The Deddingtons were a short lived indie band formed in the early 90′s. Members Chris King (bass), Chris Morgan (guitar), Matt Wright (guitar) and Andy Lucko (drums) had one song represented on Volume 3 of The Sound of Leamington Spa series. The track “The Last Day” is a nice bit of guitar pop with a layered harmonic sound. Soon after I had uploaded the song on YouTube, Chris Morgan posted a comment to which I responded regarding the subject of a possible interview. Chris put me in contact with Chris King and here we are.
Chris and Chris, thanks to both of you for taking time to reply to a few questions.
Where were you guys born?
Chris King: Nottingham
Chris Morgan: Bolton
What was life like growing up in Notthingham?
Chris King: Life was fairly dull really. If you watch Shane Meadow’s This is England, that’s EXACTLY what Nottingham was like in the 80′s.
Chris Morgan: I loved it, my childhood memories are all ‘golden hued’. The miner’s strike was a big deal at the time.
Do you remember the first album you bought?
Chris King: I’ve never bought an album. I try not to listen to music as you end up copying it too much. I did have a load of Beatles stuff, but I mostly listened to my friends music.
Chris Morgan: my dad gave me all his old LPs. I totally fell in love with all the Beatles and Beach Boys albums. Pet Sounds remains my favourite to this day. The first album I bought was Outlandos D’Amour by The Police.
Bands/artists you were into growing up?
Chris King: Smiths, Beatles, REM, Sundays, Stones.
Chris Morgan: Beatles, Beach Boys, REM, The Sundays, The La’s, The The, Orange Juice, Talking heads, Teenage Fanclub. The list could go on and on…..
First instrument you played? Self taught or schooled?
Chris King: Piano, self taught.
Chris Morgan: I was playing guitar at the time, but just for myself which I first learned on my Dad’s old Hohner acoustic. He showed me a couple of chords, and I was off… I migrated to the bass a little bit later.
What was the name of the first band you were in?
Chris King & Chris Morgan: The Deddingtons
Talk about how The Deddingtons came together as a band.
Chris King: My friend Matt who went to enfant school with me started up a band called The Social Divide at school, then we formed the Deddingtons with Chris Morgan and Andy Luczsko.
Chris Morgan: I met Matt Wright when we were both working part time for a supermarket and, despite the funky brown nylon uniform, we recognised each other as groovy indie types. We got chatting about The Smiths, which was our favourite band Matt told me he was looking for a guitarist. I went round to Matt’s parent’s house with my really cheap guitar and bass and before I knew it I was in a band called The Social Divide. The SD seemed to have an almost revolving door policy on it’s members and eventually fizzled out.
At around the same time Matt and I started to play in a covers band, The Losers, which really helped us to learn our instruments. Chris King of the SD played keyboards. It also gained us an ace drummer, in the form of Andy Luczko. For The Deddingtons, we trialled a couple of singers, who both could hold a tune but didn’t quite “hit it”. We realised quickly that Chris King had the most fabulous voice – we coerced him into becoming our front man.
You guys are not from the Leamington Spa area. How did you come to be included on the V/A compilation “The Sound of Leamington Spa Vol. 3″?
Chris King: Dunno. someone must have got a copy somewhere. They owe us money whoever they are…….
Any other tracks that you recorded as The Deddingtons?
Chris Morgan: There’s a reasonable catalogue of tracks that we recorded. In terms of names: “She”, “Solitary Sunday”, “Happy Again”, “Sheelagh” and “Naively” immediately spring to mind.
You guys never played live. Was this your choice as a band or were the gigs elusive?
Chris King: No we ended up getting the wrong manager just as we were getting going. He ruined the band and turned it into the Days. I became the bassist. The Days produced five crap singles and a very crap album and were never seen of again. I was too young to tell the manager to go f himself. Shame as the Deddingtons really had something.
Describe the makeshift 8 track recording studio. In who’s bedroom did you record?
Chris King: We turned Matts loft into a recording studio. We had to stop recording every time his parents went to the toilet, as the water tank was next to the drum kit.
According to the liner notes in the aforementioned TSLS compilation, Chris King, you are a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to recording – even comparing you to the likes of Brian Wilson. Describe the process you undertook when recording.
Chris King: We had a naff old 8 track machine that used to keep dropping out. Everything was done live – before they had computers. That’s why everything is so ‘imperfect’. We spent a lot of time writing parts and had to bounce everything down every so often to get enough tracks. We recorded on mics from Tandy (now defunct).
Chris Morgan: Chris King is a genius. We had eight tracks and he produced and engineered all the demos – what he managed by bouncing tracks and such, was incredible. It’s hard to say where the songs came from, we tended to work on feel. A couple of us would work something up and then we’d kick it around until it formed. We had the luxury of time: only Andy held down a full time job – we spent two long, blissful summers doing what we wanted to do. We pretty much kept office hours too, kicking off about 10 in the morning and finishing when Matt’s Mum and Dad announced that they were off to bed!
Who were The Days and how did they come to play your songs live?
Chris King: We just got the wrong manager I guess. He changed the format of the band, and we ended up playing crap. Lots of Uni gigs and the London circuit. Utterly pointless.
And Chris Morgan, perhaps you made a good decision in not joining up with The Days?
Chris Morgan: We had enlisted the services of a manager, who I didn’t get along with at all. I dislocated my shoulder, which stopped me playing the bass for a few weeks. The new manager introduced a new guitarist, who was a decent bloke, but without any consultation. I fell out of love with the band and quit – perhaps a bit rash but I was only 20 at the time. I haven’t really spoken with Matt or Andy since, which I regret. After I left, manager-bloke brought his brother into the band and pushed Chris King onto bass.
So as The Deddingtons a recording contract never came to fruition? Reasons?
Chris King: We all went our own separate ways. I took a year off before going to Uni, and the rest of the band got jobs. I guess reality kicked in. Funnily enough I ended up being a TV soundman. I do lots of music interviews and meeting successful musicians (I did Robbie last week) does give me pangs of regret. I did my best, but just didn’t get the break.
Chris Morgan: Well we had a couple of moments where we thought we would get a proper release. We sent demos off around the word and the head of A&R at WEA called Matt up late one evening, saying how much he loved what we were doing and could we send some more tracks. We duly sent off more tracks and never heard from him again…
Get us up to date on what you guys have been doing since The Deddingtons.
Chris King: I’m singing for The Legendary Hearts now, but I’m way too old now. It’s all a bit sad…..
Chris Morgan: I joined a Derby band called Saltbox in 1994 and we enjoyed moderate success on the local indie-scene and played in London a few times. We had record company interest and got played on the radio – BBC Radio Derby’s Mark Sheldon (now working at 6 music) was a big champion of ours and even suggest in print that people should “ignore Oasis and dry out with Saltbox”. How’s that for a press-clipping? I’m currently recording some solo stuff, mainly as a hobby, under the guise of Reporters. My wonderful kids and wife , as well as work commitments are the main focus now I’m old and boring!
Chris Morgan, exciting news regarding a new video of old Deddingtons material. Get us up to date and talk about the video being assembled from the dat tapes.
Chris Morgan: Chris KIng and I have always lamented the loss of The Deddingtons. The interest that we’ve had from around the world, thanks mainly to you uploading “The Last Day” onto YouTube, has spurred us to try and make sure that people get the chance to hear a bit more. We’ve got bits of video, photos and the like and we’re going to try to make something interesting.
Glad I could be of assistance in uploading “The Last Day”. Yeah it’s nice to see so many people still interested in The Deddingtons!