Martin Ware (HL/Heaven 17): "The Extras were brilliant,
we used to go and see them. For a while they were touted
as being the next big thing to come out of Sheffield."
Before the Extra's, John Lake played in a pub called
The Springvale with his friend Ed playing The Velvet
Underground on their guitars. On a Folk club night this
wasn't really appreciated and somebody suggested to
them to try the Broadfield pub. So they did. They met
up jamming with fellow musicians and it grew from there.
They played under various names like 'Abattoir', forming
the Extra's when Robin Markin came on board in April
'77. By August they had studio time payed by Phonogram
and by Christmas they were not only playing in the Broadfield
in Sheffield (their regular venue by now), but all over
he North of England. Many people who were around in
the music scene used to go and see them and they were
considered to be the next big thing to come out of Sheffield.
January '78 they were looking for a manager and record
deal and moved down to London.
the story ends is revealed in the documentary..
Extras: April 1977 - January 1980.
john lake, singer and songwriter for the Extras died
tragically this week. john was interviewed for the film
in 2000 together with fellow extras member robin markin
lake, the singer with one of sheffield's most popular
bands of the late seventies the Extras, has drowned
at the age of 48 in a swimming accident while on holiday
john, who was brought up in middlesborough, came to
sheffield university in the mid-seventies. he started
performing subversive songs in folk clubs, his lou
reed covers not going down too well with the finger-in-the-air
he went on to form the Extras, who were initially
called the more punk Abbatoir, a band that was to
give a moribund sheffield scene a sorely needed kick-start.
their weekly residence at the broadfield pub on abbeydale
road was packed to the gills, as were most of their
gigs, for more than a year.
in 1978 they moved to london in a bid to land a record
deal. meanwhile back in sheffield, the human league,
cabaret voltaire, etc were finally putting the city
on the map. the Extras finally got a management deal,
headlined at venues such as the marquee and got interest
from phonogram records. but the management deal turned
sour and they eventually returned to sheffield.
john, who was unmarried, stayed in london, living
in kilburn, and went on to play with signed london
bands Emotional Spies and Fifth Column. he was also
founder of Naked Art and was involved in the warehouse
prty scene of the late eighties/early nineties. more
recently he had been acting with a small theatre group
and had been recording with former sheffielder andy
gill, who is a london-based music writer. the singer
was also an advertising copywriter for adverts and
the film industry.
fellow extras member keyboard player robin markin
described him as a complete natural - "the single
most charismatic man I have ever met." he said
the accident happened while john was on holiday in
malaysia going for an early evening swim in the sea.
guitarist simon anderson said:"he was a singer,
songwriter, frontman extraordinaire. he always lit
up the room." simon also quoted one of john's
lyrics from the song Goodtime Girls: "no hang-ups
on love, no reason and no need to hate, ain't got
too much time, let's celebrate this life tonight."