Celebrating 25 Years of Detour Records 1990-2015
The Concise Official Detour History
In the Beginning...
In fact, the whole Detour thing started literally by accident. The founder, David "Dizzy" Holmes has been a record collector since the age of about 14. An avid scooter rider by the time he was 17 and the founder member and Number one of the Midhurst Detour Scooter Club. The Scooter Club became one of the biggest in the South of England with over 30 members during it’s hey day. In 1984 his life was to take a massive turnaround. On his way to the last national Scooter Rally of the year in Skegness, torrential driving rain ran freely from the farmers field adjacent to the motorway causing a flood across the road. Being the first in the line on his recently customised Amandos 225, Dizzy was the first to hit the flood, aquaplaned across it and collided with the crash barrier. He left Odstock Hospital 18 months later with a broken back and bound to a wheelchair.
The Mail Order Company The Mail Order
So what do you do in a situation like that? You don’t just think "Oh I think I’ll start a record company" do you? Dizzy’s actual trade is as a toolmaker, an occupation that obviously he couldn’t return to. Record Collecting became even more of an obsession than it had been previously, buying in records for himself, buying in better grade copies, multiple copies and finally a complete collection that contained a lot of items that were of no use to him at all. One advert in Scootering Magazine sold the majority of them and before long he had a regular customer list of 20 people receiving hand written 2 page lists headed "Records For Sale".
The Label The Label
That first single "Finished Forever/In the Night" now fetches as much as £60.00 plus at auction. In 1992 Dizzy was sent a demo tape by the Margate based, Jam influenced band, The Persuaders. By the end of that year Detour Records was planning it’s first release which hit the streets in January 1993. 300 copies in wrap-around sleeves sold so well that it became clear even at that early stage that there was a potential market for Mod influenced music. Despite the '79 revival and the survival of an underground Mod scene during the Mid-80s there was obviously still a very strong Mod Movement in the early 90s, albit more underground that ever.
But it all got a little out of hand
By the end of 1991 it became apparent that the work involved in running a Mail Order Company and a record label was a little more than one person could cope with. Voluntary help from mum with post runs and trips to the bank were incredibly helpful but as the business grew so did the amount of paper work. Not being one for paperwork, Dizzy’s Detour Records became the original "paperless office" - his rationale being: Read it, Deal with it, Bin It! Fine until something went wrong and there was nothing to say what happened. It wasn’t until 1993 that the Distribution companies began to take the label seriously so following trips to London to do the tour of the record shops it was a case of relying on a good memory to know who had what.
And here’s where Tania appears! She’d been a friend of Dizzy’s since 1981 having known him some three years prior to his accident. A Mod/Scooterist also from Midhurst she ran a secretarial business from her home. Initially being taken on as the “hired help” it soon became apparent that the time needed to help Dizzy amounted to more than just the odd few hours typing and if Detour Records was to become a proper success they’d both have to give it everything. Tania gave up her business and became a partner in Detour Records, computer equipment and business knowledge meant that she could take over the day to day running and leave Dizzy to get on with what he was best at - buying and selling records. At this point both Dizzy and Tania were married (to other people) but as a result of the amount of time that the two of them spent together it came as no surprise really that they would eventually get together properly. Dizzy’s wife left him and Tania took her two small children and walked out on her husband. Although not moving in together straight away they bought a place together in August 1995 and in June of ‘96 got engaged although it wasn't until the 1st of January 2000 that they finally tied the knot and got married.
In 1995 the label released it’s number one best seller of all time - The Clique (of course) with their first (and sadly last) studio album - The Self Preservation Society, including the infamous “Italian Job” chant, that in 1997 was used on Channel Four’s The Big Breakfast. The album sold over 5,000 copies and at one point led the band to showcase for Bjorks label "One Little Indian". Probably the most exciting and maybe one of the most disappointing moments in the Detour history. The A&R guy was convinced, the showcases went ahead, we all went down the pup on the expense account and the re-release of the album was being discussed, unfortunately OLI ran into financial difficulties, sacking members of staff that included our A&R guy! The resulting disappointment eventuated in the break up of the Clique with their final farewell single coming out in 1998. The Clique’s career was such a promising one, which was why their break up came as such bad news for everyone that knew and loved them including Mark Lamarr who snapped up the chance to have them on "live in session" on Radio one whilst doing a stand in stint for Mark Radcliffe’s evening show and who wrote the sleeve notes for the farewell single. Even after all this time we still get enquiries wanting to know more about the Clique from people who have just discovered them, spin off bands include Knave and Quant, two great bands that deserve checking out. Quant in particular showed real promise and appeared live on Channel 5's Raw TV show during May 1999.
1995 saw the birth of The Publishing company, aptly named Tandiz Music, (Tan(ia) and Diz(zy)), the companies initial aim was to publish everything that appeared on the label, however it went onto publish obscure tracks for release on various compilation albums which in some cases earned songwriters their first royalty in almost twenty years.
At the beginning of 1996 the Detour employees were given full time jobs and Detour Records created it’s first payroll. The Mod scene kicked off big time in Japan with the majority of the early catalogue being licenced for two Japanese only CD releases. Unfortunately during this year things got a little too good and both the mail order and the label had to register for VAT, a nightmare that bestowed itself on Tania, however, the introduction of a credit card facility did enable the turnover to increase and following the arrival of the Internet site, both the Mail Order Company and the Label were able to reach a whole new market of people and for the first time really break America.
Today we now have several Record Labels and the mail order catalogue which became an on line only catalogue in early 2006. Jimmer sadly left us after 12 years of loyal service in August 2006 with Tania's son Jason stepping straight into the job on leaving school. And of course alongside us we also have our beloved bulldogs. Working from home also allows us to run the National Bulldog Breed Rescue and dable in a small Pet supply business.
By 2015 things had gone full circle. The arrival of the internet saw 1000s of similar companies spring up across the World and in January Tania left the partnership to concentrate on her charity work. Dizzy and Jason took up the batton alone and with the help of modern day technology continue to serve the Detour Fans who have stayed loyal to us for over 25 years.