Stu | The History of Brighton Punk Bands: Ijax | June 2009
Further to the e-mail from Hoppy and referring to the photo of Ijax all Stars, Iĺ─˘m Stu (the big feller on the left) and I think it was taken at the New Regent. I remember those times like this: About the time that Alan, Lou, Neil and Hoppy were gigging as ĺ─˛Ijax all Starsĺ─˘ me and a mate called Tony were running a club called The Third World in Seaford. At the same time we were helping a P.A. hire company run by another friend.ČŢTony and I went to The Crown in Hailsham to help set up. While there I exchanged phone numbers with Hoppy because someone had pointed out that he played drums in a reggae band. Anyway, Hoppy had broken his arm so we set up a rehearsal with the rest of the band (Ijax).ČŢI canĺ─˘t remember where this was but I hope Al, Lou or Neil will get in touch to fill in the gaps.
We hit it off straight away, wrote a couple of songs there and then and started gigging using a cheap little drum machine.ČŢWe had the name ĺ─˛The Sole Destroyersĺ─˘ for a while and had a fun time but ended up reverting to ĺ─˛Ijaxĺ─˘ again.ČŢ I have some cassettes of rehearsals at Davigdor Road which I am trying to get converted to WAVĺ─˘s or MP3 files so if itĺ─˘s ok with the others Iĺ─˘d like to post some tracks on this or a related site.ČŢ There are loads more stories to tell but space is at a premium.ČŢ Feel free to get in touch with me at:ČŢ firstname.lastname@example.org .ČŢIĺ─˘d love to see all of the band again so get in touch Lou, Alan, Neil and Hop!
During my spell with IJAX there was always a friendly rivalry with another Brighton reggae band called ĺ─˛Idrenesĺ─˘ who evolved into ĺ─˛One Dropĺ─˘.ČŢ When IJAX came to a leisurely end I was gagging for more so formed another band with more local mates (Jim, Sue, Kev, Sue and a variety of drummers).ČŢ It was a similar situation to early IJAX as we wrote a set of material first with a drum machine then added a drummer when we were ready to gig.ČŢ We were called ĺ─˛Inspirationĺ─˘ and did some good local gigs, one of which was as support to ĺ─˛One Dropĺ─˘ at the Richmond.ČŢ When this band petered out I found out that ĺ─˛One Dropĺ─˘ had split, due to musical differences I expect, ha ha!
Drums (Ken), Bass (Rob), Guitar (Paul) & Percussion (Colin) remained intact so Tony and me sort of blagged our way in and when we had bonded and rehearsed a set we went out as ĺ─˛Bass Cultureĺ─˘.ČŢWe had some great support gigs, supported ĺ─˛Jah Warriorsĺ─˘ at Jenkinsons, ĺ─˛Misty in Rootsĺ─˘ at the Top Rank and ĺ─˛Barrington Leviĺ─˘ at Sussex University ČŢČŢGood times, good gigs, good mates and a good giggle was had by all but all good things come to an end. And so, on to ĺ─˛Vibe Tribeĺ─˘. More mates, a different Tony, Mark and Heather (from ĺ─˛Inspirationĺ─˘), similar drum machine and regular Saturday all night sessions saw a massive amount of writing and recording.ČŢ We looked for a drummer and a singer (I vowed never to hit the road with a drum machine again) and when found, played some good gigs which included ĺ─˛The Hare and Houndsĺ─˘ and the ĺ─˛Cryptĺ─˘ at Sussex Uni.ČŢ Once again the axe fell as the singer did the dirty and formed his own band, taking one of our keyboard players with him and the drummer left to travel around India.ČŢ Bah, Humbug!
Next.ČŢKen and Rob, drums and bass from Idrenes, One Drop and Bass Culture, got in touch with a view to doing something.ČŢ We had a lot of jams with various personnel and settled with I.P. and Theresa on vocals with Kens daughter, Kim, providing a wicked take on rapid D.J. styling.ČŢOnce more, got a set together, did gigs, game over 1996ish.
Done little in the way of music since but am getting twitchy and need one final fling before Iĺ─˘m incapable of standing up for 90 minutes.ČŢ Any possible recruits for a Ska and/or Reggae line-up contact me at email@example.com
This short extract is by no means complete and lots of interesting/amusing incidents took place along the way.ČŢ Anyone involved in any capacity in my musical history is welcome to fill in the multitude of gaps that time, space and dodgy memory have left!ČŢCheers, Stu (the big feller on the left).