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    by John
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Due to the haphazard nature of the Internet, I have no idea who'll be reading this stuff. So the idea is to present the sort of material that we used to include on our (irregular) newsletters, perhaps leaving out the Viz-style marginal adverts! Hopefully the style will settle down as this page is updated.
    Latest News

Winter 2016: Now on SoundCloud


Soundcloud logo
We now have a profile on SoundCloud, which contains just about everything we ever recorded for release.
Head on over to


October 13th 2007: The Earthmovers reunion
Finally!A reunion of the most stable and successful line-up of the band took place on 13th October at Robannas. Attending were myself, Pete, Simon and Paul. Many thanks to Pete and Simon for trekking over from Burgess Hill and Aberystwyth respectively: a long jaunt for a band rehearsal!
In a 5-hour session at Robannas, we revisited some Earthmovers classics, jammed on some new ideas, and generally had a great time. Despite a 10-year gap between the last band performance and this session, we were surprisingly tight, and the music sounded as fresh and exciting as the day it was written. We even tried out some tunes that Pete had never played before - with excellent results. OK there were a few rough edges (notably courtesy of your humble scribe's fumble-fingers), but the main thing is that we had FUN!

See the new Reunion page for photos.
The session was recorded for posterity, although whether the results are good enough to be released on CD is debatable, due to the rough'n'ready recording method.

The general concensus is that it was a worthwhile and enjoyable event. It is now highly likely that future reunions will take place - without such a long gap between them! - and we'd like other past members and friends to join in the fun. What about summer 2008, lads?


March 2007: The Earthmovers archive project resumed
This project has been on the back-burner since the Dusk project took centre-stage, but from this month it becomes the main project. I know Pete in particular has eagerly awaited the culmination of this work. Well, we're nearly there: all Pete's tapes have been transferred to digital. It only remains to choose the best tracks, edit and clean them up for burning to CD. There will probably be at least two CDs: one of Pete and Alan's early demos, and another featuring recordings made by the whole band.


March 2007: Dusk archive CDs finally released
The "From The Dawn" Dusk archive CDs took longer than expected to complete, but for all the right reasons! I borrowed Doug's surviving tapes and re-tranferred them to digital, in an effort to pull every last bit of detail from the recordings. Just before Christmas, I bought some excellent noise-removal software called DeNoiser from Algorithmix. This has worked really well, so much of the tape hiss, amp hum and other nasties on the original tapes have been removed with little or no loss of audio signal. I can certainly recommend this software. For more information on the new CDs, cross over to


January 2007: New web site launched
Over the Christmas break (ha! that's an uncannily accurate phrase in my case - those who know me will know what I'm on about here!), I've concentrated on getting the Dusk archive material into a form that can be released on CD. As work on this progressed and a Dusk reunion became more certain, I thought the time was right to set up a new web site for the project. This is now online at Please visit the new site often, as new content is being added almost daily.


Autumn / Winter 2006: Dusk and DJS projects
Doug and Iare collaborating on a number of projects. The first is to digitise and archive all the surviving session tapes from the band we were both in back in 1988-1990 - Dusk. Doug has made a start by compiling the best tracks from the tapes he still has onto a CD entitled "From The Dawn". I was so impressed that I asked to get involved, and Doug enthusiastically agreed. So, over the last few months I have worked through my own library of Dusk cassettes, and have added many new tracks to the CD set. In fact, there are so many new tracks that I've had to sort them into two volumes.

As some of you may know, I enjoy creating logos and artwork, so it'll be no surprise that I've created cover / liner label art for both CDs. The logo is based on Doug's hand-drawn original - which lends itself nicely to modern Photoshop treatments.

Another project is for the band to reform, even if only for a reunion gig. All past members have now been contacted, and just about everyone is keen to get involved. Doug sees this as merely a starting-point, and hopes to continue on from there to pursue many new musical ideas under the general umbrella of "Dusk".

I've helped Doug out with one of his new web sites, so please pop along to to see the results. It's early days yet, so the site is still fairly sparse in content, but more is being added each week. Doug's long-time friend and fellow musician Gary will be helping with the design of Doug's other site - ensuring that each has a unique style.


July 2006: The web snares another fly
Doug got in touch with me a few days ago. He happened to find this site whilst surfing the web, which just goes to show how powerful a web presence can be - even for a band that hasn't played a note together in over ten years! He's got a few musical projects on the go - more news here as we get it.
His new web site ( should be up and running any day soon.


Easter 2006: The plot emerges
Paul and Simon are trying to organise a reunion night for the band - maybe at a rehearsal room in Brum. I've spoken to Pete about it, and despite his geographical remoteness and busy schedule, he's keen too! Now all we need to do is agree a date. . . er, and a place. . .


Spring 2006: Found another one!
A big hello to Becky Menday - the original Earthmovers' drummer, who we managed to find via the Internet. She's had a sparkling musical career since leaving the band. Read all about it at and


Christmas 2005: Archival work
I've finally started transferring Pete's huge library of stereo and 4-track demo tapes to the digital domain. I'm using an M-audio Delta 44 I bought over the hols. This allows me to dump all four tracks to file in synch. Now I just need to find some decent software for working on the files. It looks like nothing that's half-reasonable will run on Windows2000. . .


Autumn 2005: The gathering continues.
Thanks to Alan Liddle and Kev Reihill for getting back in touch. Commemorative CD-packs will be on their way to you both soon.
(Need an address, Kev!)


Easter 2005: The gathering starts.
Thanks to Pete for getting back in touch. We had a great time over the Easter weekend, listening to old Earthmovers stuff, jamming, and chatting about the band.
Pete brought along a huge collection of old Earthmovers 4-track and stereo demo tapes. I'm currently working through these, with two goals in mind: transfer them to digital, for archival purposes; collect the best bits together in a new "Barrel-scraper" CD.
Unfortunately the new house has turned out to need more work doing on it than the old house, so spare time is now in short supply. I'll get there eventually. . .

It also turns out that Mark "Happy" Wadsworth was living just around the corner from my new house all along! He is currently in the Alvechurch-based covers band Junction 11 - now also playing stand-up electric bass and didgeridoo!


May 2003: 2 more CDs released.
Typical - no new Earthmovers releases in a year, then along come two together!
Well, this came about because my original intention after releasing Enough! on CD was to do the same process on Firkin Live & Fallow - the recording of which we were most proud. The recording that came between them, Jammin' For Quakes, was of poorer quality, both in the recording and musianship, so no-one was bothered about its fate.
So I started work on Fallow - digitising the audio from the 4-track master tapes - but then had to put the project to one side. When I came back to it, I thought I'd better at least have another listen
to Jammin' before discounting it completely. It made sense to get these tracks digitised while I was doing this, so I soon found myself digitally tweaking the files to find out if anything could be done about the sound quality. To my surprise, a few basic filters were all that was required to massively improve the sound, and the first test CD burn sounded amazingly good on a Hi-fi. Yes, there were some mistakes in the performances, but there was also some real energy and feeling coming over which reminded me just how good it was to play these songs. It would be a shame not to get these recordings down on CD for posterity!
So work on Fallow was shelved, and Jammin' was edited and tidied in record time. Once this was done, it took no time at all to complete the work on Fallow. So we ended up with both CDs being released in the same month.

On the graphical side, both covers were designed with the help of my better half Julie Hatton, who had finally persuaded me to stop using CorelDraw and start designing with Adobe products. Fallow features a stunning psychedelic cover image, which was created by Julie. I think it successfully brings together much of the imagery of the recording - being a distortion of a pastoral scene, with ominous Gothic overtones, and also looks vaguely like an orbital view of a planet.

See the Music page for more info.


Summer 2002: Finally - a CD of The Earthmovers!
After much dithering, I finally got round to starting a long-overdue project: getting The Earthmovers' recordings onto CD.
I started with the first recording - the 4-track demo recorded by the original gigging line-up back in 1993, titled "Enough!". A DAT master exists, but with no means to play this, I opted to use one of the 1st generation analogue copies as the source material. This worked surprisingly well, and the final digital version sounds good alongside professional CDs.
As there was plenty of space left on the disc, I added the original 4-track (instrumental) demo versions of "The Gulf. . ." and "Thinkin' 'bout You".
As always, Julie Hatton helped out enormously in realising the cover concept (not too far removed from the simple lyric idea used on the original tape cover), and the overall sleeve design.

Naturally, there is little point in sending this CD round to the usual organisations for review (as it represents a past incarnation of the band), but if anyone reading this is interested in a copy - drop me a line at the address below.



Dave is back!
Yes, It's true! Our No. 3 lead guitarist has returned to the fold, after a couple of years in the musical wilderness. Dave contacted me a few weeks ago, with the express intention of getting back together with myself and Paul, and reviving the Earthmovers' set.

We've started work on recapturing the old songs, and creating some brand new ones.


    Last few gigs


Due to our ongoing personnel revolving-door, we found ourselves unable to do our last few shows without drafting in help from friends. We are indebted to Rob Brunt and Simon Atkins - of local Country Rock group Randolph Flagg - and Kevin Dockerty (who played with us in 1997), for filling in. Let's hope that in the new millenium we can manage more than one show a year!


Earthmovers + Randolph Flagg,
The James Brindley, Birmingham, 1999

This was organised to celebrate the dual occasion of Paul's engagement to Angela, and Angela's Birthday. The venue was the city-centre pub where Paul does his regular Saturday-night DJ spot (plug, plug!).

As with the previous year's reunion, we did a Randolph Flagg set, and the cream of The Earthmovers songs. The atmosphere was electric - particularly for the Earthies' set. It was such a buzz to do stuff like "The Grey Land" and "Free, Free, Free" once again, that we decided we ought to try this more often. On previous occasions, Rob had found it difficult to catch the feel of Earthmovers' songs; but on this night, he locked in seamlessly and produced some awesome guitar-work - especially for the solo on Grey Land. This is the great thing about Rock'n'Roll - how musicians from completely different backgrounds can blend together to produce something greater than the sum of the parts.


Randolph Flagg Showcase Night,
Avoncroft Arts Centre, 1998

This was a self-financed event, organised by RF's Rob Brunt. The idea was to invite a few Club Secretaries down to see what RF could do - and maybe get a few gigs out of it. However, not a single representative showed (given what an apathetic lot they are, we might have expected this). Instead, we played to an appreciative audience of friends.

Support was provided by the brilliant vocal duo "Sack My Cook" (great name, lads), and a (nameless) pick-up group of talented local musicians - mostly Rob's old associates. These were both superb acts. Then Paul Davies came on stage to front a pseudo-Earthmovers (Paul, Simon, John, Rob). We did some of the old barnstormers, then Paul left the stage so that we could do our Randolph Flagg set.


The Rock Station,
Stourbridge, 1997

This show almost never happened - despite all our efforts. Firstly, the support act decided to split up on the night (thanks a lot, Babelfish, or whatever your name was - what a bunch of losers!). This was a problem because of the tradition at this venue for the support act to provide the drums. Luckily, Kevin was contacted in time to fetch his own. Secondly, a noise-activated cut-out switch had been installed that very day. Presumably in order to satisfy local residents, this cuts the power if we get too loud. All well and good, but the microphone had been installed right over the stage. So we found ourselves tripping the damn thing with the amps on "1". Worse, the drums alone tripped it! We were about ready to pack our bags and call it a day, but were saved by some last-minute lateral-thinking by a member of the audience.

We only had a short (50 minutes) set, due to the shortage of practice time with our pick-up group. So this had to be padded out with jams, longer instrumentals and repetitions of the earlier songs. However, Rob and Kevin pulled us through with their professional attitude and musicianship.

The highlight of the show was a completely re-worked, mellow version of "Where are you Girl?", featuring Bouzouki and Rob on bottleneck. This became a definite pointer to possible new styles.

    Next gig 

Nothing is planned for The Earthmovers until we've sorted out a permanent drummer. However, look out for the odd Reunion show again - as we so enjoyed the last two!




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