Now For A Feast - Unedited Sleeve notes by Adam Mole
'From Eden' was our first band. In those days anybody into punk rock stood out from the crowd. We gravitated together by 'look' and by 'attitude' and a certain exclusion from the norm and rugby playing fraternity.
I met Clint at school, drawn together by a love of 'the clash' and punk badges on our blazer. We went to all the punk/new wave gigs in Birmingham and Wolverhampton and formed friendships with other like minded punk rockers.
Malcolm Treece (later of the Wonder Stuff) and Chris Fradgely were two such characters, they played guitar and bass and we formed a band. I had no idea how to play any instrument, Clint no idea how to sing.....we were perfect!
We needed a drummer, an advert was placed and Miles Hunt, who also went on to form the Wonder Stuff was recruited. He was 15.
Miles had a sexy girlfriend and often didn't turn up for rehearsals. He had better things to do i guess...we sacked him and replaced him with Graham Crabb who also responded to our 'drummer needed' advert. He didn't have a girlfriend!
Even though his drum kit was covered in crushed red velvet and had a wonky floor tom leg (incidentally never properly fixed until a conscientious roadie took time to fix it before the 2005 'reformation' shows over 20 years later), we all liked him and more importantly he had free rehearsal space at his mom and dads house in Birmingham. Bonus!
Everything went well until we all met up in a pub and discussed the previous night's episode of 'The Tube' on Channel 4. Clint, Graham and myself loved 'The Three Johns', Malcolm and Chris loved 'King'. Musical differences were quoted...too right.
We soon recruited Rich March, he wondered around Stourbridge, he had cool hair and played bass. With little thought, we named ourselves 'Wild and Wandering' after the debut album by London band 'Wasted Youth'. Initially we played 'From Eden' tunes including 'Johnny Ray' and 'The Apple Tree' and finished a rough idea we had started called 'Dust Me Down'.
I had a new lease of life; in 'From Eden' i had been encouraged to discard my monophonic 'Moog Prodigy' keyboard in favour of an all singing, all dancing polyphonic 'Roland' keyboard.
Apparently we would never get anywhere unless i upgraded both my equipment and my standard of musicianship!!!
We were all on 'the dole' so any funds were generated from playing gigs at the legendary JB's in Dudley. Sam, who ran the club always paid the band 80% of the door rather than the usual £50. We played gigs that guaranteed a regular crowd and we pocketed hundreds of pounds.This would fund our excursions out of town and provide much needed equipment.
I caved in to popular demand and traded in my 'Moog' for a keyboard the size of a small Yorkshire town that i had to drag on bus and train and through town after many a gig.
I personally didn't feel the need to be the next Nick Rhodes from Duran Duran. I was happy travelling to gigs with my compact 'Moog Prodigy' keyboard in a Woolworths carrier bag.
Now in 2011, the 'Moog Prodigy' is worth a fortune and like the Woolworths carrier bag, is less likely to locate than it was in 1986 to find a girlfriend for any member of Wild and Wandering.
Out of the blue we traveled to London on the coach to be first in a queue to buy a limited number of 4-track portastudio's available from a closing down sale. We had just played JB's and were 'minted'.
We queued for hours, happy with our purchase we headed back to Graham's family rehearsal home. One of us plugged it in, another switched it on, lights were illuminated, we stared at it. We loved it. The Stourbridge three left for home happy with our days work!
That day we became friends forever, we now also had a new friend and we called him 'Porty'.
The following week we turned up to rehearse and were greeted with a bunch of tunes Graham had written on Porty. They were complete, start to finish....drums, bass, two guitars, keyboards and vocals!! We were amazed and buzzing.
From memory they included 'Psychopath in my soup', 'Candydiosis', 'Picnic in the sky', 'Jilted' and a cover of Hawkwind’s 'Orgone accumulator'. Wow!
We loved them, changed direction and called ourselves 'Pop Will Eat Itself'.
Previously we spent many hours in Grahams' mom and dad's kitchen drinking tea and eating toast in an attempt to avoid rehearsing. We would spin an old guitar scratch plate in the shape of a hairy sideburn to dictate the days work.
Whoever the scratch plate pointed to would have to make the next tea, the next toast or go to the shop.
There was also a compass direction dedicated to the lost art of rehearsing. We rarely allowed such a chance happening, finding any way to avoid such a thing by making it 'best of 3, best of 5, best of 7 or best of 10' in an attempt to put off any likelihood that we may have to actually do some work.
Everything had to have a name so we called the scratch plate the 'magic-sidey'.
After hearing these new tracks our love affair with the 'magic-sidey' waned, it was considered 'old skool', we desperately wanted to learn and play the new songs.
By now i had presumably regressed to trading in my 'Roland' keyboard for a really cool 'Vox' organ that was orange in body whilst it's white keys were black and it's black keys were white......cool!!.
It had a chunky polished stainless steel stand and was the size of a small country but i loved it!
We had a gig at the end of the week supporting a band in a pub on the Stratford Road in Birmingham.
Things were going well and Graham turned to me and said,
"Can you get a guitar before Friday?"
"I want you to play some simple guitar riffs over Clint's chords".
I replied i couldn't play guitar to which Graham replied neither could he till last weekend so i said yes, found a white Les Paul copy in a thrift shop for £50, just like the one Steve Jones played in the Sex Pistols. Only thing was, his was a real Gibson!
Graham had an old amp that we put the keyboards through at rehearsals. It had no name and looked like he had made it at school in art. But it worked....just!
I had two days to learn guitar. I played that Friday in Birmingham and loved it. I was now a guitarist just like Keef Richard, just like Mick Jones, just like Joe Strummer, just like Pete Shelley.
Every weekend Graham would have new tunes and soon Clint started writing stuff. These included 'Sick little girl' and 'Inside you'. This was our 'new style'.
Armed with numerous sub two minute tunes, a single in a brown paper bag, a band photo under the banner 'you prats' ( letters re-arranged on a recently bankrupt local poodle parlour), help from bands such as Primal Scream, the Shop Assistants and the Mighty lemon drops along with support from national music journalists including James Brown and Terry Staunton and airplay from Radio 1 DJ's John Peel and Janice Long, Pop Will Eat Itself were on their way.
Very soon Birmingham Odeon would host the 'Beastie Boys'. Pop Will Eat Itself were there and we loved it. Overnight we wanted more. It was new, fresh and exciting!
We had a tour looming and we were desperate to incorporate this 'newer style'. Graham no longer wanted to play drums and we rapidly
re-arranged a number of tunes and tried to bring in new songs that reflected our new found love of drum machines.
In all honesty the tour arrived too soon and the early gigs in particular were perhaps shambolic and reflected the transitional period we were going through.
We did try to hide this by playing the encores with our dicks out. We never really found out if anyone noticed as we had strategically placed guitars but it helped pass the time of day........
The album 'Box Frenzy' i think reflected this transitional period......happy days.