In 1978 Paul, Pete, Carl and Paul Den Heyer ( latterly of Politburo and Fishmonkeyman) were in a pop/ white reggae band called TV12. This disbanded in 1979. Paul was at Liverpool Hope University at the time and was writing articles on local bands for the now legendary Merseysound fanzine edited by Roger Hill. Being exposed to the post punk renaissance of music in Liverpool in the early eighties Paul decided to form a new band from the nucleus of TV12. This time there was not a reggae rhythm in sight but a unique pop style based heavily on orchestral sounds and memorable refrains.

Pete, Carl and Paul were joined by Eamonn Sale on keyboards and Jim Short on trumpet. Both lads were also studying at Liverpool Hope with Paul. Paul and Jim first met when Jim was practising his trumpet in the refectory in the halls of residence for Hope. The dour, mournful, echoing sound of his trumpet could be heard from a distance as he went through his Windgates Brass Band set, much to the annoyance of the other students. Paul was smitten by this rather unique sound, which was to be a distinctive feature of the future This Final Frame recordings.

In 1980, the band made their first demo at Open Eye studios in Liverpool. It was their first recording of “The Diary”. This was played on local radio and passed around by local DJ Chris Fagan, which eventually led to the band being signed by RCA/Scratch records as stablemates of “The Icicle Works”.

The Diary was re-recorded at the company’s base at Shepperton film Studios in Middlesex and produced by Nick Smith. The single received sustained national radio airplay and excellent reviews. Copies started to sell quickly but problems between the major RCA and their satellite offshoot Scratch meant that stocks in the shops were often not replaced. Despite this and with words of encouragement from John Peel the band became more resolute to succeed. The band recorded a radio 1 session for Dave Jensen and a Granada TV appearance on “Exchange Flags”. It was at Scratch records that the band met their future manager Marc Price, who was to guide them through the next few years.

The difficulties with the major continued and the band were approached by Liverpool’s famous Inevitable records. The band joined the label to be stable mates with China Crisis but again a rift between Inevitable and Virgin meant that the band spent a year recording material at Amazon Studios, produced by Jerry Lewis and Gil Norton, but not releasing anything from it until the compilation CD of 2007.

A local label based at Skeleton records, recorded the band’s second single “The Mask Falls Away” and appointed Dave Roylance as producer. Dave had worked with China Crisis but was also attracted to the orchestral sound of This Final Frame, the trumpets, strings and flute being prominent features of the track. Dave later wrote the Tall Ships suite for the Liverpool Philharmonic as well as the theme tune for long running soap opera “Brookside”.

The Mask sold well locally and reached the top 20 of the local charts, receiving strong regional airplay and a place in John Peel’s festive fifty. The band headlined the “Larks In The Park” music festival in Liverpool in the summer of 1984 and received further strong airplay for their track “Monday’s Child” on the well received Liverpool compilation album “Jobs For The Boys”. This led bass player Pete to a meeting with then Labour Leader Neil Kinnock. The band recorded another Radio 1 session for Janice Long who supported the band throughout their five year career.

The strength of the material attracted Direct records to sign the band, and again produced by Dave Roylance, released “Take No Prisoners” in 1985. This was a make or break single for the band. Carl had left the band due to health problems. The pressures of work and travelling for both band and management saw the band starting to fragment. Dave Reilly ex-China crisis took over on drums for live work.( later bass and drums on Give Me Back) Peter was also playing with “The Farm” and “The Balcony” whilst Jim was guesting on recordings for “China Crisis” and “Black”. The single started to go very well making several regional charts and the national top 100. The single was then dropped or weighted due to allegations of hyping. The band never recovered and split in 1985 following a Granada TV appearance.

By then another single “Stories” was to be released by German major label Intercord in Europe later in 1985. Paul kept going for a while longer, waiting on the success of the single in Europe. However, due to a lack of a live band the company did not pursue a second single. There still remains interest in the band from a hardcore of blue romantic fans in Germany. Paul was taken over to Germany as a writer and offered a writing/publishing deal, which could have involved a track on the Jennifer Rush album. Paul declined and returned home to U.K to ponder a solo career. He also assisted Klaus Schwartze in the compilation of the best Liverpool Bands family tree book “ The Scouse Phenomenon”

After eighteen months break, Paul and Eamonn got together again and started to write and play live with Neil Shenton (ex Id) on bass, Greg Gowan on drums and Steve Jones on trumpet. After a few gigs the band recorded “Give Me Back” and released it on an independent label in 1988. The single received great reviews in the music press and good airplay. However times had changed, and the industry was far more resistant to indie labels. Despite a catalogue of strong material the band saw no point in carrying on without stronger support from a more major company. Now 21 years later there is… The New Chapter In The Diary Of This Final Frame! In 2007 the band met up to discuss the setting up of a website as enquiries about the band kept arriving from other sources. Emails from The Phillipines, Germany and around the world came flooding in. Following the break up of the original line up in 1985, the release of Stories had led to some success in Germany and much greater success in the Phillipines. The band were unaware at the time that their songs were being played around the world and of their popularity in Asia. Following this overwhelming response to their website, Paul and Carl got back together and started to write again. This time there was no pressure to follow trends and what resulted was an album of classic pop songs, which has taken two years to produce. Offers to release the album by record companies are in place for various territories around the world.The album is now finished (September 2009) and Paul and Carl are planning various activities to promote the album and make it available through a website by the end of October 2009. In 2008, Paul and Carl were reunited with Jim Short, the brass player with This Final Frame, with whom they had lost contact. Jim has come back to record on half of the new album and the link with the past’s haunting trumpet sounds are there with that unique feature which gave This Final Frame their memorable cutting edge. Sean Pugh, who played with A Flock of Seagulls has also helped out with some brass and string arrangements. Paul and Carl have written, arranged and produced this album themselves and the support of fans has been inspiring. Ideas for images to use on the album came in from Germany (where their music is called ‘Blue Romantic’), photos by Dave Williams photography of Chester for the cd sleeve and a haunting video for ‘Across the wire’ made by the highly acclaimed Dave Wood has helped define the bands essence and direction. This album is not a return to the old This Final Frame, it is a development. They have all grown up and so have the songs. The haunting reflective features are more prominent and the memorable melodies are stronger than ever. Experimentation with orchestral instruments and arrangements make this different from what else is going on out there, and a fascinating new development. This Final Frame have returned from the abyss and walked along the path from oblivion and into the light. Their dark fires burning brighter than ever. Thanks to you all for inspiration. In 1984 Alison Pink of Running Order magazine wrote of the band “Each song has the same elements of joy and pain running through it, unique and terrifying, expressed only in a language known only to themselves and those who want to listen. The language is a pattern you have to hold on to and follow to the very end; where everything flows forward and nothing is held back, where the colours surround you and blackness fades away. This is where you longed to run to, longed to hide and you hold on to the last remaining light” This is the essence of the latest This Final Frame album ‘My Blue Heart’.

Paul and Carl are close to finishing their second studio album ‘Ten Pictures’ and are receiving critical aclaim and radio play from pre-release tracks. It is hoped that it will be released in the summer of 2012.

Edited by carlmhenry on 22 Mar 2012, 01:56

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