Tamworth Bands - History 1960-1990

Click here to go back to the Contents page.Tamworth Rock Festival : 1987 - Programme

Friday August 27th – Tamworth Arts Centre
Saturday August 28th – Tamworth Arts Centre
Sunday August 29th - Tamworth Castle Pleasure Grounds
Monday August 30th - Tamworth Castle Pleasure Grounds

Friday 28th August 1987
Tamworth Arts Centre
Saturday 29th August 1987
Tamworth Arts Centre

The Wilsons
The Pakistani Brothers
Stranger Than Life
Oliver Reed Combo
The Parade

The Conspiracy
Jim Crows Blues Band
New Age Gypsies
Ferocious Apaches

Sunday 30th August 1987
Castle Grounds
Monday 31stAugust 1987
Castle Grounds

Kubla Khan
The Searching
The A5
World Intelligence Network
Catch 23
Rape In Yellow
Platinum Hi
The Great Express

Future Field
Fetch Eddie
Depth Charge
Ruffian On The Stairs
Breaking Point

DJs: Reverb, Buttercup, Bue, Rikk Quay

Tamworth Herald – 17/07/87
Musicbox - Here comes days of rock-filled fun
It’s that festival feeling!

TAMWORTH ROCK FESTIVAL has been given official council backing – and the countdown to four days of pop fun is now under way.

A full meeting will be held this Sunday at the Tavern in the Town for all the for all the bands involved to really get the festival feeling flowing.

This year’s festival was given the fullest support by Tamworth Borough Council at a meeting last Thursday of the recreation and amenities committee. Councillors representing both Conservative and Labour, praised the festival’s unique achievements and ensured that the ‘show would go on’ as planned.

Once again the now established Tamworth Rock Festival format will feature tow exciting nights of new bands at the Arts Centre, and then two long days of outdoor rock and roll in the Castle Grounds.

It all starts on Friday August 28 at the Arts Centre when The Final Line, The Sexy Pistols, Emma Gibbs Loves Badges and the Pakistani Brothers team up for a bizarre evening of entertainment and then the following night the Arts Centre stage welcomes The Jim Crows Blues Company, New Age Gypsies, Bankok Shock and The Conspiracy.

Then on Sunday, August 30 and Monday August 31, the Castle Grounds will come alive from 11am to 8pm to the sound of no less than 18 of the top local bands in the area ranging from old heroes like Wolfsbane and Breaking Point, new heroes like The Great Express and fetch Eddie and unknown heroes like Platinum Hi and Jabberwockie.

We will give the final line-up in next week’s MUSICBOX nut all the bands involved MUST attend Sunday night’s meeting to hear where they play and when.

The meeting at the Tavern on Sunday night will not only discuss future planning and organisation for the festival, but will be a vital fund-collecting point. As a reminder, all the bands who are playing at the Castle Ground’s section will need on Sunday to pay £6 per member. That way the festival is the Castle Grounds is kept free for all spectators and ensures that the Tamworth Rock festival is unique. I mean, can you imagine Status Quo PAYING to play at the Reading festival.

Would everyone – bands and organisers – please get to the meeting by no later than 7.45pm on Sunday night as there is a chance of a major photo-call. The meeting will then be the official launching pad for the Tamworth Rock festival 1987.

Musical policies will be worked out to put to the Tamworth electorate and hopefully they will vote for the festival in massive numbers!

Tamworth Herald – 24/07/87
Musicbox – Here it is: the best festival line-up ever
HERE IT IS the final line-up for this year’s eagerly awaited Tamworth Rock Festival again the Festival throws up an amazing range of old and new acts covering just about every musical genre possible. Many of the names will be familiar to most local rock fans but some will be new to everyone.

The tasty mixture offers the possibility of one of the finest festivals yet, so here it is the full blow-by-blow agenda of what your eyes and ears will witness over the August Bank Holiday weekend.

Friday August 28: Tamworth Arts Centre, 8pm, Admission 50p. Emma Gibbs Loves Badges, The Sexy Pistols, Pakistani Brothers, Stranger Than Life.

Saturday August 29 (Tamworth Arts Centre, 8pm, Admission: 50p) The Final Line, The Jim Crows Blues Company, New Age Gypsies, The Ferocious Apaches.

Sunday August 30: (Castle Grounds 12 midday – 7pm, Admission: Free) (In this order) Kubla Khan, The Searching, A5, World Intelligence Network, Catch 23, Rape In yellow, Zealout, Platinum hi, The Great Express.

Monday August 31: (Castle Grounds, 12 midday – 7pm, Admission: Free) The Pink Tomatoes, Future Field, Shellshock, Jabberwockie, Wolfsbane, Fetch Eddie The Baby’s Gone Blue, Depth Charge, Ruffian On The Stairs, Breaking Point.

That’s a grand tally of 27 bands covering everything from punk to pop, synthesisers to sickness and power to purity. The whole festival bandwagon is now well on the road so get ready for a T-shirt, poster and sticker blitz as the town’s musicians prepare for their biggest weekend of the year. The Tamworth Rock Festival represents everything that is positive and strong about the local music scene and if the enthusiasm so far generated by the event is anything to go by, get set for a rock and roll extravaganza.

Tamworth Herald – 07/08/87
Musicbox – Getting shirty at festival call-up
SNIPS – A full meeting for everyone involved in this year’s Tamworth Rock festival will be held on Sunday night. As well as dispensing with the normal organisational business, musicians and organisers will be able to get their hands on the festivals lovely gruesome t-shirts and the equally bright ‘n’ breezy posters. All bands involved in the festival’s two tiers – Castle Grounds and Arts Centre – are urged to attend the meeting which will take place at 7.45pm.

Tamworth Herald – 21/08/87
Musicbox – Festival Fever
THE Tamworth Rock Festival is now just seven days away and the final preparations for the extravaganza are almost complete.

Excitement for this year’s festival has reached a new peak and with coverage in magazines as varied as Brum Beat and Sounds, it seems more people than ever will know what Tamworth has to offer for four fun-packed days.

Musically, the whole event seems to be more varied than ever. Bands who seem to play everything from mid-Sixties to post-Eighties music will be involved, with most of them regarding the festival as their gig of the year.

One of the most inspiring things about the 1987 Festival is the massive amount of new bands who have been signed up to play. Groups such as The Conspiracy, Future Field, Final Line, New Age Gypsies, Zealout and Kubla Khan have played a handful of concerts between them and they should prove an interesting foil to the more experienced outfits such as Breaking Point, Wolfsbane and Catch 23.

The Festival is divided into two sections once again – two hectic nights at the Arts Centre and then two long languid days in the Castle Grounds sun.

At the Arts Centre on Friday August 28, Stranger Than life top off the bill which also features Emma Gibbs, The Pakistani Brothers and a band who trade under the name of The Sexy Pistols and of whom nothing is known. 24 hours later at the same venue, Atherstone will once again invade Tamworth bringing them the New Age Gypsies and The Final Line to team up with The Jim Crows Blues Co. The Ferocious Apaches and the eagerly awaited Conspiracy.

With the two Arts Centre nights completed, the rock and roll revolution will carry on at the Castle Grounds. Festival organisers are currently deeply in prayer that the sun will decide to bless the Castle Grounds with its presence again, and if so around 1,000 people are expected to lap up the varied delights on offer.

The outdoor section of the festival starts at 12/30 on Sunday with Kubla Khan and is then followed by (in this order at 40 minute intervals) The Searching, A5, World Intelligence Network, Catch 23, Rape in Yellow, Zealout, Platinum Hi and The Great Express. On Monday the festival concludes with nine more stylish, varied bands that should attract another bumper audience. The pink Tomatoes kick it all off swiftly followed by Future Field, Shellshock, Jabberwocki, Wolfsbane, fetch Eddie, Depth Charge, Ruffian on the Stars and Breaking Point.

That’s a grand total of 27 bands – 20 of whom have never played the festival before showing the continued strength and vitality of the area’s lively music scene. Cancel all other minor distractions (Reading Festival, wedding, funerals etc.) and get ready for fun, fun, fun.

*Will all musicians attend a final ‘briefing meeting’ on Sunday night at the Tavern in the Town. It starts at 7.45 and everyone is urged to attend.

Tamworth Herald – 28/08/87
Fetch EddieA rip-roaring weekend of rock
YES, IT’S HERE AT LAST! After all the months of planning and preparation, Tamworth will this weekend unveil it’s biggest and best rock festival ever.

Over the next four days no less than 27 bands – not to say alternative poets, disc jockeys and general eccentrics – will combine their talents to give the town’s pop pickers a week to remember.

Tonight (Friday) the whole event kicks off with an action-packed Arts Centre show to be followed on Saturday night with another night of new bands at the same venue. And then on Sunday and Monday, Tamworth Castle Grounds will be taken over for 16 hours for a massive live extravaganza of music covering 18 varied and exciting groups from all over the Tamworth and Atherstone area.

It all adds up to four hectic, juicy days so here is a blow-by-blow account of what to expect, where to expect it and where not to go if you want to avoid it!!

Tamworth Arts Centre
WELL WHAT A START. For just 50p you can get to see five totally different bands who represent just about every form of musical extreme in this little old scene of ours. Heading the lot our The Wilsons who have been added as late festival funmakers and should provide many moments of bopping delight. Joining the Wilsons are the brash barmy boys known as The Pakistani Brothers, the all-new all-electric Stranger Than Life, the arrogant and animated Oliver Reed Combo and another late addition The Parade. That is five potentially explosive acts for less than the price of a Curly Wurly each. Be there early (8pm) ‘cos it is going to be full.

Tamworth Arts Centre
ANOTHER case of sheer daylight robbery when just 50p once again gets you masses of good original music. The Conspiracy, Tamworth’s new alternative hopefuls make their eagerly awaited Arts Centre debut and are joined by the rocking, rollicking blues of Jim Crows, the powerful mid-Seventies attack of New Age Gypsies, and the passionate and highly-tipped indierockers Ferocious Apaches. The fifth band on the line-up is still to be confirmed as there is a possibility that The Final line may have split up. If that is so, new Burton FM soundalikes Vienna will be slotted in as special guests so whichever way you look at it your ears cannot fail! Remember it starts at 8pm and get there early.

Tamworth Castle Grounds (11.30am-7pm)
AND SO, to the main course. Once again the festival will be sited at the top of the Castle Grounds, just in front of the tennis courts and once again it will all be totally FREE.

You will see no less than nine bands on Sunday and a further nine on Monday with the only sort of rock uncatered for being that horrible stuff that breaks your teeth at Blackpool. It all begins at 11am when the Reverb/Buttercup disco blares into action and then 90 minutes later the first band – Kubla Khan – hit the stage. This oh reader, is what happens next…

KUBLA KHAN (12.30) – A new and enthusiastic rock band with a slant to the mid-Seventies and wicked sense of humour. Should be very good scene setters.

THE SEARCHING (1.05) Another relatively new act whose own brand of rock searches across a broad spectrum enveloping influences that include The Damned and the Cure.

The A5 (1.40) – A tremendous unit who are improving all the time and have now acquired a harder more distinctive sound. Aggressive, tuneful and toe-tappable.

WORLD INTELLIGENCE NETWORK (2.15) – Totally fab, leather-jacketed bunch who manage to Cope with being compared to Cope all the time. WINners.

CATCH 23 (2.50) – Youthful, fanciful popsters with hope in their hearts and electricity in their blood. They make great pop music. It’s as simple as that.

RAPE IN YELLOW (3.25) – Like Moses, this band have spent a long time in the wilderness and now return with a commanding set. They play original, whimsical Sixties based pop music.

ZEALOUT (4.00) – Another new band who walk on the Atherstone side of life. Zealout play broadly based rock music and regard this show as their first major introduction to the world.

PLATINUM HI (4.35) – Zooming all the way up from London this combo (who feature former Tamworth fave Rob Rea) play colourful metal music with brash style.

THE GREAT EXPRESS (5.10) – Concluding Sunday night’s revels are one of Tamworth’s hottest properties. The Express have already raced to the top of the league with their power charged, energetic and unusual creation. A great end to a great day.

Tamworth Castle Grounds (11.30am-7pm)
MRE MIRTH, music, magic and majesty on offer today with some of the best sounds outside of my record collection. As with Sunday, the bands will appear at roughly 40 minute intervals so you should never be very far away from something you are REALLY going to like. Here is the day’s itinerary so get your Filofax out.

FUTURE FIELD (1.05) – A new intelligent AOR based rock band with a host of ideas and several accomplished local musicians. Soothing music for the fun.

SHELLSHOCK (1.40) – Pure, unashamed heavy metal from a band whose enthusiasm is a refreshing as Brew X1 in the Sahara. Loud, proud and metallic.

JABBERWOCKIE (2.15) – Original unit who play music like of which Tamworth has never seen before, multi-instrumentalists overflowing with notes and notions.

WOLFSBANE (2.50) – The kings, the bosses, the boys. Wolfsbane’s dictionary definition is ‘everything that is good about heavy metal music’. They’ve got the LOT.

FETCH EDDIE (3.25) – Clean, loveable pop music which is as pure as the average Vestal Virgin. Ace tunesmiths who could set the afternoon alight.

DEPTH CHARGE (4.00) – One of Tamworth’s old favourites with new life and a new line-up. Look out for guitarist ‘Tanya’ (See rock festival t-shirts for more info on that!)

RUFFIAN ON THE STAIRS (4.35) – Commercial pleasing soul sounds from a band who combine the best of Tamworth and Lichfield. Promise to be quite special.

BREAKING POINT (5.10) – Longstanding heroes, who combine the powerful with the passionate and have been sorely missed from our stages of late. But absence makes the heart grow fonder they say, so get set for some nostalgic cheer.

So that’s the whole line-up. In betweens each band you will see and hear djs, comperes and poets like Buttercup, Edward ian Armchair, Dave Hewitt, Kevin McGough, Bue, Rikk Quay et al and there may also be some surprise guest celebrities popping up as well. In the event of rain over Sunday and Monday there may be alternative arrangements but you must be at the Castle Grounds to find out what they are.

Whatever happens this is Tamworth’s biggest musical event of the year and one which every music-loving person from 6-66 should enjoy immensely. So clear your weekends, clear your heads and get set to be bombarded from every possible angle by every possible sound.

*Festival t-shirts will be available tonight Friday (£3.50) and programmes at a mere 25p)

Tamworth Herald – 04/09/87
Smiles galore greet four days of rockin’ revels
Rock feast is a real sunshine tonic

MUSICBOX Special by Sam Holliday
TAMWORTH ’S massive army of music-lovers mobilised in great force at the weekend to enjoy the finest August Bank Holiday Rock Festival yet.

The four-day rock and roll bonanza was, in every sense, a sunshine success. There were large crowds at both the Arts Centre and Castle Grounds shows, with good feeling among all the bands and organisers, and even a rare and shocking outbreak of warm weather!

Tamworth Rock Festival 1987The whole event was voted a big hit by both the crowds and the crowd pleasers and by the time everyone gathered together on Monday night in the Tavern in the Town for a post-festival party, most of the talk was about what would happen NEXT year.

The four days of rock revelry began on Friday night at the Arts Centre with the first of the two new band showcases.

Tamworth Rock Festival 1987As with the whole weekend all the bands on view stemmed from the Tamworth and Atherstone areas showing the amazing wealth of youthful musical talent that has been banked in this area.

The four bands that kicked off the first night set the pattern for the rest of the weekend – they were all totally different and yet they all won over large sections of a lusty audience which had packed the Arts Centre to capacity.

On the night returning heroes The Parade stole the show to my ears with a powerful burst of new wave energy although the people’s choice was certainly the demonic Pakistani Brothers who took every known musical artform and perverted them beyond belief. They went down like beer at a wedding and deservedly so.

Also on the night The Magnets made their stage return complete with that age-old Magnets problem – the keyboards packing in – and some of those old excellent numbers like ‘Breath on Breath’ which had a dreamy, pleasant effect on a hot, sweaty audience.

Completing the line-up were The Oliver Reed Combo, a band who are undeniably brave and committed and certainly misunderstood.

Their staunchly honest set met with a mixed response but if there was any other reaction The Oliver Reed Combo would probably have felt people had missed the point.

Tamworth Rock Festival 1987Saturday night continued the lively atmosphere with five more Arts Centre bands getting into that festival spirit. The venue was even sweatier than the night before and by the end of the night most people were forced to prize their t-shirts off with paint-strippers.

My favourites on the night were the fresh and distinctive Conspiracy who have a winning formula of a good guitarist, good songs, pretty, punchy female singer and an ability to make you want to hear more.

The Ferocious Apaches also turned in a surprising, powerful set which I enjoyed tremendously and despite their audience-baiting, it was also pretty hard to dislike the sleazy sounds of New Swan inn kings, Jim Crows.


Also on the night we were treated to a hard-as-nails and just as dangerous show from the New Age gypsies, and a rebel-rousing slice of unashamedly pure plagiarising pleasure from The Wilsons. Put those five varied ingredients together and you had cooked one hell of a party cake, and a perfect appetiser for the two days that followed in the Castle Grounds.

Tamworth Herald – 04/09/87
Pick of the songs
AND THE SONGS of the Festival? Well this year I had to plump for ‘Get Up’ by Wolfsbane, ‘Disguises’ by WIN and ironically ‘Come The Day’ by Breaking Point. I say ironically because that song wasn’t even played until the disco after the event, but it contained a line that summed up that whole thing ‘come the day we will sing our song in tune – and together’.

Well the day(s) came this weekend, Tamworth’s music showed itself to be united as never before and everyone from the ever-busy Bayley Cooke to the bizarre roadie ‘George’ deserves credit for a festival that provided heroes without villains.

Next year cannot come quickly enough.

Tamworth Herald – 04/09/87
Band’s tasty selection
Spotlight on Sunday and Monday
SUNDAY’S mammoth day of Castle Grounds music began at 9am when plainly hungover organisers assembled at the festival site to turn a pretty patch of the grounds into a messy bustling rock and roll arena.

The first people started to arrive around 11.30 and one hour later the first band (playing their first-ever concert, fittingly) took to the stage. Kubla Khan’s direct and tight set impressed many people and the mixture of Old Grey Whistle Test-style rock and the odd piece of Tube-stolen sound, received one of the warmest receptions of the day.

The Searching followed with one of the most pleasing and surprising sets of the whole festival with the singer displaying some fine Ian Curtis touches and the band as a whole revealing a strong U2 influence.

The rest of the day continued to throw up surprises, smiles and powerful performances with Atherstone’s Catch 23 probably taking the day.

Their bouncy, intelligent pop music completely won over the sprawling sunseekers and proved once again that this band have a double-headed key to future success – youth and style.

Just behind them in my books were WIN who ignored gremlins in their guitars, to provide an uplifting, gratifying set – which also summed up that produced by the bass-driven, newly re-born A5. For sheer gritty pleasures, you then had to look no further that the strangely unappreciated Zealout, while for a mellow walk on the calmer side of life there was always Rape in Yellow who looked Pretty in White and were green ‘n’ serene.

Completing the night was the meaty metal of Platinum Hi and the psychedelic wanderings of The Hamilton Hammond Extension who featured a strange man in a wig and a drummer who looked remarkably like a machine. All very odd.

The Hamilton boys completed the day and then all eyes, ears and attentions switched to Bank Holiday Monday – could it really go as smoothly as it had so far?

Well to the amazement of all us cynics, things went even better. The sun appeared after giving the wind a chance to show off and everyone settled down for another happy afternoon of varied delights. The big debate at the end of it was who had stolen the show – Wolfsbane or Fetch Eddie The Baby’s Gone Blue. Both were superb, and the race was almost as close as Saturday’s 100m world final, but in the end my gold medal had to go to Wolfsbane.

When Blaze Bayley appeared at the start of the set on the top of the stage roof looking out on the world you knew you were in the presence of a star. His on-stage charisma, the band’s extreme musical power and the general overwhelming Wolfsbane appeal, made the group take the festival by storm and I for one will remember their set for a long time.

On an equally wonderful level were Fetch Eddie whose fusion of Beatles, pop, Squeeze rock and enigmatic reggae united the audience in a way rarely achieved throughout the festival and made a lot of people sit up and take notice of this strangely-named but success-bound young outfit. Elsewhere we were treated to a very fast, furious Shellshock set a perfect sunny afternoon jaunt by the relaxed and relaxing Depth Charge, a splendid musicians greatest hits band called Future Field and another original and certainly stronger show by Jabberwockie.

Throw in a pleasingly undramatic opening set from the Pink Tomatoes, a soothing soul burst from Ruffian on the Stairs and then an all-systems-go piece of fire from the much-missed Breaking Point and you had yet another excellent day of sun which covered every sphere of modern music. If this had been the sixties, I would have said the day was fab.

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