News Stories

The Sombreros

Base Brian has written in:

Hi,  don’t if you have heard of this Brum Band;  The Sombreros.  If memory serves me right I think they played a lot around the Kings heath, Selly Oak and  Northfield pubs back in the best times (The Sixties’)  Here is a mention of them I found while browsing the web.

A very popular group in the local area throughout much of the 60s. They originated from Birmingham in 1963 as the Sombreros but changed the name in 1964 to Sight & Sound. They recorded on Fontana (Alley Alley/Little Jack Monday) and included some outstanding players in their ranks at various times including Geoff Turton and Mike Sheridan. In 1969 the group had Joe Valentine, Dave Pritchard, Pete Smith and Bob Doyle (later members included Nev Chamberlain (ex-Peasants) and John Davies). They started playing on the P&O cruise liners and were managed by Mike Carroll.

The Noseflutes

The Noseflutes were an unorthodox, late-eighties band based in Birmingham. They released three EPs and three albums, recorded four sessions for Radio 1’s John Peel, and received generally favourable reviews from the contemporary music press. Their second album, Zib Zob and His Kib Kob, rightly made The People newspaper’s list of The 101 Most Awful Album Titles of All Time. During their existence they became “the house band for Birmingham”.

The band was formed in 1980 and both the band and the members went through several names before settling on the Noseflutes (previous names include The Blaggards, the Cream Dervishes, Extroverts in a Vacuum, The Viable Sloths, Pantaloni Brothers, and Shitstormer). The band’s first releases were on Reflex Records, home to The Very Things and And Also the Trees. Reflex issued the band’s first EP, Girth, in 1985, and the debut album Several Young Men Ignite Hardboard Stump the following year. They then moved on to Ron Johnson Records, who issued the band’s next two EPs, The Ravers (tracks from the band’s 1986 Peel session) and Heartache is Irresistible. When Ron Johnson ceased to operate, the band continued with their own Rictus Recordings label, releasing the albums Zib Zob and his Kib Kob and Mellow Throated in 1989 and 1991 respectively, before splitting up.

The band were described by the Birmingham Mail as a “wonderfully perverse avant weird outfit”.

Singer Martin Longley and bassist Chris Horton formed a new band, The Clicking Stick, along with Paul McKenna, releasing the album Mocrophone in 2001. Dave Pritchard and John Horton released two albums under the names Acme Spring Company and Cubans Dials in the early 1990s. Chris Long recorded under his stage name of Legs Akimbo, with Nick Duffy of The Lilac Time.

In late 2010 many of the original members of the Noseflutes were performing as The Crimplene Explosion.

Band Members
Chris Horton – bass guitar, keyboards, guitar
John Horton – guitar, bass guitar, keyboards
Chris Long (aka Legs Akimbo) – keyboards, violin, guitar
Martin Longley – vocals, saxophone, trombone
Dave Pritchard – guitar, bass guitar
Mark Rowson – drums, percussion, keyboards
Ron Collins – drums, percussion
Trevor Lines – drums, percussion, bass guitar
Roger Turner – drums and percussion


Girth (12″, 1985, Reflex, UK)
The Ravers (12″, 1986, Ron Johnson, UK)
Heartache Is Irresistible (12″, 1987, Ron Johnson, UK)

Several Young Men Ignite Hardboard Stump (LP, 1986, Reflex, UK)
Zib Zob And His Kib Kob (LP, 1989, Rictus Recordings, UK)
Mellow Throated (LP, 1991, Rictus Recordings, UK)
Compilation appearances
A Reflex Compilation (LP, 1985, Reflex): “Past Promise Broken In A Previous Life”
Hits and Corruption (LP, 1986, Hits $ Corruption): “Holidaytime”
The First After Epiphany (LP, 1987, Ron Johnson): “Bodyhair Up In The Air”
Year One – The Best Of Premonition Tapes (So Far) (cassette, 1988, Premonition Tapes): “Leg Full Of Alcohol (Live)”
Commercially Unfriendly (CD, 2005, Gott Discs): “Give Me The Keys” ( Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License)

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