Copyright © 2005 Martin Newell
Pepys 0.1 Blogware © Steve Dix
South Woodham Ferrers / Young Jobless story...
When Max Volume, Stix, Lee and myself played the song
contest,obviously we didn't win it. You couldn't really have called
us professionals but at the same time, we had a good song and we
could all do our jobs.
The band that did win the competition I have rather hazy
memories of, but they were extremely tight and professional. There
were five or six of them, there was a woman singer, and they had
tight harmonies. They were the type of band that you would expect to
see doing covers in a residency for a top club, say. They looked very
conventional. They were showbizzy in their way but nothing to
indicate any kind of counter-cultural leanings. The drummer had a
tight curly bubble-cut perm look and a beard. He might have fitted in
ELO at the time.
I do now recall talking to one of them briefly. They
didn't give much away, but I gleaned the idea that they were pros,
essentially. This was mid-late July of 1980.
Fast forward to mid winter of 1980/81 and Max, Tony and
I got into Tony's car to go and do the Young Jobless recording
session at Fair Deal Studios, a 16-track in Hayes
Middlesex. Stix couldn't make this session, possibly
because he was studying at college 300 miles away in Plymouth at that
Our genial producer Kris Staines warranted that he would
get us a drummer. And...
you guessed it. Same guy. Don't get me wrong, he was a
good drummer. I'd rather have had Stix, mind.After the two-song
session, which began with Sylvie in Toytown
I asked the drummer – his name might have been Pete, I
can't be sure – whether we'd met before. This time I was about 99%
certain that it was the same guy. He denied it vigorously, though.
Finally, I mentioned 'a song contest in Essex'. His next denial
didn't seem quite as convincing. He left, shortly afterwards. I
never met him again I asked Max of course. But Max, you see, like
Stix had been busy drinking on that particular day, and had no memory
of events. So that was the end of that. The thing is, there do exist
such bands of session hacks who go round winning competitions and
grabbing all the work. Most commonly, they appear on talent shows,
posing as amateurs. That's the way the biscuit bisects, I guess.