The New Religion (Salford)

"While working with The Irwells, a chance meeting with the Mick Stott and John Naill got me into heavier r 'n'b and we formed the New Religion in 1967. We lived in France for 2 years and we also doubled as Ray Stuart's Frankenstein's Monsters - which was a great con because we wore weird make up with him and opened up as our selves we got paid as two bands! That must have been a first!

Because of Frankenstein's habit of forgetting to pay us. we dumped him in Paris.

The New Religion were within days of signing a record deal with Vangellis and Demis Rousos and becoming the stage version of Aphrodities Child when we had to come home to restamp our passports to get a legal work permit.

The sh*t hit the fan! We got killed in a van crash - well I did for 3 minutes. Jon Parket who had replaced Stuart Banham on bass was so shook up he never touched his guitars for years.

Aphrodities Child had hits all over Europe and never actually existed live.

Even though we recorded our only album "Earthbound" for Radio Luxembourg's Emperor Roscoe, we couldn't afford to live in England. Our 30ft limo only did 12mpg and on 30 pounds per night sometimes we couldn't afford to get home.

The biggest compliment I got about the New Religion was when Lemmy years later said he was our biggest fan and styled Moterhead on us. He even offered me a job in the band in the 80s.

Pete Oliver (see also The Irwells and Sweet Chariot) 

Yes Pete ... you were really a great band and though many wouldn't admit it even now and definitely didn't back then .. you were ahead of your time.

I really could never understand why bands couldn't openly praise each other and yet found it easy to do each other down. Probably a contributing factor as to why we had so little major success for a city and it's environs that had a population larger than SCOTLAND!!!

... and it was by far the BEST name for a 'beat group'...{:o)

George Borowski

What a nice accolade from the guitar George himself. When I booked George and Netty King at my bar, Ollies Fun Bar on Rochdale Rd in the '80s I wouldn't have thought the genius was old enough to remember the New Religion but then again he really does remember all the chords. Mark Knoffler you're next.

Victor Brox once told me he thought we were a gospel group. I responded that I'd only seen him with Alexis Corner and thought they were the Rolling Stones.

Pete Oliver - 5/4/09

I was stood outside a club on Eccles New Rd in Salford when a massive American car pulled up outside in the car were Stu, Mick and The legenary Pete Oliver and all their gear !!!! They'd just come home from France and were the band for that night.

Live they (The New Religion) were anarchic but magnificent, way ahead of their time with a brilliant name and a stunning image (military jackets and really long hair.)

I'd known Stuart from The Saint John Hunters, Pete from The Irwells and Mick from The Nails but together they were a mile ahead of all the local bands (mine Included). How they missed being massive in the Blues/Rock/Psychdelic boom of the late 60s is one of music's great mysteries.

Mike Sweeney - 11/2/11

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