Nic Scott – drums
Steve Harkins – guitar / vocals
Micky Skinner – bass / vocals
I have found very little info on-line about this Carlisle band. It is a pity, as I really liked them and their music. They were playing around Carlisle about 1983 or 84 if I remember correctly, it was before Nightmares or Havana Affair anyways. I used to go to a few of their rehearsals near to St. Nicholas Bridge on a Saturday afternoon and marvel at the guitar skills of the guitarist.
At the time I was really into The Clash, The Jam and The Who and The G-Men used to do covers of those bands. I mean not just covers (like I used to do, a loose interpretation of the song) but they sounded like the records, note for note, riff for riff. I used to study the guitarist’s chords and instrumentals, he used chord inversions that I never knew about and I used to go home and look them up in my chord books. It was a Master class. I do not mind admitting it, I was in awe of his musicianship, I wanted to be as good as him! Anyone who could mimic Townsend’s guitar style was ok by me! Anyone who had a guitar sound like Weller’s was sounding good to me.
I made a fool of myself one night at Micks 1, blind drunk I went back stage and told him how I admired his playing and thought he was a great guitarist. He kindly gave me a talking too, but still I think he was what I had said. Why not give praise when praise is due? A local roll-model for a young lad learning to play guitar, a roll-model not taken from the national newspapers, TV or magazines but someone the boy can have a chat with face-to-face, and discus what he was interested in.
A lot of the bands in Carlisle passed me by, but I tried to go and see The G-Men when they played. They played Carlisle’s Great Fair Stage late afternoon on a Saturday. For those who are not from Carlisle, this was when the city center became a medieval market for a week, where stalls and events reconstructed the historical markets of Carlisle’s history.
I am not sure how punk groups played a part in a medieval market? But one saturday afternoon about 5pm The G-Men played along with a few other bands. I requested The Clash’s song “Stay Free” which I knew they did a really good copy of, they agreed only if I get up and sing it! Up I jumped on stage and warbled my way through Mick Jones’s lyrics. It probably sounded bloody awful, but for me it was heaven, singing one of my favorite songs with a band I admired, and singing to Carlisle, not bad for a youngster.
I am not sure what happened to them, at one rehearsal I knew there was problems with the bass player, as he would not play! I am not sure how they split up either… maybe Nick Scott could give a write-up one day?
Many thanks to Nick for sending me this photo, if you look behind the Marshal amp at the back of the stage you will see a young lad, sitting down next to the drummer, who was in awe of the guitarist, sitting behind the scenes admiring the music of the G-Men!