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The Hoax were formed in Manchester in 1979. The first line up was Ian Chambers on vocals. Andy Farley (Fox) guitar and backing vocals, Steve Mardy (Sox) bass and backing vocals, and Mike Joyce on drums.
Steve Mardy tells the story:
In February 1978 I bumped into a drunken heap called Ian Chambers in Rafters night club, and promptly sold him a 15” speaker bass speaker. Two months later, Ian invited me to plug it in and meet Andy Farley. The three of us formed an un-named band who went on to audition a number of drummers until late December 1978 when we played our first ever gig at The Highland Laddie pub, Ashton-u-Lyne. It was Tameside College’s Christmas party promoted by Brain Turner – of The Frantic Elevators and later going on to manage Happy Mondays in 1987/88.
Whilst rehearsing at TJM in March 1979, Mike Joyce joined what would be The Hoax. In December 1979, Ian fell out with Mike over a woman and promptly left before the release of the group’s first 7” EP ‘Only The Blind Can See In The Dark’ recorded two months earlier at the Cargo Studios in Rochdale.
In January 1980 and whilst recording at Cargo Studios the forthcoming eight track 12” EP ‘So What’, the band played in Manchester at such forgotten venues as: The Mayflower, M/C Polytechnic, The Cyprus Tavern, Band on the Wall, and across other North West venues. The Hoax flirted with the Manchester Musician’s Collective and recorded for its second album ‘Unzipping the Abstract’ (See bottom of page).
Between December 1980 and May 1981, the Hoax continued to play and recorded their final four track 12” single ‘Quite in the Sixpennys’ The final recording for the threesome was compilation track for the ’Ten from the Madhouse’ album. (See bottom of page).
Between May and July 1981, amidst an ‘arresting’ mini tour of Belgium, surfing the summer riots, a demoralised final gig at the Anti-Nazi League event at UMIST, and an anti-royal wedding gig debacle with Manchester Council, Mike decided drum lessons and not playing was his way forward, whilst Steve decided on another way to reach an audience.
Enter Corvette, Atkinson & Flannigan.
Chris Corvette takes over the story. (Please note that this version of events maybe clouded by old age, alcohol, drugs etc.)
As I remember, I was playing bass guitar for my first punk rock band (c.1980) called ‘Random Gender’ in and around the Manchester area. I was also a massive fan of the legendry punk band ‘The Hoax’ (Farley/Mardy/Joyce) and attended many of their early gigs. I got talking to the guys and managed to blag some support slots with the them. We gigged mainly in the north west and even managed to get a third support slot with ‘The Exploited’ and ‘The Hoax’ at Cleopatra’s in Huddersfield on the ‘Army Life’ tour.
Shortly after that
Steve Mardy (bass) left the band to pursue a career elsewhere and I was
invited to join the band by Andy. Obviously I wasn’t going to refuse
and got straight to work learning the songs. We rehearsed at TJM studios
in central Manchester and the attic of a derelict shop in Ashton-Under-Lyne!
During this period, Mike Joyce decided to leave and join a band called
‘The Smiths’. We thought he was fuckin’ mad to leave
the ‘best’ punk band in Manchester to join some shitty pop
band, how could we be so wrong!
The band then entered a local council sponsored battle of the bands event and preceded to totally upset the judges with a spitting and sneering punk rock performance, performing such classics as ‘Rich Royal’ and ‘Assassinate the Prime Minister’. The boys, on discovering they had been placed 22nd out of 23, confronted the judges in a beer fuelled rage and demanded they be placed last? - but the judges refused.
The three sacked members went on to form ‘Emergency’ and as they say the rest is history.
Would the success of this CD and offers of gigs persuade the original members to reform?
No, it would not!
But what we do have is a brand new album released by Retro Records on 8th April 2013. The abum is called 'Live and Unpublished' and consists of a vintage live performance from 1980, plus a bunch of previously unreleased recordings from the same period. (Catalogue No. RET 17).
© The Hoax 1979 - 2013