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Re: The Versatile Newts- Felt’s big break

When Mark E Smith died, Lawrence was one of the celebs that wrote of their feelings and thoughts for the great man in Q magazine.
In this article Lawrence mistakenly said that I’d sent a copy of Index, Lawrence’s first single to Mark.

He must be getting old and losing his memory because the record I sent to Mark was my Versatile Newts single. Kay Carroll wrote back saying that they loved it and invited the newts to play in Manchester at the Cypress Tavern. I had already joined Felt by then so it seemed that the best idea would be to accept the invitation but to play as Felt. In the Fall’s gigography you can see dated 13th May 1980 that the support band was the Versatile Newts. We didn’t tell Mark or Kay of the band/name change until we got there so I assume that there must have been a gig poster somewhere with the Newts listed.


This was also verified by Mark Riley when I met him by chance on holiday in Spain.
They didn’t care about the name change, we played, they liked us and invited us to play the next week at Liverpool Pickwicks and then again later on July 23rd at the Marquee. These were our 3 first ever gigs and went along way to getting us known, resulting in many more gigs in a short period of time and ultimately the record deal with Cherry Red.

In previous and subsequent interviews Lawrence has always stated that our contact with The Fall came about as a result of a ‘fan letter’ that I had wrote to Mark but always omitted the fact that along with the letter I also sent my single. I’m absolutely certain that without the newts single then the Fall would never invited us to play on the strength of a fan letter. I guess Lawrence does not want the world to know that Felt’s big break came as a result of something that he has repeatedly said that he has nothing to do with.

We all know that Lawrence likes to shape and control the narrative so his ‘omission’ tactics are understandable but I can’t believe that he would knowingly falsify the story by saying that it was Index. Lawrence is a lot of things but he’s not a liar.
'something he has repeatedly SAID he had nothing to do with' ... so he DID have something to do with it then!?*

:smile: :wink:

Someone out there is this 'New Noise'!! https://www.discogs.com/artist/1845076-New-Noise

*beyond releasing it(?)