Back In The Day
 

Recorded 11th March 1979
Released Saturday 23rd July 2022 on limited edition CD

Available exclusively via our website and at our shows


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"Doing an inventory in the loft, I came across a 1/4 inch tape of our first recording as Stan’s Blues Band from 1979. I rung Mark and said, 'Shall we get this digitalised? Have a listen, and if it’s any good, I’m sure our supporters would love to hear it.'

So, I sent it to Wayne Proctor, who sprinkled it with some stardust - and after much deliberation, umm-ing and aah-ing, and procrastination, we decided to release it.

But the story starts 47 years ago in 1975...

 

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...when I went to a school concert to see a bunch of musicians a year above me from Walworth School, Shorncliffe Road - adjacent to the famous Thomas A Becket pub.

 

In the band that night were Pete Clark, Steve Townshend, Keith Axford, and Stephen Hutchins. After the concert I waited at the gate to ask Pete how to tune a bass, as I was playing bass at the time. We immediately struck up a friendship.

 

That evening, I knew I wanted to be in a band.

 

The other thing that happened that year, which made me realise what music I wanted to play, was seeing Dr Feelgood on the Old Grey Whistle Test.

After those experiences, Pete, Stephen and I started jamming with other Walworth schoolmates - John Bashford, Clive Efford MP, John Davies, and a student teacher called Andy Matthison. Having already been influenced by my uncle’s record collection of blues and soul, I knew the direction I wanted to go.

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By 1977 I settled on the lineup of Pete Clark on bass, John the drummer, Andy Matthison on vocals, and myself on guitar. I got us a residency on Wednesday nights at The Clock House in Clapham.

I then went to other local pubs - the Thomas A Becket and the Apples and Pears, to ask for opportunities to perform. Beryl, who owned and ran the Thomas A Becket, offered me a residency on Tuesday nights at £25 a night, and asked, “what’s the name of the band?”

This is something I hadn’t even thought about.

So in a panic, I said “Stan’s Blues Band”. Where that came from, I don’t know.

Later that year, Andy, who was now a fully fledged teacher, no longer had the free time to continue in the band. So another friend, called Dave Beal, gave me the number of a harmonica player - called Mark Feltham.

And by early 1978, Mark, along with Kenny Bradley on drums, joined me and Peter in the band.

 

We started getting more and more work, and put together a recording on cassette and sent it to Boss Goodman, who ran the Sunday blues night at Dingwalls, Camden Town.

The date we got booked was 28th January 1979.

 

This was our first trip across the Thames to North London, and was a big deal.

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On the 26th January 1979, my father suddenly died of an aneurysm. How we played Dingwalls two days later, I do not know to this day.

One thing, maybe, I knew that my dad would have definitely wanted me to play, and to not miss this opportunity. I think this is what drove me to do it.

 

In the audience that night was Paul Jones, who later went on to form The Blues Band. I remember him being very kind, and talking to my mum behind dark sunglasses.

That night opened many opportunities for us, and was the start of something more serious - which leads us to going in the studio on 11th March 1979, Mickey Modern walking into the Thomas A Becket in June that year, a change of name to ‘Nine Below Zero’ in November, and making an EP which was later taken up by A&M Records.

To this day I do not know who Stan is!

With thanks to the legendary Paul Bevoir for artwork and another Walworth school pupil and friend, Dave Crockwell, for the photographs. 

I hope you enjoy this trip to Back In The Day as much as we have reflecting on this journey."

- Dennis Greaves, July 2022

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Order Now

Released Saturday 23rd July 2022 on limited edition CD

Available exclusively via our website and at our shows