By Kev Saunders


The massive  musical change caused by U.K Punk Rock and New Wave in 1977, was seen by many people as having London as its central base and other major cities such as Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham were seen initially as secondary to it. But they , too, were also capable of producing home grown talent such as The Teardrop Explodes, Echo and the Bunnymen, Slaughter and the Dogs, Joy Division, The Fall and The Killjoys amongst others. Bristol  also had its fair share, with the Pop Group, Social Security and The Pigs, not forgetting the local record labels such as Fried Egg and New Bristol Records. The Cortinas , another Punk band from Bristol, were more high profile and found themselves a deal with CBS. 

About 25 miles away from Bristol
is a small market town called Frome. I wasn't born there, but that is where I grew up. I was in my late teens around this time (1977), a keen guitarist who had already played in four or five local bands.  I teamed up with a bunch of guys who also liked the old school Rhythm and Blues, and like myself, were really into Doctor Feelgood, who at the time were spearheading, along with the Flamin' Groovies (an American band who had a cult following in Europe) and Graham Parker, a type of music that was sometimes referred to as Pub Rock, but was already starting to draw bigger audiences. A large part of this change was down to the emergence of record companies such as Chiswick and Stiff and the many different fanzines that were sold at gigs and in record shops.

By late 1977/early 19
78 things had begun to change - The Sex Pistols, Clash, Damned and others would turn the whole music business upside down and other acts such as The Stranglers, who had been around a bit longer, and were more competent musicians, were also drawn in, due to their image, sound and lyrical content. As a result, the Pop charts were now being occupied by many of these acts and their contemporaries, such as The Jam, Blondie and Elvis Costello . Much of this music was influenced by 50's / 60's Rock'n'Roll and Rhythm "n" Blues, and this appealed to those of us who were teenagers around the late 70's and had become bored with a lot of the Progressive music on offer in the middle of the  decade.

Meanwhile, back in Frome,
towards the end of 1977, a few of us had begun to assemble a band in a young persons recreation centre called the Youth Wing, and this would become our rehearsal space. The line-up at that time was - Ralph Mitchard, Harmonica and Vocals, Ivan Bojczuk, Bass Guitar, Kev Saunders, Guitar and Vocals, Mark (Henry) Hutton, Lead Vocals and Guitar and Mark "Bunce" Hunt, Drums. Various band names were suggested including The Contenders and The Thunderbirds .  We finally settled on a name and began calling ourselves The Fix.
We played a few local gigs
, mainly youth clubs, schools, pubs and bars and large houses( if we knew anyone who had one !).
I remember a press report about one local follower of the band being sent home from school for having the band logo on the back of his jacket!

Ralph left the band some
time in summer 1978 to form a new Punk band with his wife Susan. They called themselves Animals and Men, a name taken from a track by Adam and the Ants, with influences from the Italian Futurist Art movement which flourished in the early years of the 20th century. They have since gone on to release several records, some of which are collectors items and to this day they are still a cult act in parts of America and Europe.

During the Autumn of 1978, the four remaining members of The Fix made their first studio demos,
which consisted of covers of Rhythm
and Blues faves and one original song called Go Getter. The Fix disbanded in late 78.

In 79,a new band called Seven was formed
, with me on Guitar and
vocals and Ivan on Bass.  We recruited some other musician friends of ours, Steve on Vocals and Sax, Chris on Drums, and Nick on Rhythm Guitar. We recorded another demo, played a few local gigs and disbanded a few months later around the end of 1979.

In later years, Henry and Ivan
teamed up in what would become an early line-up of The Bad Detectives, another Frome based band, who have released several albums on Alan Wilson's Western Star label.

Over the next few years I went on to play in several other bands,
including the Frome based Rhythm and Blues outfit The Chain Gang and Bath based South of No North .I also worked on live sessions and my own solo projects, before joining Frenzy in April 1984.

Kev Saunders .......
March -27- 2015

Image features YOUTH WING (from left to right: Ralph, Kev and Bunce; picture was taken by Susan Mitchard in 1978)