FOIST history* timeline

* histories are subjective, so “his story” in this case is mine (TE)

1988: DR PLEASURE comes into existence thanks to the random accumulation of chemicals. He records schoolboy smut-rock collective THE METALLS (or Metallic Bondage Masters) on 4-track cassette (the medium for all early Foist), his first solo work, influenced by acid house and electro, and METASSIUM, a treble-obsessed electronic sonic terrorist organisation. Instruments used in the proto-FOIST studio then were guitar, bass, percussion, ZX Spectrum computer, Casio and Yamaha DS keyboards, breaks and beats LPs and other samples.

1989: Pleasure encounters Tarzan Evans, Freeway Smith and Lawnmower Green. Tarzan and Freeway, with Ben Gates, form BIG FOIST, named after a song by the Minutemen, a band they greatly admire. FOIST gigs begin at Coleford Community Centre, the first gig featuring Newport band Carlton B Morgan & The Supernormals, and a song improvised on the spot, called Safety Andrex. Unable to find a drummer, BIG FOIST dissolve, partly due to mushrooms, but after making one 4-track session. Metassium continues. Afternoon Sky may have formed at this point. By the end of the year, the FOIST label is formed, as is HEX FREMLIN, with Lawnmower Green on keyboards, Tarzan on vocals, and Freeway, guitar. Instead of a drummer, VERTEBRAE RICHARDSON joins on ghetto-blaster… Vertebrae plays breakbeats, and Freeway Smith’s bass parts and samples from Radio 4 plays etc.

1990: The fortnightly Coleford gigs take off massively after Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine play, shortly followed by EMF, HDQ, Moonflowers and many others. HEX FREMLIN play for free beer, and chaos sometimes results. The Coleford gigs (all of them in aid of the youth club) are stopped by the Chamber of Commerce and others because the owners of boarded-up shops objected. Many other FOIST acts make recordings, including AFTERNOON SKY, EX, CLOT SANOS, ZEBEDEE AARDVARK O’RILEY etc etc, a combination of 4-track and ‘field’ cassette recordings. FOIST cassettes THE STOREY OF BRIAN’S MIND and HEX FREMLIN’s TOP OF THE POPS VOL 23 quickly become bestsellers.

1991: Less FOIST made in this year, as DR PLEASURE moved from the Forest of Dean to Portsmouth. HEX FREMLIN recorded one track there, the anti-military song I’m Sorry Mrs Jones Your Son’s Just Been Shot Down In Iraq

1992: Moses Zephaniah Parker, previously immortalised in Clot Sanos’s Ballad of Yorkley Bus Stop epic (reprised in bite-size form in 2011), joins HEX FREMLIN on bass. When they play their biggest gig yet, supporting RDF and Daisy Chainsaw at the Gloucester Guildhall, Vertebrae collapses several times on stage, but the crowd just think HEX FREMLIN are dubbing it up, so get away with it. Practically get heckled off stage at Newport’s (legendary) TJs supporting Boss Hog, as they are left bass-less when Moses is too hungover to make the gig. Still no drummer in sight. They also play a 30-minute non-stop set in Cardiff’s Chapter, to a seemingly perplexed audience. At some point, Tarzan Evans gets a summer job in Devon and busks around Europe on the paltry savings from job, leaving HEX FREMLIN to continue with 2 temporary vocalists, Kev Page and Dave Palmer.

1993: Freeway, Moses and drummer Godfrey Dreamtone form CASUM, and HEX FREMLIN persuades Godfrey to join this FOIST act too.

1994: CASUM up and gigging and recording, easily eclipsing the popularity of any prior FOIST act. Around this time, THE UNSTRUNG saw Foist venturing into folky/semi-acoustic territory. HEX FREMLIN. now with an almost wholly new set and sound, record their best known song Feltham Bassett (produced by Mike Cooling) and also play some gigs, but finally realised they are indeed Hexed, and lay it to rest following a cheesy disco fancy-dress party at the Rosswyn (RIP) in Ross-on-Wye.

1995: CASUM tour Ireland and record and… HELIUM DEALER form, experimenting with jungle, Welsh-language radio, grind-hop and the legendary KEITH ODEON (now confined to a shed in Berry Hill).

1996-2000: These years are a blur for me. FOIST staged The (F)art of Noise with lots of bands at the Severn Revels Festival, FOIST acts DIRTYBOY were signed as were TURBOWANKER, two opposites on the musical scene. Both went on to massive success, the former in the lounge-punk-pop-grunge-electro-hippy scene, and the latter in the anarcho-punk world.

2002: At about this time, FOIST was located in a woodshed in Ruardean Woodside, soundproofed so much loudness and revelry occurred, including THE SHANDY-LEERS, UNCLE BEN’S CREAM SUPPER, and PURE EVIL were associated from time to time.

2003-9: FOIST continued with an ever dazzling array of acts, until…

2009: Beccy, the former singer from DIRTYBOY (now, alas, split), became landlord of the Angel in Coleford, and gave FOIST the green light to start putting on gigs. Launching ANOTHER FINE MESS, FOIST sought to reinvigorate the Forest of Dean music scene with a weekly open stage night in the pub. This led to the all-dayers Angelfest and Zombiefest, as well as a free compilation CD of many different artists from the Forest of Dean, Out of the Woods.

2010: FOIST artists, especially HELIUM DEALER, active, combine to record the All Six Fingers LP.

2011: FOIST spends the entire year on the 3600ADD project (60 unnamed tracks, total time 3600 secs)

2012: FOIST records an EP with its most folk act yet, BIG CUN TREE, more protein-shakin’ funky frolics from ADULT PLAYROOM, and other artists yet to be realised, marketed, branded and promoted. FOIST also disappoints many people by pulling out of an over-ambitious proposal for a walkabout performance called the Brain Parade. What it was to entail might never be revealed… FOIST releases may become available if there is any interest, for cost price or less.. WE’RE AMATEURS AND WE’RE NOT PROUD!

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3 thoughts on “FOIST history* timeline

  1. suered

    I have a vague recollection of the cheesy disco fancy-dress party at the Rosswyn (RIP) in Ross-on-Wye. Sad that the Rosswyn is no longer running.. My drinking hole/second home and where I got married. 🙂

    Reply
  2. Moses

    Moses was not “too hungover” for the TJ’s gig. He was in bloody hospital! Bloody historians getting it wrong again.

    Reply

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