The Mood Elevators

The  Mood Elevators group shot

Members

Name: Role:
David Ditchfield Guitar / Vocals
Jenny Jones Drums / Vocals
Malcolm Bass (Georgie Girl)
Noel Green Bass (Annapurna)

Rise of the Mood Elevators

The three original members of the Mood Elevators (David Ditchfield, Noel Green, and Jenny Jones) met after literally being thrown together following a street fight. A group initially named Inside Out was soon formed from the three.

Practice was held regularly in a hardware shop owned by Jenny's parents located in Maypole, Birmingham. Once ready to gig in early 1980, the band began to book spots at pubs around Birmingham. These gigs earned them a following and it was not long until they got noticed.

On April 16, 1980 the Beat attended one of the Mood Elevators' gigs at the Barrel Organ pub after being enticed by a flyer for it. Impressed by the performance they witnessed, the Beat requested a demo and even hinted at the possibility of an opening spot for one of their tour dates. Consequently the three went in to M.C.R. Studios to record a 10-song demo for submission.

A supporting spot on the Beat's lineup was indeed granted to the band. After the first at Friars, Aylesbury, they were then invited to join in on the rest of the tour. Being a three piece band with very little equipment, the Mood Elevators were even able to travel along with The Beat.

A firsthand account of the rise of the Mood Elevators by their original bassist, Noel Green who was with the band until around mid-1981:

I designed all the artwork/flyers that we would paste around Birmingham during the nights. One particular poster, based on my mothers old car, a Triumph Herald, together with a full moon from a magazine, and some photocopying enhancement, was spotted by the Beat and they liked it so much they came to see us at the local Pub: the Barrel Organ.

Shortly after recording our songs at a small studio (on cassette) the Beat invited us to play on their UK 1980 tour. The band made two complete tours of the UK with the Beat, making their first support appearance on 24-MAY-1980 at Aylesbury Friars. The line up was: The Beat, The Equators, The Mood Elevators.

I left the band a few months after the release of the Single and a small Mood Elevators tour, including the only song I ever wrote: Jungle Dance. After leaving I took part in other tours, but this time professional cycling.

Go Feet and Beyond

The Beat had been impressed by the band's live performance. Feeling that the Mood Elevators deserved greater exposure and confident that they could produce a hit, the Beat offered them an opportunity to record a single on the Go Feet label along with the supporting spot on a UK tour. However, this relationship was not enough to ensure a place on the charts by that point in time. The ska craze which had gripped the UK was in a steady decline, so simple association no longer meant a hit single (granted that the Mood Elevators did not actually play ska). While they may not have experienced much success on the pop charts, their music should not be ignored. It is well worth checking out - especially for hardcore Beat fans.

While a slot on the UK charts would ultimately elude the Mood Elevators, they made quite a big name for themselves within the independent music scene. "Friendly, frentic and brilliantly instantaneous," the band's compelling live performances quickly drew in many fans as they toured throughout the country (N.M.E.).

Releases

Only two 7-inch singles were released by the band. Their first, Annapurna, was released on the Go Feet label in 1981. This single was a big hit on the indie scene and soon led to the band being invited on for a session on Radio One by Richard Skinner. In fact, the session went over so well that the Mood Elevators were soon asked to return for another session "by popular demand" (N.M.E.). Later that year, the Mood Elevators released a second single on Red Records (a division of Fresh Records); it is home to such bands as the Material and the Lines. Titled Georgie Girl (RS 013), this single was also recorded with the help of the Beat's production and features the guest vocals of Ranking Roger on the B-side. This was expected to be the single that would allow the band to break into the charts; however, it was never embraced by the disc jockies. Both are equally satisfying releases that are well worth the investment should you be fortunate to come across them.

Where Are They Now?

Noel now resides in France where he works for the European Space Agency.

Dave was involved in a really bad accident which involved him being pulled under the wheels of the train. By a miracle he survived, losing his little finger and nearly an arm. He is now a painter.

Gigography

To view a list of Mood Elevator performances from between December 1979 and June 1981, TODO: add link!

Contributors

Many thanks go to the following contributors:

  • Noel Green
  • Paul Flanagan
  • Chris McBride

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