To tie-in with this weekend’s sold out concert celebrating the life of local musician Mick Gillett who died recently. A website has been launched for MickFest, featuring all sorts of archive treasures (video, audio, photographs) and mementos in memory of Mick and the fantastic acts performing at MickFest on October 29. The website cab be found at: mickfest.com.
One of Ely’s most popular bands of the late 80s and early 90s, Crossland, are to perform a one-off reunion set at the Maltings on 29 October 2011. Crossland along with reunions by Nutmeg and The Traceys (Donald Elseys Big Decision) make for a mouthwatering line-up for MickFest – A celebration of the life of Mick Gillett who recently passed away.
Crossland at 1990 Cambridge Rock Contest
Of Crossland, Lead singer Chris Williams said: ‘It’s been 19 years since we all last played together and you could say that a lot of water’s passed under the bridge. We’ve all been in and out of different bands over that time: Beach Blanket Bingo, Starlings, Rigby, The Traceys, Duvet, etc as well as starting families, having kids and seeing them grow up. Things were very different for us all in 1991!’
‘There were a number of factors that led us to get together but the real catalyst was when Lee Gillett contacted us about ‘Mickfest’. It seemed to make sense to do it now: in memory of Mick, it’s a worthwhile cause to raise money for and, hopefully, because it will be a great event with all the other bands involved. All the right reasons basically.’
‘Another reason is that, having tried out some of the songs, we think they sound as fresh and as vital as they ever did – and we’re looking forward to playing them again. They deserve to be heard!’
As with most band splits it wasn’t a particularly happy end to Crossland. ‘Mickfest’ will be a happier experience for us as well as serving as a massive thank you to all the Crossland fans from 20 years ago who haven’t forgotten us!
To coincide with their performance Crossland are to finally release the album ‘Rinky Dink’ after 19 years. Originally due out in 1992 but with the band splitting that year it never got a release. ‘Rinky Dink’ is a fantastic album and clearly showed the band were moving in a new direction from their previous album ‘Really Big Nothing’ (which will also be available on the night). All profits from the CD sales will go toward the festivals chosen charity.
Tickets are still available for £7.00 at MickFest.
John Glover & myself had been gathering features for a local music magazine we were planning to publish. We had interviewed Higher Breed, Chris Williams of Crossland had kept a diary of the band’s experiences on the Radio 1 roadshow. We needed more features and a good place to start was Hedgehog Records in Market Street. The proprietor, David Cook, had always been keen to promote local bands and stocked all the demo tapes. John stumped up the fiver to buy the latest demo tape which happened to be Rolled & Ready by The Excitable PJ Maybe.
We loved their 60s garage punk and arranged a photo shoot and interview. On Sunday afternoon June 30th 1991, we met with the band in Little Downham and done the shoot. That’s essentially where it ended as we never managed to finish the magazine and the once thriving music scene was collapsing around us.
Fast forward seventeen years and I come across a few surviving negatives from that shoot and approach Antony Turner, one time guitarist of the PJs, to ask if he would write about the band – this is his story:
‘This is the embarrassing bit where I talk in the microphone expecting it not to be on but it is.’ What a way to open a set! The small crowd laughed and prepared to watch one of the best local bands of this decade.
Jeff have come a long way from their beginnings five years ago, playing their first gigs at a LEAPS night at the Locomotive in Cambridge. After surviving line-up changes and break-up rumours, the band are currently gigging manically and gaining well-deserved recognition. Tonight explained why they are doing so well on the music scene.