Sounds from The Big Kiss

the big kiss mark one

“Could it be that we were oh so simple then?” By the look of you, yes. Nick Thomas, Mark Barker, Chris Steele and Andrew Kitchinson gurn for the camera.

So I trawled through the archives (a stack of CDs piled on top of a bookcase in the corner of my studio) and found these gems, these nuggets, these blasts from my past… the first of which I’ll post at the end of this blog for you. Bear in mind these are taken from cassette tapes that were almost 20 years old at the time they were digitized. Also bear in mind that we were only young and didn’t really know what we were doing…

Ah, the archives. Specifically, the archives of early Gary Stewart Smith, The Big Kiss, and the Thomas Smith Project (me and The Big Kiss’s keyboard player Nick Thomas without interference from drummers and guitarists). Over the years, Nick has sent me a number of CDs and DVDs containing so many many recordings that would have been forgotten and lost in the mists of time if it was not for his diligence, forethought, kleptomania and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I found out many years after the fact that, when we shared that flat together in Watford way back in 1990, Nick secretly made copies of all my songs that I had on tape. 15 years later, he sent me this email (where Nick keeps all the recordings, I keep all the emails).

Dear Gary

I’ve been going through all my old tapes pulling the material into the computer so I can toss them. In the process I’ve collected the definitive Gary Stewart Smith collection of music – all your songs, plus Leicester stuff, Watford stuff. It’s over 9 hours of music – which breaks down to approx 30 mins of music, and 8.5 hours of patch changes between Big Kiss songs.

So I’m sending it your way on 2 DVDs. It’s my final adieu to this stuff. Well I am nearly 40 so it’s probably about time. But it feels good to make the final versions and give it all back to you. Not sure, maybe you lost all your copies? If so, should be fun to go through this lot. I found the long lost 1st “Big Kiss at the Princess Charlotte” gig tape. Then I realized when I heard it why it was long lost. To be fair, although the 2nd gig was bad too, we improved quite a bit between the two.

Anyway, I’ll be ceremonially destroying my cherished cassettes. Gotta do it really. No point hauling all this stuff around particularly as the tapes are decomposing.


Kinda poignant, isn’t it? Wonder if he really did “ceremonially” burn those tapes, or whether he still has them in a box in the loft somewhere just in case? Well whatever, they’re all now perfectly preserved digitally – until the CDs and DVDs start to decay, that is. Maybe I should upload them all to Soundcloud, so that they are safe forever… here’s Bullet To Heaven, recorded by The Big Kiss way back in the days when people used tapes to record stuff.

9 thoughts on “Sounds from The Big Kiss

  1. A cross between Haircut 100 and The Police!

    Strangely better than the drivel that passes as daytime radio today.

  2. No, I will confess, I didn’t ceremonially burn them. I discovered my town has ordinance against that sort of thing. So instead I lay the tapes out on the floor in the garage, hunched over them, said a small prayer to the patron saint of lousy pub gigs, and with a large hammer I smashed them to pieces.

    I assure you, just like the Big Kiss itself, they are gone, and I only have ringing in my ears as a memory of their departure.

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