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Damarge existed as a functioning unit between late 1981 and 1984 and were based in the Southend-on-Sea area and comprised: * Bill 'Kirt Tempest' Bailey: keys/tapes/electronic beats, * Iain 'Oaf' Weir: bass, * Cliff Gee: voice, * Mark 'Snowboy' Cotgrove: percussion. The band was originally formed by Kirt, Oaf & Cliff who all attended Westcliff High School together. The band was later complimented by the addition of Hadleigh's greatest musical export - Snowboy - sometime in early 1983 after a chance meeting with Kirt at Honky Tonk music store (in Hadleigh, Essex, UK) earlier that year. The original 3-piece band practiced in Oaf's bedroom with pretty minimal equipment. The first song to be written was 20,000 Souls - a chorus chant about West Ham United's Upton Park football ground in East London. The band's output was marked by three relatively distinct phases. Early Period: 1981 to early 1982 A period of early exploration and experimentation - usually undertaken in Oaf's bedroom-cum-studio or Kirt's lounge. Snowboy was not a member at this time and no polished recordings were made and just one gig performed (Zero 6 where all these songs were performed). Songs written at this time included In Remembrance of M.P. (about a good friend, Mark Paveley, who tragically killed himself while only 18 years old) and Jazz-Funk - a concoction of self-indulgent solo Fender-Rhodes improvised jazz riffs (in the vein of the jazz-funk style popular at the time) and an eccentric cacophony of sounds and effects resulting from feeding the Dr. Rhythm through a Big Muff distortion peddle and a Korg x911 guitar synthesizer Mid Period: 1982 to early 1984 This was the most productive era and was marked by Snowboy joining the band (any connection anyone?). Bodyrock was written and Damarge played at The Cliffs Pavilion band contest (one of the biggest venues in Essex). This phase marked the use of more sophisticated equipment, notably - all be it on day hire - the E-mu Drumulator sample drum machine and completion of the main demo tape using some borrowed digital effects. Other songs written/recorded here was Cold (a 5 minute instrumental that would be described as Dark Ambient nowadays and of which only a couple minutes survive), I Feel Love (the classic Donna Summer track) and Break On Through (To The Other Side) - a cover of the classic Doors song. Late Period: 1984 This period was marked by a more fragmented set of styles and a few songs that were never recorded but performed live a few times. These songs include Bostok & Chandler (the authors of an A-level mathematics text book), O.B.N. and Heteroman - an outrageously pumping gay-disco anthem with a catchy Eastern-style riff. The band never officially broke-up, members just went on to do their own things and still keep in touch. There is always talk of reforming for a one-off gig - but current obligations and logistics may make this worthy goal unrealistic. Well, at least for the time being ? but then again?

PortraitMark Cotgrove
cng, cwb GB
Iain Weir
g, org
Title Artist Year Type
Les Box Set (Sur La Plat)Damarge2004Album
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To all the music fans that are contributing on Discogs, MusicBrainz and Wikipedia. Thanks to Franz Flückiger for providing Storygram used to visualize band membership.
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