Dung – keyboards / vocals
Trotsky – electric guitar / Vocals
It would have been late 90s or into the beginning of 2000s Dung and I got together to play some music. We had not played for years. We both had gone off and done other things. I had been to university and followed my path of ethnomusic, while Dung had played in a few bands and released a few CDs.
The name was thought up by Dung, after a mental health ward at the Garlands Hospital, which was called “Hadrian’s Ward”
The material was a mixture of old and new, Dungs new material and my old material, but played with a lot of more experience and musical ideas.
Dung had taught himself the keyboards and I was using my college years of sound production and acoustic experimentation to produce a new sound.
We played 1 gig, and that was in my “big room” at my parents house. The audience was only 2, both invited; and they were Ellie (Aligatorz) and his then wife.
What made Hadrian’s Ward different to other bands I had been in was there was no intention to gig. The pressure was off! we were a recording band and we made several recordings on my “Marantz 740” 4 track.
I had pre-recorded several loops – not real loops but multi-tracked rhythms from my Yamaha keyboard, these I recorded at different speeds and multi-tracked them together on top of each other, then mix them down so they came in at different intervals.
For different songs we had a different version of the loop, often the loops were put through an effects box to get different textures to the sound.
I had started doing “field recordings” while travelling and I used a recording from the Island of Mull of sea and wavelets on the track “The Island”
We did not have a bass player so dung would double up on keyboards as well as playing instrumental parts. I played rhythm guitar, with little pits of picking, heavily distorted.
My tracks included:
A Glow of Yellow Lights
A Man of Your Screams
As an off shoot of Hadrian’s Ward, we were joined by Pod who came up to do a bit of singing and to play bass. We did a few ideas for songs, but only completed some instrumental parts.
I later did some ambient pieces with Pod and a few Clash numbers. He played bass guitar and backing vocals and I played guitar and vocals.
Pod owns a “Wasp” synth-keyboard which can make wonderful sounds-capes, and the both of us did interesting mixes.