The Gargoyles were a Hull Institution who played at the venue over 20 times. This gig was advertised as their final show but they would reform to play again in 2002.
“They were, quite simply, the must see Hull live band of the mid to late-80’s, one of the greatest live bands you could ever have seen. So how good were The Gargoyles? Well, how many bands could book a 600 cap London venue pretending to be The Housemartins (Hugh and Ted had just rejoined the band from The Housemartins), sell the place out, and get away without being lynched for their audacity? Sure, the unsuspecting audience went berserk. They demanded 4 encores and the band were immediately asked back – but as The Gargoyles next time. Unfortunately, the band never reached the same heights in the studio and the whole thing folded. But what fun we had! It is also important to acknowledge the role of The Velvetones, in that, at that time, there were 2 total one-off bands in Hull, both fronted by indescribably brilliant frontmen, Eddie Smith and Mike Montez of The Velvetones, They were also best mates from their schooldays and I can’t help but assume that this contributed to the parallel development of a uniquely natural humour and sense of showmanship – especially co-events like the ‘Battle of the Elvises’!” (Paul Jackson)
“One of my happiest associations with the Adelphi was with a happy band of brothers they called The Gargoyles (originally Funforall) and I still remember our first gig at the club. In those days the backline was played as it was set up – the PA was only big enough to take the vocals so nothing else was miked-up. Fortunately, our frontman was Eddie ‘Mad Banana’ Smith so we never had any problem projecting our act onstage. I can still remember Eddie, while we were fiddling various knobs and making adjustments to drum stands, informing the audience that while they may have enjoyed this band or that, tonight they were going to be treated to ‘some proper bollocks’. Well, anyhow, we used to play with all the bollocks we could muster. And so was signalled the first of many Adelphi gigs by what would become one of its best-loved bands.” (Hugh Whittaker, ex-Gargoyles/Housemartins)
“My first Gargoyles gig. What a spectacle. Ted, Paul (sadly missed) and the rest of the band dressed in over-sized Safari shorts with Eddie stood on top of the speakers with a ‘Frankie says Relax’ t-shirt on, winding his microphone lead around his body, while singing ‘Dead Men’s Boots’! …Fantastic!” (Dave Paine, journalist)
“Gargoyles gigs were just the best. Always full, always good with an unpredictable edge. I was selling off Gargoyles merchandise at their last gig in 1988. It was at the Adelphi and very emotional. When all the stuff went I sold my own ‘Sod the Aquarium, I’m Gonna Live’ t-shirt to a bloke from London who was in tears because the band were breaking up.” (Katy Noone, ex-Coyote Trap)
“My first experience of the Adelphi Club was to see a band called the Gargoyles. I was in my early thirties and walking in the entrance thought – this is not my scene! Four hours later I was hooked! I’m not sure how it happened but a short while later I was manager of the same band.” (Maggie Johnson, ex-manager, The Gargoyles)
“Nothing really compares to seeing the Gargoyles. Their performances were unique. Eddie Smith was a schoolboy comedy genius. His stage prescence was outrageous. He would often scare and woo the crowd by chatting to them during the songs, leaving his band high and dry. Or by much more basic methods – like getting his knob out! The Gargoyles were the Adelphi for me. The first band I saw and still the best.” (Andy Dimmack, roadie, Super Furry Animals)
We all miss Eddie, Paul and Maggie. Ⓐ x