Thursday 20 October 2016

The Barnet Eye 8th Birthday Party back story - The Origins of The False Dots part I & II

A page from my scrapbook
Intro - There have been two major things (apart from friends and family) in my life that I have great pride in. One is my music and the other is my blog. My blog is clearly documented here. My music is documented in a far more fragmented manner in my scrapbook and various press cuttings, blogs, videos and articles. I am in the process of writing a screenplay of the early days of the band, up to our chaotic first gig. The way bands get together is the most interesting bit. Once they have settled down, it all gets a bit dull. Anyway, I thought that as the band and the blog collide tomorrow night as we play at the Barnet Eye 8th Birthday Party, I'd share a bit of the story of the origin of the band with you. This is the story of 1979 and 1980, recorded verbatim in my scrapbook, this is the world through the eyes of a 16-17 year old Rog T, when my band really was the most important thing in my life (the brackets are my added notes from today).

1979 - The Beginning - A lesson in how you can never know what is really happening.

Line up R.M Tichborne  Guitar, Dave Edwards, Mandy Spokes Guitar then vocals, Pete Conway - the Cadillac Kid Bass/vocals

Formed to this line up 14th February 1979. Most of the songs were 3 chord thrashes with highly political lyrics. This line up never gigged. Dave was thrown through a shop window in August 1979 and the band only rehearesed twice more before splitting up (Sep 3rd 1979). Sole claim to fame is an interview with fanzine Xpert i which came out in October 1979. The set consisted of The Mill Hill Song, Power Game, Never Free, Factory, Political Warning, Wrong, Bone, I wanna be loved (Heartbreakers cover), Wild Thing (Troggs Cover), Bonjour Mon Chere (Plastic Bertrand pisstake), Johnny B. Goode (Chuck Berry Cover), Rockabilly Guy (Polecats Cover), Live Fast Die Young, No Confidence.

(Rogs Note - Interesting to note the covers, mostly these were an unambitious collection that were easy to play. Apart from Bonjour Monsiour (which was a Pete Conway Special), we have performed all of them at various times with subsequent line ups as set fillers, when we had long shows to perform. We never performed any of originals, mostly because they were rubbish. The page is also littered with nasty comments about ex band members scrawled on after the acrimony of the break up. I wince at a few of them).

1980 - First go at Stardom - it's amazing how your future becomes your past.

After the non achievement of 1979 Pete and Roger and a girl drummer called Deb (in truth recruited because Pete fancied her) decided to resuscitate the band. The first rehearsal was Jan 1st 1980. That line up lasted four rehearsals until Debs left for personal reasons (yep, you can probably guess). Lou, a girl singer then joined. Paul Marvin (son of Shadows Guitarist Hank) then joined as drummer. That line up lasted a couple of months. First we sacked Lou for not turning up to rehearsals thenw e sacked Paul Marvin for not being a good drummer. Dav (a brilliant session drummer, mate of Alan Warner of the Foundations) stepped in to replace him for a studio session in June and stayed till Christmas. Pete Conway was sacked in September for not turning up to rehearsals. Paul Hircombe (who had joined as lead guitar when Paul Marvin was in the band, but this wasn't recorded, they were mates at Moat Mount School) took over bass while Craig (Withecombe) joined on Lead/Rythm guitar. The band rehearsed a few times but then we got offered a gig at Harwood Hall (The Union Church in Mill Hill. This was actually a lie, I set the gig up to try and keep the band together). We decided to do it. We asked Pete (Conway) to rejoin as vocalist for the gig. He never turned up and we had to play reading songs from bits of paper during a couple, but we got a good reaction and in the end were O.K.


There is so much more that went on. I hadn't read that for probably 30 odd years, it is amazing how far the band came. The actual gig was perhaps one of the greatest triumphs of my life. Not because it was any good, I suspect we were pretty dire, but we got carried through on a wave of energy and I think we cobbled together a good show. The local press did a write up and put a picture up, which gave us some profile. Paul Hircombe, Craig and Dav were actually great musicians. What I hadn't said was that Pete and myself had really worked hard on the song writing in 1980. The set was really strong and although I was a rubbish guitarist, the songs had really strong riffs. Craig was able to pull these together and Dav and Paul made us sound like a proper band. At the time, I felt an incredible sense of betrayal at members who didn't turn up for rehearsals and gigs. Paul Hircombe played with the band until shortly before his death from cancer in 2012. I think we've become a great unit. I fell out pretty badly with Craig when he eventually left in 1983. I'd love to catch up with him and have a jam some time, maybe even rerecord a couple of the numbers from that period. I'd also love to know what happened to Dav. He moved back to Shrewesbury and I never knew his surname.


Please come down to The Chandos Arms tomorrow at 8pm for the Barnet Eye party and to see how the band has evolved. It should be fun.

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