It was clear to Pete, Linda and I that our sound, as the three piece Scaramouche, was missing something. My time and efforts were being put into vocals as was Linda’s and Pete was busy coming up with bass riffs and drum beats that would make our fans want to dance. Mine and Pete’s abilities on the keyboards were limited and although we could put together a range of acceptable synth tracks, we were not keyboard players. It was generally agreed that we wanted a funkier sound and that a lead guitarist would compliment the existing line-up. An advert was placed and we eventually came across Kevin who seemed able enough and had the attitude, enthusiasm and commitment we were looking for.
With four members in the band it was time to move to new rehearsal premises. The lounge at the nurses’ home had become too restrictive and we needed more space for equipment and an opportunity to play/sing without annoying anyone. After a lot of searching, Linda and Pete came up with a function room above a pub in Sheffield, The Gardeners Rest, perfect. We rehearsed most Sunday mornings and one evening per week and somehow never managed to upset the landlord or customers despite a loud and often repetitious repertoire. We were often joined at rehearsals by friends and partners. One such friend was Graham Walker who was working working as a reporter for the Barnsley Chronicle. A useful position to hold when you had mates wanting column inches.
Graham was really supportive of the band and being a frustrated muso himself, he often came up with ideas and lyrics for songs. One such song was one of our first numbers as a four piece; Search for love. Graham penned the lyrics and the music was written and produced by the band. After all these years I have managed to find early recording of a few tracks and converted them to MP3 files. The track could have used a musical break or a more adventurous chorus but 33 years on I don’t think it sounds too bad. Here is the recording from 1983 of the track Search for love.
The four-piece Scaramouche went on to develop and write enough tracks to be able to play live at various venues. We mainly played pubs, nightclubs or competitions such as Battle of the Bands. As our style and direction developed so did our stage presence. We often came up with simple stage sets that would help us stand out from the crowd. Linda and I used several props and on stage interaction to act out a specific track and make our music visually pleasing. Clothing and styling was also an important consideration and we always tried to stay current or forward thinking in our dress sense.
We had numerous good reviews and write-ups in the press and not just from our friend Graham. We entered a Sheffield heat of Battle of the Bands and although we didn’t win, we were given feedback from a leading Artist and Recording scout who was on the judging panel, a copy of which is below.
A few months passed and we became increasingly aware of the restrictions and drum machine placed upon us. It was time to spread our wings even further and search for a drummer…four was soon to become five.