Bristol Archive Records Blog

Kevin McFadden – Misdemeanor – RIP

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Kevin passed away at his home in Bristol on the 1st July. He fronted Misdemeanor who were big news in Bristol in the 1980′s

Misdemeanor 1979 – 1988

Formed in 1979 from the ashes of Vitus Dance the line-up was Kev McFadden, Bob Watson, Steve Capaldi and Kieren Wright. They were under XTC’s management team, Ian Reed and Dennis Detheridge.

They were the first rock band to play at The Bristol Bridge Inn in March 1982. Traditionally a ‘Jazz’ pub the crowd walked out after the first few numbers! They soon built up a following and played there three or four times a month for the next couple of years counting Bananarama amongst their audience.

They attracted particular interest from local BBC Radio DJ’s Al Reed and Andy Westgate who gave them regular airplay. This resulted in a management deal with Dennis Shehan who also managed Iggy Pop, was a festival organiser and U2′s tour manager. Through Dennis they were taken under the wing of Steve Todd from the Wasted Talent Agency who were promoting most of the biggest bands worldwide and offering Misdemeanour support slots.

They parted company with Dennis in 1986 and advertised for a manager in NME. The ad was answered by Mark Handy who arranged gigs in Paris and launched a supporters club with over 2000 members.

Regrettably, their recorded material never lived up to their live performances. They were disappointed with their appearance on the BBC T.V programme ‘R.P.M’ in February 1981 where they felt that the set had no atmosphere. It resulted in a falling out between Steve and Keiren which resulted in Keiren being thrown out of the band. He was replaced by Kev’s brother on drums but the band never seemed to recapture their old sparkle and fire.

At the time, being managed by Dennis seemed like a great opportunity, but they later discovered that he had turned away Press and A & R interest as he was concentrating his efforts on U2. One of their biggest regrets is that the offer of a tour of the South Coast of America with R.E.M never materialised. Despite the band having made the offer personally, Dennis cancelled without their knowledge as he didn’t consider it of benefit!

Oh what might have been…….




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