Red City Electric were from Norwich, quite gothy and existed circa 1985/86. Darren Betts the Bass player and Nigel Potter the drummer both went on to later play in  Republic. Tom Manly later played in the Cambridge/London based band, The Hamiltons. Red City Electric were contemporaries of Gudvil, Gardens of Delight, and Council of Ancients

Tom Manly writes

“Red City Electric emerged from a (late) 'post-punk' ethos in which the desire to be in a band radically preceded any ability to play. I remember a school class in which everyone was issued a typewriter (yes, kids, typewriter) and people were pretending to be rock journalists reviewing their own largely imaginary band's gigs. Then the inky NME and Sounds were all mighty. Not sure what the equivalent would be now? The thing was to be in a band - and to be in a band you needed songs (rather than the other way round). The early tracks were not 3-chord but pre-chord wonders in which two guitars and bass largely played the same notes at the same time (excepting variance due to tuning and timing issues). I am sometimes struck by how much time we could have saved if someone had said "Do you know why those 3 notes sound quite good together? They are from a CHORD called A minor. F, C or possibly D minor would all be good places to go from here"

Lack of insight and/or youthful bravado led to RCE playing Norwich venues initially with a very vague sense of how the 'songs' went - to which was often added an incautiously nerve deadening amount of alcohol.

Later, someone in a Norwich fanzine wrote that RCE “… have now mastered their instruments” and “now do a stunning impression of the Sisters of Mercy”. That was unfair. It was not stunning. At some point David, I think, played me the Sisters of Mercy Floorshow. Man, I loved that record. I loved everything about it - the smell, the sleeve, the stupid drums, the portentous gibberish of the lyric and, the sparky electric edge of it. It was the record that we wanted to make and we were not going to let the fact that someone had already made it stand in our way. I still don't really understand why anyone would want to sing high if they could possibly manage low”  [[1]]


Tom Manly-vocals/guitar

David Cumming-guitar

Darren Betts-bass

Nigel Potter-drums (post drum machine era!)


they had two cassette releases

Beauty Sprawl

Unsung Charms