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For more info check out the official website @ www.bridewelltaxis.com

 

 

 

 

The Bridewell Taxis

Long before Leeds seemingly became the centre of the universe for music thanks to the chart success of the Kaiser Chiefs - local legends the Bridewell Taxis were carrying the torch for the city at the time of the Madchester scene. Their impact and success was more remarkable than that of our current crop of leading lights because back then, in 1989, the media was no way near as powerful as it is today.

just good friendsLesser bands today are rewarded with far more media exposure than most successful bands did back in the early 90's. If you compare what the band achieved at the height of their all too brief career with bands who can grace the cover of the NME before they sell out tiny venues then you would have expected the Bridewells to have had the same reverential treatment from the media. A few column inches don't quite sum up the impact the band made not just locally but nationally too. Just before the band really hit it big, in true rock'n'roll style, they imploded but anyone who saw them at the height of their sucess will have plenty of happy memories of a band who really felt like, one of us.

I used to produce a fanzine back then in Leeds called ESP and from the very first issue the Bridewells were featured in virtually every issue. They were a big thing back then for the city. Their self financed singles on Stolen Records, 'Just Good Friends', 'Give In', 'Honesty' and 'Spirit' are all quite collectable these days and their debut album is a must for capturing all the many facets of the bands oeuvre. For every bit of revved up, adrenalin fuelled anthemic pop you could find a more melodic and softer side that could make hard men cry, as with the gorgeous, soulful balled 'Hold On'.

That was then....

They came riding in on the coattail's of the early nineties Madchester scene. Playing prestigious support slots with the Happy Mondays, Stone Roses and Inspiral Carpets. It wasn't long before the Bridewell Taxis became local legends. A perhaps never to be repeated, unique word of mouth cult saw six working class East End Park lads fast become the darlings of the Leeds music scene with the promise of becoming the next big thing.

They epitomised the spirit of Leeds people by initially believing back then that they could be the best thing since slice bread and for a glorious couple of years that seemed more than a reality as each independently released 12" single seemed to take the band to another level. At their peak they could comfortably tour the UK playing to packed houses whilst in Leeds they would clock up one legendary gig after another playing all the cities finest venues from the Warehouse and the Duchess to the Town & Country Club and Leeds Town Hall. The latter gig took place in 1991 in front of 800 adoring fans.

Even in retrospect their legacy should be applauded. Even if they didn't conquer the world they did become the most successful band Leeds has ever produced prior to recent success of the Kaiser Chiefs. Back in the day, this band was the cool band to name drop. Bridewells gigs were the places to be seen and where legends would grow (the Hacienda in Manchester, La Locomotive club in Paris and Jenks' in Blackpool). Everybody knew the Bridewell Taxis. They united the city of Leeds- football fans, indie kids, acid house fans and students alike. They dressed like their audience and their fans (Leeds fans, Leeds people - believers and dreamers, one and all) would soak up their pulsating brass heavy music and terrace chic style. Even leaked demo tapes would be passed around friends and fans desperate to hear more. They put a lot of energy and excitement into a frustratingly low key Leeds music scene that quite frankly had never seen anything like it before.

give inThe Bridewell Taxis story should be a shining example to other kids from the less prosperous but equally vital areas of Leeds that you can get off your backsides and make a difference, if you really want it.

..but this is now...

the new line up!Now the Bridewells are back together, giving it one last shot, with three original members, singer Mick Roberts, guitarist Sean McElhone and drummer Glenn Scullion alongside two new young recruits, twin brothers, Jools and James Metcalfe. Sadly, the brass section has been consigned to pop history but the band have replaced this with a beefier guitar based sound and lead singer Mick Roberts defies the years that have gone before him packing in as much emotion into his live performances as he did back in the day. Their initial live homecoming gigs have been well received and now the band are looking to tour further and record new material.

For more info check out the official website run by the band @ www.bridewelltaxis.com

Catch the Bridewells live...
2006 Tour dates
March 18 - York Fibbers
March 25 - Doncaster Camelot's
March 31 - Leeds Uni Stylus Bar



The Bridewell Taxis Live @ La Locomotive Club, Paris April 1990


 

 

 

 

 

 

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