The Origins of the Brick
Sometime around 1986 the two founding members of Brick Supply, David Harling & Tony
Stuckey found themselves sharing a common passion for all things 'indie'. Tony as the
aspiring guitarist and David as the expectant poet were lost within the post-thatcher era
which had framed their home town, Castleford as another colliery town in decline.
So armed with three chords, a pink stratocaster, a untuneable bass and a few reams of A4
angst, Brick Supply was born. Tony at the time had secured his first job at Ibstock Brick at
Nostell Priory (the high level inspiration for the band name - so nothing that esoteric) and
David had started a college course in social care.
In the true spirit of forming a band, the boys phoned their close mates, Gareth Graham (aka 'Gug') and Chris Hobson (aka 'Hobbi') who were both keen to escape the 'mundanities of life' (lyric in 'Maybe I'm Icarus'). It was perfect, as Gug had already started dabbling with the bass and Chris, an accomplished pianist, bought some drums from a car boot sale for £20. Tony - guitar, David Vocals, Gug - Bass and Hobbi - Drums. The band was good to go!
For a year or so they rehearsed at the YMCA in Cas, honing and crafting their abilities with a devout
ambition to write enough songs to perform their first gig. Sadly, the magnetism of female attraction
drew Chris away and he left the band to set up home with his girlfriend. Luckily, word of mouth resulted
in the boys securing another drummer by the name of Matt Usher. The boys soon gelled and their first
set of songs were ready for public consumption. They included such unheard classics as; Spanish hotel in
Britain, Steptoes Beans, Housewife to Be and Adverts for Sale., mixed with a selection of Smiths cover
versions of course.
And so it came to pass... the first gig was booked and the word spread. The West Riding Hotel at Glasshoughton (Castleford) was the venue and the boys were supervised under the watchful guise of 'a boy named Sue' (the landlady) who agreed to cancel the regular Thursday night stripper to accommodate the band, solely on the proviso they 'filled the pub'! The boys agreed and the gig was booked, it sold out - and was a resounding success!
It was at this point things started to ramp up, more gigs were being booked and the band were keen to make their first recording and so in an old barn in Brierley a couple of songs were set to celluloid - (Steptoes Beans, Spanish Hotel in Britain) Exciting times!
It was at this point David announced that he didn't want to be the singer, but instead would like to play second guitar and keyboard. So after some deliberations, the band agreed and armed with his cheap Bontempi and his mums ironing board for a keyboard stand it was round two and the search for the voice of Brick Supply commenced. It was after a short time, the band were introduced to Andrew Tate, aka - 'Tat'. Tat had the voice the boys had been looking for to define what would become their eclectic sound.
A secondary bonus was that Tat also hailed from Cas, so he was well versed in the rigours of the day and by his own admission felt an immediate affinity with what the band were starting to shape as their identity. He learnt enough songs to get the band out on the road (or should I say, play a few more pubs around Cas & Ponte). Under starters orders...
However, whilst a number of gigs followed and more songs were being written, unfortunatelyMatts parents (he was the youngster in the band) felt the band was too much of a distraction and they no longer wanted him to play and instead insisted on him concentrating on studying (it was a fair point as he was a bright kid).
So on amicable terms Matt departed and at that point we started to look for drummer number 3!
(What is it with Brick Supply & drummers!). Stop the clock - luckily a friend of a friend knew
someone who was looking to be part of a band again...enter stage left, the accomplished, inimitable
George Parker! George soon found his feet and with his trademark drum roll (across the toms)
the next phase began...
Alas, the new line up, the dream of getting a deal, the pressures of work, study and social life created some disharmony between the lads, adolescent opinions and misplaced ideas, resulted in 'Gug' being asked to leave. In hindsight, this wasn't such a good idea, as for a time, friendships were spoilt. Luckily, Gug didn't let this put him off and he continued to develop his aptitude for all things bass, he went on to strengthen his bass accomplishments playing in various other bands, thankfully friendships were mended and re-collaborations later down the line ensued.
So following a slight hiatus, the 'feelers' were put out and the band became acquainted with Martin Mason or 'Elash' as he became known. He earned this moniker due to his considerably long eye lashes - measuring in at 0.9 of an inch at their longest...just beautiful.
Around the same time there was a growing need within the band to create
fuller sound, so we asked a friend by the name of Tony Wade to join the
band as chief keyboard player. Tony was 'the man' he could turn his hands
to 'anything'. An Artist, a Poet, a pyrotechnics expert and all round multi-instrumentalist - it was
all just a bit exciting! In terms of interesting facts (having trawled the archives) Elash announced
at a gig in Walton Miners Welfare working men's club that Tony was once the 'tallest man in Goole'.
Quite some feat.
So the Brick Supply venture continued and whilst there is much more detail between the synopsis offered here, the order of events is fairly crude, but the salient points are hopefully captured.
The next part of Brick Supply history contain so many changes in the band line up that there is just
too much to document. The main line up later saw Richard Saunders replace George on drums, then
Richard was replaced by Ian '4 skins' Hawkins (so named after his 4 lovely tom drums), then Kerry
Harrison and finally back to Ian... did we mention about Brick Supply and drummers!!! The fact was,
the band explored so many different styles and in doing so, invited lots of variation in its personnel.
The main point is that all those who passed by, sailed in and lavished in the experience, are ALL in their own right, amazing, talented, insightful and good people who added their own individual sprinklings of beauty. There were never any hotel rockstars in Brick Supply, although Stuckey once threatened a heckler for looking at his pint 'funny'!
So in testament to those who helped make this band, here are the names of all the folks (not listed above) who were part of the band, each of whom offered their individual sparkles to proceedings and indeed, great fellas; all of them.
Tony Stuckey - Songwriter/Guitars
David Harling - Songwriter/Guitar/keyboards
Gareth 'Gug' Graham - Bass/Guitars.
Chris Hobson - Drums
Andrew Tate - Vocals.
Matt Usher - Drums
George Parker - Drums
Martin 'Elash' Mason - Songwriter/Bass
Richard Saunders - Drums
Tony Wade - Keyboards/anything else.
Ian Hawkins - Drums
Graham Lineker - Guitar
Matt Stacey - Saxophone/Guitar/Flute
Matt Bradley - Guitars
Kerry Harrison - Drums