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2.2. What's the band's history? (Flying Saucer Attack)


This article is from the Flying Saucer Attack FAQ, by Michael Stutz stutz@dsl.org with numerous contributions by others.

2.2. What's the band's history? (Flying Saucer Attack)

The history of FSA is intertwined with of bunch of other bands
(Crescent, Movietone, AMP, etc.) that formed in or around Bristol.

Here's the short version, according to Dave: ``I've played live with
AMP once or twice, or Longfield or whoever, or some of Movietone,
Crescent, Third Eye [Foundation] have played live with FSA on
occasion---but in terms of who was ever really a member of whatever
bands -> FSA = Dave + Rachel (and Rocker as honorary member), now FSA
= Dave (+ honorary Rocker). Therefore Rachel in Movietone is the only
true related band (in fact the 'Tone probably started before FSA, as
did Crescent, AMP, and probably Third Eye).

And the long version: back in approx. 1983-'86, Dave Pearce was
involved with a school band called HaHaHa (an early name for the band
that Dave had suggested was ``the Distance''). They released one EP in
early '85.

``HaHaHa were, on occasion, far better than the EP we put out in early
1985. The main man was Robert who was (and is) a great talent. He
supplied the genius Beatles-inspired songwriting, I supplied the
attitude towards using distortion/feedback etc.---yes, Oasis-styled,
10 years before---although without the laddish bullshit. Incidentally,
I've never been a Beatles fan at all. You may know that the Oasis bass
player wrote a book recently about errant 70s English footballer Robin
Friday. Book's called The Greatest Footballer You Never Saw
me and my Dad saw him every Saturday home game at Reading---we had
season tickets---so there!''

After Dave left the band, they became Rosemary's Children, releasing a
7" mini-LP on Cherry Red. Dave went on to join a band called Mexican
Embassy, whose members included Andy Revell on bass (``as in early
Secret Garden line-up, and Philosopher's Stone LP track''). They
played lots of gigs, and performed one or two early Dave FSA tunes.

For five years beginning in 1987, Jon and Dave worked on a no-name,
occasional recording project; there were no gigs, only
recordings---see the Earworm 7" in the discography.

When Dave attended Farnham Art College in the late 80s, he met a
number of fellow conspirators, including Dave Mercer (Light), Richard
and Guy (AMP), Gareth Mitchell (Philosopher's Stone), Andy Revell
(Mexican Embassy, above), John (Summer Sang), amongst others (e.g.,
Alex and Jason). They formed a band called The Secret Garden, which,
according to Dave, ``did not sound like what any guys have done since!

``All these people (ie, "Secret Garden" axis, "LSV" axis) knew each
other before anyone was putting records out or really thinking
seriously about putting records out. Hence the blurring of who is
really in what---it's a bunch of friends, and so there's been a lot of
helping each other out. You must remember that in '88--'92 when the
social connections were being made, and musically it was all starting,
there didn't exist all these small labels who were open to these kind
of musical ideas (such as recording only guitar-based bedroom one/two
person "bands," etc etc). So although we all had musical ambitions on
a creative level, we were more interested in pursuing that side,
rather than career ambitions. That's not to say that by trying to push
the musical side we weren't aware that the resulting better quality
(as in interesting/imaginative etc) would serve better in career terms
(i.e. getting the foot in the door to start a career).

``The Secret Garden never recorded. There are rehearsal tapes (mostly
Richard AMP has them safe and sound). Secret Garden played two gigs
(first bottled off 5/10 invites at Farnham Art College dance event),
second supporting those (TKTK?) Love in Coventry in 1989 (possibly
1990) as an audition for Alan McGhee/Creation. Richard was doing some
sleeve design for Creation at the time, McGhee quite liked Richard's
rehearsal compilation tape---didn't like the gig too much though!
Secret Garden sounded fairly normal, tune-based---not too much

Then around 1991 or so, the Distance became another idea of a
band---this time, between Dave and Richard. One demo tape of stuff was
recorded, seperately apart from ``November Mist,'' as on FSA's
Distance. The rest of the demo tapes have cropped up on FSA or AMP
releases (see the noise at the start of ``My Dreaming Hill'').

Between 1991 and 1992, Dave, Rachel, Matt Elliot and Kate Wright
(later of Movietone) also recorded---rehearsal tapes only---under the
moniker Lynda's Strange Vacation, which later became the name of
Elliot's label (later changed to Linda's Strange Day). The band was
already formed when Dave joined; he ``chimed or played guitar for a
while. It was obvious they were a talented bunch even then.''

Dave then co-founded FSA with Rachel Brook, his girlfriend at the time
(she played bass; Dave did everything else). Their first recordings
were in the summer of 1992. Eventually Rachel went on to concentrate
on her Movietone project, and as of now the band is ``just'' Dave.

Although various albums and sources have listed the following names as
bandmates at one time or another: Simon, Sam (live), Deb (live) and
Matt Elliot (live), according to Bill Kellum of VHF Records
<http://www.vhfrecords.com/>, ``Those people have played live with
Dave once or twice, but there's never been a consistent live line up
and not that many live shows to begin with anyway. Movietone is really
the only band with any FSA members in it.''

In the early days, Third Eye Foundation ``was a bunch of people
including self [Dave], Rachel, and indeed Matt "Elliot," banging
bongos. Not much to do with current Third Eye I'd say.''

Here are Dave's claims to fame: ``I saw Robin Friday play football in
the 70's. Saw the Jesus and Mary Chain "riot" gigs in London (ie
North London Poly, Electric Ballroom) ... they were riots, in fact
all their other early gigs were apparently far more violent. Er,
that's it.''

Here are FSA claims to fame: ``People who once claimed to like FSA
include Patti Smith, Tom Rapp, Robert from Main, Edward from Legendary
Pink Dots, Colin Newman, er, er, er, Stephen from Pavement, er ... oh
well. Oh yeah, I liked the Sex Pistols in '77.''

In a note from Dave posted on the FSA mailing list, dated 29 Sep 2000,
he wrote, ``I still do feel the old band name makes no sense
nowadays.....it always was a bit of a silly name, but when we started,
that kind of space/UFO thing wasn't around musicwise, in fact it took
a bit of nerve going with a name like that as it stood out like a sore
thumb...even things like the X-Files weren't on TV at that point! So
for a year or so people put our records in the 'F' section in stores
and then suddenly I noticed they were putting them in new sections
called 'Space Rock' that were popping up in stores, and of course the
name suddenly fell right in with that, to the extent that now it's
impossible to shake that off.... I've never been doing Space Rock
anyway, such as I understand it; just been trying to do my own thing,
as I was before there was a genre that came along and swamped it
(names-wise). So, that's another reason to make some kind of a break.
Try and get some identity back.''

Apparently the Rezillos <http://www.comnet.ca/~rina/rezillos.html>, a
Scottish punk band from the 1970s, had a song called ``Flying Saucer
Attack.'' Could this be the origin of the band's name?


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