Derby Local Studies and Family History Library is connecting with people to document the live music scene in Derby during the 1980s. Working with volunteers, the Derby City Council library is aiming to collect ephemera (flyers, tickets, posters, gig listings, riders, fanzines, photos etc) as well as audio and video recordings of local bands and live music venues.

Councillor Amo Raju, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Culture and Tourism, said:

“This is a fantastic example of a partnership project which has already captured the imagination of local people. It’s vital that we preserve Derby’s cultural heritage for current and future generations to enjoy and I’d like to thank the staff at the Local Studies library and the volunteers for working together to help celebrate an important decade in Derby’s live music history.”

Anybody with a personal collection of memorabilia, recordings or memories wishing to help the library is invited to get in touch and share their material. A key part of the project will be to rescue recordings made on obsolete formats, such as VHS, DV or audio cassette, and make these publicly accessible.

Mark Young, Local Studies and Family History library Manager is encouraging local people to get involved. He said:

“We are excited about uncovering the lost music of the 1980s and are interested to hear from anyone who has any audio or video recordings of local bands playing in Derby during the decade. If they have any flyers, posters, photos or fanzines they would be prepared to donate or loan to the library so we can add it to the digital archive, we’d love to hear from them. We are working closely with volunteers to build an archive to share with the public, which celebrates original bands and artists gigging at Derby’s main venues during this vibrant period.”

John Watkins, project volunteer and former band member of the Egyptian Kings, initially approached the library with some VHS recordings of local bands music and posters from the 1980s for their digital archive. The Egyptian Kings formed in 1980; John joined in 1985 and played with the band until 1990, and they are now discussing the possibility of a comeback. Many original bands including One Eyed Jacks, Aftermath, The Enemy, Jammin Heights, Ludovic Kennedys and Dirty Tricks played at a range of local venues in Derby during the ‘80s.

Anyone wishing to contribute can either donate their original material, or loan it to the library to be scanned and returned. The digitised material will be made available in the next few weeks via the library’s online archive, Derby’s History. Contributors can contact Mark Young at the Derby Local Studies and Family History Library on 01332 642241, email or visit the library at Riverside Chambers, Full Street, Derby, DE1 3AF.

A Facebook group called ‘Derby Local Studies Library – 1980s Music Project’ has been created for the project and people can join this to share their contributions and find out more. There has been good interest and engagement in the group so far, uncovering live music footage, photos and demos from local 80s bands along with other memorabilia for the digital archive.

The Local Studies Library would also welcome suggestions from the public, via the Facebook group, for a project name. They have already had one good suggestion so far in the group of ‘Barbed Wireless revisited’, as ‘Barbed Wireless’ was the name of Terry Christian’s show on BBC Radio Derby in the 1980s. The Facebook group is proving to be a popular forum for local people to share memories, make connections and ‘re-live’ the music scene from a bygone era in Derby’s history.