Jeremy Thoms


jeremythoms

Well what a long strange trip it’s been… Too cut a long story short, it kind of goes like this:
Started out as the drummer in such late 70s new wave/rock influenced Aberdeen bands as RISQUE (lead singer: David Macleod, now a continuity announcer on UK Channel 4, fact fans) and SPLITTING HEADACHE (high point: cover stars of local fanzine Granite City) before graduating to lead singer with THE PRESIDENTS MEN at the turn of the 80s.

We released a couple of singles (“Out In The Open” & “Reasons For Leaving”) on local label Oily Records (stable mates: The Tools. The Squibs and APB). For more information on this period, check out the book “FIT LIKE, NEW YORK?” by Peter Innes (Evening Express Publishing, 1999). Although the Presidents Men singles sold well and received national radio play, I felt that the music scene at that point was more happening in Edinburgh, so I decided to made a move to that city in 1982.

Formed  the Television/Velvets/Postcard inspired STRAWBERRY TARTS in 1982 with old school pal Euan Baird. Featured on a number of local compilations and gained a somewhat notorious live reputation, principally for our fondness of feather bowers. An unreleased album exists, which hopefully will immerge one day.

Simultaneously, I became involved with the Aberdeen-based punk poet SID OZALID, providing musical backing for his surreal poetry and releasing an E.P. called “Songs From A Suitcase” on Forward Records in ’82.

Following the eventual dissolution of the Tarts in 1985, I toured the U.K. twice and demoed material under the pseudonym Fabian Wonderful on guitar/keyboards with THE REVILLOS.

Next came a stint as guitarist in the Pretenders/Blondie influenced A GIRL CALLED JOHNNY (’86), with former TV21/Bluebells bassist Neil Baldwin and singer Fiona Morrison (now married to comedian Norman Lovett, fact fans). Released one single on Virgin subsidiary 10 Records called “Hello It Isn’t Me”.

Following a split, went on to form the more elecro/dance influenced PAPARAZZI with Neil Baldwin in 1987. Initially I sang aswell as handling guitar/keyboards, but brought in singer Andy Kelly when a more commercial pop approach was decided upon. Despite signing a publishing deal with MCA Music, we failed to secure a recording deal and split in 1989. 

I also toured playing guitar in the Acid Jazz influenced SOUR GRAPES BUNCH and indie stalwarts JESSE GARON & THE DESPERADOES on and off throughout 1989 and 1990.

Back on lead vocals, I next formed the Beatles/Beach Boys/Zombies influenced NATURALS in early 1990 with Angus McPake (with whom I had worked with in both the Sour Grapes and the Desperadoes). We recorded and gigged extensively over the next three years, although The Naturals LP is, sadly, another Great Lost Album in the Thoms canon. However, that is not the end of the Naturals tale…

In 1993, towards the end of The Naturals lifetime, singer Neil Crossan joined. With his Scott Walker/Jim Morrison intimating tones, he took Naturals material, plus new songs subsequently written and produced for him by myself, which have now seen the light of day as JOE LACEY’S HUMAN ABSTRACT (for more info go to: www.myspace.com/joelacyshumanabstract).

1994 saw yet another new project take shape. Reuniting with singer Andy Kelly and bassist Neil Baldwin, I formed NEW LEAF. This time drawing inspiration from the likes of Bacharach/David, Jimmy Webb and Country and Western music. Securing a management deal with Yoshiro Oyama, the band initially signed to Oyama’s own label Foundation Recordings, before inking a licensing deal with Sony/Epic Japan. We proceeded to release three albums: “On Safari” (1995), and the more rock/pop influenced “Stereophonic” (1997) and “Panorama” (1999).

Around this period, I also started to get involved with composing Film and TV music, providing, amongst others, soundtracks to Terry Pratchet’s Jungle Quest and Tribal Visions.

Come 1999, it seemed like the natural thing to move on once again, so formed SKYLINE with ex-New Leaf guitarist Andy Walker. Combining the approach of both early New Leaf and The Naturals, classic songwriting and arranging was very much the order of the day here. So far Skyline have produced one album on Paul Haig’s Rhythm Of Life (“Affairs Of The Heart”) and are about to release a second (“Higher Reaches”) on Bendi Records this year. For more info go to: www.myspace.com/skylinescot.

And as if this all wasn’t enough, 2002 saw a songwriting reunion with Andy Kelly. Again harking back to early New Leaf, this time we also incorporated Jazz and Latin influences. Involving a wide array of instrumentation, an album has been completed under the name THE SECRETS, the release of which is still pending.

Which brings us to my latest band project, THE CATHODE RAY, formed with Paul Haig in 2005. Resurrecting the Television/Velvets influences of The Strawberry Tarts, we’ve so far released one single (“What’s It All About?”/”Mind”) on Pronoia Records in late 2006, with a full album to follow later in 2007. For more info go to: www.myspace.com/thecathoderay.

And, finally, to my first solo album, “Everything Comes Around”, which the kind people at Bendi Records are putting out this spring. Basically it’s a selection of recordings I made sparodically between 1990 and 2001 which, until now, had never found a home due to my above commitments. However, the time seemed right for these homeless waifs and straifs to finally see the light of day, as I feel they are amongst my strongest work to date. It should lead to a second set of contemporary material at some point in the future. For more, go to: www.myspace.com/jeremythoms.

I also DJ, but, as they say, that’s another story…

Jeremy Thoms, Edinburgh, March 2007


Jeremy Thoms discography on Bendi:

The Fabulous Artisans
Say Hello To The Summer
Bendi BEN-EP-013 October 13, 2008
The Fabulous Artisans
Sycamore Square
Bendi BEN-EP-012 September 29, 2008
The Fabulous Artisans
Return (Lord I Can’t)
Bendi BEN-EP-011 September 15, 2008
The Fabulous Artisans
From Red To Blue
Bendi BEN-CD-021 October 27, 2008
Skyline
Higher Reaches
Bendi BEN-CD-013 August 27 2007
Jeremy Thoms
Everything Comes Around
Bendi BEN-CD-012 April 30, 2007