© Fotos & Words by Steve Drury
Party Day: And Now
My involvement with Party Day (and its members) began in 1981 and it ended in Sept 1984 (this included a period with FX). So, as manager, photographer, roadie, buck-stopper etc I kept them busy. The band carried on longer - Tenacious people in Yorkshire!. So what happened? During Autumn 84 Martin wasn’t well and couldn’t contribute any further, and eventually left the band in 1985. Meanwhile Dean Peckett (an excellent musician from Barnsley’s ‘Second Coming’) substituted and then became a fully fledged member in April 85. Dean was very involved in both the Glasshouse EP and Simplicity. Although these were well received locally, they struggled to maintain their original momentum.
After ‘Simplicity’, there were further changes in personnel as Carl left the band, so the line-up became - Dean Peckett (lead vocals/guitar), Mick Baker (drums), along with Shaun Crowcroft (bass) and Paul Nash (lead guitar/ backing vocals [of ‘The Danse Society’]). Although Paul was originally the producer for the new sessions, he soon became an integral band member. It is not known whether this line-up played live or not.
The new line-up recorded two sessions in 1987, with a view to a possible third album. But it soon became obvious that this was a new band with a new style and direction (see Barnsley Chronicle Feature-1988) and then… this line-up broke-up in the summer of 1988. Of the tracks recorded - nothing was released at the time, and there was no epitaph for the band. Much later two tracks from these sessions surfaced on YouTube (go to the page: Party Day on YouTube for more info). Both tracks provided clues as to their change in musical direction (much rawer). Whether these tracks were just demos or a working album in motion were unclear at the time, but Party Day called it a day, and that was that - No blaze of glory, no fish and chip supper.
Since Dean passed away in Jan 2016, the whole of these sessions have appeared on YouTube as a tribute to him, under its silly working title for the sessions/album.
Most of the members of Party Day can still be found; Carl continued to grow his Vortex T-shirt company (check it out) in Barnsley, and also was part of a short lived duo with his brother Greg, creatively called Pastry Dave & The Obvious Wigs. Mick crossed over the Pennines to Manchester, and is still deeply involved with music (Loopadelic amongst others) and building studio technology. Martin is somewhere in deepest Wombwell and Paul Nash re-kindled the light that is The Danse Society and enjoys a happy gothic life in Scarborough. As already mentioned, sadly Dean passed away, however, he alone had been keen on ‘one last gig’ for the band, but that was not to be.
So what else? Well a few years on from the early days and back from Uni, Greg Firth picked up his guitar again. This led to him becoming part of the Barnsley indie rock band The Black Lamps - a multi-talented band with a great local pedigree. They formed in 2006 and were Greg, bass (Party Day), Lyndon Scarfe, gtr (The Danse Society) and Dean Ormston, drums and Liam Stewart, vocals & gtr (both Creatures of Habit).
They gigged locally and were one of the Headliners for the first ever ‘Live in Barnsley’ music festival (Friday 21 June 2013). Long may the festivities continue.
"see them walking past so slowly, like shadows in an empty room"
So why an in-depth site on Party Day? Well in 1999 I believed that it was about time that Party Day took up their rightful place as one of Yorkshire's lost jewels of music scene. After being listed in the Corporate Bible, MUSIC WEEK in 1988, they promptly disappeared from trace.
They resurfaced briefly in Mick Mercer's Gothic Rock book, but since then, most of the ultimate listings have overlooked Party Day. (Although this is beginning to change!).
Party Day (the original site) was squatting on the web in 1999. This is mainly thanks to the keenness of curious fans, and myself. Strobelight Records found this first site and from there, the band agreed to them releasing ‘Atoms’. Now as the web gets bigger, Party Day gets noticed and have had numerous airplays all over the world - you only have to look at the radio and club playlists and auction pages to see that.
Now it’s 2022 and Optimism is in the air! And a Limited Edition Collection ‘SORTED!’ Now released from those terrific lads at Optic Nerve Recordings (officially released, Summer -Autumn 2021, Vinyl arrived in Jan this year). Fantastic. And we have even more friends/fans around the world too.
The following is a selection of sites that either mentioned, provided further information and/or have the odd music file from Party Day:
Party Day was a band with potential . . . and with a bit of time and luck, things might have been different. Flawed Genius? Now it’s time for you to decide.
Although they never quite set London alight, the passion and murmurings were there (a Marquee date was in the offing, a Peel session just around the corner). What was needed was time, which was sadly in short supply. Such a shame for such a great band to be ignored.
Fortunately my archive was in a pretty good shape but some things did get lost with time and house moves. In 2015 I received a copy of the fabled Sounds interview, which ignited a furious burst of activity of adding numerous fanzine interviews, and more stuff from Mick and Dean helped too.
|Party Day - You Tube
|EP and Comp Reviews
|Artwork - Singles
|Party Day and Memories