1979 – 1983
Mark “Hebbs” Hebblewhite (vocals)
Ian “Mac” MacNiven (guitar)
Iain “Wouldy” Would (guitar)
Mark Richardson (bass)
Paul Hewson (drums)
Paul “Watty” Watts (drums)
Nerve Blocks were a Hull punk rock group started by three school pals – Ian “Mac” MacNiven (guitar), Mark Richardson (bass), and Paul Hewson (RIP) on drums – at Kingston High School in 1979, with vocalist Mark “Hebbs” Hebblewhite recruited from neighbouring school Sydney Smith.
Mark Hebblewhite tells us more about the band…
We rehearsed in garages doing covers of punk favourites at the time such as The Damned, UK Subs and Killing Joke, but we were also writing many of our own songs. Our first gig was at Kingston High School – we weren’t on long… but long enough to annoy!
Rehearsals went up a notch weekly with practises at TD Cases rehearsal rooms, a shithole of a building situated down Anlaby Road (now long gone). Great memories of utter chaos, but we still managed to write and rehearse. New drummer Paul “Watty” Watts arrived with the biggest kit I’ve ever seen, but fuck could he play. Another guitarist Iain “Wouldy” Would was also drafted in, along with his black and white Flying V guitar. He too could knock out some serious licks.
Now a five piece, it enabled us to become as tight as hell and to really progress musically, vocals still dodgy though! Hanging out at Basement Threads when owner and raconteur Lance Greenwood naively became our “manager” (Lance sadly passed away in 2018). Gigs followed at Wellington Community Centre, Welly, Tiffany’s, Spring Street Theatre and the legendary New York which became a local haunt where all the punks hung out.
We played many gigs with Born B.C. and Foeticide, two other great Hull bands – always great fun. Sometimes we got paid, but we always managed to get free drinks… we played regularly at Dingwall’s (more free drinks!) unleashing such classics as “Cold War Crisis”, “TV Zombies” and “Nightmare Rock” along with many of our favourite covers, until Dingwall’s mysteriously burnt down.
We played Bridlington Spa as part of a “festival” where we were second on the bill, a totally mental day from start to finish. Nerve Blocks’ last gig was at Spring Street Theatre supporting The Meteors in 1983.
The band still remain good friends to this day – in fact we even managed a reunion in 2018 at Lance’s funeral, giving him a proper Nerve Blocks send off.
Probably the best thing any angry teenager could do is to join a band for the camaraderie of like-minded people, drinking, playing music… and generally fucking about. Priceless.
Images / info c/o Mark Hebblewhite – used with permission.