A Barnsley rock family tree



Damascus, Pitt Street, Barnsley, 1978 (?)

In previous posts I have already started to sketch in some links between bands and individuals; in my autobiographical novel Freak or smoothy? I outlined these links as part of the narrative.  Here I want to embark on this family tree more deliberately.

Here (from my personal knowledge) and as a first draft only, is a bare, leafless skeleton of a family tree.  I know there’s a lot more to do and I’m counting on you!

Nightmare (1976-76)

Gary Whittaker, guitar- (as I have suggested, his older brother Tim was in a band a little earlier and- I believe, but am happy to be corrected- went on to join Danse Society);

Paul Nash, guitar- as described separately, linked with Lyndon Scarfe to form Danse Society.  As Lyndon himself has very fairly pointed out, Danse Society were never a direct part of the Barnsley music scene: they never ever played a gig in the town, for example, although they may well have influenced other local bands that subsequently formed n the next decade ;

Nigel Pease, drums- in 1979 was playing in Inshala- supported by Damascus at Barnsley Civic Hall on July 26th 1980;

Andrew Nieszebka- vocals;

Mike ?, bass;

John Kruse, flute and bass guitar.

JK left Nightmare in 1976 (as described in earlier posts and in Freak or smoothy) and then played in:

Works (1977)

A three piece with guitar and drums.  Other names forgotten!  Guitarist played in the Barnsley Music Centre concert band.  For a while Nightmare practiced at the music centre at Charter school on Friday nights and became its ‘house’ rock band.

JK then moved to:

Orion Rise  (1977-78)

JK, bass and flute;

Alan Singleton, guitar;

Nick Alliott, keyboards,

Martyn Waller, drums;

Philip (Ted) Bryant, vocals.

In early 1978 we shared a stage with three other local bands- local punks The Restricted,  O’Conneley’s Corner (described by the Barnsley Chronicle for Feb.3rd 1978 as “more conventional and instrumentally biased” than the punks) and Trogens  at Barnsley Centenary Rooms.  Originally the bill included The Androids and Y?, but they both dropped out with only a few hours’ notice, giving us a last minute chance to play our first gig.  The Restricted‘s drummer, Paul Gilmartin, went on to join first Y? and then Danse Society.  In their time The Restricted were supported by fellow local punks The X-Rippers (who were initially briefly called The Androids).  It’s interesting to note how many elements of the future Danse Society almost all came together that evening, had fate and/or lack of preparation not intervened…

Damascus (1978-79)

same line up as above except with Christine Kula on vocals.

Other Barnsley bands active at the time 

I also remember Lynx (who, like Orion Rise, played the Redbrook pub and who also pulled out at the last minute from the Centenary Rooms gig in March 1978 which gave us the chance to support The Restricted et al) and there was also a band who practiced in the YMCA hall.  In October 1978 the Chronicle featured a forthcoming Centenary Rooms gig by Birmingham band Eazie who were to be supported by Cudworth band Bluesy Ruby.  Their name came from a song by Be-Bop Deluxe; I can report no more than that.  Did you know any of these bands, or know of others?

This is just a sketch and I know we can do better: so, any recollections and contributions?  I will amend and expand as information is received.

I’ve put together a soundtrack for this period in my life, which is here: ‘Freak or smoothy?’- a soundtrack to the novel




8 thoughts on “A Barnsley rock family tree

  1. Martyn Waller, not Martin Warner. Ted Bryant full name Philip Bryant.
    There was another member of Orion Rise for a while, Mike Erwin on sax, who added another dimension to “Hide in your Shell” amongst others. Mike left to make his name in London and we never heard of him again. If you (JK) weren’t on bass at that time, I can’t recall who was.


  2. Alan, you’re quite right on the names- I relied on a cutting from the Barnsley Chronicle for Martyn’s name- plainly an error. I remembered Mike’s sax but not his name; and yes, I was bass player throughout from Sept 1977 to July 79.


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