About Fan Club

Dave MacDonald • vocals
Paul Martin • bass
Jonathan Sussams • bass
Marc Passi • drums
Mrs Hoggins • vocals, drums
Pete Smith • vocals, guitar
Nick Sayer • guitar

A lively band of rockers if ever the was one, Fan Club came together from the remnants of Wrist Action. In response to our request for info on Fan Club, Grant Boult (Chicane) sent us this:

Fan Club were amazing. The singer was Dave McDonald and the drummer was Mark Hoggins, with Nick Sago on guitar. Mark and Nick were then In Midnight and the Lemon Boys, who should have been massive and supported U2 on an early uk tour, and Bono sang a song of theirs, called Strange Drugs at Jenkinsons! And then Nick went on to form Transvision Vamp, who were relatively successful. Fan Club made a recording of a song called Moonbeam. Best, GB

According to Mr. Passi's Brighton Beat Tree, Fan Club had its roots in So and So's Travelling Whatsits (1973-1976). The line-up was: Mark Passi (drums), Tony Payne (bass), Trev Jackman (vocals) and Bob Grover (guitar).

Grover left to form/join the Piranhas, while Passi and Payne joined Tom Maltby (vocals) and Pete Smith (guitar) in a band called Wrist Action. Dave Turvey replaced Tony Payne in a second line-up of Wrist Action but in 1978 he left to become one of the Vitamins.

Passi himself had a brief sojourn with the Satellites while Pete Smith joined up with two members of Plastix, Nick Sayer (guitar) and Mark Hoggins (drums), to form Fan Club mark one with Paul Martin (bass) and Dave McDonald (vocals).

Fan Club mark 1 recorded Night Caller and Avenue on the M&S label (McDonald and Smith), which remained on the jukebox at The Windsor Tavern for months. Find it now on the jukebox)

Sayer and Hoggins left to form the Kemptown Rockers with Marcus (guitar) and Howard (bass). At the end of 1978, Fan Club was a five-piece band again but only for one well attended gig in the Vault.
After that the line-up was Smith on guitar, former Wrist Action colleague Passi on drums, McDonald on vocals and Jon Sussams on bass.

Fan Club mark 2 recorded Cops & Crooks and Moonbeam but failed to impress A&R people in London and, since M&S did not get along with

Attrix Records, Fan Club material never appeared on Vaultage albums either.

After a change of bassist in the summer of 1979, and despite some gigs in London, Fan Club's brief life was over. Although in early 1980, Passi, Smith and Turvey were together on stage as the Brite Tones.

Singer Dave McDonald

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Fan Club Scrapbook

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Fan Club reviews

Night Caller/Avenue
reviewed by Danny Baker

Fan Club sound like they have an infinitely better time (than Gypp, who have a synthesizer and a singer who sounds like the twit out of Flintlock). Even though their Bobby Vee-type back-ups don't work entirely, Avenue deserves its release out of Brighton, which is what this breed of disc is all about.

It's fairly poppy stuff with an unproduced sound and all round amateur dynamite. But like Popes, Halifax FC and the Liberal Party, I feel independents, sadly, are not long for this world.

Media manipulation
After John Wellington made his 'The worst band in Brighton' comment, Passi and Smith wrote several letters of complaint under assumed names, and sent them to the Argus and anyone who would print them. The Brighton and Hove Gazette published a few under the headline 'Hands Off Fan Club'. Subsequently, Wellington churned out a three-column item for the Argus Pop page:

Jealous? I'm Fan Club's biggest Fan
"Fan Club do not always receive praise from me. But they should at least be gratified by the letters I receive from outraged fans regarding my coverage of their musical and literary exploits. I have been called 'A piggy old man', 'Jealous', 'The most boring person in Brighton', 'A bitter old man' and 'Revolting'. One writer, Alice Hearne, has even threatened: 'Wait till we see you, whoever you are."

But, today I can reveal I actually like Fan Club. My article last year, which dubbed them 'the worst band in Brighton', praised their style and imagination. I also wrote that they were visually exciting and engaged the audience. Fan Club are, without doubt, one of the more original and inventive bands in Brighton. Their music has a distinctive style and it is refreshing to see a band which is trying to achieve something different.

But they do make a din. The music is loud and discordant. It does jar the nerves. And that's why I like it. If I want music to send me to sleep there ís always Nana Mouskouri.

Much the same goes for their fan magazine. True, it is a tacky production and I objected to the in-fighting about other groups in the first issue. But it is good to see a local fan magazine and I hope it continues. The February issue is better. It's thicker and has a lot of zest."
Wellington then slags off the magazine and points out that he is the same age as Dave MacDonald, Fan Club's lead singer.
The item concludes with best of the rest: American heavyweight Frank Zappa is at the Brighton

A Year Or So Of Life with Fan Club
downloadable pdf
by bass player Jonathan Sussams

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Fan Club gig listing

Paul Martin
Some gigs played with Fan Club (Mk.1)

The Richmond, 22/6/78
Supported by The Bats, Richmond, 29/6/78
The Alhambra, 4/7/78
The Alhambra, 18/7/78
Supported by
Nicky & The Dots, Alhambra 22/7/78
The Smarties, Buccaneer 31/7/78
The Sattelites, Richmond 10/8/78
Smeggy & Cheesy Bits + The Sattelites, Richmond, 17/8/78
The Vitamins, Richmond 24/8/78
The Smarties, Buccaneer 27/8/78
Various acts – The Vault – Summer ‘78
Sattelites, Squares, Cheesy Bits Richmond, 31/8/78

Just us Upstairs at Ronnie Scotts,
London 22/8/78 Supported by:
Smeggy & The Cheesey Bits,
The Eagle 9/9/78
The Alhambra – 9/10/78 (just us?)
The Alhambra – 23/10/78 (just us?)
Supported by Peter & The Test Tube Babies, Alhambra 9/11/78
Alhambra 18/11/78 (just us?)
Alhambra 23/11/78 (just us?)
Supported by Woody & The Splinters, Alhambra 8/12/78
Supported by Devil’s Dykes,
Art College Basement, 20/12/78
Alhambra 4/1/79 (just us)
Alhambra 11/1/79 (just us)
Alhambra 18/1/79 (just us)

Visit Paul's other bands: Life Size Models | Molesters | Siren | Relatives

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