New Wave

Big Wheel

The 5 St Clement’s Road attic room was fully operational in 1986. TKFC were flying high but as we ruminated on the meaning of life it was music above all else that held the key to our existence. I had briefly dated a gorgeous Suffolk girl called Jaunty Julia, who in a giddy purple haze had one night uttered the immortal words ‘You will never be a heavy rocker’. That night after I was unceremoniously dumped, a new band, that threatened to rock the city of Manchester was formed. Sigue Sigue Sputnik were headlining the big Mandela Friday night slot at the Poly. Inevitably I approached Phil Korbel our Pulp newspaper editor and suggested provocatively ‘You need a support band, mate’. Korbel concurred. ‘Who are they, Socrates?’ ‘Oh, I have discovered Chopper on drums, Lenny Leinster on lead guitar and Simmo as lead singer’. ‘Bass guitar?’ he inquired. ‘Oh, that would be me on bass’ I replied. Dubiously he agreed. ‘Look mate, I can only give you fifty quid – we are paying Sigue Sigue a fortune’. ‘Come on, pal – seventy five nicker plus drinks’ I reposted. ‘You are getting a bargain, my friend’. Friday night came, and Lenny who we had spotted in a biker’s club in Leeds had never been more ready. The Kyle-Simmons Band were about to launch, despite the fact that we had never rehearsed. Our influences included The Ramones, Jilted John and Debussy. Sadly at the eleventh hour the gig was cancelled but it didn’t stop Sigue Sigue Sputnik smashing straight into the Top Ten and then disappearing like Kajagoogoo. I took solace in the fact that the attic room had still not been penetrated by the softlads, Safeways were selling double-size strawberry yoghurt at 39 pence a pop and Spiffing Images design were about to be born. I also read some of the lyrics that were supplied during this chips and gravy period, including top songs like Digby Dawkins and Strawberry Fields Decayed, composed during the darkest hours betwixt and between Longsight and Great Ancoats. Nothing had been lost – in fact if you understand music, you have a slim chance of understanding a fraction of life. Several years later The Stone Roses broke through with riffs that sounded remarkably familiar.

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