(c. ’82-’87) – Jon Brown (bass), Andrew Brown (vocals / guitar), Richard Baker (guitar) and Andy “Boo” Green (drums).

Great Garden band shoot. Picture courtesy of Andrew Neil Brown

By ’84 the band were playing the likes of Mayfair’s Embassy Club, where they got a bit of stick for sounding like the Cure (10:15 Saturday Night was in their set). Great Garden sound was described as ‘anthemic pop’ by The Riverside Club, Fetcham organizers for their 6 December ’85 support slot for The Skiff Scats. Their final gig of ’85 was the “Gig For Africa” at The Dorking Halls on 21 December, with a plethora of other local bands including headliners Cardiacs, Shoot! Dispute, and The Body Politic.

Great Garden pin. Source: David Powell via The Riverside Club Fetcham Leatherhead Surrey in the 80’s

On 9 February ’86, the band were at back at the Riverside Club; supporting The Body Politic. They played The Riverside Club regularly, supporting or headlining with the likes of The Geisha Girls, Skiff Scats, Roaring Boys, Endless Party, The Lucy Show, Irish Moss Peat, and Shoot the Joker. On 14 June ’86 the band supported, along with Endless Party, The Dogs D’Amour at Bourne Hall, Ewell.

But they also played up in London. In April ’87 they were at the Mean Fiddler. A few months later (July ’87) they support Cardiacs at The Marquee. Regular appearance partners The Body Politic split in November ’87 after a mini UK tour, which concluded in Hastings with Great Garden in support and a punch-up that put several of the audience in hospital. Great Garden followed suit in December ’87 and split after six years together; playing their last gig back at Bourne Hall on 17 December supported by Shoot The Joker and Irish Moss Peat.

17 December 1987: Great Garden’s last gig, with Shoot The Joker and Irish Moss Peat supporting at Bourne Hall, Ewell. Source: Andrew Neil Brown via The Riverside Club Fetcham Leatherhead Surrey in the 80’s

The band released at least three demo cassettes and came 5th (posthumously) in the Soundscene Demo Review of ’88. In mid ’88 a rumour started that had Great Garden joining Napalm Groove Squad, The Body Politic, and Dance Factor for Woking Live Aid later that year. These were all denied, but members of The Body Politic did confirm that they had been songwriting with a couple of members of Great Garden; although one had departed and they were going to continue as a trio…