In 1976 The Clerks were a four-piece group of schoolfriends living amidst the burgeoning punk rock scene in Birmingham. In October '76 two members of the band saw the notorious Sex Pistols gig at Bogarts, a small club in the city, and later the likes of Blondie, Buzzcocks, The Clash and Ramones at Barbarella's. Like many others, the guys were inspired by what they were hearing and before too long The Clerks would be playing these clubs themselves. From the start they wrote their own three-minute songs with a 60's pop sensibility and included in the set a couple of covers of The Beatles, 'I'm Down' and the Stones 'Paint It Black'. The guys didn't consider themselves to be Punks or Mods although they did share some of the same influences. Indeed, The Clerks name was taken from a line in a Velvet Underground song, 'Sweet Jane'.
Throughout 1977 and '78 The Clerks gigged the pubs, clubs and halls of Birmingham, a demo was recorded in late '78 and the group decided, with a handful of friends and fans, to move en masse, to London. Starting to gig around London and with demo tape in hand the guys were picked up by ROK records for a single and compilation LP. 'No Good For Me' and the LP 'Odd Bods, Mods and Sods', were released in the spring of 1979. The single 'No Good For Me' was described by the music press at the time as 'Straight out of organised Sixties Pop'. Two of the group had become homesick by this time and moved back to Birmingham. However, the song writing team Paul Day and Martin Poole remained and recruited Londoner Paul Cuthbert on drums and another schoolfriend, now working as a photographer in London, Martin Booth on guitar and vocals.
1980 was a very busy year for the new line up. They gigged extensively in London and Birmingham and places in between, developed a new following, supported the likes of Athletico Spizz 80 and Tenpole Tudor and in the summer made another recording of four of their own songs. Dancing With My Girl, All I Want Is You, On The Telephone and Cold About Love. Things seemed to be going well enough and by now there was some record company interest but by the end of 1980 for reasons lost in the mists of time, the band had had enough and had gone their separate ways.
A couple of years after their demise a limited-edition EP called Dancing With My Girl with three of the four 1980 studio recordings was released. This EP is now a collector's item and changes hands for up to £50 in mint condition to grateful fans as far away as Japan, Europe and USA. However, for some reason that no one can recall, one song 'Cold About Love' was not included and has never been released. Until now that is, on Detour Records!
So, we have for you, three new 7" vinyl releases. For the first time Detour Records release from 1978 (DR124) 'No Good For Me' and 'When The Light Go Out' back-to-back.
and from 1980 the previously unreleased (DR128) 'Cold About Love' b/w 'On The Telephone'
and last but not least, also from 1980 (DR129) 'Dancing With My Girl' b/w 'All I Want Is You'.
But there's more; later this year an LP of 12 songs that were originally recorded by a friend of the band as The Clerks played 'Live In London'. Transferred from reel-to-reel tape and restored but with no overdubs, this is the authentic sound of The Clerks as you would have seen and heard them in 1980.
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Dancing With My Girl
All I Want Is You