It was a fantastic surprise to get an email from Geoff Watts once of The Different Eyes and Hibi Yaki who had come across my entry about the Tuzmadoner DIY post punk compilation 'Folk Music'. He very kindly provided additional info about the various bands on the LP and the scene happening in North London in the late 70's and early 80's. I think the most appropriate thing for me to do is to post Geoff's email in full (with a few comments and links added by me). Cheers Geoff:
'Simon Gilham and Royston were at school together in north London, Des McManus and Geoff Watts met whilst working at WH Smith and met up with the other two.
Simon, Des and Geoff (Bass, Drums, Guitar) formed The Different Eyes
(later the DIFFERENT I's
) and were driven to rehearsals by Royston. The Different I's rehearsed and performed live around North London around 1977-1979, recording various sessions and releasing two records - Shish EP and Folk Music.
As a side project, Royston sang some songs backed by the Different I's but as a different band. Royston never gigged.
The four members were friendly with Scritti Politti
and regularly met up at Scrittville in Camden north London and drank and swapped musical tales with the Scrits, Gang of Four
, Door and Window
as well as many individuals, Simon Booth as well as a net work of musicians including Robert Wyatt
. Inspired by the Desperate Bicycles (great link here)
, this band of merry musicians set about in 1979 to record the London Collective LP. Many bands were at the time releasing their own funded releases. The London Collective was a fraught notion - we spend many months and meeting discussing "why" rather than "how" and as a consequence it was abandoned.
The Shish EP was recorded in an attic room in Streatham, South London, recommended by Robert Jones of The Upset
and The Bureau
. Two additional tracks remain unreleased, one probably lost forever now.
Simon was now squatting with Mark O Brien, and another allegiance formed - Simon and Des backing Mark on his songs. Again Mark never gigged.
I can't recall how Simon met his partner in in Chancellor of the Exchequer
but they took then selves off and recorded the two tracks.Infra-Red Ice Cubes
was Royston's project with Tim and Tom (names long gone) and Des on drums. They failed to record two tracks for the album artwork in time so we gave them names and they recorded songs to fit!Mark O Brien
was responsible for the cover art.
The EP received some acclaim, and fan letters were received from as far afield as Germany and Holland .
The Different I's were the main musical core of the collective and after a break and reunion they went their different ways.
Geoff and Roy as you state to Hibi Yaki
who recorded around 3 - 4 demo sessions and gigged in north London. Simon you have the details and toured Canada with Colin Newman of Wire
and then formed Interferon
(check U Tube)'
There are 2 free downloads from the Tuzmadoner compiliation 'Folk Music' at www.tearsandmemory.co.uk/blog