One of the best things about getting old is that shame for things you did in the past starts to deminish.
I was digging around in a box and came across a pile of cassette tapes which I’ve been lugging around for years. Sat at the bottom I found two “EP” tapes made by the band I was in at school…
Picture this – you’re 15 going on 16 and not exactly the most popular guy at school. A complete geek who spends most of his time in the design lab playing with computers to avoid getting the crap kicked out of him at lunchtime. It just so happens you have a reasonable sense of rythmn and can count to four – something Mr. Donelly, the music teacher, spots and press gangs you into playing drums for the school “Jazz Band”. As if having to spend your lunchtimes doing performances of “All of me” to a room full of teachers wasn’t bad enough, your credibility with your peers takes a nosedive.
By a strange twist of pre-pubescent politics, certain social activities and fraternisation isn’t accepted with people outside of your school year and when two of the popular guys from your year want to start a band and need a drummer, their stuck with having to ask me.
As so began my journey as a rock star with the school band “Censored” – an apt name as pretty much anyone said about our performance had be be. We practiced (if you could call it that) in the school music room at lunch time before upgrading to a small egg-carton lined room at the bottom of Scott’s father’s work yard. We even got gigs! We toured Cheltenham playing support for “Speedfreak” in such austere locations as San Fransisco East at the back of Royal Well. It was shit, mostly because I got pissed on Guiness to cope with nerves, but it was a start. Apart from that, we played at the 5th year prom party about three times, even going so far as to rent a smoke machine and put the manic Mark “Shark” Houston in charge of the lights.
Frankly and in retrospect we were shite and put the blame squarely on my shoulders. A £50 drumkit and no-where to practice left me with a very limited repertoire as a drummer and I was no match for Tim and his “widdle-waa-waa” guitar solos.
We did however cut two “EP” tapes at Manchester Road Studios in Swindon partly for promo and partly for our own egos. It was these tapes I found stuffed in the bottom of the box and decided it was time I faced my demons and unleashed them on the world.
So, I give you the garage thrashings of three adolescent guys from Gloucestershire…
“Biting the Bullet” – Censored’s first “EP”. Recorded as a demo for some “Battle of the Bands” type contest we never ended up qualfying for. Not suprised really…
“Cheadle Hulme” – The second “EP”. I’m not sure if Cheadle Hulme was the agreed title but it was always being mentioned by Scott and Tim as they’d passed by there on their way home from seeing a match at Old Trafford.
The only copy I have is a C90 cassette master made at the studio so I dont have the proper EP sleeve to check.
BONUS!!! Found two “hidden” tracks at the end of the tape. “Beard” was just us messing around. The title came from me mishearing “Bass” as “Beard” in my headphones during one take. The remix was done by our engineer during his lunch break. I think he was bored…
- Censored – Blind Eyes (3:30)
- Censored – I Want Your Money (3:11)
- Censored – New Found Love (2:36)
- Censored – Life Doesn’t Matter (Any More) (4:26)
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