ARDIA: 1988 - 1989

L-R: Dave Haskell, Matthew Deal, Simon Mann, Stuart Crane.

Standing for A Rainy Day In April (a bastardisation of the opening line to George Orwell's 1984), ARDIA was my first band. Formed by myself, Matthew Deal (drums) and Dave Haskell (guitar) at Worthing VIth Form College in 1987, this was the reason I took up bass guitar. We soon recruited Stuart Crane on keyboards and Tim Powis on vocals.

Musically we stuck to cover versions of songs by bands such as Queen, U2, Jimi Hendrix, Cream, Fleetwood Mac and other classic rock bands of the 60s, 70s and 80s. U2's The Joshua Tree hadn't long been released and Where The Streets Have No Name became a firm favourite along with Bullet The Blue Sky.

With the decision to enter the local Battle Of The Bands at The Thieves Kitchen (these days known as The Vintners Parrot in Warwick Street), we came to the conclusion that Tim's vocals weren't up to scratch.

So we didn't tell him...!

Being an unknown band, just starting out, with no advertisement, how could he find out?

As we soon discovered, the Evening Argus decided to do an article on the BOTB and came down to take photos at the first heat.

Our heat.

During our set.

Although Dave, Matt and I took turns singing lead, it was my photo that made the paper...

Fortunately, Tim saw the funny side of it (after a while) and the band continued for the next couple of years, gradually disintegrating as we started jobs and different colleges.

I'm still in contact with Stu & Matt, although we've all lost touch with Tim and, sadly, Dave passed away in the summer of 2008.

Rest in peace Dave, I miss you. Thank you for starting me out on this journey.

"An enthralled audience enjoys the high quality music..."
Worthing Evening Argus, 1988.