Thursday, 4 March 2010

A Brief History: Everybody Wants To Kill Roger's Trout Farm

Roger's Trout Farm - L-R: James Agnew, Fraser, Steve, James Parsons (at the front) and Paul
I was the last to join and the first to leave, so my understanding of the full history of the band Roger's Trout Farm is perhaps not the most complete. However, I was there when we came up with the name - another suggestion was Barry The House, in case you're wondering - I was there when we made the first demos, I was there when we got some green plastic fish from the window display of a clothes shop in Weston-Super-Mare and used them as stage dressing, and I was there when we started to do our first ever proper gigs.

I met James Agnew (drums, excellent smirk) in 1988, and he had a friend called James Parsons (guitar, ponytail, hereafter known as 'Snips'. I think it's a vegetable pun). Both of them were in a band that Snips now tells me used to be called the Silent Zones with James A's cousins, Steve (alto sax, curlyquiff) and Paul  (soprano sax, big fluffy cloud of hair) Davies (although they prefer Morricone these days).

After they were the Silent Zones, they then became Phobia. Then some people left. Then I joined. We rehearsed in a caravan shop owned by Steve and Paul's parents. Sometimes we'd run up and down the aisles while playing. We called the band Roger's Trout Farm after the singer from the Who and his fishy endeavours. He later told a friend of a friend that he was pleased about this.

After all this time, I cannot remember what we were thinking in writing the sort of songs we wrote, and performing them in the way that we did. Listening now, it seems that none of us could play anything without making it fiddly, and a smidge too fast. I love that about us.

What I do remember is first acid house and then Madchester and then grunge happening all around us and wondering if we perhaps had failed to capture the prevailing mood of the times. There again, we spent far too long listening to the Cardiacs and the Bonzo Dog Band to pay enough attention to all that other stuff.

Fraser (bass, podgy, balding, me), left in 1991 or thereabouts, for reasons that seemed important at the time. The others kept going, and eventually became Supersaurus, before going their seperate ways and forming other bands (we shall possibly return to this).

Now it's 2010. In a year James Parsons will be 40, and we have decided to get back together for one last gig to commemorate this special occasion, because we all want to do it. None of us know how to play those songs any more, and  believe me, some of them are really hard. But we're going to give it a go, even though we know that the only people who want this to happen, or even understand what is going on, are already in the band.

This blog is an attempt to capture what happens along the way. Just like the band itself, the blog is going to be indulgent, messy, smartarsed and wilfully obscure.

This is simply something we are all going to have to learn to live with.


  1. Wow i saw Rogers Trout Farm play live at Hobbits nightclub sometime in the early-mid '90s - it was a proper good night, you did a great cover of 'Summer in the City' if you form again i wanna be there man! Cheers, Hugh G. Fan, Exeter, Devon.

  2. We are, forming, we have re-formed but, it will be short, swift, in and out like a ninja or just a very fast tortoise.