Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Andrew Eldritch's Leeds - part 1, red brick studentsville

(To mark Andrew Eldritch’s 60th birthday, this blog is publishing a three-part guide to the frontman’s most famous haunts of the early 1980s)

Californian lo-fi indie folk band the Mountain Goats gained some press inches and media hype last year with their single “Andrew Eldritch is moving back to Leeds”, a witty song about the general indifference that would surround the prodigal son’s return to the self-proclaimed capital of the People’s Republic of West Yorkshire. Whilst the song’s central concept is based on a false premise, in that Eldritch has maintained a presence in the Leeds area over the years despite spending much of his time on mainland Europe (primarily in [West] Germany, the Netherlands and Spain according to his own interviews), there was one section of the lyrics (“Guys in Motorhead jackets, Who knew him way back then, Haven’t raised a drink in years, But now meet up again”) which reminded me that goth nostalgia tourism was once a thing in Leeds. Indeed, the very university from which Eldritch dropped out at the turn of the 1980s began to use the city’s “birthplace of goth” image to market itself at impressionable Sixth Formers less than a decade later, and even now I (as no doubt are many others) am occasionally contacted by fans of the band from all over the world who are making a pilgrimage to the city and want to know the best places to visit.

One day in the future, long after Eldritch has shuffled off this mortal coil, the city will belatedly embrace the legacy of a rare creative flourish within the metropolis and will hopefully site “black plaques” on some of the key buildings to help goth tourists eager to spend the “dark pound” in the city to navigate their way around. But until then, hopefully these few annotated aerial photos from the ever-wonderful Google Maps might be of use to some.

Photo 1 – Studentsville

To those who have never lived in Leeds, the northern suburb of Headingly is synonymous with sport, being the home of and giving its name to the back-to-back rugby league (Leeds Rhinos) and cricket (Yorkshire CCC) stadia labelled at the bottom left of the image above. But to Leodensians the suburb and the neighbouring districts of Hyde Park and Burley have in recent generations been first and foremost linked to the city’s transient student population which has colonised the seemingly endless rows of red brick terraced streets originally intended to house the workers from city’s many cotton mills back in the days when the city dominated the British Empire’s rag trade. These streets dominate this aerial image, and one of these, marked at the bottom of the red number 1 on the image, was (and indeed still is) Village Place, a cul-de-sac in the Burley area down towards Kirkstall Abbey, where Eldritch and Marx lived at house number 7 (along with Eldritch’s girlfriend Claire) in the mid-1980s. This unprepossessing house was effectively the headquarters of Merciful Release records, and its address famously featured on the lyric sheet of The Reptile House EP. Gary Marx described the house superbly in Mark Andrews’ piece for The Quietus: “The popular myth appears to be of Hunter S. Thompson taking over Bruce Wayne’s Batcave, with high-tech excess being the order of the day. The curtains downstairs stayed closed at the front of the house all the time, which no doubt gave it the air of a drug-den. The reality was that it was in a quiet street of about 20 houses and our neighbours – Jack and Nora – were people we got on with, amazingly given the racket they had to tolerate.” 

(Photo credit - Mike Read)

The house was also the scene of Wayne Hussey’s infamous audition to join the band in October 1983, as humorously recounted in the first volume of his autobiography published in May 2018, Salad Daze. Incidentally, Si Denbigh inherited the house’s sofa (which seems to feature in most stories about 7VP) when Eldritch moved on from the house, and he himself in turn gave it away just a couple of years ago having advertised it on Facebook thus: “This is the sofa that used to reside in 7 Village Place, also known as The Reptile House. Many songs were written upon it, much excess performed, schemes hatched, dark games played, and many a famous arse has sat upon it. At some point I inherited it. This sofa is more gothic than anyone! If it could write a book …A bit of Leeds history”. Hopefully the sofa has been preserved for posterity (although not necessarily, given its condition, for more posteriors), as one wag commented at the time “Ben Gunn is probably still down the back of it.”

Anyone wishing to make a pilgrimage to Village Place from central Leeds could either take a bus up Burley Road or take the train just one stop from the main Leeds railway station on the Harrogate line, alighting at Burley Park station (marked with the British Rail symbol on the Google aerial photo), which is just a few minutes’ walk from 7VP. Incidentally, Wayne Hussey would move into a house directly opposite this station when he himself came through to live in Leeds after the successful audition. Burley Park itself (i.e. the actual park, not the station) is the site of one of the more famous TSOM photoshoots of the Hussey era, when Tony Mottram snapped the group there in full gothed-up hat regalia on a chilly but sunny day, prints of which can still be ordered from the photographer in question.

(12, St John's Terrace - Google Streetview)

Our Sisters tourist could then walk south (although it looks north on this image) past the wonderful contemporary venue The Brudenell Social Club (where Near Meth Experience – who may or may not be relevant to us - played a benefit gig for Si Denbigh a couple of years back) towards Woodhouse Moor, the large park at the top of the image which is effectively the dividing line between residential Headingly/Hyde Park area and the university precinct beyond. No. 2 on our map marks the location of 12, St John’s Terrace, where Eldritch lived before moving to 7VP, much more conveniently situated for the university and indeed the city itself. This address featured on the band’s first promotional demo tape, and Eldritch was based here for the first couple of years of the 1980s. Jon Langford (or The Three Johns, who guested for the band at some live shows in early 1982) recalled in a 2016 interview, “Andy lived in the same street as me…On Bellevue Road.” (St John’s Terrace being one block of large terraced houses on that road).

The other numbers (3, 4 and 5) on the bird's eye view of Leeds' student residential district refer to places either on or in the vicinity of the university campus itself, being St George’s Field, the University Union and the Faversham pub respectively….but these will feature in the second part of our aerial guide to Eldritch’s Leeds.

(Thanks to Mike for sharing the photos of his pilgrimage to 7VP with the 1980-1985 TSOM FB Fan Group, and to Ed, Phil , Bruno, Si, Wayne and others who have helped either willingly or inadvertently with this post.)

Sunday, 5 May 2019

The prodigal son returns - Leeds, Sat 5th May 1984

They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder, and that was certainly the case in May 1984 when The Sisters of Mercy arrived back in Leeds for the fourth date of the tour to support their forthcoming major label release, the "Body and Soul" EP which would finally arrive in the record stores the following month. After the fan club gig in Birmingham in early April 1984 to introduce new guitarist Wayne Hussey to the fanbase and literally get the show back on the road after a six month hiatus, the band had undertaken a second East Coast US tour, playing half a dozen shows in as many nights as they prepared for what would be their first major headlining UK tour, with Flesh For Lulu as opening act.

Despite their relative inactivity over the preceding six months, since the last TSOM gig in Leeds a year earlier the band had released the Alice 12”, The Reptile House EP and the Temple of Love 12”, played extensively in London and in Europe, played their first dates in the US, lost guitarist Ben Gunn and replaced him with Hussey, as well as eventually signing a distribution deal with Warners after lengthy negotiations, and with the band's records now staples in even the most mainstream of Leeds clubs, the hometown gig was particularly eagerly awaited.

The tour book (issued to band members and crew, detailing hotels, timings, stage dimensions, load in times and the like) for this Spring trek across the UK bears the title “British Pilgrimage”, presumably a reference to the religious connotations of the band’s name, but this featured in none of the publicity surrounding the tour and I have never seen it quoted anywhere else. The Leeds date came after excellent shows at Nottingham’s Rock City (where Gary wrecked his guitar), Middlesbrough Town Hall, and a legendary banter-filled show in the upstairs hall at Manchester University Students’ Union, and was their fourth show in the Leeds University Union Riley Smith Hall, the main theatre/debating chamber used for smaller touring bands (the band's three pervious appearances being the two Music For The Masses gigs in June and November 1981 and the Furs support in October 1982).

A live recording of the May 5th 1984 show has survived and confirms that there was a sizeable audience present for the homecoming, with Eldritch referencing their lengthy time away from the Leeds live circuit in a semi-audible comment before the gig starts with the usual Doktor Avalanche introduction to “Burn”. Whether Gary is struggling with his new guitar, or whether the chemistry between himself and Hussey had yet to develop to telepathic levels, there are some technical issues in the opening song, after which the first predictable chants of “God Squad” can be clearly heard. After Eldritch has informed a heckler that the band no longer plays “Jolene”, the customary second song “Heartland” begins, with Eldritch in final vocal form despite tuning and tone problems again from Marx’s guitar.

The first of the new songs, “Walk Away” follows, still in very embryonic form and with lyrics which bear little relation to the version ultimately released as a single some five months later. After muted applause, the band launch into “Anaconda” which receives the loudest cheers to date, but before any real rhythm can be established, forthcoming single “Body and Soul” gets an airing, with further guitar pedal and volume issues. There’s also a rougher, choppier than usual guitar sound on “Floorshow”, although the Doktor, Adams and Eldritch see the song to a successful conclusion as usual. So far in the gig the band’s sound quality, to judge by the surviving recording, is less polished than at any time since 1982, but the loud cheers at the end of the perennial alternative dancefloor favourite show either that the audience couldn’t care less or (as is often the case to this day) that it sounded better in the hall on the night than on a tinny recording many years later.

After the kind of lengthy minor guitar retuning break which regular TSOM bootleg tape listeners will be more than familiar with, the booming bass intro to “Emma” rings out, both guitars now intertwining more successfully than earlier in the set. Eldritch is of course in wonderful form, recounting Errol Brown’s wonderful lyric, allegedly about his own mother’s untimely death.
The pace picks up immediately again with a superb “Adrenochrome”, which proves that the sound issues have been largely solved, and as with the other gigs on the tour, the “oldies” see the set through to a successful conclusion, with “Alice” and “Body Electric” played back-to-back. To the delight of the long-term fans in the audience, the traditional covers of “Gimme Shelter” and “Sister Ray” are offered as encores, with a confident Hussey improvising a little more than Gunn had done in the former, whilst the latter is as experimental and focussed as I have ever heard it, with Eldritch primarily singing rather than screaming and screeching, certainly far removed from the seriously unhinged versions of the early gigs or in 1985 for example.

The Leeds Student newspaper digital archive contains a review of the gig that was published at the time, by “Sister Morphine”, but which has not been widely circulated amongst fans. Interestingly, rather than focussing on gig itself, bar mentions for a couple of song titles, the “review” is instead fixated on the increasingly important figure of Andrew Eldritch, his stage persona and his relationship with the band’s devoted followers. The journalist seems convinced that Eldritch too is contemplating the theme of the returning messiah, which seems entirely appropriate given the reaction given to the band for what was clearly far from one of their best live performances.

On their return to the University Union during the Black October tour later in the year, The Sisters of Mercy would finally get to headline the university’s main stage, The Refectory, as their fame and legend spread and with Hussey becoming firmly ensconced within the band. By then however, the various pressures that would lead to the cracks that would split the band apart in 1985 had already began to appear. Back in May 1984, with the ink barely dry on the major label deal, a new single in the can and a new guitarist fitting in well, there seemed to be only unlimited potential.

My thanks to all who have helped with this post, including Circle, Phil Verne of The Sisters of Mercy 1980-1985 FB group, collector LG, and to my own brother whose ticket is displayed here.

Saturday, 30 March 2019

F-Club Finale - Leeds, 30th March 1982

One of the more surprising aspects of the early days of The Sisters of Mercy is how infrequently they played in their home town as they attempted to establish themselves on what was a dynamic live music scene. In the band’s first interview, for Whippings and Apologies magazine in March 1981, only one month after their live debut in York, Andrew Eldritch explained to interviewer Mark Johnson that the band “don’t see the need to play in every toilet every week, ‘cos there’s no percentage in it. We could play the Pack Horse or the Royal Park [two Leeds pubs on either side of Woodhouse Moor which put on ‘live’ bands on a regular basis] every week, but it just wouldn’t be worth it.”

With future radio DJ and confirmed TSOM loather Andy Kershaw in charge of booking bands for Leeds University, the main outlet for the band in their home city were the gigs put on by promoter John Keenan, who was only too happy to put the band on to his bills. Of the six times the band played in Leeds in 1981, four of them were Keenan/Fan Club promotions, with the other two under the auspices of Si Denbigh’s Music For The Masses society at the University Union.

1982, the breakthrough year of the critically-acclaimed “Body Electric/Adrenochrome” and follow-up breakthrough single “Alice/Floorshow” saw the band play only twice in their native city, with Eldritch reluctantly realising that the only way to grow the band further at this stage was to create a “buzz” in London. The second of the two Leeds shows in 1982 was the much-documented support slot to The Psychedelic Furs in thefirst week of October, the first time that I personally saw the band live, whilst the first gig had taken place back in Spring, as part of Keenan’s multi-band F-Club Easter Party on March 30th 1982.

Given that Easter was celebrated on April 11th that year, the party may seem to have been a little premature, but that would have been around the time of the end of the second academic term at the city’s main two higher education institutions (the university and the polytechnic), and a good chance to grab a final slice of what remained of students’ meagre grants on a quiet Tuesday evening before they headed back home with sackfuls of washing.

The multi-band bill was a Keenan speciality at Christmas and Easter, and this particular bill bears a close resemblance to that which had been scheduled to play at the F-Club’s Christmas party the previous year, only to be cancelled at the last minute because of snow. The impressive flyer which survives from the “Easter” gig and which is in the collection of legendary Sisters aficionado LG prominently features a band called “The Three Gingers”, an addition from the original December line-up. 

I contacted a few well-known people who would have been at the gig, but worryingly, there seemed to be doubts as to whether it had actually been played. Dave Wolfenden (Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, Expelaires), had no recollection of the show, and thought that it might have been cancelled. John Keenan the promoter also had some doubts, telling me “I know that I cancelled one of those multi line-ups, but I think that it was because of snow [so presumably the December show]. I remember that line-up though. I recorded most of it on cassette, The Three Johns, The Sisters etc, but someone nipped into my house and took them (but nothing else). I never saw any bootlegs, so they may have been destroyed.”

John was also able to shed some light on the prominence of the little-known Three Gingers on the poster, commenting on the Sisters of Mercy 1980 – 1985 Facebook fan page, “It was my gig, but you can probably tell that I didn’t make the flyer, even though my logo was used. One of the Three Gingers worked for a printer, that’s why it looks more professional than any of my leaflets”.
Further light on the band is shed by another well-known BBC DJ Martin Kelner, who was also working for Radio Aire at this time (along with shock-jock James Whale, host of the infamous Wayne Hussey interview some years later). A member of Kelner’s production team was also a member of the Three Gingers group, which never developed as a project beyond this stage, and is recalled by Kelner in this blog post, which also mentions another band on the bill that night with a penchant for self-publicity, Mutants Of The Holocaust.

MOTH played a brand swamp punk that had elements of The Gun Club and The Birthday Party (extracts are available online here and here - the latter with introduction by Martin Kelner), and they managed to forge for themselves a controversial reputation thanks to self-publicity such as this, an extract from a local paper that features on the MOTH tribute website and which refers to this particular F-Club gig.

I tracked down the erstwhile singer of MOTH, Paul A, who was only too happy to reminisce about his brush with fame: “Mutants Of The Holocaust were reported as being the worst of the bands that played that night! The Sisters of Mercy followed us on stage, and Eldritch swapped a look of disgust with me, but we were asked to send them a demo with a view to putting out a single on Merciful Release, an offer which we turned down as a “sell-out”!! I remember that one of The Sisters’ covers was “1969”. There weren’t many more than the bands and their hangers-on in the audience.”

Paul also told me that MOTH’s blue-dress wearing guitarist “Boss” (who allegedly couldn’t play a note) made quite an impression on the Sisters (insert your own Patricia joke here), and additionally recalled that the best-received band on the night were “The Hurtling Bones”, who didn’t feature on the blue flyer but did feature in the press advert for the gig at the top of this article, which is taken from the “Leeds Student” digital archive. Between the two different posters, one of the artists on the nine-band bill had changed their name, with Vena Cava now playing their first gig under the name St Christopher, a moniker under which they eventually enjoyed much success towards the end of the decade, primarily on the legendary jangle pop Sarah record label.

With The Danse Society, Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, The Sisters of Mercy, The Three Johns and The Expelaires all on the bill, this gig was arguably the biggest selection of Yorkshire post-punk talent ever assembled, and all for a miserly £2 entry fee, and one certainly deserving of more than a spartan attendance in an echoey superclub in a shopping centre (the same on which hosted the legendary Le Phonographique club in the basement), where a couple of years later Keenan would host the cream of the then popular goth scene on his “The Dungeon Club” nights.

As John Keenan pointed out, the gig was taped, and it is still hoped that one day these recordings will surface, as the other Spring gigs (Keighley and York) featuring the new guitarist (Gunn) seem not to have been recorded. Any further information about this or any other early gig would be gratefully received, but in the meantime my thanks are due to Paul A, JFK, LG, Phil Verne and others who have helped us to find out more about a very rare 1982 hometown live appearance by The Sisters of Mercy.

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Second And Last And Always Pt. 3 - Eldritch's Left On Mission And Revenge

(This is the final of three posts on what the second album by The Sisters of Mercy might have sounded like in 1986, had the First and Last and Always line-up continued to record)

In the first two posts (here and here) on the likely sound and content of what Gary Marx had jokingly called “Second and Last and Always”, we’ve looked at riffs and demos which the band’s twin songsmiths in the 84/85 era, Gary Marx and Wayne Hussey, would have brought to the recording sessions for the follow-up album at the end of 1985.

For the third post we will look at the very different vision which singer Andrew Eldritch had for the band. By the summer of 1985, he was certainly heading in a very different direction than the rest of the band: as Wayne Hussey said, “He was listening to things like Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Nicks and Foreigner and there was us listening to Motorhead or whatever. And it showed.” However, this had often been the case in the past, and can be seen in the very eclectic range of cover versions which TSOM had attempted in the 1980-1985 period, not to mention the many different musical genres over which the band’s output ranged, from Afterhours to Sister Ray.

Up until very recently, only two things were known about Eldritch’s vision for the Sisters sophomore studio set: first, the title, Left On Mission and Revenge, which was referenced in an arch Merciful Release press release in February 1986 when The Mission’s new name was announced (“We assume that their choice of name is entirely unconnected with the forthcoming Andrew Eldritch album that for some months has had the working title Left On Mission And Revenge”). And second, that the song Torch, which would figure as a b-side on the This Corrosion comeback hit of 1987, was being worked on when Craig Adams walked out on the band (shortly followed by Hussey). As Eldritch later recalled, “"The others didn't want to play my new songs, such as 'Torch' for instance. The song has some unusual chord changes. Craig thought it was crap, he said 'I'm not playing it, I'm going home.' And there he stayed."” Other than that, there was mainly just speculation that the songs which ended up forming the core of The Sisterhood's Gift LP (Eldritch's next release, in 1986) would have been on LOMAR, whilst others claimed that the non-release of This Corrosion, though much demo'ed around the time of Gift, was a sign that he was saving the better songs for a more fully rounded next TSOM LP.

However, three recent revelations on social media by close friends of Eldritch at the time have added a lot more detail to how the Machiavellian Eldritch saw the LP. Daniela Giombini of the Italian Tribal Cabaret fanzine shared a photo of a Merciful Release compliments slip which she had been given in the summer of 1985 at MR HQ by Eldritch, with the track-listing of the second album written on it in Eldritch’s own hand-writing! After being kept private for thirty years, this photo was re-shared by Phil Verne on his The Sisters of Mercy 1980-1985 Facebook fan page to great excitement, as there were a further nine (NINE!!) tracks alongside the afore-mentioned Torch !

One of these, Bury Me Deep, was well-known as it had already been released as the b-side of the final FALAA single, No Time To Cry, in March 1985 as Eldritch rediscovered his taste for song-writing after recuperating from the exertions of physical illness and mental exhaustion as well as the stresses of the subsequent lengthy UK and European tours in October and November of 1984. Eldritch had written and recorded Bury Me Deep and Blood Money (the other b-side on that release) virtually as solo projects, and their critical acclaim despite (because of?) the departure in style from what had come before will have encouraged him to reassert his status as lead songwriter.

Other familiar titles are also present on the LOMAR tracklisting: Giving Ground would of course become the spoiler Sisterhood single to lay claim to that band’s name and to guarantee continued access to lucrative publishing details, and both This Corrosion (which was almost released as the second Sisterhood single with James Ray on vocals in the Spring of 1986) and Driven Like The Snow eventually made it onto Floodland in 1987.

The exact identity of the other five songs, and whether or not they made it onto Gift or Floodland under a different title, has been a source of much speculation since this document was discovered (and will remain so until Eldritch breaks his silence on the issue), but even if no recordings of these demos have seen the light of day, this tracklisting shows just how far advanced Eldritch’s vision for the second album had already become.

Inevitably, there were some who refused to believe the authenticity of this artefact, but any such doubts were extinguished when Howard Thompson, an A&R man close to TSOM and Eldritch in particular in the early 80’s, shared a similar image on his Instagram account. This tracklisting, written out in front of him by Eldritch on a napkin at the Gramercy Hotel in New York in 1985, not only features exactly the same songs and running order, but also identified the singles to accompany the album, with b-sides listed for both 7” and 12” versions!

To most fans’ great surprise, these b-sides featured tracks not known to have existed as early as 1985, such as Untitled (later a b-side of Dominion/Mother Russia), Avalanche pts I and II (presumably although not necessarily Flood I and Flood II) and Dominion, meaning that most of the songs which would eventually feature on the global breakthrough album (Floodland) and its accompanying singles had already been written or at least conceived by the suddenly prolific Eldritch by the time of the final split.

Even more incredibly, there was also to be a release of a Hussey-penned lyric, Garden of Delight (see previous post), in which Eldritch could clearly see some merit, although it was to be relegated to a b-side. Furthermore, it is clear that Eldritch intended to finish the Wide Receiver demo (which has subsequently surfaced). For many years many fans doubted whether this was in fact a Sisters demo, but on Heartland Forum, chief administrator Quiff Boy obtained confirmation from Gary Marx that it was indeed an Eldritch original, reporting: “Not long after they’d got back from the States, circa 1984, the band had begun writing material for FALAA. The story goes that Von was really into American Football after this trip and he turned up at rehearsal one day with a cassette tape, saying that he had this fantastic track he wanted to work on. It was Wide Receiver. The only lyric Von had come up with was something about a “wide receiver,” and then some dodgy sixth-form rhyme about “…deceive her.”” Despite the derision of his bandmates Eldritch clearly thought that there was sufficient merit in the track to include it on a planned single over a year later.

Even at this stage, with the track list now widely debated, there was some speculation (probably based on the very few new songs to have been written by the singer over the past twenty-five years) as to whether Eldritch had actually done anything other than come up with titles for songs, but Thompson shared a further photo on Instagram which proved beyond doubt that Eldritch planned to continue with his plan for LOMAR at this point: a tape of a recording session which Eldritch had undertaken at Slaughterhouse Studios in December 1985!

The MR statement about the break-up reported in Sounds at the beginning of November 1985 suggested that Eldritch might even employ Hussey as a session guitarist for his next release, as it seems that the pair were still on relatively amicable terms. However, by the time he himself headed into Slaughterhouse studios the following month to record some demos, Hussey and Adams were talking more boldly about their plan to use first The Sisters and then The Sisterhood as their new band name, and this plan had clearly been shelved. Back in that first week of November, Wayne Hussey was asked about the news in Sounds of him possibly contributing to Andrew’s new album as part of an interview for Mass Murder fanzine, to which he replied “I would have helped if it had been a Sisters of Mercy album, but it’s not, it’s an Andrew Eldritch album, so I’m not helping.” In the same interview, Wayne also (helpfully for us) comments on the new material that Eldritch was working on: “The stuff Andy’s doing now is softer and slower”, before adding a more surprising comment: “music you can dance to.” He confirmed that “We really did split up because of musical differences. I’ll reserve judgement on what he’s doing until he’s finished. He’ll pull something out of the bag – he always does!” Hussey was not quite so charitable after the subsequent legal battle over the band name, penning a cuttingly negative and deeply personal (but very amusing) review of “Gift” for one of the music weeklies.

On Thompson’s cassette (labelled once again in Eldritch’s distinctive handwriting), the singer refers to the artist as “Andrew Eldritch” and not “The Sisters of Mercy”, giving some credence to his claim at the time that there was an agreement that neither side of the split would use the TSOM name in the future. Eldritch told Melody Maker in September 1987, “The people who are now The Mission and myself had an agreement that no one would use the name when the band went its separate ways.” Wayne further acknowledged this in the February 1986 Sounds interview, “Andrew wanted to start making songs as himself, and to kill off The Sisters.” However, when Hussey and Adams began using the names The Sisters and The Sisterhood (the latter with the expressed permission of the ex-TSOM fan following of the same name), the well-documented legal battle over the name began.

Although Thompson revealed the photo, he could not recall the contents of the cassette, but hopefully one day he will find time to listen to it and report whether Ritual is a familiar song (Rain From Heaven ?) under an unfamiliar title or a previously unheard song. What the tape also proved was that all three groupings from the former Sisters of Mercy had indeed worked in the same provincial studio within a couple of months of the final split.

(the building formerly housing Slaghterhouse Studios)

(contemporary photo of Slaughterhouse Studios)

As its name suggests, the Slaughterhouse in Great Driffield was indeed a former butcher's shop and abattoir which had been converted into a residential recording studio, one of very few in the North of England. It was run by Russell Webster, who was barely older than Eldritch himself, with on the sound-desk an equally youthful sound engineer Colin Richardson, who was beginning to make a name for himself, having worked with The Chameleons at Cargo Studios in Rochdale. He had also worked at KG studios, and knew Pete Turner (Sisters live sound mixer since 1981) who also worked at Slaughterhouse occasionally, meaning that it was only natural that the post-punk bands would gravitate to the unlikely setting of Great Driffield.

The studio subsequently became famous as the venue of the legendarily crazy recording sessions of “Bummed”, the seminal Happy Mondays album produced by Martin Hannett, and then as the home of hardcore metal as Earache records stars (Napalm Death etc) flocked to have their work produced by Richardson, an equally legendary name to metal fans.

Vinyl evidence would tend to suggest however that both engineer Richardson (on drums) and studio manager Webster (on vocals) were more personally impressed by their earlier customers, as the pair became unlikely stars on the European goth circuit in the early 1990s thanks to the ever-increasing popularity of the song Shadow Dance by their studio project Eyes of the Nightmare Jungle, a “band” still remembered fondly by many German goths in particular (their FB page has been “like”d by a number of high profile Sisters fans who are probably unaware of the connection – until today!).

By the time that The Slaughterhouse suffered a devastating fire and closed in the 1990’s, Eyes of The Nightmare Jungle were touring Europe, although they split shortly afterwards. Lead singer, studio owner and serial entrepreneur Webster was last in the news (in the Bridlington area at least) a couple of years ago, as he sought crowd-funding for his latest venture, a family board game which sadly never reached mass production.

(picture of Russell Webster launching his board game from Bridlington Free Press, 2015)

So, to summarise the last three posts, by mid-1985 Gary Marx had a head full of riffs but few finished songs (which would ultimately resurface in very different form in the recorded output of Ghost Dance) and no desire to work with Eldritch, Hussey or Adams ever again; Hussey (and his faithful side-kick Adams) had a whole host worth of commercial goth pop/rock riffs, some with lyrics attached, which would make up both The First Chapter and God’s Own Medicine, whilst Eldritch had at least in embryonic form a whole further raft of rather different songs, which would go on to fill most Gift and Floodland.

As a result, in 1986/1987 fans were able to enjoy simultaneously three different acts, two of whom (The Mission and with Patricia Morrison on board, a new version of The Sisters of Mercy) would become fixtures in the charts, whilst a pair of them (Ghost Dance and The Mission) were popular ‘live’ acts on the UK and European circuits.

However, it is clear that the musical and personal differences between the four were such that no magical synergy would be likely to take place, and that rather than being a compilation of the best of the five albums-worth of songs which we have analysed in these three posts, an album that in all probability could have propelled the band to long-lasting global superstardom, the actual “Second and Last and Always” would have been a tortured mish-mash of influences and opinions (not unlike Bauhaus' famous 1983 break-up album, Burning From The Inside) by a group of highly talented individuals who were clearly at their creative peak, yet were, in the words of the bootleg which contains some of the fragments, Victims of Circumstance.

My thanks for this final post in the Second and Last and Always trilogy are once again due to HT, to LG, to Daniela G, to Ade M, to Graham C, to Praver B and to Phil Verne of the 1980-1985 TSOM Facebook group, and to all fellow TSOM fans who continue to support this blog. Fans of The Sisters of Mercy should definitely consider subscribing to Mark Andrews’ very exciting project, a biography of the band’s formation and early days. This will be an essential read and a definitive independent account of one of the most interesting and enigmatic rock phenomena of the past forty years. Rise and Reverberate!

Thursday, 24 January 2019

Second and Last and Always Pt 2

(This is the second of three posts on what the second album by The Sisters of Mercy might have sounded like in 1986, had the First and Last and Always line-up continued to record)

Of the three elements into which The Sisters of Mercy fractured in 1985, the pairing of Wayne Hussey and Craig Adams were the first to show publicly how the second TSOM album may have sounded had the band stayed together. Despite the long-term disputes within the band, followed by Marx’s departure in April, and the increasingly frosty atmosphere between Eldritch on the one hand and Hussey/Adams on the other, it appears that all three remaining members were still prepared to give a second TSOM album a go, and history records that they gathered together initially in Hamburg in the late summer of 1985 to work on demos. Hussey later told Sounds magazine (January 1986) “As far as Craig and I were concerned, we’d resigned ourselves..we’d not been enjoying it for a while, but we’d resigned ourselves to sticking it out, and maybe it would’ve got better. But in fact it was getting worse. I went to Hamburg for a month with Andrew to try and write songs for the second Sisters album, and we came back with all my ideas rejected and Andrew’s very skeletal…Andrew said, “I’m not singing any of your songs. That’s what it boiled down to. Craig walked out of rehearsal [having famously refused to play the bassline for the song which became “Torch”] and a day later I did.” The following year he would tell Germany’s Spex magazine, “Andrew rejected all my songs and let me work on one single chord the whole time – E minor!”

On Hussey and Adams’ return to the UK, they immediately went into a new 24 track studio which had opened in Yorkshire, Slaughterhouse Studios in Driffield, a sleepy market town between Hull and York. It was both cheaper and nearer than Stockport’s Strawberry Studios, and given that Ghost Dance and Eldritch also recorded (separately) at the Driffield studios in the latter months of 1985, it is clear that this was the venue where the band had planned to record the follow-up to FALAA during late autumn (Sounds in November 1985 reporting that the departure of Hussey and Adams “has scuppered recording plans for a new album this month”). Presumably WEA had booked the studio time in advance, and therefore by design rather than coincidentally all three shards of the early 1985 incarnation of The Sisters of Mercy independently recorded their first post-split demos there before the year was out!

(Slaughterhouse Studios)

With what at the time seemed almost indecent haste to some, although more understandably given that Hussey had a whole host of almost finished songs ready to go, the band that would become The Mission were first through the recently-opened Slaughterhouse doors. At this stage (October 1985), the group had no permanent drummer as Mick Brown had yet to officially join from Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, doing so formally after one final RLYL gig on 29th November 1985, but he played drums on the Slaughterhouse sessions. These sessions would yield the songs Wake and Naked and Savage, both of which feature in their original form on the B-side of the debut Mission release in May 1986 on the independent Birmingham-based Chapter 22 label, along with A-side track Serpent’s Kiss, which as we discussed in a previous post, he had already recorded as an instrumental in preparation for Eldritch’s added lyric and vocal on Easter Monday 1985, immediately after Gary Marx’s departure, with a view to it being the next Sisters “A” side. The October 1985 version (this date features prominently on the back of the record sleeve of the first Mission single) of course features Hussey’s own lyric and vocal, and rather than the next TSOM single as originally intended, it became the lead track to launch the new band, picking up the airplay which would see the vinyl release rocket up the indie charts the following spring. 

Wake (RSV) in particular attracted attention because of its lyrical content, which has been interpreted as a (very) thinly veiled attack on both Eldritch's inactivity and his increasing isolation ("Pillar of wisdom and soul of iron, Alone in the crumbling tower of power" etc). The fact that the title is the same as the name Eldritch had given to the Royal Albert Hall gig, that there was an RSV (Revised Standard Version) of the Sisterhood's debut single and these three letters did not appear on the demo tape version of Hussey's song, and the run-off groove of the A side stated "Keeping the Faith, not Giving Ground", another seemingly direct reference to Eldritch's rushed post-split single, only served to confirm these suspicions. Presumably Hussey penned these waspish lyrics in the studio and sang them over a melody originally intended to have Eldritch's words on top - "It's a taste of your own medicine. God's Own Medicine for you!" Hussey was obviously particularly pleased with the latter lyric fragment, using it as the title for the Mission's debut LP, even though Wake (RSV) wasn't selected for the album! Conspiracy theorists with a detailed knowledge of the events of this era will also spot the words "victim" and "circumstance" in close proximity to each other in the lyric, plus a reference to "revenge", all of which presumably did not escape Eldritch's notice either.

Also recorded at that initial Slaughterhouse session was another song presumably intended for The Sisters, Bridges Burning (a different version of which would be on the debut LP God’s Own Medicine) and the original Slaughterhouse demo (Burning Bridges) finally saw an official release in 2007 on the extended reissue of the band’s The First Chapter compilation album. Wayne Hussey makes it clear in his sleeve notes for that release that ex-Artery guitarist Simon Hinkler had not yet joined the band for the Slaughterhouse session, although he does feature on the sleeve for that first Mission EP, having joined the group in late December 1985 (Hussey told Sounds “We only got Simon three weeks before this tour” when The Sisterhood’s live dates began) between the recording of the first single and its eventual release once the Sisters/Sisterhood name wrangle (a very well-known tale) was resolved. The lack of a second guitarist for these first recordings, and the presence of a stand-in (at that time) drummer, are furtehr evidence of the good faith of Hussey and Adams in attending the initial writing sessions with Eldritch, as they clearly had no fully realised Plan B at that stage.

A fifth song which Hussey had originally intended for the Sisters was of course Garden of Delight, which would ultimately become the Mission’s second single and their final release for Chapter 22 before they signed to the major Mercury label. An earlier version of Garden of Delight featuring Eldritch singing Hussey’s lyric had been recorded at Strawberry Studios earlier in 1985 following the recording of FALAA (and not during the FALAA recording sessions in 1984 as is often claimed), and is one of the best-known TSOM bootlegs. Of all the existing material, this track gives the biggest (and indeed only definitive) clue as to how “Second and Last and Always” might have sounded had Eldritch been in a more democratic mood and accepted Hussey’s songs (including lyrics) without question. Incidentally, Eldritch himself referred to his Garden of Delight vocal directly in a Swedish TV interview in the early 90’s, saying “There are a few bootlegs in existence of me trying to sing Wayne’s words, and you can hear that I’m not convinced by them. I can’t breathe any meaning into them!”

(Mass Murder fanzine interview)

Eldritch was not the only one unconvinced, with WEA rejecting the initial Slaughterhouse demo recordings because Hussey’s vocal was not deemed to be strong enough. Hussey had hoped that the single would be released as early as January 1986 on WEA according to an interview conducted in early November 1985 for Mass Murder fanzine, but “we’ll know at the end of the week, they haven’t heard the tape yet.” In the same interview, Wayne states that “There’s a 12” which will have two tracks on each side,” which explains why there was a finished Bridges Burning in the vaults, as the ultimate Chapter 22 release only featured the one track (Serpent’s Kiss) on the A-side. He also states that the band will be called “The Sisters, just The Sisters, me and Craig. It’s going to be really good, it’s going to be brilliant” he adds, in the style of a certain modern self-praising president!

Speaking to Mark Musolf for a YouTube interview a couple of years ago, Hussey explained the process by which he ended up fronting the project, light-heartedly acknowledging that his vocals were at least initially not the best : “At that point [having split from Eldritch in September 1985] we wanted to get someone else to sing…We auditioned a couple of people, it didn’t work ,it didn’t feel right and Warner Brothers suggested a couple of people, and we said “Really? You’re not really getting this are you?” So Craig and I went to see Simon Denbigh and he said “You do it. [jokingly adds] You’re better looking than him.” I looked at Craig and [said] “Shall I?” and [he said] “Yeah go on. Don’t worry about the words, you can string together any old rubbish, it’ll be fine. It’s only journalists and other singers that worry about the words.” And I said “Ok, I’ll have a go.”  I came into it by default and it took me a while to warm to the role.” Within a couple of years, Hussey would be winning “Best Singer” accolades in readers’ polls in music magazines, so it was little surprise that when I posted a link to the video of the Musolf interview on the TSOM 1980-1985 Facebook Fan page, highlighting March Violets’ singer Simon Denbigh’s part in Hussey becoming the frontman, the former commented “Je ne regrette rien!”.  

There will have been many other ideas which the Hussey/Adams combination had in mind for The Sisters’ FALAA follow-up, and one of these surfaced as recently as 2017 on The Complete Another Fall From Grace, the deluxe repackaged (fan-fleecing!) version of the recent Mission album which Hussey had trailed as a return to the mid-80’s sound of The Sisters, even suggesting that it was “the missing link” between FALAA and God’s Own Medicine. The bonus track Sleeping Pills was in fact a new vocal and guitar over-recording of a demo made for the Sisters in 1984/5, and a most intriguing track it is too. Featuring a much slower and more languid melody, with psychedelic tinges, it has more in common with, say, Body and Soul than with the Hussey-penned tracks on FALAA. The track starts with a Dr Avalanche-style drumbeat followed by a repeated minor scale guitar riff which is typical of that period. When Sleeping Pills first emerged, to a disappointingly muted reception it has to be said given its historical significance, I likened it to one of the tracks on (Salvation’s MR album) Clash of Dreams, or a low-fi Poison Door, as it had a B-side feel to it, ironically not unlike Giving Ground in fact. Hussey played the song several times live, and videos of these performances have been shared on the web (including on the Mission Fan Club Fan Page) for those who want to hear it in its refashioned form.

Phil Verne, the main administrator of the TSOM 1980-1985 fan site and a TSOM obsessive who also keenly followed the Hussey/Adams-led new ensemble, has also shared (originally from the same tape as the Some Kind of Stranger instrumental version) this incredible rare version of the epic Wasteland, which would go on to become The Mission’s breakthrough hit (and fourth single overall) when it reached the UK Top 20, far outperforming any of the TSOM releases up to that date. The multi-layered instrumental demo version which Phil shared was recorded by Wayne alone in 1985, and therefore the tune presumably featured amongst those song ideas offered to Eldritch. What is particularly interesting is that it features a drum machine, meaning that it not only pre-dates Hussey’s work with Mick Brown, but that it was clearly intended for The Sisters. There is informed speculation that this was just one of many songs which Hussey had worked up into almost complete demo versions for (what we are calling for the purpose of these blog articles) “Second And Last And Always”, but this version of Wasteland is the only song to have been shared. This version of the Mission’s breakthrough hit is therefore very likely to be the very one which Eldritch rejected! God’s Own Medicine indeed! 

Hopefully Hussey’s much-anticipated forthcoming autobiography will shed substantial and definitive further light on the precise chain of events of autumn 1985 and what his (and largely silent partner Craig Adams’) contribution to the potential second Sisters album might have been. However, as we have seen, the contents of The First Chapter and God's Own Medicine clearly give a very precise indication of how the musical backing and structrues, if not the vocals and lyrics, of the songs of "Second And Last And Always" would have sounded after Gary's departure, had Eldritch's FALAA writer's block continued and the susequent split not occured. 

The final of this trilogy of blog posts about the likely sound of a follow-up to FALAA by the 84/85 line-up will focus on the relatively recent major revelations about Eldritch’s own plans for this sadly mythical release –  which he gave the working title “Left On Mission And Revenge”.

My thanks for this post are due to collector LG, DJ Mark Musolf, legendary Sisters fans Lee EMWK, Nigel W, Kutna H, and Phil Verne of the 1980-1985 TSOM Facebook fan group, and to ever-affable Mr Hussey himself who has patiently confirmed some of the above details to various fans over the years.

Fans of early-era TSOM who have not yet done so should seriously consider subscribing to Mark Andrews' forthcoming history of TSOM.

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Second and Last and Always – Part 1

(In a series of four previous posts, we examined the events that resulted the definitive splits in the band in 1985, shortly after the release of debut album First and Last and Always. In this and two subsequent posts, we are going to look at how the band’s follow-up might have sounded, if the “classic” line-up had managed to stay together, beginning from the perspective of the first member to leave that year, Gary Marx).
“I’d like to see the second album go to number one in the LP charts…Second and Last and Always…we’ve got the title already!” – Gary Marx, Artificial Life fanzine interview, March 1985. Although founder member Marx was clearly joking about the LP’s title, it was obvious that for a long time he still planned to stay in the band before his decision to leave the band after the Old Grey Whistle Test recording on April 2nd 1985.

Had he stayed, and had the format adopted on FALAA remained the same (i.e. a side of largely Hussey compositions, followed by a side of tunes primarily penned by Marx), then we can have some idea of how the songs may have sounded, thanks to the very detailed notes which Marx produced for a Recording Diary for the sadly now defunct Ghost Dance website, for followers of the band which he formed with Ann-Marie Hurst, former vocalist with Bradford band Skeletal Family who had been the support act on TSOM’s legendary Black October tour the previous Autumn.

In these detailed accounts, Marx explains that a number of Ghost Dance tracks had their genesis in riffs which he had originally created for use with The Sisters, and although Eldritch’s lyrics and melody would clearly have been different to the finished GD versions, these nonetheless give an insight into the direction in which Marx would have wanted to take the band.

(Leeds Student preview April 1986, written by Gordon Taylor)

Yesterday Again (recently played live again by the now-reformed Skeletals) is one such song which had a noble lineage, as Gary explained: "The Sisters minus Eldritch had actually recorded a version of the song which became Yesterday Again in Strawberry [Studios}. It was originally titled Frail and Torn and Wayne sang my half-finished lyric one afternoon along with the first draft of The Mission’s Garden Of Delight. We used to refer to Frail and Torn jokingly as a potential Christmas single for the Sisters." This would indeed have been a welcome alternative to 1985’s actual Christmas number one hit, Merry Christmas, Everyone by Shakin’ Stevens. Sadly, no version of Frail and Torn has yet surfaced amongst collectors, so we will just have to take Gary’s word for its commercial potential, which does not seem over-fanciful given the typically epic spaghetti western guitar riff underpinning the song.

Another relic from the Strawberry Studios sessions for FALAA was Ghost Dance’s debut single in 1986, River Of No Return, of which Marx wrote : “The songs and the recording came about fairly quickly and Anne Marie and Etch pretty much stepped into ideas I carried over from the Sisters. The lineage is fairly evident in the songs and the packaging. I had the ideas for the original songs mostly in place by the Summer of 85 - I came up with the riff which features in the middle section of River… sitting in the reception area in Strawberry Studios during the first phase of recording for First And Last And Always. At the time I thought it would form the main part of a new track, but I played around with some variations and came up with the bass line which is the real focus for the verses in RiverThe chorus guitar line is pure Sisters (‘ ..all on one string and job’s a good un’ as Choque from Salvation was keen to point out). The way the riff steps up a string halfway through the verse was also something we did on the early Sisters stuff - Floorshow, Alice, Good Things…kind of a nod to bands like the Cramps who we all loved. The artwork followed the formula the Sisters had used to some extent with the famed Lady Of Shallot unceremoniously nicked and planted on the front cover. The back featured the wings logo I’d drawn based on a picture I’d seen in a book about American architecture (the full photograph formed the cover for Gathering Dust).”

(Live review by "Papi" in Leeds Student, May 1986)

A third idea originally sketched for the Sisters which Gary may have developed for the FALAA follow-up had he remained in the band surfaced in a further Ghost Dance song, Cruel Light, and the recording notes (written in the early part of this millennium) shed further light on one of the more curious episodes of 1984/5. “"[Ghost Dance producer] Steve Allen ... originally had a tiny studio in a rehearsal complex off Armley Road where I’d been with Wayne to record some new demos with him singing. We attempted the track which became Cruel Light but never finished it....The lines ‘I see them cut and die, see the flowers bleed..’ from Cruel Light was actually first used as part of a draft of another Sisters’ song I’d written called Temple Of Love (not the song we now know and love by that name)." You certainly don't need to be a musicologist to spot this as a Sisters-style riff. Whilst Eldritch may have suffered (and still does) from writer's block, Marx's creative juices were certainly flowing strongly (albeit with variations on a similar theme) in the mid-1980s. Eldritch mentions in a later interview (in Q magazine in 1988) how the other members of the band had had a go at singing at a time in 84/85 when he was thinking of withdrawing from the role to become the band's svengali manager (“and so discreetly, abroad, everybody had a go at singing, and decided that they weren’t very good”) and the original Cruel Light demo with Wayne singing may well be the kind of experiment he was referring to, albeit much closer to home.

A fourth Ghost Dance song which in a different guise might have featured on Second And Last And Always is A Deeper Blue, one of the strongest melodies in the Ghost Dance canon. It obviously made a similarly positive impression on Wayne Hussey, who borrowed the chorus melody (with song title repeated) note-for-note on The Mission’s UK Top 40 hit Beyond The Pale a couple of years later. The intro has shades of FALAA’s title track, but Gary’s comments in his Recording Diaries reveal that a different song of that era was the main source : “A Deeper Blue was one of the last of the ‘carry-overs’ from the Sisters. I had written a lyric to the tune which became Nine While Nine which started with the lines ‘the colours fade somewhere inside…’ I had the tune in my head long after and just finished it without a guitar while walking in Wakefield – it all happened very quickly, I was imagining the guitar hooks and coming up with the words at the same time. I always think of it as a Wakefield song. I went back to the guitar and figured out the riffs I’d been whistling and found they worked with roughly the same chords as Nine While Nine.” Intriguingly, a later post (by Marx) on the Ghost Dance Forum revealed that A Deeper Blue has more in common with an early demo for Nine While Nine with a different working title which has yet to surface: “I have often wondered how the Marianne (Red Skies Disappear) song leaked out on bootleg, and naturally assumed that if it was doing the rounds, then the Nine While Nine version recorded at the same time was out there too. It has the working title Child of Light and contained a line which mentions “the children of the dust.” When we were deciding on a title for FALAA I pitched that one in, even though it didn’t seem likely that the [i.e. Marx’s own] lyric would surface on the finished version. Quite reasonably, Von then pointed out that we were over-egging the “something of something” being called The Sisters of Mercy after all.”

The final Ghost Dance song with a TSOM link is probably the one which would have been most likely to gain Eldritch’s approval back in 1985, given that he was listening to a lot of soft rock in the Stevie Nicks vein, and is evidence that the original duo’s musical tastes were not that far apart. When the song When I Call finally came out in 1987 on the A Word to the Wise EP, Ghost Dance were still on indie label Karbon, but had they saved this song for a few months until they had the commercial might of Chrysalis behind them, they might have achieved the chart success which The Mission, All About Eve and The Sisters were by then achieving, a source of considerable frustration to the band. In his Recording Diaries, Marx states that When I Call was one of three tracks on the EP that "were among the first I’d written and date back to that period in ’85 when it wasn’t clear if I was going to carry on in the Sisters or go my own way....When I Call was there from day one of Ghost Dance – we played it in the first gig when we were still a three-piece, we demoed it in the Slaughterhouse in late ’85, and although it assumed epic proportions in the final recording, the core ingredients were much the same. Again there are fragments of lyric which had surfaced on Sisters demos – the original version of the song FALAA [Marianne (Red Skies Disappear)] had contained the line ‘only you can say the words I need to hear’ which forms part of the chorus to When I Call...The version of When I Call [on the EP] included multiple guitar tracks, Hammond organ and guest vocals from Daniel Mass of Salvation. Richard and John both proved to have decent voices so they feature on backing vocals as well. The producer allowed Anne Marie to sing in the control room without headphones, something she’d been keen to try for a while and he got some good performances out of her."

Poignantly, there is one further Ghost Dance song with a clear link to The Sisters of Mercy, but not musically. Gary Marx's birthday thirty three years ago might have been a personal celebration with friends rather than the expected final appearance at the RAH with the Sisters, but at least we got another great song out of it. As he later explained : "Celebrate was sort of written in my head on my birthday while out in the Black Swan in Wakefield. My birthday was the same day as the Sisters’ Royal Albert Hall Show, recorded for posterity on the Wake video. I was going to play the gig and then didn’t (far too hideous a tale to go into here). I knew by then it was going to mark the end of the Sisters as a real band and knew a good many of the crew and the following who would be at the gig and the emotion surrounding the evening – Celebrate was sort of a song for and about the event I wasn’t taking part in. I viewed it fairly positively – it wasn’t meant to be a rant by the injured party or anything. Lines like ‘and on this hallowed ground..’ were really about the reverence the venue and the occasion seemed to invite and a sort of mental picture I had of the human pyramids, arms aloft and the smoke reaching up into the dome. I probably wrote the first verse separately at a later date after I’d sobered up!" 

Imagine if Gary had had a change of heart and had rejoined the Sisters after the Albert Hall gig, and the band had kept the same songwriting split as for the first album: what better way to close the second Sisters’ album than with a song about their greatest live show?

My thanks for this post are due of course to Mr Gary Marx for his wonderful recollections on the old Ghost Dance website, and to the many fans (Don, Martin, etc) who are always keen to ensure that Marx's key role in the band is fully acknowledged. This one's for you! The next post will look at the Hussey/Adams pairing and what their contribution to "Second And Last And Always" might have been.