The Bridewell Taxis – live at Sheffield Poly – 1990 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
The Bridewell Taxis in concert tonight. The Bridewell Taxis shone brightly but briefly as one of the few bands from east of the Pennines to make an impact on what was to become known as the Madchester scene and were together from 1987-1993.
The group came together in Leeds during 1987 and were originally called Morality Play. Their first public performances were at an Unemployed Music project in Leeds that also helped launch contemporary other Leeds collaborations including Nightmares on Wax ((George Evelyn/John Halnon)) and Demo featuring singer/bassist Bobbi (iddod) Moore (iddod, The Postcards,8 Miles High), drums/Percussion Mark Gorman (Demo, Snatch), Lead guitar/Rhythm Guitar Shaun Greaves (The Postcards) Mick Roberts at that time had been working on song lyrics ( Unlimited Days, Just Good Friends, In God We Trust) and ideas with childhood friend John Halnon (NOW) and Marcus Waite (Violet Hour). After singer Mick Roberts joined, the band changed its name to The Bridewell Taxis, a nickname for the police vans that delivered drunks and criminals to the town’s police station, or Bridewell, situated under the Leeds Town Hall. A number of the band were familiar with this form of transport. Rehearsals were often intense fractious occasions above the Market District Boys Club.
The Taxis started 1990 as full-time musicians with their second single, “Give In” c/w “Whole Damn Nation” which featured a dance remix of the later track. This served to get their name and music out into the growing cross-over dance scene. Many of the indie concerts of this era would feature a DJ dance set that started after the band finished, bringing the warehouse rave vibe into regular venues for the first time. The band were now headlining their own gigs in the north of England and became regulars at such venues as the Warehouse in Leeds, The Boardwalk in Manchester and The Leadmill in Sheffield. Another big support slot this time with The Stone Roses put them in the public’s eye along with some positive live reviews in the national music press.
In 1991 a pre-Christmas concert was booked at the Warehouse, Leeds on 11 December. The concert was poorly attended and beset with technical problems. The band left the stage to boos from their home town audience and split up that night.
Despite a brief reuniting in 1992, the band split up for good in March of 1993.
As a reminder, or an introduction, here is a concert from 1990 – The Bridewell Taxis were part of a wave of talent, and further evidence not everybody makes it.