It was on a barge.
End of 1985
(or was it 1986 ?)… Snowing outdoor (or was it just raining
?)… And a bunch of young fans were shouting Tangerine
! Tangerine ! I was two decades younger, shouting and
howling, like a drunken teenage kid, just like I used to be…
In fact, we were
each other one and only copy of Some People…
We probably were the
in Liège to hear about The Dentists
until that night.
But, since these glorious
times, the walls of my little town are still covered by Dentists
I remember them every wintertime, when strawberries are growing in my
courtyard, because I ain’t no garden…
Jean Pierre Devresse,
to receiving my first copy of Some People for its tension, excitement,
Bob and I had
working together at Medway Hospital and when he
came in with some copies of the LP I can still remember the frenzy and
the stunned look on Bob's face as the LP's were snapped up like
hotcakes! Incredibly, someone we knew and worked with had released a
record! People at work wanted the band to sign copies of the
album - I'd
grown up playing football with Bob and Mark at school and now they were
pop stars! Weird!
been a long
anticipated wait for its release and I
couldn't wait to get home and play it and then to find out the next day
what other people had thought of it. I loved it. Some people were
enthused by it; some people were inspired by it; 'Some People' gave the
the dull Medway music fresh impetus - and even the dowdy local
journalists took a shine to it.
hard to choose! I guess Tangerine because
it gave me the chance to get violent on the dancefloor and an ideal
opportunity to knock Aidan Murphy's glasses off.
When I look
back I can
see how the LP had been just what we had
all been waiting for - a refreshing tonic in the middle of a recession
- bringing hope to a generation of downcasts. After its
release it was odd seeing people at gigs who I'd never
met before - overnight, The Dentists had a new set of friends and we
were all part of trying to make it to the London scene........
gig was the
Mean Fiddler in Harlesden - we took 2
coaches up to London and packed out the venue. 'We'd made it' I heard
the newer groupees exclaim, and they were right; so many people were
enjoying themselves on the dancefloor and on stage (even if Bob did
break his strings, causing a hiatus!). It was clear that there
were new interested eyes and ears in 'Laarndon'!
I do remember
Mick that a snippet of his vocals sounded like 'Paki's Out' - which he
refuted, naturally. Sorry Mick.
clarinet - Sorry Denise.
hence, patient as I've been since those heady
days, I've yet to receive my autographed football that
promised (as printed on the back of the album). And I've never
them for spelling my name incorrectly!
Did they ever
OOOPB? Who knows?
I got to know the Dentists and see their live performances and hear
their recorded work in the mid 80s, when I reported on them for the pop
page of a local newspaper. They wore their Smiths' influences on their
sleeves, but also hung around with some very dodgy 60s revivalist
groups, and as a result, I was always enthusiastic about some of their
work, but not all of it.
I looked through my record collection recently for ‘Some
Are On The Pitch....’, to play it again to see if I had any
thoughts about it, but found I had sold it during one of my periodic
record clear outs, so I suppose that says something... but I do still
have the 12" of ‘’You And Your Bloody
If there is anything that has struck me recently about The Dentists it
is about how they ranged between extremes.... from the brilliance of
‘I Can See Your House From Up Here’ to the dullness
stuff I can't remember, they had briefly and intermittently a promise
and a potential that I would have love to have seen fulfilled, and for
a time, they were the only Medway band that (in my opinion) had that
promise and potential. At their best, they could teach the Stone Roses
a thing or two about writing a perfect guitar pop song. At their worst,
they should have been made to listen to 60s Status Quo on a loop
because even they were better. (Honestly, and you have no idea how
painful it is to admit that).
I still would have liked to see them make it big, though.
bizarrely I got drilled [sic] into the Dentists through
voyeurism. I remember Joanne, girlfriend of my friend Max,
small crush on Mick Murphy (allegedly the best looking lad in the
school year) and could see into a youthful Mick’s bedroom
her window. Whether (I can see your house from up here) there
any other links these were never told. Joanne and Max went to
of the early gigs at Medway Little Theatre and insisted I went to your
next Nag’s Head gig. At that time I had never heard
anything like the Dentist sound, evocative of the 60’s with
of new wave, psychedelia, power pop and dare I say, a smidgeon of the
Smiths. It takes a lot to drag me onto the floor but Live
Dentistry always hit the mark at some point during the gig.
and the guitarist always finished with just four strings.
Yup, the Dentists have a lot to answer for in my life; marriage, my
daughter and a slow spiral into debt. But that’s another
Do remember coming round to Bob's for a first listen, remember Acker
slating Alan Crockford's production in the Chatham Standard, remember
rumours of a Wogan appearance on the back of the England World Cup
anniversary or somesuch related event, remember Neil Holmes including
tracks (I'm not the devil and Flowers around me) on a compilation tape
at his birthday party (21st?) and thinking how well the songs stood up
against the rest. Stand out tracks for me - I had an excellent dream,
You make me say it somehow and I'm not the devil - all deserving of
global recognition. IMO - I had an excellent dream is as good a pop
song as any ever written
Neil Riordan, Windsor