Bristol Archive Records Blog

Archive for September, 2008

Recomendation of the highest order!

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

bristol archive records is an amazing dot to dot picture of the cities musical history, i would recomend it to anyone who has ever been interested in why and how the sound of the city has became what it is today.

geoff barrow ( PORTISHEAD )

The Untouchables – single ‘Keep On Walking’ ARCO47

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

The Untouchables 1978 -1982




Jerry Clements, aka Jerry Tremaine, whilst in his final year at Cotham Grammar school, assembled what might loosely be described as a group with the enigmatic moniker ‘The Same’ that included Pip Trenchard on bass (later of The Gas Taps) and ginger-haired drummer, Paul Hollywood (part of Bristolian post-psychedelic milieu spearheaded by Magic Muscle) who insisted on pulling a pair of tights over his face and chewing fake blood capsules whilst drumming.


Unlikely beginnings to what would become one of Bristol’s most popular live acts, but wholly in keeping with the flourishing New Wave ambience.


The band’s repertoire was a mish – mash of R&B standards and Dr Feelgood covers played with enthusiasm rather than any observable known musical technique.  A three-piece band consisting of bass, drums, and Jerry on vocals and very recently -purchased Woolworths guitar, it was Jerry’s discontent with the one chord he had learnt, and a desire to concentrate on singing, that led him to ask brother, Marc Clements, to join the band as guitarist.


Marc’s progress with the guitar had been as rapid as Jerry’s had been with his singing and playing harmonica, and so it seemed like an obvious move to have Marc take on the role as guitar player.


The brothers were strongly influenced by Dr Feelgood, whom they’d both seen at the Colston Hall in 1975/76, leaving them with a lasting impression (John McLean of The Bones was also present at this same gig and was inspired in much the same way).   The Feelgood’s visual abandon – short hair and thrift-shop suits, combined with an economic and somewhat blistering musical attack – seemed entirely in keeping with the moment, and so it was decided, without really saying as much, that this was to be the band’s direction.


Pretty soon a drummer that was a little less Keith Moon and more ‘Big Figure’ was required, as well as a more consistent bassist.


Bedminster lad, Phil Price, had recently been playing with an early incarnation of Joe Public and, having parted company from them, accepted an offer to drum for the brothers Clements in what they were now calling The Untouchables.


An old school friend of Marc’s, Paul Straker, took over on bass duties for a number of gigs before being replaced by Will Hitchings, at the time an ardent admirer of Lemmy’s dulcet tones.


And so we arrive at the definitive Untouchables line-up of Jerry Tremaine (vocals/harp), Marc Clements (guitar), Will Hitchings (bass) and Phil Price (drums).


It is not unfair to say that when you went to see the band in ’78 you were basically getting Dr Feelgood’s stage act circa 1975.  It’s equally fair to say that punters left an Untouchable’s gig feeling equally as knocked out and euphoric as if they had seen the Feelgoods, which is what it was all about really – to convey that same sense of visceral excitement that the boys felt back in ’75.


Marc – “The Feelgoods played a kind of souped-up rhythm and blues, drawing on black R’n’B from the fifties and sixties.  Jerry and I had grown up in a household where this kind of music was played all the time, and I think the Feelgoods reawakened all that somehow and made us want to delve back further into the origins of this kind of music”.


The Untouchables could be seen regularly at what was, at the time, a city full of small-to-medium size venues including Crockers, The Greenroom, Trinity Hall, The Dockland Settlement, The Granary, The Western Star Domino Club, The Anson Rooms, The Bear, The Bunch of Grapes (Hotwells Rd) and The Glen, as well as appearances for several years running at the Ashton Court festival. 


Marc – “The Ashton Court festival we played in 1978 bore little resemblance to the present day festival; the ambiance was far more bohemian and relaxed in a whatever happens, happens kind of way than the sponsored all ticket event we’re familiar with now”.


“Mark Simpson had a lot to do with the organisation of it, and seemed to like the band a lot.  He’d give us a rough idea of when we could play and we’d roll up to the little stage constructed out of what looked like half-inched scaffolding poles and we’d do our thing.  I seem to remember us playing twice that year as someone didn’t turn up for their slot”.


1979/80 were particularly fruitful years for the band. Having been asked to support Ginger Baker’s Energy at Trinity Hall, the boys were asked to back Baker’s group on several dates in London – a period which saw them headline at Camden Dingwalls, The Marquee in Wardour Street, The Bridge House, The Kensington and The Nashville Rooms.


Baker’s manager at the time, Roy Ward, later remarked that it was one of the few occasions that he’d seen Ginger actually leave his changing room to check out a support band.


Also around this time The Untouchables recorded a single for Andy Leighton’s local record label Fried Egg.  Recorded in London, the single contained two original compositions by Marc, and was produced by Wilko Johnson whom Jerry had got to know through what was becoming a habit of striding into the changing rooms of artists he wanted to meet.


Jerry – “I just went backstage and introduced myself…told Wilko I was a harp player ….any chance of doing a number? He looked at me with a bemused expression and said oh yea?…lets hear ya then…so I gave him a blast….bemusement turned to amazement. He told me later that he was stunned a kid of my age could play harp like that…so I played 20yards behind in the encore and we’ve been friends ever since”.


In 1980 the band went on a European tour with label mates Shoes for Industry and Various Artists.  Lasting several weeks, the tour zigzagged across Germany and Holland and by all accounts did its utmost to live up to the requisite degree of Rock’n’Roll excess.


Marc – “The highlights of the European tour for me was John Schofield and Jerry’s one round Thai kick-boxing bout that was abruptly brought to an end by the intervention of the crew; and turning around on stage one night to see our drummer, who was extremely drunk, pass out and fall off the back of the stage…..good times”.


The Untouchables never had a game plan of any description, but they had a lot of fun along the way and, as the 80s rolled on and the tyranny of the synthesiser loomed on the horizon, having been together for four years, they played one of their last gigs at Glastonbury Festival.


Marc- “We were all quite young, and it was all really only a matter of seeking the excitement of getting up on stage and playing music we loved in front of people”. 






On May 9th 2008 Julian Temple filmed Jerry singing with the original Feelgood line-up at Southend as part of the annual Lee Brilleaux memorial.


Temple is putting the finishing touches to a documentary about Dr Feelgood intended for the small screen this winter.


By all accounts Jerry’s performance with the band moved all and sundry and transported everyone back to the Feelgood’s heydays.


The whereabouts of Phil Price are unknown to the author.  Will Hitchings is now a sound engineer, and Marc Clements can usually be seen performing at The Prom, Bristol, in one of several bands that includes The Bones, Los Yanquis, The Loose String Band and his own group The Highliners.




The single will be released Oct 6th on Bristol Archive Records.  

X-certs Album Nearing Completion

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

Clive, Chris and Neil are finalising the track listing for the album but we thought we’d share with you Neil Mackies thoughts on the band………….

Thanks for sending the CD’s through. After listening to them, it’s reminded me just what a fantastic band the X-certs were. OK maybe we weren’t the most slick of bands, but on our night, there were few to beat us for energy & passion at that time in Bristol. We had a huge influence on a lot of groups that came after us, and also had one of the biggest followings in the city (our early gigs at Trinity church could easily pull in 400 – 500, which was quite a feat for a local band with no record deal). Yes some of our followers were notorious and a lot of people were afraid to come to our gigs at times in those early days, but we as a band were a friendly bunch, politically motivated, and that first line-up of Clive, Simon, Taff & myself regularly got ourselves on the wrong side of the law, on the backs of trucks, etc. But we had a good camaraderie which was second to none. Clive & myself regularly came to blows with each other, but we loved each other like brothers. Such was the passion of the day! When Taff left & Chris joined, we became a much slicker musical outfit, which enabled us to play bigger & better places, and broadened our horizons. This time was also very special. My memory is of two very different X-certs. The first line-up – home-grown, raw, energetic, political – the second line-up, slicker, tighter, and more focussed. I liked both these eras equally for different reasons.

Can’t wait……………….



Simon Edwards – Heartbeat Records and Riot City Records

Sunday, September 7th, 2008

We’ve come across two fantastic videos on Cherry Red TV featuring Bristols music guru who started releasing records in BRISTOL from 1978 – the legend that is Simon Edwards.

Heres the links….


Set up in 1978, to provide a platform for music from the Bristol (UK) area to reach a wider audience. Initially run as a partnership between Tony Dodd (Tony’s Records, & ace guitar man) and Simon Edwards (local musician & manager), though after the first release Tony decided to concentrate on the shop & Heartbeat became a one man operation. A number of singles & albums were subsequently released around the label flagship “Avon Calling” – The Bristol Compilation LP, which went on to bring Bristol music much deserved critical acclaim & thanks to John Peel a good deal of national airplay. After a period of inactivity between 1984 – 1996, while other projects were persued, the label was reactivated on an international footing with the release of an album by American 60′s psych legends The Electric Prunes.


Bristol’s premier punk band Vice Squad came up with the idea of releasing their records, and those of other punk bands on a dedicated label, amid discussions with Heartbeat Records on the prospective release of their first EP back in 1980. The current marketing agreement set up between Heartbeat and Cherry Red Records had begun to wobble, and after introducing the Vice Squad demo tape as a possible next release – it was turned down flat as “unsuitable music for the partnership to get involved in” – leaving Heartbeat with final decision, whether to go it alone or turn down the band.

Having always been given total control over the label’s output, and as yet not been completely wrong in the selection of artists to record, it was obvious to me that Vice Squad were developing as a band, with a big following, and therefor surely worth being given a chance to prove themselves – after all, that had always been the criteria behind Heartbeat.

We will have more coverage on Heartbeat Records in the coming months.  


Saturday, September 6th, 2008

Tim Norfolk has agreed to release 3 Tracks from TVI’s recorded at Cave Studios, Bristol 1979 ( Tim along side Bob Locke is THE INSECTS – massive Bristol band – there looks to be the possibility of Bristol Archive releasing some of their older material when known as The Startled Insects )

We’ve also got an album from UNCLE PO – ‘Demos 1977 and Live At The Lyceum, London 1978′

Uncle Po was formed from the ashes of Bristol band Wispa in August 1976 with the joining of Gavin King on vocals to the line up of Rob Williams (guitar), Lyndon Parry (bass), Andy Wills (Sax and flute), Helen Spike Bevington (violins and keyboards) and Arrun Amun (drums). Drumming duties were soon taken over by Steve Basher Barnnett and later, Jimmer (Hill).

The band became very excited about the  new energy in music which they were listening to – they ditched all their material, locked themselves away in the cellar rehearsal room (next to the dub room) in the Dockland Settlement for a few months,had a hair cut, and emerged as Uncle Po (NOT named after the famous Berlin club but after something far more nefarious and personal to the band).
During the band’s existence form 1976 to 1978 they played almost 200 gigs all over the UK including many in London.Bristol venues played included Chutes, the Dockland Settlement, Bristol Poly and University.
Hungry for recognition they entered a Radio 1 Battle of the Bands competition (hosted by Alan Freeman!) and won – originally the prize was to record an album but this was dropped to a single (as the originator of the competition left Radio 1 ). The single “Use My Friends” (the Beeb rejected the original title “Screw mY Friends”) c/w “15 Minutes” was finally realeased on the Beeb label in March 1978 (now rare as hen’s teeth).
Undaunted by this, and supported by strong management from a close aide of Harvey Goldsmith, the band continued to record and play, establishing residencies at many of the London venues of the time – Dingwalls, the Red Cow plus prestige support slots at Wembley Empire and the Lyceum (where their set was recorded by the Rolling Stones Mobile).
After 2 years of playing endless gigs,starving to death etc the band decided to call it a day. Numerous demos and the live recording of the Lyceum gig have never been released until now.
Gavin went onto form Private Dicks (still going strong), Helen went to university and later joined Dexy’s Midnight Runners on violin (aka helen O’Hara),Jimmer and Lyndon joined Sneak Preview, Andy became involved in PA and lighting companies,Rob went onto to join The Fans, then later The Tropics, Tropical Hearts and Wise Children.
Rob Williams has also agreed for the release of THE FANS album ‘ Demos & Live At Crockers, Bristol Jan 1980′ – previously only available in Japan.
Happy Days

Future Updates

Friday, September 5th, 2008

If you are visiting this site for the first time then please include us in your ‘favourites’ and be sure to check us out again.

As the site develops we will release more recordings from the Bristol Archive but we will also include accounts of journos, producers,  studio owners, promoters et al who were involved, not just the musos/artists.

Thanks for checking us out.

New Music at our myspace site

Thursday, September 4th, 2008

The Escape and Andy Fairley


In the week that we launch the website we preview some exclusive tracks from two fantastic albums to be released via Bristol Archive Records on October 6th 2008

The Escape:


I’ll Pretend To Kill You

Girl In A Phone Box

All tracks taken from ‘Is Nothing Sacred’ recorded in Bristol between 1981 and 1983 - further and full details to follow in the week of release on

Andy Fairley ( deceased)

Three tracks taken from the album ‘Fishfood vs Birth Of Sharon’ again recorded circa 1981 – 1983

The Art Of Wanking

Film Titles

Sex Is A Language

As above the album will be released on October 6th 2008 via all digital distribution outlets and detailed information will appear on The Bristol Archive Records website in the week of release.

Relax and Enjoy Bristol’s finest



Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

The two albums:
‘Please Don’t Hit Me’ and the live album ‘For Fucks Sake Plymouth’ will be released worldwide on all digital platforms on 6th October 2008


Recorded Live in Plymouth 1977

1. Defiant Pose
2. Tired Of Compromise
3. They
4. We’re Gonna Play In tHe Subway Today
5. Further Education
6. Fascist Dictator
7. Tokyo Joe
8. Gloria
9. Gonna Get Mary In The Bus Shelter
10. Have It With You
11. Television Families
12. Have It With You
13. Slow down

In 1977 even Bristol, home to The Cortinas, never mind Plymouth, was not the accepted face of ‘mint’ it is today. If we weren’t country bumpkins, we were middle-class twats and us girls well, we thought lines and mirrors were to do with washing and make up. So sayeth the great Tony Parsons, Lord of NME and reviewer of the Cortinas Bristle Colston’all gig in July of that year.

What ‘know it all’ 23 year old Tone failed to predict was that class had nothing to do with being a punk, as the pedigrees of the past great punk bands now confirm. If you’d been on a stage in ‘76 with 3 chords, no vocal ambition, angry lyrics and defiant pose, you were punks.

The Cortinas were all that, their first gig was at our Youth Club and they were fantastic, I went to take the piss, what the hell was Jeremy Valentine doing fronting what I had assumed would probably be a cross between Jethro Tull and my piano lessons. I was so wrong, I got it, this wasn’t intense naval inspecting ‘progressive’ bollocks, this was stuff I understood.

And this Live Album recorded in Plymouth sometime between those two gigs in ’77 tells the story, you can’t quite hear all the lyrics, well that was what it was like, and titles like We’re Gonna Play in the Subway Today said it all, to us anyway, if not to Tony. He took particular offence at Fascist Dictator, (single released June 1977), because 15 year old Bristolians couldn’t possibly understand the politics. Hey maybe the Cortinas helped raise our consciousness ready for ‘Rock against Racism’ a few months later?

For all their alleged youthful naivety, Van Morrison’s Gloria is played just as intended, a teenage lust ridden 3 chord rock anthem, allowing Jeremy to ad lib, the emerging guitar talents of Nick Shepherd and Mike Fewins to let rip and the ability to copy the conceit, albeit tongue in cheek, of introducing band members….. as Johnny.

Larry Williams’s Slow Down hints that maybe our boys abilities stretch beyond punk, but it’s Defiant Pose, Television Families, Having It, (Have It with you) and Further Education played in John Peel’s radio session, together with Facist Dictator, that sum up this period best.
If anyone accuses you of not knowing your Punk from your elbow slip this album on and they’ll soon be gobbing all over you


‘Please Don’t Hit Me’

8. RADIO RAPE 3.40
9. JUSTICE 2.25

Recorded at ‘Steppin’ Out Studios, Bristol on the 9th Jan 1978

Recorded and Engineered/Produced by Andrew Peters

The Cortinas are:

Jeremy Valentine Lead Vocals
Mike Fewings Lead Guitar
Nick Sheppard Rhythm Guitar
Dexter Dalwood Bass
Daniel Swann Drums

Remastered by Shaun Joseph at Optimum Bristol 21st June 2008

By late 1977 interest in The Cortinas was at its peak. They had released two singles on Miles Copeland’s Step Forward label. They’d supported The Stranglers and headlined at the Roxy. They’d been top of the bill at The Marquee played with Chelsea and Sham 69 and toured with Blondie and Television. Promoters had booked them with the caution befitting a punk reputation, which had been further guaranteed by Jeremy’s photograph in NME precariously close to the incident involving Shane MacGowan and the missing ear lobe.
It was time for an album; Miles who had his finger in every punk pie going and was the king of the record deal gave them CBS. Please don’t hit me comprises the demo tracks that secured the Cortinas the deal and consequently the album True Romances.
And ‘real’ punk does still exist here; the critics argue it was lost on the album released after the band split. Please don’t hit me disagrees: Youth Club Dance takes us back not only to their very first gig, but also to that non-relationship between words and music synonimus with the genre… you –ooth club dance.
Tribe of the City was slated on the album, it is repetitive, never gets much beyond three notes, and as John Hamblett –NME says in his review uses ‘sixth form philosophy ‘…yep that’s what it was about.
Never able to shake off the schoolboy image, much was made of Mike Fewings and Dexter Dalwoods waif-like image and drummer Danny Swan was still just 17. CBS used the bands age to counter criticism but did nothing to promote the album or further it’s members careers. Hamblett further suggested they’d either grow into fine young musicians- either that or Oxford Dons – well they did more or less, but he didn’t manage to forsee the famous artist Dexter was to become.
By their own admission much of the punk stuff had been ‘hastily written and perhaps a bit formulaic’, many said the tracks that became True Romances had returned them to their formative r&b roots. First I look at the purse- a Smokey Robinson remix could give The Jam a run for their money in the reworked Tamla department, and I always want to hum Van Morrison’s Brown eyed girl when I hear the opening bars to the CBS single Heartache.
So is this compilation punk, post punk, alternative or what we used to call r&b, (not today’s slush)? Whatever the verdict, you’ll find Ask Mr Waverley’ going round and round in your head for days after hearing it and if you remember him, you probably know the answer already or don’t give a Valerie Singleton.


Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

The tracks have been sent to Clive, Chris and Neil with the intention of getting a track listing agreed this week.

The album tracklisting we have suggested is a s follows:

Secrets ( Cassette ) 2:58 X-CERTS Queen and Country Proposed Album   4
> 26/08/2008 18:49
> Queen and Country 2:57 X-CERTS Bristol Recorder 2   2 26/08/2008 18:52
> Together ( Recreational Single ) 4:01 X-CERTS Queen and Country Proposed
> Album   1 26/08/2008 17:08
> Visions of Fate 2:04 X-CERTS Bristol Recorder 2   1 31/07/2008 17:08
> Fussing and Fighting ( Cassette ) 9:41 X-CERTS Queen and Country Proposed
> Album   1 26/08/2008 17:37
> You Have Been Warned ( 1/4 inch ) 4:08 X-CERTS Queen and Country Proposed
> Album   1 26/08/2008 17:48
> Spotlight ( 1/4 inch ) 3:45 X-CERTS Queen and Country Proposed Album   1
> 26/08/2008 17:52
> Fightback Remix ( 1/4 inch ) 2:26 X-CERTS Queen and Country Studio Masters
> 1 26/08/2008 17:57
> Slow Down ( Live Tiffanys Bristol 1981 ) 2:38 X-CERTS Queen and Country
> Proposed Album   2 26/08/2008 18:57
> Frustration ( Live Tiffanys Bristol 1981 ) 3:44 X-CERTS Queen and Country
> Proposed Album   2 26/08/2008 19:01
> No-one Gives A Shit Anymore ( Live Tiffanys Bristol 1981 ) 2:00 X-CERTS
> Queen and Country Proposed Album   1 26/08/2008 19:03
> Secrets ( Live Tiffanys Bristol 1981 )  2:58 X-CERTS Queen and Country
> Proposed Album   2 26/08/2008 19:06
> Youth is Calling ( Live Tiffanys Bristol 1981 ) 4:19 X-CERTS Queen and
> Country Proposed Album   2 26/08/2008 19:10