Town’s scene is recalled in book

The author will sign copies at the Charles Bradlaugh on June 17

The author will sign copies at the Charles Bradlaugh on June 17

Author Derrick Thompson will be celebrating the launch of the third volume of his book, Have Guitars...Will Travel next week.

This book looks at the Northampton music scene from 1980 to 1987 , taking in local bands and those visiting the town.

Mr Thompson said: “In the 80s, local bands were less interested in playing cover versions. Most bands now wrote their own material. It was more artistically rewarding.

“The age of bands having three guitars and drums had now been permanently enhanced. Keyboards had come to stay in the 1970s and in the 1980s electronic instruments, such as drum machines and synthesizers, became more compact and inexpensive.

“The live performance experience could still best be heard locally in pubs, especially The Black Lion and working men’s clubs. Bigger music venues like Nene College and The Roadmender came to prominence.

“The Derngate opened in 1983 and Northampton had a modern theatre capable of attracting hundreds of people to listen to live music. Beneath it, the Derngate Lower Function suite became a regular haunt of local bands.”

It took Mr Thompson 10 months to put the third volume together and he spent about 1,000 hours tracking down and interviewing band members, collecting photographs and memorabilia, writing and editing the story and designing the artwork.

He added: “The most successful bands in Northampton during the period 1980-87 were Bauhaus, Love & Rockets and The Jazz Butcher who all had good recording careers.

“Other bands of note were Antisect, an anarcho-punk band from Daventry, Trance, who were described as an aural equivalent of a Francis Bacon Screaming Pope, and Accrington Stanley, who are still going strong today with their extensive Beatles and Eagles repertoires.”

During the era, the likes of U2, New Order, The Smiths, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Roy Orbison all played in the county.

To mark the release, Thompson will be signing copies at the Charles Bradlaugh on June 17 and there will be music by Russians, Venus Fly Trap, Cats Collide, Paul Cox and a DJ set by Alex Novak.

Doors open at 8pm and tickets cost £5.

The following night, Have Guitars...Will Travel Live takes place at The Picturedrome as part of the Northampton Music Festival.

Nine bands will be playing include Accrington Stanley, Dark, General Belgrano, The Red Room, Retreads, Kamikaze, Groovy Underwear, Russians and Sacred Hearts.

Music is from 3pm until midnight.

Admission is free.