In 1984 the Sheep Worrying
Organisation had got itself into debt and needed funding to keep it going. No-one involved
had any money-and so the editorial team determined to form a band to gig themselves out of
Sedgemorons was formed to play cabaret style music in pubs and clubs simply to raise
money quickly.. Although this started to happen and during the 2 years of the groups
existence, the debt was paid off the initial remit was ditched as the individuals
involved began to write their own music and came up with a classic rock-send up
Brian Smedley /Rockin Brian (Lead Guitar), Stuart Croskell/Ghengiz 2-Stroke (bass),
Gareth Bing Beasley (Rhythm Guitar), Kevin Nervo Freeman (drums),
Anne Dixey/Betty Bonkers & Lianne Bruce/Bobby Bland (lead vocals) and later Barry
Bazza Thompson (sax), developed a cult following and ended up being reviewed
in Sounds & Melody Maker, courted by Cherry Red Records and being played several times
on John Peel.
their initial live cassette album Were Bonkers the band
brought out Drop Dead Darling/I Need a Girlfriend on the Sheep Worrying label.
Sedgemorons also wrote and toured a stage musical Rock n Roll is Pretty
Exciting in which Car Park Attendant (Rockin Brian) faces the threat of his
beloved car park being pulled down and replaced with a Disco. The Musical features such
songs as Car Park Attendant of my Dreams-written by Smedley, West Quay record
shop owner Adrian Fraser and George the Window Cleaner-who was sat outside the building
whistling melodies while the others were trying to write the song.
feature of Sedgemorons gigs was the purposefully appalling poetry of Stuart Croskell-who
also occasionally took lead vocals with his Johnny Cash covers and the Norman Wisdom style
punk antics of Beasley constantly stage-henpecked by Dixey.
By the end
of 1985 the band changed from being a bunch of wacky friends with a purpose (raising
money) to being a pair of couples with different interests. Beasley and Dixey formed
The Inflatable Ducks-a more contemporary pop outfit whilst Smedley and Bruce
formed the political satire outfit Red Smed & the Hot Trot Smash the
System Boogie Band. Croskell went back to College and formed student band The
Bernard whilst Freeman-always in great demand as a drummer, played particularly with
The Alkaloids-a hippy/reggae outfit.
Anne Dixey-a trained journalist at
the time working with the Bridgwater Mercury, went on to become Editor of Regional papers
and is currently a producer for BBC radio 4s the World at One. Lianne
Bruce went to RADA after the Sedgemorons and became a Stage manager with Internationally
touring Opera companies.