Robby and Danny Welbeck were chatting with me over a bottle of wine in the South of France a few weeks ago remembering, with fondness and anguish, their early modes of transport in getting to a gig.

Their first mode of transport was their legs! For their first schoo, gigs, they took their instruments there on the bus,  sometimes a coastal road open-top bus… and used the school music department amplifiers and PA. Theopen top bus still runs today along the Thanet coast.  But when the Welbeck Group use it, it’s just for nostalgia purposes  and they don’t have to lug the gear up the stairs to the top deck in the rain!

The only time we were let down was when Robby had a puncture and no puncture repair kit or spare inner tube. He was late for the school gig, and made sure that in future he carried a spare inner tube in his bass guitar case that was strapped to his back!

As they gained gigs in the South East of England, they used Danny Welbeck’s dad as a part-time driver/roadie until he was too unwell to continue. The vehicle was an estate car with the rear seats doen to take the gear, and the Welbeck brothers piles up as best they coul among the amps, cases and leads. The estate car was not really ideal, but it usually did the business. “It had a faulty clutch, leaked oil, and didn’t have any power-assisted steering, so it was a complete pig to drive!” said Danny. It was also, for some bizarre reason, registered abroad, in France. No-one ever understood why- maybe it was cheaper? Who knows?!!

Later they invested in that stalwart of all early bands’ transportation, the Ford Transit Van. Colin Cornell, keyboard player and songwriter with the band remembers that the transit was like a Tardis- you looked at all your gear on the pavement and thought “That will never all go into the van!”  But invariably it did- even if it meant one of the band (usually the drummer, Alex) had to get a bus or train home!

They then moved on to using a hire firm to transport them and their equipment to their gigs as they got bigger and better venues across the country.

Finally the Welbeck Group now travel in style as you can see:

During Robby Welbeck’s infamous “year off” from the Welbeck Group, he tried to do the the whole rock n roll thing. Drink, cars, women etc. However he just was too nice a guy to do it with any vengeance! Apart from his infamous wrecking of his Series One Modular Moog in Maida Vale Hight Street, the most he could do was put a modest dent in the front of his Alfa Romeo sports car (see picture above), and get as bit tipsy at parties.

He was the one member of the Welbeck Group that liked a drink- but even then, his excesses were far and few between. He once went to a party thrown by the Chief Roadie “Dirk” at Enfield, but got a train back to Central London- the wrong way! He ended up at Shoeburyness, one stop before Southend on Sea, totally lost, drunk, with no money (he left his wallet at the party) and cold.

Shoeburyness Station

He wandered around the town for a bit, but could find nowhere warm. He went to the local Police station, but they sent him off with a flea in his ear, saying he could “sleep on a bench on the front”.  They obviously hadn’t heard of the infamous Welbeck Group, let alone Danny’s wayward younger brother in the band, Robby Welbeck. He wandered around and found the abandoned Gunnery school there- but couldn’t get inside:

He ended up going back to Shoeburyness station where he found that there was a degree of warmth in the photo booth on the station. There he stayed until he heard a train come in at 4.30am.  This was a goods train, taking fish and milk into London, but the guard for that train took pity on young Robby. He said that his daughter was a fan of the Welbeck Group, and if Robby would give his  autograph, then he could travel back to Liverpool Street station in the guards van. Robby was a bit of a model railway freak in his younger days, so the chance to travel in one of the last operating Southern Railway Guard’s van was too good to be true!

The deal was struck, a signature was given, and Robby managed to get back to London by 6am, smelling of fish! The other band members were worried about him, but he gave his brother Dannt Welbeck a call from a phone booth, and all was well.

In fact, as a tribute to the wonderful place known as Shoeburyness, the band did a gig there a year later as part of the “Welbeck Group Back to Their Roots” tour.

It isn’t on record whether the daughter of the guard who gave Robby a lift back to london on the Fish Train was there, but he did mention the incident when introducing one of their songs “Thank You” which seemed appropriate!

As band biographer, it sometimes disappoints me the extent to which people want to dwell on the negative aspect of the Welbeck Group.  However it cannot be denied that people are drawn to “the dark side” and have a fascination with the more morbid and less attractive side of success and fame.

While Danny Welbeck was always the anchor in the band, the most creative and, if you like, “serious musician”, Robby Welbeck was always in the Welbeck Band for the crack. Here is a rare photo of the young Robby smashing up a hired bass guitar at a gig in his local school hall because he felt that his bass wasn’t loud enough.

Robby’s frustrations often exasperated his fellow members of the Welbeck Group especially when it brought the band into disrepute, and  took attention away from their songs, and the image that they were trying to create- one of serious musicians making musical and lyrical statements that had weight and grivitas. “The Welbeck Group is greater than the sum of its parts” Danny Welbeck would often say. Robby’s reply is well known: “You hold your part and I’ll hold mine!”

One of the more famous incidents came when Robby had trouble programming his amalogue Moog Series One synthesiser that he purchased from Peter Bauman, originally with Tangerine Dream. The Welbeck Group were in MaidaVale.

It was in the margins of a recording session for the “difficult” second album that the Welbeck Group experienced Robby’s frustration turning into expensive wrecking. As most people who use analogue retro modular synthesisers, they have to be kept cool, otherwise they go out of tune. The Welbeck Group chief roadie had forgotten to bring the battery of fans, and so just after the rehearsal for the first song of the new album, the other band members commented to Robby that he was out of tune.

Robby made an attempt to tune the synth, but it was unstable and wavering from minute to minute- hopeless when trying to lay down a bass synth track that the other bans members could play along with. Robby’s frustrations reached boiling point. Danny Welbeck made it worse by giving Robby a lecture about making sure that the Welbeck Group members were punctual, and brought all their equipment along with them, including peripherals such as electric fans!

Robby shouted and got the wheeled crate on which the Moog rested, and  pushed it out of the studio. Next there was a loud crash. Robby had pushed the crate and the synth out into the main road by the studio entrance and it had been struck by a passing taxi! A crowd began to form and fans started asking Robby Welbeck for his autograph- and getting a very rude response!

This was a little but different from smashing up his bass guitar in his schooldays- a lot more expensive! He calmed down, and they rescued from beneath the traffic what they could from the vintage synth.

Later, it was rebuilt by Bob Moog’s company and put into a new body- but even today Robby says that the synth is lacking something that  it has when it was totally  retro!

The rebuilt Moog: It was used on the second album and to this day has pride of place in Robby’s manor in Surrey! He calls the synth “The Beast”!

 

 

The Welbeck Group; a History: 1.Musical Origins

No matter what your age or musical taste, you will have heard of the Welbeck Group. In fact if you haven’t then you most probably have been on the dark side of the moon for the last 20 years. Either that or in a coma!

They were, and still are, a true phenomenon. A Group with two family members at their core, Danny Welbeck and Robby Welbeck, who managed to forge a career for themselves in sometimes difficult circumstances, and ride the vagaries of musical tastes and the fickle fancies of fashion.

But no discussion of the Group can really get going unless one delves into the musical past of the Welbeck family. It may be that the success of Danny and Robby lay in their genes, although it would be quite unfair to say that they didn’t have to work hard to learn their craft and earn their spurs.

It was music that brought Rachel Cross and her future husband,  Jess Welbeck together, in the late 1960s.  Rachel was a RedCoat at Butlins Holiday Camp at Clacton, and Jess used to play there on occasions with his Rockabilly Tribute Group, “Red Rebels Rising”. Among Rachel’s duties was to entertain, by singing the latest hits with the resident house Group, “The Clactonettes”, and being a Bingo Caller!

They met after one of Jess’s gigs, got on like a “House!” on fire (sorry about the pun) and in the space of a year were married and settled into a small home in Herne Bay, Kent, on the South England coast. Jess’s Group started to make a bit of a name for themselves as they started to try to move away from just rock n roll, and into soft rock, but the punk revolution towards the end of the 1970s saw the Group call it a day.

“I just couldn’t understand punk at the time” said Justin “instead of it being fresh and exciting, I saw it as atonal, aggressive and vulgar!”

They had two children, both boys, Danny being the first and Robert nearly two years later. Did they display any musical talent from the start I asked Rachel Welbeck-

“Danny used to love playing around with his Dad’s guitars and amplifiers, but preferred to pose with them rather than try to play them” she said “and when Robby came along he always seemed to have a thing for low sounds and noise, which I guess is the opposite of a dog- they like high pitched sounds!”

So the pieces were in place, two sons born of two people with music in their blood, one who liked the image of being a performer, and watched himself in the mirror as he held his Dad’s battered Fender Telecaster. The other, drawn to the lower end of the musical spectrum, was destined to play bass (and occasional keyboards).

All that was needed was some encouragement, and perhaps a sprinkle of luck!

The Welbeck Group; a History: 2. School Days and the Welbeck Brothers first Gig

Danny and Robby Welbeck went to the same school, just outside of Herne Bay;  Thanet School for Boys, now the Thanet Academy. With a little parental urging, both boys enrolled in extra-curricular music lessons on a Thursday afternoon and evening. Danny takes up the story:

“The music teacher was a dude called Elvis Brabantia, he was Italian, and a bit of an eccentric. He loved all types of music, both classical and contemporary, and dressed in similar style. The top half was like a Conductor at the Royal Albert Hall, white short, red bow-tie and a Tuxedo. The bottom half was tattered jeans and sneakers. Awesomely bad!”

“He was really interested when I told him about my Dad’s old Group, and asked me if ever fancied making a career out of music”.  I was surprised because while I was competent at music, and had learnt to read quite quickly, I didn’t think I possessed any phenomenal talent or was a ‘wunderkind’.  I was 14 and Robby was 13, and I asked if Robby could be included in the extra lessons.”

Mr Brabantia had access to some musical instruments, including a battered electric bass that seemed to have no name on the headstock, but looked like a Paul McCartney Style Hofner Violin bass.

Robby Welbeck's reconditioned Hofner Vioin bass

Robby later acquired a Hofner badge for it and glued it to the end! No instrument was needed for Danny Wellback. He was going to use his Dad’s old Telecaster.

Encouraged by the music teacher and now with equipment and a place to practice, the brothers began to copy hit songs of the day. By now the new romantic movement was in full swing, and the Welbeck brothers found that they had to be quite inventive in their musical arrangements in trying to simulate such things as synthesisers and orchestral “stabs”.

Elvis Brabantia said that nothing would hone their musical ability like playing live, and he said that he would give them a ten minute slot at the end of the Spring Term concerts, in late June.

Danny and Robby buckled down to their task and came up with four songs; three covers and one of their own, that they practised until they were note-perfect. They didn’t have a drummer, but Danny had bought a cheap Korg second-hand electronic drum machine. Together the Welbeck brothers programmed it for their four songs, and were all set to go.

Come the day of the concert the Welbeck boys had their first taste of butterflies before going on stage. It would always continue to be a problem for Robby Welbeck.  The lights dimmed, and the drum machine thudded out the intro to their first song, a Human league cover. Robby played the synthesiser riff on the bass, while Danny played rhythm with some adept fills here and there. They both sung. They went down a storm;

“There were kids dancing at the front of the stage!” recalled Robby. “And I really liked playing bass- I saved up and got a new better one!”

Robby Welbeck and Furry Friend

In a subsequent interview, Mr Brabantio, the music teacher said that their performance was very good, although they struggled a little with the timing, as the drum machine had developed a nasty habit of dropping a beat here and there and even speeding up towards the end of a song as the batteries faded!

The performance was also witnessed by the Welbeck brothers’ Mum and Dad, who were justifiably proud.

“What are you going to call yourself?” asked Jess Welbeck when they got home  “The Welbeck  Group?”.

“No Way!” said Robby.  “That’s so naff and boring!”

The Welbeck Group; a History: 3. Local Touring, Gaining Reputation

Following that initial gig at their school, the Welbeck Brothers spent the next year polishing up their act, writing some of their own songs, and doing small local clubs, pubs and halls in Kent.

Home Town: Herne Bay, Kent

They spent a long time trying to think of band name that would encapsulate what their original music was trying to say. The style of music was definitely in the “pop” region, but Danny Welbeck’s lyrics were not flimsy throwaway tales with banal chorus lines. Jess Welbeck, his Father, suggested that they were a combination on old traditional family values such as loyalty and solidarity, with more modern concepts such as embracing “green” values such as encouraging wind, wave and solar power, and new technology to eradicate poverty and starvation. They came up with “Old Futures”, “Grasp it or Lose it” or the slightly cringe-making “The New Changers”.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, people talked about Danny and Robert Welbeck as “The Welbeck Brothers”. That started to be put on flyers, but then Danny said that he really didn’t want to be a duo- he wanted a Group, because that would add versatility and allow some others to shoulder the musicianship, while he could concentrate on the songwriting. But could a duo be a Group? If he wanted The Welbeck Group, they needed new personnel!

They advertised in the New Musical Express (the edition shown here), and had a hilarious month of auditions where they met some talented and crazy people. Eventually they settled upon a drummer, Alex “Animal” Cooper, a tub-thumper with jazzy leanings, who was liked because he wasn’t “busy”. He kept the beat going nicely with occasional well-thought-out syncopations, while putting in clever fills, but only where it enhanced to overall song.

The final member of the four-piece was keyboardist Colin Cornell, who was older than the Welbeck Brothers, and had been in many Groups, but wanted to play with young up-and coming talent.

As a temporary measure they called themselves “The Welbeck Group”, and spent the next year practicing, writing, and playing gigs in the London and South England areas.

The Welbeck brothers’ father began ferrying them to gigs in his rec-conditioned Ford Transit, but as his health was beginning to show signs of failing, they recruited a roadie/driver and general dogs-body Mr Fixit. Lionel Parfitt was his name. He had long hair, didn’t particularly like their music, but was reliable, and didn’t drink- essential for a reliable roadie/driver!

The Welbeck Group began to build up a following of fans in their native Kent, but also further afield in other South Coast counties, and in certain parts of London. They got a very favourable review in local Kent papers, and even a few lines in a national paper. But that was mainly because one of their songs “Listen to Her” was about a Shi’ite girl whose brother was a hard-liner, and who tried to dictate how to live her life to her. While performing the song as a support Group in a small Camden Town venue, the main act, a group of “world Music” musicians from the Middle East, took offence, and they and their supporters stormed the stage, damaging the Welbeck’s equipment and prematurely ending the gig. It just happened that an arts reporter for the Daily Telegraph was there, and did a short piece on it. Sadly he got the name of the Group wrong- calling them “The Welbecks Group” rather than The Welbeck Group! That venue changed hands a few times and eventually is now the infamous Camden Underworld venue, home to many goth, indistrial and metal Groups.

But fate was going to be kinder to the Welbeck Group. Someone else at the gig liked them and soon they received an e-mail with an offer they couldn’t refuse…

It was the late 1980s and the Welbeck Group’s reputation was continuing to grow, but there were no signs of a record deal, and the Group were becoming a little impatient waiting for success, particularly Danny Welbeck. Robby Welbeck was “all loved up” and although he continued to play well, he didn’t contribute much at all to hammering out a golden future for the four boys in the Group.

Suddenly they got an invitation to play a major outdoor venue on one of the peripheral stages: Glastonbury! It was at this point that the Welbeck Group realised they should have a manager. While they would have been willing to play for free for the gig, Colin Cornell argues that as the paying public would be there, the Welbeck Group should get a share. Because time was short before this window of opportunity closed, Jess Welbeck, Danny’s dad, got a friend to step in. This was Rick “Rocket” Stein. Lter, the band were to quip that he should have been called Frank N Stein.

The Group continued to polish their existing numbers and Danny wrote a few new ones, including a homage to Glastonbury Tor, called “Tor of Thor” linking the ley-lines and the (alleged) astrophysical phenomena of  Glastonbury with the Norse Gods.

The Group’s manager made a deal which meant that each of the Group members would gain £500 for a 40 minute slot on the “Newcomers” stage. Robby Welbeck argued that the original Group founder members should be paid more.. they were, after all, the original Welbeck Brothers! But that got short shrift from their new manager, Rick. It was a four-way split. Or Rather five-way with him getting a fifth share plus money for overheads…

The day of the gig came and the Welbeck Group were in high spirits, but more than a little nervous.  Typically there had been heavy rain on the first day of the concert and the landscape was a mud bath. After the sound check, the Group mingled with some of their musical heroes; Gary Numan was doing a set, and Elton John and David Bowie were there.

The Group were announced and the Welbeck Group came on stage right on cue. They launched into “Time is no healer” one of their best songs, and they were met with a very good response. After 30 minutes word of mouth had spread across the Glastonbury site that there was a new four-piece Group called the Welbeck Group, that was going down a storm. By their last two songs, the initially small crowd had swollen it ranks to rival the main stage. People were crowding and pushing to try and get a glimpse of the Group that was likely to be “making it” anytime soon. The crowning glory was “Tor of Thor” which seemed to strike a chord with the audience, and by the last chorus people were singing along:

Sword in Hand..

I die in seconds

But I die happy-

Tor of Thor beckons!

Everyone; Group, fans, music-press, their manager and the parents of the Welbeck Brothers all realised that they had reached a water-shed- from now on there would be no more dingy gigs above pubs or in second rate clubs.

Glastonbury- trekking through the mud to hear the new Group taking the side stage by storm!

The Welbeck Group; a History: 5. Success, and Coping with Success

As Danny recalls

“From the Glastonbury gig onwards we were on a mad roller-coaster ride. It all seemed to happen so quickly. There was no time to breathe or think. We were on our way!”

The only one less than euphoric was Robby Welbeck, who had split from his (relatively) long-term girlfriend and was pessimistic about the future. He recalls:

“I viewed the future with trepidation- decisions were being made so quickly, and with money as the seemingly most important thing. I thought we would lose our identity, our roots, and I still consider I was right!”

Although Rick Stein, the Welbeck Group manager, had not managed any big-name Groups, he opened the door wide to Lady Opportunity’s knocking, asked her, in, sat her down, gave her a brandy and then unveiled his plans to her. These included an album, a single, a UK and Europe tour, and the prospect of a US tour.

There was no doubt that Rick was quick off the mark, and had an eye for good business, but he was a hard taskmaster. Despite the fact that the boys were grown men (Colin Cornell, the keyboard player, and the drummer, Alex Cooper were married and/or had children) he persuaded them that he always knew best, and that they should concentrate on being pop stars and leave the business side to him.

A Welbeck band pre-tour warm-up gig was played here in Vauxhall, London

The European Tour was put on hold because Colin Cornell had a drugs conviction, and had “lost” his passport (he had actually sold it a few years earlier to an agent who brought illegal immigrants into the country, and had never bothered to apply for a new one, lest his activities be found out)!

The tour was therefore confined to the UK, but thanks to some good publicity and Rick’s aggressive marketing of the Welbeck Group, they had some very high profile gigs around the country, even acting as support to The Stranglers at one gig (that didn’t go well), and to a reformed Marillion, where they got loud plaudits from audience and Marillion alike.

There was a break from touring for a month in the Summer, for the Welbeck Group to record their first single and album. It was at this point that Danny Welbeck realised that most of the pressure was on him. As leader, the Group’s creator and so far the only songwriter, it was for him to make up the arrangements for the songs, and write a new one, not to be on the album, as a single.  Colin Cornell helped Danny Welbeck a lot in this regard; as a keyboard man he was used to trying different arrangements, keys, scales and hooks, and together he and Danny came up with the plans for the recording.

Robby Welbeck, despite his pessimistic and more recently depressive tendencies, turned up for all the recording sessions and played well, even playing bass synth on one track when Colin was indisposed (more of this later!).

The single was, of course, a great success. “Time is not a Healer” got to the number two spot, and did equally well in Europe- even becoming a number one for two weeks in Germany.

The Album, which although in truth a loose collection of unconnected songs, was themed as a kind of wish for some of the spirits and ideals of Valhalla as extolled by the Norse Gods, to come and guide politics and relationships today. Despite the rather Prog Rock theme and Viking Sleeve art, the album got good reviews and sold well. Another rung on the ladder of success had been climbed!

The Welbeck Group; a History: 6. First Overseas Tour, Second Album

The boys in the Welbeck Group, Danny Welbeck (Guitar, vocals), Robby Welbeck (Bass, vocals), Colin Cornell (keyboards, vocals) and Alex Cooper (drums and percussion) promoted the new album and the upcoming tour with a lot of radio interviews, posters, TV appearances, and public appearances. The Welbeck were on a crest of a wave, records sales of the album were still strong, and although their single was no longer in the top ten, a remix by Dead Mau5 had stormed the dance floors, keeping the Group very much in the record-buying public’s eyes.

 

DeadMau5

Robby Welbeck in Mother’s garden in Herne Bay in 1989

The Group’s manager, Rick Stein, decided to use all the money they had acquired so far to extend the tour of Europe, to take in North America, and make it a whopping 10 month tour. He also borrowed a lot of money on behalf of the Group to get their own special stage set created and transported to each gig. This included a revolutionary 3D laser projection affair, which enabled people to see the Group live and in 3D on two massive screens on the stage.

Danny Welbeck and Colin Cornell were also busy writing new songs. Even Robby Welbeck, not noted for his songwriting flourishes, had penned a riff-driven ballad “Be My Lady”.  Danny Welbeck’s songwriting had moved on a bit and developed, and he was penning songs with depth and imagination. He had had a close call in a car accident, and believed that there had been some divine intervention that prevented serious injury. Therefore a religious/spiritual theme began to enter his work.

Rick Stein thought this would do well in the mid-West “Bible Belt” in the States, and the set was designed, at some expense, around a kind of moving Jacob’s ladder affair.

The mammoth first tour set off. Robby recalls:

“It was such a humungous undertaking- I’ve never seen so many people involved in the gig. I think the mistake was brining all our own riggers, lighting, sound people, carpenters, drivers, roadies  etc. We had a convoy of 3Tour Bus affairs that were articulated coaches and 3 massive trucks carrying the set.”

The tour began in Germany, where there were immediate problems. This was not with the Welbeck Group’s performance, which was consistently good, professional, and at times inspirational in terms of improvisation and playing. It was with the material and the set, and the visuals.

 

"Fans more interested in messing about that concentrating on the music"- Colin Cooper

The set contained a number of the new more spiritual songs, which confused the European audiences who were familiar with the material from the first album.

The set was difficult to set up at some venues, and so gigs started late, which caused problems when the venue had to be vacated at a certain time due to local by-laws… some songs had to be cut from the set-list and the music press accused the Group of short-changing the fans. Worse was to come…

The set contained a number of the new more spiritual songs, which confused the European audiences who were familiar with the material from the first album.

The set was difficult to set up at some venues, and so gigs started late, which caused problems when the venue had to be vacated at a certain time due to local by-laws… some songs had to be cut from the set-list and the music press accused the Group of short-changing the fans. Worse was to come…

The Welbeck Group; a History: 7. The Tour Ends Prematurely

“The Tour seemed to drag on endlessly” said Danny Welbeck in an interview shortly after its end
“the fans were not acquainted with the new songs, the set was too ambitious and pretentious and took too long to rig up at each gig, and then there were the 3D visuals”.

Rick Stein had negotiated a deal with a fledgling silicon valley firm on behalf of the Welbeck Group to produce two giant screens that would show images of the Group as they performed, in three dimensions. The screens came in sections so that they could be assembled to suit the size of the venue being played. That was a good thing. The bad thing was that the 3D screens, known as “WowVision 3D” had really only been at the beta stage, and hadn’t been properly tested on large audiences in low light conditions, with a combination of other effects such as dry ice, and the usual overhead lights.

“The bloody 3D was a flippin’ joke!” opinionated Alex Animal Cooper, the Welbeck Group’s forthright drummer. I saw them demonstrated on the night before the first gig, at the Frankfurt Sports Hall, and it gave me a headache. Me and then many other people at the gig so it turned out. Bloody disaster!”

By the second month of the tour, there were complaints from promoters and in the music press that fans were coming away from gigs complaining of blurred vision and headaches. When the first writ against the Wellback Group’s Management Company came in, the Group convened for crisis talks.

The Welbeck Group members wanted the 3D screens removed from future gigs. Rick argued that what was needed were special glasses to reduce the background glare. The cost of these would be charged to the WowVision company in the States that had supplied the screens. Reluctantly the boys agreed, and an order for many tens of thousands of these were put in, to cover the last legs of the Welbeck Group’s European tour.

The good news was that the glasses seemed to work, and, by chance, actually enhanced the 3D effect, but the WowVision 3D company refused to pay for the cost of the production and supply of the glasses.  Expensive lawyers were engaged, and things got increasingly acrimonious. A court case was brought, and heard quickly on the basis of the loser would pay all the costs.  Rick Stein didn’t tell the Welbeck Group this, and when they found out they were annoyed and angry. They had a right to be. The case against the Company was flawed due to some small print Rick failed to notice in the agreement to buy the 3D screens.

Robby Welbeck takes up the story of the end of the tour:

“We never even made the USA. Stein had got us all into so much debt that panic spread among the US promoters and they pulled the plug on us. I think we had one possible gig in Wyoming left and of course it wasn’t worth us flying out to the states with all the equipment for just one gig. And to make matters worse, my prize Rickenbacker Bass got nicked from a gig in Barcelona. I was fed-up, and wanted to go home.”

Amid accusations, counter accusations and further writs and threatened court cases, the tour collapsed and the Welbeck Brothers came home. Alex Cooper decided to quit the Welbeck Group, and stayed in Holland, forming a metal Group called “Virus Scum” that did well, were spotted by German Group Rammstein’s lead singer Till Lindemann, and supported them on their tour a year later. He then disappears from view for a bit…!

Till Lindemann of Rammstein