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NINE BELOW ZERO

Back In the Day

Double vinyl in gatefold sleeve

ROR155

 

PLEASE NOTE - This is a pre-order for roughly late January 2023.

Please do not order other items together as they won't be sent until this monster arrives - thankyou...

 

"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...

...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.

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.

​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

 

NINE BELOW ZERO - Back In The Day 2LP

£30.00 Regular Price
£25.00Sale Price