Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Another Thing Coming - The Chords on DVD!

Whatever happened to The Chords? 

Well, it's about to be answered on a new DVD filled with television performances and interviews called What Became Of The People We Used To Be. Of all the mod revival bands that appeared in the late 1970’s, south east London band The Chords were primed for greater success. In Chris Pope they had a driven songwriter, churning out scathingly brilliant lyrics and ear catching riffs, backed up by the powerhouse drumming of Brett “Buddy” Ascott, bassist Martin Mason and his cousin Billy Hasset on vocals and guitar. Signed to Polydor within weeks and appearing with The Purple Hearts on The London Weekend Show and gracing the cover of Time Out, it looked like The Chords were here to stay.

 The first single Now It’s Gone was rushed out, the band unhappy with it re-recorded it and gave it away as a free single with the album So Far Away. They followed this with Something’s Missing and Maybe Tomorrow, without doubt one of the standout records of the whole period. More tv appearances followed, a tour with The Undertones, photos and reviews in the music press, all was looking rosy. Another great single, The British Way Of Life was followed by In my Street then The Chords and Billy Hasset went their separate ways.  A delay in replacing Billy left The Chords playing catch up, Kip Herring from The Vibrators eventually filling the role for the final 2 singles One More Minute and Turn Away Again before the band called it quits permanently in 1981.  In 1996 The Chords with Grant Flemming on bass played a handful of gigs including a sold out gig at The 100 Club before returning with the original line up in 1999 to play the Mods Mayday festival in Kentish Town and a wedding in Liverpool the following year. The set from the Liverpool gig has just been released as It Was Twenty Years Ago Today available from  http://www.detour-records.co.uk/CDs.htm

The Chords mk. 2 LtoR Martin Mason, Kip Herring, Buddy Ascott and Chris Pope at Spice Of Life, London 2011. Photo by Dave Edwards.
When  Chris Pope and Buddy Ascott started playing as Pope there was always a Chords number thrown in, sometimes even two and come 2009, a mini tour was arranged across the UK with a new single, Another Thing Coming and at the start of May this year, The Chords played in Japan and 3 dates in Australia. Of course, this is just a potted history of a band that deserved so much more. For the last couple of years, there’s been a dvd in progress, gathering up every tv performance, live footage and interviews with the band and fans of this great band and it’s launched on 14th June at The Rhythm Factory on Whitechapel Road, with a screening and live performance from members of the band. It starts at 7.30 and is free to get in.

Originally published on 20th May 2012.

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