New Wave Of British Heavy Metal aficionados will know Dave Tattum as the the vocalist on Angel Witch’s “Screamin’ ‘N’ Bleedin’” and “Frontal Assault” albums.
However, his musical career started more than a decade earlier. He formed his first serious band by the name of Skin Deep around 1971/72. “Skin Deep was a covers band really, although we did write a few songs our own,” explains Dave Tattum today. “But the drummer we had at the time wasn’t up to it. We had plans to write more original stuff when Steve Williams joined, but he was only with us for a short time before joining Budgie.”
Skin Deep eventually morphed into BILL THE MURDERER in around 1977 and managed to record a 7” single in 1978 pairing the songs “I’d Find You” and “Spring Rain.” Dave Tattum reports: “The two songs that we recorded were written by Pete Downes, an excellent guitarist who is now one of the best jazz guitarists in the UK. They were picked because they were commercial and may appeal to a record label. Maybe that was a mistake as we didn’t receive any interest and the single wasn’t pushed by our management or other people in charge of us. We were performing our own songs which had more of a prog/rock feel to them and went down very well with audiences everywhere, but punk was coming in really hard and people wanted something new. The recording was all done very quickly as I remember. We got there in the morning, recorded the two songs. Went back the next morning and it was mixed in a couple of hours and we were done! The single was self-financed by the band.”
Next came BLAQUE JAQUE SHALLAQUE, the name stems from a cartoon character who was a French Canadian lumberjack. Formed around 1981/82, the band included Dave Hogg on drums plus Rob Downing on guitar (both were also affiliated with Angel Witch). “Blaque Jaque Shallaque recorded demos at Bronze Studios and also there was some live stuff and rehearsals recorded,” remembers Dave Tattum. “We used their studio to record stuff with engineer and producer Mark Dearnley, who was a friend of Dave Hogg’s from his involvement in the first Angel Witch album.”
In addition to the two songs from the BILL THE MURDERER 7” single, the anthology “Blood On My Hands” also features rare demo and live material recorded by BLAQUE JAQUE SHALLAQUE.
Read our review here.