during spring of 1979 two friends got chatting about the music they were into, neil whitehead and dave taylor had been friends since 1978 when they met at collage. after this discussion they decided to form a band of their own. neil had a korg micro preset keyboard, a rickenbacker bass guitar, and a drum machine.
neil got to work on a couple of song's and they arranged a practice at neil's mum's house, they practiced at least two times a week, neil on bass and dave on keyboard neil didn't like playing bass and would rather add another keyboard or synthesizer. this idea came into place when a rather bizarre meeting between dave, neil and a friend of dave's, matt adams. they met at a secret elvis costello gig at the grand hotel new brighton and got chatting about forming a band. matt told them he was a keen bass player and was looking for a band, although the band were not actively seeking a bass player the idea was good so they invited matt to the next practice. the band then set out purchasing another synthesizer and dave bought a roland sh09 - the band was now complete.
the band decided they were ready for some live work and set up two practice gigs, one at a friend of matt's house party, the other, a full dress rehearsal, at the willaston memorial hall, for which the band set up a pa and issued tickets for specially invited guests, mainly friends and family. these both went down well and they were ready to go public.
their first public performance was at birkenhead park rugby club. the gig was a hit and saw the introduction of the backing tapes, slide presentations, and pyrotechnics' that were to become chain of command trademarks. their next gig was at brady's the famous music club in liverpool which had previously been eric's (it had just changed hands), probably the most influential venue of the late seventies / early eighties era. to play there was amazing; for dave, neil, and matt, eric's was a place they went at least once a week. the fact the club had been renamed did not matter, this was hallowed ground. unfortunately the gig was soured by the theft of one of the club's microphones, for which the band had to pay after having one of their synths impounded by the management.
two other gigs at birkenhead ymca, and st luke's church (wallasey) followed the latter without matt who had left to work with another band at the time (a sleep secret) after some musical "differences". the band patched things up and matt re-joined in time for their next gig which was at a local nightclub, sir james entertains, followed by the band's biggest ever gig at mr pickwicks supporting china crisis. the band's final gig was at the warehouse liverpool.
nb. for the mr pickwicks and ymca show's chain of command recruited a female singer/dancer debbie currie.