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1990s London Band Envy – Th’ Faith Healers and What The FUCK?!

1990s London Band Envy – Th’ Faith Healers and What The FUCK?!

Above Photo: Th’ Faith Healers.

In the early 1990s, long after my own bass-playing days in Liverpool bands were over (which period is vividly recounted in my Punk and New Wave memoir, Bombed Out!), I was walking home with my girlfriend having seen a band in the Town and Country Club in Camden, London.

At a gig in the early 1990s. (homepage.univie.ac.at)

At a gig in the early 1990s. (homepage.univie.ac.at).

We were walking past a pub called the Bull and Gate, also in Camden, and heard loud and unusual musical sounds coming from inside.

Don't ask...

Audience participation: Don’t even ask…

The scene was absolute but fantastic chaos, and even though it was already late, and we had work the next day, we went in to see a band that made a huge impact on me; possibly the biggest since the whole Eric’s, Punk and New Wave scene a decade earlier.

They were called Th’ Faith Healers; just a bass (Ben Hopkins), a guitar (Tom Cullinan), drums (Joe Dilworth) and a lead singer (Roxanne Stephen). There was also a huge guy roaming around, dressed from head to toe in bandages, looking like a  Mummy, who blundering around the stage as they blasted out their fantastic set. The audience was going crazy as well; it was like we’d just walked onto a wild film set.

Roxanne Stephen of Th' Faith Healers onstage.

Roxanne Stephen of Th’ Faith Healers onstage.

I just turned to my girlfriend and said, “What the fuck!?” She was blown away too, so  we stayed late into the night to watch them. I loved their music; it was exceptionally raw and powerful.

After that, we went to see them play many times. They were a great live band, who we only ever saw play in pubs, which made them seem even more electrifying and loud. They remain my most-watched band since the Punk and New Wave period.

Th' Faith Healers play a gig in the US (Pinterest)

Th’ Faith Healers play a gig in the US (Pinterest)

They brought out an excellent album, called Lido, in 1992 which I bought (on cassette), but because of various things going on in my life around then, I lost track of them.

One thing I vividly remember when I used to watch them was a feeling of deep envy – a jealousy even – wishing I could be up there playing and wondering ‘what if’, although I think that becomes part of a musicians’ DNA after they pass through a band period.

The cover to Th' Faith Healers album, Lido, released in 1992.

The cover to Th’ Faith Healers album, Lido, released in 1992.

I wonder if anyone else suffers from this – a massive admiration and happiness when seeing excellent live bands, but tinged with a not-unpleasant undercurrent of deep regret and envy?

Well, that was me, watching The Healers….

The band in a publicity shot.

The band in a publicity shot.

Below are two of my favourite Faith Healers tracks off their Lido album.

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This Time

Th' Faith Healers – This Time

Don’t Jones Me:

Th' Faith Healers-Don't Jones Me

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 www.bombedoutpunk.com © Peter Alan Lloyd

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1 Comment

  1. Ben Coleman

    Funnily enough I had an inverse experience watching Tom’s next band, Quickspace as a teenager; I wasn’t yet in band, and watching them I knew I wanted to be.


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