Grange Gardens is just off from Saint Marks Avenue, between Saint Mark’s Roundabout and the schools at the top of the hill. The hill was once called Mizmaze Hill
People ‘of a certain age’ will recognize the origin of the name ‘Grange Gardens’ immediately – it’s named in reference to ‘The Grange’, which in the early 1980s was a bar and venue for many of Salisbury’s better gigs. It later became ‘Concordes’, which as far as I recall was just a nightclub, before closing down a few years ago.
The Grange was demolished and ‘Grange Gardens’ was developed close to the site.
I thought it might be fun to make a list of some of the bands who played at the Grange. I’d particularly welcome contributions here – if you can think of any I’ve missed please let me know via the comments.
|Crass – in many ways, Crass were the biggest band to play at Salisbury’s Grange – they’ve had tribute records made in their honour, David Beckham is supposed to have once worn a Crass T-shirt and their Wikipedia entry runs to several pages. Crass were an anarchist punk band, who ran their own record label and lived in a commune in Epping Forest. Crass were supported on the night by Annie Anxiety and Dirt.|
|TV Personalities – the TVPs recorded one of my favourites songs, ‘Part Time Punks’. Their performance at the Grange was enhanced by vocals from Salisbury full-time punk Ged Babey|
Peter and the test tube babies – the Test Tube Babies were an ‘Oi!’ band. ‘Oi!’ was an early ’80s offshoot of punk – it was tuneful, humourous and anti-intellectual. You get a flavour of ‘Oi’ from some of Peter and the Test Tube Babies song titles – Banned from the Pubs, Soberphobia and a Fist Full of Bullets.
Peter and the Test Tube Babies are still a going concern. Their website is:
|Nik Turner’s Inner City Unit – I saw Inner City Unit at one of the last Stonehenge Free Festivals, a year or two before they played at The Grange. Nik Turner had previously been one of Hawkwind. Website is:|
|Talisman – the subtitle of Talisman’s website is Bristol Based Reggae Masters, which pretty much sums them up. They’ve reformed in 2011. I’d love to see them again. Website is:|
|The Papers – a very political new wave band. From memory they sounded a bit like the Police. I bought their single called ‘How many more for the Third World War?. The band has been ‘re-generated’ and has a website here:|
|Sleepy La beef – I didn’t see this one, but I wish I had. Sleepy La Beef is an American rockabilly/country/roots artist. He has released on Sun Records. His website is:|
Havana Lets Go – I don’t remember a vast amount about Havana Lets Go. They were a Latin-influenced band – in the same vein as Blue Rondo a la Turk. They played the Grange at Christmas and did a Christmas song or two. I remember enjoying them. I seem to remember that they were associated in some way with Spandau Ballet. I later saw them again, supporting the Clash at the Lyceum.
The band seems to have split up in the ’80s. There’s a bit of information here:
The CD cover on the left has nothing to do with the band – I couldn’t find any trace of Havana Lets Go on Amazon.
|Ebony Rockers – the Ebony Rockers were a roots reggae band from Southampton. They were very good – they were signed to EMI who didn’t take on many reggae acts, as far as I recall. The band played a few gigs recently, after years of inactivity. I think I saw in the aforementioned Ged Babey’s Facebook newsfeed that they’ve been holding open rehearsals. Craig David’s dad was in the band.|
|Black Roots were one of my favourite bands to play the Grange – the couple of on-line sources for bands who performed in Salisbury have Black Roots playing at Salisbury Arts Centre in the early ’80s. I’m 90% sure that they played at the Grange first. They were Bristol-based, and very prolific – Wikipedia lists 13 LPs. I think that they could have been successful commercially, but reggae wasn’t much played on the radio in the 1980s|
The Crimmos – Salisbury post-punk band, I think they later became Horse Latitudes.
- To be honest, I wasn’t awfully keen on the TV Personalities when they played at the Grange. [↩]
- Somewhat worryingly, Shane Macgowan remembers ‘Havana Lets Go’ much better than I do. In the book ‘A Drink with Shane Macgowan’ he says
And we would do Connemara Lets Go or ‘Down in the Ground where the Dead Men Go’, which it ended up being called. After ‘Havana Let’s Go’, which was an annoying, ethnic, world music group at the time. They all wore Hawaiian shirts, and played steel-drum music, Kid Creole type shit [A Drink With Shane Macgowan, Victoria Clarke and Shane Macgowan, p213, Pan Books]
- I never managed to get any of their records, but realised while I was writing this that I do remember one of their songs (Tribal War, in case you’re interested), despite only having heard it two or three times 30 years ago. [↩]
- When Radio 1 did have a short phase of playing reggae in the 1990s (Chaka Demus and Pliers, Shaggy, Dawn Penn, Aswad etc) – there were a lot of hit records [↩]