Palm trees

The beginning of THE INNER MIND was when Dave Tattersall, bass player with a Pop Band called The Peppers, asked Ian Smith to come for an audition in 1966. They had both been at school together at the Wheelwright Grammar School in Dewsbury, Yorkshire, although they did not particularly know each other at the time, and Ian had been one of the organists at the school assembly. Dave`s band wasa four-piece unit i.e. singer, guitar, bass & drums, and they wanted to `up-grade` the sound with an organ. Ian auditioned & got the job. However, due to inter-group politics or whatever, the singer left & a new drummer was brought in to what was now called THE INNER CIRCLE.

The original line-up was Ian Smith (organ), Dave Tattersall (bass), Teddy Platt (guitar) & Stuart “Boz” Robinson (drums). Teddy & Dave shared the vocal work, but soon Ian began to take most of the lead. The band (as The Peppers) had been a purely Pop band, playing the usual Beatles etc. repertoire, but now they moved into the Spencer Davis Group/Small Faces style & began to lean heavily towards Soul, which became their mainstay. Their first gig together was at the Riley Smith Hall at Leeds University. The drum chair was taken over by Frannie Haywood for quite a time, but he moved on to creat his own group and then on to the international cabaret scene. Over the next couple of years, members came & went but Dave Tattersall & Ian Smith stayed together & became the basic foundation on which the band operated. Within the first few weeks of the band working together, Ian took over the lead vocal work, with Dave as backing vocalist, and this formed the basic vocal style of the band for the future.

It was in l968 when Errol Babb (boss of the Huddersfield West Indian Association asked the band (now called THE INNER MIND) to appear at one of their dances…. he`d seen the band do their Soul show & wanted them to feature on the forthcoming function. Errol gave Ian several records for the band to learn for the dance to add to their repertoire…..and thus the band were introduced to their new future career. (If memory serves correctly, three of the records were Jeanette Simpson`s “Whatcha Gonna Do About It”, Laurel Aitken`s “I`m Still In Love With You” & Prince Buster`s “Shakin` Up Orange Street”….all Rocksteady tracks)

THE INNER MIND did the gig and were conspicuous by being the only four White people in the place! The show went a storm; they had to play the three above mentioned songs TWICE!! And that was that! Or so it seemed.

However, six weeks later the band were appearing at the Shades Club in Sheffield, when lo & behold the DJ played the Prince Buster track, so Ian & the lads obligingly added the six or seven Rocksteady tunes they`d learnt to the evening`s Soul show…. and the crowd went WILD. The band had now established it`s new direction and the word spread about the White Band that played Rocksteady & Blue Beat (and, of course, later Reggae).

The line-up of the band was still Dave & Ian but on drums was now Jimmy Walsh & Finlay Topham on guitar (though for quite a period the guitar job was taken by the late John Dixon). They were up & down the country playing the West Indian Clubs, Dances & Functions in all the main cities & towns where there was a West Indian community…..Huddersfield, Bradford, Leeds, Sheffield, London, Manchester, Wolverhampton, Bristol, Birmingham etc., at the now famous Reggae clubs...Venn Street, Arawak, Fartown Int'l and Shalimar in Huddersfield, Leeds Int'l, Club 67 at Wolverhampton, Santa Rosa in Birmingham, The Bamboo, Bristol, Mr Bee's and the Q Club in London, Bobby's in Manchester and countless others. Besides their own show, the band was backing established Reggae acts such as Laurel Aitken, Owen Gray, Winston Groovy & Alton Ellis (who all worked through Pama Records` booking agency, Apollo).

This led to regular appearances by THE INNER MIND at Pama`s Harlesden Night Club (also called the Apollo) & record releases in their own right plus being the backing on a number of other artistes` records. In fact, Jeff Palmer wanted the band to become a `house` backing band for their Pama Records (alongside The Mohawks, who were doing quite an amount for them); but the difficulty was that THE INNER MIND were based up in Yorkshire & were touring the country on a regular basis, and to be stuck in London would have meant they had to relocate & the Yorkshire lads preferred to stay back home (plus, as was usual back then, the financial prospects were not earth-shattering or guaranteed!!)

Besides releasing through Pama`s labels, the group had had a couple of releases through Max Omare`s Shades label in Sheffield & Rita and Benny King`s Hillcrest/R & B Records set-up.

They did record down in London but the majority of the recording was done in `Mat` Mathias`
King Street Studio in Huddersfield, Yorkshire. The recording activity was so busy at the time, that
Ian Smith & the band, plus Ian`s production of other people, just about took over all the studio time (it`s a good job `Mat` liked Reggae & didn`t mind late nights!!) He still managed to get up early the following mornings to attend to his main business of making world famous amplifiers and speakers at his MATAMP factory at the other side of town.
By this time, Ian Smith was producing, writing & recording material for his own label, Hot Lead,
with the publishing handled by his own Castle Hill Music.

The Hot Lead label also released tracks by The Groovers, Mr. T. Bones, Owen Gray, Laurel Aitken, Flame etc., whilst The Inner Mind recorded under several different names including the infamous `Smithy` tracks (biggest selling record “Doggie Bite Postman”).

Sadly, the Reggae scene began to wane, as more & more venues used Sound System shows, rather than `live` acts….the country was going through a recession at the time & many of the clubs` patrons were finding it hard to make ends meet & were not frequenting the venues as much, so everyone was tightening their belts.

Gradually THE INNER MIND faded back into the mainstream venues….and that was the end of the Golden Six Years 1968 – 1974 of the band`s career. In fact, by 1975, the band did not exist anymore…Dave & Ian (plus a drummer) formed a three-piece unit called THE TENDER TOUCH and eventually went their separate ways (after ELEVEN years together) in 1977.

Dave continues to work with several different bands, mainly Blues-based, in the Yorkshire area.
In 2004, three of the original INNER MIND got together to do the occasional `live` performance,
mostly in the `local` area in Yorkshire – Jimmy Walsh (drums), Dave Tattersall (bass), Ian Smith (keyboard/vocalist) and new members Simon Legette (guitar), [replacing Finlay Topham, who has moved to Brittany, France, and other long-term guitarman, John Dixon, who died] and a new addition, Dave Summers (trombone).