The Circuit


  • Brian Marks - vocals/flute
  • John Austin - lead
  • Geoff Bates - drums
  • Tony Dilger - bass
  • Brendan Day - drums

Formed in 1981 by Brian Marks, The Circuit was a successful experiment into reggae jazz rock fusion. 

Members: Brian Marks (vocals and flute), John Austin (guitar), Tony Dilger (bass) and Geoff Bates/Brendan Day (drums).

They gigged around the North West of England. The group rehearsed at the Wireworks in Buxworth Derbyshire. The group in the adjoining room were Liverpool group Echo and the Bunnymen?

They recorded tracks at "Strawberry Studios" in Stockport, also Alan Cheethams "Blue Fox Studio" High Lane and "Parish Bowman Studio" Middleton, which was later bought by Peter Hook of New Order.

Everyone in the music business knew of Alan Cheetham, ex Hollies and Merseybeats manager, he had a huge reputation. In 1962 Brian Epstein contacted him and invited him to check out a new group in Liverpool with a view to co-management. Alan took up the offer and caught the next train to Lime Street.

He was impressed with the group but he and Brian Epstein didn't hit it off so he returned to Manchester the next morning. Hence Alan Cheetham became known as "The man who turned down the Beatles".

He believed in the Circuit letting them rehearse for free at his studio in High Lane.

He trawled recordings around London without success, The Circuit weren't Punk, New Wave or New Romantic, musical forms which dominated the 1980's.


John Austin

Guitarist John went to Abu Dhabi doing a residency with his girlfriend singer Joanne, they played on the same bill as Tina Turner, they got married over there and Circuit called it a day.

Tony Dilger

Bass player Tony was a mountaineer, his hands were like hams, the thing is he solo climbed [without ropes] and Brian didn't have a replacement and was always concerned Tony wouldn't turn up for gigs. After the group disbanded he joined Ride alongside Lenny from Sad Cafe.

Geoff Bates

Drummer Geoff had a busy jazz style which he learned from playing with his dad who was a jazz pianist.

Brendan Day

Brendan has a prolific history starting with jazz-funk outfit Tsunami, recording “As It Is” at Polydor studios, London in 1979. During 1981 and early 82 he played and recorded with the Circuit. 

In1982 he became a founder member of Grand Alliance, managed by Miles Copeland (The Police). Recording an album for A+M the band toured extensively in the U.S.A. alongside ZZ Top, Joan Jett and INXS. In 1986 he toured England and Europe with Pete Haycock promoting his albums “No Speak” and “Guitar and Son”.

Around this period he also played on two tracks for Jan Ackermann’s “Noise of Art” album.

In this same year Brendan joined the Steve Gibbons Band touring England, Scandinavia, and Europe, recording three albums.

Brendan has still got it. He plays from time to time with a band in Hayfield, Derbyshire call Eric and the Frantics - a band he's been playing on and off with for over 20 years. Playing some charity gigs with Steve Rawlins (ziggeratz/cutthroat studios hillgate just round the corner from strawberry ) so sad the place is lying dormant. 

Pheonixphythian - 26/2/11

The group entered a Battle of the Bands competition which they won, this created a lot of work around the Greater Manchester area. Out of the 30 groups from all over the north of England who turned up at the Copley Recreation Centre, the Circuit were awarded twenty more points than Tora Tora placed second in the competition.

The group Warsaw who became Manchester icons Joy Division made a guest appearance.


Gigs included

  • Portland Bars, Piccadilly
  • The Devonshire, Ardwick
  • The Grey Horse, Romiley
  • Pips Disco, Central Manchester
  • The Royal Hotel, Hayfield, High Peak
  • Liberal Club, Marple
  • Con Club High Lane, Stockport



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After The Circuit I played with a band called the Ride for a while. They had their own studio and recorded a lot. The line-up included Phil Platt, lead singer/guitarist, who founded the band, Steve Ridgeway keyboards and a sax player called Lenny out of Sad Cafe.

The Circuit, which, for my money had more raw talent than anything else around. Just a pity the music business didn't appreciate it.  I certainly think of the Circuit as the best band I was ever involved in, easily, and everybody in it were great. I have heard a few of our  old tracks since and they still sound good. Raw, unpolished but really pretty good. It was all just a lottery, It wasn't just about talent. We just didn't make the right connections, but that's what the music business was all about.

Tony Dilger - 17/3/12





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