© Fotos & Words by Steve Drury
"see them walking past so slowly, like shadows in an empty room"
Party Day: And Now
My involvement with Party Day ended in September 1984 (after almost 3 years [including the FX stint] as the manager, photographer, roadie, buck-stopper etc) and they obviously carried on a little longer. So what happened: After a short break, as Martin wasn’t well, he left the band in 1985 and in April was replaced by Dean Peckett (another excellent musician from Barnsley’s ‘Second Coming’). Dean was very involved in both LP's, and although these were well received locally, they couldn't regain the momentum that the band had begun earlier, even with their truly magnificent ‘Glasshouse’ EP.
Their months of re-adjustment and changes had not been kind to them, however they re-surfaced in 1986 with their second LP ‘Simplicity’.
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), Shaun Crowcroft (bass) and Paul Nash (lead guitar/ backing vocals [formerly of ‘The Danse Society’]). Although Paul was originally the producer for the 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. It soon became apparent that this was a new band with a new style and direction 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 You Tube (see Party Day on You Tube for more info). Both tracks provided clues as to their change in musical direction. 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 You Tube 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 with his Vortex T-shirt company (check it out) in Barnsley. Mick crossed over the Pennines to Manchester. Martin is somewhere in Wombwell and Paul Nash re-kindled the light that is ‘The Danse Society’ and lives happily and gothically in Scarborough. As already said, 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 Greg Firth picked up his guitar again. This time Greg became part of the Barnsley rock band ‘The Black Lamps’ - a multi-talented band with a great local pedigree. They formed in 2006 and consist of former members of Party Day, The Danse Society and the Creatures of Habit, namely; Greg Firth (bass), Lyndon Scarfe (guitar), Dean Ormston (drums) and Liam Stewart (vocals & guitar).
They’ve been gigging for some time and were one of the Headliners for the first ‘Live in Barnsley’ music festival (Friday 21 June 2013). Long may the festivities continue.
So why an in-depth site on Party Day? Well I believe 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.
Party Day (the original site) moved on to the internet in 1999. This is mainly thanks to the keenness of curious fans, and myself. Strobelight Records had caught site of the first site and were interested in the band. Now as the web gets bigger, Party Day are getting mentions and airplay all over the world - you only have to see the auction and playlist sections to see that.
And here is a selection of sites that either mention, provide further information and/or have the odd music file, all from Party Day:
As the word continues to spread around about Party Day, it only makes this more poignant - about a band that could’ve become huge. With a bit of time and luck, things might have been different. Flawed Genius? You decide.
Although they never quite set London alight, the passion and murmurings were there (a Marquee date was always in the offing). 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 too.
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 - Photos|
|Studio - Photos|
|Party Day - You Tube|
|EP and Comp Reviews|
|Artwork - Singles|
|Party Day and Memories|