Biography

Small World formed in November 1979 when Chris Philpott and Mick Cohen, who were already mates, met up with John Wratten who was looking to get into a band. The three had common musical influences/tastes based mainly on post-punk new wave (Jam, Clash, Buzzocks etc…) and sixties guitar-based bands (Small Faces, Kinks, Beatles).

Initially the band had trouble getting a permanent drummer and it wasn’t until August 1980 that an advert in the local paper resulted in Andy Orr joining the band. From that point on the band were ready to start doing some live work. With a set consisting of originals such as “Memories”, “Gangland Warfare”, “Last resort” and a smattering of covers the band played their first gig at the ford Social Club on a Sunday afternoon in November 1980. The audience was made up mainly of “flatcap” Sunday drinkers and a few Mods from Collier row that John had met up with at an ‘Upset’ gig at the Marquee the week before. The band got a good reaction but had to compromise their set by playing “Nights in white Satin” in order to keep the grannies happy!

At the start of 1981 the band began to attract quite a large following. Although mainly made up of mods the bands raw energy also attracted a diverse non-mod audience. Several residences at the Seabright Arms, Greyhound, Clarendon Hotel and Hope and Anchor further increased the band’s popularity. One memorable gig was at the Seabright Arms, when the pub was packed to the rafters. there were three bands on that night, with Small World headlining supported by 007 and Distant Echo.

During 1981 the band headlined at several Mod All-dayer events and played numerous gigs around the country with bands such as Long Tall Shorty and The Purple Hearts. The band also started their own fan club, run by John’s sister, Jacquie. The fan club reached a membership count of over 600 at its peak and was an ideal outlet for some of the early demo tapes.

1982 saw the release of the bands first single “Love Is Dead/Liberty” on Ed Ball & Dan Treacy’s Whaam record label. Although the recording had a murky production. “Love Is Dead” became a popular mainstay of the Small World set. Only 1.000 copies of the single were pressed.


At the end of 1982, Andy Orr decided to leave the band (he subsequently went onto join The Scene). The band had to draft in Derwent from Long Tall Shorty in order to fulfil confirmed bookings at the Marquee and Dingwalls and a headline at the Burnley Cat’s Whiskers.

In January 1983 the band recruited Paul Guidotti on drums. Paul’s previous bands inclued The Staceys and The Stripes, who incidentally supported Small world at one of the early Gryhound gigs. With Paul on drums, the band’s performances had a much tighter feel. During the next two years the band’s popularitygrew and they played numerous gigs up and down the country, including a jaunt to Italy to play in Rome.

By the latter part of 1984, at the height of their popularity, the band split, playing a farewell gig on October 15th at the Hope and Anchor. Pissed off with the lack of major record company interes, John and Chris decided that the band had gone as far as it could go, and looked to pastures new. The combine was born. Mick went on and joined several bands including The Rage. Just prior to the split of Small World a second single was released on the band’s own ‘Valid’ Records. 3first Impressions/Stupidity Street/Tomorrow Never Comes”, recorded in 1984, had a much more professional feel than “Love Is Dead” and is a good representative of the band’s 1983-1984 sound.

In September 1987, Small World reformed for a “one-off” reunion gig at the Rotherham Assembly Rooms. The gig went down a storm and the “one-off” gig turned to be a string of “one-off” gigs running betwenn 1987 and 1993.

Edited by Revival_Records on 14 Jun 2008, 09:45

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