Laney’s Memories of Rough Terrain

Laney kindly wrote a piece on her memories of Rough Terrain:

I don’t really recall the end of The Subterraineans and the beginning of Rough Terrain. But I know Graham and Dean were off doing other things, leaving George and Jerry keen to continue. They needed a singer and a drummer, and boy, did they find them in Andy (horny) and Danny.

At the time it was Gremlyn who were pulling the crowds and getting the big venues. I remember seeing them play at The Riverside, a fairly substantial nightclub which accommodated near on a thousand people. And they filled the place. I watched in awe as they belted out Addicted to Love in front of a packed dance-floor. Halfway through the song a group of women stripped from the waist up and tossed their bras at the band. It was awesome! Any respect they may have lost for being ‘just a covers band’ was irrelevant to me – the crowd adored them and paid good money to see them perform. As much as I admire bands who write their own music, I always felt that Gremlyn’s success was down to the fact that they played tunes which everybody knew. So, Rough Terrain’s decision to include some covers in their repertoire, was, I think, the best decision they made. Those songs were the hook which made people listen to the rest. (But hey, what do I know? I was just a loved-up groupie!)

Anyone can sing along to a band’s rendition of a well known song. But to see a crowd belting out the words of a Rough Terrain original, is I guess, the moment when you realise they’ve made it. Over time, Rough Terrain became a band that was taken very seriously on the music scene.

There were many gigs, in many different venues, but there is one venue which holds the most memories for me.

The Bystocks.

The band played there regularly and always filled the place to capacity. A Bystocks gig was always going to be a good night and one of the many highlights for me was Danny’s drum solo. The rest of the band would leave the stage and go to the bar for a drink, leaving the spotlight on Danny who could quite happily have drummed on his own till closing time. What he did with a pair of sticks made what most other drummers did look like child’s play. The guy was an absolute genius. He was a technical prodigy.

But putting Danny’s brilliance aside, the entire band was so loved in that place, and everybody had their favourites. The cheering, foot stamping, beer spilling and refusal to leave the building until another song was belted out made for some great memories.

Funnily enough, I don’t remember the end of Rough Terrain. In my mind’s eye it was at the Bystocks. It ended with the song Starlight Dream, and with Andy singing the final words:

“Loving it and hoping for some more…”

What a damn shame there wasn’t any.