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Jacobites

The Jacobites were formed in Birmingham in 1982 by Nikki Sudden and Dave Kusworth, following the breakup of their respective previous bands, the Swell Maps and the Subterranean Hawks.
The two had met in early 1980, with an initial live performance together in May 1982 under the name Six Hip Princes, but it was not until 1984, after Sudden had already issued two solo releases, that the duo adopted the name Jacobites (after the rebel movement to restore the Stuart line to the British thrones) and completed the lineup by adding Nikki’s brother Epic Soundtracks, also formerly of the Swell Maps, and bassist Mark Lemon. The Jacobites were a more traditional, song-oriented outfit than the Swell Maps had been. Sudden and Kusworth were both strongly influenced by The Faces, Bob Dylan, glam rock, and, most vitally, The Rolling Stones — their open worship of the group (Kusworth’s entire body of work would later be described as “A tear-stained meeting of Johnny Thunders’ ‘You Can’t Put Your Arms Around a Memory’, the Rolling Stones’ ‘Wild Horses’, and Neil Young’s ‘Down by the River’ wrapped in scarves, bound up in leather pants, and shrouded by cigarette smoke”, while Sudden called the Stones “the best band there has ever been” and was working on a Ronnie Wood bio at the time of his death), combined with their velvet-and-scarves style of dressing and their girls-and-drugs style of living, made for a natural comparison with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.

The group released a string of albums and EPs between 1984 and 1985, garnering increasing critical interest, a certain appreciation in the British underground, and great popularity in Germany, but also began shedding its original members in the latter year — Soundtracks to Crime & the City Solution, Kusworth to a well-regarded but ill-remembered solo career.

With the breakup of the songwriting team at its heart, the Jacobites became little more than a name for the shifting backing unit Sudden used for his solo career. An American compilation was released in 1986 after the band’s boozy, weary-eyed brand of romantic songwriting gained the devoted support of the similarly-minded Paul Westerberg, and another comp followed in 1988, but the group would not exist again in meaningful form until 1993, when Sudden and Kusworth rejoined forces to recreate the Jacobites with a new lineup that featured Glenn Tranter on guitar, Carl Eugene Picôt on bass, and Mark Williams on drums: all friends from Birmingham. A series of obscure releases followed throughout the mid-1990s, doted upon by the band’s cult following, particularly in mainland Europe, but otherwise generally ignored. After God Save Us Poor Sinners appeared in 1998, the Jacobites remained silent while Sudden and Kusworth continued their solo careers. With Sudden’s death in 2006, the band is now permanently defunct.

Discography
Studio Albums
Jacobites (1984)
Robespierre’s Velvet Basement (1985)
Howling Good Times (1994)
Old Scarlett (1995)
God Save Us Poor Sinners (1998) (2 releases with different track lists on Glitterhouse and Bomp! Records)

Compilation Albums
Lost In A Sea Of Scarves (Rarities Collection) (1985)
The Ragged School (1986)
Fortune Of Fame (Big Hits & Broken Biscuits) (1988)
Fortune Of Fame (Big Hits & Stereo Landings) (1988)
Heart Of Hearts (The Spanish Album) (Rarities Collection) (1995, Spain)
Hawks Get Religion (1996)

Live Albums
Kiss Of Life (Recorded live in Hanover in 1995, limited edition) (1995)

Singles
Shame For The Angels 7″ / 12″ (1984)
Pin Your Heart 12″ (1985)
When The Rain Comes 7″ / 12″ (1986)
Don’t You Ever Leave Me CD (1993)
Can’t You See? CD (1995)
Over & Over 7″ (1997)
Teenage Christmas 7″ (1998)
The Otter Song 7″ (2011)

Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacobites_(band)

 

Subterranean Hawks

Another legendary lost Birmingham band that consisted of Stephen Duffy, Dave Kusworth, Paul Adams, Simon Colly and Dave Twist. Only ever releasing one song Big Store with bob Lamb (see below) as the Subterranean Hawks there are rumours of demo tapes recently surfacing which may one day see the light of day.

The did release Words Of Hope / Sense of Ending as The Hawks in 1980 on the Five Believers label.

The article below was written by Stephen Duffy (under the alias C. Dean Spence) for What A Nice Way To Turn 17 magazine and can be found on the site at: http://whatanicewaytoturn17.blogspot.co.uk

“Punk Rock claimed a great deal of casualties. But is casualties the right word? Shall we consider head cold? Or Athletes foot? Anyway I’ve got a note and the Subterranean Hawks are excused from showers. Why five nice boys should take a bloated discredited idea as their divinity, and the decadent enemy they had only just finished fighting, as their role model is not worth investigating. But we shall.

Formed in 1979, the original line-up managed to get as far as Christmas 1981 before falling apart in a myriad of acrimony. They performed…..concerts and recorded……songs. Success makes the best excuses and the Subterranean Hawks had none. Fame allows a rosy hindsight, turning whims into campaigns and darkest hours into hotbeds of creativity. So with a little borrowed rosary; Kusworth was the image and the noise. Twist the leader (from behind at that). Duffy the songwriter. Adams the backbone. Colly the musician. Without management the band floundered. With management, most of the band would have been sacked. The Subterranean Hawks proved that rock’n’roll was either dead or researching hastily into the complexities of death duty and the chances of reincarnation. They proved that it was impossible and implausible to be a rock’n’roll band in the eighties. Ahh, maybe it wasn’t rock and roll’s fault.

Let’s face it the lead singer was a poseur and worse, a pragmatist. (He went on to make disco records). The bass and guitar players although gung ho with rock’n’roll dreams, were sensible chaps and kept day jobs. The Hawks then were not so much gung ho as ho hum. Only Kusworth and Twist remained true to their beliefs. Young men have their idols and the idols of these young men were the inspired, the originals and the innovators from the halcyon days of a sixties childhood. Can anything be as unsound? For them to have thought that the Beatles, Stones, Dylan et al would not’ve been recording with Rushent down at Genetic if 61 by magic had been 81, was nonsense.

Pop demands new blood and if not blood, a synthetic equivalent. And yet it is easy to be arrogant with others theology. Dog eat dogma. Most innovation in pop is spawned from mimicry. If that alone is the case, can we ask one final question, the Subterranean Hawks, where are they now?

C. Dean Spence 1984

Big Store

The Bounty Hunters

One of the great ‘lost’ bands of Birmingham.
Original line up: Dave Kusworth, Glenn Tranter, Alan Walker, Mark MacDonald.
Second lineup (pictured): Dave Kusworth, Glenn Tranter, Alan Walker, Dave Buxton. Dave Kusworth, Glen Tranter, Jeremy Thirlby, Carl Bevan all made up The Bounty Hunters and their effortless and cool take on rock and roll.

 

Here’s a video of them in Berlin uploaded by band member Jeremy Thirlby

TV Eye

Formed in 1976  by Andy Wickett, Eamon Duffy and Dave Kusworth (later of The Jacobites) who left Moseley Art School in Birmingham and formed TV Eye, a band named after an Iggy and the Stooges song.

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