One of the things that made it so exciting working at Ultimate Records was the constant coming and going of people through the office doors. Maurice and Andy both managed various acts, Andy was in the early stages of his management career so his artists tended to be young bands on their way up, still hoping to secure a record deal.
One such band was Dodgy. The three lads would come in the office all the time, being hilarious and loud and wonderful. Mathew Priest, Nigel Clark and Andy Miller.
Andy Winters had been managing them for a few months when I started to work there. They had a fortnightly club – The Dodgy Club at Baccus Wine Bar in Kingston. I went a couple of times and they were fabulous events. Their mate Chrissy H would play records and invariably Mathew’s brother Chris would create havoc either by joining them on stage or just by hanging out in the audience with us. Chris also looked after their artwork.
Another weekly ritual at this time was listening to Gary Crowley‘s Sunday lunch time show on BBC’s Greater London Radio (G.L.R.). We knew pretty much all the bands he was playing, either from having seen them live or it being one of our records (Danny was getting his Cherry Red acts on there too). There was a section called the Demo Clash and Gary would put a song from a couple of demo tapes up against each other, people phoned in and voted for their favourite. Dodgy’s track ‘Love Birds’ won it for ages.
Dodgy signed to A&M Records. Using the cash that provided, Andy thought it would be great to put out a few singles independently, to get a vibe going around the band before announcing signing to a major. And so, the brilliant ‘Summer Fayre’ was released. The photo on the cover was from one of their ‘happenings’ in Osterley Park. Andy W. sitting under the tree, with Nigel hugging Mathew, sitting next to Andy Miller. Chris in the sleeveless denim jacket. Some of the as yet to be formed Bluetones are also in the photo, along with Lisa Faulkner, who would later become a successful across and celebrity chef.
I loved it.
We invited Dodgy to bring their club to our club.
Dave Driscoll was on hand with his trusty Walkman.
About 80 people in. Considering it was very early to be booking Dodgy, we were very happy with that.
Read more about 1991 here….