From the very start of what I egotistically entitled ‘Schott’s List’ back in 2013, the ditches on the road to 2019 are littered with quality local bands that are no longer with us.
We won’t be discussing the politics involving the breakups.
More a wistful look back with a tear in the eye and maybe even a scream to the heavens, questioning the gods now and again.
Tissues at the ready and hit play:
QUEEN’S MINIONS (2011-2014)
I don’t think I’ll ever get over the loss of this absolutely fantastic band.
In terms of what I was doing. this felt a bit like getting dumped by your first ever girlfriend.
Queen’s Minions were one of the reasons I first started blogging and were often held aloft as a beacon against the so-called ‘cultural wasteland’ stigma the city was getting tarred with in 2013.
They released their debut EP ‘Buffalo Rodeo’ in 2013 to much regional acclaim, with a official launch party packing out Telford’s Warehouse in December.
The EP is still a free download on soundcloud and a more than worthy addition to your local collection.
The release also had support from a promo video for ‘Rock Hill Farm’ written and directed by local creative genius Sam Ryley.
With some beefy tour dates and plays on US college radio, the future looked bright for the four piece.
It went quiet for a while, before posts of a follow-up EP, provisionally entitled ‘Getting Away With It’ started appearing on social media.
Then on the 28th of November 2014, the band announced they were calling it a day.
We trundled along to watch their last ever performance in December at a Minerva Lodge Tattoo event with the band managing to upset me even further, by blowing the walls off with their ‘in your face’, honest loud rock swagger.
The band have since released a collection of unreleased material which you can find here.
Although unmastered and mixed much to the band’s unliking, the tracks give you a glimpse into the unfinished 2nd EP and the raw potential.
Do check out ‘Duke Of Tennessee’ from this playlist. My favourite from the group personally.
REV REV (1984-2014)
Rev Rev were a DIY acid rock band from Chester, with various lineups all revolving around Shem Sharples and Sean O’ Halloran. The final lineup consisted of Thor Brown on drum duties and Vince Cory ably supporting on bass.
The group first came to my attention when a friend of mine borrowed me a cassette of theirs in 1989 with a gloriously handmade insert and it was the coolest thing I’d seen at the time, my ‘The Doors’ fixation aside.
I don’t feel quite as saddened by their demise, as their sheer volume of quality work, sporadically spreading across decades, is a worthy testament to talking potential.
Albums like ‘Watch Out! Here’s The Sun’, ‘Spontaneous Combustion Engine’ & ‘Pop Sores’ cemented the group in my heart forever.
The group played their final gig at Telford’s Warehouse on Friday the 13th of June 2014:
Due to their era, there’s not a lot to indulge with online musically. To get my personal fix I’ve had to build my own actual physical release collection of Rev Rev.
In a weird kind of way, a new addition to the RR back catalogue is always a quick and giddy walk home, seldom enjoyed since the birth of the internet.
The Secateurs first came to my attention with the ballsy single ‘Howl At The Moon‘ in 2014.
Haunting melodies, rumbling bass and one of the coolest vocals around at the time all came together in an absolutely perfect storm.
This was followed up by the glorious slow burning ‘TEMP‘, described by myself as a ‘solid smash in the teeth from a moody bastard’ at the time.
The quality kept coming with eerie ear worm ‘She Lost Her Mind’ and it’s, quite frankly, baffling. broody video:
5 years on and I still haven’t got a clue what’s going on there to be honest.
The band released the ‘Streak EP’ in early 2015 and it was a local masterpiece, each track basking in it’s own magnificence.
‘Shake It Down’ stood out for me personally with it’s lethargic, heavy stomp.
The group officially split up in March 2017 after a period of inactivity.
THE SUNS (2005-2014)
The Suns played their first gig at Jones’s in Chester in 2006.
Inspired by American garage groups, the best of British and a generous helping of classic country,
‘Big Trouble In Little Deva’, The Suns debut album, was released in 2010 on Plainsounds Records.
With lyrics telling yarns from Chester with a back drop of Spaghetti Western inspired Latino garage rock, it was both an old and totally fresh sound, gaining the band a cult following:
The Suns released the peerless ‘Surf Nightmare’ in 2015 and it got picked up immediately by Clint Boon on XFM, with the track becoming a regular fixture to his show as well as hitting other North West stations at the time:
Along with a major performance at the short’lived Chester Rocks event and a feature in Louder Than War, the Suns were indeed rising.
The band split sometime in 2014/2015 after a period of phenomenal local success.
The Suns were followed up by MACCA who were also brilliant. You can listen here.
THE DAYMONS (2012-2018)
Last on the list, but by no means the least, we have The Daymons.
The Daymons were a six piece indie rock band, unusually containing a trumpet section, giving the group a very familiar, yet distinctive sound they could genuinely call their own.
With a stint of successful events in 2012/13, the band dropped their debut EP ‘This Time Around’, considered by most local music fans, including myself, a local classic.
Over the next couple of years, the band continued to play, rehearse and tighten their sound, appearing on Flipside Radio, Telford’s Warehouse, The Saughall Campout as well various events and causes that I’d been involved with including the Rebel Rebel happenings and the Not So Shit Chester event at Alexander’s.
By the end of 2016, they were musically as tight as you like and had weaved some inspired covers into their set including ‘Pounding’ by Doves and ‘LA Woman’ by The Doors and continued to attract new followers with their full live sound, as well as adding ‘The LIPA Sessions’ to their discography the previous year.
After a period of relatively quiet activity, the group returned in March 2018 with their third and final EP ‘Girl That I Knew’, a more mature, more polished affair than previous offerings, receiving good figures in streaming charts.
Due to ‘musical similarities’, the band split up in 2018, with a farewell event at a packed Telford’s Warehouse.
Featured image by @Shitchester. Other images are owned by their respective artists.
I’ve tried to keep the information as accurate as possible in this blog.
A lot of the time bands have no definitive set start or end dates, so I’ve calculated based on social media and release activity in places.
Feel free to get in touch and I’ll modify any information required.