Bristol Archive Records Blog

Archive for January, 2010

The Best of fried Egg Records – OUT TODAY! 1ST FEB 2010

Sunday, January 31st, 2010









Released 1st February 2010 – Cat Number ARC119cd

Format – CD plus Digital Download

Ah, Bristol in the punk era! Guitars, cafes, speed and conspiracy theories. Originally one of the main punk centres (early attention for the Cortinas, Social Security and the Plastic Snowmen), by 1979 it had settled into the position it holds today – self-sufficient bohemianism with a hint of cross-over and the occasional defining moment to interest the outside world.

By the turn of the decade, the original punk-oriented labels were already looking beyond the city to fame and big bucks (yeah right) and not reflecting the uniquely pungent flavour of punk, pop, pilfering, piss-take and pretension that has always characterised this inland port.

Someone had to recognise Bristol’s combination of shit-hot musicianship, theatricality and absolute disregard for success, and that man was Andy Leighton, Phil Manzanera look-alike guitarist for the Crystal Theatre (a real 60′s alternative theatre group) and publisher of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

The Crystal Theatre production of RADIO BLZBUB (featuring a youthful Keith Allen) led to the formation of Shoes For Industry, and then to Fried Egg Records, and then to a John Peel session. Suddenly, a label! Led by the twin poles of musicality and eccentricity, it must have seemed normal at the time to sign anything that sounded good or interesting. A bunch of 13-year-olds performing Dr Feelgood-style R & B? No problem! A performance poet backed by college-rockers who were also Bristol’s premier pop band? Great! Post-punks who split up before they could be accused of inventing Simple Minds? Fantastic! A tour of England and Europe called the Be Limp tour? Spiffing! Fried Egg’s world domination was only prevented (according to local rumour) by Andy inheriting a Caribbean island and disappearing from the scene.

Personally, I remember that time with great affection. I saw all these bands play live in all the local dives and we all had a great time. No one knew anything about The Music Industry, and I’m sure it would all have been different if we had. What we had was clever innocence: useless for paying the mortgage and it won’t get you press coverage, but these recordings were made for the hell of it and to get gigs at the Western Star Domino Club. Nothing quite like this stuff exists today, and whether that’s good or bad is up to you.

Thanks for your support

GBH STUDIOS 1977 BRISTOL – Andrew Peters

Monday, January 25th, 2010
It began in the mid 1970s when I bought a Revox A77 from Radford Hi-Fi on the Gloucester Road in Bristol. It cost me a mere £440 (ex-display) which I estimate is approx. £4500 in today’s money!! I had a decent sound set-up at home in my bedroom and fancied recording some stuff off the radio and editing it together to make what would now be a called ‘a mix’.

At the same time a school friend (Clive Williamson) had begun drumming in a band called ‘Steppin’ Out’ with his brother in law, Phil who played guitar in a Hendrixish fashion and the mighty bass playing of one Steve Street. Steppin’ Out practiced at the famous GBH studios and Steve and I began setting up a very simple recording facility for local bands.

As far as I can remember, the first recording session we did was with ‘The Cortinas’ (or it may have been The Verdict). Using the Revox and a newly purchased MM 12 into 2 mixing desk, some hired microphones and a brazen pretence at knowing what we were doing we spent the day laying down a number of demo tracks straight to stereo ¼” tape, no overdubs, no edits, no effects or processing at all. That session is now available on CD. Other sessions including recording bands such as The Verdict, Color Tapes and The Posers.

The Verdict was a pop/ new wave-ish sort of combo featuring Stuart Morgan (George) on vocals, Shaun Harvey (Le Havre) on guitar, Graham Parsons (Grendell) on bass and Andy Welsford on the kit. Stuart later became guitar tech with the bloke who plays guitar with U2 (don’t know anything about U2 I’m afraid) and still is I gather. I haven’t seen any of them for 25 years. Andy Welsford (as Andy Wells) later drummed with Meatloaf’s live outfit.

Color Tapes (and I’m not too sure about this) was band involving some twins called Jonathan and (?), the mighty bass of Mr Street again and another guitarist.

The Posers was a punk band from Keynsham. I played bass (usually someone else’s; thanks Dexter!), Shaun Harvey played guitar in a Steve Jones’ fashion, Simon Wakeling sang and wrote the lyrics and the drummer was Clive Williamson. We had a great deal of success in a very short space of time – the highlight being support for Sham 69 at The Locarno in Bristol in early 1978. We were given notice of the gig only two days before and had a set of anything up to 3 numbers! Clearly we needed some more and wrote another half dozen in a day; our standards were fairly low and everything sounded pretty much the same. The set lasted about 12 minutes at normal speed and about 9 in a gigging situation. On the night we simply played the whole set twice to fill up the time; we hardly noticed and I’m sure the crowd didn’t have a clue. As far as composing and arranging our songs was concerned we worked on an Intro, Verse, Verse, Chorus, Verse, Middle bit, Chorus, Outro template ( or there abouts) and found this method of working highly lucrative and indeed I think we were paid a total of £25 for the Sham gig. The posers also played at Bower Ashton (where Dexter spotted me playing his bass – sorry Dexter), The Hat and Feather in Bath amongst other fine venues.

The highlight of the Sham evening was being attacked by the bouncers at the end of the gig after Jimmy Pursey had deemed it a good idea to dedicate Sham’s cover of the song ‘Monkey Man’ to those charming security chaps. At the end of the night we were treated to their robust behaviour as well as the ends of their Dr Martin boots and at one point I found myself travelling head first down the external escalator. Another fine moment, sadly overshadowed, was the invitation by an attractive young lady to join ‘The Slugs’ on bass. I was told I was great. Looking back I think there may have been an element of exaggeration about that statement and I am still a little upset that she didn’t mention my accomplished bass playing.

In March of 1978 Simon, our vocalist, left to live in South Africa where his brother lived. The band dissolved, thousands filled the streets and the scenes were similar to the night Elvis died a few months before. I spent my time in the studio at GBH recording a number of other bands.
In October 1978 I started work as a sound engineer with BBC Television in London. This obviously meant leaving Bristol and GBH. End of an era.

More to come but very briefly, 48 hours (usually known as the Chinese Radio Operators) formed in South London with Shaun Harvey on guitar vocals, me on guitar and vocals, Paul Atkinson (Blue) on drums and Bob Barneveld (Bob) on bass. We recorded a track for the 4-Alternatives EP that somehow ended up being called ‘Back to Ireland’ which I always found a bit embarrassing as I knew nothing about Ireland or being in the army. It was really about (and a common theme, here) a young lad being out of work and having few choices in life. We spent a day in the studio at Duffy’s in Anerley before re-recording it at Crescent in Bath a few weeks later. The second session went on the EP…my only regret was that we were starting to sound a bit like Thin Lizzy.

We went onto record a session at GBH on the 8-track 1” (which I still have)…Reality Blaze, Off goes the roof, Avantgarde, Kebabs in the Mall, Another Croydon. Soon after Bob left to pursue a career in freezing cans of lager (to test their levels of alchol) and as much as we tried to find a decent replacement the band split and that was that.

Andrew Peters recalls the old days (January 2010)

The Rimshots

Monday, January 25th, 2010

Hot News!

1977 Records have agreed to re-release The Rimshots single on 7″ Vinyl in Japan

Limited to 300 copies

Track listing:

Little Boys and Little Girls

Stuck In A Boat


More news asap 


Monday, January 18th, 2010


One of Bristol’s earliest and probably most dysfunctional punk bands, The Primates, were a trio formed late on in 1976 by Johnny Britton, Jon Shennan and JJ; on guitar, bass and vocals and drums, respectively.


The band was formed by Johnny after his previous band Good Question had fallen apart after punk-provoked arguments over ‘change of direction’. Good Question had played at a college punk gig in London’s Guildhall on 1 December 1976, the night of Sex Pistols’ notorious appearance on Thames Television’s Today show, and the whole experience had deeply divided the band. Johnny had loved the anarchy and out-there performances of the gig – poetry from Jane Suck wrapped in barbed wire etc – while others in the band simply hated it.


With an eye to the main chance and the sudden ‘opportunity of punk’, Johnny recruited Jon Shennan, who he met via a mutual friend, and then wild man of rock’n’roll, drummer JJ.


The band’s first gig was supporting Subway Sect at Barton Hill Youth Club, the gig where Johnny met Bernie Rhodes, manager of The Clash, the man who would subsequently manage Johnny as well as Jo Boxers, who also formed out of Bristol’s late ‘70’s punk scene.


The Primates had charisma, charm and a huge swagger; and quickly ‘arrived’ at a time when punk was forming itself into its first vanguard in Bristol – the time of The Cortinas, The Pigs, Social Security and a few others.


According to Johnny, the name came from Primark, which had a shop opposite the bus stop he waited at for his ride to school at the time, along with the fact that Johnny also liked The Pirates and The Monkees as band names…so, The Primates, simple, innit?!


Also according to Johnny, his other choice of band name was The Bum Banditz “but the others were having none of that…especially not with a ‘z’…”


But what The Primates did have were some hot tunes, Jon Shennan’s angelic voice, Johnny’s rock’n’roll-to-the-max attitude and a lazy confidence with JJ’s brilliantly loose drumming.


The set of tracks recorded at The Dug-Out on Bristol Archive Records do not convey The Primates at their best and like so many bands over the decades, the energy and magic of the band was never really captured at all on tape…too little time, never the right opportunity.


Bernie Rhodes had already suggested that The Primates should think about London and had dangled the glamorous suggestion that the band could rehearse at Clash HQ in London’s Camden Lock.


And so all too soon The Primates upped instruments and followed the road to London, partly in that ambitious career gambit to ‘make it’, more basically though just to keep the band together, because Jon Shennan was beginning a degree course at London Bedford College in Regents Park.


So the first weeks of Jon’s illustrious academic career were aided and abetted by Johnny, JJ and notorious pal Ben Hunt all sharing Jon’s college room near Regents Park. Not a charming proposition, really, and cue here many dark tales of unspeakable poverty, cheerful hedonism and general degeneracy in a room for one shared by four.


The Primates managed little from that point on…some London connections got made, Bernie Rhodes remained a friend; various gigs were played – support slots, mostly, to bands like Generation X at The Vortex…hardly the pinnacle of rock’n’roll.


Simply hanging out at the famed Clash rehearsal space was also an achievement of its own. The glamour of the place, in all of its dank Victorian squalor, is hard to describe, hard to understand, but it had a glamour nevertheless, and inspired Johnny, for one, towards the life in rock’n’roll that he subsequently took.


But all too soon, game for a laugh as our heroes may have been, the abject poverty and slow progress of band promotion got the better of all concerned and Johnny and JJ returned to Bristol at the end of 1977 and The Primates were no more.


Life went on for all three of our heroes and both Johnny and Jon played in many later bands, initially Bristol-connected and then farther afield.


Johnny joined Bristol punks The Media, then formed The Tesco Chainstore Massacre and The Spics, subsequently moving to London to tour with Orange Juice and then launched a solo career managed by Bernie Rhodes. Johnny Britton is a legend in his own lunchtime, a man of a thousand stories and the subject of a biography to come…


Jon Shennan also joined The Spics and added a brilliant individuality to every band he worked with. Jon’s left-handed bass-playing and genuinely emotive voice gave a definite ring of Macca to him and the last time Johnny recalls seeing Jon was when he dropped round to his London flat in the late ‘eighties to ask if there was a Beatles wig he could borrow because he was about to audition for The Bootleg Beatles…


And JJ, turned himself into a genuine party legend, sadly now not a living one, and he is missed…


(Thomas Brooman and Johnny Britton– Jan 2010)


How Did The Fans 30th Anniversary Tour Of Japan Happen!!!

Sunday, January 10th, 2010


We always knew that in our long and varied adventures into disparate realms of music, the vibe from The Fans’ music still stood out like the luminescent effulgence of a dislocated lighthouse lost in the timeless world that is power pop, flickering intermittently in what remained of our little grey cells.

It was always one of those things where you say “yeah we really ought to play this stuff again sometime…” but never did as we were all irresistibly sucked into the vortex of other murky musical ventures.

Then in 2001 (20 years after The Fans split), Mike Darby, Bristol Archive Records/Sugarshack supremo, introduced me to Nobutaida (Nobu) Yaita, CEO of 1977 Records, based in Tokyo and specialising in power/punk pop, who wanted to re-release the two Fans singles, originally released in 1979 and 1980 on Bristol’s wonderfully eclectic Fried Egg records, in a limited edition 7 inch vinyl format with the original sleeve designs. These sold out quickly and we slowly began to realise that The Fans’ stuff was actually being listened to and bought somewhere in the world, well not just any old place but in Tokyo, Japan!

This was followed up in 2004 by 1977 Records releasing a CD album compilation of The Fans entitled “You Don’t Live Here Anymore”, comprising the material on the 2 singles, some unreleased studio demos and a live recording of The Fans playing at Crockers, Bristol in January 1980.

I still occasionally saw Barry at various musical soirees, and I had played with Tony in a bizarre cabaret band which often unintentionally verged into avant garde territory (David Lunch would have been proud). George had literally “disappeared” for now almost 20 years: it was rumoured he was living in France and still making a musical living.

In July 2004, many years of burning the candle at both ends caught up with me and I almost died (heart attack+2).

Stopped playing live music for a while.

In the summer of 2007 Nobu contacted me to say that one of Japan’s biggest punk/metal bands, Brahman, wanted to cover one of our songs (the 2nd single “You Don’t Live Here Anymore”) on their new album “Antinomy” (released in early 2008). This was very exciting; to think that a top Japanese band wanted to record our tune!

By now it was almost 25 years since we had made contact with George; through the Bristol musical mafia I managed to obtain a number for him in the middle of rural France, some 50 miles south of Bordeaux. A very surprised George got a call from me, after having not spoken together for about a quarter of a century, to give him the news which he knew nothing about. This then developed into me going to stay with him in May 2008 to chew the cud.

Then towards the end of 2009, Nobu contacted me to say that the Brahman cover of our song had generated interest in Japan for The Fans. He proposed to re-release the two singles and  also a new release of three previously unreleased studio tracks of “Used To Be”, “Come On Over” and “Like It Or Not” on 7 inch vinyl initially (digital platforms soon).

The next step was for 1977 Records to suggest a short tour of Japan to promote the singles (one of the gigs will be supporting Brahman) in April 2010!!

Watch this space.

P.S. We are doing a pre-tour gig at The Prom, Bristol on Friday 9 April 2010!! Be there or be elsewhere.  

The Fans singles and a different Fans’ compilation entitled “One Way Or Another” are also available via digital download through Bristol Archive Records. Also 2 Fans tracks (Following You” and “Giving Me That Look in Your Eye”) are on the CD “Best of Fried Egg Records (Bristol 1979-1980)” ARC 119. Pre-order from, Amazon .com and or through iTunes. Released 1 February 2010. Also The Fans’ material can be streamed via Spotify

(Rob – The Fans - Jan 2010

The Fans play a Bristol gig

Saturday, January 9th, 2010

The FansThe Fans play The Prom, Gloucester Road, Bristol on Friday April 9th as a warm up for their tour of Japan – support to be announced


Friday, January 8th, 2010




Special New Release – never before available previously unreleased studio tracks:

THE FANS – You Used To Be 7″(No Sleeve). 3 tracks inc. Rare unreleased studio tracks.
This is just selling at 1977 online shop now!
Ltd 300 copies!
Price=1,500 Yen

Buy from:

Re-released for the second time

THE FANS – You Don’t Live Here Anymore 7″
Re-issued by License from The Fans
We’re selling 100 copies limited colour vinyl now!
Ltd 300 copies!

Price=1,500 Yen

Buy from:

Re-released for the second time

THE FANS – Givin’ Me That Look 7″
Re-issued by Licensed
We’re selling 100 copies limited colour vinyl now!
Ltd 300 copies!

Price=1,500 Yen

Buy from:

The band also have two tracks available on the soon to be released:

 The Best of Fried Egg Records (Bristol 1979-1980) ARC119

You can pre-order the cd now from,,

Released 1st Feb 2010

The Fans were formed in 1978 in Bristol, England. The Bristol music scene was humming at the time and The Fans very quickly became not only one of the city’s premier bands but also of the UK. The band were enthralled by the same vision of creating quality songs at a speed which reflected the genre of the time.

The principal song writer was George, who had already had chart success with his earlier band George and the Dragons. Rob had already had considerable success with Uncle Po, whose members included Gavin King on vocals (later to form The Private Dicks) and Helen O’Hara (later to join Dexy’s Midnight Runners on violin). The Fans first single was an EP released in 1979 on the newly formed Fried Egg record label – “Givin’ Me That Look In Your Eyes” c/w “Stay The Night” and their version of the Jim Reeve’s song “He’ll Have To Go”. Following great success, their second single was released on Fried Egg in 1980 with the songs “You Don’t Live Here Anymore” c/w “Following you”.

 At this point the band secured a major publishing deal but internal frictions about musical direction caused the band to split. George ,Barry and Rob continued to play together for a short while under the name of The Trainspotters, recording an unreleased single “Hold ‘Im Joe”. Barry went on to follow a solo career as a singer songwriter. George moved to France, where he still lives, playing solo and band gigs around the country. Rob went on to play with The Tropics, Tropical Hearts, MHW and Wise Children ( as well forming The Skull Academy.

 Tony became a much sought after session drummer. Both The Fans singles were picked up by Japanese indie label 1977 Records and re-released in 2001. A CD album containing the singles, demos and live recordings from a Bristol gig was released on 1977 Records in 2004. Most recently, top Japanese metal/punk band Brahman have recorded a version of “You Don’t Live Here Anymore” which is to be released on their 4th album “Antinomy” in February 2008.

Tour Dates:

16/4/2010  PEPPERLAND       OKEYAMA           JAPAN

17/4/2010  BEAT STATION    HUKUOKA          JAPAN

18/4/2010  RED CLOTH        SHINJUKU  TOKYO       JAPAN

19/4/2010  RED CLOTH        SHINJUKU  TOKYO       JAPAN

More details can be found at:    



Friday, January 8th, 2010



Bristol Archive Records


First compilation from Bristol’s premier independent label.

This collection from 1979-’80 embodies the almost wilful eclecticism of that post-punk period, with reggae jammed up against disco, indie jangle and art-punk. The lyrics are either critical (“The nuclear bomb is a blunt instrument in the hands of disturbed children”, chide Art Objects on Hard Objects) or whimsical, the sound open and black-influenced. The overwhelming sense is that these groups are playing for the hell of it.

Nobody writes songs like the simultaneously amusing and irritating Invasion of The French Boyfriends are more (thank you, Shoes for Industry). On balance, that is a bad thing. While not essential, this labour of love sheds light on a forgotten time and place-one that is fascinating to consider in terms of what came out of the city 10 years later.

(Jon Savage)


Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

Happy New Year to you and your family. We have just published the first website update of 2010 with the promise of continued new releases throughout the year and beyond. The support we continue to receive from the artists is incredible and the Archive label continues to grow as we share the historical, sometimes long forgotten, sometimes brilliant music from the vaults of Bristol’s musical past with the world.

New Releases – worldwide on all digital platforms – OUT NOW!


 Live Ashton Court        


1.     The Random Alligator

2.     Freeze (UL Zone)

3.     S.M. Tiger


Recorded live at Ashton Court 1978 by Simon Edwards

Recordings supplied by Simon Edwards

Mastered by Steve Street 2009






1.     The Cradle Grave

2.     Ghost Skip

3.     The Broken Wing

4.     In Armour


I almost recorded over the tape of this band by mistake. I wanted to make a recording of the HEY BELABA gig at Moles, but fortunately I used the ‘blank’ side.

It was only when I was having a ‘spring clean’ of old stuff that I came across a copy I’d made of OVH, and then found the original. Listening to the copy after all these years, the music still blew me away.

I’d met up with the singer, Ross, at his flat off Blackboy Hill. He’d called me out of the blue, and as I lived reasonably nearby I went to his place. He played me all 4 songs and I was gobsmacked. This was SO unlike the usual ‘’Bristol band’’ – very ‘’Goth’’ and dark, and sounding very Factory Records circa 1980.

He was planning for the band to do gigs, though I can’t recall if they ever did. So it’s the music that lives and breathes 25 years on. And WHAT a collection it is. All chiming guitar riffs, thunderous bass and edgy drumming, topped off by Ross’s menacing bellow. And with lots of surprises thrown in too.

I think ‘Ghost Ship’ sums them up best. High drama comes at you in waves and then a very un-Goth like treat awaits you the listener towards the end. They had humour as well – the line ‘the moonlight flits, across her…..’ cracks me up every time.

Just choose your favourite stimuli, have minimal lighting and play LOUD! (Dave Massey)



Live Granary Bristol 1978


1.     The Devils in Me Tonight

2.     Shout to the Wind

3.     Free and Easy

4.     Images

5.     Crystal (For You I Cry)

6.     Lyin’ By Your Side

7.     Don’t Ever Fool Me

8.     Chug All Night


Recordings supplied by Simon Edwards and recorded live at The Granary Bristol 1978

Line up:
Cherie Beck Musialik Vocals
Alan ‘Scratch’ Scrase Lead Guitar
Stuart Amesbury Rhythm Guitar
Jebs Blake Bass
Steve Jones Drums

Mastered by Steve Street Oct 2009


STARGAZER was formed upon the demise of Baton Rouge: the original members being; Mike Dixon and Andy Evans ( from Baton Rouge ), Cherie Musialik, Stuart Amesbury and Gareth Woods. Some fairly elaborate and inventive photographic work was incorporated into the original publicity artwork.
Much about the same time another local band, Premonition, was splitting up. The drummer, Steve Jones, replaced Gareth Woods. The band were playing the usual haunts such as, the back bar at the Naval Volunteer, ‘Chutes, etc. When Andy Evans left Stargazer, it was Steve that persuaded one-time Premonition guitarist, Scratch (Alan Scrase), to join the band. Mike Dixon was about to move away from Bristol and needed to be replaced.

Cue: the arrival of Jebs Blake on bass, but it was the catalyst that parked an immediate song writing partnership with Stuart. By now the band were working more often away from Bristol than in
their home city; Dingwall’s and the Music Machine in London, various venues in the Midlands and Wales, but still managed to undertake gigs at the Dockland Settlement, the Bamboo Club, the Folk House, the Green Room, Crocker’s, the Ashton Court Festival, Trinity Church and of course the much loved and lamented Granary Club.

Around this time the band name was abbreviated to * Gazer, which in short became, GAZER. The band struck up associations with: Ariola- Hansa, Nomis Morgan and, more lastingly with, Bright Music Publishing. It was Danny Morgan who had introduced the band to Martin Wyatt. This was a fairly stable line-up for a few years, although, there was a period when Eddie Parsons took over the drummer’s position. Eventually, Jebs and Eddie headed for London together, but that’s not
the end of the story………





1.     Move Fast, Stay Ahead

2.     Middle of No Where


Russell Thomas (guitar, vocals)
Marc Hatwood (drums)

The demos were supplied by Simon Edwards
of Heartbeat Records.

Mastered by Steve Street Oct 2009





Live Thekla Bristol 1985

1.     Open Up the Rivers

2.     Hypnotism

3.     King Briar

4.     Second Breath

5.     Animal

6.     Ju Ju Man

7.     River of Tears

8.     Lets Partake

9.     Quiet Sun

10.  Song of a Bullet

11.  Kene Forever

12.  King Briar

13.  Quiet Sun



Copyright DAVE MASSEY/Visceral Thrill Recordings

Recorded Live at the Thekla – 16th October 1985



Line up:

CHRIS SCOTT – Vocals/Guitar/Effects
VINCE – Bass
PETE – Backing Vocals/Percussion

Mastered by Steve Street Oct 2009



Cuttings from 1983 Venue Magazine written by Eugene Bryne have been added.

Plus another cutting from Venue Magazine written by Dave Higgitt on the television programme R.P.M













Please remember to buy your copy now and support Bristol music



The Cortinas ‘Anthology’ album for Cherry Red Records is progressing nicely.

Bristol Archive will release a Limited edition vinyl Cortinas album in the New Year with hopefully some extra special extras included.

The compilation album ‘Bristol – The Punk Explosion’ is nearing completion with sleeve notes from Shane Baldwin.

Work continues on piecing together ‘Avon Calling 2’ compiled and with sleeve notes written by Simon Edwards

Thomas Brooman CBE is finishing off the sleeve notes for the album he is compiling provisionally entitled ‘The Bristol Recorder’

The Pigs have been confirmed on The Rebellion Bill in Blackpool this year


That’s all for now folks

Best wishes


Mike Darby