Martin Hewes left the band in September 1986 and the band split up soon afterwards.
The Redskins did have a few shows planned in December 1986 which were advertised at the time in the music press but all were cancelled. I asked Martin about these gigs and he said he had agreed to play the one at the Town & Country Club. But when the gig came round to it he hadn't played with the band for a few months and said he just couldn't do it. He told me that Jerry Dammers phoned him and tried to talk him into doing the gig as the gig was an Artists Against Apartheid benefit.
After the split Chris Dean had planned to work with Paul Hookham again but nothing came of this. However, recently I found out that Chris Dean recorded a few demos under the name P-Mod. I've never heard these demos and I don't even know who else was in the band. Paul Hookham ended up playing in a number of bands and I think he's still drumming. Martin Hewes ended up in the band Raj The Magitones who released one track called It's A Funny Old World on an anti-poll tax compilation and possibly Rise on a rock against racism comp. Martin told me recently that he was thinking about putting together another band.
I can tell you in one word basically - MONEY. London records wanted The Redskins to recoup and they weren't doing that. Infact the boys went out of their way to be seen to jepordise this at every turn. When I was round at Martin's flat in 1987 he told me that there were so many lawyers handing out writs for cash that the situation had become intolerable. This had led to a point where, if the band even played a gig together, they could find themselves in a lot of legal shite.
My own personal view is that 'The Redskins' I knew and loved ended the day Nick left the band but the final days were a much dirtier business with 'dashed hopes and dreams that died'. I know from a mate who worked at London Records (at the time Redsins were signed) that when the lads stole the master tape of 'Kick Over The Statues' and released it on an indie that their days at the label were numbered. When 'Power' and 'It Can Be Done' failed to make any serious dents on the charts (despite it being NME's Single Of The Week) they were in trouble because of the huge amounts spent advertising the releases.
Maybe, if they'd have joined Red Wedge, success (financially in the short term) might have been possible and all the legal ramifications avoided, but, as history shows, The Redskins made all the right moves both politically and artistically. Quit while you're ahead should always be the name of the game and Redskins encapsulated, for many, the fight and the frustrations of the Left at that time, yet will always be remembered for an unswerving sense of loyalty, ideology and style. That, and the fact that they left behind one of the best albums of the decade, is what makes the Redskins one of the greatest of all British bands.
Where ars Chris and the lads when we need them..? I'd have loved to see them take Blair's lies and Tory agenda apart right now. To a stomping beat..!
Bazza... gonna try and find the NME review of my band 'The Way'. I think it said something to the effect that "If 'The Redskins' are the flagbearers of the proletariat then 'The Way' are it's poles" - something I was chuffed about at the time. It was because of that review that 'The Way' were asked to headline the 1987 'National Anti-Apartheid Conference' in Sheffield (resulting in my meeting ANC's Oliver Tambo) and the Morning Star's October Revolution 70th Anniversary gig at Alexandra Palace (where we felt way out of our depth I might add). This, in turn, lead to me being the first UK artist to headline a festival in the USSR in Sept 1989. I was a nobody here in the UK but in the USSR (because MS was the only UK paper you could get in Russia at that time) I was like Bono. I was playing to an audience of about 25 in Huddersfield the week before I played to 10,000 in Sverdlovsk, Siberia. Mad stuff really; being driven wherever I wanted to go by the KGB; a banquet in my honour with 250 guests; my support band - CHIFE - were the 'U2' of the USSR - I was only 21 and from a small mining community in bloody Yorkshire. When I got back it did my head in so much that we could never be as big here I split the band, turned to acting/film and headed off to uni in Salford. The End.
I'll try to get some reviews together on the scanner this week and rip a couple of key tracks to mp3 too (Unfortunately, my fave 'Religion' didn't come out well in the remastering recently as it was one of the first ever 'digitally mastered' recordings and when it was run through the old sony betamax it couldn't track in correctly). I'll probably let you hear a couple of tracks from each of the three E.P.s we recorded plus I have a video recording of us playing a cover of 'Kick Over The Statues' at the National Anti-Apartheid Conference in 1987.
The legend I heard in the late 80s was that Decca had given Chris Dean a substantial amount of money to "scout new bands." Dean gave the money to a fund to help the striking miners; Decca found out, wanted its money back, and Dean had to split to avoid charges of embezzlement or some such thing. This, at any rate, was a story circulated among fans in the states. It's probably not true, but it's a good yarn.
"Changed times bring changed tunes." --Leon Trotsky, 1923