Sad news: The Godfathers split and canceled shows. Read the full story by Wesley Doyle below with full quotes from the band members.
Original rock ’n’ roll gangsters The Godfathers have split, with half the band walking out on the eve of two highly anticipated shows. The announcement was made via the band’s FaceBook page where they cited the departure of guitarist Del Bartle and drummer Grant Nicholas as the reason for the cancellation of gigs in London and Brighton this weekend.
The rest of the band, founder members Peter and Chris Coyne remain positive vowing to return, “Bigger, stronger and better.” Speaking exclusively to Louder Than War the Coyne brothers blasted their former band mates calling them:
“Musical whores whose only motivation is money and with no sense of responsibility toward their fans,” adding, “We will be better off without their negative, destructive input.”
The band released their seventh album, Juke Box Fury, last year and had recently finished a UK tour with Stiff Little Fingers. The Coyne brothers state their erstwhile colleagues threatened to walk out of the group before, during and after the tour, a claim backed up by Bartle. “The gigs were fantastic,” says the departed guitarist, “We were playing really well, but just weren’t getting on. When you’re that far apart with what you want to do then it’s better to end it.”
The Coynes are looking to recruit “two rocking guitarists and one rocking drummer” to continue the band. “We want to work with talented people who are seriously passionate about working with The Godfathers.” Hopefuls can contact the band directly via email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Godfathers formed in 1985 and cut a besuited swathe through a decade not noted for its contribution to classic rock ’n’ roll. After incendiary debut Hit By Hit, their second album, 1988s Birth School Work Death found success on both sides of the Atlantic and resulted in several stateside tours as well as UK festival appearances. Their next album More Songs About Love And Hate consolidated that success, but their three subsequent albums under-performed and the band called it a day in 2000.
They reformed in 2008 and despite shifting personnel the current line-up had been in place for the past five years. Juke Box Fury was released to generally positive reviews despite moving away from the band’s traditional template of no-nonsense rock’n’roll into psychedelia, country rock and Beatlesesque balladry.
Looking back on his time with The Godfathers Bartle says, “It was intense, mental. There were some good gigs and an album that will hopefully stand up. For me though it was absolutely past its sell by date, but I wish them and whoever joins them the best of luck. They’ll need it.”
Bartle’s new band, the rootsy, Willie Dixon-inspired Converters, are already up and running and you can get updates on his Credible Hulk Productions FaceBook page.
In the meantime the Coynes will continue to work on their eighth as-yet-untitled album, to be released sometime in 2015, the band’s 30th anniversary. “The Godfathers are like Doctor Who,” they say. “We regenerate every few years to survive. Long live The Godfathers.”
All words By Wesley Doyle. More writing by Wesley on Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive.