Let’s hear the music again - there’s a very rich four decades for us to celebrate

Music’s been a lifeblood in the Calder Valley for years - and in some ways it’s shown how the area has changed over the past four or so decades.

Monday, 26th January 2015, 2:00 pm
And theyre still going - an early 80s line-up of Owter Zeds
And theyre still going - an early 80s line-up of Owter Zeds

Now local music buffs John Armstrong one time Owter Zed and keyboard player with Wobbly, also known as DJ Northzone, and Dave Boardman of Doddnaze Artists are looking to musicians and fans alike to provide anecdotes and photos from those times, and recordings where they were made and have survived the years.

John saidthe subject would be based loosely on how Hebden Bridge turned from being an old mill town into a hippy enclave, with the focus being on the music that has come from the area ( musicians stretching the length of gthe valley from Sowerby Bridge to–Cornholme) since the late 60s onwards.

“As a teenager growing up in a northern mill town , it was pleasing to find that, after returning from a few years away, the area had become something of a hippy enclave - and that many of the newcomers brought musical instruments with them,” he said.

“Over the years, many of them joined up with local musicians to form bands that have produced music of almost every style imaginable.

“Undriven by commercial success, but rather by a love of creating ‘our own thing’, it always seemed that something special was happening here.

“The time seems right to document this, in the form of pictures, anecdotes and recordings, both for the benefit of those involved and for future generations.”

As the years went on this included visiting favourites like the Psycho Surgeons, happy to pitch in at the Trades Club or at Cornholme’s Red Water Arts Festival, or the Unthanks, modern folk stars who have been as happy in Hebden as anywhere.

Then there are the bands whose releases on their own labels gained them followings and varying degrees of fame - from heavy rock artists Dragster in the 70s, to post-punk popsters Victory Mansions/Some Paradise in the late 80s and early 90s and whose Goodbye Ruth was spun a couple of times in one night by John Peel.

The Last Peach, driven by top indie rhythms, were a national music press tip for the top, as were Langfield Crane - both in the early 90s - with their psychedelic grooves topped by some irresistable tunes.

From choirs to solo acts, and events ranging from Todmorden Greenpeace’s Day on the Green events to Hebden’s World On Your Doorstep festivals, the list is potentially long.

People can send things in or contact John and Dave by e-mail (John’s is [email protected] - Fave’s is [email protected]

Dave added: “We plan to put these memories into a book. Everyone is encourage to contribute and can also do so viaFacebook page https://www.facebook.com/HebdenMusicMemories. Every contributor will be acknowledged in the final product.”