The Fire Within

Early 1986 following my departure from Voices of Sin I briefly started a new band featuring childhood friend Tim Sheppard on guitar and Mark Turner on drums. We would use a wheelbarrow and shopping trolley to head up with the gear to a dance studio round the corner from my house in Kettering and rehearse and work on various songs and ideas. We just had one problem - we had no vocalist. At that stage I was just a bass player and lyricist. We recorded a vocal-less demo and advertised in the local paper. We got one response from the vocalist from Leicester band The Bomb Party but it never turned into anything. By Spring 1986 The Fire Within were over. Mark joined ex Voices of Sin members as The Next World who he was with for a few months, they shared a house, writing songs and recorded a good demo of their own. Sadly Mark Turner took his own life in February 1987. It shocked everyone on the local scene, he was just 21 years old and a loss that had effect on many of us for years to come. He was an amazing, talented guy - one of the funniest guys I ever met. A big Clash fan and we bonded a lot over that. He was years ahead of Manic Street Preachers with the big slogans, artwork, stencil clothing;  a kind of Richie Manic type character, very creative, always doing poems, prose and amazing drawings, but often very shy.  I joined him briefly on an experimental collective he named Basquadeck Shelf which involved recording mainly percussive instruments under a bridge. He dreamed hard, was very politically aware; it was always them and us, outsiders going against the grain of smalltown thinking. I lost track with him in the last few months before he left us but he was always very positive to me and without his encouragement I may never have gone on to go solo and start performing my own songs.