So......the SEDGEMORONS were formed in the summer (Friday 13th July in fact) of 1984 and originally consisted of Brian Smedley (guitar) Gareth Beasley (guitar) Stuart Croskell (bass) Kevin Freeman (drums) Anne Dixey (vocals) Lianne Bruce (vocals).
The band in fact were the editorial team of Sheep Worrying magazine and the cast and writing team of Sheep Worrying Theatre group. The reason they formed a band was in fact to raise money to pay off the increasing production costs of the Sheep Worrying Magazine. This mag had been going since 1977 as a fanzine for the 'Dangerous Brothers' but then after that band split up the organisation decided to try to make it into an alternative listings magazine for the whole south west. Well...the result was the production costs went bonkers and the lack of advertising and sales didn't match...so a subsidy had to come from somewhere.
It was in this situation that the Sedgemorons appeared on the scene..originally as a 'cabaret band'...to do paid gigs for money. A major departure from the alternative scene that the mag was promoting which was the total opposite to capitalistic in nature.
This kitsch didn;t last long and soon the band were sending themselves up and writing their own material.
And of course then came the crazy on stage antics that bands did in them days.
And of course the funny stage names (always for DHS purposes of course)
Brian became ROCKIN BRIAN
Stuart became GENGHIZ 2-STROKE
Gareth was BING BEASLEY
Anne was BETTY BONKERS
Lianne was BOBBIE BLAND
Kevin was NERVO .
At some stage the band brought in Bazza Thompson on sax and an occasional guest was 'Mad' Martin Peters on vocals..well, he only did one song which was 'Twist and Shout' .
The first proper gig was at the Blake Arms Bridgwater on sept 16 1984 supporting the East River Blues Band then a week later they played the Antelope Sherborne (on Brian's birthday) and recorded it then released it a the cassette album 'We're Bonkers'. including live versions of 'y viva espana/the birdie song', 'Greed', '20 flight rock' amongst others.
On october 14 they went into the studio at Milborne Porte and added several other tracks including 'Ethipia Utopia', 'Drop Dead Darling', and 'Sorrow'.
The band went on to do a series of fun gigs which also raised money including regular spots at 'the Wood street, Taunton', the Thekla in Bristol -then run by Viv Stanshall of the Bonzo's and the White Horse Launceston ( 7 dec 1984 was their first there).
1985 was a great year for the band who became tighter and wrote more and better songs including bringing out a single 'Drop Dead Darling/ I Need a Girlfriend' which was played on John Peel and then reviewed in Sounds by Seething Wells and suddenly people they didn;t know started coming to gigs to see them and Cherry Red records took an interest.
Also in '85 the band wrote and performed a stage Musical "Rock n Roll is Pretty Exciting which parodied Cliff Richard style movies and featured Rockin Brian as a Brummie car park attendant who called on 'the kids' to help him save his car park from being turned into a disco......
Some classic gigs happened in 1985 including the Moles club Bath (6 May) , Exeter Art Centre, the Thekla (9 May), Peewees real ale bar Trowbridge (16 May),Exeter Beer Engine (17 May) Cheltenham Uni, and supporting the Blubbery Hellbellies at the Bridgwater Art Centre and another supporting feminist troupe Sensible Footwear.
Sadly....1985 turned bad and the band fell out and then to pieces and the final memory (for me at least) is struggling to do an acapella version of 'Silent Night' in a reggae club in St.Pauls Bristol with nobody talking to each other while a 'drummer ' from the audience tapped away and our real drummer drove around the neighbourhood trying to find the venue. The band formally split up on January 11th 1986 at a meeting at the Rose and Crown pub.
Smed and Lianne formed the Hot Trot Smash the System Boogie Band, Gareth and Anne formed 'The Inflatable Ducks' , Stuart went off to Uni and formed a band called 'The Bernard' , Kevin joined 'The Alkaloids' and Barry played with 'Skaville Train'.
A photo of the Sedgemorons taken on Weston Super Mare sea front with giant waves crashing behind them and having just recorded 3 tracks for a new demo tape.
Left to right- Stuar, Gareth,Anne,Nervo,Lianne, Smed.
The month is September 85 and the badge on Smed lapel says "The dispute goes on" refering to the recent Miners Strike