23 July 2024

Getting the band back together: Them Naked Men plan one-night-only reunion

The Withernsea music scene has a long and rich history – and visitors to this year’s Blue Light Weekend will be able to relive a bit of that past when some of the original members of one of the town’s most popular bands reunite for a special night of live music, writes Sam Hawcroft

The 1980s and 1990s. There was no such thing as a smartphone, people were allowed to smoke in pubs, and houses were affordable.

It was also a great era for live music, too, with emerging bands on both sides of the pond such as Oasis, Blur, Pulp, REM and James, to mention a few, whose hits have since entered the canon of classic rock and pop.

It was a time when you had to get to the pub early to guarantee a seat – and the local live music scene in the towns and villages of Holderness back then was buoyant, with great nights out being concluded by last orders at 11pm… unless Teddy’s, Floral Hall, Eldon’s or the Grand Pavilion were open late.

Last year’s packed and eventful Blue Light Bands night at the Meridian Centre, which brought the inaugural Blue Light Weekend to a rousing close, demonstrated that, while most of these hallowed clubs are no more – some having literally fallen into the sea – live music in our region is still thriving, with a new generation carrying the baton.

Many of those performing on that warm August night last year in the triple-bill of bands Bare Faced, Bonemuel and the Zynx were descendants of, or had direct connections to, legendary Withernsea bands such as Coastal Erosion, Crying Shame, Wayniday, Blue Fish and the Izal Brothers.

Well before the turning of the new millennium, Them Naked Men formed from the remnants of Wayniday and the Izal Brothers and continued to play locally before eventually disbanding in 2006.

Although the personnel slightly altered at first, the familiar line-up of Wayne Clubley, Nick Derbyshire, Lee Mould, Chris Morfitt, Richard Tyson and Steve Chantry were well known for their blistering performances at venues and festivals in and around the local area and Hull.

Now, following the success of the 2023 Blue Light Bands night, former members of Them Naked Men are planning to reform for a one-off reunion gig at the Willows Club in Withernsea on Saturday, August 10.

Chris Morfitt, who is also the music co- ordinator for the Blue Light Weekend, said the idea came about when the former band members attended Nick’s 60th birthday party and decided that a reunion was well overdue.

He said: “We said we weren’t getting any younger and decided it would be great fun to reunite the line-up following an 18-year gap.

“Despite members of Them Naked Men being still active in the local music scene in bands such as Bonemuel and the Monkey Butlers, there was a real desire and enthusiasm to have a good musical blast and to reconnect with local supporters who have been asking us for years if and when we are going to reform for a nostalgic local get-together.

“The seed was then sown and the lads have had a few great sessions to blow off the cobwebs. Unfortunately due to work commitments, and as he is now living in Scotland, keyboard player Steve was unable to join us, so we are delighted that we have recruited our musical comrade Tim Nuttall to join us for the event.”

But the reunion of Them Naked Men is not all revellers can expect on the night.

Those who were lucky enough to attend last year’s gig will certainly not have forgotten the cameo from the Blue Light Weekend’s very own air show organiser, Patrington’s Sgt Dave Walker – aka Para Dave – who guested with the Zynx on some punk classics such as the Sex Pistols’ Pretty Vacant.

Many watching were completely unaware of this hidden talent, so Dave has been asked back to perform with Bonemuel, the band that Chris now plays in alongside his sons Sam and Tom, as a brand-new act called the Alternative Solution.

Chris added: “This is an exciting opportunity for me and my boys to perform with Dave, as his dynamic, energetic style on stage is truly infectious, and it was a real eye-opener for all his comrades who attended last year’s event.

“Dave regularly flies a beautiful 1939 Tiger Moth, so his performance will add ‘musician’ to his already impressive CV!”

There will also be free live music throughout the afternoon on the Saturday of this year’s Blue Light Weekend, with a stage on the prom to showcase a series of local acts. The schedule will be confirmed in the coming weeks.

As last year, this year’s gig at the Willows – Them Naked Men and Guests – will be ticket-only, with tickets, priced £7.50, now available from Precious Prints in Queen Street, Withernsea.