Rock ‘n’ roll through and through

De Palma, a Blackpool band
De Palma, a Blackpool band
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If you are going to be in a band, at least have a decent rock n’ roll story to tell.

No one could accuse Steve Fairhurst of lacking in that department.

The 44-year-old, who has just launched new group De Palma (after leaving local favourites Ska Face), has been in music all his adult life and has a cracking tale to tell.

It relates back to first band, The Monumental, a time he describes at “right out of the pages of Spinal Tap”, though that’s probably underselling it. “We had a dubious manager, who installed us in a big house in Finsbury Avenue in London, and teles and microwaves and all sorts started arriving,” said Steve. “We assumed it was paid for and we were having the life of Riley.

“He booked us fancy hotels and posh cars, and got us a big showcase gig at The Hippodrome. That was a moment. I remember being surrounded by a big group of Japanese tourists who were asking for autographs and giving us presents because they thought we were famous.

“Unfortunately people started knocking on the door asking for all these TVs back and we had to leg it back to our mums! I think this manager fella started out with good intentions but it obviously went wrong somewhere along the way. We were young and daft and took him at face value. It was interesting while it lasted though...”

Steve’s next venture into music was The Bad Ass Boogie Band, followed by the Flapshots and the punk band Pink Torpedoes. The latter lasted for 16 years and included gigs all over the UK and Europe, where the punk scene is huge.

After that came Ska Face, a band which were a big success in Blackpool.

“It was a 10-piece ska band, full brass section, playing songs by The Specials and Madness, and it is probably the most successful thing I’ve ever done,” said Steve, who lives in Hambleton. “Everywhere we played it was packed and it was a great few years.”

Steve left after a difference of opinion (“basically I wanted to do more original stuff”). Skaface are still going strong, Steve has formed De Palma.

“I wish Ska Face all the very best and there’s no hard feelings at all,” he said. “But I wasn’t ready to pack in and I’m really excited about this new band.

“I’d call it dirty reggae. It’s hard and edgy and we still do a lot of classics from the Two Tone era but we also do stuff you wouldn’t expect, like Teardrop Explodes or Jump Around by House of Pain.”

The band (Steve on bass, Pete Donnelly on sax, drummer Tommy Couch, Rob Hulme from Stiff Richard on guitar, Mike Taylor on keyboards and Section 25’s Stuart Hill on vocals) played its first three gigs over the Easter weekend – in Lytham, Marton and Fleetwood. They’re in action again tomorrow at The New Continental in Preston (£6 on the door) and at Uncle Toms Cabin on Saturday, free admission.