The following review is a Bombsite collaboration with one of the UK's most dedicated "Frankie Goes To Hollywood" researcher and their greatest fan. Graeme or "G Man" has spent years searching for details about the band, and is responsible for the "All Things Frankie" blog spot.
G-Man - Brian Nash's first encounter with music was the Beatles 1966-1970 and Bowies Ziggy Stardust both bought for him by his Father. At around the age of 11 he borrowed his first guitar from his cousin Mark O'Toole who taught him his first chords.
On leaving School Brian took a job as an apprentice electrician with Liverpool council, whilst auditioning for several bands in the Liverpool area. His first real band was Sons of Egypt which also featured Peter Gill & Holly Johnson and they got their big break on the local TV show "Exchange Flags" on which they performed the songs, Shake Shake & Bring on the Violins.
above; Young Guitarist Brian "Nasher" Nash
He later received an opportunity to join Frankie Goes To Hollywood with Holly Johnson, Peter Gill and Mark O'Toole, of course the story of Frankie Goes To Hollywood is well known, three UK number one singles including "Relax" and "Two Tribes" (Two of the UKs biggest selling singles ever) and a number one album in the two disc "Welcome to the Pleasuredome" all released on the ZTT record label and produced by Trevor Horn.
After FGTH Brian continued to make music with Mark and Ped, teaming up with Dee Harris of Fashion fame to record several demos, but was unable to secure a record deal. When Harrris left he was replaced by Grant Boult who had met the lads whilst supporting FGTH during the UK leg of the 1985 "Around the World in Mighty Ways World Tour" with his band "The Promise" and remained friends with the lads from the band, but decided to call it a day after again failing to secure a deal.
After writing his own songs Nasher would again team up with Boult and form "Honey Rider" later renaming themselves "Low". They secured a deal with a small label called Swanyard Records and recorded the album "Enter the Bigger Reality" releasing the single "Tearing my soul Apart". The album was not released as the label folded. Nasher and Boult tried again with the band "Dr Jolly's Salvation Circus" but this again was a short lived project.
After trying unsuccessfully to secure a solo deal, Nasher decided to record and release the album "Ripe" (BP 001) on his own newly formed "Babylon Pink" label in 1999, featuring tracks like "King for a Day" and "The Dark". His second album "La Grande Fromage" (BP 002) followed in 2002 featuring the single "Top of the Pops Again" and a 'tribute' to Jerry Springer (On Jerry).
Several members of FGTH reunited in 2004 for the Trevor Horn tribute concert at Wembley Arena, but Nasher, & former front man Holly Johnson decided not to take part. With Nasher stating 'it's more Frankie with Holly than me' as his reason to pass on the reunion, however Nasher did take his place at Wembley that night among the fans in the audience after performing with his band earlier in the day to a small group of hardcore fans from around Europe at "The Crock of God" just down the road from the Arena itself.
Bombsite Fanzine would like to introduce Brian "Nasher" Nash from Liverpool UK.
Martin - I know that you were an interesting part of Frankie Goes To Hollywood, and before Frankie you were in a band named Sons of Egypt, along with Ped and Holly. I want to try and wind back to a day before then. Maybe a place in time that would put many of the ingredients together and enable Liverpool to produce some of the best post punk bands and UK musicians of the early 80's. Eric's club, now a legendary venue, can you describe your first visit to the club?
Nasher - My first visit to Eric's was to see Magazine. My mate's older brother was a regular at Eric's and would tell us stories of the bands he had seen there and we couldn't wait to go. Luckily, the Saturday afternoon matinees meant that we could also see some of our favourite bands for just a few quid. Going in to the venue made you feel like you belonged to a special scene that nobody else knew about. I saw The Skids, Stiff Little Fingers, Wire supported by a new band called Teardrop Explodes making their live debut, and The Cure who at the time had just released "Killing an Arab" and played to an audience of about 30 people. I probably saw a few more bands but I cannot remember who they were. Unfortunately just as me and a few mates were becoming regulars and looking forward to joining the big boys in the evenings the club was closed down. I went on the march through the city centre to protest against the police closure of the club but the decision had been made and the era was over.
Martin -Smuzz was your first band [I think] can you explain who was in the band and what type of music you would perform? Was there a particular performance or incident that you remember which describes what that early band was about?
Nasher - We were called Smuzz because the singer was a huge fan of The Buzzcocks and we had to have a name with a double Z in it. I think we only played one gig in St Theresa's school canteen. This was to coincide with me being suspended from school for truant. I don't remember too much of what we played but I remember "No More Heroes", "Tommy Gun" and a version of the SLF's "Wasted Life" which saw me performing the vocal duties. The band featured Joe Beardwood on vocals, Martin and Peter Nickson on bass and guitar and the drummers name has been lost in the mists of time.
Martin - Can you describe your early record collection before Sons of Egypt? Was there a Clash, Buzzcocks Sex Pistols part to your collection?
Nasher - I had some punk but I was a Bowie fan from the age of nine and was somewhat obsessed by him. I was also into a bit of prog rock so my album collection went from Simon & Garfunkel to the Sex Pistols via Bowie and Roxy, turn left at Genesis and Rush, straight on through Zeppelin 1-4, first exit at The Bunnymen, Teardrops and Magazine, u-turn to Ella Fitzgerald and Motorhead.
Martin - Did you know Holly from his Big in Japan days? Or was the introduction through Ped?
Nasher - I met Holly through John Crowney who was playing bass in a band with Holly and Steve Lovell. They used to rehearse above the hairdressers in Whitechapel and I met him at a rehearsal and knew him sometime before I met Ped. This was not long after Holly had released Hobo Joe as a single.
Martin - Paul Rutherford was the front man for a blistering Liverpool punk band named The Spitfire Boys that did manage to get some material on vinyl before they split in 1977. Did you manage to see them live during that year? If so do you have any recollection of the event?
Nasher - I never saw the Spitfire Boys and when I met Paul he was the typical gay clone. Checked shirts and 501's and always immaculately turned out so when I saw pictures of him years later from his time in The Spitfire Boys I was shocked to see what he looked like because it was a million miles from the Paul I knew.
Martin - Joe Strummer and Mick Jones of the The Clash managed to put together a formula that inspired the period. The band has become indigenous to the sound of 77 UK punk rock. Were you a Clash fan? Did you ever meet Joe or Mick? Or perform at an event with them?
Nasher - I was a Clash fan but unfortunately never saw them perform. I got to meet Mick Jones backstage at a BAD gig in Fulham at The Hibernian. I was with my brother in law who was a huge Clash fan and he couldn't believe his luck hanging out with Mick Jones backstage. I got to meet him through Pete Wylie who was with me at the gig. Unfortunately the evening was cut short after I was offered a very strong spliff by some guy and I experienced what is known in the trade as a "whitey" and a rapid exit was required. I managed to get home by taxi but not before depositing a large doner and salad and about 8 pints of piss weak disgusting lager.
Saw Joe Strummer play as support to The Who at Wembley Arena in recent years.
Martin - During the late 70's The Buzzcock's, Tony Wilson, Factory records and some related associates developed Manchester's musical direction for the next few decades. The Eric's club owner Roger Eagle and associates almost pulled of the same thing for Liverpool. Do you believe that Tony Wilson took some ingredients from his Eric's visits to formulate his business model for Manchester? Did you ever get to meet with Tony or Roger?
Nasher - I don't know if Tony was heavily influenced by his visits to Eric's but there are parallels between the two scenes. Unfortunately I never got to meet him or Roger.
Above; King Of Pop Nasher Live Solo 2008
Martin - The post punk period brought along some interesting experimental sounds and bands. Many originated from Liverpool and had been Eric's club regulars. The drum machines, effects and synthesizers became cutting edge stuff for a while. I have worked with FL Studio and Pro Tools and it can be really fun to play with. But, has today's "in-a-can" music approach eliminated something for you?
Nasher - When asked about current music technology I am always reminded of something Bjork said: "The machines do not have soul until a human puts some of their soul into it". In a lot of ways the tech revolution is like punk. Anyone can do it, just get some samples and get your groove on.
Martin - Part of the energy that lit up the UK music industry during the 77 period was the youth passion that supported it. 30 years on we now considered the period a revolution in the way young people approached performing. Do you see areas of today's music where there maybe a new scene or the threads for possibilities of a fresh start?
Nasher - Today's music scene is divided into so many factions I don't think there is a specific scene and even if there was how would an old c**t like me have his finger on the pulse.
G-Man - Nasher has been working hard on his 3rd solo album of late, with several release dates coming and going due to various reasons, however, this set is now almost ready to be released. A Lo Minimo (BP 003) has a different feel than his two previous releases in that each song is recorded in line with the albums title (a lo Minimo meaning 'to the minimum' in Spanish) hence Nasher and his band used minimum technology to record the set. Furthermore, Nasher has announced some information about an E.P that he and the band have been recording in a studio in Wales. Five songs that were regular favorites at live shows which have been recorded 'live in the studio' as they don't plan to play them live again. The E.P is to be entitled 'The Last Rites E.P' and should be released around the same time as the new album.
Nasher's Myspace www.myspace.com/nasher
Nasher's Web Spot www.nasher.co.uk
Nasher's Music For Sale cdbaby.com
FGTH Web Spot www.fgth.org.uk/
G Man's Frankie Site allthingsfrankie.blogspot.com
G Man's Nasher Collection www.freewebs.com/nasherisgod/
G Man's Myspace www.myspace.com/allthingsfrankie