The launch of Kissing Spell's release of the DVD


will take place at
a memorial night for

Friday 24th July
the Boom Boom Club,
Sutton United Football Club,
The Borough Sports Ground,
Gander Green Lane,
Sutton, Surrey SM1 2EY.
0208 761 9078
Doors open:  7.30 p.m.
(with Lord Sutch's Savages)

"Alan Clayson and the Argonauts were one of rock's most glorious and enjoyable follies, and somewhere there is a parallel universe where they are bigger than the Beatles" - Rock 'N' Reel, June 2007
Where do I begin? 
The tip of an enormous iceberg embraces being hustled out of a palais in Reading at gunpoint because the promoter found our show so "rubbish" that he felt entitled not to pay us; on the point of national breakthrough, one key member being gaoled for fifteen months, and two others quitting, one of them fated to co-produce Hilda Baker and Arthur Ballard's chartbusting duet of "You're The One That I Want", and the other to father one of Girls Aloud; important media and music industry folk flocking round me like friendly if over-attentive wolfhounds; being spoken of and written about in the same sentences as Wreckless Eric, John Otway, Tom Robinson and Elvis Costello; three years of expecting to be on Top Of The Pops next week; a BBC Radio One In Concert and headlining at venues such as the Marquee, the 100 Club, Amsterdam's Melkweg and any number of university hops; taking the stage at Queen's College Belfast at the height of the Troubles, where an ecstatic audience was still demanding more after no less than six encores; being supported by what became The Eurythmics at some college function in the Midlands; more dates than could possibly be kept, always, so it seemed, one week after Wreckless Eric and one week before The Adverts; being catalysts in the wreckage of a Luton auditorium, a near-lynching at Barbarella's in Birmingham, and fisticuffs and a consequent car chase following a midnight matinee in Canning Town; a season in a red-light district sur le continent; a woman clambering on stage to tear off all her clothes at Islington's celebrated Hope-and-Anchor, and a bloke doing the same during almost-but-not-quite a riot at the Granary in Bristol; being in a premier position on rock's lunatic fringe" (Melody Maker) while running a provincial outfit most of the time from a telephone kiosk down the road; the van mutating into a travelling asylum with the drip-drip of those antagonisms, discords and intrigues that make pop groups what they are; a godawful one-shot single issued on Virgin Records against my better judgement; its B-side entering Belgium's Top Twenty fleetingly after a pirate radio presenter in the Netherlands began spinning it by mistake; a voyage to a lower circle of hell for me and an Argonauts in gradually more constant flux; rave reviews for What A Difference A Decade Made in both Folk Roots (!) and The Observer; receiving an agitated call from our road manager to say that, while he was loading up the previous night, £500-worth of borrowed microphones had been stolen, and lastly, with our very name a millstone round our necks, making a seemingly final public appearance on 20th January 1986 after ten years as a working band. By then, we were like a soldier that had been fatally wounded, but kept fighting, not knowing how severe the injury was. To all intents and purposes, we'd been over for ages, a faded memory, a tattered newspaper cutting. Thus we scattered like vermin disturbed in a granary. All that was left - until now - were some scratched vinyl and the sound of our aural junk-sculptures as a spooky drift from the shadows in some lonely back-of-beyond dance hall, maybe one refurbishment away from demolition...
 For further information, please investigate or refer to an entry ("Clayson, Alan") in The International Who's Who In Popular Music.
PRESS COMMENT: all the quotes below come from Melody Maker, New Musical Express, Sounds, Evening Standard, Time Out, The Observer, Daily Express, Newbury Weekly News, Ugly Things, New York Village Voice, Wokingham Times, The Stage, Sounds and Folk Roots.
"Clayson is in a premier position on rock's lunatic fringe"
"Incredibly strange and strangely incredible"
"January might be a bit early, but Clayson and the Argonauts might well be the showbusiness sensation of the year"
"An odd group on any level. They left me wondering what it was all about"
"Lively and vivid imagination at work here"
"Curiously appealing evening of baroque and roll"


Back to blog