Tamworth Bands - History 1960-1990

Click here to go back to the Contents page.Tamworth Rock Festival : 1985 - Programme

Sunday August 25th and Monday August 26th 1985 - Tamworth Castle Pleasure Grounds

Sunday August 25th and Monday August 26th 1985
Tamworth Castle Pleasure Grounds

Depth Charge
Pulse Beat
Love On Board
The Sway
One On One
Femme Fatale
Power Play

Tavern in the Town
The Magnets

Sacred Oath
Dance Stance
Lost Johnny
Breaking Point
The Magnets
Gaf The Horse In Tears
The Royal Family

Tavern in the Town
The Banned Wagon

Tamworth Herald – 05/07/85
Caption: Powerplay…one of the newer bands in the Rock festival line-up who made a strong impression at their debut Arts Centre Show.TAMWORTH’S 1985 August Bank holiday Rock Festival looks all set to be the biggest and best the town has ever seen. Preparations are now in full swing for the event which, as well as encompassing 18 bands on the main two-day outdoor bill, will also kick-off with a special two-night warm up at Tamworth Arts Centre.

The format for this year’s event is similar to the 1984 version, which brought thousands of local rock fans into the Castle Grounds over the two days.

Each of the 18 bands on view will be given 30 minutes each to show the world (or at least, the Tamworth bit of it!) just what they can do. For some bands, like old favourites The Royal Family, Love On Board and One On One, it will be just another show, but for several smaller groups like Depth Charge and Pulsebeat, it will be their first real chance to play in front of a large – and generally – appreciative audience.

The only sadness about the festival this year is the absentees, who for various reasons, won’t be taking to either the Arts Centre or the Castle Grounds stages. Scarab, who have done so much in the area in the past 12 months, have had to pull out because of the band’s original line-up breaking up, and BHX, who have also lost their place because they have lost their bass.

Also missing will be the dream factory, who have a festival in the Isle of Wight, The Parade, who have holiday commitments, and Sitting Pretty, one of last year’s headliners, who have decided not to enter this year.

The Order

There was also a hope that Freight Train may get involved, but as this now seems unlikely, the final line-up for the two days looks something like this. The times have yet to be finalised, so in alphabetical order, the bands appearing are:-

Sunday, August 25:
Deth Charge, Dickens, Femme fatale, Love On Board, One On One, Powerplay, Pulsebeat, Spirit of Water and The Sway.

Monday August 26:
Breaking Point, Caprice, Dance Stance, Gaf The Horse In Tears, The Magnets, The Royal family, Sacred Oath, Wild Child and Wolfsbane.

The line-up promises to be even more varied than last year, combining everything from the new wave of Femme fatale to the very, very old wave of Caprice via good-time rock and roll (Wild Child), high-energy pop (The Sway), sheer dynamism (Breaking Point) to eccentric heavy metal of the delightful Wolfsbane.

Kicking off the whole festival will be two party nights at Tamworth Arts Centre, featuring bands who just missed out on the main line-up. Playing in this section will be the new-look A5 (highly praised for last week’s Arts Centre show), Blackout and filth-rock merchants Shooting from The Hip.

All the evidence points to it being the best four days of the year for Tamworth’s Rock fans, so I would urge you all to cancel holidays, marriages or divorces and make sure that on August 23 and 24 you are the Arts Centre and on August 25 and 26, your bottom is placed firmly on the lawns of the Castle Grounds.

Tamworth Herald – 26/07/85
Council ‘yes’ to rock festival
TAMWORTH’S rock scene is all set to go off pop at a festival in the castle Grounds, on August Bank Holiday weekend, following a go-ahead from the borough council.

The town’s musical youth have put their hands in their pockets to finance the annual two-day extravaganza to keep admission free for the band’s followers.

Eighteen local groups whose music ranges from punk to pop, will perform in front of the tennis courts in the castle grounds. The music will go on from 12 noon to 8pm on Sunday and Monday, August 25 and 26. Each group will play for half an hour.

The borough council’s recreation and community committee gave the go-ahead for the festival on condition that if there is any crowd trouble the music will be stopped until offenders are dealt with. Councillors have also demanded the area be cleaned up after the festival, that no overnight camping be allowed and that the bands play only at the time laid down.

Borough recreation and community officer, Mr. Geoff Stevenson said “It proved quite successful last year. The musicians taking part put a heck of a lot of their own money into it.”

Herald’s Musicbox columnist, Sam Holliday, said each of the musicians taking part in the festival had this year paid £5 to cover the running costs. Any cash left at the end of the festival would go to charity.

“There is so much enthusiasm from everyone involved. The musicians will actually be out of pocket paying for this show,” said Sam.

“It says a lot for the spirit of the youngsters that they are willing to give up their services and money in order to provide the show of the year.”

“We are all expecting the event to be a great success. When young people in Tamworth are given a chance to do something they will always respond. We are aiming to make it a weekend to remember for Tamworth’s young and not-so-young music fans,” he said.

In the run-up to the festival there will be two warm-up gigs at the Arts Centre on the preceding Friday and Saturday.


Tamworth Rock Festival 1985

Tamworth Herald – 23/08/85
Musicbox - Festival fare is a band-box full of tricks
Caption: The Royal Family…ready for their headlining spot on Monday.TAMWORTH’S rock fans will this week-end enjoy the biggest musical bonanza the town has ever seen. For on Sunday and Monday, Tamworth Castle Grounds will be filled with the sound of 18 of the very best bands in the area – all combining to make the most ambitious outdoor rock festival in Tamworth yet.

For three months now, groups covering the whole spectrum of modern rock and pop have been busy organising what they hope will be a show to remember.

At last year’s hugely successful event, more than 1,000 people a day sampled the variety of music on offer over the Bank Holiday – and weather permitting, organisers are hoping for an even bigger turnout this year.

Surprisingly, perhaps there are only a handful of survivors from last year’s outdoor event. Breaking Point, Love On Board, Caprice, The Magnets and Wolfsbane have survived, but they are joined by 13 bands who will be making their first August Bank Holiday performances.

The music covers every possible style, ensuring that there is something for everyone to enjoy during the course of the two days.

On Sunday, the action begins at mid-day when Depth Charge will be opening the proceedings. They will bring floods of memories to a lot of local people as they contain Trevor Mugglestone – the former guitarist with one of the most respected bands ever seen in Tamworth, Flash Harry. At 12.15, the all-new A5 will then take to the stage, bringing their Big Country and Dire Straits cocktail to the fore, and then at 1.30, the Kingsbury-based Pulsebeat will hit the Castle Grounds’ stage with their youthful rock and pop sound.

At 2.15, enthusiastic ‘veterans’ Love On Board will put a little pop into the proceedings, and they will be followed by the electric dynamism of The Sway, who are due to entertain the multitudes at 3pm. After The Sway have returned to their ‘dressing room’, the subtle rock of One On One will take over and then at 4.30 local punks will warm to the sound of the Banshees-influenced Femme Fatale.

At 5.15pm on Sunday it will be back to biting rock with Powerplay, and then to finish off the first day the superb Dickens will turn in another major show. By now, most people will be more than willing to escape from music altogether, but just to keep the ball rolling, the Magnets will be back at the Tavern in the Town on the night.

Monday brings forth more variety, colour and drama. Caprice open the second day of the festival at 12 o’clock, and Mike Fleming’s outfit will be followed by the metallic thump of the loveable Sacred Oath. Punchy pop is next in line, in the clean-cut shape of Atherstone’s fine Dance Stance, and then at 2.15, the mighty Wolfsbane will take to the stage threatening unholy vengeance if the clouds dare to open during their slot.

At 3pm, Lost Johnny will try and ‘find’ themselves and then at 3.45, the Castle Grounds crowd will be given a dynamic taste of Breaking Point.

At 4.30, the much-loved Magnets will become the only band to have played the festival three years running and then at 5.15 onto the stage will walk Gaf The Horse In Tears armed with their unusual musical blend and their unusual line in humour.

To cap off the whole Castle Grounds event, it will be time for the highly-rated Royal Family. The ultimate good-time rock band. The Family are guaranteed to keep the crowd in good spirits and in the mood to travel to the Tavern on the night to watch The Banned Wagon wind up the whole festival.

So varied

So, with two concerts at the Arts Centre warm-up on Friday and Saturday as well, the festival is bigger, bolder and better than ever before. The music is as varied as a meeting of the United Nations and the sound will be unquestionably more interesting.

There will also be a chance to hear and buy copies of the TAM AID tape, see the legendary DJ Buttercup in action, and share with the town’s musicians two days they regard as the best of the year.

The action on both days starts at 12 and runs through until 7pm, and as refreshments are available on site, why not bring the family and make a week-end of it?

Tamworth Herald – 23/08/85
Musicbox – Warming to a bizarre mixture
Caption: A group of Band Wagoners…they will be on show at the Arts Centre tonight (Friday) and at the Tavern on Monday night, ensuring they will start and finish the whole festival.TAMWORTH’S 1985 rock festival gets underway tonight (Friday) with the first of two unique Arts Centre concerts to whet everyone’s appetites for the ‘main event’.

The shows are designed to be pre-festival parties and because of their unusual nature, feature an unusual array of talents.

Headlining tonight’s show will be The Mike Turner Band – Whoever they turn out to be! Sitting Pretty cannot play the festival because of other commitments, bui the idea of leaving Mike Turner out was unthinkable, so he has managed to get together a group.

Playing with Mike will, hopefully, be another unusual combination – this one electric Rikk Quay, is hoping to do a slot, perhaps with the help of manic electronic trio Vicious Malicious, who turned the Battle of the Bands into a crazy riot in February.#

It is not known quite who will or will not be appearing, but fans of electronic music should have something extraordinary to sample.

Finally, tonight, Mike Fleming and Norman Yates will put on their Blessed Wagon hats to fill in the gaps in their own leisurely way to make it a night of sheer variety.

Tomorrow night, the Arts Centre will once again stage a unique, varied show. Headlining will be Breaking Point and they will be joined by two-and-a-half varied acts! The half is Mick Goodby’s Witzend, who are not quite sure what they will be doing. The other two on the bill are the much-loved Trout Brothers, making their first Arts Centre stage show and the Total Anarchy Blues Band who – if the live up to their name – should be a real eye-opening experience.

So two bizarre and exciting nights are in prospect to really get the Festival show on the road. Just as a reminder, tonight it is Mike Turner, and electronic combo and The Banned Wagon and tomorrow it is Breaking point, Total Anarchy, The Trout Brothers and possibly Witzend.

The nights will be informal party nights with a mere 50p entrance fee. They should get the festival off to the best possible start, so be sure you don’t miss a note as the action unfolds at 8pm tonight.

Tamworth Herald – 30/08/85
Musicbox – Rock defies the rain!
Festival spirit smiles on…and on
Festival disc jockey Buttercup (second right) is flanked by admirers. From left: Jackie, ‘Toyah’ and hard-working roadies ‘Titch’.DRIVING RAIN and vicious winds tried – and failed – to kill the spirit of Tamworth’s biggest ever rock festival at the weekend. It seemed as if the elements had made a conspiracy to ensure that the rock and roll show must not go on.

Yes in total defiance of the menacing clouds, not a note was lost as 18 Tamworth bands served up a meaty menu of marvellous music to hundreds of appreciative listeners.

The whole festival was hailed as a glorious success by organisers, musicians and spectators alike. It showed the triumph of rock and roll over rain and had confirmed once again just how good Tamworth’s home-grown music scene really is.

What made the festival different this year was that it was in two separate stages.

Just a small sample of Monday’s large crowd.The first were on Friday and Saturday nights when the Arts Centre was packed to bursting for two hugely successful pre-concert party nights.


After these two bizarre evenings all the attention switched to the Castle Grounds for the main course of Tamworth’s wholesome musical menu.

The Arts Centre parties were designed to give bands not on the outdoor line-up a chance to join in the festival spirit. And they turned out to be major events in their own right.

On Friday night Jos Cope, Donald Skinner, Barry Douce and Richard Deane gave most people their fist chance to hop aboard the Freight Train.

Showsteelers…the outrageous Wolfsbane get the crowd in a state of festival frenzy.

Showsteelers…the outrageous Wolfsbane get the crowd in a state of festival frenzy.

Blackout produced a fiery HM set and Select Elect returned to a Tamworth stage for the first time since the Middle Ages – well, three years at least!

The night closed with a short set by Sitting Pretty who were joined for 15 sparkling, splendid minutes by rock and roll degenerates Wolfsbane who shocked and shattered the Arts Centre peace with an electrifying version of “Johnny Be Good” (sic. “Johnny B. Goode”).

Electrifying also summed up Saturday night’s jam-packed Arts Centre concert. It began in brilliant style with a thundering set from the impressive Total Anarchy Blues Band who were followed with equal dynamism by Mick Goodby’s one off band Witzend.

Time for a smile…some of the organisers take time off. From left: Mike Fleming, Rikk Quay, Phil Ball and John James.The Trout Brothers brought a touch of refined lunacy to the occasion and then in weighed Breaking Point to produce their normal glittering, roof-raising set.

The two Arts Centre parties had really whetted the festival-goers appetite and early on Sunday morning the organisers began setting up the Castle Grounds for two days of pop pleasure.

The rain made its undesirable presence felt early on Sunday but the enthusiasm – and the belligerent fans – stayed put.

What made Sunday and Monday so exciting froma musical point of view is that no band played badly.

Last year the good bands stood way above the average ones – but this year the standard was very much higher.

The Sway probably ‘took’ Sunday but they were closely followed by the excellent Love On Board, the powerful Depth Charge and the impressive Pulsebeat/

The rest of the day’s bands – A5, One On One, Femme Fatale, Powerplay and Dickens – all made new admirers and the only musicians looking depressed at the end of the day were those that were not involved.

Minday gave the festival nine more fine performances. Undoubtedly the day – and the whole festival was won by the wonderful Wolfsbane who left the audience open-mouthed and more than a little shell-shocked.

Also turning on the style during the day were the very entertaining Sacred Oath, the punchy Dance Stance and of course the irrepressible Breaking Point.

The other acts – Caprice, Lost Johnny, The Magnets, Gaf The Horse In Tears and The Royal family – all brought a mixture of smiles, applause and pleasure to a seemingly insatiable Castle Grounds audience.

By 7.30 it was all over – not just the four day festival and the four months of preparation.

So many people had done so much to make the event a success that there was an understandable sense of euphoria as everyone left the barren Castle Grounds.

It was proof again of the spirit and determination of the young people of Tamworth. In the end even the sun came out, finally admitting that the bad elements had lost – and Tamworth had won.


Festival baby Lisa shares the euphoria with her dad ‘Daydo’ at the open air event.Tamworth Herald – 3008/85
Musicbox – STOP PRESS…
WILL ALL the musicians involved in Festival ’85 please come to Tamworth’s Tavern in the Town on Sunday 8 for a post-concert meeting. The organisation and future plans for the festival will be discussed as will the money situation. All musicians are asked to attend.

TamAid tapes are now available. More details in next week’s Musicbox.

Tamworth Herald – 30/08/85
Musicbox – Baby, what a day…
LTTLE Lisa Day celebrated her first birthday on Monday when her dad was playing with the popular Breaking Point.

Lisa (right) was born on the day her dad last played at the festival and this time she decided to come and have a look for herself at what it was that caused ‘Daydo’ to miss her birth.

And judging by Lisa’s smile, she certainly likes what she sees.

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