King Charles, Thames Street, Poole
Friday 9 March
They said, with some justification, that it could never happen but Poole’s
near legendary punk-pop cult heroes TOURS are to reform for one night only
and play a gig at the King Charles pub.
The band – Ronnie Mayor, Richard Mazda, Steve Jeff and Mark ‘Basha’ Spiers
– sent a shockwave through the music industry in May 1979 when their
self-released single ‘Language School’ so impressed John Peel at Radio 1
that he played it for 50 consecutive nights and declared it his second
favourite 45 of all time behind ‘Teenage Kicks’ by Undertones.
Not bad for four snotty Poole upstarts, two of which were still teenagers.
In the ensuing scramble for their signatures Virgin Records came out on top
and tied the band to a £225,000 six-album deal then declared Mayor and
Mazda (or was it Mazda and Mayor?) “the punk Lennon-McCartney”.
A second single followed, the fizzing ‘Tourist Information’, but it wasn’t
to be and within a year the whole thing had fallen apart, ripped to shreds
by clashing egos and industry meddling in the band’s line up and future
After various other musical ventures in which a solo Ronnie again narrowly
missed out on pop stardom before heading to Australia to become a window
cleaner; Richard moved to London then New York to be a producer and actor;
Steve went to live in Amsterdam and took up the teachings of Bhagwan Shree
Rajneesh; and Basha played with Polly Harvey and Tom Robinson while plying
his trade as a cobbler.
In 2010 Cherry Red Records released *‘Album of the Year… (That Never Was)’*,
a compilation of studio sessions from 1979 and 1980 that should have
resulted in Tours’ debut album.
n gathering the material Ronnie and Richard spoke for the first time in 30
years and set in motion a chain of event that has come this – TOURS back on
stage and for the first time appearing as a five-piece with original
guitarist John Hole who left and was replaced by Richard just as all the
It’ll be quite a night.