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History of the Band

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Chapter 1 : The Early Years

617 was originally formed way back in 1983 as a five-piece rock band, playing a mix of covers and original material. The various members came together from the "remnants" of other bands in the local Nottingham area :

Achilles gig poster, 1981 (From Kev's archives)Around 1981, bass player Kev and drummer Ady, were originally together in a Beeston-based 4-piece rock band called Achilles, along with two other guys, Graham and Tim, completing the lineup. This band played a number of pub gigs in and around the Nottingham/Beeston area. Around the same period, vocalist Keri, along with guitarists Geoff and Muz, were together in a rock band called Excalibur.

The original 617 logoAs is common for many bands, Achilles was pretty short-lived and so in 1982, Kev and Ady formed a new band called Blueprint, with a guitarist that Kev knew, called Richard. This was to be a 5-piece band, so they advertised in the local press for a guitarist and singer and as a result of this, Muz joined on guitar and Keri came in on vocals. Shortly afterwards, guitarist Richard was replaced by Geoff in 1983... and the band then became the original 617 !

 

Actual ticket for 617 gig at STripes, Long Eaton, 1984.617 soon started getting gigs around the Midlands area at various venues, including some outdoor festivals and so began building a reputation. The band rehearsed at Monty Hind's Boys Club in Beeston, Nottingham and because of this, one of the highlights for this original 617 lineup was being asked to play at a big outdoor festival at the South Bank in London, celebrating the Jubilee for the National Association of Boys Clubs (see the Gallery section for photos of this gig).

However, as is the way for most "original" rock bands even today, unless you are really lucky enough to get "the big break" and get discovered by a management Company or record label, it started to become more difficult for 617 to find sufficient gigs/venues that promoted that kind of music. So, the band gradually began to lose momentum. Because of this frustration, towards the end of 1985, Keri and Geoff "baled out" and went off to join another band.

"The Raid is ON !" artwork, used on the early, limited-edition t-shirtsThis left 617's remaining members, Ady, Kev and Muz, wondering where to go from here. But undaunted, they soon came up with a plan to continue the band, but to take it in a different direction in order to get more work..... on the Club Circuit.

In order to do this, they immediately decided that keyboards would be needed in the new lineup. With this in mind, the three remaining members continued to meet and rehearse, at Monty Hinds Boys Club, deciding on and trying out a whole new and different catalogue of material - pop/chart covers, the "standard stuff" for club bands. So while this was happening, they advertised in the local press for a keyboard player....

On to Chapter 2 :


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