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Plexigon

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Prime

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From 1989 to 1996


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'Once upon a time there were some friends who played musical instruments and dreamt of performing live. They spent their lives generally having a good time but nothing was done...' This is the best way to summarise the lack of momentum for Rob Charlton (orignally drum kit and then keyboards and guitar), Paul Smith (drum kit) and Math Charlton (bass guitar and vocal) between 1989 and 1995. Along with Steven Charlton (guitar), they regulary met, occasionally wrote songs and seldomly rehearsed. But they never played a gig despite going through a plethora of names including Conquest, Jackdaw and Aquarius.

On returning to Portsmouth from univeristy in 1995, Math discovered that both Rob and Paul were around and ready to give music another go. They named themselves Prime (simply because the consonants were the initials of their forenames), dusted off some old covers, wrote a couple of songs and rehearsed. They put their name down for the Battle of the Bands at the Bellevue Hotel, Lee-on-the-Solent and, in September 1995, played their first gig there - a 30 minute set comprising purely of their own material (including some songs from Math's collection). A good few friends attended and they received warm applause but dipped out on first spot by only a few points. They played a further two gigs in Doc's in Southsea at the end of 1995.

At around this time Rob discovered James Newcombe, a talented keyboardist, who was doing the same music course at Fareham Tertiary College. After a brief discussion, Prime invited him into the band to broaden the sound and to allow Rob to express himself more freely on guitar. One further gig occurred at Docs in early 1996.

By this time, Math's frustration at the use of covers had grown and he felt that the band was becoming stale. The band duly performed one last and somewhat mediocre gig at the Bellevue in February 2006 as headlining band. The performance coupled with Math's frustraion led him to part company with the band a few weeks later.

The split was entirely amicable and since then the members have collaborated with each other on various projects. Knowing the topsy-turvy world of Prime, and the fact that friendships were forged that have outgrown the band, another chapter may yet wait to be written...