1919 - BIO
In 1977, two teenagers are watching the Sex Pistols play in a Keighley nightclub. Sid Vicious is pretending to play bass just six-feet away and John Lydon taking some cough medicine before launching into Pretty Vacant. Then there is the Clash playing Leeds, supported by the Slits, early Adam and the Ants with Matthew Ashman on guitar, Siouxsie and the Banshees at Huddersfield Poly, and Throbbing Gristle at Wakefield. These bands were the early influences of Ian Tilleard – the original singer in 1919 – and Mark Tighe.
Early incarnations of the band included Mark Manning (Zodiac Mindwarp) and Aky (Southern Death Cult) before settling as 1919, who were already right in the mix of a West Yorkshire scene that included New Model Army, Southern Death Cult, Sisters of Mercy, and The March Violets.
In spring 1983 – while 1919 were on tour promoting Cry Wolf – Stefan Khacheturian was working on studio material with the band ICE, featuring original 1919 bass player Nick Hiles, who by now had been replaced with Steve Madden.
After founding drummer Mick Reed left the band to form The Hive, Nick recommended they brought in Stefan as a replacement. After Reed's departure, the band was taking a new direction musically and – against all advice – changed their name to Another Cinema. Another Cinema signed again to Red Rhino Records; releasing “Hallucination Spires” (which hit number 11 in the indie charts) and later “Midnight Blue Oceans”.
“The band always felt like outsiders, people liked to tag us with various movements but we were having none of it and remained outsiders looking in. Cry Wolf, the last single said it all “You got what you wanted, all cry wolf” so we split the band…”
In 1986 Another Cinema called it a day and bassist Madden decided to go to London. Ian and Mark rehearsed and worked on tracks, eventually forming Zap Gun Virus. This band morphed into Slaughterhouse 5 before, and shortly afterwards, Tighe got sick of the music scene and disappeared – travelling first to Israel and then to Italy, before eventually returning to the UK. After a while the enthusiasm was rekindled, and in 1997 Tighe worked on a mini album entitled “Freaks Geeks and Sacred Monsters- The songs of Morton McReary” which again was picked up by Peel. After that, he drifted off once again; this time to customise and chop motorbikes, and build guitars under Zendog customs.
In 2004, Tighe had been subject to renewed interest in 1919, and decided to pull together some musicians to test the water. Could this have been the re-birth of 1919? The mini-album Dark Temple was released and sold 2,000 copies, but though sales and reviews were good it had failed to morph into the 1919 rebirth that he had dreamed of. Tighe deleted the master files so it would be limited to those copies sold, before drifting off once more to a reclusive life in the West of Scotland; reading, walking, and producing a few bands.
“I still dream of vicious monsters leaping out of the speakers, my trusty old Vox, the valves waiting to be red hot again, the smell of the burning dust, the crackles and then the German radio outbursts like long lost broadcasts from Berlin.”
Since the release of “The Complete Collection” on Cherry Red in 2007, and with the emerging influence of social media, 1919 had had 200,000 streams on sites such as Last.FM through fan uploads alone. In 2014, Mark Tighe had the chance to pick up where he left off 30 years ago. January of this year had led to a chance encounter with Stefan Khacheturian. The two had not worked together since their time in 1919 and Another Cinema (collaborations in 1993, 1996, and 2003 had been attempted, though were short-lived OR abandoned for a number of reasons), but within a week rehearsals had started. The result, they could both feel, was 1919. Still short of a bass player and vocalist, Rio Goldhammer was introduced on both.
From a young age, Rio developed obsession with lyrics and started working with glam punks Stiletto Farm, as well as the band that would later become PseudoNympho. Over a decade, Rio has recorded in several countries for different labels – with varying results – and released a smattering of records on his own Bunnysnot Records label. He also featured in the documentary Madder than a Full Moon Dog (2012) at the end of his time with Stiletto Farm.
Having cut his teeth on the Leeds underground, it is precisely this mixture of character traits and artistic direction – his lyrics smacking of the alienation closely associated with the original band – that made Rio a perfect misfit for the perpetual outsiders 1919; the man to breathe life into a band considered “one of the most overlooked bands of the early eighties.” (Gods and Alcoves)
Tighe and Goldhammer started to develop a strong writing partnership at this point, culminating in a video for "Revenge" which started to stir interest in new and old fans. As a 3-piece, 1919 performed in Leipzig headlining the 10th Anniversary of Gothic Pogo festival, as well as a headline show at London's Electrowerkz. But the final pieces of the puzzle were about to fall into place.
In August 2015, the album that Tighe and Goldhammer had been working on was put on hold - later to be released as a project named "Circle of the Absurd" - as they began writing and rehearsing once again with Mick Reed on drums. With the addition of Reed's long-time collaborator Karl Donner on bass guitar - who notably performed for a number of years with The Ruts' Paul Fox - the band was once again a 4-piece, and quickly announced the impending release of "2015: The Madness Continues Sessions...", an album that features a collection of classic 1919 songs alongside four new tracks (including "Revenge") recorded live during a rehearsal.
And with that, 1919 had risen again…