Not everything in life is simple. Red Smed, however, is. And to prove it this blog has been set up to take you deep into his deranged socialist utopia where Lenin was quite a nice bloke, , Bridgwater has been renamed Parretgrad , every home has to display a portrait of Jake Thackray and Leeds United are at the top of the premier league.

Wednesday 17 February 2010

RED SMED & The Hot Trot Smash the System Boogie band

"One of the most interesting and inspiring singer songwriters i have ever given birth to" .....His mum.
"Better than Trotsky at chess" .....M.R.Hargreaves

"Would look a total pillock with a centre parting" .....His mate Dave

"Can play the guitar better than a pig"
"Has run down less little old ladies than the lead singer of the Bay City Rollers"..... P.C.Platitude

Some of the many made up quotes about Bridgwater rock legend and self obsessed nutter Red Smed who for many years has used various aliases but always the same name to create interesting and challenging new music - often with a change of chord, and who has given the big break in the music world to many a young and talented nuclear physicist. Most who are now penniless vagrants or mental cases.

Most of Red Smeds songs , written mainly before he was born, take as an influence all the greats. Gustavus Adolphus (warrior king of Sweden in the 1630s) , Peter Lorimer (Leeds and Scotland inside forward ) , Skippy the Bush kangaroo (a kangaroo) and Gavril Princip (assasin of Archduke Franz Ferdinand whose actions in starting the First World War led to the Russian Revolution and International socialism - well,after the deaths of several million people, but you can't have everything always going to plan) .

Despite his timely death in 2008 Red Smed remains a regular favourite in the Bridgwater Labour Club where he performs with his band 'the Hot Trot Smash the System Boogie band' after the Bingo on a Friday night.


1977-1981 the DANGEROUS BROTHERS. Bridgwater New Wave band based around the songwriting of Smed and Dave 'Jim Rude' Newton (who at the time had really long hair,then a mohican, then baldness) . Smed played bass and Dave payed fast punky rhythm guitar and set his arm on fire. Drummer throughout was Kevin 'Nervo' Freeman (because he'd had a nervous breakdown, but we didn't like to mention that) and the key musical centrepiece of the band was synth player Cosmo D.G Glissandoz (Neal Heckford) . The band was initially and latterly fronted by Dave 'Lokjaw' Butland (featured on 'Secret Seven' , then by Rod 'Rocco' Jones (who sang on the 'County Councillor' single and on the 'Internal Organs album - which included 'Ello Ello Ello-with a 19 year old Smed on 'Policeman' vocals and in later years by Tonto (who sang on the False Nose single). For the album and single Simon 'Supermeat' Gibbs replaced Jim Rude on guitar and by the time of the 'Secret Seven' the groups last release, Alien Godd/Alan Gadd had joined on guitar.The DBs at one time also featured a selection of female backing singers -Shaz, JoJo and Ali Snot and another time a trio of male backing singers-Rocco,Zorro(Kim Newman) + Ma Dangerous (Eugene Byrne in a frock). For a brief while the pig farmer 'Mango' joined on bass and at a different time Simon 'Sulphate' Wills played Hendrix style lead guitar for a few gigs. The band split in september 1981 after being a big fish in a small pond for far too long. The band released 2 albums 'Internal Organs' ( 1978) 'Going Shopping (1980), a single 'False Nose/ County Councillor' (1980) and an album track 'Secret Seven' (1981)

1981 - CLUB WHOOPEE. Formed during the dying days of the Dangerous Brothers this irregular vaudeville style band featured Smed on guitar or piano and in later years on most other instruments too. Lead vocals and kazoo was Kim Newman -who also wrote the lyrics to which Smed put the music. The band in its time also featured Eugene Byrne (jazz drums, vocals) Alex Dunn (vocals, clarinet) Dean Skilton (drums on the 21st century sessions) and Alan Brown (on euphonium) but also in the mid 80s included Alan Gadd ,Robin Tucker or Kevin Freeman on drums, Neal Heckford on piano ,Andrew 'Trolleyman' Napthine on guitar and a wide range of vocalists including Liz Hickling, Lynne Cramer, Peter Grieve, Rod Jones,Rob Hackwill and Sarah Marks. Club Whoopee contributed the track 'you're sort of okay' to the 1982 Sheep Worrying EP and made the albums 'Sheep Worrying at the Club Whoopee' 1982 and 'Route 666' (2001). The songwriting team of Smedley/ Newman also wrote the score for 3 musicals 'Another England (1980) The Gold Diggers of 1981 (1981) The Roaring 80s (1982) and 'Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock Rock' (1987)

1984-86 THE SEDGEMORONS. Formed from the Sheep Worrying Theatre Company (largely to pay for the production of Sheep Worrying Magazine) the band featured Smed on guitar and vocals, Stuart 'Ghenghiz 2 Stroke' Croskel (bass) Gareth 'Bing' Beasley (guitar) Nervo (drums) Lianne 'Bobbie Bland' Bruce (vocals,bass,oboe) Anne'Betty Bonkers' Dixey (vocals,xylophone) and in later months Barry 'Bazzer' thompson (sax,whistles). The group released the single 'Drop Dead Darling/I need a Girlfriend' in 1985 and the album 'We're Bonkers'.

1988-91 THE SPANNERS Formed from the next generation of Sheep Worrying theatre players the band featured 4 songwriters - Smed (guitar,accordion,vocals) Mac McCausland (vocals,mouthorgan) Alexia Vernon (vocals) Matt Bartlett (bass,vocals) plus Nervo (drums) and on occaision Elaine di Campo (vocals). The Spanners made one album 'I Like a Glass of Beer Now and Then' (1989)

1997 - 2007 THE VISITORS was fronted by Matt Bartlett who wrote all the songs and played guitar backed by Smed on bass (and various other instruments on the albums including keyboards, guitars, accordion) and Nervo on drums. On occaision Alexia Vernon featured on harmony vocals. The Visitors gigged extensively and supported Joe Strummer on his penultimate gig at the Palace Bridgwater in 2002. They released several albums 'Flying to the Ocean Floor' (1999) 'Moving Darkly' (2000) Post Industrial dark (2002)

1984- RED SMED AND THE HOT TROT SMASH THE SYSTEM BOOGIE BAND has been going in one form or another since the Miners Strike when the band formed as an acoustic folk band to raise money for Socialist causes. The original line up was Smed (guitar,vocals) Lianne Bruce (vocals) Dave Hanna (tea chest bass, vocals). In the early years Andrew Napthine played bouzouki, Graham England joined on vocals and over the years various others came and went - Matt Bartlett played bass on both studio albums, Nervo played drums, Elaine di Campo , Cathy Smedley, Heidi Powell all sang , Jo Cox played flute and Dave Newton played mandolin. On an early album Jenny Booth did some vocals and in recent years Beardy Bob Hitchins, Stuart Croskell and Nick Tuckwell have played bass and most recently Alan Gadd has joined on drums.
Tne bands releases include 'Songs for Swinging Communists' (1986) 'Parretgrad UK (2000) 'Do the Washing Up' (2002) and 'West Quay a Go Go' (2008). Smed also released several tracks for compilation albums including 'Fat Bald Dave' (2004) 'Agency Man' (2006) 'Me and my Clone'(2007) and a xmas song 'Happy Merry Lovely Christmas' (2009) -mainly with just himself and Cathy performing. Theres also a 'Greatest Hits' album 'A Throughly Bad Lot' (2008)

Red Smed (right) and his adoring band of followers playing a benefit gig for Amnesty International in Taunton organised by a nutter. They remain available for bookings.