Friday, 11 January 2013

On The Guest List

Hailing from the squalid (I promise you, no matter how much they’ve spent on the place in recent years, there’s no more apt word to describe what was, in the 1990s, the drug capitol of the west country) seaside resort of Weston-super-Mare, the Fat Doormen (Jonsey, Bezi, Rob and Mark) released a brace of 45s on the local Big fat Productions label.

Apparently a group of real nightclub bouncers (they must have been very short of work in WSM) their first release, We Hear You Knocking/Rubber Ball (Bouncy Bouncers) rewrote – in a Barron Knights style – a couple of former hits to include some rather poor ‘jokes’ and references to life working the doors. Arranged and produced by Brian Monk and Chris Merrick, issued with the catalogue number BFP2 (I can find no evidence of a BFP 1) and recorded at the now long-gone Horizon West studio, the follow up Kristmas Krackers (credited to the Fat Doormen featuring Colin and the DJ All Stars, BFP 3) like its predecessor also failed to ignite the charts. The B-side of this second single was performed, not by the Fat Doormen, but by one Barry C Bubear – born in Hendon in 1931 but who sadly passed away in Weston in 2009.

There’s not a lot else I can tell you about the Fat Doormen, but I can give you some more info about the man behind this project, Chris Merrick. Now working in ad sales for for Tenerife’s Oasis FM radio station, Chris formed his first band when he was still at school. Turning professional at the age of 18, he has toured with bands throughout Europe, Dubai and Malaysia and has featured on a number of recordings throughout his career.

When the session work stopped coming, Chris became a music teacher in Weston-super-Mare, managing a night club in the evenings (which, no doubt, inspired him to create the Fat Doormen), worked as a DJ and presented shows for local radio station Orchard FM. 

Shortly after the Fat Doormen singles were issued Chris moved to Tenerife, where he started working for a local newspaper, soon becoming sales manager for the Holiday Gazette magazine before joining Oasis FM in August 1997 as a part-time presenter. He has since joined Oasis as a full-time member of their sales team. Sunny Tenerife is a long, long way from the mud and rain of WSM, and I’m sure that Chris would be happy to consign his involvement with the Fat Doormen to the past along with the terrible weather…however here the World’s Worst Records would like to remind him of his brief brush with infamy.

Enjoy, then, the Fat Doormen, and their first 45 We Hear You Knocking



  1. Interestingly I came across this searching for Brian Monk. I am the Chris Merrick mentioned and have returned from Tenerife after over 20 years in the sun due to ill health. The fundamental thing missing from this article is the fact that I did these records as a way of raising money for children's charities in the Weston area, especially with Downs Syndrome. We sold the records on the door of Stars nightclub to the very generous disco goers. Of course they were intended to be joke recordings and I used my musicianship and contacts to press them for virtually nothing. We were also guests on The Good Neighour Show and BBC radio Bristol. Thanks for taking the trouble of writing this though even if it missed the main point. Regards. Chris Merrick

  2. Recordings made for children's charities in the Weston area (especially Downs Syndrome)
    Chris Merrick


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