(’85-’94) Vis The Spoon (guitar / vocals), Ken ? (bass) and Andy? (drums)
This West Byfleet three piece, after 6 months together, released the 5-track 15.12.85 Demo tape, in December ’85. By ’87 the band was: Vis The Spoon, Al Johnson (bass) and Joe “Mad Dog” O’Sullivan (drums). In July ’87 the band only got 4 songs in before being kicked off stage at Eclipse, Egham, while supporting The Twist and were “banned for life” from The Cricketers, Westfield in October that same year, while being supported by The Twist. More successful, and without Twist, was the “All Cars Are Red” demo cassette released in November that year, which featured “Where Did Our Love Go?” on the B-side.
Neil Physic took over the sticks, passing them onto Matt Alexander who appeared on the FlipTop Head tape and consequently on “Electric Groove Machine” on Snakebite City, which also carried “Some Kinda Crazy” – In the release for which they were describe as “No dodgy heavy metal band here but Woking’s finest indie/punk/pop/punk band – ANYWHERE”. Bluefire Records got them back for Snakebite City Two, which carried the track “Traction”.
In mid ’88 the band came third in the Soundscene Demo Review, with particular note paid to “Contraband”. Al Johnson was replaced by long-term bassist Duncan Disorderly (aka Dunk the Biscuit), who was subsequently replaced by ex-Deceased Disease bassist Kevin Ward for the last two years of Backlash’s reign. In late ’88 rhythm guitarist ‘Birdy’ was added. Briefly between bass players Backlash also featured Darren Searles, at the time of fellow “Sounds Around” contributors Positive Thinking and now of the mighty The Loveburns. Small World fact: Darren Searles’ brother Carl now plays in a local covers band with former ‘Lash sticksman “Mad Dog” O’Sullivan. “Sounds Around” was a 1988 compilation of local bands compiled by Tim Laws of Two Extremes, who also ran the Sounds Associated Recording (SAR) studios in Byfleet on the Sounds Associated label [SAR 1001]; which carried two Backlash tracks: “Ghosts” and “Johnny”.
On 11 April ’89 Backlash came out of a gigging hiatus, supporting Positive Thinking at The Red Lion, Brentford. In August ’89 Phil Gibby pronounced them winners of the Cliff Richard award for longevity in his ‘Farewell Honors’. Backlash, with new member David “Birdy Strangetrousers” Griffiths, were not pleased with the mix on “Sounds Around” and re-recorded both songs and “All Cars Are Red” and stuck all 3 revamped versions on the one “A Word to the Wise” cassette EP. Erstwhile Soundscene contributor, Steve Jones was none to complimentary describing Backlash as being short of ideas and marking time by releasing songs that everyone who cared already had. In August of ’89 the bands life ban at The Cricketers, Westfield was lifted for a memorable gig, supported by Mr Ed. Then Griffiths was replaced by Dan “de Lion” Hiscocks. In late 1990 Backlash were part of the the MTV Satellite Jukebox, a 12 hour dance party staged in youth clubs all across Europe; conceived and organised by Chris Long for Youth Clubs UK (video tape exists somewhere) with Big Wednesday and Strangeland in New Haw. 1990 also saw the release of “Songs About Happiness”, the 6-track cassette EP.
This EP didn’t feature Backlash’s ‘Some Linda Crazy’ (a Phil Gibby typo renaming of ‘Some Kinda Crazy’) which was #6 in Soundscene’s Top Ten Local Songs 1990. The band gigged extensively over the next few years, notably supporting Spin Doctors in Jan ’91 and Thousand Yard Stare at the Agincourt, Camberley in Oct. Over the course of Dec ’91 and Jan ’92 the band recorded 8 tracks with Paul Godfrey at Evolution Studios. These were to become the “Fliptop Head’ cassette album, featuring Neil of Big Wednesday on drums, Paul of The Outcast Band on Fiddle and Jason Orbaum on keyboards. In ’93 the band’s track “Drowning” appeared on Return of Farnborough Groove Vol.3. The final gigs were in ’94 at Merrist Wood and The Cricketers, the first with Hiscock before he ran to India the other with Adam Wolters on bass. Vis, Wolters and Alexander then changed the name to Brad Obscure, playing 2 gigs before dropping the curtain.
All Cars Are Red:
Don’t Touch Me:
Electric Groove Machine:
Let Me Take It
Where Did Our Love Go?:
Video: ‘Don’t Touch Me’ live West End Centre, Aldershot ’93: