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When Mark Deacon (bass/vocal), John Togher (drums) and I formed The Moths in 1982 out of the embers of London band Rogues Gallery, no one would have expected it to last a quarter of a century. All we cared about then was being the best 12stringindierockswingjazzfeedbackballadeeringpowertrio that South East London has ever produced.
All these years later I have absolutely nothing to add to that.
Andy McNally replaced John in 1983 and soon after that the first recordings were laid down, one of which, "Circles", is included in the sound files. Early shows on the London circuit caused a bit of a buzz, with mentions on Capital Radio and an interview on BBC Radio Kent. This led to performances at The Woolwich Tramshed and The Orange Box in Deptford and from there to regular dates at both venues. The Orange Box soon turned into London's greatest psychedelic club of the 80s, The Crypt, and as house band we couldn't have found a more perfect place for our music - "Run A Million Miles" dates from around these first Crypt shows.
Having been messed about by a couple of major record companies (you probably don't even remember who you are now do you?), we financed the first album ourselves. Summer Snow was released in 1986 and received a fair bit of radio airplay and more features on BBC regional stations. Distributed through Crash Landing Records the original pressings sold out, with 1,000 copies going to both Australia and The Netherlands.
In 1988 we went back to the studio to try and capture our live sound on record, and the "Walking On A Wire" EP, on Distortion Records, was pretty indicative of what was happening at the gigs we were playing up and down the country at the time. This release went to several pressings and once again sold out, and regularly turns up on internet collectors’ sites. “Dance Your Life Away” is included in the sound files.
Unfortunately in 1989 The Crypt and other venues began to close and we realised that time had moved on. Mark left, followed by Andy, to be replaced by Alan Lacroix (bass/vocals) and Gerry Pettit (drums). This line up gave rise to 5 new recordings, which were either not released at the time or only circulated as demos or charity releases. “For The Ages” is included in the sound files. Sadly this period ended in a power struggle between band and management, and rather than compromise the music, we all walked away.
After I'd spent a period as a session guitarist on the C&W circuit (the electric bluegrass stuff is great, the rest isn't) Mark got in touch and within days we were back up to speed with Gerry on drums. This hybrid line up was musically interesting, gigged a lot to good press reviews, but was never recorded.
A further change in 1997 reunited Mark and me with Andy McNally who had been playing drums and keyboards in club bands in Norfolk, where he now lives. More live dates followed, including a couple in front of shell shocked Norfolk club audiences, and a limited release EP “Bubbles In The Water”. Incidentally "I'm Laughing" was written about the 1997 general election, I’m sure it will apply equally well to others in the future!
It's the year 2000 and the regular grind up the M11 to and from rehearsals causes Andy to leave once more. Enter Dave Bennett, former Bootleggers drummer and enthusiastic new band member and organizer. Dave sorted out the website, arranged live dates, recording sessions, and kicked off the latest project Moth–Balls, a 2 CD anthology containing 28 tracks spanning 25 years! This involved tracking down the master tapes of all the old recordings, locating various historic tape machines on which to play them, and uploading everything onto state of the art digital recording equipment. This took 2 years to put together, and we also added 5 new tracks featuring the then current line up. You can download the album and all our catalogue from iTunes and other internet retailers. Search under "The Moths".
Having spent so much time in the studio putting Moth-Balls together, we needed to play, and spent the next two years gigging in the UK and France without recording a note. Unfortunately Dave’s health had become an increasing problem and he finally left the band at the end of 2011 after 11 years.
At this point we took a long hard look at what we were doing and decided to change direction. Out went the twelve string and a lot of the material associated with it (it may well return one day), and in came more R&B based material with a definite 50s feel. At the same time we were joined by new drummer Geoff Pearce, a 60s R&B band veteran and Motown enthusiast. Geoff’s fluid, jazzy style changed the band sound significantly, as did Mark’s debut as lead vocalist on a couple of numbers (it’s only taken him 30 years!).
2012 was spent building up a new circuit of gigs and festivals, with renewed enthusiasm from Mark and me, and with Geoff fitting in very quickly. A new release was urgently needed and in March 2013 we recorded the EP “Sunset Blues” containing four tracks from our current live repertoire. It’s a mixture of 50s style rock and swampy R&B, and represents exactly where we are as a band right now. If you don’t like it then you don’t like us I’m afraid, and that’s a shame.
Thankfully most people do like it - please click on the thumbnail on the music section of the site for a free i-Tunes preview.
This site is dedicated to all the people who have helped us at any point during this time, who buy the records, come to shows, dance, applaud, or who understand, appreciate, or just get off on what we do, because at the end of the day it's all about the music and nothing else. It's also dedicated to those of you who missed it, either by accident or design, and those of you we have yet to meet.
See you soon loud ‘n’ live.