"Carl Bircher Tapes" 1965
In 1965 an early incarnation of the Onyx (Mike Black-Borow, Tony Priest, Steve Cotton, Dick Bland and Chris Cotterell), then still billing themselves as The Onyx Set, were starting to build up quite a reputation as a live band within the South West. They had yet to make any recordings and were keen to lay some tracks down on tape.
Steve's dad Vic was a big driving force behind the band and was keen for them to succeed. He'd been sent a demo for the band to record. From where this came has been lost in time, but presumably it was from a record company who wished to see if the band fitting the bill.
The band needed somewhere to record the track and Vic knew just the place. During his day job he picked up chickens from slaughter from a farm just outside of Wadebridge, near the Royal Cornwall Showground.
Once in a while the sheds were cleared and cleaned out, and during one such occasion Vic grabbed the opportunity to make use of the space. The son of the farm owner was Carl Bircher. Carl had some basic audio kit and had previously recorded Rick & The Hayseeds running through a few songs in Wadebridge Cinema.
With no chicken's in sight the band set up and ran through a few stage numbers, along with one track from the demo's they felt best suited their style, a song called "I Don't Need That Kind O'Lovin".
Despite being recorded with only an amp, two speaks and two mikes (one for vocals, one for the band), the sound was reasonably good. This was help partly by the good acoustics of the building and the wood chippings laid on the floor ready for the next set of birds.
Acetates were pressed up at Wadebridge Sound Studios (who also pressed up disks by Rick & The Hayseeds and Roger Taylor's band The Reaction) and sent back to where they came, however nothing ever came of this session.
Each band member could chose which songs they would like pressed up for their own use and purchased their own copies. Some more flush band members splashed out for a couple of acetates.
Each acetate contained unique tracks, so there are several variations in existence. Labels are bright prink (a colour which doesn't scan very well and appears white).