The Members – in session for John Peel – April 1, 1981 – BBC Radio 1.
The Members in session tonight. Their third and last session for John Peel at BBC Radio 1, recorded on April 1, 1981 and broadcast on the 13th of that month.
The Members were formed by lyricist Nicky Tesco (Nick Lightowlers) in 1976, through an invited audition at a recording studio at Tooley Street, London. The original personnel, with Tesco (vocals), was Gary Baker (guitar), and Steve Morley (bass guitar), initially with Steve Maycock then Clive Parker (drums). Morley and Parker were later replaced by Chris Payne and Adrian Lillywhite.
In 1976, the band performed for its first engagements at The Red Cow (London W6), The Windsor Castle (London W9) and The Nashville Rooms (London W14). In that year composer Jean Marie Carroll (aka JC Carroll) joined the band to complement Tesco’s lyrics. The Members had recorded a number of songs, but the first released recording was “Fear on the Streets”, produced by Lillywhite’s brother Steve Lillywhite. This song was included on the first record released by the Beggars Banquet label, the punk compilation Streets (1977). The song-writing collaboration between Tesco and Carroll moved The Members’ sound towards an incorporation of reggae, shown in the first single released for Stiff Records, “Solitary Confinement”, produced by Larry Wallis. Following these releases, band personnel became Tesco (vocals), Carroll (vocals and guitar), Nigel Bennett (guitar), Payne (bass) and Lillywhite (drums).
The band broke up in 1983, when Tesco left the band after the last tour of the US. Lillywhite went on to join the band King in the mid-1980s in time for their second album. Lloyd soon joined the Australian band Icehouse, remaining with them for their international smash hits “Electric Blue” and “Crazy.” In 1989, Tesco appeared in Leningrad Cowboys Go America, written and directed by Aki Kaurismäki, a film about a fictional Russian rock band touring the US. This fictional band then toured as an actual band, and recorded the Tesco song “Thru the Wire”. Kaurismäki directed a video for “Thru the Wire”, featuring Tesco. As well as working as a music journalist for the magazine Music Week, Tesco has been a commentator on new releases for BBC 6 Music’s “Roundtable”.
In 2007, The Members were reunited at The Inn on the Green, Ladbroke Grove, London.
For a taste of what they were up to in 1981, here is that Peel session in all its glory to play as loud as you can, or not.