Back in the early 90’s I lived in Hull, in the north of England.
An odd Northern city, where, in one place I lived the toilet water would freeze in the winter it was so cold and a girlfriend I had once banned me from talking in shops on her estate lest my posh (LOL) southern accent attract too much attention.
It had an impressive arts & music scene producing bands such as The Beautiful South, The Housemartins, Everything But The Girl and Fila Brazillia as well has having an amazing Grafitti scene with artists such as Pinky and Smell (I still see the warehouses in my dreams).
I used to hang around with and occasionally roadie for an exciting power/punk pop band called Spacemaid.
(“You said something to me that I can’t forget, you said come with me and you won’t regret, a single day”)
Their lead guitarist Alan was a very good friend and I secretly idolised him, because he sure could play that red Les Paul and was just a lovely man (Ya still are, Al :).
I was also a little bit in love (you got nice cheekbones baby, how do you feel about me?) with the singer Lonny, who also went on to be one of my dearest friends from that time.
Cool as all hell rhythm guitarist Mat, bassist Andy and drummer Chris (A synesthete if I remember correctly) made up the rest of the band.
I knew every word and subtlety of phrasing of every song on their album “Supercool” and would push to the front at gigs and sing them back to Lonny and try to make Alan laugh during his solos.
I fucking LOVED them.
I was convinced they were going to take the world by storm.
At the time I was just beginning to get into photography and was shooting black and white film a lot and learning to develop it myself.
So one day in November 1994 I took most of a 24 shot roll of the band while they rehearsed in Alan’s house.
The negatives were developed, labelled and put into a neg strip holder but never printed…….
Flash forward 27 years to November 2021 and I’m on a video call with Alan and somehow the topic of the rehearsals came up and he said there were no photographs of rehearsals from that time.
Wait a minute, I thought, there are some.
Do I even still have those negatives? and where the fuck are they?
Well, to cut a long story mercifully short, I found them !
A little worse for wear (27 unloved years in a box) and not very well developed at the time, but I had them.
Thank you “anal, never throw anything away” brain, for once I love you!
Luckily my fantastic friend Documentally had a neg scanner he could lend me, so cars were jumped in and scanners were collected.
Watching the scans come up on the screen brought a tear to my eye, and only partly because of how SHIT a photographer I was back then.
Those heady days felt a lifetime away.
But, as I sit here typing this listening to the album (I still know every word) looking at the photos it feels, for a few minutes at least, not quite as far away as it did.
So many (fuzzy) memories that I won’t bore you with, but a feeling of youthful possibility and excitement that I deeply thank the band for giving me then and just the little taste I’m reliving now.
I know at least Alan and Lonny will see this and I hope if Matt, Andy and Chris do it makes them smile and gives them a little taste of those heady days too.
Here, 27 years late, are the 14 frames from that roll that are worth sharing, the only known record of a Spacemaid rehearsal at Al’s house, November 1994, Hull.
Thanks for everything Spacemaid, I still love ya.
“Yes, but what did they sound like?”
Well, luckily the internet provides and you can watch the original video for Spacemaid most famous single, and Radio 1’s breakfast show single of the week – “Baby Come On” from 1997, here.
Cool as fuck.