This band was formed in early 1975 after they were invited by Barry Jennings to play as resident musicians at the Matador Hotel in Workington. The lineup started with Alf Smith on organ, John Goldie on drums, Glyn Davies on bass, Baz Dunnery (formerly with Pink Dream and later with Necromandus) on guitar and Barry himself handling the vocals.

Within a few months the band had a new drummer in the shape of Frank Hall and an additional keyboard/guitar player in Steve Hadfield. With the new lineup Barry decided he would prefer to run the pub and leave the vocals to the rest of the band.

Steve and Glyn took over the vocal work and the new lineup was Alf, Baz, Steve, Glyn and Frank. Frank named the band Nerves.

On a couple of occasions during the Matador years a certain Ozzy Osbourne could be found in the audience, chilling out after the rigours of Black Sabbath. He also called in to the Tow Bar Inn at Nethertown, near Egremont, to watch the band and have a pint with them after their concert.

In early 1976 Baz decided to leave Nerves to join Violinsky (the offshoot band of ELO which also featured John Marcangelo of The Invaders). It was at this point that Don MacKay came to the rescue on lead vocals enabling Glyn and Steve to concentrate on harmony vocals.


With Don as lead vocalist Nerves moved back to the style of his previous band Morning Dew and both Don and Glyn started writing songs for the band.

They had several recording sessions at the Matador, produced by Carlisle musician Neil Marshall (an associate of Black Sabbath in their earlier days).

They decided to have a record made of two songs and headed off to a professional recording studio in Wallsend. The two tracks were "Wild Western Hero" and "Come See The Show (or I'll drop yer)".

They needed a top quality lead guitarist so Baz Dunnery was persuaded to rejoin the band for one session and accompanied them in the studio.

The new year of 1977 saw the departure of Don as lead vocalist. He migrated to London in an effort to secure a recording deal.

The band was then down to a four piece for the first time. Glyn took on the role of chief songwriter with Steve as songwriter and arranger.

Apart from self-penned songs the band performed music by artists such as 10cc, Manfred Mann and The Rolling Stones.

The musical direction then switched again and tended towards intricate/orchestrated rock music. With Glyn still writing original songs for the band, the new show included cover versions from Yes, Genesis and Supertramp.



During this era Steve was playing either keyboard or guitar so in October 1978 Nerves decided they needed a dedicated lead guitarist

They enlisted a young and extremely talented musician called Fred Gilpin and introduced songs by artists such as UK, Asia and Queen.

It was in this period that they were regulars at the Border Terrier and Twisted Wheel in Carlisle, playing to packed houses at every gig.

At a particular concert in the Down Under Club in Workington they met Mik Kaminsky, the violinist from Violinsky. Mik was in the area on holiday (complete with violin!) and asked if he could accompany Nerves on stage. They accepted of course and Mik accompanied the band performing Stevie Wonder's "Superstition".

In April 1978 they travelled to Durham for the regional heat of the Melody Maker Rock & Folk Contest. They played three original songs written by Glyn ("Confusion", "Presence of Mind" and "Nightmare"). Even though they received the best ovation of the day from the crowd, the judges awarded first place to a new wave band.

The summer of 1979 saw the departure of drummer Frank Hall and his place was taken by Paul Knowles (Paul is currently the drum technician, among other roles, with David Gray).


They continued in this format for a further 12 months before finally calling it a day in 1980. The last ever performance by Nerves as a regular band was in Workington's "Down Under Club" as a three piece in the autumn of 1980. The lineup was Glyn Davies on bass and vocals, Frank Hall on drums and Steve Hadfield on keyboards/guitar and vocals.

They have played on three occasions over the years at reunion concerts in the Carnegie Theatre in Workington, incorporating most of the previous band members. The first of these was in November 1984 and saw two drummers, two keyboard players, a bassist and a lead guitarist all on stage at the same time.


The Nerves band file :

Glyn Davies (Songwriter, Bass Guitar & Vocals)
Steve Hadfield (Multi Keyboards, Guitars, Vocals and Song Arranger)
Don MacKay (Songwriter & Vocals)
Baz Dunnery (Lead Guitar)
Fred Gilpin (Lead Guitar)
Frank Hall (Drums)
Paul Knowles (Drums)
Alf Smith (Keyboards)

Sadly two of the previous band members are no longer with us. Fred Gilpin died as a result of a car accident in Europe and Alf Smith died after suffering a debilitating disease.

Both are remembered fondly by the surviving band members and fans.

Many thanks to Glyn Davies for providing this
comprehensive history of Nerves.

Glyn passed away on the 29th September 2008.

His funeral had a massive turnout and several of his old friends paid moving tributes to him.