The Mistakes, London, England, UK Punk

Formed: South East London, England, UK

Discography / Gigography

The Mistakes, London, England, UK PunkThe Mistakes, London, England, UK PunkThe Mistakes, London, England, UK Punk

ABOVE: Outside of the squat in Sidcup. All images are clickable

The lineup band throughout most of 1977, left to right on the image above right:
Rob Bakewell (vocals)
Andy Banks (lead guitar)
Mark Griffiths (bass)
Chris Hussey (drums)
Ruth Norris (vocals)

This lineup lasted from April to circa November 1977, whereupon Chris left and was replaced by Max Splodge (ex-The Tarts). According to Mark Griffiths, the original lineup briefly also featured a saxophonist called John Karakashan.

A Brief History by Andy Banks, guitarist, who provided all the images

1977 saw an explosion in the number of so called garage bands being formed. This is a brief history of one such band as told by Andy Banks their lead guitarist.

I was 25 in 1977 and was studying to become a teacher in South East London. I was living in New Eltham in my step dad's house and we had a garage! I mention my age because it was a big thing in those days. The rest of the band called me "dad" as they were much younger, plus I had a van and did all the driving. Back in 1977 you were past it at 25. Little did I know that Joe Strummer was the same age! You could get away with it back then, no google. I subsequently found out that Charlie Harper of UK Subs is eight years older than me. We played on the same bill as them once maybe twice, but I never spoke with him, in fact I didn't really speak with any of the other bands. I was too focused on what we were doing.

I had been playing guitar on and off for many years and after seeing Generation X play at the Roundhouse, suggested to a number of friends that we should form our own band. Rob Bakewell and Ruth Norris would take on vocals and they in turn were introduced by another friend to Chris Hussey who would play drums. Chris would later introduce us to Mark Griffiths our bass player. Mark and I would spend our time trying to write our own songs in the local pubs. Ruth and Rob would try and put some lyrics to any music that we could come up with.

The Mistakes, London, England, UK PunkThe Mistakes, London, England, UK Punk

ABOVE: In a pub, writing new songs. All images are clickable

My influences were heavily linked to the New York Dolls, Johnny Thunders and of course the Ramones. As a band we would go and see bands like The Damned, The Clash and The Stranglers. The atmosphere at these early gigs was a mixture of tension, aggression and of course much enjoyment. Following on from a few sessions in the garage we found it possible to rehearse at the Avery Hill College site. We played mainly Ramones and Johnny Thunders covers but gradually wrote some original stuff. 'Blitzkrieg Bop', 'Beat On The Brat' and 'Pills' were easy enough to play. We also like playing a punked up version of Buddy Holly's 'Rave On'.

The cleaning staff at the college asked us to play at their summer party. So we did it and although full of stage fright we played our first gig The Avery Hill Cleaners Party gig. This was followed up by gigs in Brighton at the Bathing Machine and the Greyhound in West London. It was after this gig that Chris and Mark were beaten up for being punks.

We would start recording some of our rehearsals at a squat in Sidcup. These are on our sound link page.

Would really love to hear from anyone (favourable or not) who ever saw us play over 40 years ago.The Mistakes - Rocy London WC2 Contract

The next significant event was our audition at the Roxy Club in October 1977. The club was owned by Kevin St John. (a legendary character and shady wannabe gangster). He took a shine to Ruth and Mark and also saw some potential in us. We signed a contract with him and became a Roxy Band, along with a band called Blitz. This gave us new momentum and we rehearsed at the Roxy and played their about 10 times.

Chris the drummer left the band, probably didn't like the violence surrounding the punk scene. I don't think he liked the music we were playing very much either. So we had to audition for a new drummer. By now I was living in Bromley and drinking in nearby Chislehurst. At our regular pub The Crown we met up with a guy called Max. (real name Martin Everest, aka Max Headroom or Max Splodge) I think at the time that he was playing with a local band called The Tarts. Max was a lively character and we auditioned him and he got the job. Was it the right choice, I don't know? The Crown is where he would come up with his most famous song. It was written in the back of the van going to a Mistakes gig.

Never a dull moment. In March 1978, we played a gig at the Albany Empire in Deptford. In the audience was our new Manager, John "Snakey" Doolan. John would get us out of our contract with Kevin St John and start finding new venues to play. We played a number of gigs including the South Bank Poly, Goldsmiths at New Cross and The Tramshed in Woolwich. We played at an open air gig in Charlton Park, but after one number we managed to break a window and were switched off!

Around this time John was able to get us into a recording studio in Regents Park with Martin Hannett as producer. We recorded our most popular live tracks, 'Boredom', 'Making Excuses' and 'Weekend Ravers'. I was always hoping we might get a single released but it never happened. Copies of the master tapes were lost or mislaid and all that remained were some poor quality cassettes. However, in 2020 the tracks might be available on Bored Teenagers Volume 13, courtesy of Dizzie Holmes at Detour Records.

I think we packed up the band in June 1978. Could have gone on but it was time to change.

Banksy 02/02/2020

Any comments to banksyaaa@gmail.com

DISCOGRAPHY

Singles / Albums

Nothing

Various Artists

Nothing

Links

PUNK 77 (where the group photo above comes from) has an excellent band bio, but written by their bassist rather than their guitarist

 

 

You can add stuff and make comments/corrections by emailing me at:

jane@punkygibbon.co.uk

COMMENTS

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