Who is he? : Part 1 : Going Solo!

Edward ian ArmchairEd Ake was sitting in Tamworth Reference Library. He was bored with Ed Ake and needed a new persona, he'd already tried Edward Sutherland but wasn't happy. Everyone knew him as Edward but that was all. Flicking through the Oxford English Dictionary: Edam, Eden, Edition, Edriophethalmium, Edwardian. Yes, Edwardian, Edward - ian, that has possibilities. But Edward ian what - Armchair of course. The Armchair was born.

In May 1980 The D.H.S.S. #2 gig at The Stable had been a great success, but… Edward and Vince had finally parted company and the Armchair had decided that it was time to go his own way. (Vince continued with The D.H.S.S. (Do Have Some Speed) including taking part in the March for Jobs, during the height of unemployment in Thatcher's Britain, in 1981).

The first thing to do was to go to Musicbox at the Tamworth Herald and announce his intentions to the world. New Editor Rob Sly lead with the quote "What I was doing with the group was pointless really." What was meant was, as the content of the lyrics of the songs was always of paramount importance, the only way of getting the message across, was not to have music. Edward ian Armchair, the performance poet was born.

The press photograph was booked, Johnnie 'smile boys!' Walker arrived and he and the Armchair went off to the Co-Op furniture department The most expensive, plush armchair was found, handily in a room setting and the Armchair was snapped. This back-fired slightly as the public then thought Armchair lived in the lap of luxury - not quite the case. (See what I mean - here).

The Armchair had of course performed his poems locally many times before at The Stable, but over the next three years it became a regular event that he took to the stage at The Arts Centre, reciting a selection of his poetic works. Audience favourites included: Little Red Riding Hood, Fat Gut, Bald Head, Smart Grey Suit and A Day Trip to the Seaside with my Beachball and Swimming Trunks.