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No Smokin'

From: Belfast? / N.IRL

Active: 1978-79




No Smokin' was a studio outfit assembled by Davy Smith as a result of the success of The Undertones "Teenage Kicks" EP which Smith had produced at his own Wizard Studios in 1978.

Davy's history dates back to the Pasado Showband and a mid-70s outfit called Candy, who share a pre-history with Pretty Boy Floyd. He later fronted a band called Smicker (?)(not sure this is correct) whose lineup was Smyth, his wife Valerie Smyth (bass), Nicky Scott (guitar), Victor Black (keyboards), Mike McMillan (bass) and Jeff Kirk (drums). In the late 70s he founded Wizard Studios in Belfast where he produced the aforementioned Undertones "Teenage Kicks" EP in 1978 and the Outcasts debut LP in 1979 among others. There was also a Wizard Boutique & Clothing store.

The success of "Teenage Kicks" encouraged Smith to form a new band which he called No Smokin'. No Smokin' were a studio band made up of session musicians who hadn't played a single gig when their single was released. Tom Teegan had previously played with the AC/DC-inspired Night Prowler but his history stretched back to a late 60s power trio The Jack Hill Express and 70s glam band Smiler.

"Miles Away" was originally a slow ballad until Tom Teegan suggested upping the tempo. Davy Shannon played bass on this track though he's not credit on the sleeve. He also engineered the Undertones "Teenage Kicks" EP in 1978. The recording of "Turn For The Good" on the B-side features Davy Smith and his wife Valerie only. They laboriously played all the instruments, resulting in a rather dull, lifeless recording. Nevertheless "Miles Away" was a Record of the Week on BBC Radio One and the band was booked to appear on the Old Grey Whistle Test. Unfortunately Davy Smith fired the rest of the band after George Wright had words with Valerie during a row over an interview Davy Smith had done with Radio Ulster shortly after the Radio One Record of the Week, and the circumstances of the lifeless B-side recording. This put paid to the OGWT appearance and brought the band to an end.

Another victim of the row was No Smokin's debut LP, which was recorded but never released. The album features another guest bass player Davy McBride. It was mastered at 10cc's Strawberry Studios (as was the "Miles Away" 45).

Davy Smith shut up shop on the whole lot and moved to England. Tom Teegan played with other bands including Val & Vendetta which included his old bandmate from the Jack Hill Express days guitarist Jack Hill. He is now a photographer.

The single is certainly worth tracking down and has been offered on ebay a few times. It's been described as "[A-side] is a slowish rock ballad, the other is a brilliant upbeat NWOBHM track"; and "rock 'n' roll / rockabilly [A-side] and good folk/rock ballad with female vocals [B-side]." Where would we be without eBay, eh?


• Miles Away / Turn For The Good
7" - Okey-Doke Records - OD1 - 27 April 1979 - PS
Double A-side.
Recorded at Wizard Studio, Belfast.


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