Bristol Archive Records Blog

Archive for February, 2021

Tammy Payne

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2021

Tam guitar

Of the four self- penned albums Tammy has released, only one of them is under her name.

Whilst this is perhaps not the best strategy for building a music career, it does explain her preference to experiment.

As a singer, writer and drummer she has covered jazz, dance, Latin, alt-folk and rock.

At 19, she gave a demo to local DJ Tristan B. He passed it on to a plugger at Warner Bros and soon Tammy had an interview with Warners. Despite liking her own compositions, they felt it was safer for Tammy to launch her career with a cover.  She recorded a version of Denice Williams’ ‘Free’. Warners were pleased with the attention this got and gave the go ahead for Tammy to record a single of her own tune, ‘Take Me Now’. They put it round the clubs as a white label and due to the positive feedback Tammy earned herself a meeting with the ‘man who signed Madonna.’  She was told by the plugger to wear a nice little dress. She turned up in a baggy t-shirt and jeans feeling very nervous! The man who signed Madonna dropped Tammy from Warners but there was no cause for alarm. Her white label was still out there and reached the ears of Gilles Peterson.

Tammy released two singles of big chorus dance / soul tunes on Gilles – Talkin Loud label.

Then her love for Brazilian music took her to Brazil and across the USA to get percussion lessons.

Back in Bristol she did a lot of jazz gigs either on drums or as a singer covering bossa nova classics as well as standard jazz repertoire. Many of these gigs were with fellow jazz enthusiasts Adrian Utley of Portishead and Will Gregory of Goldfrapp.

Soon Tammy started writing her own material again and so began her solo output with Cup of Tea Records, then Sissi, Boca 45 and Smith and Mighty collaborations. She features on five tracks on Smith & Mighty’s album Big World Small World.

She toured Europe and USA as the drummer for John Parish (long-time producer of PJ Harvey) with a band that included Adrian Utley and Jim Barr.

Sometime into the 2000’s Tammy learned to strum acoustic guitar and experimented with a different voice, more fragile, more story-telling – an alter ego even – who appears as the artist / band Jukes on the album ‘A Thousand Dreamers’, released on Badly Drawn Boy’s and Andy Votel’s Manchester label, Twisted Nerve.

Here, she is dreamy and whimsical on her foray into the Bleeker Street of her imaginings, spurred on by listening to folk music and Dylan, Cohen and other 60’s and 70’s writers.

It is on her second album as Jukes; ‘We Might Disappear’, that her alter ego sounds most convincing, covering such topics as her relationship to fate and time, ego, identity and the search for connection to others.

After taking time out to be a mum, Tammy decided to make the jazz standards album she always wanted to make. What came out of this was anything but standard. She formed a band with Dylan Howe on drums, Dan Moore on organ, Neil Smith on guitar and Jim Barr on bass, called it Tamco and deconstructed the songs of Dolly Parton, Leonard Cohen, Elvis Costello to the effect of The Doors meets Julie Driscoll. It was released on Edition Records in 2010.

Tammy kept the line-up, with the addition of another drummer from Bristol, Matthew Jones, to record the only album under her own name, this album, ‘Viva Outsider’, brings together jazz, blues and pop of eras from the 50’s onwards.

There was no particular reason why Tammy finally used her full name for this. When asked, “It just felt like time” she said.



Sissi ft: Tammy Payne

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2021



1998 Voice of The Ocean. Cup of Tea Records.

1999 Come Down. Write A List. Angels Egg Records.

2002 Boy like ep. Angels Egg

2006 The Voice of the Ocean. Album. Angels Egg

Jim Barr and Tammy Payne (then partners in life as well as music) worked on the music of Sissi. together in Jim’s basement studio in Easton in Bristol from the mid to late 90’s.

During this time, they collaborated with Patrick Duff, The Invisible Pair of Hands, Marc Gauvin and John Parish.

Having spent two years playing bedroom drums along to The Low-End Theory album by Tribe Called Quest, Tammy started sampling her own beats to add to her songs. This led to her becoming a co-producer with Jim.

Many musicians who came through the doors to record their own music would end up contributing to the making of the one and only Sissi album. These i included Ian Matthews, who went on to drum with Kasabian, Dan Brown producer of Ilya, John Baggott (Robert Plant, Massive, Portishead) and Pete Judge of (Get the Blessing).

Two eps’ later (Look At Me on Cup Of Tea Records in 1998 and Come Down via Write A List in 1999) they had enough material for an album. They played a couple of gigs and they faded swiftly out of sight.

Maybe the major label hype around the gigs and the subsequent silence from said labels might have thrown Jim and Tammy somewhat. Maybe the idea to search for an independent label who would not be concerned about pigeonholes simply did not occur to Jim and Tammy. Or maybe other adventures came calling, involving for Tammy, playing percussion on the London salsa circuit and collaborating with Smith and Mighty back in Bristol for Jim – an upcoming world tour with Portishead came calling.

We only know that sometime later (2006) the album came out in Japan only on Angels Egg.

Vitus Dance – Jump on board (1979)

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2021

1. Down at The Park

2. Inter City Living

3. Problem Parade

4. I’m In Control

Founder member and guitarist Mark Byrne shares his memories.

Vitus Dance 1

We formed in February 1979. I had returned to Bristol after a short spell living in London, trying to join or start up a new wave band. I got back in touch with drummer Kearin Wright and guitarist Kevin McFadden as the three of us had played in bands together on and off since school days. Bass player Malcolm Young had posted an advert in the NME looking for a band to join, so we asked him to audition and on hearing him play, knew that the foursome was complete.

After a few months spent song writing and rehearsing we felt tight as a band and ready to rock. A weekly residency was blagged at local hotspot The Crown Cellar Bar which we were soon packing out.

Meanwhile I’d grabbed the attention of Swindon band XTC’s management team, which led to them taking us on and getting us gigs at the Bristol Locarno concert venue as second on the bill to LA punk stars The Dickies and soon after, UK power pop band The Records.

Studio time was booked at Sound Conception in Bristol with more local gigs played, including the well renowned Granary Club. DJ John Peel got to know about us and after hearing our studio demos, a recording session was booked for September 25th at BBC’s Maida Vale complex, which was broadcast nine days later.

Tour dates soon followed:


October 9th Reading Target Club

11th Weston Super Mare Sloopy’s Club

18th Weston Super Mare Sloopy’s Club

21st London Marquee Club (support act to Toyah Wilcox)

23rd London Nashville (support act to Classix Nouveau)

24th London Music Machine (support act to Sore Throat)

27th Bristol Crown Cellar Bar

November 1st London Fulham Greyhound

3rd Birmingham Underworld (support act to UB40)

6th London Hope and Anchor

13th Bristol Stonehouse

15th London Nashville (support act to The Screams)

21st Bristol Granary Club (support act to Generation X)

28th Twickenham West London College (support act to The Members)


January   11th Exmouth Pavilion

After the tour, we decided to take some time out to write more songs. 1979 had been a great year and we felt that we’d achieved a lot in a short period of time. The gigs had been so full of energy and excitement. Generation X were awesome to watch and hang out with. The UB40 gig was promoted as a Punky Reggae Party and it truly was. The John Peel session was ace! All the recordings were done in one or two takes. We were booked in for a whole day at Maida Vale but were finished in a few hours and left the Sound Engineer to it. The band Madness, who like us were just starting out, happened to be in the next studio along the corridor and we enjoyed chatting together over cups of tea in the canteen.

As a bunch of guys, with our crew, we clowned around a lot and had wild times and fun. As far as I know there are only three surviving photographs of the band and they’re here in this archive. We travelled to Birmingham to do the shoot and after getting bored with the ‘all stand in a line’ format, started to mess around as usual, which then led to the chaotic photo being taken that typified us. Standing left to right in the more standard photograph is Kevin, Mark, Kearin and Malcolm.

It turned out that Vitus Dance never did get back together after our break. Kevin and I had both shared the lead vocal roles yet there was a vibe emerging that a single frontman would better suit the line-up. Also, I was of the opinion that we were too late on the scene. Chrysalis, Virgin, CBS and Island records had passed on us and the Synth Pop bands as well as the New Romantics were just about to take off big time. As I write this, I’m thinking back to a time forty years ago and to be honest I can’t really remember why? We were young and moved on without too much deep thought.

Kevin and Kearin formed Misdemeanour and later on Malcolm and I became Voice of Nature.



Scream Secret – come on board the Archive

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2021

Scream Secret was started when Mark Garvey aka Garve (guitar/vocals) bumped into Reg Shaw(bass/vocals) at an Essential Bop gig in Hotwells in 1982. Garve had already been in a couple of New Wave bands including Eye on Youth and was looking for something new>

They brought on board Reg’s school friends Grant Brain(guitar/vocals) and Dave Gapper (drums), who were ex Recorded Delivery and began to write songs based around their love of 60’s bands and current groups like the Psychedelic Furs. They started gigging soon after that, playing Bristol institutions like The Fleece, Bristol Bridge etc., graduating to Dingwalls in London and regularly playing in Liverpool, where their brand of 60’s style guitar pop found a regular audience.

Back in Bristol they played gigs alongside similar bands like Eyes of The Crowd and started getting some record company attention from the likes of Chrysalis Records which unfortunately came to nothing in the end. Garve left in 1984 to be replaced by Rob Fry (keyboards). They carried on gigging and writing original tunes for another year until finally giving up and going on to other projects.

S.Secret 1 (2)