Strange Little World ARC240
- The Legend
- Strange Little World
- Missing Times
- Good Times
- The Legend (Sax Remix)
Formed as a garage band in the summer of 79 in the wake of the Who’s movie Quadrapheni a and the Mod revival.
Started playing gigs in and around Bristol the Christmas of 79, and played regularly at the old Bunch of Grapes that went on to be the Stonehouse, and later the Electric Stonehouse, were also regular performers at Trinity Hall, Hope Chapel, and the Green Rooms.
The early 80’s music set from Mayfair, was a collection of songs written by the band and covers from the Kink’s, Beatles and various Motown and Northern soul artists.
In 1980 Mayfair were a 5 piece band, Johnny Locomotion/Vocals, Rob Colledge/ Bass, Mark Placito/Lead Guitar, Dave Hale/Rhythm guitar & Tony Pierce/Drums.
During 1980 the band gained strong local popularity and were regular on the Bristol circuit.
At the end of 1980 several musicians left the band, and the band was reformed as a 3 piece with Johnny Locomotion on Bass/Vocals, Rob Colledge on Guitar/Vocals and Conway Wynne Jones/Drums, a new music set was put together and the band started to gig again at the start of 81, the new music set was comprised of songs written by Johnny L /Colledge with only a small amount of covers, the band continued to play the local circuit, and were now regularly playing to audiences in Birmingham, Worcester, Swindon, Gloucester & Cheltenham. Mid 1981 Mayfair also added Jon B on Saxophone which added a new dimension to the band and gave the music a more soulful feel.
During this period, The Mayfair played some memorable gig’s in Bristol as support acts to the Alarm and Amen Corner, at the Bier Kellar. They produced several demo tapes with the bands own songs which included Traffic, The Legend and Strange little World. During 1981 Mayfair were interviewed live on BBC radio who also played the bands track ‘’Traffic’’.
Mayfair also played the ‘’Battle of the Bands’’ at Trinity Hall, and have several tracks on the re-released ‘’Bristol Beat’’ the Stonehouse tapes. At the ‘’Battle of the Band’s’’ , Mayfair was spotted by a panel judge from the rock band ‘’Status Quo’’ and were invited to London, but the band turned it down citing ‘’musical differences’, had they gone, how this might have changed the future for Mayfair is anybody’s guess.
In 1982 Mayfair were again playing locally and further afield, and played several gig’s with the London band ‘’Small World’’ the song writing duo of Locomotion/Colledge both heavily influenced by R&B from the 1960’s continued to write strong material for the band and were on the verge of bigger things when the toll of combining music with family and work commitments finally took their toll and Mayfair disbanded in early 83.
Commenting at the end of the bands reign, Locomotion stated, we have no regrets, we stayed true to our roots and beliefs, we’ve all had a fantastic few years, it was hard work, worth it, but I don’t want to do it again!.
In thanking their fans at a farewell gig in Bristol, at the end of the show Mayfair invited the remaining audience to follow to a large Italian local restaurant where they footed the bill for Pizza and beers for all, well over 100 people were in attendance and the band paid out over 800.00 pounds, a lot of money back then, but the band knew many of the fans had travelled far and wide to support the act during those years, coaches with fans from the Bristol Area, Gloucester & Weston Super Mare were regular to support Mafair, and it was a final ‘’thank you’’.
Mayfair - A brief History
Inspired by the Stranglers, Jam, Clash Sex Pistols etc in 1977 decided it was time to buy a guitar and form a band. Originally it was me (bass) and Dave Hale (guitar). At that time everybody seemed to be trying to form a band. I met Mark Placito at a party and he became our lead guitarist. Tony Pearce was a drummer looking for a band who had a basement we could rehearse in so that was where it really started in a basement in Henleaze. On vocals was Tim Brier a friend from school. The band then started rehearsing in a hippy squat in what is now luxury apartments over looking the Spire hospital or as as then Tiffanys nightclub. It was a great introduction to playing live music as long as you played loud the audience loved you. We then started looking for a more regular rehearsal room and someone mention a guy called Jon Andrews who had a boat shed at the back of his parents house, we met up and as Tim Brier was not the most reliable of singers , Jon became lead singer. We were now a proper Garage band rehearsing a couple of times a week with a lot of regular friends turning up to give the rehearsals more of a gig feel to them. We were playing a mix of music inspired by the new wave scene and Sixties bands such as the Kinks and The Who. The music scene in Bristol at the time was great with so many bands suddenly appearing. If we were not rehearsing we were going to see other bands and it was a close community within the Bristol music scene , everyone knowing each other. The dugout club being a typical hangout. One evening in April 1980 guitarist Mark Placito mentioned in a rehearsal that there was something going on in St Pauls so the band piled into his newly acquired car to see what was going on. It was the start of the St Pauls Riots and the place was surreal as there were no police just burning cars , burning buildings. We wandered around freely taking in the scene , in more ways than one Bristol had arrived on the modern cultural map ! The bands first gig proper was supporting The Xcerts at the Stonehouse in early 1980, we got the gig through Chris Bostok a friend of Jons who was playing bass with the Xcerts. Over the next year of so the band gigged fairly regularly around Bristol in venues such as the Green Rooms, Hope Chapel, Trinity Hall , Stars & Stripes, Scamps Dingwalls and Bristol Bridge. The band also featured on a live recording "Bristol Beat" which was recorded at the Stonehouse. At the end of 1980 Mark Placito left the band to go to university, Dave Hale had also left the band and so Mayfair reformed as 3 piece band with Jon now playing bass and lead singer and Rob on guitar and vocals, playing drums was Conway Wyn-Jones. Having gained a mod audience partly due our style of music and because we were really into the scene, we started doing Gigs for scooter rallies and Soul Nights around the West Country. Jon Whitfield joined the band around this time playing saxophone. Playing in towns such Walsall, Gloucester Cheltenham, Dursley, Stroud, Swindon etc. On May 25th 1983 Mayfair supported the Alarm at Dingwalls Bristol
At the same time we were writing and recording new material. Unfortunately nothing was ever officially released and in late 1983 the band split.
When the band split in 1983 due to Jon's family commitments I carried the band on for a year or so with different line ups and we did a few gigs at a Soul Club I used to run "The Zeitgeist Club" in the upstairs part of the Dug Out. In 1985. I formed a new band called "Return to Go" with Lisa Hodges (now my wife) formerly lead singer with the Punk/New Wave Band "Another Unknown". The band "Return to Go "was very similar to "Everything but the Girl" who we obviously drew influences from. We received some good reviews in Venue( or was it out west then?) for a Demo we did in 1985 and did a few Gigs as just a duo. I am now currently playing with the reformed "Another Unknown" playing old original songs from the early 1980's along with new material we have been writing.
(Rob Colledge – April 2016)