The Bible at Clapham Grand

In 1985 I was watching the regional news and a new pop band called The Roaring Boys was featured as the last item.  I thought the song was good so I bought the single followed by the album.  A girl at school/6th form had recently written to Peter Coyle from The Lotus Eaters and got a reply so I decided I would write to a member of The Roaring Boys!  But which one?  As a 16 year old girl I naturally picked the best looking one!!  Which turned out to be Dave the drummer, second from the left in this photo.

Amazingly I got a reply!  I think I’d written some giggly teenage guff about how good I thought they were, how the singer had a good voice etc etc!  Anyway, he told me they were going to be doing a gig at one of Southampton University’s sites on bonfire night.  It was literally a mile down the road from me so I persuaded two friends – who’d never heard of the band – to go with me and somehow convinced my mum to get me some tickets which I don’t know how she did considering we weren’t students.

Well we went along and while the support were playing Dave walked through the crowd so I stopped him and explained who I was and we had quite a long chat.

After that gig, I wrote again and he then told me a friend of his had asked him and the guitarist (who unbeknownst to me at the time was Neill MacColl, brother of the late Kirsty MacColl), to join another band which was called The Bible.  So they did.  I have no idea what happened to the rest of The Roaring Boys at this point.

Over the next 4 years I followed the progress of The Bible during which time I moved away to uni.  They appeared on Wogan and released a couple of albums but never quite broke through to chart status (I think they had a top 40 placing).  I still had an occasional letter from Dave and during the first uni summer holiday they played at the Cambridge Theatre in London.  Colin (then boyfriend, now husband) was working in London that summer so we went along to the gig and again met up with Dave outside and chatted.  We also went to see them in Manchester and went backstage and met the rest of the band.

Colin got onto the entertainments committee at uni and during our final year booked The Bible to play our Easter Ball.  Not too many people had heard of them so it wasn’t a huge audience (and it was Bangor North Wales!!) but we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  As it was Dave’s birthday that night I had a cake made in the shape of a drum kit.  They were heading off to Germany that night for some kind of battle of the bands type thing, and sadly after that they decided to split up.  They briefly reformed in 1994 ad did another album but again split.  The singer Boo Hewerdine is now a solo artist and amazing songwriter, one of his songs is Patience of Angels which Eddi Reader from Fairground Attraction had a huge hit with, and for which he received an Ivor Novello nomination.

I was following his blog and then he hinted at a Bible reunion gig.  Well we HAD to go to that.  It was in London last Friday night, so we booked tickets, hotel and train.  We linked up with a girl called Clare who was at the Bangor gig all those years ago and coincidentally also came to my knitting group a few times (small world) and we all went together. We’d met a few years ago – well about 14! – at a Boo Hewerdine gig in Llangollen and stayed in touch.

Unfortunately a couple of days before, I discovered that Dave wasn’t going to be playing for the band which was a real shame as all the other original members were there.  But it was a fantastic night.  I sang along (its amazing how many words you remember even though you haven’t listened to them for years!), and danced a bit and whooped and stamped for the encores of which they did two!

I took a few dodgy photos, and Clare managed to record a whole song on her phone.  Here are some of my pics and a link to You Tube where you can see them playing Graceland


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