Wednesday, 6 March 2013

You can all blame Dennis!

The whole Truth and nothing but...

I’ve seen many bands over the years, either as a punter or working alongside them as a DJ. Every so often, I’ll post a blog on some of my favourite gigs, so it’s only fair that I start with the first band I saw, so here is The Truth and nothing but…

May 1983 and I’m about to get into my first gig. I’d tried before but having possession of a baby face always prevented me from getting through the door of most establishments at the time. But tonight was different, The Marquee in Wardour Street was hosting The Truth, led by the sharp dressed Dennis Greaves and at that point the hottest unsigned band in London. At the end of 1982, Dennis had split Nine Below Zero and gone from Blues to Soul with an equally sharp dressed group of co-horts including Brian Bethell from NBZ on bass, Mick Lister from The Stowaways on guitar, Gary Wallis on drums and Chris Skornia on Hammond organ complete with a Leslie cabinet, truly the most jaw dropping bit of kit for a young Mod to feast his eyes upon. The Marquee was about half full that night but the atmosphere was electric and was no doubt the reason I fell in love with live music. And seeing the magnificent swirling horn in the Leslie cabinet pumping out the sound of the Hammond organ helped too.  I came out of the gig drenched in sweat and watched as some older Mods started up their scooters and set off towards Oxford Street and as I headed towards the tube, my life had unknowingly to me changed forever. A few weeks later, I was back at the Marquee, again to see The Truth, only this time there was a queue outside and it was obvious that The Truth were going places. I was drenched in sweat going in that night, The Marquee was always hot and dingy at the best of times, with it’s black walls and sticky carpet in the entrance leading into the room at the back.  Jerry Floyd was the regular DJ there and he’d play a mix of 60’s mod classics alongside more recent records by The Chords and Long Tall Shorty, before the lights went down and the pounding drums of Stingray went up and drove everyone into a frenzy. A burst of the chorus and the band entered the stage, cheered on by a young, expectant crowd, their set a mix of strong original songs such as Confusion, Exception Of Love and some choice covers ranging from The Equals and Stevie Wonders’ Nothing’s Too Good For My Baby, all delivered with a style as sharp as their tailored clothes. With a record deal in the bag, The Truth set out on a hectic schedule that saw them touring constantly but always finding time to slip in the odd gig at The Marquee, which by now, you needed membership to guarantee entry to see them. The Truth went on to make a few appearances on Top of The Pops,
grace the cover of Smash Hits, head off to the States and record the title track for a film and release the splendid Playground album in 1985 while going through regular line up changes until 1988.  Thank you Dennis, it’s all your fault! 

Originally published on 22nd February 2011.

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