Formed in 1980 as the First Eleven, this UK folk rock band evolved from the ever-changing Albion Band. Led by John Tams (b. 16 February 1949, Derbyshire, England; vocals/melodeon), the group featured Bill Caddick (b. 27 June 1944, Hurst Hill, Wolverhampton, England; vocals, guitar, dobro), Graeme Taylor (b. 2 February 1954, Stockwell, London, England; vocals/guitar), Michael Gregory (b. 16 November 1949, Gower, South Wales; drums), Roger Williams (b. 30 July 1954, Cottingham, Yorkshire, England; trombone), Howard Evans (b. 29 February 1944, Chard, Somerset, England; trumpet), and Jonathan Davie (b. 6 September 1954, Twickenham, Middlesex, England; bass). Both Evans and Williams were concurrently members of Brass Monkey, and Caddick had already released a number of solo albums.
Home Service made its debut in 1982 with the single ‘Doing The Inglish’, with their self-titled long-playing debut following two years later. By this point, keyboardist Steve King had been added to the line-up. The band was involved with work for the National Theatre, for which they provided the music for the York Mystery Plays. The resultant album appeared in 1985. This release featured new member Andy Findon (clarinet, saxophone, flute) and guest vocals from Linda Thompson, and covered both traditional and contemporary material. Shortly afterwards Caddick left because he was unhappy with the lack of live concert work. This situation was caused by the many commitments the band had to theatre, television, and film work. The remaining members carried on, completing the masterful Alright Jack, which is widely regarded as one of the finest folk releases of the 80s. Tams’ songwriting abilities shone through on ‘The Scarecrow’ and the title track.
Home Service ground to a halt in 1987, with Tams already departed and the other members arguing over their direction. It was 1991 before they reunited, minus Tams and Caddick, contributing to the Hokey Pokey charity compilation All Through The Year. Caddick rejoined the following year to help complete a well-received UK tour, but they disbanded shortly afterwards.