(Photo c/o Craig Coward)
1979 – May 1980
Craig Coward (vocals)
Dave Friend (guitar)
Alan Patching (bass)
Pete Duffin (drums)
Vocalist Craig Coward told us all about The Mystery Girls…
No, not the legendary combo featuring Wylie, Cope and Burns, but a different band. Mystery Girls had a short lifespan (formed 1979, split in May 1980) but did record a track for the Lincolnshire-based Stark Records compilation ‘Household Shocks’ which has recently been repressed and reissued (https://www.residentadvisor.net/news.aspx?id=34323). We recorded our track in late March 1980 at Studio Playground in Lincs, in half a day. We got onto the compilation as we had a connection to Product Of Reason, who were also on the record, and they recommended us. Which was nice.
We played Buzzcocky / Rich Kidsy power pop, but the recording made us sound rather like The Prats. Not a bad thing, but Jonathan Demme has yet to use our track in one of his films. Ah well.
The band was (L-R in the attached pic): Craig Coward (vocals), Alan Patching (bass), Dave Friend (guitar), Pete Duffin (drums). We also played a single gig, in Brigg, Lincs, with Product Of Reason. We fell apart, as bands do, on the same day that the The Monochrome Set and Fad Gadget played the Welly.
Alan and I teamed up to form Can Can Rouge, a studio project that made two demos at KG Studios in Bridlington (the first with Ken Giles – whose contribution to the local scene cannot be overestimated in my view; and the second with Colin Richardson, now one of the best-known metal producers in the UK).
We also did an interview with Tim Jibson on Radio Humberside in winter 1981 – he had a John Peel-ish show that looked at the local music scene etc. According to him, we sounded a bit like Soft Cell. We didn’t – we sounded like a lovechild of The Cure and Eyeless In Gaza.
Dave Friend went on to form Shower Attachments, who gigged at Hull Truck and other venues in Hull in 1981. I’ve no idea where Pete Duffin is.
Household Shocks (LP) – Stark Products, 1980
Household Shocks (LP) – Dark Entries, 2016 (US reissue)