Second Hand Band (SHB) were formed in Birmingham during October 1974 and comprised of ex members from the bands Eclipse, Etelka and Che. The original line up was Bob Ensor (drums) John Patchett (guitar) Clive Hunt (Bass guitar) and Gary Wookey (vocals). Most of the material they played, about 99%, was self penned.
The band’s first gig was in June 1975 at the Jug Birmingham, but more work soon followed that year including several gigs at Bogarts, Barbarellas, Cloud 9 in Redditch and the Greyhound, Fulham Palace Rd in London.
During 1976 the band was taken under the wing of Ricci Dee, the Bogarts resident DJ and The promo’ agency West Coast Promotions.
The workload of the band now suddenly became more intense and the band started playing gigs outside of the Brum area and more around the UK as a whole. This included, South Wales, Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Lancashire, Wiltshire, Norfolk and the North East and Scotland as well as a date at Upstairs at Ronnie Scotts and Hatchetts in London. However, the band did return home and played many gigs at Bogarts, Barbarellas and Rebbecas. During early 1976, however, Clive the Bass player, quit the band to get married. He was quickly replaced by another ex Che member, Dick Czepiel.
Also around this time, with the gig diary looking to be very busy, the band secured a bank loan and re equipped with a state of the art 600Watt PA system and Soundcraft mixing desk (including stage foldback monitors). The band also purchased extensive lighting equipment mounted on two side of stage placed towers, to enhance their dynamic stage performance, that also included a pyrotechnic display at the end of the show.
The band were now able to play larger venues such as Universities and larger halls, although they still somehow managed to fit most of this new’ kit’ into the smaller pub and club venues that were still their ‘bread and butter’.
The band were now also being offered support roles which would include City Boy, Motorhead, Colosseum 2, Claire Hamill and Hinkley’s Heroes. Record companies also started to show an interest in the band. Remember there was no internet or computers on which to produce and promote your work in those days.
However, the bubble of success was about to burst and in 1977 the Punk movement undercurrent ’exploded’ on to the scene. All of a sudden Rock Bands and all they stood for, were deemed to be ‘uncool’. As a result, the gigs and record company interest began to evaporate. On Sunday the 6th of November, after a gig at Barbarellas, guitarist John announced his intention to quit the band and with the rest of the band not seeming interested in finding a replacement, SHB played its final gig at the Dunlop Social Club, Erdington, on November 11th 1977.
John from the band sent these fantastic pictures into the archive of the Second Hand Band from a gig at Barbarella’s in 1976. Strange to think that punk was just about to hit the UK and Barbarellas would become the punk club in the city.
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Albert Arkwright has sent these photos of Second Hand Band into the archive