The Marquee Club - A tribute site dedicated to the history of the legendary Marquee club at London's 90 Wardour street.

Interview with Paul Thompson of The Nomads

Drummer Paul Thompson, aka Tot, played at The Marquee Club in 1983 as a member of The Nomads.

What is the first image that springs to your mind when you hear the words 'Marquee Club?'

The unmistakable sign over the entrance, as soon as you see it you just think of all the famous names that played there.

Do you remember the very first time you ever visited the club?

New Year's Eve 1979, Ultravox, my favorite band at the time were playing two shows, a matine show and then one in the evening. I saw the meatiness show. They were brilliant!

Can you remember the first time you ever played at The Marquee Club??

The first time was in the Autumn of 1984 supporting a band from Slough called Broadcast. We also played again on the 30th December 1984 supporting Tenpole Tudor. That was a great night as most of the people were there to see Tenpole, but they gave us a really good reception.

As a member of the audience at The Marquee Club, is there any band that you remember especially?

Ultravox. John Foxx was a superb frontman and to see my drumming hero Warren Cann close up was something special. Also that day the compare was a very young Mr. Jonathon Ross.

Which was your most memorable night at The Marquee Club?

Supporting Tenpole Tudor, great atmosphere just before New Year, and sitting in the dressing room , trying to decipher what all the previous bands and artists had written on the walls.

Did you also write your name on the wall?

Oh yes, our roadie wrote Nomads on the tiles around the mirror, I think he did it to make a point as before we went on stage the compare introduced us as The Ramrods and not The Nomads.

Can you remember who got you the residency at the club?

The first time was because our lead singer was originally from Slough and new the manager of Broadcast and pestered him for a support slot.
The second time was because two of the band used to play with Dick (Crippen) Tenpole's bass player before he joined Tenpole and he kindly invited us to support them.
I remember our singer saying "I've just spoken to the manager and he said we'll get paid 35 quid as the support band. But the hire of the house PA is, yes, you've guessed it: 35 quid". So we played on both occasions for nothing, but we really didn't mind, we would have gladly played for nothing anytime at The Marquee.

Is there any particular anecdote from The Marquee that always makes you laugh?

It was always the fact that if a well known band was going to play a "secret" gig, it was always at The Marquee. I remember a band called Bill's Boys were advertised to play and it turned out to be The Jam (Bill being Paul Weller's Dad and The Jam's manager).

What did you think when you heard about the demolishing of the original building at 90 Wardour street in the 90's?

For me there was only ever one address for The Marquee Club and that was Wardour Street. You can't move an institution.

If you had to define the effect that The Marquee Club had in your life or in your musical career, how would you put it into words?

To be able to tell people that I played at The Marquee is something special, not once, but twice. You can't erase memories like that. Although we never got a record deal I still feel we achieved something playing at The Marquee.

Interview by K. Barroso, December 2007.
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