Cards were a Mod band that formed in Southend in 1979, before line up changes
saw them regroup in early 1980 and then, with a few more line up changes
along the way, the band carried on before splitting in 1983. Their main
claim to fame was undertaking three support shows with The Jam. The 1980
version of the band comprised Paul Langwith on Drums, Mark Roe on Vocals
and Guitar and Trevor Barr on Bass. The band had only played two gigs before
the first Jam support occurred.
As they explained to local paper The Evening Echo at the the time, on Thursday April 24th 1980: "The Jam recently got to number one in the pop charts recently with their single Going Underground. The cards have been together just a month and their only other live appearances were at the Zero 6 in Southend and at Barons, in Leigh. Singer and Guitarist Mark, 20, from Benfleet, said 'I have been friends with Paul Weller of The Jam for three years and he wanted us to support them at this charity concert at Guildford Civic Hall. My old band spilt up about a month ago and the new line up was formed about a week before I heard about the gig with The Jam.'"
He continued "When we arrived for the show there were already crowds of people outside hours before it was due to start. There were a lot of people without tickets hoping to get in." When the lights dimmed and The Cards went on stage on Friday night there were 2,000 in the audience. Bass player Trevor, 19, from Eastwood said "We didn't have time for a soundcheck and just had to go straight on, but everything went well. I was nervous, but that went as soon as we started. After our 12th song we were told we only had time for one more - but we only know 13 songs anyway".
A line up change occurred not too long afterwards, with firstly Martin Trenaman (now a writer and actor) coming in on Drums, then Dave Marrable joined in early 1981. The new line up was soon completed, for as Dave recently told Southend Punk: "Mark Roe recruited me on drums and Pete Blanchard from The Parrots on Bass. We then added a Sax to the line up with Craig Mumford to try and get away from being another three piece. We gigged all over the UK and supported The Jam at their Cliffs Pavilion gig on 20th September 1982 and also at their last ever gig on 11th December 1982." Following these shows, the band carried on for a while, before eventually splitting in February 1983. Afterwards, said Dave "Three of us stuck together forming a band called Blue Unitz and then All The Madmen."