KERRANG ISSUE 33 JANUARY 1983
Another bite of the cherry.
Dedringer come up for the second time.
SAMSON, PRAYING Mantis, Fist … slowly some of the better bands from the NWOBHM, who for various reasons missed the boat first time around, are getting second bites of the cherry.
Latest to loin this list are Yorkshire quintet Dedringer. You remember Dedringer? The band who were snapped a during the 1979-80 HM boom by the all-too-hip DinDisc label , released an
LP and a couple of singles in 1980 and supported the likes of Gillan, Girlschool, Triumph, and MSG. For a time, it looked as if they were going to make a real impact. But, then … nothing, sweet nothing.
For nigh on 18 months news from the ‘Ringer camp has been conspicuous only through its absence.
“The reason for that was the band were involved in a car crash during August of ’81,” explained guitarist Neil Hudson.’ I was injured, as was fellow.guitarist AI Scott, so we were forced to take a long break.” At the time; Dedringer were still signed, in name at least, to DinDisc, but there hasn’t been even a hint of new product from them for some time; and eventually at Xmas 1981, the company and band reached the parting of the ways, a situation that certainly brought no tears from Dedringer.
“The record label just didn’t understand our sort of music. I’m sure you’ve heard this before from many other bands, but DinDisc had no idea how to promote us. In fact they definitely held us back and messed up the group completely,” revealed Hudson, with more than a hint of venom. It’s high time someone spoke up and told the truth about some (not all, mark you) major labels and their head-in-sand attitude to HM. No, I’m not anti industry, a soapbox tirade against the record industry, but it does seem that a number of companies have not the faintest idea how to work and promote a ROCK outfit properly. They end up treating them the same way as ‘this year’s fashion’ act, and as a consequence good bands all too often die before their time. I’ve often wondered how Virgin would have handled Gillan if that group hadn’t already established a prize market for itself.
Unfortunately, Dedringer didn’t have the firm foundations of a Gillan, and so finally drifted out of the DinDisc deal and seemingly towards obscurity.
“We went through a bad patch when we did seriously consider knocking Dedringer on the head,” confessed Hudson. “But, strangely, it was that car accident that gave us the strength to carry on. It allowed us to take our time, look at where things had gone wrong before and decide how best to proceed. DinDisc were always in such a hurry to got product out that we’d never been given such an opportunity.”
The first result of these ‘think sessions’ was a change of line-up with vocalist JJ Hoyle (“he was a bit too old and never had the right voice for us”) being replaced by Neil Warfitt, and bassist Lee Flaxington (‘he left soon after that crash, ‘cos he was so fed up with everything”) by Chris Graham (the line-up is completed by drummer Kenny Jones, and Hudson/Scott on guitars). They then had the good fortune to meet-Neat Records boss Dave Wood.
“We’d never thought of signing with an indie label before ‘cos we wanted an advance. But our manager suggested we meet Dave, and he impressed us immediately. He was so sincere and was tuned into the same wavelength as ourselves.”
The band are not signed directly to Neat, but rather have a separate deal struck for each piece of product released, which seems to suit them just fine. The first fruit of this arrangement was the recent single ‘Hot Lady’ / ‘Hot Licks & Rock’N’Roll’ and it’s definitely the most promising record the band has cut (so much better than the DinDisc de(a)dweight LP), with an edge that perfectly balances the craftsmanship feel.
Moreover, the grooves positively bounce with vitality.
“We’ve total control over the production of our Neat material, and that’s fine for us. We’ve had enough of so-called top producers, Mike Howlett, who’s managed by the same guys who handle ‘Mutt’ Lange, was hired for our DinDisc stuff, and he was awful So being allowed to get on with the job ourselves is a pleasant change. And, it also helps that our songs are all much stronger now. In fact ‘Hot Lady’ is by no means the best number we’ve written.”
As for the immediate future, Dedringer aren’t going to follow-up their debut Neat seven-incher with an LP. Rather, they plan to issue a whole batch of singles over the coming months which, backed by a low-key UK club tour, will hopefully help re-build their nationwide audience, And, according to Hudson, visits to Europe and Japan shouldn’t be ruled out either.
“Our DinDisc album sold really well in both these territories- much better than in Britain. We still get royalty cheques through for sales, even after all this time! At the moment Dave Wood is trying to get licensing, deals for other parts of the world and we’d obviously like to go out there and promote our product. But, that doesn’t mean we put them above the UK – making it over here is still our number one priority.”
So, can Dedringer really roll back those lost years? Hudson remains confidant but pragmatic.
“It’s gonna be hard for us, that’s certain. But this is a better band than the Dedringer of before, so it’s like a fresh start for us. I think we’ve the material and backing now to happen here.”
And, judging by the firm start this band have made with Neat, I’ve a feeling those cynics cruel enough to dismiss Dedringer a couple of years back as’De(a)dloss’ might just be made to eat their words. As indeed might DinDisc!