Sheffield glam-rockers to reunite

Suede Apple's lead guitarist as he is today
Suede Apple's lead guitarist as he is today

Forget Take That, Boyzone and Blue – a group of Sheffield musicians are preparing for the ultimate boyband reunion.

All the way back in 1971, a four-piece made up of ex-Frecheville Secondary Modern schoolboys took to the stage in their debut performance as Suede Apple.

Graham and Martin from Suede Apple

Graham and Martin from Suede Apple

Dressed in their best glam-rock outfits, with long, untamed barnets and hairy chests on display, the teenagers delighted the audience at Handsworth Working Men’s Club.

And, 42 years on, the band are getting back together for a one-off gig to celebrate drummer Martin Jackson’s 60th birthday.

Suede Apple are going back to their roots and taking to the stage at the Handsworth club where it all began on Saturday.

Band member Graham Windle said: “We’re all in our 60s now but we’re still alive and kicking and thought some of the people who were there watching us that night might be interested to see us again.

“The band really struggled, against all odds, to make our dream of being in a band come to fruition, not least because none of us could drive or had a van.

“Lots of people from school gave us support and some will be at the re-union. It’s time we bought them a pint or two for all the help they gave us in the early years.”

In the beginnings of the reunion, only Graham, Martin and lead guitarist Chris Watson were on board, but after much searching they were able to track down fourth member - bassist Graham Tinker, who lives in Gleadless Town End to complete the set. The rest of the band had not seen him since the 1970s, but he jumped at the chance of reforming after Chris, 61, of Frecheville posted a letter through his door.

Despite never making the big time, most of the original line-up have kept their skills finely tuned by performing in other outfits.

Graham, who now lives in Rossington, Doncaster, said: “We have all played in other bands over the last 42 years.

“The chance to reform only came about because of Martin’s 60th birthday.

“I played in a few bands with him over the years. In fact, we were professional for a couple of those years. He still plays in a local band called XXL, and the guitarist plays in The Problem With Marie.”

Suede Apple will also have compiled a setlist of five songs, including a Jimi Hendrix number, which will bring the memories flooding back.

For guitarist Chris, 61, of Frecheville, the occasion is extra-special as he met his wife through playing in the band.

He said: “I’m so excited about this weekend. I’ve been waiting for this to happen for years. There were so many good times. I’m still not sure where the name came from, though!”