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Monday, 30 November 2015

45RPM: #68 Don't Let Go - Seventeen (1979)

A Quick History Lesson On Seventeen (formerly known as The Toilets and in the future to be known as Alarm Alarm, and then just The Alarm and also "that Welsh band who sound nothing like U2!")

In May 1977 a young lad called Michael Leslie Peters (soon to be known as Mike Peters) is in the audience at the Electric Circus in Manchester to see The Clash on The White Riot Tour. Within weeks he's formed a punk band called The Toilets. He also took on a Punk Rock name W.C. Smith. In the summer of '77 they play their first show in Rhyl, Wales. They have a new drummer Nigel Buckle (soon to be known as Twist but not before being called Des Troy whilst a member of The Toilets) and a rather cool guitarist Dave Kitchingman (soon to be known as Sharp) had also teamed up with the band as their manager. 

October 1977 The Toilets play their biggest gig to date supporting The Clash at Eric's in Liverpool. December 1977 W.C. Smith (soon to be known again as Mike Peters) meets up with neighbour Eddie MacDonald (soon to be known as...wait for it...Eddie MacDonald!) and a month later The Toilets have... erm... gone down the pan and a new alliance of Peters and MacDonald play together for the first time and a new idea is formed - Seventeen. They played their first gig near the end of May in their hometown. The Band consisted of Mike Peters (formerly known as Mike Peters and W.C. Smith before settling back on Mike Peters) on Bass and Vocals, Eddie MacDonald (still called Eddie MacDonald) on Keyboards, Guitars and Vocal, Dave Sharp (formerly known as Chuck Burial when "managing" The Toilets and also Dave Kitchingman) on Guitar, and Nigel Buckle (formerly known as Nigel Buckle and then Des Troy) on the drums.

Now, over on another website when detailing the history they mention that the debut single by Seventeen was released in March 1980 but that actually sounds wrong to me. I am fairly sure that it was late November 1979 that the single was released on Vendetta Records and Discogs and a number of other Record Collecting sites I visited to double check, triple check all have it at 1979.

Throughout 1980 they are busy playing live all over the place with mod bands and even a support to Billy McKenzie and The Associates! But by early January 1981 they've put the suits back on the coat hangers and back into the wardrobe and rename themselves Alarm Alarm (John Peel even mentioned them!) and by summertime they are plain old The AlarmThe Band consisted of Mike Peters (formerly known as Mike Peters and W.C. Smith before settling back on Mike Peters) on Guitar and Vocals, Eddie MacDonald (still called Eddie MacDonald) on Bass and Vocal, Dave Sharp (formerly known as Chuck Burial when "managing" The Toilets and also Dave Kitchingman) on Guitar, and Twist (formerly known as Nigel Buckle and then Des Troy and Nigel Buckle again...and then simply Twist and Nigel was added at a later date obviously due to the fact that it was unhip to have only one name unless you were a Brazilian footballer or you were Bono!) on the Drums.  

They played their first show in Prestatyn on the 10th June and 20 days later the second, their set already containing a few songs of note: 

Set List : Shout To The Devil/Marching On/Third Light/Across The Border/Mr. Jones/Up For Murder/Second Generation/Unsafe Building/Sixty Eight Guns. 

Oh, and as to the single, it's a power pop/modpop classic that still sells for funny money on EBay and other Rare Record websites! So here it is for free, the proper original 45RPM of black plastic, courtesy of You Tube being played on a "proper record player" as my mate Ralph would say!


A-Side: Don't Let Go


B-Side: Bank Holiday Weekend

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