(All pics/scans: Kev Coulman)
1989 – 1993
Grant Davison (guitar, vocals)
Steve Porter (accordian)
Kevin Riches (guitar)
Kev Coulman (bass, then guitar)
Chris Hoyle (drums)
Neil Tallentyre (whistle)
Mark Gallon (drums)
Karl Isaksen (bass)
Sean Pidd (bass)
Ali Bee (backing vocals)
Fog were formed from the ashes of folk dabblers ‘The Boys from County Hell’ comprising the tin whistle, accordion, vocals and acoustic guitar of Neil Tallentire, Steve Porter, Grant Davison and Kevin Riches respectively. Kev Coulman joined shortly after on bass and the redevelopment and song writing began. Most songs were written by Grant Davison and Kev Coulman, jointly or individually, and then developed by the band, with the songs; ‘Tactic’, ‘Quite a Year’ and ‘Tabloid Snipers’ the first proper Fog songs to be written.
Most of the practice sessions ended up with a few bevies at the pub.
It was in the pub after one practice session that the name ‘Fog’ was suggested, if the folk purist Neil didn’t like it we could always say it stood for ‘Folk On the Grass’!
Shortly after this Neil left the band and sort of became the driver, since he had the use of his bosses van, as long as we didn’t mind sitting amongst a load of plumbing gear while travelling!
Around this time Mark Gallon joined on drums and we had a full band setup, although there was still a long way to go before any resemblance to what could loosely be called a rhythm was emerging. Mark’s drumming at this time was described as the old load of empty paint tins falling down some metal stairs…
A stab at Adelphi musician’s night one Monday did go down very well though and an audience was beginning to take an interest. Fog decided that it would be good to try and get a gig and rang around a few places, Paul at Adelphi was keen and lined us up for some future support slots, but in the meantime Tony at the Alexandra Hotel gave us a weekly residency on a Tuesday! Huh?
The first one of these was in front of the classic first gig audience; comprising an old couple and a dog, honestly! Every band says they have had these sorts of gigs so were glad to get that rock n roll milestone under our belts!
The next week we made sure everyone we knew, ever! would come, including parents and distant long lost relatives, and the place was packed. I don’t think one song was completed from start to end without some kind of mishap, every instrument found its way out of tune from the off and most songs just stopped at some point early on as the audience gaped at the hapless fiasco on stage! The general consensus among everyone was that more work was required before any more gigs were attempted. At least the pub landlord was happy with a full pub on a Tuesday night!
Things did improve though and Adelphi gigs always went down well. The band had Alison on backing vocals for a few gigs and one of these at Adelphi in 1991 was recorded by a bloke we knew with a video camera… A few songs from this gig are on YouTube. The band also recorded a demo tape at Animal tracks with the songs ‘Tabloid Snipers’, ‘Tactic’ and ‘Closed’. Although all concerned were happy with it, it didn’t quite capture the energy of the live performances.
Further recordings were made at Animal Tracks of ‘The Happy One’. ‘Enough’, and ‘Waterhouse Blues’ which the band didn’t get around to putting out as a proper demo for some reason, the admin side was always a bit lacking! As well as a full set recorded by Jim at the Adelphi which included some new songs; ‘Tomorrow’, ‘Trolleybound’ and ‘The Farmer’ as well as some old favourites.
Rubbish instruments and dodgy electrics were always a curse, as well as the general absent mindedness of one or two band members…. One particular performance at Hebden Bridge Trades Club began with the band setting up on stage and Kev Riches opening up his guitar case to find no guitar! Luckily the headline band came to the rescue with a spare but he never did quite live that down! Not long after this episode Kev Riches left the band to pursue his artistic career. Kev Coulman then moved from four strings to six and Karl Isaksen joined on bass after a brief interview at the pub.
Gigs were coming thick and fast and all reviews focussed on the madcap stage antics of Grant Davison, especially during the last few mad songs in the set; ‘Boxes’, ‘Sheriff Song’ and a pumped up version of ‘The Wild Rover’. The band loved to play live and gigs were played up and down the country, as far and wide as London and Scarborough, with a bit of Birmingham thrown in.
Things didn’t seem to be working out with Karl, who was a bit more ‘heavy’ in his musical tastes, so he was replaced by Sean Pidd on bass, Mark also left to be replaced by Chris Hoyle on drums and the final Fog line‐up was complete.
Many gigs were played throughout 1991 and 1992 with an appearance in the final of Soundtrack 1992.
Another demo was set to be recorded at Gilberdyke, which for some reason Kev Coulman titled ‘Who Pilots the Flying Saucers?’ This included three new songs ‘Slack, ‘Snap’ and ‘GTF’.
Late in 1992 Kev Coulman took a sabbatical to go travelling and the band carried on with a replacement for a while into 1993, but alas decided to call it a day some time in 1993.
Tabloid Snipers / Tactic / Closed (cassette) – self released, 1991
Who Pilots The Flying Saucers? (cassette) – self released, 1992
Tales From The Riverbank (compilation cassette) – 1991 (track: The Happy One)
Now That’s What We Call Hull (compilation cassette) – 1992 (track: Enough)
Nice 1 (compilation cassette) – 1992 (track: Closed)
Too Nice For Words (compilation cassette) – 1993 (track: R.I.M.A.)