|The First Recordings|
|The Break with the Industry|
By 1988 the changes of the last couple of years had worked right through the Enid organisation to their logical conclusion. Neither Godfrey nor Stewart felt that they needed The Enid any longer as a vehicle for their creativity. As Godfrey says "We didn't want to become one of those tired old bands, treading the boards year after year simply for the sake of it." When the album which they had spent much of the previous year recording was released, it came out not as an Enid album, but under the name Godfrey and Stewart.
The album was The Seed and the Sower. It was based on the book of the same name by Laurens van der Post, which recounts his experiences as a Japanese prisoner of war (the film Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence was based on the same book). Perhaps sensing that this was to be the end of an era, Godfrey and Stewart poured everything into this one, to deliver one of their finest ever recordings - over fifty minutes of power and passion.
Godfrey and Stewart took their final bow over two nights at the Dominion Theatre, London, at the end of the year. It was what the fans would have wanted; a ballsy show which packed in all the highlights from the band's twelve-year career. It even brought back Francis Lickerish. And it furnished one last Enid album, the triumphant Final Noise.
A TIME OF UNCERTAINTY FOR RJG
And that, it seemed, was that. Stephen Stewart opted to concentrate on his work as a recording engineer and producer, and Robert John Godfrey began to move in new musical circles, working with young musicians, assembling a number of short-lived bands, one of which - sacrilege! - took the name "Enid". With hindsight, Godfrey now realises he was in the throes of a kind of mid-life crisis, trying to rejuvenate a personal musical youth. A lot of Enid fans didn't like it. Enid tee-shirts were burned at several of the gigs. The projects foundered amid self-doubt, uncertain goals and lack of direction.
Two years of silence followed. The Enid's back catalogue continued to sell, but the prospect of any new music or of live performances seemed remote. Godfrey devoted his time to recording other bands and to mastering the complex world of quantum physics. Once again, the impetus which led to the return of The Enid came unexpectedly, and from outside band circles.
With hindsight it seems as if, quite simply, a vacuum had been created. Magazines had begun to ask what had become of The Enid. Interviews with Godfrey followed. The possibility of a new Enid began to emerge. A few trial line-ups were put together and some tentative gigs were undertaken. Some of the early ones were pretty ropey. The idea was not so much to recreate the past, but to tap into the strengths of the old Enid and to see how the music could be developed in the nineties and beyond.