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The Bollweevils
(England) Sheffield
The band came together in Sheffield in April 1988, the idea initially was to be Husker Du with a female singer and after a few false starts with drum-machines and rhythm guitarists we soon settled down to a steady 4-piece line-up that stayed together for three years. Sarah Griffiths (vocals) Mark Johnson (guitars) Steve McKevitt (bass) and Chris Coyle (drums).
Self-managed, we spent the next 18 months solidly gigging around the country to crowds of the one-man and his dog variety. Back in Sheffield though, we did build up a respectable following in due to a series of good gigs and lots of local radio play. During this time we made a couple of compilation appearances on stuff like "Corrupt Postman" along with a lot of Sarah records bands we didn't like which helped us enormously.
We had plenty of A&R types coming to see us but no firm offers and eventually signed a pretty lengthy deal with then popular indie label, Vinyl Solution. In March 1990 on VS's Decoy imprint we released our first single, the self produced "Talk To Me" EP. It was a decent single and sold pretty well. but proved to be the first of many mistakes. we recorded in a couple of days for £280. Our best song back then, by miles was called 'Turn Your Head' and we had a great version recorded, but naively chose to hold it back for the second single, which we though was being released in May Wrong! Vinyl Solution, it transpired had major cash flow problems and decided to restructure. They took a decision to stop releasing stop releasing lots of records that sold, frankly, bugger all and concentrate on a smaller number of acts with a view to chart glory. Out went bands like Sink, The Venus Beads, Bomb Everything and although for different reasons, Mega City 4 and the Sensless Things.
While the money went on Pale Saints side project Edsel Auctioneer, proto-Cranberries The Would Beez and us. Things took a bizarre turn when our hero, Husker Du mainman Bob Mould expressed an interest in producing the next single. We got very excited, but this wore off after negotiations dragged on for months and months and everything went quiet. It was January '91 by the time we got back in the studio with a big budget and new producer Not Bob Mould but ABC's Steve Singleton. It was a very difficult session. Recording was initially scheduled for just 5 days in actual fact it took six months. First of all Chris left to go back the medical school and was replaced initially by Caroline Bodin (whom I last saw playing with Jimmy Tenor) and then permanent replacement Pete Darnborough who joined from Leeds techno-goths MDMA. Next recording overran and although we quite liked the Steve Singleton recordings which were pretty good but very poppy and completely different to the first single, the record company hated them. We ended up re-recording the tracks in June with punk/dance producer Alan Scott.
In August, over eighteen months since the release of our single we decided to take drastic action. Rather than split up the band, we appointed a manager and added a second guitarist, Mark Shaw formerly of Circus X3. We recorded another EP the following month with Jim Beattie (ex Primal Scream) and on production duties. 'Mouth' was released in November and got a lot of radio airplay and on the back of that made the top 100, but unfortunately Decoy didn't get enough copies into the shops. It did well Belgium by all accounts. At the beginning of 1992, we did a final single for Vinyl Solution Missing Out, but that was never released to my knowledge.
The followed a period of ennui during which we kept plugging away, eventually getting the interest and money to record an album in March 1993. During the course of recording the album and this is absolutely true our manager I've got to be careful here 'diverted funds'. That meant that we couldn't pay the studio or the producer, so they confiscated all our gear in lieu of payment and sold it. By that point, Mark Shaw and me had had enough and left, shortly followed by Pete.
Where Are They Now?
Mark Shaw did an album in the mid 90's Heave and then formed a band called Sweet Thing with his girlfriend Anna, who was a session musician. I haven't seen him for a few years.
Mark Johnson and Sarah Griffiths formed 'Bolster' who I think are still going they've don't quite a few singles and a mini-album over the past 8-9 years. Not successful though.
Original drummer Chris Coyle is a GP in Scotland.
Pete Darnborough lives in Glasgow, still works in the music industry and as an events organiser. He doesn't drum any more
Steve McKevitt Quit music altogether. Worked in PR and spent 10 years in the video games industry. Currently Communications Director for ZOO Digital PLC.
Discography: DYS6 Talk To Me EP (Talk to me/Hold me Up to the Light/All the Same/It Cheers Me Considerably)
             DYS12(DEL) Life's A Scream EP (Unreasonable/World's Apart/Out Of Time/Crawl Round)
             DYS12 Mouth EP (Mouth/Restrained/Carry On)
             DYS 18 (DEL) Missing Out/Unreasonable
Steve McKevitt for TweeNet in November 2002

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Talk To Me (12") 1990
on Decoy Records - DYS 007
On compilations:
on Windmill Records
- Turn Your Head
Last updated: 17-Nov-2003 © 1994-2023 TweeNet Creative Commons License