About Life Size Models

Charlie McLenehan • guitar, vocals
Martin Rooth • drums
Paul Martin • bass
Rick Dorran • drums

Have You Seen My Friend?:
A Life Size Models Story, Brighton 1979-82

By Paul Martin (former LSM bass guitarist)


I have called this A Life Size Models Story deliberately. It is my story of the group. There were of course other members in the group and if you asked any one of them for their story, it may well differ as do memories and experiences. Therefore, I am not offering this potted history as definitive, it is just mine. Truth, complete or partial is only ever approached by looking at all the components and all the actors from everyone’s own perspective. Collectively this might be as near as possible to arriving at a consensual or definitive history.

Even then it is important to remember that all history and memory is culturally (re) constructed, deliberately or just through the process of involuntary memory selection (as opposed to remembering everything which no-one ever does of course) due to the passing of time if nothing else. 

Therefore I am quite happy to offer ‘my’ history of the group as something which is certainly open for refinement, addition or amendment in the light of other people’s contributions if they are forthcoming. There’s my disclaimer done with, so now onto the bit that’s pertinent to the website you’re reading this on! 

The Relatives
The origins of the Life Size Models (LSM) lay in the dissolution of the short lived band Siren (which lasted for the Summer of 1979). When that group split, I (Paul Martin)  became the bass guitarist for a revamped version of The Molesters and guitarist Charley McLenahan, joined up with ex-Molesters bassist Mark Gresty to form the Relatives. They were a three piece unit completed by drummer Rick Dorran, who would join Life Size Models in its later stages as a second keyboard player.

The Relatives were an excellent pop group. Gresty was an erudite and inventive bass player who could play impressive and unusual bass lines whilst singing a more than respectable lead vocal, something which made me both envious and respectful of his talent as I could never manage to do both at the same time very well. He was a self-effacing individual who did not see his talent as anything special and assured me I could play just as well and just as easily (well I tried!). Gresty wrote the lyrics and the musical structure and Charley McLenehan co-composed the music which they arranged collectively.

Charlie’s guitar playing developed considerably during this period, I have no doubt, due partly to Mark Gresty’s encouragement and pointers in harmonic inflection. Durant’s drumming was solid and reliable and as a group, they were energetic and sparkling to watch and hear. This line up lasted from October 1979 – November 1980. Gresty was a natural for pop song writing; catchy tunes and deceptively simple structures were used as platforms for experimenting

with bass lines that deliberately sought to avoid root notes and reach for unexpected points on the fret board. Charley was never comfortable with playing lead guitar breaks and from this point developed his playing style to focus on intricate and myriad chord variations from which he plucked telling and sometimes unusual harmonic figures and rhythms.

He became, by the high point of The Life Size Models, a very original sounding and adept guitarist and perhaps influenced by Gresty, also tried to find a different path from the root note, often using discordance to reinvent a chord and make it sound original. Many guitarists he encountered often asked him about his ‘trade secrets’! Interestingly, after LSM split in late 1982, in his new band Vi Model, he abandoned guitar altogether and took on keyboards instead. Read more...

LSM mp3's can be found on the jukebox

back to top

Life Size Models scrapbook

back to top

More Life Size Models

Visit Paul's other bands Fan Club, | Molesters | Siren | Relatives

back to top

This site is dedicated to the memory of Rick Blair
The Punk History of Brighton © punkdaddy 2000 • 2001 • 2002 • 2003 • 2004 • 2005 • 2006 • 2007 • 2008 • 2009 • 2010 • All Rights Reserved