities including news of their new full line-up (Chris Ferdinand II Bass, Dino La Rocka ; Drums and Jo Delfuego : Guitar, Vocals) and their latest demo ‘Dance Higher, Dance Faster’. This sprightly tape had been enthusiastically reviewed by that awfully nice chap Geoff from Baddesley who said ‘these guys know what they are doing and believe me they do it so well. If this tape was a person it would eat and drink all blues. Blues, beautiful blues’. As we have had no room to review any demos all year (all these flippin’ gigs to preview!) that’s as near as we get to recommending a tape. By the way, Eight Ball Joe are always on the lookout for support with Tamworth bands.

Tamworth Herald – 29/06/90
Musicbox - SNIPS
STOP PRESS – Chemikill return to the Arts Centre on Sunday night with the powerful Eight Ball Joe in support. Entry is £1.50 it runs from 7.30 onwards and a fun night is assured. Incidentally, Chemikill are after a second guitarist into Metallica, Slayer and Metal Church.

Tamworth Herald – 03/08/90
Musicbox – Demo watch by Sean Atkins
EIGHT BALL JOE – Dance Higher, Dance Faster (Rating on a scale of one to five stars) ***
IF I ever make a Western, I think I’ll get Eight Ball Joe to do the soundtrack. The illustrations on the inlay card – and the songs on the tape – show that these three North Warwickshire boys never really grew out of the Cowboys and Indians phase.

Joe Delfuego, Chief Ferdinand II and Dino La Rocka (that’s what they call themselves) have the look to match their names, and the cowboy theme is carried through to the songs on this six-track tape. It’s an unusual and perhaps limiting concept but at least they’re being a bit different.

The music is not really Blues, although that’s surely a big influence. It’s straightforward guitar-based rock music I suppose, but its not as powerful as I remembered them to be when they last played the Arts Centre. The tracks on the tape are very moody and the whole thing sounds laid-back. My only slight complaint is that the songs are played and produced so well that they don’t sound as raw as they should.

Eight Ball Joe aren’t exactly breaking new ground with this tape and I don’t expect they want to. Its clear that they enjoy what they are playing, and I’m sure a lot of people enjoy listening to it. They may not get a ten-album recording deal on the strength of this demo – but they’re certainly worth watching the next time they play in Tamworth.

Sean Atkins

Tamworth Herald – 24/08/90
Still with metal, a top class power trio line up at the Rathole on Thursday night. Much-hyped Rhode Island Red team up with rocksters Kruger and our own faves Eight Ball Joe. Rhode Island Red have earned fave reviews from Kerrange, Raw and Metal Hammer and feature members who have been in bands along the lines of Saxon, Gary Moore and Wild Horses. A big loud noise is assured. Cannock-based Kruger meanwhile have grabbed their slot after a raw and ready demo which saw them in fine, live form and the band are keen to play here in what they see as ‘Wolfsbaneville’. Completing the trio is our very own Eight Ball Joe of cracking-festival show fame. Their appearance on such a heavy bill should finally bury the ‘blues only’ tag and they are certain to bring in the Thursday night punters.

Tamworth Herald – 31/08/90
Musicbox – Joe goes for a Burton
The annual Burton Rock Festival is invaded by Tamworth acts on Wednesday night when no less than four of the five bands on view hail from Tamworth.

Following an opening show by a group called The Gatecrashers, Burton rock fans will be able to see Satellite Spies (ex-A5), Breaking Point, Scream Dream and then headliners Eight Ball Joe as Tamworth well and truly goes for a Burton.

The three day Fest – at the impressive Burton Town Hall – runs on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday with other bands on offer including The JFKs (Thursday), The Lemondrops (Friday) and the National People’s Gang (Friday). Eight Ball Joe are pictured.

Tamworth Herald – 14/09/90
Musicbox – Gig Reviews
Two-and-a-half great gigs

Eight Ball Joe – The Rathole
I’ve heard so much about Eight Ball Joe in the last three months or so that I thought I had to go and see them for the first time. Within five minutes of the trio walking onto the stage with so much enthusiasm I was converted into an Eight Ball Joe fan. Good honest rock and roll was what I was hearing – no hype, no gimmicks just good time music. Their musical influences seem to stem from musicians like Gary Moore and such-like but their attitude definitely comes from the likes of Motorhead. Serious band with a bit of humour thrown in free of charge, go and see them for yourself next time they play. If they may you feel like they made me feel they’ll have a very big following very soon. Thunderous drummer, brilliant bass player, great guitarist with a good voice. Good band.
Emo Emerson

Tamworth Herald – 12/10/90
Musicbox – Gig Guide
Friday Phoenix Productions present Eight Ball Joe/Chemikill/WDK/Satellite Spy Tamworth Arts Centre, 8pm till Late, Admission £1.50.

Tamworth Herald – 26/10/90
Musicbox – Snips and News
Eight Ball Joe have arranged a gig in Nuneaton on Friday, November 2 and tickets are now available from band members.

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


The Gallery

‘8 Ball Joe’ are, from left to right (see picture) Snake Formby, bass guitar, Dino La Rocka, drums, Joe Delfuego, guitars, vocals.

‘8 Ball Joe’ are, from left to right (see picture) Snake Formby, bass guitar, Dino La Rocka, drums, Joe Delfuego, guitars, vocals.


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