Thursday, December 18, 2014

Sordid Details - 1978/1979

 Sordid Details: Baz Curtis (Drums), Jonathan Cameron (vocals), Keanan Duffty (Guitar/vox),Dave Huzzard (Bass). Photos Courtesy Martin Beard and Dave Huzzard.

If Punk ended on New Years Eve 1976, I didn’t notice until the last days of 1978. For me most of 1978 and 1979 was spent thrashing out barely listenable songs with nascent New Wave school boy group Sordid Details. The four of us, which included Scooby on vocals, Bub on Bass and Baz on drums were fifteen years old and aside from a cover of ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’ we wrote our own material. When I say material I use that word very loosely. They weren’t songs so much as shouty bursts of noise. We managed a gig at our local church hall and one in a nearby school gymnasium and maybe a couple of others. I think word traveled about our band though the school grapevine and a bit of amused excitement ensued.

1978 was a watershed year and during this time we managed to see gigs featuring many of the major punk and new wave bands: The Clash, Generation X, The Jam, Siouxsie & The Banshees and the Radio Stars! After the untimely demise of the Sex Pistols though, the energy seemed to wane from the movement. A bunch of second wave brain dead merchants like Sham 69 certainly put the damper on it for me.

During my time at boarding school I had my first fledgling stage performance as an actor. I playing a spiky haired punk rock Brutus in the school play, William Shakespeare’s Julius Ceasar. I would like to think our version was along the lines of Baz Lurman’s Romeo & Juliet reboot-all modern costumes and pop culture references. But no, we wore our school military cadet uniforms because we could not get away with togas.  Dialects were contemporary as there was no chance in us feigning Olivier or Guielgud’s Shakespearian pronouncements. 
I’ve never been good at learning lines and even today I have to perform on stage with all the lyrics in a book in front of me. My nervous turn as the back stabbing Brutus is probably at the core of this. Our theatre group had rehearsed plenty of times and yet those damn lines would not stick. On the evening of our performance I thought I had it down but nerves got the better of me. When it came time for my most dramatic entrance I tripped head over heals onto the stage to a round of guffaws from the entire school. No RADA for me then...

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