Raven were formed in mid to late 1976 when Steve Lines started a graphic design course at Swindon College. It was here he met Dave Seal. They discovered they had a mutual interest in rock 'n' roll so decided to form a band. Their playing abilities were rudimentary to say the least, Dave and Steve were the guitarists and were lucky if they knew three chords between them. The original bassist was to have been Steve Williams, because he had a bass guitar. The trouble was he couldn't play it, so he was out of the band. This setback didn't dissuade Nick Dawkwins however. He had a bass and he couldn't play it either, but for some reason he joined the band.
The band struggled to learn material as Steve taught Dave the few extra chords he knew that Dave didn't. Both guitarists tried to teach Nick how to play 'one note' bass, which he mastered to an extent. He never did manage to play the right 'one note' at the right time though.
As Steve was an art student at the time it was no surprise that the band spent more time photographing themselves than actually learning to play anything, much to Dave's annoyance.
A couple of rehearsals in the cellar of Dominion House were photographed at this time, which was a much better way to document the event than a live recording.
Frustrated at Nick's inability to improve on the bass, the remaining three decided to terminate the group and then immediately reformed, without Nick. A classic method of sacking an unwanted member of a band. For a while they toyed with a new bassist named Ian. Characteristically he appeared at a photograph session but not at any rehearsals.
The band were still struggling to learn three chord songs such as Bad Moon Rising and Alright Now, but they weren't really getting anywhere. Their influences at this time included Hawkwind, Led Zeppelin and Wishbone Ash, amongst others.
But a change was coming. Steve heard the first Ramones album and overnight cut his hair, straightened his jeans and saw the light. One evening he took the album to play it to the rest of the band. Reaction was mixed - horror, scorn, ridicule. Steve pointed out that they now didn't need to play the guitar solos they couldn't play anyway and they already knew the three chords needed to play punk.
Slowly the idea was adopted by the band, and it wasn't too long before a name change came along with the new attitude and THE INDICATORS, Calne's first punk band, was born
STEVE LINES - EARLY BANDS
Nick Dawkins Dave Seal Steve Lines Steve Lines
The Indicators came into being in mid 1977 when they heard the first Ramones album and began to investigate such bands as Buzzcocks, Clash and Eddie & the Hot Rods,
By this time, Dave Seal had improved significantly on guitar so Steve (who hadn't) moved to bass (rather than take the time and effort to teach someone else how to play it). As a three-piece they actually began to learn how to play songs and began the search for a vocalist. While Steve was excited about the new punk bands, Dave Seal was a little more reticent and preferred the more rhythm & blues flavoured acts such as Dr, Feelgood and The Boomtown Rats and it was this mix of punk and r&b that made up their rehearsal material.
The band would rehearse wherever they could (even in a garden shed!) and played a set in someone's kitchen on jubilee day. Not quite a boat on the Thames and nobody even complained, but at least they made the effort.
In early 1978 someone told the band they had a gig if they wanted it, so they drafted in roadie and photographer Nick Beard on vocals. Unfortunately Nick couldn't sing, which wouldn't have been a problem if he'd had the punk attitude. He looked like one of the Saints but didn't really like punk music very much. After a few rehearsals the idea of a gig was abandoned and Nick went back to hefting amps. Dave and Steve rehearsed for a while after dumping the drummer but nothing came of it so they called it a day. Steve would go on to play his first gig with the short-lived Calne band The Guests.
THE MAGNIFICENT SEVERN
The Magnificent Severn were formed in April 1980 when bassist Hugh Kirkbride realised that John Winch, the Landlord of The Butcher’s Arms, not only had his own pub, but had a guitar as well. Kirkbride realised that if he formed a band which included Winch, then he’d not only have a rehearsal place, but also access to after hours drinking (these were the days when British pubs shut at 2.30 in the afternoon).
He recruited guitarist and drinking buddy Nigel Easton and the two of them persuaded Rod Goodway to handle vocals. Kirkbride got in Stef Hardie on drums, with whom he’d played in numerous band, and everything was set.
But not quite.
Somehow, Steve Lines, with the aid of Nigel Easton, managed to inveigle his way into the band, along with Glen Kitley. Steve could at least play rudimentary guitar in a primitive punk style, but Glen . . . he was just in the band ‘cos he looked like Lemmy. Steve also changed the spelling of Seven to Severn in the band's name, just to annoy Kirkbride, who didn't know anything about it until he saw the poster.
The band did indeed rehearse in the Butcher’s Arms – in the back yard to be exact, where all involved drank copious pints of the gut rot rough cider (which was dirt cheap at 40p a pint.)
John Winch was named Johnny Fender Winch which was a valiant if unsuccessful attempt to try and give him a rock n roll edge and the band did their one and only gig, all dressed in red and black at Kirkbride's insistence, at the last night of the Trenchard Club, in Compton Bassett, just outside Calne.
Kirkbride also laid down the rule that Steve, due to his aforementioned guitar style, was only allowed to play on specific songs. Thus he sat out such delights as Stay, Apache, Travelling Light and Little Sister but got to play on Waiting For the Man, Police & Thieves, Route 66 and Walking the Dog.
Easton and Lines wrote the only original song the band performed. Titled New Trend. It was originally written by Easton, but Lines took hold of it and updated the lyrics, turning it into a parody of the other band that Kirkbride was in at the time The Second Coming. On this song, Kirkbride handed over the bass guitar to Steve.
The night was enjoyed by all, though Kirkbride did remonstrate with Glen Kitley for having the audacity to join in on a song and ‘have some fun’, because, as Kirkbride put it, this band ‘wasn’t about having fun’.
After the gig Kirkbride began to have aspirations to play regular club gigs with The Magnificent Severn as he realised this could be quite lucrative, but he needed to get rid of the anarchic elelement (Lines and Kitley). This he did by going to each band member in turn and telling them that the remaining members wanted the duo out. Consequently they were sacked.
The band struggled on as a 5 piece titled The Slaughterhouse Five for three more gigs, before Kirkbride accepted his ambitions weren’t to be realised.
There was an amusing footnote to this whole episode. Steve was at home early one evening, when there was a knock on the door, which opened. A hand was thrust through the door, holding a full bottle of Jack Daniels. This was followed by an arm and finally by Glen Kitley, attached to the arm (and bottle). He’d just been made redundant and had spent some of the redundancy money on the whiskey. An hour later the duo were on their way to the pub having consumed the whole bottle (except for a couple of shots which they were saving for Easton).
They eventually staggered into the Butcher’s Arms, completely pissed, with Kitley brandishing the bottle of Jack. Kirkbride, who was in the pub, immediately ran out of the door in terror and went home, because he thought the boys had come to beat him up. The duo, oblivious to this, found Easton, gave him his drink, and went to the bar.
THE MAGNIFICENT SEVERN From left to right: Steve Lines, Nigel Easton, Glen Kitley and Hugh Kirkbride. John Winch.
Before The Uninvited Steve had made two unsuccessful attempts to put a band together. The first was The Visitors which featured fellow Calne musician, guitarist Nigel Easton and a drummer and singer from Corsham. They began rehearsing for a gig in Bath in the cellar of Dominion House in September 1979 but sessions didn't go well. The drummer was only 14 and couldn't even spell his name, let alone play drums. They attended the gig in bath but decided it wiser not to play and to split up instead. Lines & Easton then recruited Calne drummer Simon Bewlay and put together The Guests, who much to Steve's dismay, were still firmly rooted in the 'pub rock' tradition. This band managed to play one dire gig at The Greyhound in Swindon on November 14th 1979 (Steve's first) before splitting up.
The nucleus of The Uninvited began in a Chippenham band called Radiation Sickness, who's major claim to fame was a song titled My Cock's Rising'. After the demise of The Visitors and The Guests , Steve was still keen to put a punk band together (most, if not all, bands in Calne were still playing 'pub rock'. Unfortunately the debacle that was The Guests proved that there were no musicians in the town with punk sensibilities, so Steve had to look further afield. He caught a gig by Radiation Sickness at the Neelde Hall in Chippenham and was impressed by their guitarist, a Captain Sensible clone called Steve Case. It transpired that the band were unhappy with their bassist so a jam was arranged at a Sickness rehearsal with Steve filling in on bass chores before their bassist arrived. They belted through a handful of Ramones classics and Steve Case & Steve Lines decided to put a band together. Soon after this decisnno Radiation Sickness split up.
They took the drummer from Radiation Sickness, Jeff Grundy, with them and began rehearsing while they waited for their proposed singer Keith Jeffries to show up. He arrived eventually but in the shape of Richard Wicks. The band started rehearsing in the back room of the Black Horse pub in Chippenham and a gig was booked at the Lysley, a pub half way between Calne and Chippenham and a support band Maxumum Attack, were also booked.
The Lysley gig was a success so now it was time to bring punk rock to Calne (or to be more precise, Compton Bassett) and another gig was booked at Compton Bassett Village Hall, again with Maxumin Attack (Compton Bassett's only punk band) as support.
The Compton Bassett gig also went well and the band continued to rehearse in Compton Bassett Village Hall and in the back room of The Black Horse pub in Chippenham. But it was to be short-lived. Drummer Jeff Grundy kept missing rehearsals, as did Richard Wicks and the final blow came when Steve Case moved to Crawley. In June 1981 the band split.
Steve Case Steve Lines Richard Wicks
Steve Lines was writing with Mark Angell during the first half of 1983 with plans to form a band called Room 101. In March they decide on a name change to The Victims of Circumstance. Various line-ups rehearsed and the likes of Colin Fielding (guitar), Peter Heginbotham (Bass), Leroy Lugg (guitar), Nick Barnes (keyboards) and Mike Russell (drums) came and went. A stable line-up was finally established of Steve on guitar, the ubiquitious Simon Bewley on drums, Darren Lugg on bass and Mark Angell on vocals. They shortened the name to The Victims, recorded a rehearsal tape and played this one gig before splitting up.
Jerry Johnson & Steve Lines
Steve Lines & Jerry Johnson
Simon Bewley, Darren Lugg, Steve Lines & Mark Angell
The Tryp were believed by many to be a hoax, then they were thought to actually exist. Then they did exist, except it wasn't really them And then they were believed not to exist again. And now . . ? Who knows.
It's been twenty years or more since the psychedelic sounds of The Tryp came pulsating out of the clubs and pubs in and around Oxford. They were never anything less than enigmatic - They avoided publicity (and some say, the light of day): They gave no interviews: They were rarely photographed and they played most of their gigs heavily disguised.
Matters were further complicated when a bunch of musicians from Calne, seemingly with the bands consent, recorded an album of their material which was released on Acid Tapes in early 1986.
However, I am here to tell you that the band did exist and remain arguably one of Oxford's most obscure bands.
The Tryp was formed in 1984 when Ian Warblin and Richard Turnbill met at a Plastic Flowers gig and discovered a mutual passion for obscure 60's garage punk and acid psychedelia. Warblin (vocals/gtr) and Turnbill (bs) began writing songs straight away and soon turned their thoughts to playing live gigs. For this they obviously needed more members so Tina Paul (kybds) , Tim Hewett (drms) and the enigmatic (not to say slightly demented) Zak Zodiac (lead gtr) were drafted in.
After months of rehearsal and prolific songwriting the band was ready to play and they did their first, very low key gig in an unnamed pub in Aylesbury supporting John Otway. Playing to a horde of drunk Otway fans wasn't what the band had in mind and they returned to their Subterranean Studios in Abingdon and began recording again. What, if anything, they produced, shall have to remain a mystery however, for the band went through a drastic line up change and Ian and Richard wiped all the tapes, claiming they were 'sub standard. They did manage to release a very rare 45 on Tab Records "Hear The Flowers Scream" b/w "Bamboo Kite". Lead guitarist Zak Zodiac left to form his own band The Psychotic Neurotics taking drummer Tim Hewett with him. They were replaced by Paula Price (who operated a drum machine) and Will Mazely.
This line up gigged sporadically, but spent most of their time recording. Their unreleased album ""Psychedelic Emanations" remains an undiscovered masterpiece.
The Tryp finally called it a day in June 1990 though it's rumoured that Richard and Ian are writing songs together as we speak, so look out for The Tryp reunion, coming to your town soon!
My Brain Collapsed
While Steve Lines and Rod Goodway were working on writing material for their new project together; The Doctor's Pond, they came across the music of The Tryp through a bootleg version of their "Psychedelic Emanations album" and were excited to discover a like-minded band. They were keen to start recording themselves,but as they didn't have enough self-written material they thought it would be a great idea to record an album of some of the Tryp's more obscure material for possible release on Alan Duffy's Acid Tapes cassette label. The Tryp thought this was a great idea and gave the project their blessing.
So Rod and Steve added Paul Ricketts to the line up and began work on "My Brain Collapsed" in August 1985 at Rod's country home, Freeth Cottage. Rod's partner Christine Cotter also helped out and Simon House (ex Hawkwind, David Bowie etc.) guested on bass guitar.
Recording sessions for the album were completed in December '85 and "My Brain Collapsed" by The Tryp was released by Acid Tapes in January 1986.
Stop the World, I Wanna Get Off
Hardly a week goes by it seems without some new group emerging from a garage, cellar or attic to launch themselves on an unsuspecting and largely uncaring world. Since last issue we have discovered a few new bands in and around the local area and one of the best was a band who played Level 3 in Swindon on Wednesday 19th June, 1985
They played to a small, dedicated following of fans, plus a larger amount of disinterested folk who were only there because they'd be invited to whoever's 21st birthday party it was.
The band is based in Oxford and is a five piece, Ian Warblin takes vocals and rhythm guitar, Richard Turnbill handles the bass and harmony vocals, Tina Paul plays Farfisa keyboards, Tim Hewett plays drums and Zak Zodiac is their manic lead guitarist.
A quick look at the cover versions in their set gives a good idea of their influences and aspirations: "Pushing Too Hard" the old Seeds standard opens up the set and is followed by Love's "My Little Red Book"; "Reverberation" and "You're Gonna Miss Me" by the 13th Floor Elevators, although the latter owes more to The Spades version. They also cover obscure garage gems by the likes of Thee Midnighters, The Silent Few, The Also and The Crimson Shadow.
Their own material is in the same vein and are excellent pastiches of the genre they love. Warblin and Turnbill are the songwriters who have created such classics as "My Brain Collapsed", "I Dream In Black And White", "My Auntie Lives In Russia" and "Stop the World I Wanna get Off".
Their sound goes from hard garage with snarling vocals, cheesy organ and fuzz guitars on overdrive (with such songs as "Cavegirl" and "Teenage Trauma" to swirling psychedelic epics with tremelo guitars, eastern keyboards and modal tunings on songs like "Your Eyes Are In My Skies" and "The Wind Knows Your Name".
This is a band to watch
Michael Brooks - Mardenbeat #2, June 1985
I Tripped But Didn't Fall
A swift phone call from Jim in Oxford telling me that The Tryp were playing at the Penny Farthing had me tearing along the A34 praying that I'd get there in time to see what turned out to be the first gig from Oxford's paisley clad psych-lords in months.
Talking to Ian Warblin and Richard Turnbill afterwards, they claim that working on their soon-to-be-released album has taken all their time and energy leaving little of either for gigging.
However after tonight's spirited 40 minute set and the storming reception it received from the people there, they assured me that they intend to start looking for gigs in the Swindon/Oxford/Newbury area soon.
I arrived just in time to catch the last two songs of the support band, the intriguingly named Dewey & The Perspirations. Two out of tune guitars and a bass player who seemed intent on verbally abusing the poor unfortunate on the mixing desk, made their interpretation of The Box Tops "Soul Deep" less forceful than it should have been
The last time I saw The Tryp play was at The Arts Centre in Swindon. Since then the drummer, Tim Hewitt has left to be replaced by Paula Price who operates the tapes, drum machines and percussion instruments.They also have a new lead guitarist in the shape of Will Mazely. He's the shape of Will Mazely because he is Will Mazely. Some of the old songs are still there though, with, at times, radically different treatments to even the recent versions that appeared on the recent "Jingle Jangle" compilation put out by Paul Ricketts.
Tonight's set consisted of "The Lizard Sheds Its Skin", a psychedelic and slightly spoken piece over de-tuned guitars, "My Brain Collapsed" a fuzzed up, wigged out punker with manic screaming from Ian Warblin over three fuzz guitars and fuzz bass! "My Auntie Lives In Russia" boasted vocals by Paula Price, the keyboard player. All these songs will appear on their forthcoming album, titled "Psychedelic Emanations". Songs they played which apparently won't appear on the album included "I Tripped But Didn't Fall", "Desert Sands" and "Mushroom Men From Mars". Their encore was a 20 minute version of The Seeds classic "Farmer Farmer". Great stuff!
I've heard The Tryp criticised in the past for being too esoteric; for deliberately setting out to produce unlistenable music and even for wearing flared trousers, but going on tonight's performance these guys are on course to reach a much wider audience than the thirty enlightened souls they played to on this occasion.
Henry Race - Mardenbeat #8, December 1985
Tim Hewett & Zak Zodiac
Zak Zodiac, Tina Paul &Tim Hewett
Will Mazey & Ian Warblin
JERRY JOHNSON: Back in 1983 I teamed up with Steve Lines to work on some songs I’d written. I’d recently been involved in writing songs with Mark Angell of Maximum Attack, but the new stuff I had been coming up with wasn’t really suited for that bands style of music.
Steve had a few other bands on the go at the time, but was happy to provide the guitar to some of my lyrics, allowing me to concentrate on developing the vocals. I remember the first practice was around his house one wet Monday afternoon in February or March. I think we attempted a couple of my newly penned offerings: ‘Waiting For The Aliens’ and ‘Black Rose’ along with a couple of cover songs including Television Personalities ‘Part-Time Punks and Jet Bronx and The Forbidden’s ‘Aint Doin’ Nothing.
Steve’s guitar was going out of tune, and I didn’t have a clue about what key I was meant to be singing in. After a couple of attempts we decided it would be a good idea to put some of this stuff on tape. Steve had an old cassette recorder and we proceeded to lay down the tracks! The results weren’t’t brilliant but we had something to work with.
As I remember, it was Steve who came up with the name Bone Idol. We decided to carry on developing our ramshackle sound and practiced fairly regularly. It wasn’t long before we had a fair number of songs in the repertoire. Some written by me and a few by Steve.
Steve was organising a party for June year at Compton Basset village hall; a number of bands had agreed to play; I can’t remember the full line-up but I know Maximum Attack played as did Leroy Lugg’s band Stigma (I’d been writing a few songs for them at the time as well) and I think Steve was playing in The Uninvited.
However I think the actual debut occurred the night before the Compton Basset gig, at a party at Hilmarton.
I don’t remember a great deal about it; I think Stigma and a couple of other punk bands played there, and I recall at some point Steve and I were up and playing a short set of Bone Idol songs to a bemused bunch of spiky haired drunk teenagers. I think a few other people got up and played along with us including Leroy Lugg and Simon Bewley on drums, until some neighbour turned up demanding we turn down the noise! I can’t remember if we took any notice or not. We left unscathed at any rate, so we couldn’t have been that bad……
The Compton Bassett party took place on 26th June 1983. I think Maximum Attack were the first band on and there were around about thirty or so people in the audience at that point. After their set people started to wander off outside, or went to the bar. At least they waited until the end of the set.
Bone Idol were the next band to perform. There were fewer people in the audience because the ones who had gone outside seemed to prefer the fine weather to being inside the hall, and were having a party of their own.
Anyway, Bone Idol took to the stage and we rattled through our set in about fifteen minutes, during which time we had to endure sound problems with the microphone and a fair few people getting a bit leery because they weren’t too keen on the music! At one point I launched myself into the audience (or it may have been Steve who launched me come to think of it), and I landed on the floor below the stage with the mic lead wrapped around me. I managed to get back up on the stage and finish the set though!
Somebody commented to me that he thought our music was ahead of it’s time, and of course, he was correct!
Bone Idol had been born. We intended to work on some more stuff and do further gigs, but other things were happening at the time and Steve and I never really got around to it. I left Calne later in the year.
There was a brief reunion in 1986 when I was back in Calne one weekend. Steve had organised a gig for the Chaos Brother’s at The Jolly Miller, and we played a few of the old Bone Idol songs. We had only had a very quick run through that afternoon and the set was a bit of a shambles! Somebody asked me if it had been our sound-check! I think it might have been, we should have had another go later in the evening!
Bone Idol never split up as a band. So, perhaps one day a whole new generation may yet get to hear our particular brand of music….
Stranger things have happened!
May 1985 and Steve joins Kev Barber's band to play bass. Kev is on lead and vocals, Dave Young on rhythm guitar and Mike Baggs on drums. They rehearse in the London Road Inn playing original songs written by Kev. They don't have a name and Steve comes up with The Doctor's Pond, which they decide to keep until somebody can think of a better one. However this line-up is short lived as Tom Goodwin joins the band after his debut with The Ungrateful Dead at Compton Bassett in July. By now Steve is writing songs as well and for a couple of rehearsals Shelly Saw is drafted in to sing Steve's It's Raining Still. Her tunure is short-lived though.
This band played an impromptu gig at The White Hart, Calne on August 3rd, when it looked like Bastard Squad vocalist Mike Humphreys wasn't going to turn up. Nobody was more surprised than band members Dave Young and Shelly Saw who were standing at the bar when "their" band started playing...
Eventually the band persuade Steve to change the name and they become Nightshift, as which they play two gigs before Mike Humphreys replaces Kev Barber and the band continue as The Chaos Brothers.
Tim Goodwin, Steve Lines, Dave Young, Kev Barbar and Shelly Saw.
Tim Goodwin, Dave Young, Kev Barber and Steve Lines.
Kev Barber, Dave Young & Steve Lines
Kev Barber & Steve Lines
Having recorded a tape each with their respective bands Stormclouds and Jellymonsters, Steve and Rod Goodway decided to join together and play some live gigs. The linp-up consisted of Rod Goodway (vocals/guitsr), Steve Lines (bass), Christine Cotter (gtr) and Louise Allen (vcls). Simon Bewley (from The Doctor's Pond and The Chaos Brothers) was also drafted in on drums and Vikki Sinclair came in on backing vocals. They chose the name Jellyclouds, for obvious reasons, and their first gig was at Compton Bassett, on 2nd May 1987. After this gig they were asked by a local band if they'd like to support them on their gigs and soon Jellyclouds were gigging all around the area on a regular basis. They played a lot of gigs with this band (even one as a three piece of Rod, Christine and Steve) and as the months went on tensions grew. Mainly between their lead singer and Steve. The friction soon came to a head. At a gig in Calne Town Hall on November 6th after Jellyclouds had finished their set (in a wall of feedback and one person actually throwing up at the front of the stage) the 'other' band sacked us from the support slot. This wasn't quite the end of Jellyclouds however - they continued to rehearse right up until the New Year, although half-heartedly. Rod was beginning to see some interest in Magic Muscle and it looked like a vinyl release was in the offing. Fed up with the drum machine a couple of drummers were auditioned (with limited success) and new material was tried out. Steve and Rod began experimenting with a more psychedelic sound and a couple of Rod's songs at the time paved the way for what he would do later, with considerable success, in Ethereal Counterbalance. Steve was writing stuff like Nightmares In The Sky and What Do They Say and listening to a lot of David Roback and Rain Parade stuff and this influence would trun up on the Stormclouds debut album Nightmares in the Sky.