The Lepton Shoddy StoryIn 1990, Stims told a man called Dog, that his band was ready to perform and headline his birthday bash, at the Green Room, Porthcawl Hotel to some 300 guests. This was a blatant lie as the band had only jammed once and had no singer.
Stims immediately approached a drunk Chris Shaw (a guitarist), at the Sandville Bar, offering a free pint if he agreed to sing for his band. Naturally he agreed, not realising there was a big gig looming in a fortnight.
The band practices before the gig made legendary status in wine drinking and became a memorable adventure. As a result, the band faced 300 people with no setlist, no lyrics and little melody. The idea exited the lads for some reason. Three blokes called Chris and two brothers were about to unleash a new madness to a small welsh seaside town.
Chris Shaw sang abuse at the crowd, dressed as a Japanese God. Big Rich dangled his feed back guitar to the amp, armed to the hilt with effects. Chris Bond, out of his mind on cider, gave a hypnotic bass line, to Chris Hughes’s avant guarde drumbeats. It is believed that Stims had communicated with God that night. He just might of. I’ve never seen a guitarist snap all three bass strings during a song and I never have since.
The management complained about the foul language in an attempt to tame the evening. They surrendered and it got madder.
Looking back, we never expected to get more bookings. Maybe people were sick of cover bands or gossip spread like wildfire, but they came from everywhere to book us. The Pier, the Apollo, The Stage in Cardiff, Maesteg, festivals in Devon and Hawkwind wanted us at their all day festivals.
There were never any full time members, apart from Stims, as people joined in for gigs, even random people out of the crowd suddenly became members of the band. The music left a punk sound behind and moved toward acid rock. The 12th night 1991 gig at the Apollo saw two bass players (Steve Hat) and an extra drummer Mark Warmer. Dai Jinx and Murphy joined in with extra didjereedoos. The manager (Jonus) of the Apollo club had to get the railing from the roadwork’s outside to keep the crowd out of the band.
After this time, Chris Shaw only appeared at some gigs and Gavin took the vocal seat, along with Dai. The band produced their first CD at this period called “Penguin Sunrise”. This really captured the acid rock Shoddy sound.
The band kept alive throughout the nineties, playing festivals and bigger gigs. Eventually the music started to change to a more techno sound. Using unusual production techniques, the Shoddy made a new CD called “Marijuana”. Rich was now travelling around the world and Chunky was living in London. So Chris Hughes turned to percussion, joining Chris Shaw and Stims. They continued to work together on a new dance sound, got a lot of attention from the music industry and produced the white label release “Urbania”.
DJ Graeme Rand & Jake Parcell dropped in beats and were part of the production team, along with the guys at Ocean Studios, Cardiff.
At the turn of the millennium all of the members of Lepton Shoddy were either abroad or hiding.
There became a gap. New bands were not obsessed with moonflower lights, excessive stage smoke, huge paper mache mushrooms, drunken behavour, irrelivant vocals and outright madness. I have not again seen a band play the keyboards with a paint roller or hold down the keys with matchsticks. I still haven't seen a band play guitars with electric razors and the singer play a hoover. They appear to play music these days. Maybe it's time music became shoddy again.
The last Shoddy recording was made in 2003, where Stims, Paul Larcher, Chunky and Shaw wrote and recorded 'nothing really matters'. It is the fist time that Larcher performed as the lead vocalist. Work has currently began on some new tracks.
Watch this space for the long awaited reunion gig, planned for the summer 2006.
Chris Shaw: I was in a band called Lepton Shoddy, who broke up over 12 years ago. We used to play this track and it was awesome. The main riffs were written by Stims and Richard Thomas and it was always jammed it out at life gigs.
(In memory of Mark “Warmer” Williams, a talented drummer, who will sadly be missed by all the lads from the Shoddy.)
I thought I would put the tune it into a new track, but I have used acoustic guitars and a saxophone instead of electric guitars. I had to keep this alive, what a track…
NEWS: Chris is trying to arrange a re-union gig for Christmas 2011
Dog On E (Cover) - Performed by Chris Shaw - (Lepton Shoddy) by shawsax