GOING SOLO

The break up of Help Yourself left everyone downhearted. Malcolm: “We hadn’t sold many copies of the Ken Whaley album and I couldn’t really see the point of doing another one if it wasn’t going to sell. I didn’t really have many songs finished, just some half-formed ideas. I just got fed up with the whole thing, so we decided to knock it on the head. We weren’t getting the gigs, nobody wanted to re-book us because we weren’t pulling in the crowds and so it all came to a natural conclusion in a way”.

The Helps story didn’t quite end there however. A year or so later the band got together for a one-off benefit concert at the Roundhouse organised by Pete Frame of Zig Zag magazine. The famous London venue was completely packed – and to the band’s surpise most people seemed to have come to see them. Help Yourself went down a storm.

After Help Yourself, Malcolm joined Bees Make Honey, doing more gigs in a short period than his former band had in their entire career! Thoroughly enjoying himself, Malcolm says “I was getting six quid a night, so for the first time I was rich. I thought it was terrific – we just didn’t do enough gigs in the Helps, not enough people liked us until after we had disbanded.”

Nevertheless, Malcolm was tempted away from Bees Make Honey, by an offer he couldn’t refuse… to join Man.However, after recording one LP (Rhino Winos and Luncatics) and experiencing an American tour (which he said was “great”), he decided to return to London to start writing material for a solo album.

Backed by members of Plummet Airlines, the LP was recorded at Foel Studios in Wales during 1976, and produced by ex-Brinsley Ian Gomm. However, the LP wasn’t released and for a long time, the tapes were believed to be lost.

Around the same time, Malcolm moved into the attic of famous London pub-rock venue, the Hope & Anchor in Islington. While staying at the pub (run by former Helps manager John Eichler) he tells the story of turning down the keyboard player’s job in an early version of Dire Straits – who had a regular gig at the pub at the time!

RICHARD TREECE’S MEMORIAL GIG

For those that couldn't make it to the memorial gig for Richard Treece – and indeed, for those that wish to re-live what was a tremendous occasion – some soundfiles have been uploaded of the (fantastic) performances of Son of Man, The Jack Bentley Blues Band and The Green Ray.

DEKE LEONARD RIP

"We have lost somebody who was the real deal. A man with the true Bardic gift. He was funny, with a savage wit which he practiced freely. He was great company and a fine musician too – even if he would not admit it. Deke supported and encouraged my early life in the music world, pressed the other lads to get me into Man, and stood in for me in the Help when I was sick with depression. Richard Treece's memorial gig in Walthamstow was the last time I saw the old devil and we talked about this and that... and cricket, which we both love. Deke's passing is a sad loss to the world at large – and heaven knows we need every spark we can get these days."

Malcolm Morley

SOCIAL MEDIA?

Putting together this website has been a (wait for it, cliché is coming) 'learning curve' - but I think we're getting there slowly. Also being tackled are the various social media 'channels'. So far, there's a Malcolm Morley Facebook page and a fledgling Twitter account (@bewaretheshadow), to be followed soon by an Instagram account. More news on the latter to follow. And if all goes well, who knows, maybe even a YouTube channel. Steady! Please help support all this by following, friending etc. Thanks... Malc