Chris Hamlin was the first to start the band in Cheltenham, in late 1980. Chris, who at that time was studying Fashion at Cheltenham Art College recruited multi-instrumentalist Roger Freeman, (an old friend from his hometown Birmingham) along with Chris Lee on trumpet and James Johnstone, a guitarist and newcomer to the alto sax, for some wild and crazy jam sessions. These early improvisations were performed anywhere, including the local park where playing up trees was a favorite pastime. Beech House is still standing at the corner of St James Square u0026 St George’s Place. Click Here for a map. After a few months, they decided to increase the band size and create a “proper band” with a drummer, bass player and amps. etc. Andrew “Chip”, (drums), and Mark Smith (bass), both former school mates of James and members of his old band Hardware, were invited to informal rehearsals. From an idea Chris H. had prior to the formation of the band, ‘Papa was created at these jam sessions. Chris H. learned that Simon Underwood had quit “The Pop Group”, and invited him to join the unnamed group. He was able to get Simon’s address from a friend, who also knew Mark Stewart (Pop Group singer), and Chris and James arrived in Bristol with a tape of the jam sessions. Simon was delighted to accept the offer and suggested Ollie Moore, his old friend, as the tenor sax player. Simon’s connections to Dick O’Dell, who was at the time managing “The Slits”, and running Y Records, led them to their first gig as support for “The Slits”, Bristol’s Romeo and Juliets. The crowd was awestruck when they played a 20-minute version of “Papas” and went wild. Dick invited them to record the song for his label Y Records the next day. It was time to search for a name …… Chris H. He was seldom seen without his pig bag. Their first recordings were made in 1981. They released their first single “Papa’s Got A Brand New Pigbag” on Dick O’Dell’s Y Records later that year. The title, if not the music, was inspired by James Brown’s “Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag”. This instrumental quickly became a popular underground dance hit and sold many thousands of copies. It also ranked high on the Independent Charts. Chris H. quit the band around the recording, feeling that he had created an ‘infected monster’ with too many personalities to deal with. He felt that he was losing control and decided to run. Following the success of “Papa’s”, the band released “Sunny Day”, which was a similarly funky, brash track. Also, early in 1982, “Getting Up” was released. Their first album, “Dr. Heckle

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