The Breathers – Living In The Age Age biography

The Breathers:  Livin In The Age Age

ACTION!

Ric Hool and Jim Bell (aka Red Ferrari) moved to Hastings from Newcastle, in late 1978, on the back of an abortive management deal with Brian Leahey, who was working at that time from East Grinstead: Brian managed musician friends in the group, ‘Goldie’.

A few weeks after arriving in All Saints Street, Old Town, Hastings Steve Demetri called round to check-out the Geordies, apparently steered that way by Tich Turner.  Steve returned a few days later with John Wilde (aka Izzi Peptone) – they were musical celebrities of Hasting. There was an instant recognition of energy.

Daily rehearsals soon began above Steve’s parents’ café on the seafront, on the corner of St Mary’s Crescent: things got tight. It was a purple patch of creativity for each member and Ric was pushed forward as the song writer, exploring and synthesizing the musical capabilities of the group. It might be said that these pre-gig days were the best and most joyous.

Steve introduced a keyword to the group, ‘Action!’

He would say it, animating the word with an arc of his fist in the air, as if delivering a left hook. It became an uplifting statement and a vital gesture to The Breathers.

A name had to be found.

Izzi Peptone burst in one day and declared, “We are The Breathers.”

Nothing to argue about.

‘Livin In The Age Age’ was written on demand by Steve and Izzi  who wanted an all-out 120mph post-punk thrash but without any compromises on good lyrics or instrumental and compositional integrity.

Ric had picked up on facts that medical science had increased the human life span and that 45% of the UK population were over the age of 45 years (1979). The social comment and sci fi overtures were right for the embryonic Thatcher years.

Simon Davies, ex EMI and United Artists A&R man signed The Breathers to Curly Management, working in tandem with the brother of Chris Squire (Yes) and  operating out of the York Street, London W1 office of Ric Lee (Ten Years After).

Regrettably, Steve Demitri left The Breathers before the recording of ‘Livin In The Age Age’. The session drummer at Ambience Studios in 1980 was Clive Pierce.

‘Livin In The Age Age’ b/w ‘Count On Counting’ was produced by Dave Foister & The Breathers, engineered by Allan Morrow and released by Diversion Records.

The Breathers original line-up:

Izzi Peptone (John Wilde) vocal

Steve Demitri                      drums

Red Ferrari (Jim Bell)         Guitar

Ric Hool                                 bass

supplied by Ric Hool

Tony (Anthony) Davis… I can remember the guys in the Breathers hanging around the Golden Hind a lot, probably because Stevie D owned it. I was DJing there at the time and remember that I often played a demo tape – wish I had it now! Also remember going to the Windsor Castle pub in London to a great gig. Like everything Steve and John did – filled with energy!

John Wilde… Ha. Thanks for the memories. Bless the Soul of Steve. Best wishes to Ric and Jim. It was a blast.  Sorry I was so fucking ego tripped. L O V E x

Yvonne Cleland… Blimey! I remember these guys. Derek Bolland and me met them when they’d just moved into that gorgeous house at the bottom of All Saint’s Street. They invited us back to talk about how they could get into the local music scene. All I can remember now is their lovely accents, how they were really into Buggles’ ‘Video killed the Radio Star’, and how amazing that house was. That was in the days when me, Tich and Derek used to hang around a fair bit…. Derek must have put them onto Tich, and now I know what happened afterwards. Cool.

Darren Holmes…  remember Jim he used to teach my mate Michael Delpeache and myself the guitar in the 80s – I think he called himself Jim Dubelle at the time and his lead singer then was his girlfriend Dee

Dave Nattress… Really interesting story – nice one. Thanks for posting. Knew a bit about The Breathers and the connection with the wonderful John Wilde and Stevie D but this fleshed it out wonderfully.

 

The Dharmas with John Wilde – 1993

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photos from John Wilde Facebook page

Mary Lipscombe… We went in a minibus from the Nelson to see them at a university gig in Portsmouth!

Pete Prescott… I lost a money on this band. I bet someone that they would be big. They should have been. A truly wonderful band. My favourite gig I saw was the beach gig. I think it was 93/94

Anne Wells… is that Kevin Butcher at the back? Yes, great times, great band x

John Wilde… Yes thats Kevin. We were a fun outfit. I was only with them for a year. We crashed Glastonbury with a van full of equipment and played several times on different stages. They went on to do hundreds of gigs. Most excellent times!

Tony Court-holmes… they look like Gong, who remembers them.

Roy Penfold… Was it really that long ago that the Dharmas were climbing the heights….time flies.

 

Expandis at the Marquee and other London gigs 1980’s

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supplied by Phil Thornton

Alan Esdaile… Great photo Phil but can’t work out if your expression is from the passion of the song or has John just smacked you in the mouth?

Mick Mepham… They’re playing ‘Everything stops for baby’

Ernest Ballard… Great band.

Man Friday – New Broom early 80’s

man friday

photo by John Austin …. Dennis Wootton, Paul Austin, Roger Carey & John Wilde on drums.

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card supplied by Roger Carey and photo when they formed in 1974 from Paul Austin 

John Austin… Anyone Remember Man Friday ? aka Paul Austin, Roger Carey, Dennis Wootton, Think John Wilde was the drummer, use to play The New Broom, back in the day

Chris Baker…..Dennis Wootton! Now there’s a blast from the past!

Yvonne Cleland…..Will plays with him from time to time. He’s still about!

John Wilde… Not me folks.

Paul Austin… Dennis and me played guitar, John Wilde (not the one above) played drums and later on, Roger joined us playing bass guitar.

Peter Thomson… The New Broom, back in the day(!) was my local, and Graham Barrett’s. Don’t ever remember seeing a band in there but then we used to avoid it if we could…

Pete Millington… Roger Carey I remember  “lusting” after that Gretsch Bass when I first saw it at St Helen’s Hospital Social Club – must have been about 1975/6.

Martin Richter… are they xmas jumpers or am I having a flashback ?

Barry French… Saw Man Friday several times, great band. Since Man Friday Paul went on to play in an early Slam lineup. Dennis has continued to play in many bands on a variety of instruments (Drums,Bass,Saxophone & Guitar). Den & I often bump into Paul & talk about the old days.

 

The Happening Coffee Bar – Tony Blackburn St Leonards On Sea 17th July 1967

 Andre Palfrey-Martin Collection

and John Wilde had this to say –

moved to St Leonards in 1966 with my parents. They bought number 8 Kings Rd and turned it into a coffee bar club, we made the basement look like a cave. We called it The Happening, Tony Blackburn opened it with a disco night. It was a popular hang out for a soul crowd, we had a great jukebox, an espresso machine and pintables. We even had bands play downstairs. Does anyone remember this place? Apparently it has reopened recently as The Kave Klub. by John Wilde

Gerry Fortsch… I gigged here in 1967 several times. Far out man

Mick O’Dowd… DJ’d here many a time. Also was with Deep Purple (Hastings) when they appeared. John Wilde’s dad owned it.

Jeff Belton… Met Tony Blackburn at a gig he did in a London night club, got a request read out on the evening , and played on the radio, when he was on Radio London. It was my 21st birthday that day.

Tiffany Barton… Wonderful! What did he play for your birthday ? Thanks for the memories . 1967 supremes the happening ?

Expandis – Hastings Carnival 1983

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supplied by John Wilde    David Miller, John Alexander Wilde and Philip George Thornton.

Phil Gill……Photo taken a split second before the bus ploughed into the stage.

and from 1981 – Moment Of Passion

Yvonne Cleland… My mum could have made two pairs of trahsers out of those strides 🙂 🙂

John Wilde… Great memory, thanks Alan. Oh if only I had saved that gear. Loved those pants! Great times.

David Miller… Loved that day, that event and that performance.

Phil Thornton…  was going for the ‘space priest’ look which has fallen out of favour in recent years … cant get hats like that anymore ! Just noticed I’m playing an acoustic 12 string !! I must have been going through a phase !

Phil Gill… Eko Ranger 12? I used to have one of those…. I’ll say no more.

Andy Qunta… Those are surely award-winning trousers that John is flaunting!