The Table

Formed in Cardiff, Wales, late 1976, guitarist/bassist Tony Barnes (who’d worked with STACK WADDY and PRINCIPAL EDWARDS) and singer/multi-instrumentalist Russell Young were its protagonists; the latter a player of the “spaceage” guitar – whatever that was. The pair had performed earlier in the 70s as John Stabber (debut gig at Windsor Festival in 1974) and Do You Want This Table, before being picked up by Virgin Records.
Recruiting sticksman Len Lewis and brief “mystery guitarist” auxiliary Micky O’Connor, The TABLE – who didn’t have touring equipment and were virtually a studio quartet – delivered their debut 45, `Do The Standing Still (Classics Illustrated)’; a song name-checking some Marvel Comics monsters. In spring ‘77, the single was awarded the NME “Single Of The Week”, its classy WIRE-meets-ENO-like (“Baby’s On Fire”-period) was undeservedly overlooked by many new wave critiques. Unfortunately, by the time it took Chiswick Records of London to issue a disappointing follow-up, `Sex Cells’, The TABLE trio (without O’Connor) were last year’s dish. However, they had indeed reluctantly started to play gigs, supporting the likes of The POLICE, XTC, SIOUXSIE AND THE BANSHEES, RADIO STARS and the aforementioned WIRE.
In 1979, guitarist Tim Cox was added before being superseded by Tony Lowe. When Barnes moved over for Rod Fogg the following year, and Lewis’ replacement Richard Rae had been usurped by Local Operator’s Dave Regan, their sprawling avant-garde sound was deemed uncommercial; Lewis, incidentally, turned up as a guest on The CLASH’s `Sandinista!’ set; Young, Lowe and Regan became Flying Colours (for one 1981 single: `Abstract Art’) and later, in 1983, Young joined PRIVATE LIVES, a 5-piece fronted by Deborah Giles.
© MC Strong 1999-2003/GRD series // rev-up MCS Oct2016

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