The Wadges of Gism circa 1984

Johannesburg and East Driefontein, South Africa

Deviancy galore in Bedfordview ...
... and in East Driefontein

Original lineup in London, 1981-82:
The original lineup is shrouded in mystery, intrigue and confusion and no one really knows who was in the band or what they were doing there. Almost certainly the original lineup includes some or all of the following and maybe even a few more hangers on and misfits: Simon Buckley, Jud Cole, Gordon Gray, Iain House, John Marsden, Jeremy Taylor and Jimmo Taylor.

According to some sources, the band never actually performed and was only a figment of alcohol and speed infused brains. This is absolutely not true. Some portion of the band did perform in a basement in a South Kensington flat. There are no known tapes of this event, no published reviews and no one can remember what was played or who was there. If anyone has any additional information, please come forward.

Wadges of Gism, South Africa Division, 1983:
Gordon Gray (vocals and comb), John Marsden (guitar), and Hywel Thomas (Castle cans filled with curtain rails).

The classic, but severely under-appreciated, “Wadges of Gism – South Africa Division” EP was recorded one strange and malodorous weekend at One Kingfisher Street in East Driefontein. Gray, Marsden and Thomas fused together a unique blend of blues, tongue-in-cheek hip-hop and rock’n’roll to produce a memorable four-track gem. Track listing runs: “Pelekas Stiff Patrol”, “Tamp** In My Teacup”, “Burnt Bell-End Blues”, and “Sweet Little Sixteen – Prince Charles Version”.

Some sources say that a copy of the tape remains in a vault somewhere in the western USA. No photographs or video available, however, a poor quality audio tape and a video (on Betamax, of course) of the Squad performing live at One Kingfisher Street does exist and will be burnt onto DVD. Many members of the Wadges appear on this video, although sadly (?) not with their instruments. (Note: The Squad was a Johannesburg band fronted by Mark Phillpots).

Wadges of Gism III (South Africa), 1984:
Shortly after Cole moved to South Africa from the UK, and with the arrival of Andy Pix on the Johannesburg scene, Wadges of Gism III was formed. Cole took up residence in a palatial Bedfordview country house, complete with live music venue in the bottom of the garden. The Wadges III performed one memorable live concert in 1984 (see photos on website). Sadly no one remembers much about this either.

Track listing included: “Baby’s Got Herpes” (repeated several times), “Live Wire” (also repeated several times), others? Are there any live reviews out there?

In relatively unrelated incidents in 1986 and 1990, Marsden and Cole left South Africa and went to the USA. As everyone knows, there is no music scene to speak of in the States and the band disappeared into oblivion.

Fast forward to 2004:
Rumours of a reunion appear to have started. Despite the fact that the Wadges are now scattered all over the globe (UK, USA, Australia, Belgium, Lithuania etc), a source close to the band seems to think that text messages may have been shared. This has not been confirmed. No one knows when or where the Wadges may appear, or in what form. However, what is clear is that rumours and speculation are rife.

In unrelated news, Lloyd Cole and the Commotions are playing a reunion concert at the Carling Apollo Hammersmith in London on October 15th, 2004, and at least one (guitar-playing) member of the Wadges will be there…..


Outside the house at Bedfordview

John and Jud rustle up breakfast

Andy downs a breakfast beer
The Bedfordview concert hall
Andy, Jerry and an enthusiastic groupie
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