Came into music as a singer/songwriter back in the early 70’s where I would inflict my miserable songs upon unsuspecting folk club audiences, though thankfully mostly augmented by one Steve Payne by my side, with whom I would spend much of my early musical life - writing and playing together. While never particularly happy with my own personal ability as a performer I moved more and more towards recording, and later to helping out and managing new bands as the new wave of high octane R & B music began to take control in 1976...I could remember this excitement as a boy, with The Who and The Small Faces etc etc... this felt the same... I wanted to be a part of it.
By 1978 the Bristol music scene had exploded with its own popular front of Punk, New Wave, Rock & Pop, together with some choice venues to hang out in. This was a good place to be. So was born Heartbeat Records, my way of attempting to capture some of the mayhem. Europeans, Glaxo Babies, an album called Avon Calling and a host of kind words and encouragement from John R P Ravenscroft. This was a good ride... I didn’t want to get off...
Vice Squad had earlier succumbed to the call of the Bristol compilation, and now it was my turn to join them as they stepped up for world domination... and amid the surge of the so called second wave of punk, Riot City Records was formed so we could once again make an attempt at catching the madness of Court Martial, Chaos UK, The Undead and a whole host of “out of towners”. Riotous Assembly was our offering to so many bands wanting a voice... a compilation album, that for it’s cover shoot would bring Bristols’ Broadmead to a halt as the word had gone out the night before... somehow I survived the day as we were eventually lawfully dispersed. The point of all this? Well, simply one of the few times these hands got behind a camera... I would later be thrown off the stage by tour security, moments after catching the cover for the Vice Squad Tour 12”....
I think I knew my place.
Co-presented the Punk & Disorderly show during the early 80’s on Radio West (now GWR) and gradually became domesticated and eventually married. It wasn’t long though before the bright lights beckoned, and I became victim to a Flying Saucer Attack in the late 80’s with more singles and albums to follow. By the mid 90’s my love of music would result in yet another record label - Trash City - to compliment yet another exciting local punk scene with Headcase, Kenisia and AKO etc etc all making an impact on these ears.
Life long ambitions were fulfilled in 1997 when Heartbeat gained the rights to release a 1967 concert by US Pysch Gods “The Electric Prunes”. Reformation and tours followed with further releases old and new.
Currently assisting the hosts with the seemingly endless supply of recorded music from the 70’s & 80’s that never ceases to amaze each time the cupboard is opened.
Simon Edwards 25/02/2010
Virgin Records, Broadmead Bristol - 1980