No Way were founded by Paul Callan (Bass) and Paul Gardner (Guitar) and soon recruited Matey on vocals. After searching for a drummer for a while, a guy called Macca played the skins. Our first gig was at The Welly, a Benefit gig for Impasse on 4th October 1978. Shortly after Pete Collins joined. Macca left because it wasn’t really his scene, great lad though. That was it No Way was formed.
No Way were not just the four lads in the band, we had two greasy bikers as roadies who used to hump the gear for us, Jody the Roadie and Kenny the Hammer….what he did with that hammer we still don’t know. Our Traffic Management Officer (van driver) Deed (who tragically passed away some years ago and missed by all the lads) and of course the No Way Barmy Army (a mixture of punks, skins ska and the occasional biker) who travelled with the band all over, Stevo, Coga, Scrubba, Jimmy Mac, Kenny, Denzo, Paddy, Stisha, Dave Robbo to name but a few and of course not forgetting the girls, Jill, Julie, Sue, Kath, Little Gill, Jayne….all partying when we gigged.
The local scene at the time was set up by Dave Johns and Fran Michna both played in the Barbarians, Fran on vocals and Dave on guitar, who used to go round various venues to get gigs for the local bands. The local scene was hot with No Way playing The Welly, The Grand, The Teessider, The Zetland and a host of other venues around Teesside, Stockton, Thornaby, Billingham, Norton and so on.
The main venue at the time was The Rock Garden, all the up and coming and recognised bands played there. No Way were fortunate to back bands like The Skids, The Dammed, Adam and the Ants, 999, Radio Stars, The Tourists to name a few.
We entered the Battle of the Bands competition run by Cleveland Music where the final was at the Fiesta, Norton, 14th May 1979, a real swanky place and a well known venue for mainly pop bands and cabaret. We thought we would enter, a bottle of champers and a fiver, who could turn that down, who would vote for a punk band! Well Well Well we got through to the final, and the best was yet to come.
A fortnight later another fiver and a bottle of champers, the Grand Final beckons, six bands and No Way are on first.
The band was greeted with a mixture of boo’s but more cheers as more people came to see them. Again we played well, Pete Collins and myself, tight as a ducks arse, best rhythm section around, so Pete says, ably backed by Paul Gardner and Matey, snarling at the judges and the other bands fans, mega. As the last number was about to be played, a surge of punks, skins and ska lads storm the stage, the bouncers in numbers are helpless, they pile onto the stage and start pogoing, dancing, strutting around the stage like they were in the Rock Garden, did they blow it?
The other bands did their thing, all waiting for the results, the judges announce the winner…No Way, the place erupted with people who didn’t know what No Way were about. They had seen a bunch of young lads playing their own material and rocking the place cheering and applauding. Even the Evening Gazette gave us a cracking write up.
When we got the cup, the noise died down and a few hecklers started, to this day I can remember Paul Gardner going up to the mic and saying “what ever happened to love and peace man” a touch of sarcasm, who knows?
The reward for this was a days recording at Radio Tees where we laid down nine tracks including, Breaking Point, TV Pox,
30 Seconds, No Reality, Destiny, Crazy Carol Carter, Jeopardy, Senile Delinquents and Idiots Delight. Destiny and Crazy Carol Carter can be heard on Bored Teenagers Volume 3.
I suppose the highlight for us or any band would be to play a massive venue, and this we did on 8th October 1979.
I got home about 4.00pm and our Manager Ian was there who was also the Manager of the Rock Garden, he asked if I could get the lads together as he had got us a gig. Where? was the reply, The City Hall Newcastle, I thought he was joking, but then again what was he doing round the house? he was really serious. We gathered all the lads and headed off to The City Hall and backed The Undertones. Free back stage pass, meet the Undertones, free beer, free food wow. We played a good set and got a good encore as a lot of No Way fans went to see The Undertones.
Our one and only single Breaking Point which also featured TV Pox and 30 Seconds was recorded at Impulse Studios Newcastle. Ian our Manager financed the single and we got 500 copies pressed, all we/he could afford. They sold like hot cakes, if we had a couple of thousand done I am sure they would have sold too.
The single was played three times on the bat on the John Peel show on Radio One. Nice one John and God Bless.
Eventually we split, as bands do, no hard feelings, other projects on the go and went our separate ways.
Then one day I received a phone call from a guy called Dizzy from Detour Records who said he could offer us the chance for one of the tracks from our debut single, Breaking Point to appear on Bored Teenagers Volume 1.
Due to this, the word got round, which fuelled a reunion. Matey and myself were still in the area, sadly Pete Collins and Paul Gardner had moved away, therefore we were in need of a drummer and guitarist. The grey cells working overtime, boomshanka, two names spring to mind and were both into the scene. Andy Grace on drums and Spike on guitar, two well accomplished players who would have no problems learning the set. We practised for about four weeks and nailed down the old set, nice to be playing the set again all due to a phone call from Dizzy.
The gig was at The Cornerhouse, Middlesbrough, 1999 and must have pulled in around 200 people, just like the old days. Fantastic night a lot of old faces and new ones, saying do you remember this, do you remember that, have you seen?
As the word got round No Way started to play one or two gigs per year, and in 1994 played the Town Hall Crypt at Dave Johns Benefit gig. Because Pete Collins knew Dave he came up from London, No Way practised once, it seemed one practise was all we needed Matey, Pete, Spike and myself played a stormer. Spike was now a full-fledged NoWayer as he had a black guitar, a trilby and
a smashing pair of brothel creepers.
As the years went on Pete moved back up to the area, and No Way started playing gigs with The Amazing Space Frogs at the Sun Inn, The Wobbly Goblin and other various venues, Matey still bang on form, staring, growling strutting around, Spike grinding out the licks and Pete and Paul tight as ever.
In August 2004 No Way played an 18th gig in a garden with a knocked up stage, sun shining, beer flowing, barby on the go, good music from the other bands, good banter, another fantastic day.
Various gigs were played throughout the next few years again with the Space Frogs.
The last gig No Way played was Sep 2007 at The Swan Billingham for Bugsy’s 50th birthday. Other bands on were The Amazing Space Frogs and Funhouse. Great night.
For some reason which I can't explain, why were all No Way gigs always great nights...
Then in November 2007 devastating news, we all found out that Matey had died, this bad news left us all dumb founded and resulted in the end of an era. No Way as we know it would ever be the same again.
After some time it was decided that No Way (Paul, Pete and Spike) should keep going with the assistance of Bugsey from the Spacefrogs doing a bit of chanting with Spike and him sharing the vocals. Gigs included various venues, The Rock Garden reunion at the Greorgian Theatre, backing The Lurkers at Billingham Social Club, still playing the local pubs, The Sun Inn, Billingham Synthonia Club etc with the Spacefrogs, Funhouse, a charity night at the Georgian Theatre in aid of Niggsi the guitarist from The Filth and recently Funhouse, who passed away. At the time of writing this No Way will have been going 35 years, still keep rocking or is it pogoing!!!
As you know about the turnover in bands, we now have a new guitarist Paul Tattersall, who also plays with the Frogs.
There is a vinyl ablum "No Way live at the Beeb" going to press and will be available in September 2015. It was recorded at BBC Tees when it was located next to Tower House (now McDonalds inthe town centre)
Announcing that John Bell is the new singer in No Way. We, the band would like to thank Bugsy for his efforts over the past years, he said he can concentrate more so on the Frogs. On a personal note its been a pleasure, cheers Bugs.