Dan (Testament Of Reality #8 & 9)

Ian Armstrong (from Darlington) used to do Testament Of Reality & Eat Fungus or Die. Later he started bands such as ‘Dan’ and ‘SofaHead’, and did the record-label Meantime recs. Nowadays Ian runs the booking-agency (promoting gigs and bands) Hidden Talent.

I read some reviews and found a few issues of T.O.R. on the www (thx to Sned) so here’s some bands featured (not necessarily interviewed)… #6: ‘The Partisans’, ‘Reality Control’, Potential Threat, ‘The Insane’, ‘Newton Neurotics’, ‘Rubella Ballet’, ‘Dirt’, ‘Uproar’, etc.; #7: ‘Underdogs’, ‘Varukers’, ‘Lost Cherrees’, ‘The Adicts’, ‘Scream’ (UK), ‘Instigators’, ‘Potential Threat’; #8 (83): ‘Deformed’, Nick Toczek, ‘Criminal Justice’, ‘Dan’, ‘The Underdogs’ (UK), ‘The Toy Dolls’, ‘The Abductors’, ‘The Fiend’ (plus Huddersfield Sucks zine & gig-reviews); #9 (84) ‘Scum Dribblurrz’, ‘Dan’, ‘Mass Of Black’, Nick Toczek, ‘Reality Control’, ‘Political Asylum’, ‘Iconoclasts’ (plus zines, Bradford scene-report, gig-reviews); #10 (84; the editorial mentions “definitely the last T.O.R.”): ‘Instigators’, ‘Toxic Reasons’, ‘Pagan Idols’, C.O.R. recs, ‘Incest Brothers’, ‘Generic’.

Eat Fungus or Die #1 featured ‘Fugazi’, ‘SofaHead’, ‘Joyce McKinney Experience’, ‘Wat Tyler’, ‘Leatherface’; to name just a few. It came with a flexi (‘Crane’ & ‘SofaHead’).


There’s no real story to tell really. I started the zine when I was 14; just wanted to do something and kept going ’cause there was nothing better to do. My motivation? Boredom… Definitely did more than 10 issues though. I don’t honestly know. I think I stopped when I was 17, which is when my first band, ‘Dan’, started. It was a good time but there was nothing really to remember, I just did it and moved on… It probably ended soon after the band started playing shows etc.: I had something else to do. I don’t remember much about it really, it was just something I did, then I did something else, then I did a record-label. Anything to stop being bored 🙂 I haven’t got any issues in my possession: I gave them away or sent them to people wanting to swap stuff.

I forgot all about Eat Fungus or Die, only did one issue… I think I just didn’t have the time when I started with bands and drinking 🙂

Ian Armstrong

‘Dan’ started out with ‘Jools’ a.k.a. Julie ‘Flipper’ Dalkin (vocals; also ‘Blythe Power’), ‘Wal’ a.k.a. Ian ‘Hendrix’ Wallis (guitar/vocals), Jim ‘G-Clamp’ Clarke (drums) & Ian (bass). Founder and vocalist ‘Dallas’ Andrew Bayles left pretty quickly (he was on the debut EP from 1986 called Can You Dig It?). Their first gig was in October 1983. ‘Georgie’ a.k.a. Georgina ‘Mooncat’ Ashwell also sang on the band’s ’85 tape and the LP Where Have All The Children Gone? (’87).

The line-up changed quite a few times. Other people involved over the years: Andrew Black (guitar), ‘Slob’ (guitar), ‘Steely’ (drums), ‘Sned’ (guitar; ‘Blood Robots’, ‘Generic’, etc. etc.), Helen (vocals), Jane (vocals), Philippa (vocals), Sarah, Simon, ‘Turny’, etc.

Later ‘Wal’ & Ian A. did ‘SofaHead’ with vocalist Claire Sykes and drummer Andrew Laing (also ‘H.D.Q.’, ‘Leatherface’, etc.).


I think every able-bodied musician (and a few non-musicians, haha) in Darlington have been in ‘Dan’ at some point. I was in the original incarnation from school… Armstrong is the only constant member. The original line-up was me (‘Dallas’), Ian, Slob, Steely…. we played a few gigs, (our first major one with ‘Conflict’ in Leeds), released a demo-tape or 2 but the first line-up to commit to vinyl (and my favourite) was Ian, Jim, ‘Wal’, ‘Georgie’ and ‘Jools’.

Andrew Bayles


(#9) – pic (courtesy Andrew Bayles) inserted by Brob

This entry was posted in 1984, UK zines and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.