Working the Scene

I knew the band played brilliantly by now but had no live gigging experience. These boys had to get match fit and there’s only one way to do that. So we tried to play as many club gigs as we could around the UK, generally in the time honoured fashion of driving back through the early hours of the morning, all together in the back of a Ford Transit van, sitting atop our giant red flight cases.

Occasionally, funded by good T-shirt sales, we’d book into some unsuspecting bed and breakfast hotel, a bedraggled gang of brightly coloured freaks, terrifying the owners as we arrived at 2 a.m. Naturally after all those weeks of rehearsals and painting, everyone was quite ready to party like hell.

Even Mick came to mix the sound again, sitting on top of the equipment like everyone else, as now he suddenly found a lot of time on his hands. On our way to a gig in Hastings Yana came up with “Big Audio Dynamite “ to go with Mick’s “B.A.D” the name of the new group he was forming. Later I suggested he get Don Letts in the band to add the element of film to his Hip Rock sound. We all helped each other freely with ideas back in that creative time. There was such camaraderie.

The game now went into overdrive as I applied the rules for gigging and building up mystique. I knew we had the band and the look and the songs.

We needed a record deal.  A big record deal....

Playing London was different. That’s where the record companies lived. That needed something special. Gigs in previously unheard of venues such as strip joints, late night drinking clubs, tiny cinemas. Advertised by photocopied hand made flyers. Difficult and threatening to get into.

Ideally we’d purposely take A&R guy’s names off the guest list just to add a bit of mischief to the game and to ramp up the excitement and you don’t need me to tell you that it works - what they can’t have they want more of... and we were going to give them more... oh yes!