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A Nightmares in Wax Set List Mystery Solved.

A Nightmares in Wax Set List Mystery Solved.

Above Photo: Me playing bass with Pete Burns at a Nightmares in Wax gig at Eric’s, Liverpool, in March 1980. (© Michael Reid).

When I was back home recently and going through a pile of old crap (more grandly known as ‘memorabilia’) I’d stored in my mum’s loft, I was amazed to come across a list of songs of a band I was in, called Nightmares in Wax, which had been written in a strange hand in the back of one of my old St Mary’s College school books.

Usually only Punk, relationship and football graffitti covered these, so this was a big surprise.

The set list written in mystery handwriting.

The set list written in mystery handwriting. (I forgot to take off the identifying post-it for the photo…)

It looked like a rehearsal or a set list for the band, and I knew it wasn’t my handwriting, so I asked Mick Reid, the former Nightmares In Wax guitarist, whether he’d written it.

“No’, he replied.

Apart from who wrote it, I also wondered how on earth it could have been written inside my old school book.

Lust's Young Dream. Don't worry, I'm well over 'Kaz' - who finished with me as described in Bombed Out!

Lust’s Young Dream. Don’t worry, I’m well over ‘Kaz’ – who finished with me as described in Bombed Out!

Part of the mystery was solved when I sent a photo of the handwriting to a mutual friend of Pete Burns, and asked if he could identify the handwriting. The friend couldn’t, but, unasked, he kindly sent it on to Pete Burns himself, who made a positive ID – it was HIS handwriting and it was indeed a set list for the band.

So now I had to work out how it came to be written in my old school book, and a moment’s thought laid that mystery to rest too.

That's more like it. Punk defacement....

That’s more like it. Punk defacement….

The answer lay in my Punk and New Wave memoir, Bombed Out!, where I explain I was already studying (on the dole) for my A Levels when Pete Burns asked me to join Nightmares In Wax. Although I’d said yes, sometimes before or after band rehearsals in the damp Ullett Road basement, I used to go to Liverpool’s Central Library to do some studying.

Being broke, and an early advocate of recycling, I’d been using blank pages in my old, unfilled school books as a notebook, and it was on one of these days, before we’d played a gig somewhere, and after I’d been studying in the Library, that Pete had written out the set list, probably in the Aigburth Road café we used to frequent.

Mystery happily solved.

The Picton Reading Room, Liverpool Central Library, where I came to spent huge amounts of time over the next eighteen months.

The Picton Reading Room, Liverpool Central Library, where I came to spent huge amounts of time over the next eighteen months.

My favourite Nightmares track was the first one, Couldn’t Care Less, which was the first track following a strong instrumental we played before Pete came onstage.

Of the others ‘Sound I Can Ride On’ and ‘Turn Away’ I also liked, and ‘Black Leather ‘ was a great live track too.

Buy a signed copy of Bombed Out! here: http://www.bombedoutpunk.com/buybook.php

I have put You Tube links to Turn Away and Black Leather below.


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or signed paperback copies from:
News From Nowhere, Bold Street Liverpool; Waterstones, Liverpool 1 or Pritchards, Moor Lane, Crosby.

 www.bombedoutpunk.com © Peter Alan Lloyd

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  1. Michael Reid

    ‘Go West’ is now the only song from this list which we don’t have a recording of.
    Hopefully, someone, somewhere, has the video made at one of our shows at Eric’s club in 1980. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see that after all these years!

  2. Rob Meyers

    Peter, it’s so great to see the recent set-list you posted of Nightmares In Wax, awesome!! a real treat for us fans, as was the FANTASTIC ‘Turn Away’ track that you posted on youtube. A massive THANK YOU, and i hope maybe one or two more recordings, may oneday surface, as well as some footage-which i have never sadly seen. 2016 #thenightmaresreturn

    • Peter Alan Lloyd

      Thanks a lot for your comments Rob. In fact I have been given more Nightmares In Wax recordings by former guitarist Mick Reid, and hope to post them this year. The recordings are a bit rough and ready, but they’re still great songs. I’m also trying to obtain some exclusive photos of the band rehearsing in the basement we used to use in Ullet Road, Liverpool (I have some photos already). They were taken for the Black Leather single sleeve.

      Sadly we’ve drawn a blank on the video footage which was shot of a couple of the band’s performances, however.

  3. Rob Meyers

    Peter, thanks for your reply, and that’s brilliant to hear that Mick Reid has come across some more Nightmares In Wax tracks, such exciting news, thank you very much Mick! They must have brought back some great memories for you both when you heard them again.
    As i grew up i always wanted a Nightmares In Wax album-three tracks was never enough for me! But for 35 years it’s been just the three. Seeing the set-list of 7 tracks blew my mind, 7!! I couldn’t believe it. And ‘Turn Away’ has taken me right back to a time, a great time, and i can’t stop listening to it, it should’ve been a single.
    And now to hear you and Mick have come across some more recordings, and photos of the band rehearsing in Ullet Road, WOW! Well it just gets better and better Peter.
    It’s great having you and Mick back reminiscing, and kindly sharing with us all.
    Thank you. Rob

  4. Stephen Quintes

    The early Dead or Alive (or well, Nightmares in Wax) sound was so impressive, I just want to find out more & more! Where can I hear “Sound I Can Ride On”?

    Also Peter Alan Lloyd, hopefully you can upload those exclusive recordings you have, it’s so hard to find this songs.

    • Peter Alan Lloyd

      Thanks Stephen. We’re looking into uploading one of the old NIW tracks in the coming weeks, once we’ve cleaned it up a little. Watch this space…

  5. David

    What is the song called? Has it been uploaded yet?

  6. Rob Meyers

    Great to see Nightmares In Wax released on cd recently, just the one track though. Check out ‘Revolutionary Spirit-The Sound of Liverpool 1976-1988’. It was Classic Pop’s best compilation february 2018, quite right!



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