Being a member of My Pierrot Dolls had been a great experience for me. Not only had it awakened my interest in making music but it had also invigorated my need to create. We had gigged up and down the country, made a demo and entered competitions. We had played at pub venues, nightclubs, holiday parks and private venues. We’d had some brilliant experiences where the crowd had really got who we were and some not so brilliant where we had to be escorted out of the building for our own safety.
One not-so-brilliant incident that comes to mind was when we were accepted to take part in the TDK Battle of the Bands competition. This was a great opportunity for the band as this particular competition was well known and respected. The publicity and opportunity to perform in front of talent scouts and A+R people was one not to be missed. Getting to this stage was quite an achievement as places were very limited and there was some stiff competition around. The details are somewhat hazy now but we didn’t win the Sheffield heat and it all went rather pear shaped when our fans (many from Ivor’s workplace at Dale Farm Foods), got involved in a brawl with rival fans. Apparently, name calling towards Ivor and the band triggered our fans to get defensive and a fight pursued. The publicity in the local paper, in retrospect, was classic tabloid headlines.
Another was a similar incident when we played at the then prestigious Retford Porter House. Fan trouble kicked off resulting in us having to stop our set and be escorted from the building for our own safety.
After several disappointments and little response to the demo tape, we went through what every bands go through at some stage; a hiatus where egos, expectations and enthusiasm are at odds with the cohesion needed to move forward. For me, working long hours at the hospital, travelling to and from Rotherham for rehearsals and a shift in what I wanted to do was enough for me to want to give up the band and try something else. I know that at the time the other synth player felt the same and also wanted to get more into his bass playing and take his music in another direction. According to Ivor on his website and recollection of the events, he compares this period to the Ides of March and tells of how we plotted behind his back and formed another group. This wasn’t quite the case, at least it was never meant to be an act of betrayal and I am sure that we left the band before forming another….
Pete managed to get some publicity in the local paper and made a call out to other musicians.
One thing led to another and before we knew it Pete, Linda (Pete’s then girlfriend) and I decided we would come together to see what we could come up musically. Pete had his drum machine, we both had synths and Pete was, by then, quite proficient on bass. Our first few times together helped us realise that we all wanted a different feel to the music and that our image would be less extreme and more mainstream. After much deliberation, Scaramouche was born.