Sutton Centre Comprehensive School, Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, 1979 - 1981

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Sosostris at the Sutton Centre Theatre, July 11, 1981

Sosostris (1979 - 1981): Progressive rock band based in Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, UK, comprised of pupils from Sutton Centre Comprehensive School, High Pavement. Known for their original songs and early use of the Korg synthesiser by a sixth-form band (official entry in the Rocklopedia Britannicus, 2013, page 745).

"Sosostris" is a name most of you won't have heard of. "What does that mean?" "How do you pronounce it?" For a person with a lisp, "Sosostris" is an absolute nightmare.

Madame Sosostris is, in fact, a gypsy fortune teller. She appears in "The Waste Land" by T. S. Eliot, one of the most important and influential poems of this century. She prophesizes things which can't possibly hope to understand.

Madame Sosostris, famous clairvoyante,
Had a bad cold, nevertheless
Is known to be the wisest woman in Europe
With a wicked pack of cards.
-- T. S. Eliot, "The Waste Land"

"Sosostris" is also the name of a recently formed progressive rock band. Much of their music is original and draws upon a wide range of musical influences. Pieces range from classically influenced twenty minute epic to five minute bursts of heavy rock to pieces of pure psycedelic fantasy.

Certainly, putting the music of "Sosostris" under any one label is no cosy task. But one thing can be said of their music. If nothing else, it is original and the band guarantees that you will have heard nothing like it before.

Sosostris in March 1980

Ian Marshall - Bass Guitar

The band is made up of the following members:

Gary Marsh - (keyboards): Gary is an ex-Sutton Centre pupil who now attends Mansfield Art College. He has been playing piano for six years and his instruments in the band include: piano, electronic organ, and a Korg synthesiser. He helps to write a lot of the band's material.

Ian Marshall - (bass): Ian is in the upper-sixth form and has been playing bass for nine months. Ian provides most of the lyrics for the songs the band writes.

Gary Marsh - Keyboards

Gary Radford - Guitar

Gary Radford - (rhythm/lead guitar): Gary is in the upper-sixth. He has been playing classical guitar for six years, and has attained grade IV standard and won three first-prize certificates in the Classical Guitar Section of the Mansfield Music and Drama Festival. The change to electric guitar is a recent and completely new departure for him. He writes a lot of the band's music along with Gary Marsh.

Paul Archer - (vocals): Paul is in the upper-sixth and an established actor, which invariably shows when he is onstage with the band.

David Bean - (drums): David is in the lower-sixth. He comes from a musical family and has been playing drums seriously for one year, although he has been interested in this instrument since he was very young. David also plays drums for the Sutton Centre School Band and is self-taught.

Paul Archer - Vocals

David Bean - Drums

Formed in June 1979, the band practice twice a week at the Centre. So far they have performed one concert in the Undercroft at St. Modwen's church. A second concert is planned for this month at Ashfield Comprehensive for a local youth club.

The next scheduled appearance of "Sosostris" is at the Sutton Centre Theatre on June 21st, 1980, at 7:30pm. Tickets will cost around 50p and everyone is warmly invited to attend. So, if you're looking for a night of original music, why not come and have a listen to "Sosostris"?

Gary Radford - upper-sixth.

From Centre Outlook, the newsletter of Sutton Centre Comprehensive School, Sutton-in-Ashfield, Notts., March 1980
Photographs by Stephen Wright, taken in the Sutton Centre Music Block, March 1980

Listen to the key tracks of Sosostris

Explore the history of Sosostris from 1979-1981 by clicking on the links below:

1979: The Early Days

1980: The Music Block

1980: Ashfield Youth Centre

1980: Sutton Centre Theatre

1981: The Final Gig

1996-2012: To the USA and Back

This page last updated January 25, 2014 by Gary Radford.
Many thanks to Kurt Wagner, Marie Radford, and Jon Oliver.