HALLOWEEN – P.W. Barnabas / Coil – L.A.Y.L.A.H Records – 1984

COIL – How To Destroy Angels

I have placed up ‘Halloween’ by P.W. Barnabas up on a KYPP previously, as I have also done so for the ‘How To Destroy Angels’ music by Coil.

This year though both are together on one KYPP post.

Take a seat, listen to ‘How To Destroy Angels’ and read ‘Halloween’ by P.W.

Indebted most deeply to P.W Barnabas for allowing KYPP to exclusively use his written work.

INTRODUCTION

There are no ancient witches casting spells in fire and darkness. Their screaming hatred does not crackle among the night-time, scarred black trees.

There are no madmen, indestructible and merciless, standing in the broken midnight door, and their breath clouding white in the cold moonlight, their wicked eyes searching the horrors scratched inside their solitary skulls.

There are no ghosts waiting the long years, with bony fingers feeling out to grip, with steely knives flashing out to slash the bubbling life from the hated living.

All there is, is three University Professors trying to solve the problem that has puzzled the highest and the lowest since time began.

‘What happens when we die?’

HALLOWEEN

“My friend, if you are going to disagree with me, I suggest you address me as ‘Your Holiness’.”

“But…but…”

Pope Otto raised his eyebrows at his friend, the Bishop.

“Julian, let me make this clear: the thirty-first day of the month of October is perhaps the most important day in the Pagan calendar. The energies that it inspires must be used for the purposes of Mother Church. We must take this day from the enemies of Christ. Yes?”

Julian realised that Otto’s mind was made up. Otto was a clever and resourceful man. He intended to leave his mark on the Christian calendar. Julian might voice his objections in private, but he was not going to stand against Otto, the most powerful man in the Christian world, and the direct representative of God on Earth.

The Christian world at this time was a mess of heresy. Groups led by madmen, priests, soldiers, ambitious rulers and all sorts, were springing up. The Holy Mother Church was losing the struggle for the souls of the people. The last day of October was the end of the Celtic year. It was the Feast of the Dead. The sun entered the gates of Hell on this day of the Celtic calendar. Evil spirits could escape, and roam the world doing mischief.

“Julian, my friend, sit down, please sit down. I will tell you what I propose to do. I will make an order allowing three Masses to be said on this day, the same as on the Day of the Birth of Christ. There will be a special Mass said for the dead. It will be a day of prayer for the souls of the Saints and Martyrs. The people will forget that it was ever a part of a different calendar. This is what I will do. Will you stand by me?”

The Bishop drummed his fingers on the table, thinking hard. He feared for the souls of God’s children on earth. Did the strength of Mother Church lie in its stability, or in its flexibility? He did not envy Otto. The Church was weaker than most people realised. The massive walls of the Abbey were only walls of stone. The wealth of the Church was only as safe as the strength of those to whom it was entrusted. The Authority of the Pope rested on the support of the Bishops.

“What will you call this festival, Your Holiness?”

“Please, Julian, call me Otto. It will be the Festival of All Saints. It may also be known by the Hallowed Names of the Saints and Martyrs. Yes, ‘All Hallows’ Eve’.”

“We are tampering with forces we do not understand,” thought Julian. His fears would echo down the centuries. Difficult and dangerous was the world of God’s children.

The two men sat in silence.

THE DISCUSSION

“We are tampering with forces we do not understand!”

There was silence in the room.

The three people sitting in the warm, subdued light looked at each other to see who would break first. The silence lengthened.

Professor Sarah Goring was the first to give in.

Her burst of laughter echoed round the room and set the whisky glasses on the tray ringing in sympathy. Her companions collapsed in helpless laughter. They each sat in their comfortable armchair, the firelight shining on their faces, unable to get the hackneyed phrase out of their minds. No one could remember which particular ‘Frankenstein’ film the line was from, but the more they thought about it, the funnier it seemed.

Finally, the three friends fell again into a silence, disturbed only by the crackling of the fire, and an occasional giggle which threatened to set them all going again.

Despite the laughter, there was an atmosphere of tension between them. Professor Goring’s ideas might have come from one of the flood of cheap horror movies which filled the cinemas in the 1960’s, and not from the mind of a respectable university Professor.

But, somewhere, a nerve had been touched. The room was full of ghosts – full of possibility.

“Sarah?”

“Yes, Paul?”

“What is Halloween? I mean, what is it apart from that dreadful American habit of encouraging kids to dress up, knock on doors, and risk my boot up their backsides…?”

“And that oppressive series of films of the same name, which” interrupted Professor Ketley, “even on my loneliest Saturday night, I manage to avoid!”

“Spoken like true Protestants,” laughed Sarah, picking up her glass and watching the swirl of alcohol above the surface of the pale liquid. She filled her mouth with whisky. The fumes, evaporating in the warmth, caught at the back of her throat, and threatened to start her coughing. She waited. The feeling subsided. The taste of moorland and granite rock, and the hint of a warm Highland fire on a cold, rainy night filled her with a sense of well-being. She settled deeper into her chair, in no hurry to speak and waste the pleasure of the fine spirit.

“Halloween, my dear Paul, ignorant as you are of all the finer points of Catholic theology, is the shortened form of ‘All Hallows’ Eve’.”

“That doesn’t make me any wiser,” said the engineer.

Sarah snorted, and continued her explanation in her favourite, and most annoying, teaching voice.

“We poor Catholics believe that the souls of the dead go to Heaven or Hell…”

“Or some place in between…?”

“Yes, Paul, Purgatory. The sinners, who haven’t condemned themselves to Hell for all eternity, go to Purgatory, where they are not lost, but are not saved. They suffer, but they have the hope of finally being released and going to Heaven…”

“I don’t believe in Heaven,” interrupted Professor Ketley.

Sarah looked across at the mischievous twinkle in the Professor’s eye, and said,

“George, can we limit the conversation to Christian theology? If we have to explore the finer philosophical points of your Jewish fore-fathers, we’ll be here all night!”

“We’re here all night, anyway,” said Paul, smugly.

“You know quite well what I mean, Paul. Listen: once a year, all the poor souls in Purgatory are freed for one night to wander the earth. Prayers for mercy for these tormented souls, made by the living, may be heard and may shorten their suffering. The souls of those in Purgatory have a chance of eternal bliss if only one of their living friends or relatives – or some other generous person – prays for their salvation. Haven’t you ever heard of the phrase, ‘don’t speak ill of the dead’? Halloween, and the possibility of the wishes of the living being able to affect the dead, is where this saying comes from.”

Paul looked out of the un-curtained windows at the night. The firelight sometimes caught on the branches of trees near the house. He moved uncomfortably in his chair. His whisky glass balanced, swaying and forgotten, on one of the padded armrests. He felt a chill run down his spine. He did not know why, but Catholicism always managed to strike a raw nerve in him. It was as if his own liberal, ‘Church of England’ upbringing had allowed him to play at religion, to convince himself that God, if he existed, was like a kindly, retired Colonel, sometimes indulging in fits of irritation.

Catholicism was altogether more dark and serious, more sensual, more hellish. The Protestants looked after the consciences of the middle classes, while the Catholics inhabited the land of the sick and the dead.

Sitting there, safe but uneasy, he imagined a night populated by desperate spirits, hearing their wailing, whispering voices in the wind and the rustle of leaves.

THE PROPOSAL

“Paul. Paul. Hey, Paul, pay attention,” said Professor Ketley, in a theatrical whisper, winking at the woman opposite him. “I think you’ve done well to start daydreaming. You’ve missed most of Sarah’s ‘tale of terror’. However, it seems to me that she is finally going to tell us precisely what is on her mind. Sarah will explain the mad project she has invented, and say how she needs our help.” Ketley sank back in his chair and adopted a pose of intense readiness.

The fumes of alcohol had not clouded Professor Goring’s mind. She judged that the time and the tone of the conversation were just right.

“Gentlemen, I want to hold – to trap, if you like – the soul of a dead person. Not for ever, but just long enough to prove that the spirit survives the body.”

Neither man was foolish enough to show his surprise. Sarah might be a little mad, or even just enormously bored with academic life, but she was a powerful force in the life of the university. Her mix of theology and philosophy had won her the respect of many of the great minds in her college. Ketley’s own speciality in the area of probability mathematics, and Paul’s brilliant work in the creation of remote electrical fields, meant that all three were working at some frontier of thought or science.

Ketley took a deep breath.

“How?” he asked.

“George,” replied Sarah, sitting forward on the edge of her seat, “If I wanted scientists to invent an anti-gravity machine, the first thing I would do would be to fake some film of one working. Once people believe that something is possible, they stand a better chance of inventing it. The same here. If I free my mind from the impossibility of doing what I want to do, I might find a way of doing it.”

“You mean like the Zen idea of ‘each journey starting with the first step’,” said Paul, realising immediately that she hadn’t.

“Meaning that each journey starts with the idea that the journey is possible!”

Sarah looked at each man in turn to make sure she had their full attention, before continuing.

“There is one month to go before the night of November 1st, Halloween. In that month, I want to create with you two gentlemen, a machine which will attract, hold, and make visible, the soul of some dead person in Purgatory who is allowed to roam the earth on that night each year…”

“What do they get out of it?” asked Paul, a little facetiously.

“I will pray for their salvation,” replied Sarah, simply.

Both men experienced the same thing at the same time. There was no escape. Sarah might have wild ideas, but her grasp of psychology was perfect. The word, ‘NO!’ screamed in each man’s head, but the damage was done. Like great engines starting to turn, their minds engaged. There was no stopping them. If there was a way to create such a machine, they would find it. The search would fill their dreams and their waking days. The desire had been born.

After all, what more original work could they do than help prove, once and for all, the existence of an afterlife?

THE MACHINE

Paul worked swiftly in the weeks that followed. Professor Goring was right. Once the mind was free from the sense of impossibility, a whole landscape of possibility started to grow. How could a soul exist, once you assume that it did exist? Where does it live and move and have its being?

It would not be true to say that Paul had any definite idea in his head. It was more a feeling, a sense that an area where he already worked had a quality that might be worth exploring. He smiled. The accuracy of his intuitions was legendary in the small, enclosed world of the university, and perhaps in some other centres of specialised research.

“Better to be born lucky than rich, they say!”

The figures pouring from the neat point of his pencil onto the notebook looked cramped and tense. He spun the pencil up into the air and caught it absentmindedly, before jamming it behind one ear and walking over to the blackboard which covered one wall of the room. He picked up a piece of chalk.

His equations and sketches wandered erratically over the wide expanse. Many of the equations had a terribly strong desire to vanish to zero, or to explode uselessly to infinity. Determined, he wrenched them back from the brink, substituting and modifying, trimming and persuading. After hours of intense work, the flamboyant expressions tailed off towards the bottom right hand corner of the board.

Paul snapped a piece of chalk between his fingers and flicked the ends away with a grunt of disgust. White chalk-dust hung in the air, lit by the sunlight streaming through the windows. Paul watched the particles suspended in light. He blew a sigh of fatigue. The dust cloud suddenly tumbled and whirled. The scientist saw and didn’t see. He could almost hear the click in his head as the thought formed. He had spent days looking for some way to attract Dr Goring’s ‘ghosts’, knowing nothing about what they might consist of. Then he realised what the dust symbolised.

What if…? What if…?

Paul allowed himself the pleasure of reasoning out loud:

“Forget ‘attraction’. Think about ‘repulsion’! Only specific things are attracted by other specific things. It’s too ‘specific’! If you want to hold something in, you build a wall round it. The wall will hold many different sorts of things in – from microbes to elephants, from air to heat to light, from pigs to protons.

“Don’t worry about what a ‘spirit’ might be made of. Just erect an enclosure that will repel and contain as many different ‘essences’ as possible! That’s why my equations were trying so hard to disappear to nothing. The amount of energy involved with a ‘ghost’, ‘spirit’, or whatever these things are, must be tiny, almost nothing. I was looking for the solid chalk ‘ghost’. I must look for the ‘ghost’ of chalk-dust!”

The engineer let go a string of expletives in the best possible humour. A class of particle-physics students passing in the corridor were shocked. They wondered whether their parents, who had spent so much money to have their precious children educated at the great university, would really approve. They hurried away like a flock of startled geese.

THE TELEPHONE

“George?”

“Paul.”

“Look, George, I don’t know if you’ve made any progress.”

“Progress?” Professor Ketley felt a shade of resentment pass through him at the thought that Paul might have found some way of dealing with this crazy problem, which had haunted them both, day after day.

“You know that I’m a ‘nuts and bolts’ man, George. I was so busy thinking about how to attract Sarah’s ‘ghosts’, that I’ve only just realised that a better way might be to think about holding them in, and concentrating them into an enclosed area. If I tried to create a machine that would throw an ‘energy fence’ round a specific area, the energy force which would repel and contain things that science already knows about, might also have the same effect on things that science doesn’t know about.”

There was a pause. Paul could hear the other man breathing at the end of the line. He sensed that George was trying to digest the implications of what his friend had just said. The pause went on.

Finally, there came a single word, “Right.”

“Right what, George? ‘Right’, that’s a brilliant idea, tell me more? Or, ‘right’, this man is crazy!”

“The former.”

Paul always had to work out the ‘former/latter’ thing from first principles.

“Right.”

“Right what, Paul?”

“Professor Ketley, I would like you to give some thought to the probabilities and possible energy balances of these imaginary ‘ghosts’. I would like to make our machine as effective and tuned as possible.”

“That goes without saying, my dear chap!” said George, in the tones of a British fighter pilot in a world war two film. “I’ll get back to you.”

“George?”

“What?”

“What do you think?”

“What do I think, Paul? I think it’s —-ing brilliant!

SOULS AND ENERGY

Ketley sat at his desk in his rooms at college. Outside, the ancient stonework shone grey or sand coloured in the cold light of the short afternoon. Soon, the light would go from the sky. He would feel that brief but deep depression which always came at the end of another day. He picked up a dart from a multicoloured collection in a large jam jar, and flung it at the circular target hanging from the back of his entrance door. His students were always a little afraid, when they entered for a tutorial, that they might be stuck with a dart. George made no attempt to put the dart-board anywhere safer. Eccentricity was expected, almost demanded, from the higher ranks of the teaching staff.

The Professor hardly noticed where his dart landed. Two words kept bouncing around in his brain. They danced and swirled, played and fought, like two nymphs from a particularly syrupy section of Disney’s Fantasia. ‘Soul’ and ‘energy’. Energy and souls.

The problem that Paul had set him was not to find the energy form that a soul might have. No one had ever got close to doing that, although some colleagues from a certain disreputable Californian university had boasted that they had succeeded – he doubted it. The West Coast was where all the US lunatics came to rest before they fell into the sea! His problem was to find what the energy form probably was.

Piled on a table were stacks of books about the Occult. George had hoped for some clue, some starting point from which to predict the possible qualities that ‘ghosts’ or ‘spirits’ might share with the more measurable world.

George knew that most of the material world followed the play of possibility and probability. On the level of ‘real’ matter, nothing was absolute – it only looked that way to the untrained observer.

The minutes ticked by. With a sigh, George swung his chair round to face a decidedly ‘untraditional’ computer. It was brand new, powerful, and still smelled of new electronics and plastic. It blinked to life. With the unexpected dexterity of a ‘touch-typist’, George set up a simple but very specific mathematical expression, and sent it to play in the mysterious digital world of electrons.

“Time for tea,” said Professor Ketley, strangely tired by the afternoon.

THE PRIEST

It was the evening of the next day. Earlier on in the day, Professor Ketley had enlisted the help of several of his students to take all the books on the Occult back to the college libraries from which they came. He offered no explanation for his strange reading matter. The students talked quietly to each other and shot him meaningful glances when they thought he wasn’t looking. Ketley smiled, and remembered how conservative he too had been when he was their age.

As he drove through the clinically bright streets, under the expensive street lights, he thought how easy it was to miss the obvious solution to a problem. His race to the Occult libraries in the university was like a man with an illness going straight to the faith-healers, rather than visiting his doctor.

Ketley had phoned an old friend from his student days. The man was now a priest attached to one of the largest Catholic churches in the area. He had made an appointment to meet him that evening. Ketley crossed the old town. He thought about this friend, John, and about their time as students. It was an unlikely friendship, the intense religious belief of the short and dark-haired son of a factory worker, against his own glib and self-satisfied wanderings, fuelled by whatever drugs he could get his hands on. Ketley smiled to himself at a thought that had just occurred to him.

“We were a bit like George and the Dragon: John was Saint George, while I was definitely behaving like a dragon, gobbling up maidens and setting fire to my college rooms.”

The church stood tall and massive in the distance. The priest’s house next to it was a ghastly Victorian monster. Professor Ketley swung into the drive and pulled up before the porch, which was lit only by a weak and dusty bulb. A bell rang shrilly in the distance when he pushed the brass button. Footsteps approached, and the hall light came on. Ketley thought to himself how he hated the government campaign to ‘switch off’ unneeded lights to save energy. His own rooms blazed with light, night and day.

“George, it’s good to see you. Come in!” The man who spoke was even shorter than George remembered. The priest stared up at him as he took his hand and shook it warmly.

“It’s good of you to see me at such short notice, John. I have to confess that this isn’t a purely social call. I need to see a ‘specialist’.”

The priest glanced searchingly at his old friend, looking for signs of illness. People like Professor Ketley only felt the need to involve themselves in religion if something terrible was occurring in their life. He saw nothing. He shrugged and led the way into his study. The smell of old leather-bound books and wax polish filled the room. A bottle and two glasses stood waiting on a side table.

“Sit down, my friend. I hope you don’t mind me sitting at my desk. I have to confess that it’s the most comfortable seat in the house. What can I do for you?”

George paused, before deciding to get straight to the point.

“What can you tell me about souls in Purgatory, John?”

A slight smile appeared on the priest’s lips.

“Is this a personal enquiry, George?”

Both men burst out laughing.

“No, no. I’m not checking up on my future accommodation! Do you know Dr Sarah Goring of the university?”

George noticed a troubled look, almost of shock, appear for a moment on the priest’s face.

“Yes, I think I met her at one of those interminable college suppers. She seems very … bright.”

“John, she is. You remember Paul too, that crazy engineer who was always inventing things? Well, Sarah has asked us to help her with a little experiment.”

“Yes?”

“She wants to prove the existence of ‘souls’.”

The priest paused, leaning back in his chair and twiddling his thumbs with his fingers locked together.

Again, George thought he saw some intense emotion in the other man.

“And how does she propose to do this?”

Father John was quite accustomed to the occasional studies being undertaken at the university theology department, and in the groups of strange and/or mad people who always seem to gather on the edges of the great centres of learning. But he was also aware that Paul, George and Sarah did not quite fit into this category. He did not know why, but he was suddenly filled with a deep sense of trouble ahead.

THE LESSON

“Well, John, as far as I understand, Sarah wants to prove the existence of the ‘soul’ by – how can I put it without sounding callous? – by capturing  or holding a soul – this is mad – by trapping a soul on the night of  Halloween, when she believes – and you probably believe – that the souls of those in Purgatory are free to roam the earth. I know it sounds stupid. When I put it into words, I feel like someone in a cheap horror film!”

Father John said nothing for some time. Ketley sensed the unease in the other man, who stirred occasionally in his seat. The glass of brandy before him was left untouched. Finally, his old friend sat forward and placed his hands flat on the worn, polished surface of his desk.

“George, we’ve known each other for a long time. You’re a liberal, educated man. You’re talking to a man who believes in many things that you find ridiculous. But you should understand this, before we talk any further: my faith requires me to believe certain things. You have the privilege of being able to pick up and discard ideas as you wish. You are safe in the all-embracing arms of the university. You can … er… experiment with belief.

“I am different. Not only does my faith require me to believe, but my whole life is structured around these beliefs. People on the outside do not realise the consequences of this. Not only are these beliefs very real to me, but they bring me in contact with energies – with forces – of which most people know nothing.

“You say you want to ‘trap’ souls. I don’t believe you have thought about what it means if this is actually possible.”

Ketley felt as if the air in the room had cooled suddenly. He realised that his own easy-going, academic world did not hold true here. In some ways, this was the real world.

The priest saw his discomfort.

“Let me tell you a little anecdote, which I think is true, but even if it’s not, it’s a good example of – how can I put it? – of different levels of reality.

“You like classical music, don’t you? Beethoven?”

“I prefer Mozart, but yes, I listen to Beethoven.”

“Beethoven was sitting in a field one day. He had just invented a little sequence of four notes. Nothing special, but the notes just kept running through his head. At that moment a friend of his came up to him in the field. It was a nice day. He was out walking. Now, this friend owed Beethoven some money. Beethoven said that he thought it was time his friend paid back the money. The friend asked, ‘Must it be?’ and Beethoven replied, jokingly, ‘Yes, it must be’.”

Father John beat a short drum roll with his fingers on the surface of his old desk in a way that George knew well, before continuing.

“Beethoven thought about this incident. He thought about the little question and answer. From this tiny seed, from this idea and the four notes, Beethoven created one of the most profound and moving pieces of music ever written about the nature of life.”

Ketley sipped his drink. The priest’s words were not lost on him. The parallel was obvious. His own question and answer were, ‘You want to trap a soul?’ ‘Yes.’ The talent at his disposal was three of the most acute minds in the university. All at once, the comfortable, middle-aged college professor was filled with fear. For the first time in his life, Professor Ketley sensed the nearness, the presence, of death.

OCTOBER

How did they do it? The time was so short. Fortunately, the university allowed plenty of space for academics who were suddenly caught by a new idea. They could pursue it without having to worry about their college commitments. New ideas were the life-blood of the university. The teaching duties of the two men were picked up by their colleagues. They were free to work on their new project. Rumours sped round the ancient buildings. The one most believed, was the idea that there was an attempt being made to ‘raise the dead’. This speculation brightened the life of many a bored, tired academic.

They were lucky. Paul found that most of the equipment he needed was already available in one form or another. He and Professor Ketley worked long and hard trying to ‘tune’ the equipment, to focus on that strange, elusive probability barrier between existence and absence.

They slept little. They grew close through the long hours. Often, they would be found deep in hushed conversation over a table loaded with empty beer glasses in one of the town pubs. It might be ten o’clock in the morning, or midnight, with the landlord waiting patiently to lock up. They had lost all sense of time.

Attempts by their fellow professors to get information out of them, were met with resolute silence. They oscillated between moods of elation and depression, depending on how the project was going. So unpredictable was their reception of their colleagues that they were finally left alone. College life moved about them, as water about a rock set in a stream.

The month of October was nearing its end. The weather had been fine. Some of the tourists were still seen in shirtsleeves or light summer dresses. The bright, warm days followed each other calmly. Each morning, faces were turned to the sky and scanned the horizon for any sign of the weather breaking. Only a slight chill in the air at dawn and after sunset betrayed the lateness of the year.

THE TEST

At the time the machine was ready for testing, restoration work was going on in one of the college refectories. Layers of grime were being cleaned off the wood panelling on the walls. At night, the workmen went home. The huge hall was deserted. Old dust and new mingled in the smell of turpentine and varnish. The portraits of the past heads of college were all put in storage, and the pale patches left behind on the oak panelling began to look darker than the cleaned areas.

This was the place where the two men chose to set up their equipment. No-one would disturb them after ten o’clock at night when the college gates were locked. There was a good power supply from the cleaners’ equipment. The old wiring of the hall, dating back nearly fifty years, could never supply the current required.

Most of their equipment was unboxed, a mass of trailing wires and exposed circuitry. Several pieces refused to function when they were turned on. Patiently, Paul worked away, replacing, reconnecting, and sometimes even thumping, until there was a uniform glow of indicator lights and a quiet hum from each of the linked parts. The machine formed a circle of ‘nodes’, each joined to the next by heavy, black cable. From the top of each node projected two thin, parallel, glass rods, rising up more than two metres into the air. At the top of each rod was a complex prism of glass from which flashes of light, reflected from the workmen’s lamps, shot out in narrow beams. Although the prisms were stationary, the direction of the reflected light beams changed suddenly and randomly.

Professor Ketley dismissed the first idea that came to his mind, of the refectory looking like a ‘high tech.’ disco. No, the play of light was altogether more subtle, more purposeful. George had no idea what was going on in the network of machinery. He watched Paul’s face carefully to see if he could detect any sign of elation or disappointment.

“Is it working, Paul?”

“It’s just warming up. I haven’t activated all the fields yet. I think we must try to introduce them a little at a time, and see what happens. I don’t want to set it all in resonance at once, until we have the full-scale layout of the nodes at Sarah’s place. My resonance calculations are all to those dimensions. The ring here is less than a hundredth of the final size. We must be careful. It wouldn’t be difficult to do several hundred thousand pounds’ worth of damage to this little lot!”

“‘We are tampering with forces …’”

“George, we are tampering…etc. etc… that no-one understands!”

THE EDGE

Ketley noticed it first. Paul was busy watching the behaviour of his precious machine. There was no spectacular change in the equipment. The glass rods didn’t glow. There were no pyrotechnics. Somehow, this was more disturbing. He knew that most of the fields which the machine was generating worked even below the lower threshold of particle physics.

He felt a prickling on the skin of his face, like a million gentle flakes of snow brushing past all at once. He heard a low sound. It took a moment to realise that it was Paul calling his name repeatedly.

“Yes…yes, what is it?”

“George, move a little to your left. I think you are making that node opposite you oscillate. It’s unstable. Can you move?”

Ketley stepped away as he was told. The prickling sensation stopped.

Suddenly, the space within the circle of nodes seemed to come unhinged. Ketley glanced at the beams of light. His heart missed a beat.

In places, the beams from the prisms appeared to stop dead, and then continue from another place at a completely different angle. In other places, the beams seemed to duplicate, as if the space had suddenly become two layers of reality. Quickly, and with surprising self-possession, Ketley put a finger to the side of one of his eyes and pushed gently. The image wavered and overlapped. What he was seeing was definitely happening outside his head. It was not an act of imagination. The simple rules of stereo optics still applied.

Paul froze, half bent forward. The numbers on the display of the main controller’s sequencer changed and flashed at a furious pace. But that was not what worried the engineer. His whole body throbbed, it ached, with the sense of a presence in the ancient room. It was not even a uniform presence. It was legion. There was a feeling of untold essences filling and churning in the space. Nothing was visible. It was all instinct and intuition. The experienced and practical man felt a ball of blackness grow within him. It was not a void. It was the very essence of blackness, starting from the small ball and threatening to fill him, posses him. He was paralysed, bent forward. The numbers on the display were slowing. He felt a fear, a growing terror, that they might stop altogether. But he couldn’t move. He was on an edge from which there was no return.

A hand pushed the main power switch. The room cascaded into darkness.

The sounds of the streets in the town came faintly through the high, arched windows, distant reminders of the normal world.

Slowly, the eyes of the two men became adjusted to the dimness.

Professor Ketley’s hand still rested on the switch.

“What have we made, Paul? What have we made?”

THE INSTALLATION

“Where is Sarah. She said she would be here!”

The two men waited outside the house, which stood at the end of a lane, between fields and a wood.

George was annoyed. The change in the weather had set everyone on edge. The clear skies of the past weeks had given way to a poisonous and threatening dullness. The sky above their heads was a depressing, brown colour. The calmness and warmth through the month of October had been bought at a price. There was an aching tension in the air. Something was about to happen. The air was charged and close.

“For God’s sake, Paul, what are you doing?”

His friend was busy turning over the corners of the doormat outside Sarah’s front door. Sudden flurries of wind tousled his hair. He bent to look under discarded flower pots, and stretched to run his fingers along the ledge over the front door. George knew he was looking for a key. Paul’s calm and thorough hunt made George feel like an intruder.

“Does Sarah have a burglar alarm? Can you remember seeing one? George?”

George tried to picture the walls of the hallway in his mind.

“I can’t remember any alarm boxes. I never saw Sarah use a key inside the house. But, we…”

With the calm detachment of a thoroughly practical man, Paul took the hat off George’s head, placed it up against a small window pane beside the door, and punched out the glass. He reached in and unlocked the door.

His friend watched, open mouthed.

“We haven’t much time, George. Tonight’s the night!”

The phone started ringing in the hallway. The two men stepped inside and carefully wiped their feet. The answering-machine took the call automatically. A woman’s voice buzzed from the tiny speaker, “… Paul, I hope you’ve had the good sense to find a way in, and that you aren’t still standing outside waiting for me like a pair of lemons. I’m afraid I’ve been delayed for a little while. I’ll be with you as soon as possible, but do please set everything up without me, just in case I’m hours late.

“Switch off anything you like in the house to make sure you have enough power for the machine. There’s food in the fridge, and everything else is where you’d expect it to be. Don’t worry about walking mud into the house. Let’s make this work!…..”

The machine fell silent with a hollow click.

“I’ll start bringing the boxes in, shall I?”

“No, George. We’ll leave them in the van for now. I’ll set up the main controller in the shelter of that fence there. That way, our circle of nodes will enclose the house, part of those two fields, and the section of wood right down to the road, including the bridge over the stream,. It’s lucky that there’s a bridge there, otherwise I’d have to run cables over the road. We’ll have about a kilometre of cable running between the nodes, and we’ll enclose almost eighty thousand square metres of land. That should be enough, hopefully. Come on, let’s get it all set up and tested before the light goes!”

It was hard work. After an hour or two of strenuous labour, running out cables and carrying the boxes that contained the equipment for the ‘nodes’ from the van, both men were beginning to wish that they had recruited a couple of strong students to help with the lifting. It was too late now. They had to work on alone.

They sweated and swore, slipping on the leaves in the wood, tripping over tree roots, catching their clothes on barbed-wire fences, and filling their shoes with muddy water as they ran the heavy cables under the bridge. The van emptied. The circle was nearly complete. They arrived back at the house, but there was still no sign of Sarah.

“George, be an angel, and make us a sandwich and a cup of tea while I set up the sequencer, will you?”

“Paul, given the nature of the project, can you really see me as an ‘Angel’? However,” he added with a broad smile, “your wish is my command!”

READY

Paul had taken his power supply straight from the main switchboard in the house. Theoretically, the power should be adequate, but he was a little worried that there might be sudden fluctuations in the current taken by the equipment.

Sarah’s house stood alone in the countryside. Not many cars passed on the lane crossing the river. The equipment would be safe from interference by humans, but, if a large animal, like a deer, wandered too close to one of the ‘nodes’, it might make the whole system unstable. There was nothing they could do about that. It was a risk they would have to take.

Paul was pleased with himself. The links between the nodes were working perfectly. It was a tribute to his engineering ability. He set a small signal running through the ring, just to keep the electronics warm and dry. The device was far below the level of resonance. That would come later. The displays flickered. The numbers stabilised.

Paul unwound the cable from the sequencer’s remote-control unit back towards the house. The little black box worked all the functions of the machine. The sequencer would be drier and safer in the house, but Paul had decided that if anything went wrong with the experiment, he did not want to be anywhere near the sequencer. He had no illusions about the power of their machine. Sarah and George were relying on him for their safety, whether they realised it or not.

The sky was unnaturally dark for the time of evening. Clouds came to hang over the earth. Sudden, sharp winds twisted the branches of the trees. The earth waited.

It was the night of Halloween.

THE NIGHT OF THE SPIRITS

Father John sat at his desk and gazed out over the skyline of the old university town. He was a deeply troubled man. What was worse, was that he didn’t have any clear idea why he should feel this way. There was nothing unusual about the Mass he had conducted an hour earlier. The few people who bothered to attend had hurried away afterwards, frightened of being caught in a downpour from the threatening clouds that filled the sky.

No, his fears were not out there in the city. They were here inside him. He felt vaguely guilty. Weeks ago, with George, his old friend from his student days, he had felt too embarrassed to speak his mind directly. He regretted only giving that stupid ‘parable’ – Father John blushed at the thought – about Beethoven. What he wished he had said, was that he thought that the trio of university professors were playing a very dangerous game. The damage they could do could be permanent and devastating – he believed.

What could he do in these modern times, when belief had no real authority. Even in the Catholic Church, John’s views were seen as being a little irrelevant and old fashioned.

The priest fingered the beads of his rosary. His mind wandered. Purgatory: a place without God. John had often thought that this must be worse that Hell itself. He didn’t know if there was any real truth in the idea that those poor souls roamed the earth on the night of All Hallows. What he did know, was that the image of tormented beings, flying desperate and hopeless about the land, tortured forever by the nearness of life, was the saddest lesson to the living he could imagine. Yes, Hell was better – more definite.

Somewhere, deep inside him, John believed that sooner or later, he would know Purgatory. The formulas and rituals of his Catholic religion could not release him from the hopelessness of his hidden and terrible sin – the sin of the flesh, the forbidden love.

There was a knock on his door. It was Sarah.

THE HOUSE

The phone rang again. George picked it up.

“Hello, George?”

“Sarah?”

“Yes it’s me. Look … I’ve had to visit someone. I won’t be long, perhaps an hour and a half. I’m very sorry. Did you manage to get everything set up?”

“Yes, we did, but I’m still picking pieces of glass out of my hat…”

“What?”

“Never mind. Everything’s ready.”

“Great! Thanks. Can I speak to Paul, please?”

“Sure. Here he is……. Paul, it’s Sarah for you.”

“Hello Sarah. When does the wanderer return?”

“Paul, I’m really sorry. I know I’m late, and that I’ve left you both to do all the hard work. I’ll make it up to you somehow. Listen, Paul, I don’t know why, but I have an intuition that the machine should be started at sunset. Can you do that? I’ll be back as soon as possible. All the video, sound, temperature and pressure recorders are in the cupboard under the stairs. I think the whole lot will fit on the kitchen table. In fact, the kitchen is the exact centre of the ring, that is, if you’ve managed to get the ‘nodes’ set up in the positions we marked.”

“OK, leave that all to me, Sarah, but hurry back. As soon as the machine is started up, I’ll have to concentrate on keeping the circle stable – you know what George is like with anything technical. We need you back here to look after the sensors.”

“Yes, the ‘Professor of Probability’ will almost certainly wreck anything he touches. He’s just not a practical sort of man!”

“I’m listening to you two, you know,” said Professor Ketley.

They laughed. Paul put the phone down, and turned to his friend.

“Sunset. We start at sunset. These are good sandwiches, George, and there’s a lot of them!”

“It could be a long night. There’s also plenty of strong coffee on the stove to keep us awake. By the way, where is Sarah?”

“She didn’t say. Perhaps she has a secret lover. Perhaps she’s confessing all her sins. She takes her responsibilities very seriously!”

“Fine woman,” said George, wistfully.

SUNSET

The dark clouds seemed to meet as one with the ploughed fields  in the distance. Paul looked at his watch. Suddenly, he felt a gentle glow of warmth on his skin. The sun cut a horizontal slash on the horizon, rich and yellow. Bright rays lit up the underside of the clouds. It was like a scene from a Renaissance painting, forming a perfect backdrop for the start of their strange and  disturbing experiment.

The bright bar of light began to shrink as the sun sank lower. Both men stood outside the kitchen on the west-facing side of the house. Paul held the remote-control unit in his hand. At the moment the bar of sunlight shrank to nothing, leaving only a reddish glow behind, the engineer set the machine running. The lights in the house dimmed momentarily as the power surged through the cables between the nodes, and the nodes themselves started to hum with life.

It had begun.

WAITING

Nothing happened. The two men stood in the growing darkness, like children before a firework which refused to go off. Neither wanted to be the first to move.

“Do you feel it, Paul?”

“What?”

“It’s difficult to say. I feel as if all the ‘dust’ in my mind was being cleared away. I feel somehow more concentrated, more alert.”

“If you say so, George. Perhaps the charge we have put into the space within the circle has ionised the air here at the centre. That would certainly make you feel more awake.”

“Do you think it will work?”

“I hope to God that it doesn’t! There’s nothing more disturbing to a Agnostic, than the idea that there might be an ‘afterlife’.

“What do you think happens to people when they die?”

Paul looked out into the darkness of the night. He had not thought about these things for a long time. He smiled at his friend.

“Nothing is lost. And nothing has any meaning.”

“Nothing has meaning?”

“No meaning. Only value!”

Professor Ketley thought about this answer. He thought about the machine, and about what it was designed to do. He thought about the world that this night’s work might change forever. A sudden sadness filled him, clear and bright, and complete.

WITH THE PRIEST

“You’re angry, John. Why?”

Father John leant back in his chair, and stared at the telephone on his desk.

“For an intelligent woman, Sarah, you can be very unperceptive.”

He looked up, and saw the pain in Sarah’s eyes. The patience which his profession had taught him, was dangerously near its end.

“Why are you here, Sarah?”

“I felt I had to come. I wanted to see you before … before tonight; before the experiment.”

“Are you looking for an official referee from the Catholic Church?” asked the priest, a little sarcastically.

“John, please don’t be like that.”

“You don’t understand what you’re doing, do you? You have no idea of what is resting on this experiment of yours?”

Sarah’s heart ached. She couldn’t bear it. The love she felt for this man consumed her. It filled and blinded her.

“Sarah, priests study psychology. I am fully aware that the reasons people give for their actions, and their real motives are often worlds apart. Can’t you trust me in this?”

Sarah said nothing.

Father John looked into her eyes. He couldn’t hide what he felt – not from Sarah. He certainly couldn’t hide it from himself. No words of love were ever exchanged, no physical tenderness was ever shown, but they both knew. The priest feared for his soul, or rather, he felt that he might be lost already. He was helpless and resigned.

But, there was more depending on the experiment than the welfare of one man.

“Why, Sarah, why? Why must you do this? Please tell me how it can possibly be worth the risk?”

“Risk?” Sarah looked round the room. She examined the rows of religious books. She glanced at the crucifix on the wall. Finally, she turned back to face the priest.

“John, I must know! I must find out if the soul survives. The thing I want most in life – the thing I’ve wanted for most of my life – is out of my reach. I feel cheated. Perhaps in the next life …”

John listened to his breath going in and out. His mouth hung open. He felt the pricking behind his eyes, but he would not give in to the emotions raging within him.

“Love is a terrible thing, Sarah. The love of God is the only safe love. The love of man is capable of destroying everything.”

“But …”

The priest continued. His heart was open. He must speak.

“With certain and exact knowledge, there is no faith.

“Without faith, there is no salvation.

“Think, Sarah. If you prove the existence of an afterlife by science and measurement, where is the virtue in believing in God and following God’s commands?”

Sarah saw the tears of anguish in the man’s eyes.

“Sarah, your work tonight can strip the world of belief. You can destroy my life. You can make meaningless the lives of millions!”

PARTING

There was no sound in the room apart from the insistent, metallic ‘click, click, click’ of the priest’s cheap wrist-watch. The room was filled with pain and longing.

John slipped in and out of small prayers. He was powerless. All that remained to him, was the endless burden he had chosen to take on with his vows as a priest.

All he had was trust. His whole life was based on trust. He could not stop now. He must trust in God’s infinite mercy.

With a great effort, he managed to smile at the woman who stood clasping her hands a few feet away from him. He held up his palms.

“Peace!” He had become lighter, more businesslike. “Perhaps I’m attaching too much importance to the work of three ‘mad scientists’. The Church has survived for nearly two thousand years. Why not another thousand?”

John, I must tell you …”

“No, no, no,” interrupted the priest, standing up, “Tell me later. There will be plenty of time later on.”

Sarah allowed herself to be led out through the church. Someone was at work repairing the organ. A single note sang out in the space, sounding, at the same time, both melancholy, and patiently hopeful.

“John.”

“Sarah?”

“Goodbye.”

“God be with you too, Sarah, whatever happens.”

THE STORM

The threat was carried out. The storm broke. The sudden gusts of wind became more frequent, until they formed one continuous blast, wrenching at the trees, spinning leaves into the air, and upsetting the neat order of the garden.

George and Paul sat on chairs beside the laden kitchen table. They saw the tops of their heads reflected in the window panes, and beyond the glass, the turmoil and chaos of nature gone mad.

“Do you think the ‘nodes’ will stand up to this beating, Paul?”

“Well, if a tree doesn’t fall on one of them, the tripods should hold steady. The legs go at least two feet into the ground. The cones at the end of each leg will stop them being pulled out easily. Even if one of the nodes fails completely, there is a good chance that the circle of energy will hold. Whatever we had in the ‘net’ when we turned the system on, should still be inside. Whatever enters later will be held too,” he added.

“And?”

“As I said, whatever is inside will be driven towards the centre, eventually.”

“Eventually?”

“George, you weren’t paying attention when I told you all this, weeks ago! I’ll repeat: The nodes are generating electric fields at different times, and at different frequencies. It’s not the fields themselves which are important. It’s the relationship and timing between them which will drive Sarah’s ‘ghosts’  inward. The choice of time and frequency for each node is generated by the sequencer. It works – as you know – with some rather elegant probability calculations that you provided yourself. Remember?”

“You said, ‘eventually’?”

“Oh, yes. The energy structure of a non-physical entity, or even a dispersed physical entity will only coincide with the repelling force from the circle of nodes for a brief….”

“Paul?”

“What?”

“Thanks!”

“Anytime!”

SARAH ARRIVES

“Hello, you two. Thank heavens the rain has held off. It’s a wild night out there; trees down; tiles stripped from roofs. I’ve never been so glad to get home. How is everything going? I smell coffee!”

Both men noticed the flushed cheeks and the subtle lines of strain around the woman’s eyes. Both wondered where on earth she had been for the afternoon, especially since it was really her project.

“Anything to report?” she asked.

“Not a sausage! George thinks his ‘mental catarrh’ is better, but I wonder if it’s because he never stopped using those illegal stimulants from his student days!”

“Paul, please!” exclaimed George in mock indignation, “I’m a respectable college professor now!”

Paul smiled. “The words, ‘respectable’ and ‘college professor’ go together less often than most people think, my serious friend. Sarah, have a sandwich. Have a coffee.”

“I’m too excited. I’ll wait until later. What a filthy night! You could believe anything on a night like this.”

WAITING

“Are you sure that nothing has happened?” asked Sarah, after a long hour of waiting had passed uneventfully.

Paul looked at his notes. “Nothing. There was a power drop a while back, but that was probably an overhead cable damaged by the wind, and the power station having to re-route the supply. These things happen in weather like this.”

Professor Ketley stretched back in his chair, and looked in turn at each of his companions.

“Sarah, Paul, something occurred to me when I set up my original equations.”

“What was that?” said the pair in unison.

“I had to make a certain assumption right at the beginning. I won’t bore you with the mathematics, but the design of the field generator means that the forces are concentrated in a flattened ‘bubble’ of energy lying on the earth. The field reduces quite sharply  above the upper level of the nodes, and it doesn’t go below ground level at all.

“I know the assumption that Sarah made, was that, if the souls of the dead do return, there will be a large number of them. This may be true, but if these ‘souls’ travel higher up in the air, or even below ground, we’re not going to ‘catch’ one. I’m sorry, Sarah. I know this experiment is very important to you, but for me, the whole project has been the challenge to create a sustainable field of this nature. The least I get out of the work we have done, is a substantial research paper. The same is true for Paul. Yes? No?”

Reluctantly, Paul nodded his head.

Sarah breathed a deep sigh. Why was everything so tied up with practicalities? She wanted answers. She didn’t want more problems. Why was her life so difficult, so hopeless? Why was the man she loved most in all the world, and had loved since her time at college studying for her first degree, unobtainable?

She swore under her breath, but the words offered no relief. Finally, she grinned at her two friends, and shrugged her shoulders.

“The night is young. Will you stay and see the experiment completed, even if we get nothing for our trouble? And…”

Sarah’s request was interrupted by a furious hammering. Their hearts skipped a beat. They turned and looked through the kitchen doorway, down the hall towards the front door. Even from that distance, they could see it shaking under the pounding. Sarah was the first to react.

THE MOTORIST

“Paul, you stay here and look after your machine. George and I will answer the door. The hammering continued without a break. The door rattled under the force of the blows. George felt his stomach lock in fear. Sarah went ahead and opened the door. It flew back with a violent scrabbling of desperate hands.

The man almost fell into Sarah’s arms. He was covered in mud, panting, red faced, eyes wild. Blood trickled steadily from a line of cuts across the side of his face. George felt an instinct to attack the madman and free Sarah from his clutches. Sarah saw it differently. She helped the man into the hallway, and pushed the door shut with her foot.

“You’re all right now. You’re safe. Sit down here. George, get come brandy. Bring the first-aid box from under the sink in the kitchen. Come on!”

Professor Ketley obeyed without thinking, pleased that someone was taking responsibility. The man was hoarsely gasping the same word over and over again. Finally, he understood what the man was trying to say: ‘telephone!’.

THE CAR

“You’re OK, you’re safe now. What’s happened?”

“The car! The car! The bridge! Down by the bridge! The crash! I saw the light here, through the trees. I ran as fast as I could. We must get help. Where’s the telephone? We must phone at once! Now!”

Sarah stopped bathing the cuts on the man’s face, and turned to pick up the telephone. She lifted the receiver and put it to her ear. There was no dialling tone. All she heard was a faint, crackling hum. She pushed down the button to close the circuit and released it. The same hum. She did this several times.

“Paul. Come here for a moment. Listen to this. Come here. It’s important. Tell me what’s wrong with the telephone. There’s been a crash. We must phone for help right away. Hurry up!”

Paul ran through from the kitchen carrying a small test-meter. He took the receiver from Sarah’s hand and listened, working the button up and down. He unplugged the telephone from its socket on the wall, and pushed the probes of his meter into the socket. After a few moments, he looked up at Sarah.

“It won’t work. The wires aren’t damaged, but the telephone-exchange won’t give us a line. I don’t know why.”

The man was calmer now. His breathing had steadied and lost its rasping quality. He took a deep breath and looked up at the three standing over him.

“We must get help. There’s been a terrible accident. I was driving back from work. I took this back road because I know how people drive on the main road in this awful weather. Everyone is in a mad rush to get home. I saw the rear lights of a car. Then I saw the tree down across the road – just by the bridge. I stopped, of course. I had to stop. The road was blocked. There must have been a crash. The car had driven into the tree, or the tree had fallen on the car. Terrible! We must get help!”

George put his hand on the man’s arm to get his attention.

“Someone is hurt? The person, the people in the car? Is someone hurt? Do you know how?”

“Of course! Because they hit the tree. They were hurt because they hit the tree!”

“No, no,” George persisted, “In what way are they hurt? Do you know how badly?”

The man looked up helplessly into Professor Ketley’s eyes.

“Too badly! I think … I’m sure they’re dead. Terrible! Twisted! Blood! We must … we must……”

“How many?”

“I’ve told you! There was only the driver. Terrible!”

“You’re sure that the driver is dead?”

“The eyes! The neck! White….white…”

The three experimenters moved away from the man and spoke together softly. Paul turned his back to the poor motorist and said hurriedly,

“One of us must go down to the bridge. George, if you are prepared to do it, we can give what help is necessary without having to turn off the machine. Do you understand? Sarah can look after this man. I can look after the equipment. We only need to run a few more hours.”

“It sounds a bit heartless,” said George after a moment’s thought, “But I suppose, if the driver is dead, we won’t help by wasting our night’s work – and all the weeks before. Don’t worry. I’ll go.”

“Thanks,” said Sarah, a little ashamed all the same.

George took a waterproof coat down from a hook by the door. It was a tight fit, but it was better than nothing against the scouring wind. There were no rubber boots his size. His wet shoes were cold on his feet. Sarah found a torch for him. Paul went into the kitchen and returned with a large battery lantern.

“It was for lighting up the nodes if anything went wrong in the dark,” he said, holding out the powerful torch. Professor Ketley took it, and went out through the front door, closing it behind him. The curtain beside the door flapped as the wind blew in through the broken window.

THE POWER OF THE MACHINE

“Sarah, bring him and the bottle through to the kitchen. It’s warm there. He’ll be all right.” Paul led the way.

“Poor woman,” muttered the motorist.

“What? Sorry. What did you say?”

“Poor woman. In the car: poor woman.”

Sarah felt a stab of sympathy for the driver, dying – if she was really dead – all alone on the wooded road.

“Perhaps it was quick. Perhaps she didn’t suffer too much.” The words sounded hackneyed and glib in her ears as she spoke. But she meant them, all the same. What more could we say about death. What words had not been used countless times before. They found their way onto thousands of different lips – always meant, never enough.

“Damn!” Paul swore quietly to himself.

“What is it, Paul?”

“I’m stupid. I should have realised. The phone. Of course, the phone. With all the energy we’re putting out, I’m surprised all we get is a hum, and not Mahler’s third symphony!”

“What are you saying?”

The motorist looked from one to the other. He did not seem to have noticed all the equipment piled on the table, the winking lights, the mass of cables running here and there in the comfortable country house.

“The machine! The energy fields are stopping the telephone from working properly. Sarah, I’m afraid we must turn off the device. We really must get help. Even if the woman is beyond help, we can’t leave her trapped all alone in that car for the whole night. It’s not right. Anyway, someone else may drive right into the back of her car. It’s not safe. We must turn the machine off! At once!”

THE MACHINE STOPS

Sarah stood back against the wall. She felt alone and confused. Her mind flew in every direction at once, looking for a way out.

But, underneath it all, she knew that Paul was right. It was selfish to continue the experiment if there was any chance that the phone might work again if the circle of nodes was switched off. George was not a trained medic. Even if the woman could be helped, he would not know what to do. He could only run back to the house, and the problem of the phone would still be there.

“I’m sorry, Sarah. Perhaps we can do this again next year.”

“Yes, Paul. Thank you. Turn the machine off.”

Paul paused for a moment, before reaching for the remote-control unit. The display glowed full of mysterious numbers. His finger hovered momentarily. He took a deep breath, and pushed the red button.

FADING

Sarah watched the screens and lights go blank. Immediately, as the life left the electric circuits, the room went from looking like a laboratory, back to being an ordinary kitchen, cluttered with strange bits and pieces of equipment. She felt a little faint.

“It must be the strain.”

The brightly lit room seemed to become less well defined. The edges of objects took on a vague halo, and were, somehow, insubstantial.

Sarah leaned back against the wall. The wall felt ‘soft’, as if her back was becoming numb.

“God,” she whispered to herself, “What a day! Still, it’s almost over.”

She experienced a little stab of surprise. Was she ill? The kitchen was now even hazier. She could not see along the hallway at all. Everything was hazier, dimmer. The light was going.

“What is happening?” She spoke out loud to the men sitting at the table. They did not seem to hear.

“It’s getting dark. What is happening to me? Paul. Help me. I can’t … I don’t … Call John. I want to speak to John.”

Sarah felt her mouth working, but no sound came out. The light was almost gone.

Sarah Goring faded from view, leaving the motorist and the scientist alone in the bright kitchen.

George looked at Sarah, sitting, dead, at the wheel of her car.

His tears fell on the corrupted and distorted metal panels, which were crushed beyond recognition by the great tree.

Professor Sarah Goring had the proof she wanted.

Either way, she had the proof.

P.W Barnabas – 2012

Assassins Of Hope – Slowmotion Suicide – 1982 / The Astronauts – Peter Pan Hits The Suburbs – 1981 / Various Artists – Ha Ha Funny Polis – 1981 / Various Artists – Beyond Entertainment – 1984 / Ring – Oh De Dun Dun – 1986

Assassins Of Hope – Slowmotion Suicide

An old cassette release by Assassins Of Hope is uploaded tonight, the only official release that the band sold at gigs. The songs recorded on this one sided cassette tape are as rough as old boots, a screaming holocaust of noise and a whirlwind of shouty vocals.

I like it.

The text below is courtesy of Nuzz

One band missing from Ian Glaspers excellent The Day The Country Died are THE ASSASSINS OF HOPE. The year 1981 the place London, the music anarcho-punk. This is their only recording and it is rougher than a badgers arse, but great with it. Their musical influences ranged from; The Clash, The Mob through to Theatre Of Hate and Del Shannon, not that you’d know it listening to Slowmotion Suicide. Other influences included the punk scene, the angry brigade, seeing the Anarchy Centre at Wapping work and a disillusionment with being on the football terraces. Somewhere along the line they lost their two singers; Peat Protest, Chantal and the Hope.

They found a new singer, and another guitarist and became THE ASSASSINS; musically they changed but lyrically and ideologically they remained the same and you could hear more of their influences in their sound The Ruts spring to mind. They recorded one demo and also a planned single Hell is for Heroes, which was never released. Not only were they a great band in both guises but they were top people. I remember going with ’em (when they were the assassins)to a gig in Oldham where they were supporting The Varukers. The band, the equipment and friends all crammed in the back of some box truck with no windows. They when’t down like a lead balloon with the mohawks. Then there was the time they supported Mercenary Skank and a punk theatre group, also not forgetting a gig they did with The Stingrays.

The Astronauts – Peter Pan Hits The Suburbs side 1

The Astronauts – Peter Pan Hits The Suburbs side 2

The Astronauts were partly responsible for me to start helping out at All The Madmen Records back in 1985. Just one part of a mish-mash roster of bands that included Flowers In The Dustbin, Zos Kia, Blyth Power and of course The Mob.

This the debut album co-released by local record label, Bugle and JB’s Genius Records, set up specifically for the release of this album… Bugle Records had previously released the first two Astronauts 7″ singles.

The album itself has an eclectic range of musical styles pressed into the grooves, with a guest appearance from Nic Turner, taking a break from Inner City Unit, playing his saxophone with gusto on several of the tracks.

Mark Astronauts’s well thought out lyrics are beautiful and impeccably delivered. Marks’ lyrics are always written with feeling and care, and have been that way since the songs have been appearing on cassette tapes and eventually the singles and albums.

The All The Madmen released ‘It’s All Done By Mirrors’ album that followed ‘Peter Pan Hits The Suburbs’ is equally an album of absolute quality.

Fast forward a few years and…

I once visited JB when he was staying in Chesterton Road, just off the Portobello Road in Ladbroke Grove, and he sold me all the ‘Peter Pan’ albums that he still had in a box under his bed.

These were all placed into eager hands as cheaply as I could pass them all on for, and I kept a copy myself. So I still have a mint copy of this record, sitting alongside a copy from years before which is not so mint!

A Discog surf revealed that ‘Peter Pan’ reaches a huge price nowadays, such is the eagerness to have this record in the collections of the folk that would like to add it.

Such a great album.

“It was a different world. We made a few EPs and were suddenly offered the chance to make an album. I’d had various songs (or bit of songs) in my head and when we started to rehearse them it came to me that this was not going to be an album that would be easily defined or marketed. But we pressed on in our collective inexperience and eventually we produced a record. Listening to back to it now I’m struck by its innocence and its hap-hazard ‘anarcho punk’ scene was always going to be essentially peripheral but, nonetheless, that was the movement to which I fell akin, and the songs were a product of that era. Albeit seen through a slightly distorted telescope I would like to thank all the people that made the album. Special mention to Grant Showbiz who managed to harness our aspirations into something tangible and his production was sympathetic and really brings out the ‘vibe’ of the time. Also, thanks to Nik Turner, legendary space-rock saxophone guru. Lastly, I would like to dedicate this re-release to Max, our bassist who passed away a few years after the initial release. Many musicians I currently work with weren’t born until 7 years after the album originally came out, and in my more nostalgic moments I sit by the fire with my pipe and slippers bewildering them with tales of free tours, Zounds, Here & Now, The Mob, Stonehenge, Meanwhile Gardens, Kif-Kif, Jonathan Barnett, squat gigs, Rock Against Racism and much more. It was a different world and I’m afraid it’s not coming back”

Mark Wilkins February 2011

Text below written by Robin Basak of Zero fanzine fame and ripped with love from his Acid Stings site.

Eternal long-haired losers who also have some of the best tunes this semi-legendary band has only released six albums in its long existence but each of them is a bonafide classic. The Astronauts second album ‘All Done By Mirrors’ judged by those who heard it as among the best albums of all time was a stunning collection of explosive pop songs and traditional folk ballads recorded at a time when all their gigs were with anarchist punk bands. Their fifth album ’In Defence Of Compassion’ experimented with ambient house music years before other conventional bands even thought of doing so.

Inspired by the UK punk explosion Mark Astronaut formed the band with a few friends in 1977 and began playing local gigs in their hometown of Welwyn Garden City. By 1979 The Astronauts were regularly appearing at free festivals and gigs in London organised by a hippy collective known as Fuck Off Records and from these began a close friendship with then London based punk bands Zounds and the Mob. That year the first Astronauts EP was released on local label Bugle Records and musically it reflected the hippie drug culture combined with the energy of punk. ‘All Night Party’ still sounds like the paranoid nightmare it did back then. The record established the Astronauts on the local gig scene among the non mainstream hippie/punk/biker crowd. Also in 1979 an EP was released under the assumed name of Restricted Hours on the Stevenage Rock Against Racism label. ‘Getting Things Done’ attacked the political apathy of small town life while ‘Still Living Out The Car Crash’ was musically a typically nightmarish theme.

By 1980 gigs throughout England with Zounds had won over an army of fans and the ‘Pranksters In Revolt’ EP sold all its copies within weeks. Musically the four songs were not as adventurous as the first EP although the lyrics were as incisive as ever. Like many great bands from the post punk era the Astronauts were completely ignored by the UK music press which then as now was only interested in anything trendy, fashionable or middle class. Local fanzine Zero began to champion the band as did the local newspapers.

‘Peter Pan Hits The Suburbs’ album was released in 1981 to widespread acclaim. Incredibly it received great reviews in virtually all the UK music press. The typical Astronauts audience at the time was largely hardcore punks attracted by the energetic gigs and a handful of hippies so the album was something of a surprise. Full of heartfelt folk ballads and featuring legendary saxophonist Nic Turner, the album was not what fans had expected but appealed to a different audience. The contradiction of heavy chaotic punk performances and structured melodic alternative pop/folk/ambient songs continues to this day.

Throughout 1982-1985 there were hundreds of gigs with the many anarcho punk bands of the era and ‘All Done By Mirrors’ was arguably the finest album to date. The ‘Soon’ album featured great songs but was let down by lifeless production while the ‘Seedy Side Of Paul’ album combined a scathing indictment of the 1980’s attitudes of greed with some truly wonderful songs.

Ha Ha Funny Polis side 1

Ha Ha Funny Polis side 2

Uploaded today is a four track E.P from four separate bands from around Paisley, a town slightly west of the city of Glasgow in Scotland.

Listening to the tracks on this E.P, a set of songs that are strongly anti ‘polis’ (police), I realise, how truly wonderful the sound of the bands were. I can only assume that these bands did not get out of Scotland that often, although Mike’s article mentions a gig in Leeds during a showcase tour with all the bands featured on this E.P. If you missed these bands in the flesh back at the dawn of the 1980’s then there was at least a handful of 7″ single releases all based around these bands released on Groucho Marxist records to fall back on.

X.S Discharge is the standout track for me personally.

I do not know a lot about the bands featured on this record, but thankfully Inflammable Material / Defiant Pose main man Mike Clarke does know a bunch, Some of the text from the original KYPP post is written out below.

“The ‘Ha! Ha! Funny Polis’ E.P itself, despite ritual patronizing reviews in the national press and though less gleefully amateurish and individualistic than the debut E.P, wins out through its sheer verve and immediacy. Recorded live in one day again, this time at Sirocco Studios in Kilmarnock, X.S Discharge once more borrowed Snexx drummer Ian Andrews for “Lifted”, the almost endearing tale of police brutality. Defiant Pose shambolically urge local youth to “Fight,” the Fegs posthumously decry the local cop-shop in ‘Mill Street Law And Order”, and Urban Enemies, noted for their on-stage uniform of striped mohair jumpers and ‘the ultimate fat kid street gang member…playing bass’ (Sounds) play a lighter, more melodic punk reminiscent of early Outcasts, with plenty of S.L.F tuneage and plaintive “whoah whoah” vocals, only let down by the painful “because we only wanna rock’n’roll” refrain on the chorus. As with the first E.P there is none of the calculated pretension you might have expected from a similar project originating in London or Manchester. With traditional D.I.Y constraints ever to the forefront, the bands simply plug in and play, first or second take, overdubs / polishing irrelevant. As a whole, the record benefits from a collective theme, and reflects the dynamic, rabble-rousing vision of Tommy Kayes himself. Joe McGlynn remembers driving down to London’s Rough Trade with Kayes and Harris in a car crammed with boxes of the single: “We were stopped and searched in an underground carpark by Special Branch (the I.R.A were busy at the time), they opened all the boxes and I thought our time was up, but they let us go. I don’t know what they were looking for, maybe they didn’t know what ‘Polis’ meant, ha ha! Arriving at Rough Trade, the Spizz Energi single ‘Where’s Captain Kirk?’ had just been released: strangely, that was the name of the top cop in Paisley whom our record was dedicated to. Good old Rough Trade, they took every single copy, agreed to distribute them, AND paid us in cash!”

The full post on KYPP may be looked and listened to HERE

Well worth looking at and listening to.

Beyond Entertainment side 1

Beyond Entertainment side 2

A cassette tape and booklet that I have had in my possession, that I knew very little about until I uploaded the audio up on KYPP in 2008, and Nic Bullen and someone called Andrew both offered a snippet of information for me.

I met Stephen Thrower a few times in the late 1980’s or early 1990’s, as he was the partner (and still is the partner) to my old childhood friend Simon (now known as Ossian Brown) and both have collaborated in Coil, Current 93 and are both active in Cyclobe to this day…

My top tracks on this cassette tape are U.V Pop (sounding a little like Come (the first Whitehouse outfit which was a little more guitar based) with ‘Be Yourself’.

Then a track in a more classic Whitehouse style, from JahaitB2 with the ironic ‘Love Song’.

And my favorite is the hypnotic middle eastern chant-like ‘Why Did Daddy Die’ from the strangely named 391.

Their comments left on the old KYPP post are below.

Possession included Steve Thrower who went on to become a member of Coil during their early period up to 1992 (as well as playing drums on Skullflower’s classic ‘Form Destroyer’ 12″), and now works under the name Cylobe…

He also contributed articles to the 1980’s Euro-Horror-and-Obscurities magazine Shock Xpress which was edited by guitar demon Stefan Jaworzyn whose acid-damaged guitar made the early Skullflower slabs so vital…

Jaworzyn also ran the Shock record label which put out some great releases by Coil, Nurse with Wound, Ramleh, the Blue Humans and Drunks with Guns (one of my all-time favourite bands)…

UV Pop had a single out on Pax Records (recorded at Cabaret Voltaire’s Western Works studio) which released the ‘Wargasm’ comp LP (featuring Flux, Poison Girls, The System, and Dead Kennedys among others) and the first Anti-System ep (total Discharge worship with heavy Animal Rights message)…

I played a couple of concerts (on the same day!) with O Yuki Conjugate back in 1993: one at a festival in Belgium and then at the Paradiso in Amsterdam…There were some great artists playing as well including Rapoon (ex-Zoviet France), Main (ex-Loop) and God (featuring Kev Martin – aka The Bug: ‘London Zoo’ LP is great!) who were absolutely ferocious as usual…

I was in Scorn at the time, and just enjoyed O Yuki’s sets (I didn’t play with them)…We were supposed to play quite late (1 am-ish) in Belgium, but had been double-booked with the gig in Amsterdam, so we played early in the afternoon…

I forgot that Thrower also edited his own Euro-Horror-Sleaze magazine called Eyeball in the later 1980’s: a great source for obscure Italian Giallo films at the time…

Nic Bullen

As a member of O Yuki Conjugate back then – and still now – I can confirm that the Final Image cassette was released by myself along with the late D P Benson on our fledgling label. It was a taster of bands involved in both Final Image and a-mission (ran by Gordon Hope).

Many bands were collaborations of artists and were never heard of again. Some – like O Yuki Conjugate – went on to have “careers” of sorts.

a-mission released O Yuki Conjugate, Fazzini and Possession’s first albums along with a few other classics before disappearing for good into the bowels of the Post Office. As far as I know this was the extent of Thrower’s involvement with Possession.

Final Image released O Yuki Conjugate, Son of Sam and a few others before quitting when Red Rhino took all the profits.

As for the gigs.. the Amsterdam one was a classic, the Belgian one a shambles due to the late hour and the sweat dripping off the ceiling which fused the DAT machine! A couple of us also took to the stage and bongo-ed our way onto a Main track as far as I recall.

Crazy.

Andrew

Ring – O De Dun Dun side 1

Ring – O De Dun Dun side 2

I saw several performances by Ring, and they were always a decent night out. As were The Cardiacs, a band with a similar musical template to work from.

This YouTube post features Ring’s second demo / album only available on cassette tape. Or at least it was back when I bought it at one of Ring’s gigs in 1986.

I used to have the first demo / album released on Big Banana Productions, a year or so earlier. I cannot find that cassette tape right now though. This second cassette tape was released in 1986 by Ring Mission Control, I assume the bands own label.

I must be honest but I am feeling very very lazy today, so I will add to this text another time. This YouTube post was a rush job for Mick Beadle who leaving a comment requesting it on one of the KYPP pages.

So, I just ripped the text below off of Wiki…

Ring were an English psychedelic rock band active during the 1980’s.

The band is notable for having helped to launch the subsequent musical careers of Robert White (Levitation, The Milk And Honey Band), Michael Tubb (also of The Milk And Honey Band) and Christian Hayes (Cardiacs, Levitation, Dark Star, Mikrokosmos).

The band were noted for their diverse music “blending all manner of riffs and noises” and for their tendency to use circus-style face-paint. This sometimes resulted in them being accused of copying Cardiacs, a fellow musical act of the time that had emerged some years previously and were already renowned for their eclectic and unique sound, as well as their manically exaggerated stagecraft and use of face-paint. Commenting on the Zag And The Coloured Beads homepage, one unidentified member or associate of Ring (allegedly singer Jonny Karma) has admitted that Ring’s final cassette album, Nervous Recreations, sounded “transparently in awe of Cardiacs.”

Ring evolved out of the south London experimental rock scene of the 1980’s and played frequently at London free festivals of the time. The band released three cassette albums and had a shifting line-up in which members used a variety of pseudonyms.

The two consistent core members were Ian “Zag” Faichne (guitar, synthesizer, vocals, percussion) and Robert White (bass, synthesizer, vocals and guitar). Other key members included Bronwen Greaves (synthesizer and vocals) and Mick Oynugulos (drums), both of whom played on the first two cassette albums. Michael Tubb contributed to the middle period of Ring activity, playing guitar on the second cassette album (O De Dun Dun). Greaves and Oynuglos left the band before the third cassette album Nervous Recreations, for which White and Zag were joined by a new line-up including Christian “Bic” Hayes (guitar, synthesizer, vocals), Adrian (percussion) and Stompy and Jonny Karma (vocals).

It is not precisely recorded when Ring came to an end, but it seems likely that the band petered out in 1990 following White and Hayes’ recruitment into Levitation – a band with much more music industry interest (and consequently larger demands regarding time and commitment) than their other projects).

To compliment the audio, I have placed up photographs from the collections of Jen Wilson, Robere Du Bilge Ratte, Janet Henbane and a couple from my collection.

There are black and white photographs of Brougham Road and then squatted bus garage (which was based very near to Brougham Road) in Hackney.

Then there are some colour photographs of members of the Peace Convoy and their vehicles on sites across England.

Thanks to those folks in advance.

Psychic T.V – Manchester Ritz – November 1983 – The debut performance.

Indebted to Alberto Diez for supplying me with this rare footage of the earliest incarnation of Psychic TV. It is quite an extraordinary piece of history for Psychic T.V and Throbbing Gristle followers.

Thank you Alberto.

Below is a review from Steve of the Muh Mur blog who was there on the night.

Thanking him in advance.

Psychic TV live at The Ritz in Manchester, 6th of November 1983, the first Psychic TV live gig…

“It was a rainy day in Manchester”.

Probably was, I can’t remember…I can remember a lot about this night, this unforgettable night. I travelled from Lincoln via Hulme to get to The Ritz. Sean (my Dark Companion) and I were first there.

The demonstrators were just setting up, getting their chants and placards ready .. probably waiting for the coaches from London, but Sean and I just flashed our tickets to the lady on the door and walked in.

Members of Psychic TV were sat across two tables drinking cans of Carling Black Label (white tins with a black stripe back then … always reminded me of the Crystal Palace away strip, but I digress). A passing smile and nod and we headed straight to the bar.

Originally the first ever Psychic TV live gig should have been at Prestwich Mental Hospital with Nico as support, but local council complaints meant it was hastily moved to a nightclub just off the Oxford Road. With my warm pint of lager in a plastic pint pot in hand I spent the evening front centre. The stage makes a good table and the monitors a great place to throw the coat. No Nico at The Ritz.

Looped footage of Jim Jones in action on a makeshift screen stage right. The place slowly filled, the coaches from London arrived. Members of Test Department came to check the on stage equipment. Anticipation. There was a strange climbing frame on the stage, Genesis used it during the performance.

“Don’t Forget Ken, Make It Hurt”. I have never forgotten those words… The performance is magnificent. It hits a lull in the middle, and if I remember rightly this was down to failing equipment. Gen’s bass guitar and Sleazy’s Emulator…but the power of the performance of the material is still quite stunning. “Roman P” and “Oi You Skinhead” shine. During “Oi You Skinhead” Gen leapt from the stage and started accosting the audience. Frightening moment. Do you remember going to gigs and being scared, scared of the performance and the unknown? Great days.

There are Genesis’s stream of conscience poetry bits that are a little cringeworthy. Moments where he tries to embarrass John Gosling for wearing a leather skirt and rambling on about straining “for a poo”….

Alex Fergusson’s sub Velvets guitar meanderings in the background…but these moments pass and the power builds, ends with a cracking “Unclean” into “In The Nursery”.

After The Ritz I must have seen Psychic TV a dozen or more times (not quite 23 though) and they always did great / powerful performances in Manchester.

I would love to hear (crystal clear) recordings of the Guy Fawkes gig at The Hacienda in 1984 and when they appeared at The Royal Northern College Of Music a year later.

Thank You Dad.

Steve Muh Mur

From his blog: HERE

Here is a good piece on the Final Academy Brixton Ritz night held thirteen months before in 1982 HERE

Rockaway Park / All The Madmen Records – Temple Cloud – Somerset – BS39 5BU

I have been to visit Rockaway Park / All The Madmen which is based at Temple Cloud, a small village in Somerset, four times now. Once in 2011, once in 2012, once in 2013 and earlier this year in April, coinciding with Mark’s birthday, and the birthday of my son. Both born on the same date in April.

Along with Dial House (the infamous communal home of Crass) based at North Weald, near Epping in Essex, Rockaway Park is one of the most interesting places I have had the pleasure of visiting.

Mark from The Mob is responsible for the grounds that Rockaway Park is situated on, and Mark is also responsible for the numerous buildings that occupy these grounds up high on a hill surrounded by beautiful countryside.

The buildings were in the main, designed by Mark, and were built using a fair percentage of recycled material. Different sized glass sourced from somewhere or other, wood off-cuts, old and odd doors. Everything about these buildings is awe inspiring. A truly epic undertaking by Mark, with the help of his family, and his friends.

The main building that was built on the land was entwined in some legal wrangling some time ago, culminating in August 2012 with fingers crossed and ending up in a surge of relief as common sense prevailed. All those legal worries are now recent past history thankfully.

There are several activities being held in the living quarters in the mail home, and in the other buildings on the land. There is now regular Yoga classes being held. Metal workshops, woodwork workshops, and there are small units for art workshops being constructed, or possibly already constructed as this post is written several months after I was last there!

The studio / rehearsal space is now active, and the bed and breakfast rooms are very popular.

The scrap yard area is used for the storage of weird and wonderful oddities, as well as genuine scrap. Health and safety regulations taking a back seat, as Mark moves one car or a van onto a shipping container, or placed into, or onto, an old broken tree. Mark thrashing around a scrapyard in a huge fork lift lifting up old battered cars and dumping them in seemingly impossible places (but worth a punt anyway) is a sight to behold.

The kind of activities that boys of all ages would enjoy participating in!

An original Mutoid Waster, Sam Hegarty, has some oddities stored in the scrap yard for his ‘Unfairground’ project. Other like-minded folks store equally weird and wonderful oddities there. Wandering the grounds, I see constructions of (un)beauty.

Everywhere you look, some other guerrilla art or sculpture jumps out at you, whether in the buildings or outside in the grounds.

Mark deals in scrap metal, so there are always old vehicles being torn apart for the recycling of the parts. If you need a part for a vehicle then Mark might be the person to talk to, whether it is an engine part for an obscure truck, or an airplane cockpit, or even a decorative three metre high bomb or two.

Many other new ideas for the use of the buildings and the land are continually being thought of in the collective consequences of the folk involved, so KYPP might be informed of other projects in the near future.

Spray paint artists like Boswell have been busy decorating on some of the buildings. Other spray paint artists are welcome to take a corner not yet used I understand.

Below is a YouTube video of Tarantism (acoustic) with a cover version of ‘Punks With Guns’ originally by PAIN. An old punk song for the first EVER recording from Rockaway Studio. The engineers were Magnus and Lex who may be contacted via Rockaway Park. Details below.

The video was filmed at Rockaway Park, so you can get a view of the grounds there at the time of writing this post…

As with everything at Rockaway Park, the recording studio is built with the old punk D.I.Y attitude.

Get involved yourselves.

Go and visit Rockaway Park, and if this post is of any interest to you, ring one of the telephone numbers below and ask about staying for a day or two in one of the rooms, or book rooms via AirBnB. Vegetarian or vegan breakfast included.

Here are some useful links.

All The Madmen Records HERE

Rockaway Park HERE

The Mob / All The Madmen Facebook HERE

Photographs of Rockaway Park on The Mob / All The Madmen Records Facebook HERE

Rockaway Park Facebook HERE

AirBnB for staying overnight, weekends or longer HERE or HERE or HERE

Wind turbine course HERE

Pilates and yoga HERE

Rockaway Studio HERE

Contact details:

marta@rockawaypark.co.uk

mark@rockawaypark.co.uk

All The Madmen Records
The Quarry
Eastcourt Road
Temple Cloud
Bristol
BS39 5BU

01761 452 177

07913 657 737

07976 270 598

Below is an older YouTube post, that I put together with some of the photographs that I had taken of Rockaway Park between 2011 and 2013 accompanying audio from a couple of 7″ singles, one by The Mob and one by The Astronauts, that had been released on All The Madmen Records.

The recent singles by The Mob and The Astronauts were both released on the revived All The Madmen record label.

All The Madmen Records are not based in Yeovil any more. Nor in Hackney. Nor in Kings Cross.

All The Madmen Records is now based at Temple Cloud, a village in Somerset between Bristol and Bath.

I liked these two singles that were released back in 2012 and 2013, so I decided to upload them onto YouTube.

My photographs that accompanying the ‘video’ are just a small selection that were taken during my visits from 2011 to 2013, and hopefully will give you a glimpse of the buildings and the truly beautiful land that surrounds those buildings.

Track listing for this YouTube post:

The Mob: Nothing You’ve Got I Want
The Astronauts: Typically English Day (original)
The Astronauts: New Dixie Land Blues (re-recorded)
The Astronauts: Typically English Day (re-recorded)
The Mob: Rise Up

Get involved yourselves.

Another Green World – A Real Kavoom – 1984 / The Mob – Arnheim – June 1979 / Misty In Roots – People Unite Records & Black Slate – Slate Records – 1978 – Flux Of Pink Indians – Hartham Common – May 1983 / Rising Free compilation – Androidia Flux – 1984 / Vagina Dentata Organ – World Satanic Network Systems – 1984

Another Green World side 1

Another Green World side 2

Another Green World, a band named after the seminal Eno album from 1975, were Paul Chousmer and Dan Carpenter.

This duo were also members of Webcore, at the same time. In Webcore, Paul was on the keyboards, and Dan was the saxophone player.

Based in Cornwall, Another Green World and Webcore were at the start of a new generation of younger individuals who were interested in psychedelia, free festivals, spiritualism, magic mushrooms, body piercings, dreadlocks and travelling around on converted buses.

This movement eventually got tagged as New Age Travelers in the press, or as the Peace Convoy by the actual participants themselves.

Another Green World originally formed to perform the early morning chill outs at a regular Ozric Tentacles / Webcore venue Alice In Wonderland based underground at Gossips in W1 in 1983.

The duo headlined the opening night at Molly’s Cafe, the squatted City Limits building on Upper Street, Islington. They performed in an outside courtyard, all candle lit with the audience sitting down.

Another Green World and Webcore were both regulars at the early Club Dog events. The first Club Dog venue was based in Wood Green, but a year or so later, Club Dog found it’s spiritual home at the Sir George Robey in Finsbury Park, and the ‘trip’ continued there for several years.

Other than the Club Dog nights, I saw Another Green World (and Webcore) perform several times in various squats and venues around the city. The Mankind Club (Kerouacs) above Hackney Central station, the Jungle Records building (at that point squatted) in Islington, and the 121 Club and Bookshop in Brixton, another squat, being three of the more memorable occasions.

The cassette tape uploaded tonight on YouTube is the first Another Green World release, and is ambient and quite soothing. The duo went on to release several records and C.D’s, and the duo performed throughout the latter part of the ’80’s and through the ’90’s, notably at Whirl-Y-Gig psychedelic events based in Kings Cross.

The Real Kavoom cassette tape imprint, that this Another Green World album was released on, was also known for the first two cassette tape albums by Webcore, released in 1984 and 1985. Jungle Records released two further Webcore albums on vinyl and a 12″ single a couple of years later in 1987 and 1988.

Phil Pickering, the bassist of Webcore and Vane, was the man behind A Real Kavoom. He was also a member of Goat, a band that had the first cassette tape, and the only record released on A Real Kavoom in 1982. The vinyl released with the support of Fresh Records.

Goat were an electronica band, similar to Cabaret Voltaire in parts, that had some connection with Cuddly Toys. I think Sean Purcell was writing and recording with the band.

Three members of Webcore, the bassist (Phil Pickering), drummer and the keyboard player (Paul Chousmer) were also in a Chelmsford based band Vane.

Vane were active from 1979 to 1982.

Vane were named after the vocalist James Vane who had entered the music world in 1976 as lead singer of a cover band called The Void. He later played with unrecorded punk group, The Straights, and with Powerpop combo The Gents.

James Vane managed to get two records released on Island records ‘Judy’s Come Down’ produced by Mike Oldfield no less, and ‘Glamorous Boys’, but alas I do not own either of these artifacts.

A cassette tape by Vane was posthumously released by A Real Kavoom that I do own. Five tracks of funky bass backing up flanged guitar lines, trippy keyboards, with vocals reminiscent of Peter Murphy of Bauhaus crossed with David Sylvian of Japan.

To compliment the Another Green World audio, I have placed up photographs from the collections of Jen Wilson, Robere Du Bilge Ratte, Janet Henbane and a couple from my collection.

There are black and white photographs of Brougham Road and the squatted bus garage (which was based very near to Brougham Road) in Hackney.

There are some colour photographs of members of the Peace Convoy and their vehicles on sites across England.

Thanks to those folks in advance.

The Mob – Arnheim – 1979

A mixing desk cassette tape of a performance by The Mob and a good example of the set list at that time in 1979.

The mini European tour that this gig was included on, was with Here And Now and a bus load of other support acts, including Zounds.

I have a mixing desk cassette tape of The Mob in Amsterdam recorded on the 5th June 1979 that may be listened to below.

The songs performed at this gig in Arnheim were written way before the ‘peace punk’ tag that The Mob carried around until the end of 1983, and that the band are better known for.

These songs will surprise many listeners. Some of these songs did end up being recorded cheaply and placed onto various compilation cassette tapes, released on Jonathan Barnett’s ‘Weird Tales’ cassette imprint.

Jonathan Barnett was a one time roadie for Here And Now, Zounds and several other ‘free festival’ bands of that era. He was also in charge of Genius Records, a record label that were responsible (in part) for releasing the debut Astronauts album ‘Peter Pan Hits The Suburbs’.

Many of the songs performed are raw and basic, although a few of the songs in the early set, did make it through until the end of 1983. Namely ‘What’s Going On?’, ‘Youth’, and ‘The Mirror Breaks’. Of course those songs are still included in The Mob’s set in the 2000’s.

Most songs performed at this gig, and throughout this era, were jettisoned in favour of the newer songs that were being written, eventually ending up on the album, ‘Let The Tribe Increase’ and of course’ No Doves Fly Here’.

Grant Showbiz, from Street Level studios, can be heard on the mixing desk mic. Mark, an able guitarist, Curtis a solid bassist and one shit hot drummer in Graham Fallows, who also sings a few of the tracks.

Enjoy the audio on this YouTube post, but, be wary, if you are hoping for the songs that later ended up on the ‘Let The Tribe Increase’ album, then prepare to be disappointed!

I have placed my copy of the first All The Madmen fanzine, the pages that seemed to have been cut off from scanning are not cut off by the scanning, that’s how my copy was printed, so not my fault!!!

The original artwork painted by Wilf for The Mob is from Joanne’s collection.

Also Andy Tuck supplied the stencil of The Mob.

Misty In Roots side 1

Misty In Roots side 2

Black Slate side 1

Black Slate side 2

The two debut 12″ singles from two heavyweights of the U.K roots scene. Misty In Roots and Black Slate.

These two 12″ singles find both bands on top of their game, all four tracks are massive, massive, massive. If you missed that, I’ll repeat it for you. Massive. Decent Sound System fodder.

Which reminds me. Myself and Kevin (ex Conflict) had a little Thursday roots reggae evening residency at the White Hart in Clapton, a pub next door to the old Dougies (later on known as Pegasus) night club. A night club of some danger in it’s time. A number of stabbings and shootings there, along the top of what was dubbed ‘Murder mile’. I was spinning a track off of the Black Slate album of dub mixes released on Top Ranking records (released in 1982) and a man came over from the bar and started chanting on the microphone, which we barely used. The man was quite good. We asked him who he was after his little chanting. He said he was a member of Black Slate when the record was recorded. Anthony Brightly. Myself and Kevin were a little bit in awe at that point, but carried on regardless after picking up our jaws from the floor.

Misty In Roots have played together for the past twenty years, first coming together in 1975 and working as a backing band for the late, great Nicky Thomas – one of Jamaica’s all time greats who had achieved national chart success with songs such as “Living In The Land Of The Common People”.

Nicky Thomas was the inspiration from which Misty developed.

By 1978 Misty In Roots began to develop their own orthodox roots reggae sound. Their powerful lyrics inspired by the economic decline, a growing awareness of their African culture and a spiritual awakening inspired tracks as “Ghetto Of The City”, “Sodom And Gomorrah” and “Mankind” all off which can be found on the band’s first album “Live At The Counter Eurovision”.

During the period 1977/78 the political situation in the U.K. was a breaking point. Black consciousness was at its peak and racism roamed the streets of London. Unemployment was affecting both black and white youths and through this depression a new musical alliance was born, young white youths totally fed up with the status-quo turned to playing punk music whilst at the same time identifying strongly with the British reggae acts as Misty In Roots, Steel Pulse, Black Slate and Aswad. With the coming of the ‘Rock against Racism’ movement the musical fight-back had begun and for the first time black and white musicians were playing together on the same platform bringing about a totally new concept in musical awareness.

Misty In Roots, one of the most powerful live reggae acts to have come out of London and noted for their powerful roots reggae sound and uncompromising lyrical vibrations, became the major force in Rock Against Racism, playing more concerts than any other band in the movement. This opened up a whole new audience for the band who quickly developed a very strong cross over audience, playing with acts such as Tom Robinson, The Ruts and Elvis Costello.

Despite Misty In Roots huge success as a live act the band did not release their first album until 1979. The album “Live At The Counter Eurovision”, which was recorded live in Belgium during the band’s 1978 tour, is today still proclaimed by many critics as the best live reggae album of all time.

Black Slate was formed in 1974, and included musicians from England, Jamaica, and Anguilla. They were backing band for Delroy Wilson and Ken Boothe on their UK appearances.

The band had their first reggae-chart hit themselves in 1976, with the anti-mugging song “Sticks Man”.

The band also lined up with Disco Reggae Band under Disco Reggae Band & Black Slate. The record hit the Dutch and Flemish charts as well, after being an underground hit in Antwerp discothèques.

The band toured the UK for the first time in 1978, and formed their own TCD label, having a minor hit with “Mind Your Motion”.

The band also backed Dennis Brown when he played live in the UK, and in 1980 their Rastafarian rallying call, “Amigo”, was picked up by Ensign Records, and broke into the UK Singles Chart.

The follow-up, “Boom Boom” was also a hit, though less successful.

An album, Sirens In The City, followed on Ensign the following year.

Flux Of Pink Indians – Hartham Common – 1983

A NOTE: The first four minutes of this audio is taken up by National Front members having a ‘debate’ with members of Flux Of Pink Indians on the stage. Flux do start performing four minutes in, although it is worth listening to the ‘debate’!

A great afternoon out in a Hertford park for a peace festival organised by Hertford and Ware C.N.D.

Plenty of bearded folk bands playing forever and ever, so long in fact that my younger brother’s band at the time, Necro, and another punk band, Strontium 90, were told that they could not be fitted onto the bill after all.

So a little disappointed and clutching unused guitars and drum sticks, we all settled down to witness D&V perform a short set in a truck being used as the ‘stage’.

Then up stepped Flux Of Pink Indians to perform in the very same truck witnessed by about forty or fifty people.
Some were into the performance. Some wanted to cause trouble during the performance. Some were just half interested in the performance.

There were about fifteen school boy ‘punks’, friends of Necro and Strontium 90.
There were about fifteen National Front members from Harlow and Hertford.
There were about fifteen random members of the general public, who wandered to the ‘stage’, and then wandered away, due to Flux not being Wham, or whichever band was popular with some of the youth in those days.

A couple of the ‘Fronters’ were amazingly allowed (amazing due to supposed time limitations that was the excuse for my younger brothers band not performing!) to debate the pros and cons of nuclear weapons at the start of this set… All with the ‘permission’ of Colonel Blimp (Derek Birkett) who looked on bewildered, while adding some wiser words to the ‘debate’!

The recording quality is not that great – a bit of chatter during some of the tracks – sorry, and sadly I seem to have recorded over the B-side of the cassette tape so a few tracks are missing from the recording of this performance.

My younger brothers band mate, drummer Tim Voss recorded the performance on the day. Hopefully he has the full recording.

Tim’s memories:

“I organised the music for this festival.The ‘stage’ was a lorry blagged from the lorry park near the old Hertford cinema by an enterprising member of C.N.D (there was a crate of beer in it for the driver).

I believe the festival had been targeted by the National Front who had previously organised annual marches in nearby Harlow and had a scary presence at a number of local punk gigs. If you remember the boneheads dropped a chair onto Rob’s (my younger brother) head at an Adicts gig in Stevenage Bowes Lyon House.

The National Front also stopped a Conflict gig in Hoddesdon, another gig that Necro should have performed at!

Quite a few of the local ‘Fronters’ did end up doing time at her Majesty’s pleasure, although not for Nazi related activity, usually just being bad thieves and moronically violent.

I also found out that a wedding in the church at the top of hill in Bengeo had to be stopped during the service due to the noise of this gig”.

More on this day, and this gig, and the small local scene may be viewed on this KYPP post here along with downloads of the three local bands HERE

Well worth a read and a listen.

The images that accompany the audio are from my collection, and the local newspaper cutouts from (I think) Bill’s collection.

Bill is the guy photographed at the front of the march in one of the newspaper photographs holding the ‘HER’ banner. HER-tford C.N.D. The other newspaper photograph is some bonehead on the ‘stage’.

The last few seconds of the audio has an image of my younger brother and myself circa 1982. I have the black and white mohair jumper and white jeans on…

Side 1

Side 2

This rare cassette tape, is from the same VISA / ??? Flux label as the KUKL cassette tape that I recently uploaded onto YouTube.

This cassette tape is on Androidia / Flux and KUKL was on Rebel Flux both subsidiaries of VISA.

This cassette tape features live concert performances, I assume from the same live concert in Paris, by D&V, Bérurier Noir, Faction and Subhumans.

I know about D&V, I know about Faction. I also know about Subhumans. I knew less than nothing about Bérurier Noir until two minutes ago, after an internet search.

This description of the band is worthy of placing up on the limit character limit allowed on YouTube.

Bérurier Noir is a French punk band formed in Paris in 1981 by Laurent “Loran” Katrakazos (guitar), François Guillemot (vocals) and Dédé (drum machine). They called themselves “noir” (black) for the color of mourning (because their first concert was planned to be also their last) and for anarchy and “Bérurier” after the character from the novels of Frédéric Dard. Instead of being an end, the success of their first show inspired them to continue. A cult band, Bérurier Noir were loved by a generation of youth and feared by concert organisers for the riots that followed their shows.

On the one hand, Bérurier Noir’s music was clearly derived from British punk rock as far as music and lyrics were concerned. Most of their songs were short, aggressive and usually based on a couple of basic power chords. Their lyrics reflected the typical concerns of punks such as the rejection of consumerism, politics and traditional social order and the anger felt by disaffected youth, tramps and outsiders in general. On the other, they added some interesting innovations. Their rhythm section consisted of a cheap (but still more reliable than a drummer) drum machine, which became an essential and arguably endearing part of their sound. The frequent use of a saxophone as of the mid-1980s also set them apart from most other punk rock bands.

They would regularly appear on record sleeves and on stage wearing clown outfits, mock police uniforms or pig masks. Their shows were a unique and highly festive cross between a punk rock concert, a grotesque circus and an anarchist rally.

AND:

In the early 1980’s, the punk movement lived its second life, and that was also true in France, where an early and intense first wave had failed to garner attention. A couple of bands, most of which survived for a long time, made this second movement truly exciting, and Bérurier Noir remains the most famous and respected of those. Fists and red-and-black flags raised, this gang of anarchist clowns was the perfect example of independence and social conscience.

Musically, even though band members were numerous on-stage, they took on the guitar/beat box formula initiated by Metal Urbain, simply adding saxophone riffs now and then, leaving plenty of space for their political and social slogans.

Their career began in 1981, but they truly gained massive recognition with the release of a first studio album, 1984’s Macadam Massacre. It was followed by two other albums, Concerto Pour Detraques (1985) and Abracadabraboum (1987), plus a bunch of EPs. But it’s safe to say that Béru (as they are often called), was much more a live act than anything else. Their concert tickets were as cheap as possible, and each member had his own day job to enable complete independence for their musical venture. In 1988, some of the band members were suspected of a terrorist related activity, and even though they were quickly found innocent, the band’s career had received a severe frontal shock. After the release of Souvent Fauche in 1989, Béru called it a day.

If you know Bérurier Noir, but in the unlikely event, know nothing of D&V, Faction or Subhumans then feel free to follow my lead, and look them up on the internet.

Another plus side to internet searches is ending up on Discogs.

This cassette tape and the KUKL one I placed up recently command high prices, especially with all the booklets and inserts.

As both mine have, from purchase in the early – mid 1980’s.

Kerr-ching.

Side 1

Side 2

Calanda is a small remote village in the Teruel province (situated in the center of the region of Aragon) where once a year, one of the most beautiful pagan festivals in the western world is celebrated.

Anyone can participate in “La Rompida De La Hora” in Calanda. The festival attracts thousands of people, the population of the village, and many hundreds of visitors from across Spain and the world.

For the public to participate in the festival, they must wear ornamental purple robes and hoods.

The robe and hood is similar in style to the Klu Klux Klan outfits that are worn by Klans-men in the southern states of America. Some participants to the festival have Carbine muskets attached to their persons, for show, not for use.

Elderly and young men and woman and children of all ages interpret the different rhythms when beating the drums.The groups gather around the local church, take up their drums, form bands spontaneously, and start producing more or less arbitrary rhythms.

This ritual jamming takes off at noon on Good Friday and ends exactly one day later on Easter Saturday. For twenty four hours and without pauses or orchestrated compositions, bands of drummers dwell through the streets of Calanda.

When one band meets another band, they start dueling, until all drummers find themselves in agreement with a certain rhythm. After their encounter and mutual jamming, the bands move on and prepare themselves for the next battle.

A masterful description of the deep experience of hearing and beating the drums at Calanda had been given by the film maker Luis Bunuel.

“Toward noon on Good Friday the drummers gather in the main square opposite the church and wait there in total silence. When the first bell in the church tower begins to toll, a burst of sound, like a terrific thunderclap, electrifies the whole village. All the drums explode at the same instant. A sort of wild drunkenness breaks out among the players; they beat for two hours until the procession forms, then it leaves the square. When two groups beating two different tempos meet at one of the village crosses, they engage in a duel which may last as long as an hour – or until the weaker group relents and keep the victor’s rhythm. By the early hours of Saturday morning, the skin of the drums is stained with blood, through the beating hands belonging to villagers, and visitors. As the bell tolls the noon hour, the drums suddenly fall silent, but even after the rhythms of the daily life have been re-established, some villagers still speak in an oddly halting manner, an involuntary echo of the beating drums…”

Jordi Vall’s World Satanic Network Systems have released other recordings on vinyl which are all extremely rare:

I: VAGINA DENTATA ORGAN PRESENTS : MUSIC FOR THE HASHISHINS, IN MEMORIAM OF HASSAN-I-SABBAH. (TRAINED TO KILL/SEXUAL).

All you hear on both sides of this album is the wild growl of a real dog trained to kill. It’s violent and cruel. A passionate, and desperate appeal to murder. I call it poetry without rhetoric.

In 1984, Spanish TV invited Derek Jarman, Psychic TV and Vagina Dentata Organ to perform on a live TV programme in Madrid called ‘La Eldad De Oro’.

We all had live interviews. Derek showed his short films, Psychic TV played a long live set together with monumental videos on magick occultism.

At the end of the two hours I (Vagina Dentata Organ) closed the night performing ‘Music For Hashishins’, on an emulator, with sixteen real, very nervous Alsatian dogs tied on a leash to the stage. At the same time I destroyed three large paintings by Casademont – a well-known Catalan artist – with a market value of 6,000 pesos.

I slashed the paintings with with two long iron scimitars with great effect, because hidden behind each canvas we hanged small plastic blood-bags that got splattered all over the place.

Pandemonium broke loose. It was the end of this arts TV programme.

Next day there was an outcry on the Spanish national press. We were accused of violence and obscenity.

Right-wing politicians put pressure on the state run Spanish TV, and ‘La Eldad De Oro’ was closed down for ever.

II: THE LAST SUPPER, THE REVEREND JIM JONES IN PERSON.

I got the tapes through Monte Cazzaza in California, and Genesis P-Orridge in London. It’s the live recordings of the last moments of life while they are drinking poison and dying at the Peoples Temple in Jonestown, Guyana. Over nine hundred men, women and children died. It’s a picture-disc with graphic photos of dead bodies from the massacre. For sure, this is the greatest rock and roll record ever made.

III: VAGINA DENTATA ORGAN WITH THE PAGAN DRUMS OF CALANDA. (THE TRIUMPH OF THE FLESH).

We recorded the live sound and made this unique picture-disc. As a personal tribute to Calanda’s blood scented nights. About thirty copies only of this picture disc album, contain encapsulated freeze-dried, sterilised human bloodstains, from my (Vagina Dentata Organ) ripped flesh.

KUKL – VISA – Rebel Flux – 1984 / MARS – Infidelity Records – 1980 / Chalwa Dub – Chalwa Records – 1978 / Dormannu – Illuminated Records – 1983 / Zos Kia – Temple Records – 1985 / Danny Ray & Mexicano – 1977

KUKL – side 1

KUKL – side 2

A very rare cassette tape by KUKL featuring future Sugarcube and now respected solo artist Bjork.

This KUKL performance was recorded in September 1984 somewhere in Paris and was released on VISA / Rebel Flux cassettes in 1985.

KUKL were an Icelandic group created in Reykjavik in August 1983 with Einar Örn Benediktsson (vocals, earlier in Purrkurr Pillnikk); Björk Guðmundsdottir (vocals, earlier in Tappi Tikarrass); Guðlaugur Kristinn Ottarsson (guitar, earlier in PEYR); Birger Mogensen (bass, earlier in Killing Joke) ; Einar Melax (keyboards, earlier in Van Houtens Koko) and Sigtryggur Baldursson (drums, earlier in PEYR).

Originally the group was a project based on an idea by among others, Asmundur Jonsson from Gramm Records in Reykjavik.

They debuted live on Icelandic radio and performed at the “We demand the future” festival in Reykjavik in 1983 with Crass and a host of other Icelandic bands.

In 1984 they performed with Psychic TV in Reykjavik and then travelled to England to perform with Flux of Pink Indians and other anarcho bands.

KUKL recorded at Southern Studios in London during January 1984. The tracks were engineered by John Loder and produced by Penny ‘Lapsang’ Rimbaud of Crass. Later the same year they played at concerts in several European countries including this performance in Paris.

In June 1985 the band performed at the Roskilde Festival in Denmark and later the same year at some concerts in Iceland where they played with Megas, the ‘grand old man’ of Icelandic rock.

At the turn of the year 1986 they released the two albums that had been recorded previously at Southern Studios on Crass Records.

KUKL’s music is complex and rhythmic, and a mixture of punk, rock, jazz, and more experimental music, with the lyrics sometimes in English, and sometimes in Icelandic.

KUKL were a powerful and personal band combining qualities from three important groups in Icelandic rock from the beginning of the eighties.

Here is the KYPP post that has the audio of KUKL’s debut performance at the ‘We Demand The Future’ festival, along with the audio of the other bands that performed on the night including Crass HERE

The visuals for this YouTube post include the scan of the sixteen page booklet that accompanied the cassette tape.

KUKL’s debut 7″ single may be listened to on this KYPP post HERE

MARS – side 1

MARS – side 2

A right racket masquerading as art, this 12″ extended play record by MARS has few redeeming features, save the amount it could fetch on Discogs.***

For best results invite a friend round, give him or her a microdot, put this on loud, then wait around for a bit.

The tracks included on this record were recorded in 1978 but released in 1980 a little while after Brian Eno took an interest in the No Wave scene in New York.

Eno was interested enough to produce the ‘No New York’ album which contained tracks by The Contortions, Teenage Jesus And The Jerks and D.N.A as well as MARS.

That release is the only decent starting point for an introduction to this scene for anyone who gives a rat’s arse…The scene was small, did not last more that a year or two but gave a fair amount of inspiration to artists later on down the line, like Jim Foetus and Nice Cave.

*** The tracks on this record are not that bad if you can handle SPK, Whitehouse or Throbbing Gristle which thankfully I CAN!

Some history:

Sumner Crane grew up in Queens, New York and studied painting at the Art Students League of New York, under abstract expressionist Milton Resnick, together with Nancy Arlen, who studied sculpting. Nancy Arlen was from upstate New York or Pennsylvania. Nancy and Sumner were about the same age. Constance -Connie- Burg grew up in Ohio and studied at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida.

School: “I (Mark Cunningham) grew up in the New Jersey suburbs and spent my teenage late sixties years tripping out in the Village (N.Y.C) at the Electric Circus and the Fillmore East. From September 1970 to 1974 I went to college at a freak school, Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida that was probably like a lot of other arty type schools of the time. My first day there I met Arto Lindsay (later DNA), this strange kinda nerdy looking kid from Virginia who had grown up in Brazil. We immediately conspired to get rid of our assigned roommates and roomed together for the following four years and soon hooked up with other like minded music and word freaks and started jamming. We had no technique and no rules, worshipped the beats and Miles, Warhol and the Velvets… Later additions to the scene were Mark Pauline (later Survival Research Laboratories) Connie Burg (later known as China Burg), Gordon Stevenson (later Teenage Jesus), Mirielle Cervenka (Exene´s sister), and Liz and Bobby Swope (later Beirut Slump)…”

Move to New York: “In 1974 several of us (Cunningham, Burg, Lindsay) decided to head for N.Y.C (East Village, on Avenue B and Tenth Street), like so many other college grads and dropouts of the time. We knew something had to be happening there. It didn’t take us long to find C.B.G.B’s. We hit it for one of the first Television shows and it blew us away. We became regulars and saw the beginning of that whole generation of bands. In 1974 and 1975 it was really just a local underground scene but as Talking Heads and Patti Smith, The Ramones and Television released albums it started to get a lot more popular and the bands lost some of their original energy going for whatever formula they felt they had found. So at this point we all started thinking we could give that new blast that the scene needed. Then on the one hand you had the burgeoning punk scene which included a lot of boring rock bands and on the other this new bunch of very amateur groups looking for any sound that was different and cool. MARS (at that point in time named China) started in December 1975 really but we spent a year playing in a loft before we went public as China”.

Mark Cunningham – interviewed by Weasel Walter.

Chalwa Dub side 1

Chalwa Dub side 2

Uploaded tonight is an extremely rare album entitled ‘Calling 1000 Dreadlocks’ on the very short lived Chalwa record label from Kingston, Jamaica.

Involved in the recording sessions were Lloyd Parks studio band, Skin Flesh And Bones, alongside Augustus Pablo with his melodica and flute, Dave Barker and Dennis Alcapone on vocals and dub-chatter.

King Tubby was mixing, Clem Bushay was producing and supposedly Alton Ellis was overlooking everything generally.

There is no sleeve artwork for my copy of this album, it never appeared with any artwork for the original release as far as I know, just a thick white sleeve complete with a sticker with a little more information upon it. This release was limited to only five hundred copies from it’s release date in the 1970’s.

Some history.

Lloyd Parks performed with the Invincibles band (whose members also included Ansell Collins, Sly Dunbar and Ranchie McLean) before teaming up with Wentworth Vernal in The Termites.

In 1967, they recorded their first single, ‘Have Mercy Mr. Percy’, and then an album ‘Do the Rocksteady’ for Coxsone Dodd’s Studio One label.

After recording ‘Rub Up Push Up’ for the Dampa label, Parks and Vernal split up.

Parks then briefly joined The Techniques as a replacement for Pat Kelly, recording tracks such as ‘Say You Love Me’, before embarking on a solo career and later starting his own label, Parks. His second single was the classic ‘Slaving’, a moving song about the struggles of a working man.

In 1974, he founded the We the People Band.

As a solo artist, he recorded a number of songs for Prince Tony Robinson, including ‘Trench Town Girl’ and ‘You Don’t Care’. Some of his best known solo hits include ‘Officially’, ‘Mafia’ (both 1974), ‘Girl In The Morning’ and ‘Baby Hang Up The Phone’ (both 1975).

Parks was a studio bass player, backing many of the reggae artists, including Justin Hinds on Duke Reid’s Treasure Isle label. He was a member of Skin Flesh and Bones, along with Ansell Collins on keyboards, Tarzan on keyboards, and Ranchie MacLean on guitar. This group backed Al Brown on his hit ‘Here I am Baby’, and many other artists.

When Skin Flesh and Bones started backing up artists for Channel One Studios, Parks renamed the band The Revolutionaries.
Parks was also a member of Joe Gibbs’ house band, The Professionals, performing hits such as Althea & Donna’s ‘Up Town Top Ranking’, also backing artists including Dennis Brown, The Abyssinians, The Itals, The Gladiators, Culture and Prince Far I.

Dormannu side 1

Dormannu side 2

Based in the Squats of Brixton, south London and mates of Sex Gang Children, Danse Society and the Skeletal Family, this bunch could certainly out-funk most of the goths, unfortunately it left the band with a slight identity crisis. The goths of the day not knowing whether to dance to the percussion led beat, a la Adam And The Ants, or to stand around posing.

Dormannu had several line up changes, notably the vocalist of the band for this record, Chicken Mike, who was elbowed out for his continued use of the subject matter described quite well on the A-side, ‘Powdered Lover’. Heroin.

Some of the original Dormannu members put the effort into a new band, Lets Wreck Mother, who were a regular band at Gossips in the central London, for a while the home of the Batcave club. Maybe I will whack that Lets Wreck Mother 12″single up soon.

Following after this 7″ single, a 12″single, ‘Dread’ was released, and a couple of years later, an album, ‘Return To Quebec’. Then Dormannu disappeared.

Illuminated Records was a fine record label around the time of Dormannu (the record label released all of the Dormannu records). On the label’s roster were artists and bands as diverse as; 400 Blows, Sex Gang Children, Throbbing Gristle, Car Crash International, 23 Skidoo, Poison Girls, D.A.F, Television Personalities, The Destructors and many many more.

“I was half of Illuminated Records at the time of ‘Powdered Lover’. Kid Jensen played it on release with a truly great build-up. It sounded fantastic, just a shame the lyrics of a debut single and their best tune, were so overtly a hard-drug paean – that should come after the band is tortured by success.
They had a lot going for them, looks, funk, proto-rap. They should have stayed more close to the ‘cult with no name’ than the goths. At least they were more likely to forgive shambolic gigs as a statement, although Dormannu did support Danse Society on a tour, quite good gigs. I remember the old Dominion, Tottenham Court Road.
I remember the squat in Brixton. Keith and I had to pick the band’s gear up from somewhere the day after a gig. No-one home so (possibly for the only recorded instance) we had to break into a squat via a window to return property”.

Pat.

Zos Kia side 1

Zos Kia side 2

Zos Kia’s essential second vinyl release, and the first to be released on the Temple record label run by Genesis P-Orridge of Psychic T.V.

This clear vinyl copy was given to me from a box that he had stashed away for mail order customers in his Beck Road base in Hackney.

This record was played to death at the time. The track ‘Be Like Me’ being a real foot stomper with a funky overtone and a guitar line reminiscent of ‘Public Image’, the debut single from Public Image Limited.

The foot stomping starts after a couple of minutes of pleasant piano introduction, the piece that continues throughout the song, hidden under the percussive instruments, funky bass line and general noise.

The lyrics, almost line for line, are courtesy of the Reverend Jim Jones, the infamous leader of the San Francisco’s Peoples Temple.

The followers of the San Francisco’s Peoples Temple, as well as the Reverend Jim Jones himself, met a sudden and violent end in November 1978. More than 900 Temple members committed suicide by drinking poisoned juice, the followers that did not want to go through with the sacrifice were shot (along with the killings of five other people at a nearby airstrip) by the Temples ‘guards’ in the jungle clearing of ‘Jonestown’, Guyana.

The San Francisco’s Peoples Temple was at that point based on that continent after leaving San Francisco under intense F.B.I scrutiny.

The lines making up ‘Be Like Me’ was part of a Reverend Jim Jones speech that was made during the mass suicide.

The B-side, ‘Ten Miles High’, is a short noise festival which I guess is, ahem, very loosely based on ‘Eight Miles High’ by The Byrds. Save a snippet of a guitar sound lifted from that famous song from the 1960’s, there is nothing to compare the two songs.

Zos Kia are verging towards Lou Reed’s ‘Metal Machine Music’ era rather than the flower power of the late 1960’s Los Angeles.

The repetitive loop at the end of ‘Ten Miles High’ is exactly that. A loop that continues until you lift up the stylus on the turntable.

I cut it short of course.

Play this record at maximum volume and then some…

The George Best photographs on either side of the sleeve artwork, I have no clue about, unless it is to entice the purchaser to ‘be like’ him, a hidden visual message to camouflage the Reverend Jim Jones speech. I might have just made that up, but it would have been in line with some visual and audio hidden meanings in Psychic T.V and their allies published books, pamphlets or record releases.

More Zos Kia posts may be listened to and viewed below.

The word ‘enjoy’, might not be right term to use for Zos Kia, but whatever…

Danny Ray – Revolution Rock

Mexicano – Dub Rock

The Clash were extremely inspirational to me growing up, and whatever you might think about the band, one thing that cannot be denied is the band’s real love of Black music and culture, reggae music was no exception.

If it was not for The Clash promoting authentic reggae via name-drops in the media or some lyrics, or on original compositions like ‘Bank Robber / Rockers Galore’ or covering some of the songs of the day, thousands of people, like me, might not have been touched by this music.

Sure there were other bands around that time including the odd reggae based song into their repertoire, Stiff Little Fingers for example. The Clash did attempt ‘Police And Thieves’ and ‘Pressure Drop’ in a more punked up style, a couple of years prior to me going out and buying records. But when it came to 1979, The Clash found out that they were far from just a ‘punk’ band. With Mickey Gallagher and other musicians and artists in tow, the band recorded the sessions that would result in the formidable ‘London Calling’ album, deep down in Highbury, North London.

On the ‘London Calling’ album, one of the highlights (for me anyway) was the band’s version of Danny Ray’s ‘Revolution Rock’.

In 1977, a record was released in Jamaica on High Note Records and in the U.K on Golden Age Records (the record label run by members of the, during that time U.K based, Pioneers). This record released was ‘Git Up’ (sic) voiced by the old Jamaican legend Jackie Edwards. Jackie Edwards had been around since the 1950’s, and had helped Chris Blackwell organise Island Records at a time when Blackwell was selling records out of the back of his Austin Mini Seven.

Hope he got his cut further on down the line for helping to build an musical empire that is still a massive presence today…Probably not.

A much younger vocalist (and less well known in Roots than his favoured U.K. Lovers Rock circles) Danny Ray voiced this rhythm in the same year, released in Jamaica on High Note Records and on the Doctor label in the U.K, a subsidiary of Golden Age Records.

This cut was ‘Revolution Rock’. This is the version that The Clash covered.

Eddy Grant’s brother, Mexicano was taken into Coach House studios in Stoke Newington, to voice the D.J cut, again on the same rhythm and released on Pioneer Records.

This is ‘Dub Rock’.

Sadly I only have the Jackie Edwards version of this rhythm ‘Git Up’ on Golden Age 7″, and I wanted to keep this post specifically for ‘Revolution Rock / Rock Dub’. Those tracks were both ripped off of the Danny Ray and Mexicano albums, the images are of the sleeves of each…

The Apostles & The Mob – London Musicians Collective – January 1983 / The Cravats – Southern Studio original mixes – 1981 / Augustus Pablo – Atra Records – 1980 / Zos Kia – All The Madmen Records – 1984 / The Mob – Amsterdam – June 1979 / The Turdburglers – 1981 / 1982

The Apostles at L.M.C

The Mob at L.M.C

First there was a cassette.

The Apostles and The Mob recorded on a cassette recorder from the audience.

The cassette was available in 1983 via Larry Peterson’s Cause For Concern cassette tape label. This cassette tape label generally veered towards industrial experimental music, more so than punk or anarcho punk. Throbbing Gristle, Nocturnal Emissions and others.

This was an era when Andee Martian had an interest in the kind of music Larry Peterson was involved with releasing.

They both shared an appreciation of Whitehouse as well.

Andee Martian was helping to organise bi-monthly concerts at the L.M.C in Camden. Andee Martian recalls:

“The LMC, Camden, London NWI: September 1982 – February 1983

Organized by The Apostles and East London Workers Against Racism, this was more an alternative venue than a club. The organization here was minimal and suffered from a lack of PA equipment, an abundance of people who shouldn’t really have existed in a society that had long ago discovered penicillin and a financial situation strictly from Mickey Mouse. The bands who played here were, though, committed and varied: The Replaceable Headz, The Mob, Four Minute Warning, Zounds, Rack, Cold War, Twelve Cubic Feet, The Apostles, Flux Of Pink Indians, The Good Missionaries, Youth In Asia, Fallout, New 7th Music and a variety of poets and performance artists plus many other punk bands. Music events were the only things on offer here as bills had to be paid and the hall had to be hired. People have a tendency not to rush out to Camden from Gravesend and pay £1.50 to debate the politics of determinism versus free will… a pity really”.

Andee organised a concert with his band, The Apostles, and The Mob.

J.C who was the Treasurer of the Brougham Road Housing Co-Operative, where members of The Mob and Zounds were, or had been housed, also had a rickety P.A for hire.

On this night, J.C turned down Andee’s vocals during the song ‘Pigs For Slaughter’ which was towards the end of The Apostles set. Whether this was pressure from some audience members, or a decision by J.C himself I have no clue. A line was drawn in the sand and the P.A was on the ‘side’ of pacifism and not direct action. Whatever the reason, The Apostles cut short their set, and The Mob took over the stage.

This censorship issue was worthy enough in the minds of Andee and Dave Fanning (the bassist, sometime writer, artist and vocalist) that a small paragraph about it ended up on the cover of the first 7″ single from The Apostles released in 1983 credited to Dave.

It read as a rant against fake anarchists, pacifists and petty minded P.A operators… and so forth. Interestingly there was also a rant about Tony D (again credited to Dave), and the threat of violence towards him, for ‘not paying Little A printers for the costs of publishing KYPP 6 (or 5?)’. The bill to Little A printers was settled prior to The Apostles first 7″ single being available, so that paragraph on the sleeve, due to the delay was somewhat out of date! Thankfully Tony D was relieved to have kept all of his fingers, a main bullet point of the threat on the record sleeve!

Larry Peterson went to work on duplicating his original recording of the concert onto cassettes with a sleeve that folk could purchase by mail order or at concerts. Tellingly the cassette sleeve states: Pacifist PA Promotions!

The audio is extremely rough, but the listener can get a idea of the concert.

Secondly there was an album.

1984 and Larry Peterson released a Throbbing Gristle album on vinyl, in 1985 (or 1986?), he released his second vinyl for the Cause For Concern label.

This second vinyl released was a better sounding version of that old cassette originally released in 1983, due to the mastering needed for the metal stampers. I think there were 900 copies manufactured.

I knew J.C during the mid 1980’s while he was living at Brougham Road, and he had shrugged his shoulders, and sniggered slightly while discussing the L.M.C incident.

Andee I knew at this point as well, another Brougham Road resident at this point. I cannot remember discussing this issue with him, but I might have.

Larry Peterson I had never met, but when I did, and it was just the once, he mentioned that J.C had ‘loaned’ him a bus to go to Europe (Spain?) picking fruit one summer, and the bus ended up breaking down. Larry then left it on the roadside and eventually found an alternative route back when he needed to return to London!

I understood that J.C was not best pleased!

The audio for this YouTube post has been ripped off of my vinyl version, as the quality is better, but I have scanned in the original cassette sleeve, and the original cassette. Obviously I have also added the sleeve, ahem, design…

For what it’s worth!

Side 1

Side 2

The Cravats fourth release for the Small Wonder record label, was the result of the band hooking up with Penny Rimbaud, the drummer with Crass and was recorded at Southern Studios in Wood Green, North London…

Penny managed to capture a darker sound for the band culminating in the tracks.’You’re Driving Me / I Am The Dreg’ which became The Cravats fourth attempt to tentatively stick its head above the parapet.

Although the eventual 7″ single, didn’t fare very well on release in March 1981, it was the start of a more cohesive sound for the band that seemed to be finding it’s feet in the studio.

These versions of ‘Dregs’ and ‘You’re Driving Me’ are on a cassette tape from Southern Studios labelled ‘Original Mixes’ and are different to the official 7″ single release.

The photographs of the actual recording session at Southern Studios that are featured in the middle of this YouTube post are from the collection of The Cravats.

Side 1

Side 2

One brilliant compilation album focusing on the Santic record label. Horace Andy’s, ‘Children Of Israel’ and ‘Problems’ are worth the price of admission by themselves. One side concentrated ‘Pablo’, second side, various artists.

Snippet of an interview with Leonard ‘Santic’ Chin:

When I came in the business men like Bunny Lee and them were much older people than me, that’s what I thought, he was a bigger man in the business. I was just a youth getting in there. It’s not really about everybody liking you but, with most of them, I was alright… they’d let me feel like I belonged. Maybe, as a youth, I was likeable. At the time I was the youngest producer coming out of Jamaica after Gussie Clarke. The other day Bunny was saying to me “Santic you’re a legend, you know!” and I said “Come on Bunny! What are you talking about?” He said “Within that short space of time you were producing records in Jamaica you produced more hits than most of us! And you never had no big company like Dynamics behind you to help you either. One youth man making hit after hit! ‘Pablo In Dub’, ‘Children Of Israel’, ‘Lovers Mood’, ‘Problems’ ‘Late Hour’ with I Roy, ‘I’m A Free Man’ with Freddie McKay…”

Before even ‘Pablo In Dub’ I was recording a deejay named Jah Mojo. The first track I did with him was a tune named ‘Nitty Gritty’ and Bongo Herman was playing the drums. After that one I did a next tune with him named ‘Yankee Conkee’ and then I made this rhythm that I later used for ‘Pablo In Dub’, ‘Children Of Israel’ and ‘Down Santic Way’. Jah Mojo did a thing on it called ‘Jacamma Rock’ and it sold about a thousand and fifty copies. The rhythm was good… Aston ‘Family Man’ Barrett played the bass on it and his brother Carlton played the drums and there was a guy named ‘Snapping’ who played the piano…

Like I said when I went in the studio I was Sixteen. So I was just working with those guys, but I didn’t know their history… as the years went by I got to understand more and, being in the business, I learnt more and more. A lot of people my age in Jamaica wouldn’t know those things so that’s how I get to know. Anyway, he played the piano. The organ player was Ossie Hibbert. I did a mix for the Jah Mojo record and everybody loved the rhythm. One time Leroy Sibbles and some other people were standing up in Randy’s and Leroy said “This rhythm a bad! It’s like the bass carry the melody by itself” and then I decided to do a next mix of it.Eventually… things just happen sometimes when they’re supposed to happen.

I went up to Randy’s and mixed the tune… and for some reason Pablo just walked into the studio that evening and said “That rhythm there sound good!” So I said “Blow a thing on it now then, man!” I was into Pablo from ‘Java’ and was always asking him to do a tune for me and he used to smile and say I couldn’t afford to pay him and all those things there. He said “You’ll have to ask my manager Paul” and his manager said “Alright… do you have any weed?” My brethren, Carl Prehay, was there and he said “Yeah man… we have the boom!” And we bought a few Red Stripe beers, took the next two hours in the studio, set up the tape and he just blew through the tune a couple of times. The next one was a take and I said “This is ‘Pablo In Dub'”.

After ‘Pablo In Dub’ got on the Top Five it went to Number One for a week and then dropped back to Number Two and I asked Horace Andy if he could sing a tune on it for me. He loved the rhythm from time too… the Pablo version was so popular! Horace just came in the studio… it was a Friday morning. The day before I’d got Leroy Sibbles to put in the rhythm guitar because ‘Pablo In Dub’ never had a rhythm guitar in it. So it was Leroy Sibbles who actually chopped the rhythm guitar in it and then, the following day, I got Horace to sing on the rhythm. We played the rhythm track and Horace ad libbed and said “Errol!’ Rewind back the tape there” and he sang ‘Children of Israel…’ and went through it once, wrote some more lyrics, went through it again and half way through he said “Now run the tape Errol. And take it too!” We did ‘Children Of Israel’ and ‘Problems’ both at the same time. We didn’t spend two hours to do all that! The lyrics were written and voiced at that moment. There and then.

The ultimate Santic Records compilation released by Pressure Sounds is well worth getting hold of; HERE Please do so… All the songs are pure magic.

The original KYPP post to read and download the tracks HERE

Zos Kia ‘Rape / Thank You’.

Originally released as a 7″ single on the All The Madmen record label in 1984. Alistair, who was running All The Madmen Records throughout that year, was for several years, also involved with the Kill Your Pet Puppy fanzine. That fanzine’s last issue (number six) was published in the Autumn of 1983.

Alistair had also created his own fanzine during 1983, Encyclopedia Of Ecstasy, a fanzine that lasted for three issues.

All The Madmen Records released many important records throughout, inspiring to many, including myself.

This record, specifically the song ‘Rape’, was by far the most difficult to listen to, both musically and lyrically.

A very brave move from Alistair to have backed this project. And, it must be added, a very brave testament to Min, sharing this extremely harrowing experience to those that heard the song.

In-between The Mob, Flowers In The Dustbin, The Astronauts, Blyth Power and Thatcher On Acid, this record by Zos Kia was out there on their own.

Literally.

Standing alone as an industrial record from an industrial band within the All The Madmen roster, rather than guitar based records from guitar based bands.

Zos Kia still holds that niche position in the All The Madmen catalogue.

The release of the Clair Obscur album ‘The Pilgrims Progress’ in 1986, came close to siding with Zos Kia. But never quite close enough.

Zos Kia / Thank You / Black Action / The Absolute

The re-release was organised by the new man in charge of All The Madmen Records from 1985, Rob Challice.

Due to the many letters received via Wot Distribution inquiring about purchasing the 7″ single which had been out of circulation since the first pressing of the record, Rob, in collaboration with John Gosling, decided on a re-release.

In 1986, the original two tracks from the 7″ single, were placed onto a 12″ extended play single with two new unreleased Zos Kia tracks that were recorded in 1985 added. This 12″ extended play single quickly sold out, and as far as I remember was never re-pressed. Making both formats of this record collectors items!

Min, a Kill Your Pet Puppy Collective member was the vocalist for Zos Kia on ‘Rape’, a true account of her feelings during an attack that she had suffered in Australia.

An extremely harrowing and brave performance from Min on this track, not easy listening whatsoever.

John Gosling is on the vocal duties for ‘Thank You’ and ‘Black Action’.

Alex Ferguson and Genesis P-Orridge, both Psychic TV members at that time were involved in the recording and the engineering of the two tracks, ‘Rape’ and ‘Thank You’, that were originally released on the 7″ single in 1984.

John Gosling also begun to work within the Temple Of Psychic Youth organisation, and from 1984 to 1986, performing live and in the studio with Psychic TV.

Zos Kia released a couple more 12″ singles on Psychic TV’s Temple Records, one was released in 1985 and one in 1987.

Thank you to Min, for supplying me with the photographs of Zos Kia performing at the Berlin Atonal Festival in 1984, that I have used for this YouTube post.

All the other bits are from my collection.

The cassette of Zos Kia at the Berlin Atonal festival is below.

The Mob Amsterdam 1979

A mixing desk cassette tape of a performance by The Mob and a good example of the set list at that time in 1979.

The mini European tour that this gig was included on, was with Here And Now and a bus load of other support acts, including Zounds.

I have a mixing desk cassette tape of The Mob in Arnhem (also in Holland) recorded on the 2nd June 1979 and that may be listened to HERE 

The songs performed at this gig in Amsterdam were written way before the ‘peace punk’ tag that The Mob carried around until the end of 1983, and that the band are better known for.

These songs will surprise many listeners. Some of these songs did end up being recorded cheaply and placed onto various compilation cassette tapes, generally released on Jonathan Barnett’s ‘Weird Tales’ cassette imprint. Jonathan Barnett was a one time roadie for Here And Now, Zounds and several other ‘free festival’ bands of that era. He was also in charge of Genius Records, a record label that were responsible (in part) for releasing the debut Astronauts album ‘Peter Pan Hits The Suburbs’.

Many of the songs performed are raw and basic, although a few of the songs in the early set, did make it through until the end of 1983. Namely ‘What’s Going On?’, ‘Youth’, and ‘The Mirror Breaks’. Of course those songs are still included in The Mob’s set in the 2000’s.

Most songs performed at this gig, and throughout this era, were jettisoned in favour of the newer songs that were being written, eventually ending up on the album, ‘Let The Tribe Increase’ and of course’ No Doves Fly Here’.

Grant Showbiz, from Street Level studios, can be heard on the mixing desk mic. Mark, an able guitarist, suffering from several guitar string breakages on the night, a very angry bassist, and one shit hot drummer in Graham Fallows, who also sings a few of the tracks.

There are two cover versions performed by The Mob during this gig in Amsterdam.

‘It’s A Rip Off’ by T Rex and ‘Louie Louie’ originally by the Kingsmen of course.

Enjoy the audio on this YouTube post, but, be wary, if you are hoping for the songs that later ended up on the ‘Let The Tribe Increase’ album, then prepare to be disappointed!

Images are from the collections of:

Mark Mob
Andy Tuck
Nick Godwin
Joanne Childs

Thanks to those folk.

There is a cassette tape fault on this audio around the seventeen minute mark for ten seconds or so.

Bayston Road Rehearsal

Wapping Autonomy Centre 1

Wapping Autonomy Centre 2

The only time that I read about The Turdburglars was a page or two in Kill Your Puppy fanzine issue 5 in 1982. I did not know the band, or what the band sounded like, or for that matter, the persons involved in the band.

The only piece of information I ever received first hand on The Turdburglars was from Andee Martian of The Apostles in the mid 1980’s, who spoke of an incident in which he described a face off between the band and himself. He claimed that The Turdburglars had written some unflattering songs about The Apostles, directed at himself specifically. The people that told Andee Martian this information were either incorrect themselves, or on a wind up. Andee went along to the band’s squat to confront. Andee supposedly had a rant and a push around and left the squat red faced when he realised that the claims that he was told were incorrect in the first place*.

* Actually Mick Lugworm has confirmed that The Turdburglars did have a song (not on this cassette tape) about Andee Martian; “Andee kept threatening to throw people down the stairs so I wanted to cover ‘Help me Mummy’ by Rubella Ballet as ‘Help Me Andee – Help Me Down The Stairs'”.

The Turdburglars did not release any records but these recordings do exist, for better or worse. Some might argue the latter! The material on this cassette contain a practise session at the squat in Bayston Road, Stoke Newington. After that there is a live performance at the Wapping Autonomy Centre from December 1981. All recorded in glorious lo-fi.

The Turdburgars were made up of Mick Lugworm, Mark Ripper, Richard Scarecrow, and a Boiled Egg, Duncan Jack. All of whom were orbiting around that whole North London squatting scene of that time in the early 1980’s, that bands like The Apostles, The Mob and Blood And Roses existed within. All of those worlds colliding in imperfect harmony with the Kill Your Pet Puppy Collective, passing Wapping Autonomy Centre on Westbourne Park Centro Ibrico on their outer-worldly orbital route. Drugs might have been taken, to keep the tribulations of the world outside the shabby squat doors and broken windows at bay.

Indebted to Richard Scarecrow for supplying the audio for this YouTube post.

Both of the written out sheets, which were the base for The Turdburglars piece in Kill Your Pet Puppy issue 5 are from Tony D’s collection. Followed by the actual pages of that Kill Your Pet Puppy fanzine.

Following those printed images there are dozens of period photographs in no particular order, of places and people that would have been circling The Turdburglers around that time in the early 1980’s.

These photographs are from the collections of:

Mick Lugworm
Jon From Bromley
Tony D
Tod Hanson
Richard Scarecrow
Martin Black

Thanks to those kindly folk.

The Mob – Doncaster – November – 1983 / Pete Fender And The Four Formulas – Xntrix Records – 1980 / Andy Stratton – All The Madmen Records – 1980 / The Review – All The Madmen Records – 1980 / Tea House Camp – Real Men Records – 1985 / Chron Gen – Gargoyle Records – 1981

The Mob’s last performance with the Mark, Curtis and Josef line up, recorded off of the sound desk at Doncaster Co-Op on the 19th November 1983.

The Mob were supported for the night by Chumbawumba, Passion Killers, a band that included a Chumbawumba member, and Benjamin Zephaniah.

This is a wonderful, powerful and intense performance by The Mob bowing out.

There are two oddities on this recording.

Firstly, kicking off the recording we have a Josef Porta penned song, ‘Hurling Time’ soon enough to be a stable of the Blyth Power set a couple of months later at the dawn of 1984.

Another song that I feel most interested in (around the forty ninth minute mark) is ‘Lights’, a song that has never been recorded and was performed rarely.

‘Lights’ is one of my favorite songs from The Mob.

Straight after ‘Lights’ is a blinding version of ‘Mirror Breaks’…

The songs that were performed after ‘Lights’ and ‘Mirror Breaks’ were, ‘Never Understood’ and ‘I Wish’.

And that, they say, was that.

The end of The Mob.

Curtis and Josef went onto form Blyth Power, with Neil ex of Faction, and Mark left music to one side, concentrating on other ventures, and leaving London.

The two photographs of The Mob performing live are from Min’s collection.

Original typed reviews relevant to The Mob are from Tony D’s collection.

Magazine articles and the black and white photograph at the start of this YouTube post are from ‘Penguin’s’ collection.

Read the KYPP post and listen to downloads HERE 

Side 1

Side 2

Four Formulas (for the eradication of the microbes)

Four Pete Fenders performed on this extended play 7″ single, go on count them. They are all pictured on the record sleeve!

One Pete Fender on guitar and vocals, one more on the guitar, one on the bass and yet another on the drums creating one of the best 7” singles that I own, and furthermore a reference point to me personally of how wonderful an independently recorded, independently released, and independently distributed 7” single can be.

As with all the very best songs on any 7” singles that were released during that late 1970’s and early 1980’s era, the four songs presented on this Pete Fender record crash in, and crash out, at two and a half minutes or less.

Over three minutes you are the UK Subs, over four minutes you are a progressive rock band!

None of those examples regarding song length on 7” singles during that era are strictly true; in fact I made them up.

The point is that this record contains some of the best two and a half minutes of bitter sweet songs with 100% pop sensibilities, wrestling with the major label Buzzcocks in the ring, and almost succeeding in a knockdown, deserve to be less than two and a half minutes. Short and sweet, no flab. Any longer would have been an extravagance.

Pete is better known in, ahem, anarcho – punk circles. Oh I wish someone would invent another term for that scene. I can’t be bothered, so I will leave it to someone else. I will not hold my breath!

Pete was first known from being in the fresh faced punk baby booming band, The Fatal Microbes in 1978, a band that included Pete’s sister Gem Stone on the drums, Scotty Boy Barker on the bass, and Honey Bane as the vocalist. The Fatal Microbes released one record, a 7” single, the tracks of which also ended up on a 12” extended play showcase with the Poison Girls on the other side.

Both records were released at different times on the Small Wonder record label, and credit is due to both Pete Stennett and the people at XNTRIX for getting this first 12” extended play showcase out, catalogue number XN2001 / WEENY 3.

Vi Subversa, the vocalist and guitarist from the Poison Girls was Pete’s mother, (and also the mother of Gem Stone). Poison Girls, and family friends, Crass, strategically based in the near locality at that time, also released 45 rpm (extremely) extended play 12″ records on the Small Wonder record label.

Next up in Pete’s cannon was the forming of the embryonic Rubella Ballet.

Rubella Ballet were formed in 1979. Pete Fender on guitar, Gem Stone and ‘It’ (Quentin North) both on bass, and were then joined by the drummer Sid Ation (who would shortly be moonlighting by drumming with Flux Of Pink Indians for a while) and vocalists Annie Anxiety and Womble.

Incidentally, ‘It’ from Rubella Ballet helped compose ‘Lonely Homicide’, the second track on the A – side of the Four Formulas 7” single.

In 1980 Pete left Rubella Ballet to record these four (well there might have been more) wonderful songs that appeared on this extended play 7″ single. All songs were recorded in West London at the infamous Street Level recording studio.

Street Level studio was better known for recording (rather rough recordings it must be stated) absolutely wonderful quirky ramshackle bands, seemingly all of the bands from the nearby squatted Freestonia area, and bands from the small free festival scene, throwing in a few Alternative T.V sessions towards the end of the 1970’s.

The recording of these tracks prove to me that even the most humble, ganga heavy studio can get a hard pop sound, a hard pop sound that would have been rather better known for being recorded at the tiny Pathway Studio in Kentish Town.

Pete re-joins Rubella Ballet with Zillah Minx as the vocalist, alongside original members Gem Stone and Sid, and then leaves Rubella Ballet again sometime in 1982.

Not one to rest on his laurels Pete connects with Omega Tribe, undoubtedly one of the brightest lights of punk pop protest bands that released one of the best albums of 1983 ‘No Love Lost’ on Corpus Christi Records. Corpus Christi Records, owned and operated via Southern Studios with the executive ears of Penny Rimbaud of Crass.

Pete had, and still has, a heavyweight musical legacy earned during the late 1970’s and the early 1980’s, performing in a musical scene that he was, by a manner of speaking, born into, and for the involvement in those fine bands that are still remembered with fondness today.

Pete is still performing songs over thirty five years later, sensitive lyrics backed up with a single acoustic guitar and only a microphone to hide behind.

Going back to this Pete Fender extended play 7” single.

Play bastard loud, and jump around your bedroom.

You’ll feel much better.

Dedicated with love to Pete Fender.

Side 1

Side 2

Another early gem from All The Madmen Records long distant past.

1980 was a productive year for records released on All The Madmen Records.

The ‘Englands Glory / The Greatest Show’ 7″ single by The Review, carrying the catalogue number REV001

Hear The Review’s 7″ single here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zXE2vtvfEA

The ‘Crying Again / Youth’ 7″ single by The Mob, carrying the catalogue number MAD001.

The ‘Witch Hunt / Shuffling Souls’ 7″ single, again by The Mob, carrying the catalogue number MAD002.

And this 7″ single by Andy Stratton, carrying the catalogue number MAD003.

This single by Andy Stratton ‘I Don’t Know / Evil Minds’ 7″ was recorded at Spaceward Studios in Cambridge (the same studio where The Mob recorded ‘Witch Hunt’ and later on ‘Let The Tribe Increase’) and it was released in 1980.

Andy Stratton was a sixteen year old from Somerset who hung out with The Mob. The drummer on this single was Graham Fallows, who was still a member of The Mob at the time these two songs were recorded.

As far as I know, Andy never played out under his own name as a solo artist, but The Mob and Andy’s band, Null And Void toured England in a converted bus until it broke down in 1981 around Brougham Road, Hackney in London.

Andy and members of The Mob stayed on in London, embracing the squat scene as best they could considering the hardships of that lifestyle. Graham from The Mob did not stay on in London, so a search was on for a replacement drummer for The Mob.

Adie from Null And Void temporarily stepped in, as did Tim from Zounds, but finally Josef, also from Zounds, took a more permanent role in the band.

The Mob, Null And Void and Zounds all performed together many times in the UK and in Europe.

This single, released on All The Madmen records, is an excellent punk power pop affair, a similar sound and feel to the Pete Fender and The Four Formulas 7″ single called ‘Promises’ which was released on the Poison Girl’s record label Xntrix around the same time.

Interestingly, Pete Fender went on to record Andy Stratton’s band Null And Void at Xntrix Studio later on in 1982.

Hear the Null And Void demo HERE

Side 1

Side 2

In 1980 All The Madmen Records released the debut 7″ single by The Mob, ‘Crying Again / Youth’ on catalogue number MAD001. Also in 1980 All The Madmen Records released another 7″ single, by a Clevedon mod band, The Review, ‘England’s Glory / Greatest Show’ on catalogue number REV001.

The Review were a band that had started up, like The Mob, around 1977.

A year later in 1978, the beginnings of a revived mod scene begun to bubble under the surface, exploding into mainstream conciseness in 1979 with bands like The Chords, Purple Hearts and Secret Affair getting in the UK singles chart.

The Jam had already known UK chart success from 1977 of course.

The Review embraced the mod revival scene and recorded this one 7″ single for All The Madmen Records, cheaply recorded like many other ‘indie’ mod revival bands of the year, The Circles etc.

That said the band were still very punchy and these two tracks are very good indeed.

On the sleeve it name-checks The Mob, Wilf (the resident artist who supplied sleeve artwork for this record by The Review, and for all of the records released by The Mob), Christine and Debs (Goodge) from Bikini Mutants (Debs was to become a founding member of My Bloody Valentine in the mid 1980’s).

The Review performed with The Mob on occasion, and if you look carefully at two of the live photographs, you will see an original backdrop for The Mob behind the drummer of The Review.

A reddish skeleton backdrop.

The live photographs kindly supplied by Mike Eagle, the vocalist and guitarist of The Review.

Thanks to him for those.

Mike Eagle went onto form The Driscolls in the mid 1980’s, an guitar indie band that had a number of records released.

Martin Hutt, the drummer, joined up with Tea House Camp, also in the mid 1980’s, fronted by two Bradford born brothers, and veering to a more goth sound, releasing one record, that may be listened to below.

Phil (also known as Taf), the bassist, joined up with Disorder, hardcore punk squatters from Bristol, releasing hardcore punk records, and he remains as the only permanent member of that band since he joined.

Side 1

Side 2

Tea House Camp, a band that should have become much bigger than they actually got, had an All The Madmen records link.

Martin Hutt the drummer of Tea House Camp was formally the drummer for The Review from Clevedon near Bristol, a band along with The Mob shared the pleasure of having the first two 7″ singles released on the All The Madmen record label in the dawn of 1980. The Mob released ‘Crying Again’ as catalogue number MOB001 and The Review released ‘Englands Glory’ as catalogue number REV001. The Mob and The Review performed live together a few times in the early stages of both those bands careers.

That small fact aside, Tea House Camp for a while were destined for big things. Martin joined up with Brendan and Des, two brothers from Bradford who had got fed up with times in smalltown England. They both found themselves down south in London, for a while gaining employment at Rough Trade distribution which at that time was based in Collier Street in Kings Cross.

The band went for a slightly gothic Associates sound, more Martian Dance than Sex Gang Children, slightly less weird than the Virgin Prunes.

In 1984 Tea House Camp got to record a John Peel session and gained some favourable live reviews in several music papers along with a feature written by Mick Mercer in the monthly Zig Zag magazine.

Zig Zag magazine, at least from 1982 until its demise in 1986, had a strong Kill Your Pet Puppy association. Tony D and Al Puppy would regularly write articles for the magazine, along with KYPP cohort, fanzine editor and writer, Tom Vague. A brilliant magazine in it’s day with many non mainstream bands being featured and with the added bonus of the writings of Kris Needs and Mick Mercer.

I got to know Tea House Camp vaguely, via the band Kindergarten who at that time were based in Lansdowne Road in Tottenham. One of Tea House Camp lived in the same ramshackle house and the other members used to visit quite often.

Both Tea House Camp and Kindergarten would perform gigs together which ended up pretty jolly affairs in general. One gig with Lack Of Knowledge was a little moody I recall.

Brendan and Des had left Bradford in the early 1980’s but the brothers still had several friends in among that vibrant scene. Stories about the early performances of Southern Death Cult, New Model Army and Danse Society would be interesting talking points, well at least to me they were interesting…

Through Tea House Camp and Kindergarten I got to meet Nick the Frog, and Justin ‘Slade The Leveller’ along with Joolz. I did not know them that well, but I enjoyed their company at private parties in Stamford Hill where they were based at the time, and met that crowd at Tea House Camp and Kindergarten gigs they all went to.

Tea House Camp released one 7″ single, ‘To Kill Stab In Back’ and ‘Poor Tom’, the single that is uploaded onto this YouTube post.

The 7″ single is decent fare, and pretty rare nowadays.

The photographs I took of Tea House Camp were from a gig with The Folk Devils and Ausgang at the Richmond. Sorry about the quality of them. I did not own cameras back that often in the early and mid 1980’s, and the few that I did use were the cheapest possible!

I remember buying the debut 7″ single by Chron Gen, released on Gargoyle Records in 1981, from Startime Music situated along Post Office Walk in Harlow, and immediately loving it.

I remember that this record spun many hundreds of times on my cheap mono record player that I had acquired, a year or so prior, from a Summer school fete.

The band members were based around Hitchin and Stevenage.

Stevenage Bowes Lyon House was on the live punk circuit and many bands performed there at weekly punk nights.

Chron Gen were a ‘local’ band to where I was living at the time, although factoring in mileage, that is, and was, a rather tenuous claim!
Crass in Epping, Newtown Neurotics in Harlow, and Lack Of Knowledge in Enfield were probably nearer, well definitely nearer to where I lived at the time, but I still thought of Chron Gen as a ‘local’ band.

The band had a mid paced tempo to their brand of ’77 music and clear lyrics, to counter the speed of Discharge (a band not a condition) from around the same time.

Discharge were immense but every now and again you need a break.

The second single was released, again in 1981, on the very, very, excellent Step Forward record label; ‘Reality’ and ‘Subway Sadist’, two tracks of immense power, the A-side dealing in one of Chron Gen’s loves, acid, dope, and magic mushrooms.
This second 7″ single trumped the Gargoyle Records release, but not by much. Both 7″ singles rotating and rotating on that same little mono record player in my bedroom…

As an aside, I liked the fact that the drummer of Chron Gen, esp on the rear picture sleeve of ‘Realty’, looked and dressed very similar to the way I was looking and dressing as a thirteen, going on fourteen year old! I wore my original Chron Gen T- shirts with some pride. I really wish I did not put all my old original punk T-shirts on a fire in the early, or mid 1990’s!

Bushell rated Chron Gen, so what could go wrong?

For a while, when Bushell liked a band, the band seemed to end up on Larry Prior’s Secret Records, a pretty large record company masquerading as a small record label.

Chron Gen were no exception.

From that point, my beloved Chron Gen released some patchy records.

When you see a B-side of a 7″ single being ‘live’ tracks from some gig or other, you know the studio tracks have dried up.

This might be telling as Jon Thurlow (who ending up later on in the 1980’s selling scented candles, silver jewelry and trinkets at the door of the Stevenage Bowes Lyon House on gig nights) had actually left Chron Gen shortly after the Apocalypse Now tour.

Maybe that detail had a bearing on the ‘live’ track scenario, or maybe it didn’t.

Either way, when the long anticipated (by me at least) debut album was released on Secret Records in 1982, complete with (you guessed it) a live 7″ single slipped into the package, I took a deep breath, after spotting some more ‘live’ tracks credits on the album cover, and gave the record a spin on 33rpm.

‘Hounds Of The Night’ a favourite of mine kicked the album off in a decent enough way, already eight out of ten. From the ending of that track (in my opinion, which means sod all…but) the quality of the tracks on this album went south.

I felt strangely depressed.

The Newtown Neurotics (another ‘local’ band) released ‘Beggars Can Be Choosers’ in 1983 and that settled the battle of the ‘local’ bands debut albums (a riddle only occurring in my head) and the Newtown Neurotics won hands down.

Chron Gen did come back stronger with a final 7″ single release on Secret Records in 1983, ‘Outlaw’.

This single was a final bow out from Secret Records and for Chron Gen themselves.

A new look Chron Gen, with new guitarist and bassist, released another album in the mid 1980’s, nodding towards a more rockier sound.

Sadly that album did not pick up any further interest from me.

The promotional poster of ‘Puppets Of War’ is from my collection.

PS:

I am not known for ‘promoting’ myself in any way, but I took the liberty of adding a photograph of myself towards the very end of this YouTube post, as I looked (when not at school) around the time when Chron Gen were among my favourite bands. There are very, very few photographs of me from around twelve years old upwards, as I felt uncomfortable with having photographs taken, as I was painfully shy and withdrawn going through my teens… It’s a shame I have a scarf on (THFC by the way), as I might have been wearing an original Chron Gen T-shirt!

Also I cannot find my original Gargoyle blue label version of ‘Puppets Of War’, which I am actually pretty annoyed about, as I wanted to scan that record.

Luckily I also have in my collection, the Gargoyle white label version of the record.

Read the KYPP post and listen to downloads HERE

The Cravats – Overground Records – 2016 – Penny Rimbaud Memories – 2016

Anyone who has had even a vague love of punk music over the last thirty five  years will know The Cravats or, at least, be aware of their existence.

Championed by John Peel with four sessions, releases on Small Wonder and Crass; the sax-riddled, bass-laden weirdness, the humour, the love of Dada and the infamous Redditch ‘Dustbin of Sound’.

Never mainstream, never hugely popular but always utterly unique they ploughed their own musical furrow in the peripheral vision of the music biz since forming in 1977, which was fine by them.

Those that loved them loved them to death, those that didn’t, didn’t.

They stopped in the mid-eighties for a cup of tea and it wasn’t until the 2006 release of ‘The Land of The Giants’ double CD compilation on Overground Records that many folk realised what they’d missed.

Co-founder The Shend and original sax-riddler Svor Naan, along with fellow Redditcharian Rampton Garstang on drums, resurrected a live version of the band in 2009 at the bequest of admirers old and new.

Steve Albini’s curated ATP, the final ‘Feeding of The 5000’ Steve Ignorant Crass show, a host of European festivals including four years at Rebellion Festival, a Marc Riley BBC6 session and a bunch of selective UK gigs followed to much critical acclaim.

But it is only since the addition, of Viscount Biscuits on guitar and Joe 91 on bass that they have finally decided the ingredients are right for new material and the Jingo Bells / Batter House single is the first offering of this burst of productivity.

With a second 7″ already recorded and an LP due for release by the end of 2016, plus a host of upcoming gigs The Cravats are well and truly back.

Still drenched in sax, obliquely angry, raucous and sounding like no other band in existence they have remained faithful to the sound that made them unique. Eccentrically frantic on stage, odd but on the ball on record and definitely not normal, the world needs bands like The Cravats.

For now though, it’ll have to settle for just the one.

Get the numbered limited edition 7″ single HERE

The Cravats – Small Wonder Records – Original Southern Studio mixes – 1981

The Cravats fourth release for the Small Wonder record label, was the result of the band hooking up with Penny Rimbaud, the drummer with Crass and was recorded at Southern Studios in Wood Green, North London…

Penny managed to capture a darker sound for the band culminating in the tracks.’You’re Driving Me / I Am The Dreg’ which became The Cravats fourth attempt to tentatively stick its head above the parapet.

Although the eventual 7″ single, didn’t fare very well on release in March 1981, it was the start of a more cohesive sound for the band that seemed to be finding it’s feet in the studio.

These versions of ‘Dregs’ and ‘You’re Driving Me’ are on a cassette tape from Southern Studios labelled ‘Original Mixes’ and are different to the official 7″ single release.

The photographs of the actual recording session at Southern Studios that are featured in the middle of this YouTube post are from the collection of The Cravats.

Penguin chats with Penny

I love The Cravats; and I thought I would spend a few minutes talking about the band with Penny Rimbaud of Crass.

Hi Penny, I wonder, can you remember how you met the Cravats?

I met them at Southern Studios when Pete Stennet, the proprietor of the Small Wonder record shop asked me to produce a single for The Cravats, to be released on his Small Wonder record label.  Pete had already heard records that I had produced and that John Loder had engineered. I produced ‘Hex’ by Poison Girls, and ‘Feeding’ by Crass, at Southern Studios both with John Loder engineering, both released on Small Wonder Records in 1979.

Can you remember whether The Cravats performed at the Small Wonder Records showcase at the Camden Music Machine in 1979?

No, I do not think so. Crass performed with The Wall, Patrik Fitzgerald headlined. I think The Cure performed.  Was it 1979 or 1978?

I think it was around the beginning of 1979. Tony D went, he might know. 

Sounds about right Pengy.

What was your interest in helping The Cravats to go to Southern Studios in 1981and produce their single on Small Wonder, had you heard the band’s music at all?

Well Pete asked, and I was always willing to help out if asked. I had never heard The Cravats prior to the studio sessions, and I liked them when I heard them. The bounciness, and a kind of cabaret sound. More of a Beefheart sound than Sex Pistols. The saxophone was always interesting, actually a sax was interesting in any band of that era! The name The Cravats interested me as well.  I used to wear cravats when I had modernist pretensions in the early 1960’s. At Dagenham college where I was going to during those years, there was a building department for builders, painters and decorators, plumbing and all those trades. Most of those apprentices were very sharply dressed, and when not in overalls were sporting all kinds of flash modernist clobber. Cravats included. Most listened to Jamaican bluebeat records.

The band recorded a 7” single for Crass Records a year later in 1982. ‘Rub Me Out’. I assume that you were eager to have the band onto the label. Was this generally seconded by the other members of Crass? In other words, did other members of Crass like the sound that The Cravats made and were other members of Crass involved in the decision making?

Well, to be honest Pengy, it was myself who more or less chose the bands and artists that were to record, and have records released on the Crass record label. Steve and Andy suggested some bands to record. I think Andy put up the idea of Lack Of Knowledge. Steve put up Conflict I think.

The other day Penny, some numbnut placed a comment up on social media about the Crass record label. It was a post about new punk music I think. Someone mentioned something, and I paraphrase; “All that stuff on Crass Records, all bands sounding the same”. This always annoys me, probably because I know the back catalogue rather more than that social media post person. Annie Anxiety, The Cravats, Zounds, D&V, Lack Of Knowledge, KUKL, Hit Parade, Rudimentary Peni, The Snipers etc.

Yes, sadly we get that a fair bit. Funny you mention The Snipers, and other members of Crass in your original question. No one from Crass liked that single. Everyone thought it was truly awful. I loved it! D.I.R.T and Alternative could possibly be compared to Crass. I doubt that those bands would like to be compared to Crass to be honest, as they were doing their own thing. It’s a little lazy to state that ‘Crass type bands’ that released records on the Crass record label are similar.

Indeed Penny. Jane Gregory sounded more like Conflict than Flux in my humble opinion.

Steady on Pengy. The other way around!

Can you remember the Southern Studios sessions for the Small Wonder and Crass recordings? Have you got any Cravats anecdotes?

Oh. No I don’t think that anything odd happened. The band seemed capable, they seemed to know what they were doing and caused no bother.

No stories similar to The Mob recording ‘No Doves Fly Here’ at Southern Studios where a gong was recorded dozens of times before you were happy with the sound?

Ha! Yes, I remember that. We hired a huge gong. And yes that gong was banged and recorded a lot of times. Another thing that I remember about that session was Mark from the band sounding quite asthmatic on the day he needed to lay down the vocal track. It was bad enough for him to sing one lyric at a time on the recording. The backing track reel was stopped at the exact moment for the next lyric to be recorded.

So none of that for sessions that The Cravats were involved with?

No, nothing like that.

Did The Cravats perform alongside Crass at all? The band did not perform at the Zig Zag all dayer for sure.

No, The Cravats were never on the same bill as Crass.

AROUND THIRTY FIVE YEARS LATER

How did you get involved as the bus driver on The Cravats video? Were you contacted via Shend or via Overground Records who released the record?

Shend contacted me. There was going to be a video and they needed a conductor. I was sold straight away and asked him to get me a hat. If you look carefully at the hat, there is a sign that looks like ‘Crass Tours’, as the video is filmed on a tourist bus driving around central London. The sign actually reads ‘Crass Touts’.

Are there any anecdotes to share about the filming on the bus? Did you enjoy the experience and seeing Shend again?

Well, for starters it was a lovely day for filming, bright and sunny in the winter. The bus just spun around London while we fucked around. The drums did not slip sideways every time the bus took a sharp turn thankfully. We filmed around Westminster, Parliament Square so personally I was surprised that we were not ushered away by heavily armed police persons, while driving around there, around and around. Actually we did drive near to 10 Downing Street, and the police were keeping an eye out, looking over at the bus.

Shend and I do communicate with, and is one of the few people from the bands the released records on Small Wonder or Crass that I have always been able to contact and vis versa. I last saw Shend, prior to the video shoot, at Steve Ignorants gig at Shepherds Bush a few years ago when The Cravats supported. Where you there?

Yes I was there. I don’t think I was ‘all there’ to be honest. The Mob and loads of other bands had put on a gig in Brixton the night before, and I was pretty exhausted after all that. Recording all the bands, taking photographs, staying up late. Going to Shepherds Bush after a self-organised and self-promoted gig with something like seven bands in two rooms in the same venue, seemed like a bit of a downer. People seemed to enjoy it, I thought it was fine. I didn’t buy a T-shirt. Or a coffee mug. Or anything else being punted out on the stalls. Steve was clearly emotional and gave 1000% so I think it was my mind-set rather than the performance, or any of the band members. I was on the huge video screen for a few seconds at the back of the stage, so who knows I might be on a YouTube video somewhere!

Did you know that I remixed the tracks on the ‘Cravats In Toytown’ album for Overground Records?

Yes, I knew of the release, but I was not aware you were involved, or if I was, I have forgotten that you were.

Yes, a few years ago now. Tony Barber and Harvey were involved as well. One side of a double C.D set.

Harvey? I haven’t seen him since seeing both of you at Southern Studios remixing Crass master reels. It was the same night as Tottenham beating Liverpool  4 -2 in the Carling Cup. I went to see the second half after leaving you both to it. Hope he is well.

Yes, I hope so too!

Was it fun remixing that old album? I have the original vinyl. I bought it from the Small Wonder shop in Walthamstow in the early 1980’s. It’s a great record.

Yes it was great listening to the master reels and doing some work on them. And yes it is a great record. We were very happy to be a part of this project. Hopefully the version on sale now from Overground Records will be appreciated by people as much as you appreciate your copy.

Thanks for this Penny. I’ll get all this written up.

Thanks Pengy darling.

The Cravats – ‘The Cravats In Toytown’ – Overground Records – 2012

The complete Small Wonder recordings: The Cravats In Toytown album and five singles, newly remastered, plus a bonus disc of In Toytown remixed from the original multi-track tapes by Penny Rimbaud.

John Peel: “I hate Toyah records and they all go whizzing into the charts, and I love The Cravats and play all their records and nobody buys them. Whenever I start to feel important I think, ‘Well, I never did much for The Cravats and I didn’t stop Toyah’…” – Smash Hits, 1982

The Cravats’ one, great musical handicap was that they were indescribable. Incisive, innovative musicianship was everywhere, yet the songs themselves defied comparison to anyone else’s. The lyrics, meanwhile, were uncommon, vivid, and forcefully-delivered, so reviewers (both friendly and hostile) focused on those. But the part that burrowed straight for the wee chunk of your brain marked “fight or flight” on the meat-cutters’ chart was the unsettling throb and lurch of the massively-amplified sax, guitars, bass, drums, and whatever other alien sound-forms and distortions The Cravats felt like heaving into the mix.

Their devoted record-company, Small Wonder, had no idea how to present them, either, but they kept on releasing Cravats records long after they’d bid adieu to the rest of their visionary catalog (among them The Cure, Patrik Fitzgerald, Crass, Poison Girls, Menace, Bauhaus, and Fatal Microbes). Peel played and played them, recording four Cravats Peel sessions 1979-82.

The Cravats formed after a Stranglers show in Birmingham in 1977: they borrowed £400 from Shend’s mum and self-released their debut 7” Gordon in July 1978. Small Wonder liked the single so much that they picked up 500 copies and booked the band into the studio with producer Bob Sargeant; the result was the Burning Bridges single, soon followed by Precinct. Next, the band relocated to Torquay for a full week in 1980 to record their first album – on an 8-track in a hotel basement: The Cravats In Toytown made it into the Top 20 in the independent charts. Two more Small Wonder 45s followed, You’re Driving Me and Off The Beach, sandwiched around their first project with Penny Rimbaud (who succeeded in making them even darker with ‘Rub Me Out’).

Despite their collectability, the Small Wonder records remained un-reissued until Penny Rimbaud obtained the recently discovered multi-track Toytown masters and re-interpreted and remixed them in his own unique, eccentric style, as Alice’s Adventures In Toytown.

The singles and the ‘original’ LP mix are fully remastered here as well.

Buy the C.D HERE

Thank you for supporting independent music from independent record labels. 

Tony D talks with Thurston Moore on B.B.C’s Artsnight programme – March 2016

M: Hey Tony, hello there. So is this the first issue of RT you did in 76?

D: Yeah, it’s the first one. Nov 76, it came out.

M: In Nov 76. So what… what made you do this? I mean, you obviously… How old were you in 1976, if you don’t me asking?

D: I was about 17 then, 17 or 18

M: What year were you born?

D: 1958

M: So was I. What month?

D: April

M: July – so you’re the old man here…

D: So what used to happen – I was living in Glasgow, reading the music press and avidly following music and they started writing about this punk rock experience. Punk rock’s happening in London. And I thought this sounds like my kind of thing and I’d get a bus from Glasgow – there’s a bus at 11 o clock on Friday night. I’d get back Monday morning to Glasgow at 8 o clock in the morning. I’d often be on the bus, leave work, leave the work I was doing, go to London, come back on the bus, go straight into work in the morning, having seen punk rock bands and what was happening on King’s Road, not what was happening compared to later on, but there was enough people hanging around in shabby clothes, with funny haircuts. I thought this was it.

M: And were you by yourself? Did you have a mate that you…?

D: A mate back in London, but he never got into this idea of going down and back. So I’d go down by myself, stay at people’s houses …

M: Do you remember the first bands that you had seen in 76?

D: I’m trying to remember if the Damned is the first time I actually saw a band in 76 – I’d go down there, but there weren’t any playing. I’d just go down there just to see what was going on.

M: Yeah.

D: Because London is a bigger place than you realise. Before you go to London, it’s this giant city.

M: Were you aware of Rough Trade which opened in 1976.

D: Yeah, they used to have stalls at gigs again – I found out at the Damned gig, they had a stall there. Again you’d go there; they didn’t have that much stuff. Rock and Roll off Carnaby Street was more a place to go – they had more Stooges, more punk garage selection. I remember going there and Metallic KO and Nuggets, and things like that…

M: To start a fanzine – was there any other fanzine that you saw at the time? That would have existed?

D: I suppose there was Sniffing Glue

M: That was the one?

D: And I found that on Kings Road, which again I’d read about that in the papers, the music papers – I knew it existed. I got hold of it and thought this is it – it doesn’t look very good. It’s just this columns, not much graphic style going on, and then when I met at the Damned gig, I met Mark, said to him ‘ Can I write about, can I write for Sniffin Glue’ cause I loved writing, as long as, the only thing I was good at at school was writing. I said to him ‘Can I write about this – I’m down from Glasgow – Down fro’ Glasgae – Cannae wrigh bout the Damned’ and he said ‘No, do one yourself, go back to Glasgow, and do one yourself’.

M: So you did!

D: And so I spoke to the band – cause the Damned at that stage went into the bar and said ‘I’m down from Glasgae tae see ye’ and went back and put it together really quickly, put it together with my mate, Skid Kid – I mean seeing the actual Damned, it blew my mind. Everything I thought was happening with Punk Rock… It was actually better. The reality of seeing the Damned, it was better than I could possibly imagine. So fast, I never believed the songs could actually be so fast – hypnotic almost. And so this was my kind of… I gotta do something, that was my reaction to this. All I can do is write, I can’t sing, I can’t play guitar. All I can do is write. And so I put this together.

M: Can Rich Stars Rock? (TM reads article)… That’s Rock and Roll

D: It’s poetry – pure poetry.

M: Were you, eh, so how much did you charge for this when you did this? So this is Nov 1976…

D: There’s no actual price for this. I didn’t know what to charge. Let me tell you a little bit of the backstory – when I did go back and created ten pages, there’s ten pages here. At the work, I managed to photocopy ten copies of each page, so I’d ten issues. I’d ten copies of it stapled together. What was I going to do with it? I think, almost in a sense that was it. I’d done ten issues, I was fine, I was replete, and my creative impulses were done. I’d sent a copy to Rough Trade and a copy to Compendium Record, bookshop in the days when people used to write. Rough Trade wrote back to me and said ‘Great, can we order 200 copies’ and the next day Compendium wrote to say ‘Great, can we have 200 copies’ and I would have had to photocopy 400 copies, that’s 4000 on this work photocopier, and I thought I can’t do that.

M: Stapling alone is a kind of…

D: But I managed to… it’s leapt to another level. So I had an order 400 copies, and again I hadn’t put a price on it at that point. They said How much are you charging for it – and so I think I only charged 20p or 25p, and I said it to the shops they’d buy it for 15p and then sell it for 20p, 25p, and then I had to go to another printer, and the level just rose suddenly, who said he could print it and he did. And I had to sit and staple it all, and post these bundles down to London.

M: One sided, what size?

D: A4

M: A4? Sorry, I’m an American, we don’t all these sizes – it’s 11 x 14. Those are our two standard sizes, so the A7, A4 thing is like… it’s like Fahrenheit and Celsius. Yeah, I’ll give you 50p for this one!

D: I think they go for hundreds of pounds now…

M: Well, all of these fanzines we have here – do you have recognise some of these? Were you a fanzine collector at all?

D: I do, yeah. People used to swop – you’d do a fanzine, you’d swop fanzines. Everyone would be at a gig, by the… a bit later on, you’d have seven or eight people at gigs. And everyone used to swop… You’d go back with more than you’d turn up with…

M: I recall… ‘Cause fanzines would always have addresses of other fanzines in their fanzines, so you’d…

D: Once you got one, you could find more….

M: You’d throw a note inside the letter and hopefully a fanzine would come. Usually it would…

D: I… what I used to get is requests to buy records. People would write to me, saying can you buy me this?

INTERRUPTION

M: How many copies of RT did you make?

D: I made 17 in the end, and then I passed it on to lady called Vermillion. She did the 18th. I moved on. I went abroad, and she was… the idea was that she was going to carry on through. There were 17 at that point. And it grew quite dramatically, graphic wise and design wise, probably writing wise, the bit you read out. The bit with less swearing in it.

M: A bit less swearing.

D: Sentences probably got longer as well. So, we moved from A4 single sided to A3 – we started having A3, started having colour on the cover. And you see more… more inventive lay-out style. Of course there are more bands to write about, so a new world was coming up. New bands discovering things. It got quite big towards the end; it was quite a big seller. Quite good alternative to the music press. As I was saying about it to somebody… when the music press was saying that punk rock’s dead, the music press was saying that punk rock was over, they certainly went on a whole music press agenda that punk rock… So fanzines became really important, because they’re the only ones writing about,  because we never questioned whether punk rock was dead or not, we just knew it was alive, just write about the bands as we were doing in 77, 76. And so it then became important… A lot of it was much localised as well in different cities, writing about their local bands.

M: Did you ever think that you’d want to be in a  band? Did you ever have any aspiration to have a punk band? As much as you love punk…?

D: If I would have had a band, a band round about the David Bowie era, when I first got into music, roundabout 72, 73, when I was listening to the Stooges, the Velvets, started… then you’re hearing that stuff. You don’t have to be an accomplished guitarist to play… I just couldn’t fathom it. I think I tried. I got an acoustic guitar… And I can’t sing, even to punk rock standards – I haven’t got the strength of lungs for it. I admire, I really admire people…

INTERRUPTION

D: I was very good at writing in school, my only skill was writing. So it was natural for me to think this was the way I was going to go. If I had formed a band, it would have been before punk rock, and unfortunately it didn’t happen. Also I didn’t know enough people who liked that type of music…

M: Living in Glasgow in 1976, discovering punk rock in that community there, did you have other friends who also were where you were or did you feel pretty much that you were on the margins?

D: The ones who liked Mott the Hoople, liked Roxy Music, liked short songs, were ready, were primed for this style of music, this look. Those of my friends who liked Yes, Deep Purple, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin was huge in Glasgow – those people just didn’t get it all, and thought it was pop, punk… I remember playing Anarchy in the UK to some people and they said it’s just glam rock. And I thought, that’s probably why I like it.

M: I think in 76, a lot of people probably felt, hearing the Ramones or the Sex Pistols, that it was an extension of glam, but with leather jackets, jeans, and so it still had this kind of high concept in a way, but it was more into this street rock thing, which in a way, maybe you saw it a bit with Slade, or even Mud or these kind of bands. There was something a bit ‘street’ about it. Maybe…

D: In England we had the Bay City Rollers, who had the short trousers and scarves. And that look was taken off football hooligans. The short trousers maybe flared up to the calf.

M: They weren’t singing about anarchy or sniffing glue or…

D: And the spiky hair they had…

M: Or smashing things up. The…

D: Saturday night’s quite raucous.

M: Definitely. It’s alright for fighting. But, those sentiments needed to get real. And there was a certain sort of, EM, reality in what was being sung in the punk bands in 76 that sort of attracted us.

D: What I found was that I was going down to London and coming back was that London seemed more like my home and going back on the Monday, I was entering an alien land. I was entering more and more sort of seeing sort of friends. It was more my neighbourhood as it were, they were my people. Everything  back in Glasgow was just more and more alien and irrelevant. You know, I spent most of my time there, but I felt I was alive at that point.

M: So you relocated to London at some point?

D: At some point. I was still working at my job; where I did issues number 1 to 4. And by number 4 I actually put Glasgow’s Only Fanzine and straight in Tony Moves to London full sordid details. So you can see its right at the cross over point.

M: Did you have any foresight at the time about what was going to happen after 76, cause 77 everything explodes. Records, fanzines, everything sort of comes out. And more and more people are just like joining the league of punk. Did you feel that happening or did you just think it was going to be like this weird little thing? Cause in 76 it was a little bit transitional in a way…

D: I thought it was going to be a weird little thing, a little sub cult. I never thought of this explosion. Of course, Bill Grundy… the interview changed everything overnight.

M: And did you watch that?

D: It wasn’t on in Scotland. But every local, every paper, all the red tops, called the tabloids had it front page. It used to have… A tiny small TV show with a small interview on it, completely out of proportion. Because punk had all this filth and fury – the Pistols that was set up, was mostly cancelled, all the dates were cancelled. And that’s how it changed from being a little subculture – it could have just been loads of bands playing around. Small little groups of punks in different cities suddenly became them. Certainly punk exploded, a lot of people became punks after that. But really the first reason for being a punk – they became punks more for Sid Vicious and the Dead Boys. So it’s a shock thing now, rather than a lifestyle, an alternative lifestyle. I saw it as a lifestyle – a breakout of a boring reality. And people saw it as a shock, which then they kind of thought Saturday night’s all right for punking. Cause you have then to go back – they’re quite happy to work, and then the release.

M: Were bands coming up to Glasgow – did the Pistols come up there?

D: Well, the Pistols were cancelled – In RT 2; I’ve got the ticket stub in.

M: Oh, you’ve got the ticket stub in RT 2?

D: It was cancelled, because that was almost three days after Bill Grundy. The tour had started, when the Grundy issue had happened.

M: Oh, so that must have been really upsetting for you.

D: Yeah, it was… And I told so many people this is it – this is it. This is what I’m talking about. This is what I do on the weekends. It’s coming to Glasgow. No, it’s not coming to Glasgow. Then the Damned came supporting T Rex shortly after that.

M: Cause Marc Bolan was really pro-punk rock.

D: Because he had his TV show and he got bands on TV. So he got the Damned on TV. It was the first band to play a big venue – I think any band really. I think the Vibrators came up; Iggy Pop I think stopped at Newcastle wouldn’t come upwards! So as far as I know, the Damned supporting T Rex was the first London punk band to play Glasgow. We had the Runaways. The Runaways played that summer.

M: Did you go to see that?

D: Of course! It was huge!

M: Was that with Cherie Curry or was that?

D: Cherie was still singing then. The first album had just come out. That was actually – it sounds ridiculous – but that was the first time we saw people were interested in punk. We had people like Alex Ferguson, Sandy Robertson, SR went on to write for Sounds, and Alex Ferguson went on to write for ATV and Psychic TV. I met these people at gigs like that. And they had friends who became Orange Juice, Postcard Records. The Jesus and Mary Chain, they were at that gig. So all these kind of people you never really saw. This was the first time there. And unfortunately there was nothing again to really bring that side…

M: Was there a record store in Glasgow that people could socialise in?

D: Not really. The shops were very good – there were these independent shops that sold all this stuff. And had Anarchy in the window – the Damned, New Rose – promoting this stuff.

M: Which place was?

D: I can’t remember the names of the record shops. There were three really good independent shops. So Glasgow was really lucky… But there’s no… You went in there and you wouldn’t see another punk hanging around. It wasn’t like Rough Trade sort of ambience. There wasn’t a pub you’d go to with them.

M: Do you have a complete run of RTs?

D: Apart from Issue 4 – we have a 4 here from the LCC. They’ve actually got one of the last copies of RT4…

M: How much for this?

D: I think they’re selling it… a three figure sum I think it is. It’s not 1999.

M: Yeah, we’re looking at this catalogue – it comes out of the Netherlands and France, there are two dealers. And it’s rife with, eh, punk fanzines from 76 onwards…

D: And prices…

M: Well prices are extraordinary. There’s nothing hardly below €300.

D: So what’s this table worth do you reckon?

M: This table, I would imagine this table would be worth about maybe between ten and twenty thousand pounds.

D: We’re rich!

M: We’re rich in fanzines. But the thing is that we don’t want to sell our fanzines because money is for squares. We’ll take the fanzines to our grave.

D: That’s my problem. That’s why I never made it.

M: So in each of the RTs you had a chart which is not your chart, but is a chart from readers, they’d send in their favourite records.

D: That’s right. Send in your top ten favourite LPs and singles – a list of them. Not a list of them. If I’d been sent lists. I’d compile the charts – for RT1…

M: So RT1 must have just been you.

D: Me and the Skid Kid put it together. We had Ramones Number 1, Jonathan Richmond Modern Lovers album number 1.

M: And New Rose by Damned is number 2, eh. And did you own all these records? And how else would you hear them? Was much played on the radio at the time?

D: No, I think I put something in RT1 here about the BBC

M: The BBC? Did they have a clue?

D: John Peel did a sort of punk night one night. He took some stuff off Live at CBGBs, Kansas City…

M: That must have been pretty exciting to hear that.

D: It was a whole two hours I taped the whole show. I played that every day. And, em, I put on here ‘We Vibrate’ by the Vibrators was played on the Simon Bates show, which was a mainstream morning show.

M: THURSTON READS ARTICLE. What do you think?! 2016 – forty years later, you’re actually on BBC Two, talking about 1976 punk rock.

D: Unbelievable. I wrote that, I would never have thought it possible.

M: Well maybe you should do a new issue of RT, to serve, maybe… I take it all back [laughs]

D: The director’s cut of this one. What it really meant, and what happened afterwards.

M: After RT you did KYPP.

D: Yeah, I moved on to KYPP.

M: In ’80, I think it was?

D: Dec 79 I think. So the last RT I did was April 79 and KYPP came out in… December…. It was sold at an Ants NYE gig. So…

M: So Vermillion continues RT and you have a whole new…

D: I wanted to try something different. I went in a different direction.

M: And what was the aesthetic difference in a way? It looks a bit more… I don’t know, kind of wilder or something.

D: Yeah, I think the printer Joly. He had some… he sort of approached me about doing something. He had some new printing presses. He wanted to try something to experiment with.

M: So Jolly at Better Badges was really important to fanzine culture in the 70s wasn’t he?

D: He was, certainly in the 80s, around all the country at gigs with his Better Badges stall, and then he’d go back to London and go to Rough Trade…

M: He had a presence at the RT store where he would help fanzines be printed and assembled…

D: Well, he was working at Better Badges up the road. On Portobello itself. RT is on Kensington Park Rd. So you’ve got badges made elsewhere. He could start to print A4 fanzines. And then you had this idea of doing colour on colour. He did a lot of flyers for gigs at this time. This style of rainbow printing, it became his look, his way of doing things. And so he used to print a lot of fanzines, cornering the market really.

M: Do you keep in touch with Jolly?

D: He’s moved to NYC.

M: Yeah, I would see him all the time in my NYC years. He’s great; he’s still setting up all these… Sells some badges at gigs. And he’d ask and he has this long hair and smoking spliff and selling badges. And he was fabulous in the sense that that’s what he does and he does it perfectly. But the fact that he lends his knowledge of craft to anybody who wants to do something, and do it themselves. So he’s kind of the DIY king.

D: He didn’t go back into printing then? Cause he does a lot of audio stuff, doesn’t he?

M: I think so.

D: A lot of events and conferences.

M: He does. He’s a great archivist. Of his own accord obviously.

D: He used to help people, fanzine writers. If you wanted some spare cash, you’d go around to his over a weekend and make badges. So that means you’d have to pull the thing down. All these punk rockers would be in his basement churning out badges for £20 or £5 a day. So if you were stuck for cash, you’d go down to his dungeon.

INTERRUPTION

M: So were you into pit punk? Were you at the front of gigs pogo-ing? Gobbing?

D: Not gobbing. I think gobbing was a bit of a myth.

M: Really? Sometimes I read a lot of interviews about fanzines where they just talk about being gobbed on and how it’s a bit of a bummer.

D: It may have been outside London, but I’ve never seen it. In London, I saw pogo-ing friends. It wasn’t violent… We used to call it chicken dance later, because people used to swing their elbows out to scare people off. But the actual pogoing, jumping up and down, I think that was a bit of a myth as well. We used to dance kicking their legs together like that.

M: Like skank dancing!

D: Yeah! That sort of space but a bit more militaristic if you like. Clearing a space. But…

M: So what made you…? Did you feel you’d been led out of punk, or did you feel like punk was changing into different things?

D: I think it developed. To me, I think punk never died, it’s evolved and things have come out. And sometimes you have old school punk band like Flowers and the Dustbin. So I’m going to see a band in a small venue. But I think it just developed – people developed their own worlds really.

M: Did you continue to follow a lot of the music like PiL and going into bands of that era, going into My Bloody Valentine, Nirvana, the 90s – what was your trajectory of music listening?

D: I call it my gestalt  movement. When Crass appeared, 79 or 78 I first got the cassette. It was like this is what we were meant to be doing in the first place. I just got… This is it, and all the hard core anarchists writing and all the paraphernalia that went with Crass. It was a full on package of saying ‘In all your decadence people die’. Punk’s gone decadent – all the alternative lifestyle’s gone decadent. And that just like why – this is it. And Puppy and everything that came with it, after that is all there. Ants, Crass, Juno – that became the lifestyle. And the Ants at that point were still an unsigned band. Very very powerful music. But decadent. That’s the decadence, that’s the all your decadence people will die. So it’s combined – a lot of leather jackets would have Crass and Ants combined. There was no contradiction in liking both of them at all, which is all fanzine led information about them. And that became anarcho punk – and anarcho punk came out of that Crass chasm and ability to produce so much stuff. And quality stuff. After that, I think it became more interesting, all the psychobilly, and Goth stuff. All the Batcave stuff. Alien Sex Fiend. Taking the edges of the Ants world a bit further. On that side, I really liked the gun club, all that swampy, gothic, psychobilly stuff, and then you had the Crass stuff. My record collection… A bit like when new wave came out, and The Clash, Blondie, Pretenders, Elvis Costello.

M: At some point you stop publishing KYPP and you go off into your life, whatever you do.

D: Do you want to know what happened after? We went into festivals. The Stonehenge festival and things like that were starting to become punk infiltrated. There was a band called the Mob from the West Country. They knew all the festivals, they played them all and introduced bands to play the festivals. Poison Girls played the festivals. We started going to them. And at the festivals, they started fire=breathing, juggling, the Tibetan-Ukrainian… LIFE STORY.

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