Raw Power
Raw Power #1  L-R: Steve Reddihough, Gary Purkiss, Nick Paul and Tony Gower - 1975
Tony Gower - Vocals
Nick Paul - Guitar
Steve Reddihough - Bass
Gary Purkiss - Drums
Raw Power #2 L-R: Steve Reddihough, Gary Purkiss, Nick Paul and Tony Gower - 1975
L-R: Steve, Gary, Nick and Tony (Photographs by Alex Chater)
Raw Power photo shoot at The Queens Hotel 1975
...The Story...
'Raw Power' Feature #1 - Evening Echo, Monday June 23rd 1975Raw Power, whom lived and breathed in Southend during the desperate pre-punk years of 1974 + 1975, were the nearest to 'Rocket From The Tombs' or 'The London SS' that the town produced. Co-founded by Guitarist Nick Paul (later of The Machines) and Bassist Steve Reddihough in the transitory wasteland that was 1974, the band was a coming together for the disparate members, all lovers of classic proto-punk such as The New York Dolls / The Stooges / The MC5. Locally, the band would be well known for starting the weekly residencies at The Queens Hotel, a crucial venue in the towns music scene, especially during the Punk years.

'Raw Power' - L-R: Steve Reddihough, Nick Paul (Back to Camera), Gary Purkiss and Tony Gower - 1975Speaking to Nick Paul in 2005 about Raw Power, he said "The deal (with The Queens Hotel) was that we got to leave our gear there and practice free whenever we liked, plus 10% of the bar take plus two crates of beer each gig. We started it up on Saturday nights in a bar at the front. The first week we played to 18 people, by the 4th week the bar was packed to capacity (about 120). It was a great gig and so damned handy! For some reason we were popular with Hells Angels who used to send up tray after tray of drinks. I always seemed to have at least 2 or 3 pints on top of my amps (I used 2 100w HH's and 2 4x12 cabinets for maximum blast)."

'Raw Power' Feature #2 - Evening Echo, Monday June 28th 1975Raw Power's secret weapon though sounds as if it was the amazing on stage charisma of vocalist Tony Gower."Tony started as our roadie", says Nick, "but we drafted him in because he was a total animal live (I think Iggy would have run and hid in the girls loo's if he'd seen Tony in action!). He couldn't sing but that really didn't matter 'cos boy he could bellow! At the age of 18 the doctor told him he had less than 18 months to live if he didn't dramatically reduce his 24hr a day boozing!"

'Raw Power' - Live at The Queens Hotel - L-R: Nick Paul - Guitar and Tony Gower - VocalsBy Spring 1975 though, things started to slowly wind down. Nick continues "After about our 9th/10th Saturday gig (at The Queens) in a row we started to get tired of the place so handed the residency over to the Diamond Jack band and started playing places like the Alex and other places instead. Ultimately though we just couldn't get a toe hold on the London scene and fizzled out. Steve always used to say if we had lived 35 miles up the road in London we would been there ahead of the Pistols and Clash. In total we played about 30 gigs in between October 1974 - April 1975. It was a real shame but it sure was a great band to be in."

Amazingly, 29 Years later after the bands spilt, bass player Steve Reddihough got in touch with Nick and he says "it was just like we hadn't seen each other for a few days. Its great to be playing with him again and to be writing new songs"....

N.B. article used with permission of Southend Punk.com


Home | Machines Info