Cork 1979 - 1980
John Wallace Vocals & Guitar
Harry Kin Guitar
John Pike Bass
Howard Palmer Drums
After about a year of touring John Pike left the band, this resulted in Howard moving to the bass and Wayne Sheeny coming in on drums. The band recorded a demo tape at Dublin's Keystone Studio, has anyone got a copy of this? They played regularly at the Country Club, Cork, Blue Shark, Kinsale, Wolfe Tone, Clonakilty & Toners, Dublin.
See the Recordings & Demos page for more details on the Banditz recording history.
07/07/1979 Downtown Kampus, Cork supporting Scare Bleu
00/02/1980 The Cave, Sportsmans Inn, Dublin
Upstairs The Pump House Gang are suavely revelling the customers, downstairs the Bandtiz feel the cold in the cellar. English renegades from West Cork intent on raiding Dublin for converts, the Banditz arrive for their first residency, get the dates interconnected and play a Friday instead of the Thursday they'll now be performing. Nobody knew, so few showed, but the scattering that got cajoled down to the basement, stayed and smiled.
These Banditz have personality, some cute and humorous songs worth your petting and that's a sound start. They play three covers (Cars 2 T. Petty 1) in their 90 minute set but these fit their back ground, since the Banditz are really Angloid pranksters, moving from a rural rock exile.
And at this initiation, sometimes it works, sometimes it don't. Guitars get pallid every so often and the rhythm duo needs more exercise with a Bullworker - but they keep on smiling and for once I believe it.
The Banditz aren't really villains, rather clowns with a cap gun, but they feel like a band, a commune born from natural coincidence. Which could mean that frailties and self indulgence are shared as well as strengths - but then that's next terms report not the entry requirement.
So guitarist Harry Kin unstraps to fiddle with a Farfisa, his fellow stringer John Wallace decorates to order, bassist Patrick Pike looks exactly like Nigel Harrison and Drummer Albert crouches in the corner.
We'd leave them there demanding your attention please, save to mention that any band that rhymes "J,c.B." with "archaeology" must be worth a diversion. They also proposed to write a song about "Disco Mastits". Bill Graham Hot Press review
07/02/1980 JCR, Trinity College, Dublin
17/02/1980 Country Club, Cork. Ballydehob boppers Banditz travelled to Dublin last Saturday to record a spot for the rock programme “TX” which is being screened this Thursday night (Feb 28th) on RTE 1 at 11pm. They will be performing two of their own numbers, “Damage Your Health” and another called “J.C.B.”, a witty ditty which their manager said may be released as a single next June. Since we last featured Banditz in this column, they have recorded a demo tape at the Keystone Studios in Dublin which has received some airplay on Dave Fanning’s rock show on Radio 2. Over the Christmas holidays they played three gigs at the Sportsman’s Inn, Dublin, and now Banditz have secured a fortnightly Sunday residency at the Country Club in Cork.
Banditz consists of four Englishmen who had no connection with West Cork prior to moving to the Ballydehob area some years ago. No doubt, if their television appearance goes well, everybody around here will be claiming Banditz as our own. On keyboards and guitar is Graham Kin (alias Nick Willow), J.J. Wallace is the stage name of guitarist John Williamson, while John Pike, otherwise Captain Quark, Howard Palmer lurks beneath a mop of beige hair and the colourful Howard is often known as either Johnny Incognito, Albert Animal or Albert Drummer. The theory that he dyed his hair because of this identity crisis is quite plausible!
Anyway, Banditz are making good progress and their playing has tightened considerably. The only fault I can find with their live appearances is that their witty lyrics are often inaudible. Give the P.A. a good kick, lads! Catch Banditz on “TX” this Thursday, live at the Wolfe Tone in Clonakilty this Friday night and at the Country Club in Cork on Sunday night.
23/02/1980 Buttery, Trinity College, Dublin
15/03/1980 Town Hall, Schull
16/03/1980 City Hall, Cork with The Kidz, Nun Attax, Constant Reminders, Orpheus, Hot Guitars
17/03/1980 Town Hall, Skibbereen
22/03/1980 Downtown Kampus, Cork
28/03/1980 Bernie's Inn, Kilcullen
During May 1980 the Banditz had a residency at Toners, Dublin
04/06/1980 Newcestown Parish Carnival
Between June & December 1980 the Banditz played at least twice a month at the Wolfe Tone, Clonaklity
14/06/1980 McGonagle's, Dublin Banditz swooped in on the big city from the wilds of West Cork, but none of the 30 or so witnesses to the raid could honestly claim “I wuz robbed”.
A four man, five piece line up (keyboards, two guitars, bass and drums), first, immediate impression of the Banditz relates to their befuddled visual appearance – a ghastly compound of Phantom Orchestra cultured bohemia and Stepaside blazer dementia – but fortunately their music makes more sense, although not to the degree where as yet, they can elicit an unequivocal thumbs up.
A band with two strongly contrasting, yet weirdly complementary sides to their musical personality, the Banditz seem to derive their inspiration from, on one hand, the dark, almost desperate pulse of Talking Heads and on the other, from the kind of sophisticated, London pub rock humour epitomised by Squeeze.
The first cuts were the deepest. “Running Away” married the keyboards buoyancy of Magazine with a T, Heads styled rhythmic thrust, but while throughout the set the music often developed an invigorating momentum, the Banditz repeatedly let themselves down, by exhausting good ideas with overwrought instrumental passages, they tend sometimes to be verbose when more simple statements would suffice.
“Voltage Drop”, repeated at the end, probably worked best with its light and shade juxtaposition of sparse integration against a full blooded chordal charge.
In contrast “JCB”, “Do It Yourself”, and “Kentucky Fried Chicken”, highlighted their brand of dry humour and storyteller’s eye for detail, while musically they ran the gamut of influences, from the “Donna Summer” southside shuffle spliced into “Do It Yourself” to the geetar swamp crawling of “Kentucky Fried Chicken”. Best of all though, they borrow and refer but without compromising their aural identity.
While no spring chickens the Banditz are fresh and have ideas to spar. If they don’t sustain interest right through the set, they compensate by taking enough chances to keep you on your toes. Next time they’re in town, they’ll deserve more than 30. Hot Press review Liam Mackey.
23/07/1980 Pavillion, Bandon
09/08/1980 CYMS, Tralee
25/10/1980 Pavilion, Bandon
26/10/1980 Woodies with Stockton's Wing, Christy Moore, The Bogey Boys
27/10/1980 Hotel Barnet, Schull
where are they now?
At this time I have no information on what the band members are doing now.