1994 April – June

Nirvana were to play at Brixton Academy on 6th April and I had organised tickets. I had seen them play the National in Kilburn in 1991 and couldn’t wait to see them again.

The dj Jeremy Healy, used to finish his set with ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ at the Gardening Club in Covent Garden. We had spent many Sunday morning, wee small hours on the dancefloor, leaping around to the loud guitars, after a night of house and techno.

This meant our rock n roll friends along with our clubbing friends wanted to go. I collected all the money and bought ten tickets.

I’m not sure when I heard about Kurt Cobain‘s death, I remember reading about it in the papers the next day, but can’t remember if I already knew. Anyway, genuinely shocking news.

£13.50 was a lot of money, none of us wanted to keep the tickets, so we all got refunds.

I saw one going for £400 on e Bay recently.

Less than a week after the death of Kurt Cobain, and, arguably grunge, the debut single from the band Danny and I had seen a couple of times already in 1994, was released.

‘Supersonic‘ by Oasis, arrived as a massive wake up call on 11th April, on Creation Records.

And two weeks after that, ‘Parklife‘ by Blur was released.

If grunge had left a vacuum, it was filled within weeks with, what would soon become known as Britpop.

Danny and I recently bought a new (second hand) car via an advert in Loot.

A fabulous Mazda 323, known affectionately as ‘Sparky’.

We were now rehearsing in Vauxhall with our band, Poise, and would load the car up with all our gear and head over there on Thursday evenings.

The energy was leaving the band though. I was inspired by seeing how into their music our friends Pusherman were. Made me feel a bit fake.

This is me, on stage with Poise at the Jungle Club in Camden, playing at a party we had organised in 1993.

At work, Submarine released the sublime ‘Jnr. Elvis’ (Topp 25)

Sidi Bou Said played The Garage.

Over at Cherry RedDanny had a band who were getting a great reaction at the music press and evening radio – Prolapse.

This is them, playing the Rough Trade Shop in 1994.

Here’s the fab ‘Pull Thru’ Barker, as shown on MTV.

For one promo idea, Danny got 500 white sleeves. The band then hand painted them in front of the stage, after a gig at the Sausage Machine club night in London.

The Sausage Machine was run by Paul Cox who also founded the Too Pure label and signed PJ Harvey.

On 2 May, there was a Full Circle party to go to. Full Circle was wonderful. A large room at the back of The Greyhound pub in Colnbrook, near Heathrow. It had a large garden also at the back of the pub. It was the perfect setting for dancing inside, dark and vibey, to sitting outside, happy and sunny.

This was a staple Full Circle track.

Joey Beltram ‘Energy Flash’.

My membership card.

Johnny, Justin and Danny at a Mexico 70 gig in Windsor. Lots of the Windsor boys were also regulars at Full Circle.

Mexico 70 was formed by Mick Bund, previously of Felt. They were signed to Cherry Red and released this compilation of their e.p.s ‘The Dust That Has Come To Stay‘ in the Summer of 1994.

Mexico 70 ‘What’s In Your Mind’

One happy Sunday, listening to Gary Crowley on Greater London Radio as we drove down the M4 to Colnbrook, Danny and I both had tracks played – Submarine for me and Mexico 70 for Danny. It put us in an even better mood!

Our friends, Andy and Rob were usually in the car with us on the drive down. Much hilarity was had, on the journeys there and back plus of course, in the club and in the garden outside.

Billion Dollar Babes was back, having taken a few months off, so it was back down to the underground venue at the end of April.

Where we danced to this ‘Son of a Gun’ JX

28 April Rosemary West, 40-year-old wife of suspected serial killer Fred West, is charged with three of the murders her husband stands accused of. Rosemary West was first arrested seven days ago, two months after her husband was first taken into custody.

29 April An opinion poll shows that Conservative support has fallen to 26% – their worst showing in any major opinion poll since coming to power 15 years ago.

The Falcon in Camden, May 1994.

On the 3rd May, Senser released their highly anticipated debut album, ‘Stacked Up‘ things were very busy for them, touring and generally promoting it.

They appeared on ‘Naked City‘ on 4th May. I’m there on the balcony watching. The show was presented by Caitin Moran among others.

6 May – The Channel Tunnel, a 51 km (32 mi) long rail tunnel beneath the English Channel at the Strait of Dover, officially opened.

New signings Bang Bang Machine and 8 Storey Window released a split 7″ on Ultimate (Topp 26).

9 May – Release of Scottish group Wet Wet Wet‘s cover of the song “Love Is All Around” (1967), as featured in Four Weddings and a Funeral. From 29 May it will spend 15 consecutive weeks at number one in the UK Singles Chart, the longest spell ever attained by a British act.

Massive excitement in the office – the Senser album entered the national Album Charts at number 4!

We all got given Silver Discs!

Their ‘Age of Panic’ single was due out at the end of June, so I was busy with the album and single.

Adrian Thrills, the legendary N.M.E. journalist, had now joined our ranks and we worked together on press and PR for Ultimate Records.

31 May – Tony Blair and Gordon Brown have dinner at the Granita restaurant in Islington and allegedly make a deal on who will become the leader of the Labour Party, and ultimately, the next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

On the 4th June, Creation Records had a special 10th Anniversary gig at the Royal Albert Hall.

Many artists played this ‘Undrugged’ concert put on with NME and Metropolis Music.

Oasis was Noel singing solo, pretty great he was too.

Fantastic line up!

Ride / Bob Mould / BMX Bandits / Idha / Love / Oasis / The Boo Radleys / The Jesus and Mary Chain / The Jazz Butcher / Velvet Crush.

13 June – The Conservatives suffer their worst election results this century, winning a mere 18 out of 87 of the nation’s seats in the European parliament elections. The resurgent Labour Party, still without a leader as the search for a successor to the late John Smith continues, wins 62 seats.

My band Poise decided to call it a day. I had ideas I wanted to try, including rehearsing on Saturdays, so we could really dig deep and get into the music. Danny and I stayed working with the American drummer we had. We were fairly straight off the mark and started rehearsals immediately. We wanted a fresher, more exciting sound. We played our debut gig as Jump Rope at The Marquee on 13th June.

During the day of the 13th, it was the Kerrang! Awards at the Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square, Central London. Senser were up for a couple of awards, so the band plus myself, Andy and Maurice all went.

I’ve never seen so much free booze in my life. Each table was practically buckling in the middle with the sheer weight of it – Jack Daniels, Jim Beam, wine, beer. As the saying goes, ‘It would be rude not to’.

Senser didn’t win anything but we consumed lots.

I somehow got myself to the Marquee just in time for soundcheck for this debut gig of ours! I vaguely remember throwing myself around the stage and getting feedback from my guitar. I think we did ok actually, we’d only had a week or so to rehearse! I did manage to leave a bag of clothes and a guitar tuner behind, but how I even got there and played a gig is remarkable.

We then went over to Bark Studio in Walthamstow, East London a few days later, the 18th and 19th, and made our first Jump Rope recordings. Two brand new songs.

‘Crowded Day’ was to be our first single, once recorded we got into sorting out 1,000 7″ singles.

I made this video in 2023 using footage I found of London in 1994.

Still sounds pretty good!

I was busy working Eat Static‘s new album too, ‘Implant‘ was also released in June.

It was the end of June and that means….Glastonbury!

Senser – here they are on blistering form on the NME stage.

We were back stage hanging out with Martin, Jess and Pusherman who were managed by the same people that managed Oasis.

Liam G. was sitting on the grass with a group of us chatting. He told a story of a nightclub in Manchester, the door man says ‘Have you got a knife on you?’ ‘No’ he smashes a bottle, gives it to him and says ‘you might need this then’.

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