Outfits I have graced….

Over the years the ‘thing’ that led me into doing what I ended up doing – music and all its ramifications, was driven by seeing ‘live’ at school, firstly Tir Na Nog and Hunt and Turner, then Al Stewart – an old boy, and then Decameron – who hailed from my old stomping ground in Cheltenham. Something led me to recognise that i may be able to actually ‘earn’ money as a job from music!! – who would have guessed.

An aside to this is the (possibly) interesting fact that all the artists i used to listen too during my teens – Fairports, Steeleye, Strawbs, Lindisfarne, Al Stewart, Cat Stevens et al, i eventually did the sound for! How lucky was I…..

But in truth it was the sight of Johnny Coppin and Dave Bell (from Decameron ) who i used to see wandering the streets in Cheltenham, which convinced me that music was one route to filling up adulthood.

And so it passed that I started learning stuff about the work involved, by playing in a number of musical units…. These are the forerunners to fame and fortune (hmmmm !!??)

The Family Tree of bands


1975 – 1977

The first band formed in my free world – i.e. after school. Established originally as the ‘house’ band for a number of folk clubs we were helping organise (Harvest Home, Greet-Nr Winchcombe, Royal Oak Folk Club, Hucclecote, Gloucester, The Star Folk, Overbury, Tewkesbury)- but quickly grew a world of its own. Eclectic choice of material – everything from ‘my old mans a dustman’, to ‘stairway to heaven’! Good fun, and we certainly became busy – with 3 residencies a week and shows at the weekends. In August of ’76, we went down to Cornwall and camped at Harlyn Bay, St Merryn, Padstow for 2 weeks – and whilst there collected a number of shows – which led us to the plan for 1977….. see Roadsters….


1977 – 1978

Formed from the ashes of ‘Patchwork’ – this band soon took off and we played serial shows across the South of the country.

Many iterations, (see above)all with musicians bobbing in and out, but it looked something like;

1 – Myself, Charles Eeles, Eddy Mitchell, Ian Davidson

2 – Myself, Eddy Mitchell, Ron Milsom, Alan Hopper,

3 – Myself, Eddy Mitchell, Ron Milsom, Alan Hopper, Charles Eeles,

4 – Myself, Ron Milsom, Charles Eeles, Mike Cullum

5 – Myself, Charles Eeles, Mike Carvalho, Mike Cullum,

6 – Myself, Charles Eeles, Mike Cullum, Mike Burston (Wurzel)

The ‘Wurzel’ noted above (Mick Burston R.I.P.) left us and moved straight into playing guitar for ‘Motorhead’ – that is some musical leap, though in truth he was an especial guitarist, and would have looked the part.

Alan Hooper, Myself, Charles Eeles, Ron Milson, Eddy Mitchell.



X-Pupils first iteration comprised of myself, Dennis Parratt, Martin Low and Steve Barton. We rehearsed at Steve’s parents for some time, until the studio became available in late 1980. First recordings however, where done at Windrush Studio in Bourton on the Water. May 25/26 .

The number s were: Another Lonely Night, Back Door Girl, Last time she rang, You saved me today, Going to the Bank, all written (we suppose) by Dennis.

I continue to be staggered at how much press the band generated from the outset – no reason why, apart from lucky connections to the local paper The Citizen – thanks Beth Langdon and Liz Eeles (strangely no relation!!), and Severn Sound radio, who we became embedded in! Luck certainly seemed to be on our side.

The music was original and in the sort of pop/folk/easy listening, and suited the musicians involved.

We decided swiftly to try and release some material on a single, and set about recording material for it. At this time the studio was still a 4 track affair, and we/i was still acquiring the knowledge as to how to record well…. but the outcome was ok and it helped boost our profile.

The ‘E.P.’ – it became such due to the songs lengths – was named ‘MONTPELLIER NEWS’, and contained the tracks Montpellier News, Spined, Drained Glass and So Blue. It came out on our own record label ‘Skool’ Records.

Below is the info on the Mark 1 band with Dennis.(R.I.P. 2023 with great sadness)

X-Pupils mark 2

No sooner had we recorded and released the bands E.P ‘Montpellier News’, Dennis was removed from the band and replaced with local band ‘Curtains’ singer Kevin Touhey.

This iteration played a more ‘rocky’ style of original music (a very few covers slipped in!) and continued making a small dent in the local (and national) music scene….. in some ways we were ground breakers for many local artists coming up behind us. We spent a lot of time recording in the studio and perfecting arrangements – which ended up with the release of ‘Up to Date’ – a cassette album of new material.

The band dragged in a few local musicians, notably Lee (Mo) Moulder (singing), and Matt Clifford (keys), along with Kevin’s dad (sax) to augment the instruments available to add texture to the ‘noise’!

The music for the band can be found here. On Bandcamp. The music was completely remastered in 2020. The band slowly disintegrated in 1984 , with members starting to become less available and furthering different projects – Kevin stepped in as vocalist for the ‘Outboys, Steve fell in with a number of ‘society’ bands, and Martin found himself moving away completely. I was becoming more heavily involved in supplying small p.a.’s to the local music venues. A flash of proper joy, for a moment before real life took over, and some fine music made.

Maisemore Village Band

1990’s – A rich brew of folkie types who could play without rehearsal and enjoy a cracking ‘ceilidh’ dance.

Fronted by Paul Weir as caller and Phil Beer (on loan from the Albion Band and Show of Hands) along side Gareth Turner/Simon Care – swap as available!, Nick Quarmby, Myself, and Trevor ‘Fozzie’ Foster – we ended up performing at a ridiculous number of high profile dances – including Gloucester Leisure Centres’ main hall, Cheltenham Town Hall, Sidmouth Folk Festivals’ Bowd Marquee and a goodly number of dances across the West Country – notably a goodly number in Maisemore (Gloucester) (hence the name – and was where both myself and Phil were living )