- Dave Dixon, ‘Melody Maker’ 24/7/99
United by sharing a hatred of the same things, school friends - self confessed ‘loser’ Dave Dixon and ‘teacher’s pet’ Paul Curtiss - decided to do something with their lives. Roping in the only other person they knew who was into the same music as them (and practically the only one with a drum kit), laid-back ladies’ man Johnny Wolfe, the foundations of the BratbeatTM rock ’n’ roll sensation that is The Needles were laid. The fiery three-piece played their first gig at an Internet café in April 1996, and after several pub and club gigs in their hometown of Aberdeen, coaxed another friend, “drink ‘n’ drugs fiend” (so it says here) Richey Wolfe, onto “bangin’ piano” and keyboards. The line-up was complete and they were ready to take on the world. Richey made his debut with the band at Aberdeen’s Lemon Tree… with his leg in a plaster. Johnny Wolfe put the band out of action for three months after a freak skateboarding accident. Long-time Needles stalkers, the newly formed Lithium Records, approached the band in April ’98 and asked them if they wanted to ‘do’ a single. They did.
“Brat beat rockin’ soul rockabilly disco”
- Dave Dixon creates a musical sub-genre for the band, to save journalists the effort.
The result of this was the release of the first (and certainly not the last) decent song the band ever wrote together, Teenage Bomb. Says Dave, on the band’s writing style, “when we started, so many popular bands were writing wanky, ironic songs that didn't mean anything. We just wanted to strip everyone down to their raw emotions and make them burst into tears and burn their record collections for being so futile and pointless.” Teenage Bomb (“we had to sedate ourselves quite heavily to get the single slow enough for mainstream airplay”) was a success – it captured the live spirit of the band, was short and straight to the point, and pricked up the ears of music lovers and radio stations around the country and abroad. It has long since flown out of the shops. Second single We Got The Soul was birthed upon the world in March ’99, to rapturous applause.
“There is no perfection. We are artists, we strive on chaos.”
– from ‘Manifesto Of The Needles’