The Chesterfields special with Simon Barber in conversation
The Chesterfields were an English indie pop band from Yeovil in Somerset. Hardcore fans tended to refer to them as "The Chesterf!elds", with an exclamation mark replacing the "i", following the example of the band's logo.
The band was formed in summer 1984 by Dave Goldsworthy (vocals, guitar), Simon Barber (bass, vocals), and Dominic Manns (drums), joined in 1985 by Brendan Holden (guitar). Early recordings included contributions to the Golden Pathway tapes, that captured the West Country music scene of the time, such as "Stephanie Adores" and "The Boy Who Sold His Suitcase", the latter with a female lead singer, Sarah.
The first vinyl release was as one half of a flexi disc; "Nose out of Joint" shared a single side with The Shop Assistants' "Home Again", and was given away free with copies of London's Legendfanzine and future Subway Organisation boss, Martin Whitehead's own Bristol fanzine.
They signed to The Subway Organization, releasing three well-received singles, before Holden was replaced by Rodney Allen. The debut LP Kettle was released in July 1987, with a compilation of the early singles, Westward Ho! issued later the same year. Allen left to join The Blue Aeroplanes, to be replaced temporarily by Andy Strickland of The Loft/The Caretaker Race, before a more permanent replacement was found in the form of Simon Barber's brother Mark.
The band then moved to their own Household label, issuing two more singles and a third album, Crocodile Tears. Manns left and was replaced by future PJ Harvey drummer Rob Ellis but when Goldsworthy departed in late 1988 the band effectively split. The Barber brothers continued as The Chesterfields for a final single, "Fool Is The Man" in 1989.
The band split for good in the summer of 1989, Simon Barber forming Basinger, and Mark Barber joined Grape. Goldsworthy fronted several more bands, including Furnt, Diceman and Mujer 21 (Band). The Chesterfields reformed briefly in the 1990s to tour Japan after their material was re-issued there. Dave Goldsworthy (Davy Chesterfield) was killed by a hit & run driver in Oxford, UK, on 9 November 2003.
The band's continuing fanbase saw much of their back-catalogue re-issued by Vinyl Japan in the 1990s.
In June 2014 to celebrate the legendary NME C86 tape, Design (fronted by Barber) along with Andy Strickland of The Loft/The Caretaker Race played a set of songs by The Chesterfields at the 92 Club in London. Following the success of The Chesterfields set at the NME C86 gig, Design continued to play classic Chesterfields songs such as'Johnny Dee', 'Lunchtime for the Wild Youth' and 'Last Train to Yeovil' throughout 2014 & 2015.
In 2016, The Chesterfields with their new line up of Simon Barber, Andy Strickland, Helen Stickland and Rob Parry played Exeter's Cavern Club and The 100 Club in London, with further gigs announced including a return to Yeovil with The Haywains. The Chesterfields have been announced as playing the NYC Popfest in New York, from 19–22 May 2016 to coincide with a new EP release, the title of which is still to be confirmed at this time.