From punk star to RAF Halton

Kym Bradshaw - former bassist with The Saints PNL-150111-164539009

Kym Bradshaw - former bassist with The Saints PNL-150111-164539009

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It was 40 years ago, in 1975, that a young man in Brisbane joined a band as their new bassist.

They were one of his favourite 
acts – “light years ahead of 
anyone else” – but they also struggled to get any gigs.

That young man was Kym Bradshaw, the band were The Saints, and one year later they were the first punk band in the world to release a record.

Today Kym lives in 
Buckinghamshire and works at RAF Halton. He told the Bucks Herald about his story.

“The band had been going for a while before I joined. But they’d gone through a lot of trouble and were on their last legs,” remembers Kym.

“I’d been to see them live and I already thought they were 
fantastic. But we couldn’t get any gigs.

The Saints' debut album (I'm) Stranded - Kym is pictured on the far right

The Saints' debut album (I'm) Stranded - Kym is pictured on the far right

“We put this single out, (I’m) Stranded. It was an amazing piece of chutzpah to do that, but we had no 
alternative.

“We sent it to Sounds magazine in the UK and they made it single of the week!”

Punk rock saw a new 
generation of bands rise up across the world in the mid and late 1970s – as Kym says: “It was a realisation that we weren’t alone, and a 
vindication of our music.”

But when Kym heard from a fan that national radio in 
Britain had described The Saints as “making a storm in the UK” he had to find a 
payphone to make some calls to try to find out if it was true.

Days later record label EMI came to see the band, signed them, andin the space of just a few days The Saints recorded their debut album, also called (I’m) Stranded. The likes of The Sex Pistols and The Clash all followed in their wake.

The band toured the UK and Europe, and played on Top Of The Pops, but disaster struck when EMI failed to print enough copies of their single This Perfect Day.

By this point relationships within the band were becoming frayed. The guitarist and frontman disagreed over which direction they should go in, while Kym had met his future wife and wanted to stay in the UK.

Kym went on to have a varied post-Saints career. He joined British punks The Lurkers (“They kicked me out for being ‘too professional’ 
bless ’em,”) and then punk 
supergroup King with Captain Sensible.

He then formed a Mod-style group called The Small Hours, and even recorded demos with a young singer called Michelle Collins – later to find fame as Cindy Beale in Eastenders – before drifting out of the music business.

The music scene has called Kym back several times however. Highlights have included a Small Hours antholohy which was released to rave reviews ten years ago, and a Saints documentary, Stranded, which was broadcast Down Under in September. A UK release for the Saints programme is still in the pipeline.

Today Kym lives in Gerrards Cross, and six months ago he saw a job advertised which piqued an interest which even predates his punk rock love affair.

He said: “When I was at school I always wanted to be in the air force, so when I saw a job advertised at RAF Halton I was immediately interested.

“Every day is different, you never know who or what will come through the door – it’s so rewarding.

“I still get enjoyment out of music, particularly composing. And with living here and working at RAF Halton – I couldn’t be happier.”

To hear Kym’s latest music, or to learn more about him, visit http://kymbradshaw.com/