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Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Alphabet Beats #166: Y is for....Yachts

Y is for....

When you speak of bands in Liverpool at the near the end of the the 1970's not many people mention The Yachts. Not sure why that is. They had a number of smashing singles released in their time. Well today we can give them a wee bit of honour by spotlighting them for today's Alphabet Beats. Click on the links to go Yachting!

Formed in Liverpool in 1977 out of a band called Albert and the Cod Warriors (who had apparently supported the Sex Pistols in 1976). The Yachts performed their debut show as The Yachts at Liverpool's Erics supporting Elvis Costello. That led to a short lived deal with Stiff Records to release their debut single 'Suffice to Say' as the 19th single to be issued by the label.

The band originally consisted of Bob Bellis (drums, vocals); John (J.J.) Campbell (vocals); Martin Dempsey (bass guitar, vocals) (later replaced by first Ray "Chopper" Cooper, then Mick Shiner and finally Glyn Havard); Henry Priestman (vocals, keyboards); and Martin Watson (guitar, vocals).

On Radar they released a couple of albums and a bunch more singles (collected together on the video at the head of this post), recorded a couple of Sessions for John Peel ('Mantovani's Hits' was the only one I could find on You Tube from their first session from October 1978), toured with Joe Jackson and The Who and the band split up in 1981.

A couple of interesting things about the band were that John Campbell left the band in 1978 and he helped found the band It's Immaterial. Martin Dempsey left the band in 1980 to become a member of Pink Military (who had formed when Big in Japan split in 1978). When The Yachts split Priestman went to join It's Immaterial (who are best known for their single 'Driving Away From Home') who at one point had three ex-Yacht members Campbell and Dempsey being the other two. Priestman was also a member of Wah! and then The Christians.

(Radar, RAD 19, June 1979) – released as S.O.S. in the USA

Without Radar 
(Radar, RAD 27, May 1980)

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