Hi. I am the guitarist in the photo, Alf Henshall. The drummer and Bass player both lived Whalley Range. We practiced in drummer Bill Anstee's cellar. I don't remember anyone of the name Vince - could you have been one of the lads who helped us lugg the amps etc.. about ? Don't remember their names - it was a long time ago now ! Clive the singer passed away a few years ago as did the Bass player Alan Gooch.
Cheers Alf! I lived in Whalley Range too at that time in fact just around the corner from Alan Gooch. I met them all through Bills brother Ian who lived in an attic flat in a big house and i was on the ground floor (He has lived in Hebden Bridge for decades). We used to hang out a lot at Alans flat. I didn't roadie as such but i distinctly remember this gig and the floor was shiny and the drums started moving. Bill asked me if i could hold them still. (No wonder my hearings not great!). I think this could be the gig and me sat holding the drums.
Hi. Yes i remember Bills brother Ian Anstee , he used to watch us practicing in that damp gloomy cellar at Bills flat. I wonder what bill is up to these days, not heard from Bill since Sister Ray split. I used to show johny Marr the melody lines / chords to the song set wen i left the band. It was a strange world in bedsit land around Whalley Range at that time, everyone seem to be in bed til afternoon ! I'm sorry i don't remember you personaly but there was three lads who used to come in the van with us and lugg the gear about in exchange for a pint. I think one lad was known as 'spud' - he was a friend of Alan .
Great memories Alf. We were all on the dole but so rich culturally looking back. I'd heard about Alan passing but i didn't really know Clive. I remember when Bill first started Idrumming, passing his flat everyday you could hear him practicing down in that cellar for hours on end! I didn't know about the Johnny Marr connection which is fascinating. I heard that Billy did an audition for The Smiths but didn't like Morrisey so passed it by. What if hey!? The nick name Spud rings a bell. Did you ever meet Tony Burnside? Another lad from Wythenshawe who lived in the Range and knew Alan? I remember he bought a guitar and was learning in his flat. He played in a band called Home life with Paddy Steer that did pretty well. Also Yargo! Who did very well. I saw Yargo down in Bristol where i live now in 1989..
Hi. I don't recall those other names you mentioned. Yes Bill did audition for the Smiths but like you say couldn't get along with Morrisey. Johny Marr was ny replacenent on leaving Sister Ray. He only did one gig with them at Forum Hall , Wythenshawe. He used to meet us all at Bills flat, he used to sit on bills step waiting for us - bill was usualy in bed and we had to knock him up . Don't know those bands you mentioned either. Johny Marr mentions Sister Ray in his book -'Set The Boy Free' - some interesting comments !
Sorry Alf i dont have any contact details for Bill but i heard some news through Ian over the years. I know he very seriously got into road cycling and spent winters living on one of the canary islands. I believe in recent years he met and married an American woman from Texas and spends winters over there but still has a house in Todmorden just down the road from Ian who lives in Hebden Bridge. My big music passion post punk has been The Fall who i followed from the early singles. Gutted Mark E Smith is no longer with us. Were you a fan??
I too got into road cycling and i have three bikes -( another passion of mine apart from guitars). Coincedence that ! Good to hear about bill, i hope he's happy in life . Todmorden is nice, lucky he lives there - nice countryside. Thanks for the update .
No i wasn't into the Fall , in fact after Sister Ray split i continued to play but went back to my first love in music - the blues -( punk / new wave was just a passing phase for me realy) . I have been in various blues bands over the years but nothing to write home about. I still play and have around 10 guitars of various sorts - fender strats, Les Pauls , acoustics etc .. i'm not in a band at this time -( not good for gigging bands at this time with lock downs etc..) . I do have a utube channel - Alfie Henshall - i don't have a fancy title so i guess you just type my name in on utube. There's also a Sister Ray track on utube -( not on my channel ) that my grandson put on , track taken from the album 'Identity Parade' a fast punky song i wrote called 'Suicide' -( i'm cringing now ) ! I think you can get the track up if you type Sister Ray in on utube. Regards for now . Alf.
COMMENT ADDED 2nd November 2020
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