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In Memoriam
Rob Jones
Martin Gilks

Martin Gilks : 02.03.1965 to 03.04.2006

Following a motorbike accident on the evening of April 2nd 2006, founder member and original drummer with The Wonder Stuff, Martin Gilks, died in hospital in London from his injuries on Monday 3rd April.

Martin was originally the drummer with Midlands-based The Mighty Lemon Drops before leaving (allegedly sacked for not wanting to cut his hair) in 1985 and later joined Miles Hunt, Malcolm Treece and Rob Jones to form The Wonder Stuff in March 1986. Their first live performance was on March 30th at the infamous JB's in Dudley supporting Russian Roulette.

As part of The Wonder Stuff, Martin went on to have a string of Top 40 singles and album as well as being voted the best drummer on the planet in an NME poll in 1989. The group split up in 1994 after which Martin continued to work with Malcolm Treece and Paul Clifford (Rob Jones' replacement who joined the band in 1990) under the moniker of We Know Where You Live with Ange Dolittle (formerly of Eat) on lead vocals.

Martin left the group at the end of 1995 to join his brother Tank in forming Furtive Mass Transit Systems, an artist management company who would later include Reef, 'A' and Hundred Reasons on their books. We Know Where You Live disbanded the following year.

When The Wonder Stuff reformed in 2000, performing five sell-out shows at London's Forum, Martin also acted as the group's manager and continued to do so until a much-publicised split in 2004.

Martin leaves two children.



BBC News - Entertainment
Furtive Mass Transit Systems - Book of Condolences



My own two-penneth...

2006 was supposed to be a time of celebration for The Wonder Stuff as the 20th anniversary of the group forming. Instead those celebrations have turned to sadness.

Like Bob Jones before him, I had never had the pleasure of meeting Martin in person although I had seen him around at gigs. However, as The Wonder Stuff have been the backbone of my entire life since the 1990's and I have done so much research on them and seen him play so many times both as part of The Wonder Stuff and We Know Where You Live, it came as a great blow and felt like a huge cloud had fallen.

I'd only been watching the DVD of Cheap Seats a few nights before and love the bits where Martin is chatting directly to the camera whilst sitting on the sofa at his home. There's also the bit where Miles is sitting on a car in America singing extracts from Steppenwolf's 'The Pusher' and Gilks walks up to him telling his to "Shut up, grow up and get off the fucking car."  It is so very hard to come to terms with the news and I know from seeing posts on the messageboard and all of the emails that have been coming/going all morning that every other fan of the group feels the same.

This sad news brings about another great loss to British music and I, like so many others, hope that Gilksey and Bob have hooked up together for one hell of a great jamming session.

When I wrote this page originally, I was fighting back the tears and I felt so stupid cause I didn't even know him so Christ knows how those around him could be feeling. Hours later, even after seeing everyone's comments on the messageboard and on the Furtive website, I still cannot believe it's true but it's all over the Internet now and starting to sink in a little... but I'm still shedding a tear every now and then.

Those of you who know me will know though that hardly a day goes by that I don't listen to at least one track by the Wonder Stuff or something to do with them. I've had them as my ringtone, I've got books, records, posters and even some stuff I probably shouldn't have. The Wonder Stuff are my life (well, along with my wife and children) and ever since the first time I heard Welcome To The Cheap Seats I have been immersed in their world and have never dreamt of trying to get out.

At the end of the day, there are no real words I can say that will now make a difference. The only advice I can offer is to live your life each day to its fullest and love the ones around you and closest to you cause you just never know what may happen...

Rest in peace Gilksey. Hopefully you're already sorting the arrangements for a mega-bash that will see you reunited with The Bass Thing.    The drumming world has lost a legend but your memory will live on. On behalf of everyone involved with the Room512 website and messageboard and Martin's fans throughout the world, our condolences go out to Martin's wife Penny, his two children and to all of his family and friends at this sad time.

Rob Stokes, April 2006


UPDATE - December 2006
Sat here staring at a computer monitor you feel helpless that there is nothing you can do at times like this. Well a few months back I decided that I WAS going to do something.

Ages ago I was lucky enough to acquire a copy of some demos by We Know Where You Live, the group Martin worked with after The Wonder Stuff split up in 1994. The line-up also featured Paul Clifford, Malc Treece and Ange Dolittle. They were a bloody good group and the demo tracks were cracking, but only a couple of singles were ever released and the group split before an album could get onto the shelves.

I ran an idea by the surviving members of the group, as well as Martin's family, about whether the demos could be released as an album with profits from it's sale being donated to the charity requested by Martin's family. Everyone was happy with this plan so, with no previous experience of releasing records, I started to work on the project.

The end result is that in November 2006, Room 512 Records issued their first (and probably only) release - a 2CD compilation album of demo tracks and live material by We Know Where You Live.

It's something of a statement to Martin's abilities and recognition within the music industry that he was voted best British drummer of all-time in a BBC Radio 6Music poll held towards the end of 2006.  He deserved it.

If you'd like more information, take a nose over here...