Episode Four was formed in 1983; a garage band playing mostly covers from the likes of ? and the Mysterians, The Eyes and The Action. Gigging regularly in the fleapits of London, the group were soon performing original material – finding their own sound. Setting on a fixed line up in 1985 of Paul Kelly – guitar, vocals; John Wood – guitar, vocals; Martin Kelly – bass, vocals and school-leaver Spencer Smith on drums.
A chance encounter with maverick small time music shark, Maurice Percival, led to the group's only release, the 1986 " Strike Up Matches" EP. Recorded for £78 in one day, this rare 12" remains the only recorded evidence of the band. Of the 500 copies originally pressed, nearly all were destroyed in a flood at Percival's Belsize Park HQ.
After gigs with The Bodines and McCarthy, the band were spotted by Jeff Barrett. He quickly snapped them up for the Head (later Sub Aqua) record label.
Due to legal wrangling with Percival, and a desire to move on the band changed their name to East Village in 1988. Further singles and an album would follow.
(band photo and biography taken from "The Sound of Leamington Spa" liner notes)
Formed in the mid '80s by two brothers, Martin & Paul Kelly, East Village (originally Episode 4) were the sound of the Byrds relocated to surburban Southern England. Martin and Paul were unique amongst their peers in that they were influenced heavily by The Byrds, Dylan and The Beatles at a time when most people were obsessing over acid house, pills and the width of their trousers. After a couple of years as Episode 4, the Kelly Brothers relocated to East Village, where they were joined by Johnny Wood (guitar/vocals) and Spencer Smith (drums and, amazingly, due to inherit a hereditary peerage in the House Of Lords within the next ten years). The band recorded two singles for Heavenly prototype Sub Aqua before it folded in 1989. They also toured extensively, playing a mammoth support tour with The House Of Love and two tours with McCarthy.
When Sub Aqua folded, longtime fan and future label mate Bob Stanley stepped in and put up enough money to record an album. This money paid for ten days and nights of speed fuelled playing in a cheap studio, all it took the Village to lay down a ten track album. The record was label-less for some time until Jeff Barrett heard it and loved it enough to pay for its completion (at this point, Martin Kelly was already involved in Heavenly with Jeff). After a series of Heavenly label based gigs, a single, "Circles", a hypnotic, Rickenbacker-led mantra of a song was released. The band played a sold out gig at the New Cross Venue in South London only to end by splitting up on stage, just as it looked like things were starting to roll. The album, "Drop Out", was mixed and released posthumously on Heavenly in 1993. A collection of all the band's early singles (along with unreleased demos), "Hot Rod Hotel", was released on the Australian label Summershine in 1995.
(band photo and biography taken from the "Heavenly 100" web site)
Birdie is Paul Kelly's new band, formed together with Deborah "Debsey" Wykes, whose pop pedigree includes being in legendary girl-pop band Dolly Mixture, singing with St Etienne (vocals on "Who Do You Think You Are") and lending her beautiful voice to East Village's Drop Out (vocals on "Everybody Knows").