The Members Dunelm House Durham University Sat 16th Feb 1980
I saw quite a few bands at Durham University Students Union, which held student dances in Dunelm House during the 70s. The trouble was I usually paid at the door, and as result I have few ticket stubs to remind me of the bands that I saw there. I recall attending gigs there by Adam and the Ants, Curved Air, Slade, Climax Blues Band, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and probably many more that I have forgotten. This is one of the rare gigs that I do have a ticket stub for. The Members were “formed in Surrey, England, in the summer of 1977, …. and played at the Roxy and all the other Punk clubs on the London circuit. The original band – composed of Nicky Tesco (vocals), Jean-Marie Caroll (guitar), Nigel Bennett (guitar), Adrian Lillywhite (drums), and Chris Payne (bass) – was among the first to successfully blend reggae rhythms with punk’s attitude and aggression.” (from the Members’ official site). I saw these guys at least three times; at this gig, supporting Eddie and the Hot Rods at the City Hall and at the Reading Festival. Nicky Tesco was a great front man, who sang with a passion and really engaged with the crowd. Members’ music was a cross between punk and reggae which worked pretty well, and the hit single “The Sounds of the Suburbs” was played everywhere I went in 1979, when it reached No 12 in the UK charts, which was their biggest hit. The Members were good fun, although the only song that really sticks in my mind is “The Sounds of the Suburbs”, which was a favourite of mine “back in the day”. The Members have recently reformed although I don’t think Nicky Tesco is in the line-up. Still I bet its fun to see them again.
“Same old boring Sunday morning old mans out washing the car, Mums in the kitchen cooking Sunday dinner her best meal moaning while it lasts. Johnnys upstairs in his bedroom sitting in the dark, Annoying the neighbours with his punk rock electric guitar.
This is the Sound, This is the Sound of the Suburbs, This is the Sound, This is the Sound of the Suburbs !!!! 🙂 (The Members, 1979).
Archive for the ‘The Members’ Category
The Members Dunelm House Durham University Sat 16th Feb 1980
Eddie and the Hot Rods Newcastle City Hall 1979
Support from The Members and ?Magazine?
This is my last blog post on Eddie and the Hot Rods, and covers the last time (I think) I saw the band. As well as the three City Hall shows I have blogged on, I am pretty sure that I saw them at Newcastle Poly once. I also saw them low down on the bill at the Reading Festival in 1976, and much higher on the bill in 1977. For their 1979 they visited the City Hall with support from the Members. The ticket also lists Magazine. I saw Magazine several times, and was a fan of the band, but have no recollection at all of them playing at this gig; something tells me that they weren’t on the bill on the night (does anyone remember whether they played this gig?). The Members were a great live act, featuring the charismatic (and funny) Nicky Tesco on vocals, and the song Sound of the Suburbs, which was a favourite of mine at the time. The Members were another band who I saw play a great set at the Reading Festival. They blended punk and reggae very successfully and were good fun. The Hot Rods were peaking, at this point and were coming close to the end of their initial career. Bassist Paul Gray gives his version of the beginning of the end for the band: “In the spring of 1979 we set off on yet another long UK tour supported by The Members. They were actually getting more airplay than us for their single “Offshore Banking Business”. Where we were starting to sound tired and, dare I say it, jaded, they were fresh and enthusiastic. Looking back on it now we were knackered, we’d been worked to the bone, and there was no fooling the punters. We were drinking loads..” “Not long after, at The Lyceum, scene of so many Hotrods triumphs in the past, Graeme finally lost the plot. Well, someone had to. Halfway thru’ the show he handed his guitar to the puzzled photographers in the pit at the front and started crawling about the stage on all fours, up on the drum riser and tried to bite Steve’s ankles. We limped on for a few more gigs without him but I had lost heart. The fun had gone, we had no dosh and I had no faith in the manager or the direction EMI wanted us to go.”
Devo Newcastle City Hall 1978 and 1980
Question: Are we not men? Answer: We are DEVO.
There were some pretty crazy messages coming out of planet DEVO in the late 70s. The messages even got through to the north east of England and drew us all to Newcastle City Hall to observe these strange beings that were DEVO, listen to the songs that they chose to share with us, and do our mad DEVO dances. The DEVO guys were very different to UK punk rock, and to anything else that we earthlings had seen come out of American new wave. So along we went (twice in my case!) to be DEVOed and to stare in awe at these crazy guys who wore red pointy hats, weird yellow suits and sang quirky punk songs with strange lyrics and obscure messages, many of which also had quite catchy hooks. Mongoloid and Jocko Homo were quite good fun, and their version of Satisfaction was ok, if a little strange. As the programme says: “The band eveolved from a long line of brain-eating apes, some of which settled in N.E. Ohio around Akron where members of Devo eventually appeared years after the A-Bomb ended World War II. By the process of natural selection they met and shared the habits of making electronic noise, watching TV and watching everybody esle. They called that they saw around them De-evolution and called their music Devo. It made the sound of things falling apart.” Support for the 1978 Newcastle gig came from The Members whose Sound of the Suburbs was pretty neat. They were fronted by singer Nicky Tesco who was a cool guy and good fun on stage. The Members had been brought in at short notice to replace Doll by Doll (featuring Jackie Leven) who had been dropped from the tour because they were “not sufficiently DEVO”. Apparently Doll by Doll turned up for this gig, only to find out that they were not playing and were understandably not too pleased. Anyway, my two interactions with the DEVO aliens were both good clean fun, even if it was all a little crazy. But then, these were crazy times. I also had the good fortune to be present when the DEVO space craft landed in a field at Knebworth and they performed on a bill with Genesis, Tom Petty and Jefferson Starship. But thats a story for another days blogging. Perhaps the DEVO guys, who are still playing in the States, will yet take over the world and I will wake up tomorrow and find that I am living on planet DEVO. Perhaps I already am? Are we not men? We are DEVO? “If the spud fits; wear it : DEVO”