During the late '60s, you just couldn't take your eyes off The Move - five "Ace Faces" who'd perfected their craft on Birmingham's buoyant beat scene, before quitting their going-nowhere combos to form what was, in effect, a Brum Beat supergroup.

That was in December 1965. Within weeks, and with a potent new name inspired by the ship-jumping manner of their formation, The Move were soon creating waves on the UK club scene. With a floor-shaking energy, inspired both by The Who and the emerging Tamla sound, overlaid with brilliantly effective four and five-part harmonies, the band's musical skills were awesome enough. Add into the mix one of the first, pre-psychedelic light shows, stagecraft that involved exploding televisions, effigies of Adolf Hitler and a wildly swinging axe and it's not difficult to imagine why The Move's reputation spread so rapidly through clubland.

Just visible through the smoke and the flashing white strobe lights was the most powerful front-line in British pop. Leader of the pack was Carl Wayne, cool, confident and not even afraid of crooning his way through a ballad if an audience demanded it. Slightly older than the rest of the group, Carl could also be the most irresponsible, especially when Tony Secunda put an axe in his fist.

To Carl's right was Trevor Burton, the band's tough, never-smiling guitarist. Tucked in behind him was a nervous little chap who, so some whispered, was the brains of the group. That was songwriter Roy Wood. At the back was big Bev Bevan, who'd bash hell out of his kit, and sometimes step up front to do his best "Mr Bassman" doo wop vocal turn.

Last, but by no means least, was a fashionably blond youth who bobbed his head neurotically as he rattled out his bass-lines. That - stage left - was Chris 'Ace' Kefford. According to Nic Cohn, who saw The Move at one of those incendiary '66 Marquee Club shows, Kefford was "The Singing Skull," one of those gloriously debauched rock'n'roll animals: "His flesh eaten away, his jaws clamping endlessly on gum, his face set rigid in infinite boredom".

Kefford, the group's Brian Jones or Syd Barrett figure, was the poster boy who always appeared to be strangely detached from his colleagues. This suspicion was made prematurely permanent by his subsequent acid-induced mental breakdown. At the outset, though, The Move had been his idea, thanks to a chance meeting with another young Ace Face, David Jones, one night in Birmingham's The Cedar Club. Jones, soon to ditch his Mod combo and reinvent himself as David Bowie, advised Ace and his eager pal Trevor Burton to leave their respective bands and seize the moment.

They did, but as the youngest members of the newly constituted Move the pair soon ceded power to Carl Wayne, the voice of experience and a natural leader. Yet it was the slow, unlikely emergence of Roy Wood, the band's dark horse, that would dictate the course of The Move's thrill-packed but undeniably difficult history. Within two years, Wood had come out of the shadows to become one of the most distinctive figures in pop, and one of the most distinguished songwriters of his generation…

Preview extract taken from 'Move' sleeve notes by Mark Paytress


PHOTO CREDITS (from top):

THE MOVE at the Windsor Jazz & Blues Festival 30 July 1966 ( The Move)

CARL WAYNE - Auto-destruction at the Roundhouse New Year's Eve 1966 (Photo by & Robert Davidson)




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