The Wall Biography 1979 - 2008
Band members between 1978-'83; Rab Fae Beith, Bruce Archibald (Drums); Andzy Griffiths, Claire Bidwell (Bass); Nick Ward, Andy Forbes, John Hammond, Baz, Al Gregg (Guitars); Andzy, Ivan Kelly, Ian Lowery (Vocals)
The Wall originally formed in Sunderland in 1978 and in their six year career they made some outstanding records.
The first line up featured vocalist/ guitarist Ian Lowery, vocalist/ bassist Andy 'Andzy' Griffiths, guitarist John Hammond and drummer Bruce Archibald. New Way, an EP recorded for Small Wonder Records sold over 10,000 copies. It was heavily played by John Peel and resulted in Ian Lowery and Andzy relocating to London
Drummer Rab Fae Beith and guitarist Nick Ward joined the band at this point and Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols produced another single for Small Wonder called Exchange. This charted at number 26 in the Indie Charts.
Then came the inevitable 'musical differences', seeing the departure of Ian Lowery. His replacement was Ivan 'Kellz' Kelly. The band toured the UK supporting the Angelic Upstarts, releasing the EP Ghetto for Fresh Records. This EP stayed in the Indie Charts for three months, peaking at number 19.
This line up went on the record the debut LP, Personal Troubles and Public Issues, released in December 1980. This reached number 15 in the Indie Charts and heralded of guitarist Andy Forbes(ex The Strapps).
However after this release the Wall line up changed yet again, with Nick Ward and Ivan Kelly leaving. The new line up was now Andzy, taking over vocals and Rab on drums and Andy Forbes on guitar. The band were then signed by Polydor records.
This major label released the 3 track EP Remembrance, which was promoted on a UK tour with Stiff Little Fingers. At this time Fresh Records also released Hobby for a Day which charted at number 14.
Bassist Claire Bidwell (ex The Passions) joined the band, playing on the album Dirges and Anthems and the second Polydor single Epitaph. Andy Forbes left halfway through the album recording, being replaced by Baz.
In 1982 Rab and Andzy teamed up with guitarist Al Gregg and the final reelase was a 10 track 12" EP Day Tripper.
In Spring 2007. Al Gregg set up a MySpace site for The Wall and the response was amazing. He contacted all the past members of the band to see if it was feasable to get together and play some gigs. Guitarists Andy Forbes, NIck Ward, John Hammond and Al Gregg, bassist Claire Bidwell and singer Andy Griffiths all got in contact and thought it worth a go! Rab by this time was living in Arizona so Mark Dyvig volunteered to play drums.
Memorable gigs followed and a live recording was made. This is now available.
© The Wall 2009