Tamworth Bands - History 1960-1990

The Unknown

THE Unknown
The Unknown
Photograph courtesy: Tamworth Herald
The Gallery

Musical Genre/Type: Post-Punk
Formed: 1982 Split: 1983

Band Members:
Ian Potts - Drums
Chris Potts - Bass Guitar and Vocals
Richard Smith - Guitar

Limited Edition


Tamworth Herald Features

Tamworth Herald – 14/05/82
Musicbox – Out of The Unknown and into the spotlight
DOOM-LADEN vocals, mystic lyrics about the unexplained, a powerful sound from a young three-piece outfit…all this sounds like the cue for a new Tamworth heavy rock outfit, but in reality nothing could be further from the truth.

THE Unknown certainly have no HM pretensions. In fact, if you suggested that to them you might have to get out of the immediate vicinity pretty quickly.

The Glascote-based outfit are one of the most interesting outfits to emerge locally for some time.

A small but appreciative audience witnessed their debut set at St. John’s Guildhall the other week, where they turned in a display which moved normally reserved observers, like Classified Ads drummer Simon Webster, to words of high praise.

Part of the reason for that impact was the band’s total professionalism and sound which left most wondering just how long they had been together.

Drummer Ian Potts takes up the story: - “The three of us used to play together in a garage…old Clash songs and that sort of thing.”

There then followed a period when the three-some tried to find a female-vocalist to further cement their Siouxsie and the Banshees influence.

“In the end we decided that the three of us had got used to each other’s styles that we thought we would stay as we were,” adds Ian.

Unlike many of the area’s young bands, The Unknown were determined that when they first ventured into the spotlight, everything would be absolutely right.

“We didn’t want to rush into playing gigs and appearing in the Herald until we were sure that we wouldn’t fall flat on our faces,” says Ian.

“Most of our songs are about things which are unexplained. We’re not really into political songs – everything that needs to be said has been said before.”

The Unknown who are completed by Ian’s brother Chris on bass and vocals, and Richard Smith on guitar, hope to start gigging on a fairly regular basis in the summer.

Tamworth Herald – 23/04/82
Musicbox – Into the Unknown
NEW wave music comes to town with a vengeance tonight when two bands appear at St. John’s Guildhall.

A new band, The Unknown, make their debut. Fittingly, very little is known about The Unknown – except that they once advertised for a girl singer when they were called Apparition. Bill-toppers are Tamworth’s most popular band – according to a recent poll in Tambeat – the Classified Ads.

Tamworth Herald – 30/04/82
Musicbox – Where are the fans? The answer is Unknown
The Unknown, Classified Ads : St. John’s Guildhall

TAMWORTH has one of the largest teenage populations in the Midlands…and you did not have to have a census report under your arm to establish that fact on Friday evening.

As I walked through the town centre streets on my way to the Guildhall, the area was alive with young people intent on enjoying their evening out.

Sadly though, none of them were going to the Guildhall, for when I got to the venue only about 25 people were dotted around the room.

And that, it seems, is the crux of the problem facing local bands. How do you persuade the potential punters that attending a gig might just be more enjoyable than an evening in a pub?

Well, I’m afraid I don’t have the answer to that one. What I can tell everyone who didn’t go to the Guildhall is that they missed a fine show from two first-rate young bands.

The Unknown had been sensible enough to take the precaution of not playing their first gig until they were sure they wouldn’t fall flat on their faces.

The Glascote-based three-piece showed hardly any nerves, and played one of the best debut sets I’ve ever heard.


Musically, it was doomy, grey and fairly monotone – heavily influenced by the Banshees – but it was the sort of thing that’s very popular at the moment and with the right behind-the-scenes work The Unknown could become very well known.

The Classified Ads were their usually cheery selves and they were, as always, highly enjoyable.

Some impressive new numbers were wheeled out alongside the old favourites and while it wasn’t the best set they have ever played, it was their 25th gig, which speaks volumes for their “play anywhere, anytime” philosophy.

Tamworth Herald – 12/11/82
Town bands figure in big contestMusicbox – Town bands figure in big contest
TWO Tamworth bands take part in a major music competition next week.

For The Unknown and Badger will be up against the best of Midlands’ talent in a rock and pop contest organised by the musicians’ union.

The competition is being held from Monday to Friday at Burton Town Hall.

Six-band heats will be held on the first four nights with two from each heat going forward to Friday’s grand final.

The Unknown’s heat also includes the Mark Fontana Band, Boulevard, Crystal Image, Livin’ Doll and La Resonance.

They have a prime slot being the last band to go on stage in the Tuesday line-up.

Badger have a slightly more difficult task. They will be the first band to appear in Thursday’s heat.

The band will be competing with Minis Tirith, Lambent Lamella, New Regime, The Pick-Ups and The Second.

Admission throughout the week will be 60p each night and there will be a licensed bar.

Tamworth Herald – 28/01/83
Musicbox – Mini-tour’s strong start
Private Property, The Unknown, Long Days – Tamworth Youth Club
FIRST on stage were Private Property who started the ‘mini tour’ set off with ‘Ghosts’ – a song well-known to Jam fans – which went down very well.

Next came two numbers wrapped together very nicely by Tim Goode’s vocals and some ace spadework from the rest of the band, first ‘Kevin’ and then ‘I Want to Tell You that I Love You’ both in a more up-tempo vein.

Similarly, ‘A-Bomb in Wardour Street’ was another Jam tune and next on the agenda was the best song of the night, The Kinks ‘You Really Go Me’.

The classic ‘In the Midnight Hour’ followed and the place was really buzzing as the band played a self-penned number ‘Howard’.

Private Property signed off with ‘The Gift’ which ended a really good set. They had two stand-ins in the line-up, and with the addition of Lacey and Simmons, the show would have been a whole lot tighter.

The other bands, The Unknown and Long Days both played fine sets which were a credit to Tamworth and themselves – in the words of Paul Weller ‘That’s Entertainment’.

Tamworth Herald – 28/01/83
Musicbox – Bold move brings band via the tube
A MAJOR modernist outfit who have recently appeared in Channel 4’s rock show ‘The Tube’ are appearing at Tamworth College tonight (Friday). The gig is the second major live event in the town inside a week following the Gonzalez gig at Tamworth Assembly Rooms on Saturday.

Michaelangelo’s David appeared on the New Year’s Eve edition of ‘The Tube’ and are one of the most promising acts on the modernist scene.

Local outfit ‘The Unknown’ are supporting the band and it’s also an ideal opportunity for them to show their undoubted talent.

The gig is in the Perrycrofts Hall building and admission on the door is £1.

Tamworth Herald – 16/03/90
Musicbox – SNIPS
Neil Marklew’s Lincolns scene has moved to Night Moves in Bolebridge Street. The nightclub above the Wishing Well, will be taking bands every Sunday and Indie discos every week. Neil can provide more details. Lincolns is apparently carrying on with their own shows which start this week with the combination of alternative acts Limited Edition (hello boys!) and The Unknown.

The Gallery

The Unknown

The Unknown

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