"Originally called the Losers, it was as Johnny and the Nuforms that they played their first couple of gigs at Pennard church hall with local school mates, Mannequin. By the time they'd graduated to the SSA bar however, at a benefit for Rock against Racism in the summer of 1978, they'd changed their name again, to become the Nuforms." "That summer saw three appearances at the celebrated punk watering hole, supported by Mannequin, The Trendies and The End. The last, on September 16th, was sold out by 8:30 and the fab Nuforms, then Reader, White and Ratcliffe, hit the zenith of their career amidst a mass of heaving bodies and unsold copies of Alarm. That night the Nuforms split up."
-A Certain Euphoria fanzine
Over the Autumn/Winter of 1979, Reader was spending his considerable spare time in the Carlton Terrace punkhouse with Mitchell Edmond from Virgin Records; Steve Lovell, ex of Virgin Records and becoming a fixture in Iggy Pop’s road crew; and John ‘from Llanelli’ Davies – DJ, photographer, the original man with a van, and one of a handful that actually were at the Sex Pistols gig at Circles. Between tea and biscuits and the occasional blim of crumbly leb, AD and Mitchell sat in the top of the house, mourning the loss of the great Mannequin, and wondering what should happen next with Reader’s growing repertoire of spikey power-pop love songs.
The cunning plan was to actually rope non-musician Mitchell in on vocals, leaving Reader to concentrate more on guitar and writing/arranging duties – at which he was a maestro (and not having to arrange and publicise gigs – at which he sucked). Unlike most of his contemporaries, who simply charged through their songs, Reader was a stickler for detail and always striving for perfection. Each element of a song, drum rolls, fills, bass parts etc were meticulously pored over and examined before being included or discarded. He was the best singer, guitarist, bassist, and probably could have been the best drummer, in the band – but with only one pair of hands he needed some willing accomplices.
With Mitchell’s organisational skills and, crucially, access to the telephone in the Virgin store, gigs started to be arranged and, after the all-night/every night mania of the other punkhouse dwellers, Chris Price and (ex-Nuform) Animal, drove Mitchell back to Bish in the New Year, practise started in earnest in Reader’s new home – sharing with Alistair Smith in his uncle (Martin Ace) ’s shack down Sandy lane – directly under the mystical Watertower. At some point in late Spring the metronomic Steve Hyett become available from The Standards and the difficult decision was taken to swap him in place of Jeremy.
Generally playing alongside The Urge/Dodos, the DC10s played regularly between January and August 1980 – most often at The Coach House in Wind Street, but also at Circles, Swansea University, Bishopston School, Townhill Tech, ‘Amanda’s’ at The Langland Bay Hotel, The Dublin Arms in Winch Wen, and a 3 night run at The Gower Inn before two final Coach House gigs at the end of August brought things to an end – the Summer was over.
Along the way, they recorded a session for Swansea Sound in February, and in June released their single 'Bermuda’ b/w ‘I Can See Through Walls’ - recorded at Spaceward Studios in Cambridge. “We recorded it in one day, then drove to London the next day to get it mastered and leave it at a pressing plant. It was all self-financed through our own cash and money borrowed from friends. We had 1,000 made - but we could only afford 500 in glossy card sleeves and the other 500 were printed on ordinary paper and cut, folded and stuck down by hand.”
John Peel liked the single and played it, it was reviewed favourably by Adrian Thrills in the NME, and was subsequently included in an NME round-up of the best independent singles of 1980. Contact followed from WEA, and most-notably the legendary Greg Shaw of Bomp! Records. But any promise was forfeited when, in the autumn of 1980, Reader elected to take up a place at Cambridge University, while Hyett joined the RAF. John Cab also took off for college, though after a long intervening period returned to music with his Johnny Jet project.
[With excerpts from "No More Heroes (A Complete History of UK Punk from 1976 to1980)" by Alex Ogg (Cherry Red Books)]
Recorded one session for Swansea Sound – 16 February 1980 (Daydreaming, Bermuda, I can see Through Walls, Bomb in The Guildhall)
"Bermuda c/w I can See Through Walls", was released in June 1980 on A Certain Euphoria Records" Cat. # ACE 1:
‘I Can See Through Walls’ appeared on the compilation LP "Teenage Treats #4" (Xerox Records 1998)
I Can See Through Walls reappeared on the various artists compilation, Millions Like Us: The Story Of The Mod Revival 1977-1989 (Cherry Red CRCDBOX16 2014)
More info about PunkHouse Records products can be found here
I can See Through Walls (alternate version)
Bomb in the Guildhall
I Can See Through Walls
Mitchell Edmond- vocals,
Andrew AD Reader- guitar and vocals,
Jeremy Ratcliffe - drums,
Jonathan "Cab" Phillips-bass
Images below (by kind permission of respective owners) include: (right-click to view images)
Johnny & The Nuforms first gig at Pennard Church Hall,(March 1978) including Roger " Scrumpy " White- bass, Paul " Animal" Griffiths- guitar, Jeremy Ratcliffe (R.i.P. 1980's?) AD Reader- guitar, Johnathon " Bung " Phillips (R.i.P 2001) - vocals. The Bishopston contingent, DC10s recording at Swansea Sound and Spaceward Studio's, fanzine cover, record sleeve, various gig posters and play list for Gower Inn gig