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, Im 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 Ijax all Stars 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.Tony 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).I cant 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.We had the name The Sole Destroyers for a while and had a fun time but ended up reverting to Ijax again. I have some cassettes of rehearsals at Davigdor Road which I am trying to get converted to WAVs or MP3 files so if its ok with the others Id like to post some tracks on this or a related site. There are loads more stories to tell but space is at a premium. Feel free to get in touch with me at: stuartmusic@live.co.uk .Id 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 Idrenes who evolved into One Drop. 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). 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. We were called Inspiration and did some good local gigs, one of which was as support to One Drop at the Richmond. When this band petered out I found out that One Drop 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 Bass Culture.We had some great support gigs, supported Jah Warriors at Jenkinsons, Misty in Roots at the Top Rank and Barrington Levi at Sussex University ݬGood 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 Vibe Tribe. More mates, a different Tony, Mark and Heather (from Inspiration), similar drum machine and regular Saturday all night sessions saw a massive amount of writing and recording. 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 The Hare and Hounds and the Crypt at Sussex Uni. 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. Bah, Humbug!

Next.Ken and Rob, drums and bass from Idrenes, One Drop and Bass Culture, got in touch with a view to doing something. 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.Once 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 Im incapable of standing up for 90 minutes. Any possible recruits for a Ska and/or Reggae line-up contact me at stuartmusic@live.co.uk

This short extract is by no means complete and lots of interesting/amusing incidents took place along the way. 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!Cheers, Stu (the big feller on the left).