The Table

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Cardiff band, formed 1976, feat : Russell Young (voc, bass, gtr, kybds), Tony Barnes (gtr, bass), Len Lewis (drms), Mickey O’Connor (gtr).
Orig. started as a duo Do You Want This Table (named after an overheard random comment by a stranger), who played only one gig, The Windsor Free Festival in 1974, supplemented by Alan Hughes (bass).
Relocated to London, shortened name and signed to Virgin in 1976, releasing 7" Do The Standing Still {Classics Illustrated} (1977), a critically acclaimed, innovative, guitar-heavy, rather crazy single with surreal lyrics which were basically a list of Marvel Comic titles.
Although fitting in with and somewhat defining the rising ‘punk’ sound of the time, this song was actually first recorded as a demo in 1975. Intending to be a studio band, record company pressure saw them reluctantly become a popular, exciting and warmly received live act, accompanying and often upstaging bands such as XTC, Siouxsie & The Banshees, Wire, Radio Stars and The Police, while getting rave reviews in the music press. An uncompromising stance and arty stroppiness saw them split with Virgin over promotional disagreements and sign to Chiswick in 1978, releasing a 7" Sex Cells (1978) about the sexual appeal of schoolgirls only appearing when you’re no longer in school yourself.
Another musical leap forward, this single acquired the ‘best bass guitar performance of 1978’ award from punk fanzine Black Steam!
In 1979, Tim Cox (gtr) replaced O’Connor and Richard Rae (drms) took over from Lewis. Cox was replaced by Tony Lowe in 1979, Barnes by Rod Fogg in 1980 and Rae replaced by Dave Regan from Local Operator in 1980.
Policy of playing increasingly bizarre, undanceable, uncommercial and, it has to be said, unpleasant material led to frequent and frustrating line-up changes and the band finally ‘avant-garded itself out of existence’ in 1982 after Young and Regan recorded a single, Yes, which was shelved after the split.
The line-up of Young, Lowe and Regan also recorded a single Abstract Art under the name of Flying Colours, released on No Records in 1981 as a favour to record company boss Andrzej Sojka, the dance producer who discovered Level 42. Do The Standing Still (Classics Illustrated) currently available on the 4CD compilation 1! 2! 3! 4!, which features the definitive 100 punk/new wave singles from the UK and US recorded between 1976 and 1979. (See also John Stabber).

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Contributers: Russell Young, Ed Mitchell

This page was last updated on 09.03.07
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Under the Table
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