Promises and Dreams

1983-84

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The times were changing and bringing with it new bands, new music and new ideas. Drum machines in the 1980s were great but limited given the lack of other technology. We had decided that if we found a drummer who could really drum, we would make the necessary changes and continue to develop our sound. The details of the auditioning process elude me now but we eventually came across Graham Travis. With his mop of curly hair,  dark and thick moustache and a club band pedigree we were taking a risk but one considered worth it.

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Whenever a new member joins a band the dynamics inevitably change. Decisions become harder to make as yet another opinion and ability needs to be considered. Graham was enthusiastic and at first over enthused with his club-band style and an apparent liking for 120+ BPM. We wrote numerous new songs and as working out arrangements became more complicated, we, in my opinion, began to lose our way a little but it was yet to affect our enthusiasm or determination to fulfil our promises and dreams.

Practical issues arose with recording our rehearsals on a small cassette recorder; drums and lead guitar competing for ear space often made getting a good mix impossible especially in such a small space. Often the bass, vocals and keyboards were drowned out. Somehow it started becoming difficult to write a song that was chilled or had a less urgent and voluminous presence.

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We took part in another Band competition in Sheffield and gigged around the region in various pubs and nightclubs. It was always great to take the band out on the road and test out our evolving sound. When writing your own material, you get to the point where you can no longer be subjective and exposing strangers to the songs was the only way to get a feel for what you have written. I can remember that some of the tracks that seemed to work well in the rehearsal room just dragged and didn’t quite work live. Undeterred we would go back and try to either make it work or dump it in favour of something that got a better reception. Whilst the music developed our image also grew and we put increasingly more effort in ensuring that our performance matched our set. We created themes and marketed our act as far and wide as we could. Leaflets were produced for each performance. One such leaflet was designed as a theatre programme in line with our Scaramouche name. The logo was used on demo tapes and we invested lots of energy in making sure our name spread wide.

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We felt we had a good outfit together although there were still issues with the creative process and vision for where we were heading. Marketing and promotion, securing gigs and chasing A and R departments was taking up a lot of time especially for Linda so we agreed to try and find a manager who could help us and strengthen our profile. We got some coverage in the press but we knew it wasn’t going to be easy. In the mean time we had another great opportunity come our way. The making of a video was on the cards….

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