are the ZATCB gigs we can remember: were you there?
MT: The venue was conveniently situated
above The Dell. Anyone suffering with nerves, band or audience, were
cordially welcomed to a game of pool or defender.
No recollection of the second Warehouse gig.
Church halls various, including: one on Purley Oaks Road which was visited by the filth following noise (or musical taste) objections; one on corner of Grovelands Rd/Grove Hill in Purley/Coulsdon er...
MJT: Zag and the Revolutionary Beads. One of our earlier gigs in 1983. It was held in a leafy suburban, very dark, Church Hall. We played with Trotsky and the Goats. A small audience dribbled into the place. Before long however, the police arrived and pulled the plug. I wonder what the Vicar had expected, but of course they eat All Bran when in need of relaxation. We were modest revolutionaries as a little playing continued, diffident and quite, until there was no more point. There followed mumbling and rumours and a walk home through orange streets.
Autumn 1983 - 1st line up. Available on tape, but no record
exists of the jam with Nik Turner...
St Augustine's Hall (1985?) With several other bands. Acoustics criminal. Photos exist of Mik, taken around the back beforehand. No wonder he felt really ill at this one.
Cottage of Content (17th August 1985) supporting the legendary Barnimagrew.
The Star, Croydon 1987 - Done as a four piece, as Bob was gigging with Ring on the same night. A tape exists and it has its moments particularly 501 and a cacophonous Hot Garrotte. Was this the gig where we had the re-name ZATCB competition with the prize of breakfast with the band?
Milton Keynes 1988 SA. This was a good one apparently but I have little memory of it. (PH. Booze had something to do with that).
MJT. There was a feeling that Milton Keynes was desperate for any kind of entertainment, a feeling that we, being from Croydon, understood and were happy to oblige.
TR. The thing I remember was The business with my top hat. I was wearing it at the start of the gig , then it found its way into the crowd . I saw it on various heads while we were playing , occasionally flying through the air, but afterwards it was not found. Then the miracle Ring played the same place a week or two later and somehow they got my hat back ! (and Ive still got it)
SA. Perhaps there is a tiny outpost of ZATCB fans there to this day?? (2005 UPDATE - there was. They found this site and got in touch - hurrah ! )
Robey, North London (April 15th 1988?). Same band and material,
but under the name Ming and the Fods, supporting Culture Shock. TR sick
with "nerves" beforehand. But big crowd. going really well, 5 songs
in...MJT takes up the story " Indeed it was the high water mark of the
beads. The wave broke about 20 seconds into "Urinal" and receeded swiftly
to less familiar shores. I wonder if that would be well received today?
I think it might." ('Urinal' was an instrumental so named for its atonal
Some bar on main road in West Croydon - in fact an old hairdressers - we played out the back, and sideways, so to speak. Mik wore the teddy bear hat at this one.
gig" May 1987? somewhere in Camberwell. Supported by Squall.
Squat Gigs We played a couple of gigs at partys in a squat in which we lived in Rothschild Street, West Norwood. These cooked (quite literally).
MJT At Rothschild Street we had two houses joined together and had broken through the back wall of the garage to claim a large area that was previously used as a garage. It had a lot of outbuildings and one covered open area in which a stage was constructed. This was a house which the last left standing in the whole street as all other residents had been removed by Lambeth Council. It had been painted in garish colours and the road outside was addressed by the mystery quote "Bonnie Langford Langford" proof that road graffiti is best started at one point.
Leslie and others had built the stage earlier in the day. A small pond had been dug and arrangements made for lights. I remember arriving drunk and taking speed, wearing tight trousers and going through the assembled mayhem, which justifiably seemed the main event. The gig was a good one, or so it felt. The lights, fires, fights, loving and drinking were an ideal front to confident playing. It was good to play at home. Parochialism is rightly derided but one realised that a place like Croydon did have spirits outside the norm of call centre culture, crap pubs and frightened people. Many places I have been to since could do with an injection of some of this.
Rothschild Street was knocked down in 1988, depriving many people of nice houses. It remains rubble, filled with ghosts and the smell of the factory that has persisted.
Pullens Centre (20th Feb 1987?) (Pullens was a mass-squatted block of flats area nr Elephant and Castle, with a playing field outside. A magnet for alternative types in the 80s.)
MJT The Pullens estate (off of the Walworth road) had two distinct venues. There was the green in between the imposing old flats and also the Pullens centre inside. Paul and his sister Rachel and I had played in the centre before as "Bing Organs Beastly Scrapings", a good performance of rearranged English and American folk tunes with great voice spoiled only by impromptu and uninvited intervention from someone playing a soprano saxophone.
The Beads played there with some new material which was tricky even by our usual standards. There was a very good vibe about the preamble, not too drunk for a start. We dressed up in some fine threads, more toy box than Chelsea but cool. It was the first time we attempted 7 beat thing in public and it was a success at least insofar as we managed to make the audience look a bit nonplussed. There was some argy bargy as one friend in the audience threw a bottle at Graeme who was on stage at the time. As usual we ploughed on more or less regardless and did some good versions of many of the later songs. Elongated thing must have been good as an old rasta did a very cool dance to it.
TR A really good one as I recall. Graham Neale did a guest vocal (I don't mean that was why it was good). I caught a missile intended for him - a full carton of Quosh if memory serves - right on my head.
Pullens Festival MJT The time we played outside I remember with less fondness. There was something odd in the air that day and we played a fairly dreadful gig. I think it may have been one the last ones we did and maybe there was a negative sense of fin de siecle.
SA. I had travelled back from Rick and Rachel's wedding in Bideford that morning, for a mid afternoon slot. Felt v rough. Had to borrow amplifiers. Couldnt get a decent sound. If the Pullens centre, with the quosh incident, was our Altamount. this one was definitely my Isle of Wight festival. The final ZATCB gig???