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28 October 2014

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Martin Cure, circa 1964
Martin Cure, circa 1964

Pop into the Past

Local music expert Pete Chambers continues his look at local pop music with a spotlight on local front man Martin Cure. Remember, Pete goes into more detail, and you can hear the music, every other Friday on the afternoon show.

Martin Cure Facts

The name the Peeps was a nod of the hat to Peeping Tom.

The Peeps often get confused with the Penny Peeps who that were a Birmingham based band that included Martin Barre later of Jethro Tull. Although Barre did study at The Lanch.

Martin was a member of Cupids Inspiration after they had the hit Yesterday Has Gone!

In a new feature on the afternoon show on BBC Coventry and Warwickshire, local music expert Pete Chambers takes a look back at the best in pop music from the past and present that came from our area.

Every other Friday from 3pm, Pete will be on air to talk about the bands, singers and songs that made Britain swing during the 50s, 60s, 70s and beyond. You can also take a trip down memory lane with the songs themselves.

This week, Pete looks at the career of Martin Cure, a front man with a local-rock pedigree second to none.

Martin Cure, by Pete Chambers

Martin’s first outing in the early sixties was with the band The Sabres (he was then known as “Q” Martin). The combo became bizarrely the house-band for a travelling circus, their inclusion was cynical ploy to attract the teenage audience, and it worked. 

Martin Cure
Martin Cure

By 1965 they had become The Peeps and were signed to the Philips Record label by influential bandleader Cyril Stapleton, even playing at London’s famous 2 I’s coffee bar and appearing on the ATV TV show For Teenagers Only.

They recorded at! Radio Luxembourg Studios with Albert Hammond (of Free Electric Band fame) producing (also on the session playing cornet was Dick Cuthell who would go on to augment The Specials) During their time they were also known as Martin Cure and The Peeps. 

They released the great freakbeat single Now Is the Time on Philips Records. I have this song and it chugs along very nicely thanks, good guitar licks and nice harmony vocals, very much a Merseys sound. Other singles were Can I Say, Gotta Get A Move On, Tra la La (as Martin Cure and the Peeps) and I Can make The Rain Fall Up.

After some three years as a beat group the times had changed and so did The Pepys (notice the new spelling), by 1968 they reinvented themselves as a progressive band in the mould of Traffic called The Rainbows.

With sculptured hair, bizarre eye make-up and multi-coloured flowing robes they moved their base to London. Their first single Rainbows in 1969 was on CBS Records followed by New Day Dawning. By 1970 however it was over for The Rainbows (sorry) and Cure, Amos and old band member Terry Howells (along new drummer Alan Savage) formed the Progressive band Still Life.

Still Life were one of those bands that release an album (Still Life in 1971) that never really sells, but because it’s on a collectable label (in this case Vertigo) it becomes a mega obscure collector's item. It can now fetch something like £80.

After just one album they went their separate ways, Cure joined Cupid’s Inspiration then, probably his most successful outfit, the Leamington-based Chevy. This was soft rock and twin guitars at it’s best, and they pulled off support slots to Space rockers Hawkwind (playing at Cov’s Tiffanys in 1980) and the world's fastest axeman Alvin Lee.

They gained a prize spot on the EMI Metal For Muthas Vol 2  album with the track Chevy. Their album was The Taker on Avatar Records. After two singles, The Taker and Just Another Day, and some personnel changes the band split in 1981. The nucleus of the band became Red On Red along with Rob Jackson. Martin now runs a successful PA Hire company.

last updated: 07/02/06
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