THE TIME WASTERS

Greg became Music Tutor at Sandwell's Residential Arts Centre, Ingestre Hall in 1974. The Centre, near Stafford, was the former ancestral home of the Earls of Shrewsbury. Pupils from schools throughout Sandwell spent five days on a creative course in Music, Art or Drama, and some would be invited back for weekend courses, which took place about once a month.

Formation and name

Timewasters

Time Wasters Chris B, Ken, Chris S, Tim, and Dave

Greg recruited the members of the Time Wasters from different schools which visited the Centre. They mostly did not know each other before joining the group. The main purpose was to encourage their musical development collectively and as individuals, so he always encouraged their song writing, and having two really good song writers in Chris Stevens and Tim Pye was a great opportunity. The sessions were very creative and made easy by the talent and enthusiasm of the students. Over time, the line-up varied, and included Chris Burton, Phil Jones, Dave Beale, Pete Ralley, Pauline Taylor, "Fred" Skidmore, and Ken Barnsley.

The name of the band was actually a joke based on newspaper advertisements for musicians to join bands, which would sometimes end with "No time wasters"! So Greg called them "Time Wasters Only" and the generic name for any of the musicians in the group became “Time Wasters”.

Recordings

The Time Wasters performed at Ingestre and other venues, receiving good responses. As their musical style developed, Greg decided to record an album to showcase their song-writing and performing talents.

Timewasters perform "The same again" live with a string orchestra

Time Wasters perform "The Same Again" with string orchestra

The recording was very "low-tech" – just recorded straight onto a couple of Sony reel-to-reel tape recorders, and was effectively a "live" recording in the main. The band was helped on the technical side by Doug Taylor, who, thirty years later, has created this website. The album seems to have stood the test of time, judging by a recent review on a French blog site, which includes mp3s of the tracks "Won't Get to Heaven", "Not Fit for your Love" and "Last Words".

Timewasters

Time Wasting at Ingestre

Over several years, the pool of musicians collectively known as the Time Wasters continued to change, with some who had missed the L.P. sessions returning and several new people being added. There were different performing combinations according to the occasion. Two of those who were on the L.P. (Tim Pye and "Fred" Skidmore) and two who had missed those sessions (Jon Pye and "Benny" Bates) did some recordings on Ariola as The Time Wasters and made two singles and an L.P. called "On The Street".

After that some more recordings were made at Ingestre Hall until Greg left at the end of 1983 and from then on, to this day, multiple home-made albums have been made by several former Time Wasters, either individually or together, initially on cassette and then later digitally on CD.

In October 2011 Golden Pavilion Records re-released the first album on vinyl, as it has now garnered interest among collectors having been rediscovered by Birmingham-based Psychotron Records.

Several Time Waster tracks have now been uploaded to YouTube and a review of Time Waster music is on the "Somewhere there is music" site (in French and English).

 

Copyright Greg Holt © 2006-11