Cloudburst (1981–3)

Steve, Keith and Gordon were school friends in Darwen, Lancashire. They were all very much into music, so it was only a matter of time before they decided to learn an instrument and form a band, rehearsing in the school music room.

Early Cloudburst

They recruited local drummer Declan and bassist Howard, and took the name Cloudburst, shortly before their first gigs in 1982 — a series of talent shows — and they were remarkably well-received, discovering what it was like to be screamed at by teenage girls.

Live, 1982

Keith had been experimenting with guitars, electronics and tape recorders. Gordon had been writing lyrics and tunes. In a series of sessions, they composed and recorded original songs, under the working title The Cloudburst Tapes.

Cloudburst at Darwen FC

Live, Declan was replaced by Pete (regular sound man Craig also standing in), and they gained a local reputation from their concerts and merchandise. They gradually introduced their own material into the set, to a mixture of disbelief and stunned stares.

Christmas Cloudburst

After more gigging around Darwen in summer and autumn, Cloudburst stopped looking for a reliable drummer, ditched the poseur, and condensed back to a three-piece. They performed a series of bizarre Christmas gigs, using backing tape and drum machine, before permanently disbanding in anticipation of incoming exams.

Storm in a Teacup, 1983

Their original material was re-recorded and released as the album Storm in a Teacup in 1983. Another compilation of demos, The Distortion Factor, was completed later that year. Although they never gigged again as Cloudburst, they briefly regrouped in summer 1983 as Albino Dinnerjacket before leaving Darwen for university.


  • Gordon Farquhar – voice, guitar & bass
  • Keith Nuttall – guitars, keyboard & voice
  • Steve Farrell – guitar & bass
  • Declan Donnegan – drums (to Mar ’82)
  • Howard McMinn – bass & voice (to Sep ’82)
  • Pete Meleady – drums (Mar to Sep ’82)
  • Craig Jepson – sound (& stand-in drums)
  • John Parker – lights & visual effects


Reunion, 2001
Reunion, 2001 [L-R: Craig, Gordon, Steve, Keith]

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