Featuring John Wilde, Steve Demetri, Ric Hool, Jim Bell.
Alan Esdaile… I remember a brilliant gig with ‘The Breathers’ in the caves
John Alexander Wilde… me too
Terry Pack… I recognise the writing, John.
supplied by Ric Hool
Ric Hool… This was a very unusual line-up for them with (from top left to bottom right) Jim Bell (ex-Breather) (gtr); Andy Knight (drums); Ric Hool (ex-Breather) (bass); Andy Bannister (vocals & harp). Jim and I were at loose ends and exhausted after the final demise of The Breathers and needed a complete change of direction in order to refresh ourselves. Andy K & Andy B were pretty brave – or desperate – to take Jim and myself on. I don’t know what their thinking was but perhaps it went along the lines of, and was influenced by, Dr Feelgood – y’know a brash, punkish, high energy R&B. It didn’t quite work but both Andy K and Andy B were really great guys to be with: Jim is always terrific to be with.
The Breathers: Livin In The Age Age
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
The Breathers in their final phase acting as support for The Sensational Alex Harvey Band at a gig in Mountain Ash, Wales. Red Ferrari gtr, Kevin Hoad drums, Bryn Gregory vocals, Ric Hool bass.
Photos supplied by Ric Hool
Andy Knight….What about those long rehearsals at Fairlight Studios Rick and where are you now?
Ric Hool.…Hi Andy, Yes, too true, the Fairlight rehearsals were measured in days, not hours, as The Breathers found replacements for, firstly, Steve Demitri and then Izzi Peptone.Kevin Hoad made good the drumming stool and heroically stuck it out with Red Ferrari and myself. The difference between the rehearsals above Steve’s cafe and those at Fairlight were well demarcated: the former being hugely creative in terms and the making of the Breathers whereas the latter were spent in reparation.
Mick Mepham.…Isn’t that Jim Bell on guitar? Excellent player and nice guy too.
Tony Qunta….Yes it is – last time I spoke to him was about twenty years ago!
Kevin Hoad….OMG.Never seen this Photo. The singer was guy called Bryn.(Welsh you know) can’t remember surname.We did Welsh tour and support to Sensational Alex Harvey Band.The Famous Digger was our Roadie.Great Guy.