A couple of live Christine tracks I like from the olden days, Follow Me and a cover of Sister Ray.
Christine – Follow Me & Sister Ray (Live 1986)
Joy Division added an extra chord to their take on Sister Ray and we added yet another so our version was obviously superior to the Velvet Underground original.
This was probably from a charity gig at Collyers College in Horsham at the end of March 1986, at least the year is right. The keyboards are a bit quiet as they were so loud on stage there wasn’t much of them going through the mixing desk from which the recording was largely taken.
Piers Hernu – Before The Bomb (Live Collyers 1985)
An ambient synth diversion performed by Piers Hernu on Roland Juno 106 and Korg MS10 at the DIMLight Production, ‘One Night At Collyer’s’, the local Sixth Form College in Horsham. It was captured on a knackered old Revox A77 with Sound Associates editing modification.
Other turns on the bill, as effusively reviewed by David Hatto for the Soundwave column in the West Sussex County Times, were: Christine, ‘quite acceptable’; Destiny, ‘tightest on the night’; Fixed Vision, ‘capable enough’; and Strange Brew, ‘a little unrehearsed’.
An atypical track from the blues-rock combo who were thrown together in a hurry for a gig that was cancelled and who didn’t have the sense to change their equally hastily chosen name when they decided to carry on.
From the cassette album ‘Watch The Traffic’ recorded in glorious stereo straight to 1/4″ reel mainly in the gym at Dedisham School, though this track was captured in the loft room of the drummer Glen. (All Horsham area drummers of that era had to be called Glynn or Glen… or Helen… or Dave).
I’ve cut out the majority of the unnecessary guitar introduction which was purely the result of me having read part of a book about chord substitution shortly before the recording. The bass is a bit subsonic so may disappear on small speakers.
We peaked on a trip to Horsham’s twin town of Lage in Germany having tagged along with a Collyer’s Sixth Form College production of ‘A Midsummers Night’s Dream’ and ‘The Crucible’. Our performance in a packed and sweaty Scout Hut was unforgettable, up to the point I forgot most things about it.
I do recall there were what seemed like 105 acappella choruses of ‘Look what you’re doing’ whilst I struggled to force the dodgy travel plug that all our amps and PA relied on back into an ill fitting socket of indeterminate vintage.
I also played in the support band that night, Reverend Parish & The Singing Witches which included one R. Knowles Esq. who I’d later join in Christine and Voice of the Rain.
I’ve included the lyrics in the hope that someone could explain them to me as I still haven’t the foggiest after 31 years.
The film used in the video is ‘Amore Pedestre’ by Marcel Fabre from 1914.
Because we cocked the song up so much at the gig that we can’t use it whole.
The Gits (UK) Public Information Film The Third
The first clip, and dodgy performance, is from a Collyers gig in October 1988 organised by Mark Crane of This Idiot Glitter who also played along with Loveless, Spiralhead and, of course, The Happy Potato band. The other video is from Champagnes nightclub in February 1989.
A lean period for original music was already setting in by the time Champagnes nightclub was knocked down in July of 1989 but losing the town’s only decent music venue and one which attracted charting indie bands lost the focus for a revival and meant that later recoveries remained largely insular.
Brighton moving up through the divisions of the Country’s artistic centres also made it harder for bands from Horsham to play there and losing Turn It Up in the merger that created Southern Counties Radio meant the chances of building a following and catching the attention of promoters was considerably reduced. But for now we soldiered on.
Yours for £2.50: Midwich Cuckoos, Still Life, The Gits, Spiralhead and The Loveless. And a good turn out at The College Of Richard Collyer by all accounts. Well, the one available account.
I spy an extended metaphor.
Third band of the evening were The Gits, who upped the termperature with a blistering set that ducked and dived, jabbed and hooked. A knockout display of hard pop, The Gits went into the ring full of confidence and won in the first round. Know what I mean ‘Arry?
Next of the regulars.
Spiralhead, the Hawkwind of the eighties.
I think we’ll leave that there.
And last but not least.
From start to finish The Loveless were angry, entertaining and utterly professional. Vocalist Adrian De’ath put everything into the gig, the strength of his voice matched only by the strength of the songs.
All in all a great gig, but what of the future? Let’s hope a suitable venue can be found in the town for live music or all this could be a thing of the past which would be a great pity.