30 June 2022

The Home Service

still from videoJohn Hartwell, Vince Rogers and Pete Roberts formed The Home Service one summer in 1981. Their first outings consisted of an hour long video of bizarre found images, processed in strange ways coupled with a soundtrack done along similar lines.

Later on they acquired a Wasp synthesiser and Farfisa organ and built some electronic percussion, coupled later with a collection of litter bins and coat racks.
photo of gigTheir first gig resembled very low budget Kraftwerk in appearance, minimal lights (just rope lights), a collection of bizarre equipment on stage and free cucumber sandwiches for the audience, created lovingly by Tim Webb. The music was catchy pop, except for the fact that there were no 'real' instruments - something which confused Norwich audiences at the time, who suspected everything was on the backing tape - which it wasn't - hence the distinctive 'unrehearsed' live sound that characterised their gigs. They also had numerous airplays on local radio with tracks recorded in various bedrooms and occasionally at Nexus Television, the student TV service at the University.

Shortly after the first gig they stumbled across another band with the same name, and changed the name to Testcard F.

A-Z of Norwich bands - back to the big list

Last updated: Sat, October 28th, 2000