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Last Rough Cause
19/05/2003 (interview with Andy Wears)

After many years away, bring us up-to-date with what is happening with the new recording. Please explain how it came about and what the other band members have been up to in the meantime?

Well we have just recently finished recording four new songs, which I hope can drum up enough interest in the band to get something going on a more permanent basis. At this moment in time we are doing this as a recording project only due to family obligations so basically we are testing the waters to see how things go. It is however my intention to record some more songs in the near future and hopefully get them released in some form or other.

How all this came together is the G men had decided to call it a day but I was wanting to keep something going so I asked if anyone would be interested in trying out some of my ideas, Dins on the keyboard and Ian on the drums agreed, so we started to bash out a few tunes together.
I then asked if the lads would be interested in recording the songs and they said ok. At the time I wasn't really that bothered about going live I just wanted to get something down on to tape. Unfortunately Ian was proving to be a bit unreliable and couldn't commit himself to do any recording dates I suggested so I had to let him go.

I had been talking to Max telling him the problems I had encountered when he offered to play the drums for me. I was not aware that he was at a loose end and wasn't doing anything; I had assumed he was still playing with Ste in the sugar stealers but apparently they hadn't done anything for ages so I asked Ste to be part of this as well.

Prior to this we had all been involved with different things, I had been in Major Accident for a couple of years and recorded the Ultimate high with them, I had also played with the G men. Dins was with the G men who put out an album a few years ago under the title The G Files, Ste had been living in Germany whilst serving in the RAF and had played in a couple of bands and Max hadn't done anything up until about 98, 99 when the Sugar Stealers formed after a failed attempt at reforming Last Rough Cause. So that about brings us up to where we are now.


The full list of the bands releases is as follows

Last Rough Cause six track cassette
January 1985 tracks were Violent Few, No Real Reason, and My Life, Let Them Know, Get them back and Some Mate. I'm not sure how many we did. We copied them ourselves the quality was extremely poor as was the photo copied cover so I would be surprised if any actually exist.

The Violent Few ep March/ April 1985 Lrc Records Cat no LRC 1 Tracks were Violent few, No Real Reason, My Life and Let Them Know only 500 were pressed this has now become a collectors item and is changing hands at between £15 and £20 in mint condition.

Skins And Punks Volume 1 Oi Records July 86 Cat no OIR007 Split album with Society's Rejects. Last Rough Cause Tracks were Violent Few, Roughin It, Pretty Boy, No Real Reason, Get Them Back, My Life, Let Them Know and Some Mate.

Soft Lights And Loud Guitars part 2 03/07 89 Released Emotions Records Cat no REM 003.Split Album with Anhrefn. Last Rough Cause tracks were Divide, Hey Lady, Feel the Fear, Locked Up, War Stories, Alway's Had It Easy and Time To Think.

Punk Past and Present 27/09/93 Released Emotions Records Compilation Cat no REM020CD Last Rough Cause track Hey Lady Taken from Soft Lights And Loud Guitars Part 2

Oi The Rarities Volume 1 July 95 Captain Oi Records Compilation Cat no Ahoy CD 43 and Ahoy LP 43 Last Rough Cause tracks were Violent Few and My Life

Skins And Punks Volume 1 CD reissue July 95 Step 1 Records Cat no Step CD 064 Last Rough Cause Track listing same as vinyl issue on Oi Records

Best of Oi Records Compilation 1995 Captain Oi Records Cat no Ahoy CD 38 Last Rough Cause track My Life.

There is another compilation album but I have no idea what it was called. I think it was released around 1994 on cherry red and featured Roughin it, I only know of its existence because I have received payments for this on royalty statements. If anyone knows, let me know because I'd like to know exactly what it is.

For people who have not heard the band, describe you sound and the main themes to the songs.

It's difficult to describe what the band sound like, obviously the sound is very much influenced by the punk sound and I suppose we do owe a debt of gratitude to the likes of Stiff Little Fingers and the Clash but I don't think we ever set out to sound like anyone, its just the way things ended up. When I write a song it usually starts off with me writing about something that has happened to me, or to someone I know, or something that has pissed me off, you know the usual ups and downs of life, which I think we can all relate to.

What is the best gig Last Rough Cause have ever done and who else was on the line-up?

The best gigs we did that I can remember were at Leeds Adam and Eves in January 85 with Uproar and then in July 85 at the same venue (which was actually the last gig we did with the original line up) supporting 999. Both gigs still exist on tape.

Other good ones we did were with the Business, Major Accident and Red London. Another favourite was with the UK Subs, which was the first gig with the new line up featuring Rich Smith on Guitar and Andy Lazenby on the Drums back in 89 at the LMS pub in London.
The best gigs I did with other bands were: Major Accident at Freiberg in Germany, this was so funny, the guy who ran the venue made the fatal mistake of asking us if we would like to stay behind for some after show drinks well needless to say if you know the lads in Major Accident you will know they can drink for England, and we certainly did. Anyway to cut a long story short and believe me I have a few tales to tell, the night ended at around six in the morning with them pleading for us to leave and then saying your never coming back here unless you bring your own beer.

The best gig I did with the G-men was at Edinburgh we arrived at the venue at 8.30pm, which might seem a late time to arrive but not when you're in Scotland. Now the lady who was running the show brought us 2 crates of Stella and loads of pizza and we weren't on till one in the morning so as you can imagine with only a couple of us drinking we were in a right old state by the time we took the stage. I have to say it was one of the best shows we played, I actually have it on tape and it's so amazing how we managed to hold it all together but we did and then we partied on the whole night!

What is the favourite song (and what band is it by) of each member of the band?

For me my all time favourite song is Safe as Houses by SLF, I remember the first time I heard it when I bought the Go For It album it just seemed to hit the right spot for me.

Max's favourite is champagne supernova by Oasis.

Ste's favourite is All along the watch tower by Jimi Hendrix .

Dins' favourite is Miss Jamaica by Jimmy Cliff.

How has the music scene change since the band first started out?

In general the music scene as undergone loads of changes as regard to styles and fashions, over the years we've seen punk, 2 tone, Oi, mod, new romantics, brit pop and rave but I don't think things have changed a great deal over the years as regards to people's attitudes. New bands still find it hard to get gigs, as did we, and you will always find people unwilling to give you a break but more than willing to rip you off. On the plus side of things there does seem to be a lot more places to play than when we first started and there's a lot more bands out there that still seem to be plugging away which is not a bad thing at all, it only helps to strengthen the scene which makes it better for all of us. On the down side of things and this is something I just can't get my head around is people are not prepared to go out on a night to watch a band there have never heard of but would gladly spend £30 or £40 going to see Robbie Williams or listen to some tosspot DJ playing records, its like everyone is frightened to take a chance on an unknown band in case they find something that their mates don't like and they do. It seems that people need familiarity, they need to fit in and if something is different it frightens them. So they would rather go to a club an be part of the in crowd and watch a band playing cover versions rather than an original band whose actually gone to the effort of writing something themselves. This is just one area where things probably wont ever change and it really pisses me off, all bands can do is to keep at it and do what they enjoy doing and basically stick two fingers up at them who knock them.

So everyone out there get off your backsides and support the local talent! before it disappears all together.

Why did you choose the name Last Rough Cause?

We couldn't think of anything better at the time so I suggested Last Rough Cause as a joke. It was intended as play on words because at the time everybody seemed to be fighting a cause of some sort whilst we were just having a laugh. So we were going to be the Last Cause, the last stand if you like, fighting to keep music real, a fight against all the synthesizer rubbish that was invading the music scene. So as you can see we weren't taking ourselves to seriously. The rough bit in the name came from the fact we weren't very good at the time, so we were actually taking the piss out of ourselves.

What bands would you recommend checking out?

If Ska punk is your thing One band definitely worth checking out is 46 itchy, I think they're from the Sunderland/ Peterlee area, I've managed to catch them a couple of times and I would strongly recommend them.

If you are into a bit of nostalgia there's a Clash tribute band doing the rounds in the northeast called the Clashed who play everything you would expect the real thing to play.

Plans, gigs and releases planned for 2003.

Unfortunately what makes it difficult for people like us who are our age in a band is the fact that we all have responsibilities now that we didn't have 20 years ago. We're no longer footloose and fancy free with no cares in the world, we all have mortgages and bills to pay and this makes things extremely difficult trying to organise things, there are always going to be things cropping up that take priority.

Problems aside though as I mentioned earlier I'm hoping that I can drum up interest in the band with the demo we have just recorded. I also hope to carry on recording more songs for a possible album release as long as I can manage to get everyone together that is.

As for gig's it's definitely something I would like to do but I would have to rule out for now, unless I do one of my solo routines, which I have been known to do.

On the new releases front the only other plan's I have is to put the recording out myself as a limited edition 20th anniversary release. This will go under the title full circle and will be limited to 50 copies only. The CD will be put on to CDR discs and will contain the four studio tracks we have just recorded and will also contain one bonus track unique to that disc which will either be a demo recording of a new song, an unreleased demo of an old song or a live track. So each disc is a one off, no two discs will be the same. The discs will be available from me as soon as this article appears on the web and will be totally free of charge to anyone who e-mails me with their details.

To get one of these unique discs contact me at: andrew.wears@tiscali.co.uk

Any final comments?

The only thing's I have to add is to thank everyone out there who has supported the band over the years and if you have never heard anything by the band check us out, somewhere on line you can download our material, or you could drop me a line you never know you could get a fee disc.

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Please note that the opinions expressed by band members does not necessarily reflect the views of this website. Punk & Oi in the UK Limited are in no way liable for comments made by interviewees.