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.

VIEW THE WHOLE B.B.C ARTSNIGHT PROGRAMME ON THE YOUTUBE POST HERE

 

The Mob – Meanwhile Gardens – August 1983 / The Clefts – 1981 / Ritual – 1982 / Kindergartan – 1985 / Yabby You And The Prophets – 1975 / The Apostles – 1986

A KYPP catch up on recent You Tube posts that have been published recently.

Uploaded tonight is a wonderful performance from The Mob, recorded at Meanwhile Gardens near Westbourne Park in the summer of 1983.

The audio is a second generation copy of the cassette that Protag, who was looking after the vulnerable P.A system on the day, recorded via the mixing desk.

I will endeavor to upload some more performances from The Mob in the future.

For downloads of this performance go to this KYPP post HERE

All the photographs are from the collections of Mick Lugworm and Tony D.

A photograph was taken at the pub next to the canal opposite Meanwhile Gardens. Some photographs were taken at Meanwhile Gardens. Some photographs were taken of various people walking to the Centro Iberico, a short walk from Meanwhile Gardens.Some photographs were taken outside and inside the Centro Iberico.

The rough typed interviews with The Mob are written and typed by Tony D and also from his collection.

The best I could do was to supply the Wilf drawings at the beginning and end, which are from my collection.

Oh and the cassette tape, which I guess is quite important considering!

Dedicated to Naomi Okada – This will put the book into some kind of perspective.

Some years after The Clefts had split up, I got to know Clive, the ex guitarist, and his brother Frank, the ex vocalist.

Although from Letchworth Garden City, the brothers were seen inside the nearby Stevenage venue, the Bowes Lyon House for the weekly punk nights on a regular basis.

Clive and his brother produced screen printed T – shirts from their mothers home, and sold them via the back pages of the music weeklies, at gigs, and from word of mouth.

Anyone that you saw with a Rudimentary Peni, UK Decay, Subhumans or Flux Of Pink Indians T – shirt, back in the early – mid 1980’s, would have got them from Clive and Franks micro business. The brothers were not bootlegging, always getting permission to produce designs on behalf of the bands. There were too many bands to mention on here, but I had several, including my adored Chron Gen T – shirts.

A few years down the line, it was Clive that printed all of the King Penguin Distribution catalogues, that I would send out or give away at gigs. There were three catalogues in all. Thanks for that grafting Clive! King Penguin Distribution managed to sell many of the designs that were still available back in the 1980’s, lovingly screen printed by Clive and Frank.

Clive still has a hand in T – shirt manufacturing, and has an eBay store. Some selected shirts still remain from those glory years but not too many sadly…

HERE is the eBay store details for Clive’s screen printing business.

The Clefts were ‘formed’ in the summer of 1978, although this school boy band only had two Spanish guitars, a biscuit tin, and a cymbal half inched by Frank from the school.

By 1979, after actually owning some cheap instruments, The Clefts started to get a sound influenced, not by Sex Pistols, but by the Swell Maps and the Mekons, and started performing a few gigs. I understand that a ‘few’ means exactly that, not many at all.

The band supported Patrik Fitzgerald at the Bowes Lyon House in 1980, with a new drummer that had joined the night before. A friend of Jon Thurlow ex of Optional Extras, and soon to become the guitarist of Chron Gen. I think The Clefts were first support to Crisis when that band visited Letchworth Garden City.

This record recorded in 1981 shares a sound similar to Part 1, a band from Bletchley in Buckinghamshire that were active around the same time. This is probably down to coincidence rather than either band forcing the sound. It’s more than very unlikely that either band had heard of the other band.

From what I understand there were only 750 copies of this 7″ single produced, making it outsell any other Letchworth Garden City band by around 750 copies.

Some members of the band Ritual had started practicing and performing sporadically, in 1979 as General Confusion. Only settling line ups and the name Ritual in 1981.

Ritual were one of the first ‘positive’ punk bands but never got the same recognition as Sex Gang Children or Southern Death Cult did in and around 1981 / 82.

Many compare Ritual to Theatre of Hate as the band also had a sax player. There could be comparisons to many other bands in parts. U.K Decay being an obvious one. Lack Of Knowledge and Part 1 being less obvious.

Prior to the ‘Mind Disease’ 7″ single, Ritual released a six track demo tape.

They also recorded tracks for a cassette album called “Songs For A Dead King” which was released with a booklet.

The booklet is featured page by page on this YouTube video.

‘Songs For A Dead King’ has some decent demo quality songs within the thirteen songs on the cassette, but I feel is slightly let down by the addition of a few ‘live’ recordings.

This is just me. I am a little O.C.D when it comes to albums released on vinyl, cassette or even 7″ E.P’s.

Either record and release a studio session, whether that means less tracks (as studios were expensive, then and now) or record a full on ‘live’ album.

I’m fine with either, but not mixed together.

Classic studio albums and classic ‘live’ albums are in abundance.

Mix the two and you begin to end up with, in my opinion (as if that would matter) a rather more ‘desperate’ release.

Anyway carrying on.

In 1983, Ritual re-recorded ‘Brides’, a track from the first demo cassette tape, and from the ‘Songs For A Dead King’ cassette tape.

The song was released as part of the ‘Kangaroo Court ‘ 12″ single. By far Ritual’s best release, and sadly their last.

The band fell apart as drummer Ray Mondo and guitar player Jamie Stewart were asked to join Death Cult.

Ray Mondo later switched the Death Cult drummer seat with Nigel Preston (ex-Theatre of Hate) to be the drummer in the last line up of the (early) Sex Gang Children. Vocalist Errol Blythe and bass player Mark Bond joined Spon (ex-UK Decay) to form In Excelsis.

Both the Ritual singles, and the cassette tape ‘Songs For A Dead King’ can be downloaded on the KYPP post HERE.

Hope you like this post, and remember that the images accompanying the audio is the original booklet scanned in full.

Kindergarten along with Lack Of Knowledge were one of the Enfield area bands, although by the time of this record being released some members of the band were holed up at Lansdowne Road in Tottenham, N17 within cheering distance of the football stadium there.

The band were connected to Tea House Camp not only by location (a member of Tea House Camp also lived at Lansdowne Road) but also by constantly performing together at various gigs around the North London area. Kindergarten were the heavier sounding of these two bands with a sound reminiscent of Killing Joke.

Tea House Camp were actually from Bradford, home of New Model Army and Southern Death Cult and were just temporarily based in London. Both brothers in that three piece band were actively employed by doing stints at Rough Trade Distribution, then based at Collier Street in Kings Cross, N1.

Kindergarten had quite a decent following at those North London gigs and I saw them a fair few times. A lot of Play Dead and New Model Army types used to come to the performances, including the infamous Nick The Frog. Joolz, the Bradford poetess and Justin from New Model Army would come along now and again and those two would also invite the band to there private parties in Stamford Hill which were fun. The couple that I went to were, in any case…

Gig highlights for me were performances at The Three Crowns in Stoke Newington on one of Jon Fat Beasts free entry gigs and The Boston Arms in Tufnell Park which was an all day gig with Brigandage, Rubella Ballet, Ausgang and Tea House Camp performing among a host of others.

The debut 7″ single, released on Diamond Records, ‘Warrior / Ha Ha Ha!’ had been released and sold out pretty fast, as far as I recall.

While an idea of recording the second single was in the air I was paying a visit to Lansdowne Road and it was discussed that the band wanted to place mugshots of various people onto the eventual artwork.

I went out to the nearest photo booth with Magnus who was quite an infamous character. He was a relatively well connected roadie and did a fair amount of regular work at the Clarendon in Hammersmith. The list of bands that he had worked for was quite vast including New Model Army, The Cult, Play Dead as well as Tea House Camp and Kindergarten.

We came away with four mugshots from Seven Sisters tube station and wondered back to Lansdowne Road where we placed them in a pile with other booth photographs already collated.

Around half a year later the record had been recorded and pressed and artwork ready to go to the printers and I was quite chuffed to see that three of the four photo booth photos that myself and Magnus had handed in, had been used. One of me, one of Magnus with his treasured (and seemingly always worn) eagle baseball cap, and one of the both of us together. Nick The Frog is one the sleeve twice although both the same booth photograph, but one of them has a sword drawn onto it! My younger brothers girlfriend of the time named Amy was also on the inside cover…

For the downloads of both singles released by Kindergarten go onto this KYPP post HERE.

Lovely.

This debut collection of recordings that were recorded by Vivian Jackson and The Prophets, included various 7″ single tracks dating from 1972 until 1974, on Jamaican record labels that were released in amazingly small quantities of no more than two hundred copies originally.

The album I have in my collection, credited to Vivian Jackon (sic) and his ‘Yabby You’ nickname, is the very first pressing on the Prophet records label, run by Vivian Jackson himself, that got distributed among the wave of militant roots reggae music that had became so popular in the large towns and cities of Jamaica in 1977. Some copies making there way to Europe, and specifically to the UK. Artists like Culture, Burning Spear and The Congos and many more helped pave the way for this music in the UK, with a large amount of help from late night radio DJ’s David Rodigen and John Peel.

The original pressing of this album was released in 1975 on the Micron record label, quickly followed in 1976 by the only UK version of the album to be released. ‘Conquering Lion’ was renamed ‘Ram A Dam’ for the UK market, and contained most of the tracks on the Micron Records pressing, although in a different running order. ‘Yabby U and The Prophets’ was the revised artist name and the album was released on the Lucky record label.

If you own a copy on either of the Micron or Lucky record labels then you have a real treasure. Look after it. They are worth hundreds and hundreds of dollars.

My heavy weight first pressing, with it’s heavyweight cardboard sleeve released on the Prophet record label, is rare enough, but willing to trade for a Micron issue!

Vivian Jackson was born in extreme poverty in Kingston and got seriously ill in his teens while working at a furnace facility. Thrown out of his employment, he had no choice but to became a beggar and hustler around the markets, in the tough ghetto’s of Kingston. Vivian being disabled and in such a ragged state, no one would employ him, added to this situation, he also had his share of knocks living on the street.

He eventually started to compose songs and, as normal with Jamaican artists, visited many recording studios and sung acapella style to the studio owners. Osbourne Ruddock AKA King Tubby told the artist to come back to the studio with the (ever so) important JA dollars, and they would cut a vocal and a dub.

Vivian had no money and had to wait quite some time to go back to the studio, this time with The Prophets (actually originally credited as Ralph Brothers on the final released record in 1972) to get ‘Conquering Lion’ down on dub-plate with a King Tubby’s dub on the reverse side.

This dub-plate, as usual in Jamaica, was played on the sound system that was affiliated with the studio the tracks were recorded in; King Tubby’s sound system in this case, and from the reaction from the crowd at the dances, a few hundred copies were pressed up on the NOW label. These copies sold out and gave Vivian his first steps in the industry, to build up a working relationship with Tubby that would last several years.

The ‘Conquering Lion’ album is filled with tracks that are sublimely beautiful, and without doubt some of the best roots music ever produced by any artist. Quite frankly, a cornerstone of the reggae genre. It is also one of my very favorite records, of any genre.

The original KYPP post HERE.

I knew Andy Martin and Dave Fanning of The Apostles reasonably well, when they both moved to 108 Brougham Road Hackney.

I was visiting Brougham Road several times a week, as I had nothing better to do with my time locally, so I was volunteering my time to All The Madmen records, a record label based at 96 Brougham Road.

I stayed over both houses on occasions, and even painted the inside of 108 Brougham Road once, much to the appreciation of Andy Martin and Dave!

Andy Martin was very kind to me in general, and in the case of painting his hallways, landings and other parts of the house, he gave me three cassettes.

One of which is uploaded onto this YouTube post today.

[I was happy for the cassettes – I was not expected to be paid as I wanted to be useful]

There were times when the Hackney Hell Crew were staying there and others would visit.

The Hackney Hell Crew members that I remember being in the house on a regular basis were Pus (Goatsbreath), Ollie, Simo and Martin Barabbas… Two of those Hackney Hell Crew members are no longer with us, and haven’t been for some decades now…

Ollie and Martin Barabbas were both in The Apostles in 1984 recording the 4th E.P ‘The Giving Of Love Costs Nothing’ (ironic title given the subject matter on this E.P) and the 5th E.P ‘Smash the Spectacle’ recorded in 1985.

Now and again, Andy and Dave would jam in the practice room at 108 Brougham Road aided and abetted by whoever was around the house at the time. I banged a drum on the odd occasion.

The ‘Aktion Klub’ was based at 108 Brougham Road, it wasn’t a club, there were no flyers to advertise, and there was not really an audience, save whoever was around the house at the time, there were no regular events.

The Apostles on this session respectably sound like their influences, Whitehouse / Come Organisation, Throbbing Gristle, ‘Vibing Up The Senile Man’ era Alternative T.V and Psychic T.V.

This recording can be hard to listen to, unless of course, you have an ear for this kind of thing.

The visuals that accompany the audio on this YouTube post are two scans of my original cassette tape given to me (as a set) from Andy Martin for painting large areas of the house, and with a nice touch, there is a picture he drew of me, the way I looked in 1985 and 1986.
I am not sure what the hands covering my ears reference is. Perhaps he thought I would hate the material on the cassette tape!

Also scanned are two photographs from my collection of the back garden and Dave Fanning’s bedroom at 108 Brougham Road.
These photographs were taken by my younger brother for an art project he was involved in. I have the original photographs though.

There is an old KYPP post with this cassette uploading onto it if anyone wants or feels the need to download the audio HERE.

This is The Apostles ‘Industrial’ side.

The Apostles ‘Punk’ side will be uploaded onto YouTube at some point in the future.

The Mob – Meanwhile Gardens – June 1983 / ONU Sound Disco Plates – 1982 – 1983 / The Abyssinians – The Congos – 1977 – 1978 / Louise – Andy Martin – Josef Porta – Tim Hutton – 1981 / First Of May – 1988 / MENEJECT – 1980

A KYPP catch up on recent You Tube posts that have been published recently.

Uploaded tonight is an absolutely electrifying performance from The Mob, recorded at Meanwhile Gardens near Westbourne Park in the summer of 1983.

The audio is a second generation copy of the cassette that Protag, who was looking after the vulnerable P.A system on the day, recorded via the mixing desk.

Three of the tracks from Protag’s master cassette tape were chosen and featured on the B-side of The Mob’s reissued ‘Crying Again / Youth’ 12” single on All The Madmen Records, released in 1986.

‘Gates Of Hell’ ‘No Doves Fly Here’ and ‘What’s Going On?’

I will endeavor to upload some more performances from The Mob in the future.

For downloads of this performance go to this KYPP post HERE

All the photographs are from the collections of Mick Lugworm and Tony D.

A photograph was taken at the pub next to the canal opposite Meanwhile Gardens. Some photographs were taken at Meanwhile Gardens. Some photographs were taken of various people walking to the Centro Iberico, a short walk from Meanwhile Gardens.Some photographs were taken outside and inside the Centro Iberico.

The rough typed interviews with The Mob are written and typed by Tony D and also from his collection.

The best I could do was to supply the poster for the reissued ‘Crying Again / Youth’ 12” single on All The Madmen Records, the sleeve artwork and the Wilf drawing, which are from my collection.

Oh and the cassette tape, which I guess is quite important considering!

Dedicated to Naomi Okada – This will put the book into some kind of perspective.

A clutch of well played 10″ singles from the ONU Sound disco plate series.

This is not the full set sadly. But with the running time for this YouTube post at an hour, you are getting your monies worth.

The records that are featured on this YouTube post are:

DP1: Prince Far I – Virgin / Bim Sherman – Danger
DP2: Bim Sherman – Revolution / Too Much Work Load
DP3: Creation Rebel – Independent Man / Creation Rebel
DP4: London Underground – Strange Things / Conspiracy / Why Do Fat Men Have Such Skinny Thoughts?
DP8: Congo Ashanti Roy – African Blood / Hands And Hearts

The records missing are:

DP6: Noah House Of Dread – Murder / Stand Firm
DP9: Congo Ashanti Roy – Breaking Down The Pressure / Mikey Dread – Autobiography
DP10: Bim Sherman – Keep You Dancing / Can’t Stop Moving

All tracks are engineered and produced by Adrian Sherwood.

London Underground featured Pete Holdsworth on vocal duties.

Several years later Pete started work on the Pressure Sounds record label, one of the better reggae labels specialising in releasing extremely rare reggae with extensive sleeve notes.

Folk who are interested in this ONU Sound YouTube post would no doubt know about the Pressure Sounds record label, so I will not bang on further.

London Underground had a sound reminiscent of Public Image Limited circa ‘Metal Box’ which is not a bad foundation to build a sound to.

The other artists featured on the disco plates are of course well known so will leave you to Google them if you need to.

Uploaded tonight are two well played 12″ reggae singles.

In fact two of my favorite 12″ reggae singles.

Neither of these two reggae harmony vocal groups, The Abyssinians and The Congos, need too much of an introduction.

Neither of these two 12″ reggae singles, and the four tracks upon them, need too much of an introduction either.

The Abyssinians: I & I / Satta A Masagana

The Congo(es): Neckodeemus / Solid Foundation

It is sufficient to write that these two 12″ reggae singles are among the very best released, from any reggae harmony vocal groups in 1977 and 1978.

The Rasta featured in this YouTube post with his bin liner full of herbs, is called Rusty.

Rusty lives (or at least lived) in Bluefields, Westmoreland, Jamacia.

Bluefields is the tiny beach town (and the accompanying hills) where the late Peter Tosh was born, and lived.

For plenty more information on The Congos, please have a look at this KYPP post HERE

These two 12″ reggae singles are immense.

Louise – The Witches / Youth In Asia / Hysteria Ward
Andy Martin – The Apostles
Josef Porta – Zounds / The Mob / Blyth Power
Tim Hutton – The Mob / Zounds

SOME HISTORY

Lou was living with the Puppy Collective at Puppy Mansions in Westbere Road Hampstead during 1981. Lou along with other house mates went to witness a gig in the squatted ‘Grimaldi’ church in Pentonville Road, Kings Cross. The Grimaldi church was so called as that is the resting place for a famous clown Joseph Grimaldi who died in 1837. The proper name for the church to any other congregation, other than punk squatters, was St James church.

Among the bands performing that night was The Mob. This was the first time Lou had witnessed the band and she was shortly in a relationship with Mark from the band. Through Mark, who was living at 74 Brougham Road at the time, Lou met Josef Porta and Tim Hutton among other notable Brougham Road co – op members.

Tim at the time was drumming for The Mob. Josef was drumming for Zounds.

When Lou was commuting from Puppy Mansions into Hackney to see Mark Mob in Brougham Road it was decided one night to record a low key jam in Josef’s bedroom at 64 Brougham Road.

One of the tracks on this personal tape is entitled ‘Shalom’ which means peace in Hebrew. This is a track that was written by Lou after she was badly attacked by two skinhead girls in Kilburn.

Brett and Mick Lugworm from Puppy Mansions managed to get Lou to the Royal Free hospital in Hampstead to get cleaned up and mended.

The bedroom session has Josef on drums, Tim on guitar and Lou on second guitar and vocals.

This line up ventured out of Josef’s bedroom only twice Lou remembers.

Once at a pub now forgotten when an amp blew up so no performance was completed, and once on the Fuck Off stage which was set up at Stonehenge Festival.

The Stonehenge performance went ahead but as Lou and Tim had dropped acid a little while before, it was not that memorable at least to Lou who was tripping heavily.

She remembers the reception to the performance was pretty good but that could be just the drugs! The band retreated back to the KYPP tent after the performance to enjoy the rest of the evening at the stones on Salisbury plain.

Andy Martin from The Apostles was also a huge motivator for Lou.

Lou ended up at the top room of the squat that Andy had in Foulden Road, Stoke Newington, and between them composed and performed several tracks that appear on the tape that you may download below in the KYPP link.

Lou got on with Andy Martin very well, and even got a cake given to her, made by Andy for her to share with Mark from The Mob.

Commuting to Stoke Newington was also pivotal to Lou’s future as it was there that she was first introduced to Rob Challice then of Faction.

Lou had seen Rob at the Wapping Autonomy Centre but had not up to this point ever spoken to him. Lou sold Rob her heavy black bass guitar in fact in Andy’s Foulden Road squat!

Much more to read on this KYPP post HERE.

This cassette tape has been knocked around a little bit so there are a few dropouts within the recordings but hopefully that would not spoil the music too much…

All artwork displayed in this YouTube posts that accompanies the audio are original artworks painted by Louise and are all from Louise’s collection.

A two track demo cassette sent to me by Gerard, at that point the ex vocalist of Flowers In The Dustbin, a band that had split up a year previously, towards the very end of 1987.

‘Cowboys And Indians’ is a version of the old Flowers In The Dustbin song, followed by a First Of May Group original, ‘Freaks’.

Both tracks are wonderful. Featuring violins, acoustic guitars, Gerard’s unmistakable vocals, alongside beautiful female backing vocals.

Both songs have a strong ‘life force’, you can imagine sitting by streams and fields if you try just a little bit.

In the absence of any ‘relevant’ First Of May Group visuals to go with this demo cassette audio, I have scanned my original letter from Gerard with the first notification (to me in any case) of this new band Gerard was involved in.

I have also scanned in a photograph that I took in the mid 1970’s with my fathers camera. Stonehenge in Wiltshire.

A photograph of Stonehenge, some ten years prior to the battle of the beanfield happening in 1985, where police and bailiffs rampaged throughout fields, damaging dozens of peaceful peoples homes, bodies and lifestyles, within a few long hours of fear.

I felt that an authentic photograph of Stonehenge from my collection, suited the mood of the audio and of course, it suits the day that I place this YouTube post up.

I have uploaded this First Of May Group post onto YouTube during the Winter Solstice, so I have added some information on this very special day below.

Yule: Winter Solstice – Dec 21st / 22nd

The origin of the word Yule, has several suggested origins from the Old English word, geõla, the Old Norse word jõl, a pagan festival celebrated at the winter solstice, or the Anglo-Saxon word for the festival of the Winter Solstice, ‘Iul’ meaning ‘wheel’. In old almanacs Yule was represented by the symbol of a wheel, conveying the idea of the year turning like a wheel, The Great Wheel of the Zodiac, The Wheel of Life. The spokes of the wheel, were the old festivals of the year, the solstices and equinoxes.

The winter solstice, the rebirth of the Sun, is an important turning point, as it marks the shortest day, when the hours of daylight are at their least. It is also the start of the increase in the hours of daylight, until the Summer Solstice, when darkness becomes ascendant once more.

Cycle of the Year

Yule is deeply rooted in the cycle of the year, it is the seed time of year, the longest night and the shortest day, where the Goddess once again becomes the Great Mother and gives birth to the new Sun King. In a poetic sense it is on this the longest night of the winter, ‘the dark night of our souls’, that there springs the new spark of hope, the Sacred Fire, the Light of the World, the Coel Coeth.

Fire festivals, celebrating the rebirth of the Sun, held on the Winter’s Solstice can be found throughout the ancient world. The Roman festival of Saturnalia was held on the winter solstice, boughs of evergreen trees and bushes would decorate the house, gifts where exchanged and normal business was suspended. The Persian Mithraists held December 25th as sacred to the birth of their Sun God, Mithras, and celebrated it as a victory of light over darkness. In Sweden, December 13th was sacred to the Goddess Lucina, Shining One, and was a celebration of the return of the light. On Yule itself, around the 21st, bonfires were lit to honour Odin and Thor.

The festival was already closely associated with the birth of older Pagan gods like Oedipus, Theseus, Hercules, Perseus, Jason, Dionysus, Apollo, Mithra, Horus and even Arthur with a cycle of birth, death and resurrection that is also very close to that of Jesus. It can hardly be a coincidence that the Christians, also used this time of year for the birth of Christ, mystically linking him with the Sun.

That Yule is another fire festival, should come as no surprise, however unlike the more public outdoor festival of the summer solstice, Yule lends itself to a more private and domestic celebration. Yet like its midsummer counterpart, is strongly associated with fertility and the continuation of life. Here the Goddess is in her dark aspect, as ‘She Who Cuts The Thread’ or ‘Our Lady in Darkness’, calling back the Sun God. Yet, at the same time, she is in the process of giving birth to Son-Lover who will re-fertilise her and the earth, bringing back light and warmth to the world.

For appreciators of WHITEHOUSE / S.P.K or Throbbing Gristle.

This 7″ single comes with a picture sleeve, and includes several inserts, all within a oversized envelope.

All of those are scanned and added to this YouTube video of these two tracks by MEN/EJECT.

I know not know anything about MEN/EJECT apart from this is a great little artifact.

What I can gather from one of the inserts is that the P.O contact is in San Francisco. The recording studio is in New York, and that the engineers for the session have names that are Japanese or Korean. Another insert has a photograph of dead dogs with the heading ‘The Final Choice Of Mature Taste’.

Adding two and two together to make five, there might be a clue that MEN/EJECT were possibly Korean U.S citizens with the dog eating reference… Or that might be complete rubbish. I do not know. If anyone does know, let me know and I will place the information shared onto this post.

 

Raped / Cuddly Toys – Parole / Overseas Records – 1977 / 1978 / 1979

During the late summer of 2015, Tony D and Faebhean Kwest, the guitarist from Raped / Cuddly Toys got together for the first time in thirty five years.

Tony D had featured Raped in his original fanzine ‘Ripped And Torn’ and later on, featured Cuddly Toys in his new fanzine ‘Kill Your Pet Puppy’.

Here is a transcript of the conversations.

All the records are from my collection, sorry for some of the surface noise, these records have been well played.

The Cuddly Toys album on C.D and download can be purchased directly from Jungle Records on their website HERE The C.D comes with an extra D.V.D of interviews and promo videos.

All the photographs, flyers and other memorabilia are from Tony D’s collection.

Oh, and a quick note; Tony D was correct when he informed Faebhean that my favourite Cuddly Toys song is ‘Alien’, added to that, and for the record, ‘Moving Target’ by Raped, is one of the finest punk tracks of the era in my opinion. ‘Moving Target’ sitting pretty as the first track, on the first side, of the first single.

Indebted to Faebhean Kwest.

Moving Target / Raped

Escalator Hater / Normal

Your first record that was released. Do you think that Chelsea and Sham had a similar sound on their debut?

We were before Sham, but not before Chelsea as they were going back in ’76. We did not want to sound like any of those early punk bands like Eater or 999. Sean was obsessed with old Bowie and Iggy Pop, where as I preferred, sounds funny, Johnny Winter, Richard Hell  and the New York Dolls, a band I had actually seen, and I came away with my eyes open, a ‘Blues Brothers’ moment, of feeling that’s the way forward, and I was not the only person in the world who thought that you did not have to dress in a white suit like Eric Clapton or perform like the Rolling Stones. You could play music from the dark side of the tracks.

Before the New York Dolls what were your influences?

I liked rockabilly, Eddie Cochrane that kind of stuff. I wanted to be Marc Bolan, and maybe a member of Sweet, although I definitely would have wanted to be in T Rex. I liked the simplicity of it, I thought Bowie, and I know he is somewhat of a sacred cow, but to me, he was more an actor, not a ‘rock star’, he played the part. Whereas Bolan you could imagine that he really would walk around the house dressed like that. I always liked in music and film, people that were somewhat ‘off the wall’ and are not looking like that they are trying to be eccentric. I’ve known Adam Ant since God knows when, and I would say to Adam, you’re a little bit off the wall, a bit eccentric, and he would reply, “No I’m not” and that’s brilliant, as you know, he is eccentric ‘off the wall’. I say that with the great affection. The last time I saw him a couple of years ago, we shared a house with him in Deal, Kent, for a party and he was still as wonderfully ‘out there’ as ever.

Good. How did you meet Sean, Paddy and…?

We met through an advertisement in the Melody Maker. “Wanted for weird glamourous, pantomime band with loud clothes and loud attitude”.

So you never met them before in your life?

No. What it was is that the only places that would put on, you know, the punk groups were either arty farty bohemian places or gay bars like Louise’s in the West End or the Pan Club in Luton. Places like that. If you turned up at a normal rock venue and play, you’d get booed off. The promoters would say “I bet you don’t like Jethro Tull or Pink Floyd”. “No we fucking don’t, we want to play our generations music” and all the hippies would become more reactionary than our dads! The music papers, they sort of tolerated the punk thing, but even so, an advertisement then was…  Yeah that’s how we got together. Sorry I digress.

When did Raped start up?

1976. I had already auditioned for the Pistols late on in ’75 or early ’76, forgotten now, and I could see the way that the wind was changing and I knew that there was something in the air. I went along for the audition, and went to the wrong place in Denmark Street. I thought I was auditioning for Sparks. I turned up and went upstairs. I got bleached blond crewcut hair; I had a green weird top on, a pair of red drainpipe trousers and white winkle pickers on. McClaren was there and he showed me a picture of the New York Dolls, and asked me if I knew who they were. And I had already seen the New York Dolls at the Rainbow Room Bibas; I still got the ticket stub! McClaren wanted me to join immediately as I looked like an embryonic ‘70’s punk. The auditions for Raped we saw a lot of good and bad people, but Sean turned up, who in those days had long wavy hair, like a Kevin Keegan hair style and flares, and polo neck jumper, despite what he would have ever said. Tony Bagget was in some rock band. Paddy turned up, we didn’t know who he was, or anything about him, but others had not turned up, so he joined!

Did Paddy look like… you know; have the long hair and… glam?

Oh yes very much so. I had already been doing a punk thing with a band called Swank, which was what was left of the Swankers. Swankers were members of the Pistols thing. Swank were people like Nigel from the Vibrators, Gary Olson, the popular actor on vocals. We were like really early punk stuff. We actually supported Adam And The Ants, at the Man On The Moon in Chelsea, early 1977 and the audience walked out apart from Jordan and Sue Catwoman!  Adam was running around with one of those ‘rapist masks’ from Seditionaries’ and he was mad and I thought that’s the way for me! Swank also supported the Rezillos.

So Swank were still kind of punky?

One of the first punk groups.

But you left Swank and joined Raped?

Yes, I wanted to form my own band. Gary Grant (Olson) auditioned this other guitarist behind my back, actually got him into the rehearsal studio, and I decided it wasn’t for me. Anyway I thought it was becoming a little boring and tedious and that advert went into Melody Maker for a band a little more glamorous, a bit more pantomime. The band that would become Raped.

What songs did you have written early on?

Oh, ‘Escalator Hater’, ‘Moving Target’. We performed the song ‘London’, which was the Screaming Lord Sutch number. He was quite ‘out there’ as well; I thought he was a kindred spirit. There were certain bands that the punks liked, like The Who, MC5, oh and Link Wray, people like that. These bands and people were not like the rock ‘guitar solo’ acts. These people were, again, from the dark side of the tracks. When I saw Link Wray live he was like; “Go fuck yourself, I’m not Elvis, I’m real”, I felt that he was another person that I would like to be… Raped sat around and all added parts to the early songs, I bought in a bit of New York Dolls and Johnny Winter and dare I say it, a bit of early Jimmy Page.

Tell us about the studio that you recorded the first single ‘Pretty Paedophiles’ in.

Sean had met a man called Alan Hauser, who wanted to put a punk record out. Alan wasn’t the best manager, but he ended up managing us. Alan knew the people behind Spaceward studios in Cambridge. The sessions were alright. It was the first recording studio that any of us had been in. We had done some recording around people’s houses with tape records and things; but not proper studios.

Did you record just the four songs or were there more?

We did record more songs at Spaceward, but I do not know what happened to them. They just disappeared. I think we recorded six or seven songs.

So you did not record any demos or anything, you just went straight in?

That’s right, it sounds laughable nowadays, but back then, bands were going straight in for quick recording sessions, a bit like it was in the ‘50’s and ‘60’s. Bands nowadays probably spend a week laying down a bass part! I like to think of the bands from the ‘Swing’ period, Duke Ellington, Django Reinhardt who would know the music intimately and go into studios with large orchestras and take just a couple of takes and that would be what would be cut onto a 78 rpm record. If any errors did occur, then the errors would stay on the recordings. But that was all part of the charm, you might get a few bum notes, but you would get the spontaneity which has been lost now.

The title of the single was ‘Pretty Paedophiles’…

That had nothing to do with me, I did not even know what the word meant, next thing you know Alan Hauser and Sean came up with that name. I’d suggested something like ‘Pantomime Bastards’, which I thought great at the time! It was just to be annoying I think. This was in a time that bands were singing in phoney American accents, being really cool and who would be the new guitarist of the Rolling Stones, who gives a fuck? And we did not want that, we wanted it to be mad. Sean and Alan said this is what we are going to call it. Later on, any input that I had was being diminished, and the band was becoming Sean and Alan’s thing. “Thank you very much for everything, but we’re in charge now”.

Yet you had formed the band.

Yes originally. Sean was practically living in Alan’s place, and was there all the time. Album designs became Sean’s baby, that was it, whether we liked it or not. In fact one of the bones of contention, one of the reasons I was dismissed from the band was because of his plans after ‘Guillotine Theatre’ album, he wanted to do an album of Bowie and Iggy Pop covers. He was just trying to be annoying and a Bowie clone.

The same question about the band name ‘Raped’.

Originally we were going to call ourselves ‘The Solicitors’, until Sean realised what Soliciting meant, and then ‘The Glass Spiders’ which was getting too silly, Bowie to a large degree. Some more names were thought of. ‘Wolfling’ was one; I pretended that there was another band called ‘Wolfling’ because I thought it was a shyte name.

We just came out with a really stupid name (Raped) like that. The name was changed because of John Peel of all people. He had already been playing our stuff on the radio a few times. He wanted to do a session with us, and suggested a complete opposite extreme name to Raped like ‘The Fluffy Bunnies’ or ‘Cuddly Toys’ or something and we thought, yeah. I still have a letter that he wrote to us which has got his inked stamp on it, stating ‘John Peel, the World’s most boring man’. Brilliant, I liked John Peel.

So you all sat around and chose Cuddly Toys?

Yeah, Sean suggested, Chocolate Fireguard, The Moonrockets, Rocking Rhythm Boys… That would go down well wouldn’t it! Glass Spiders name came up again, or the Ziggy Wiggie band or something… Oh fuck off please!  Why don’t we just call ourselves the Bowie impersonators? I wasn’t even that much of a Bowie fan, although I liked him, Sean was obsessed by him.

Was there any danger to the band being called Raped, did you get any aggression towards you?

No, no, not really. It was all part of the punk period and germaine to 1977. It was usually students, and the rock establishment who would get pissed off about it. It was just being annoying. You cannot take it in the context of nowadays where everyone wants to hang around with Simon Cowell. It was also a kick back to the Americanisation of bands with Marshall amp stacks and white suits or whatever. We were just annoying U.K boys really, and thought the name would be funny (followed by ironic ha ha ha’s – ed), but not as bad as the ‘Moors Murderers’ or the ‘Cambridge Rapists’.

When I first interviewed you for Ripped And Torn, we went to a gay bar.

Yes, we went to one in Earls Court, a heavy gay bar, leather and whip type places. We went there just to be annoying, I mean nowadays, you would probably be taken to a Starbucks or something! It was just an odd place to go to. You weren’t freaked by it either; you showed a bit of class! It was full of fellas with big beards and leather hot pants and things like that, yes.

There was a connection to gay bars at that time, The Roxy used to be a gay bar and…

It was, yes. It wasn’t really a connection; it was just that these places were the only ones willing, or able to put on these oddballs. It’s like the only places that would be willing to put on ‘black disco’ acts were gay bars, and is partly why disco had such a large gay following really.

We were regarded as so ‘out there’ the established rock establishment didn’t want anyone like us, they hated us with a passion. It must have been like what Elvis had experienced when he first went on stage and was considered a white musician performing ‘coon music’ and he would have experienced something similar, almost hatred. Jazz was regarded with the same sort of hatred in the early 1900’s. Even Strauss was booed off stage, and Debussy was threatened with ‘Le Fauvre’.

So did you go to gay bars when you were not performing?

No, not intentionally!

Raped played The Roxy of course.

We did yes, many times.

That was an old gay bar called Chaguaramas.

Yes, owned by Kevin St. John, who was quite funny and put a lot of the bands on there and Andrew Czezowski. I had watched many groups there and Andy asked us to play.

Do you remember the first time there?

No not really, I don’t remember the first one although we played with nearly all the bands like Menace and The Lurkers and all the bands like that down there. I had been to the Roxy initially early on when it first opened and I saw The Damned there and thought that they were absolutely brilliant. As close to the stage as I am to you right now, knowing that they were not ‘guitar heroes’ but they were great. Our generation! It didn’t matter, and we were the same age. They looked like me, but an extreme version of me, and I liked the songs. I just thought they were brilliant.

One memorable night we were down there and Generation X turned up and wanted to play and headline the night. Kevin St. John or Andrew Czezowski told them you can’t as Raped are headlining, but we agreed to toss a coin, to see who would go on first. So we tossed a coin, and the coin went our way so Generation X supported us that night which was quite funny, wasn’t it. There is an epilogue to this story, as years later when Billy Idol was going to America, he was holding auditions and I went along with my late wife, and he knew me anyway so I got a second audition, for a very short while I could have been a member of Gen X! He done very, very well for himself, I must admit I do like some of the stuff that he did over there, ‘White Wedding’, good, nice tracks.

Yeah he got the production that he deserved really.

Yes. He did.

You played other venues as well; do you remember any of the others, the Music Machine, the Vortex?

Yes. The Music Machine that was a beautiful place, full of nooks and crannies. It used to be an old music hall theatre. The stage was beautiful. The kind of stage that you could imagine Vesta Tilly, Marie Lloyd and all those performing, I’ve always loved the music hall, even when I was a kid, I was made up with it, we played there. A wonderful sound!

The Vortex?

Yes we played the Vortex. We played the Global Village Trucking Company, which became Heaven, and the strangest thing about that place was that you could go on stage there and play with an amp the size of a match box and you will hear this most incredible, the sound was able to carry right to the other end of the hall. You could hear every note, ambiance for music that I have ever heard in my life. I’ve never known a venue like it, I hope that hasn’t changed but it didn’t have loads of sound deflectors like you have at the Albert Hall, it just had this incredible sound. So we were playing with these little amps and people right at the back were listening to us.

It wasn’t called Global Village Trucking Company…

No. it changed its name shortly afterwards, probably to exorcise our evil after we performed there!

And then there was a place called the Centro Iberico.

Yes, that was a bonkers place. We got the gig through Alan I think, he knew some people there, I think he was trying to chat some women up that were there. We turned up and there were loads of Spanish anarchists there, it wasn’t long after Franco had died and the end of fascism in Spain, so we played the place and it was full of people saying I am going to smash the Spanish state, I had never been to Spain so I did not have a clue about it. There were pictures of Franco there with things like safety pins sticking out of him. And I always remember, someone told me a strange and funny story there, that when Hitler went to see Franco and tried to get him to join the axis with Mussolini, and apparently Franco was so annoying, horrible and just pedantic that you come away almost feeling sorry for Hitler because apparently he said “I would rather have my teeth pulled out than listen to him again”. Anyone that could do that to old Hitler and old Mussolini was, brilliant, quite funny. That story was floating in my head while we were playing there.

Who were you playing there with?

Oh I can’t remember some fucking really awful bands, people that kept saying; “I know punk, I know this and that” and you just wanted to say; “You don’t, you haven’t a clue sweetheart”, bands that think that they ‘knew’ punk, because they were wearing bin bags and safety pins, and just jumped about playing so badly shouting and screaming. That’s bollocks, what you on about? It’s like nowadays when you get people saying; “I’m a punk”, no you’re not. Punk was a just a period of time from 1976 through 1978 really, and then it died. It stopped. Which is fair enough, something else came along. If punk hadn’t died there might not have been that new romantic thing, the Blitz kids and those party people.

We, as anarcho punks thought it all carried on, Crass and all that, 1982, 1983.

Crass were ‘out there’. We really got on with Crass and became good friends with them but I wouldn’t have called them punks. They had a punk history and a punk background but I feel they moved on. They didn’t stay static in amber, they moved on from that.

At one time, I used to feel really saddened when I used to see in 1975 or ’76, before the punk thing, well at the start of punk, early ‘50’s Elvis and people dressed up like Teddy Boys and saying that the only music that ever exists is rock and roll. No, something else is going to come along which will be good in its own way. And it’s true, the punk thing happened in 1977.

And that’s why when people say to me; “They don’t make music like they used to”, I go yes they do. It’s not the same but they do, it’s different, things change as it does do. I like playing lots of 1930’s guitar music right now, and I know that music has changed incredibly since then, but the shape of the guitar, the shape of the amplifiers, the sound, the way people react is different, of course sometimes people wallow in nostalgia from before and want to re-live their youth. And that’s fair enough, it’s like lots of people go and see these Mersey Beat bands, Gerry And The Pacemakers and that sort of stuff. Its good fun, but they are not eighteen years old lads in tight fitting suits anymore; they are bunch of overweight sixty year olds, which is fair enough, but don’t ignore what’s happening now.

Cheap Night Out 

Foreplay Playground

OK, let’s talk about the second single. That was recorded at Morgan Studios. What do you think the difference was between that and Spaceward?

Oh, Morgan Studios was much better, I think maybe Led Zeppelin had recorded there, and lots of bands like that. We went in there and it was much more sophisticated. The desk man was less chaotic than the man at Spaceward, he was a bit more smooth. That didn’t mean that the sound was smooth, it just meant that he seemed to have far more experience which does help. It sounded better, was a much better studio, a huge studio.

How come you got into that studio?

Because of Alan. Alan Hauser our manager got us there. I think he knew them.

The sound of the first E.P was far rawer than Morgan.

Yes, well we went straight in there and ‘boom’, recorded six or so tracks in the day, so of course it was going to be much more urgent, much more, bang, straight in. Whereas we had the luxury at Morgan to do the whole track and wow, we did double track, and which sounds laughable but, despite the fact that Les Paul invented that in the 1950’s, we didn’t have much of a clue of it.

The mixing desk was twice the size and really good mics and of course, we were going to sound better. I don’t want to say that one sound is better because I actually listened to my old E.P a few months ago and I was actually pleasantly surprised to hear, and this will sound big headed, how good my guitar sound was and how precise it was. I hit all the right notes and used all six strings! Wow… And I can’t recapture that. People have said to me; “Oh you don’t sound like you did in 1976-77” or whenever, and I have to say, of course not.

I’m not a Tom Jones fan but I would agree with him totally when he said that people going to see him expected him to sound like he did when he first sung ‘Delilah’. Of course I’m not going to sound the same and of course he will not. Dave Vanian does not sound the same as he did when he recorded ‘Neat Neat Neat’. He’s a top man and has a fantastic voice, but he would not sound the same. Same with me, my guitar playing is totally different. I have a huge wealth of different styles and sounds to pull in nowadays. Maybe because I did not know any rules, I was able to do things that technically are wrong but are correct for the time, because I did not know I was treading on any musical toes.

One of the tracks had Sean’s sexual grunts recorded. Where did all that come from?

Oh yes, fuck me. We did the recording of the song ‘Foreplay Playground’, it wasn’t originally called that by the way, I can’t remember what is was called now, but it was more of a blues thing really as I was putting in my Johnny Winter and Rory Gallagher licks into the song. There were no words for it and then after we recorded it, Sean went in the next day and sang his words… He tells us that these are the words. “Are they? Oh dear”.

You were telling me that the title ‘Foreplay Playground’ came out of the blue to you and the sleeve with all the underage school kids. What was your reaction to all this back then?  How was it received?

Well, it was not something that I wanted to do myself, Sean wanted to go to an annoying school somewhere, and although we were not in the school grounds the Headmaster got rid of us. The Japanese photographer wanted to do pictures at Buckingham Palace I think originally, and that’s as far as I know really. I did not have anything to do with the title or anything. I was being side-lined, next thing you know; “That’s the name of the album, that’s the name of the single, that’s the name of…” Oh great.

I had no input, ending up as an unpaid session guitarist. Apart from playing the guitar to the point of, I was going into studios without Sean or Baggett being there. Alan was very good with this, going in early to record my guitar without those two being around saying; “Oh I don’t like that guitar, let me show you how it should be done”. Asking various hangers on their advice on how I should play!

I used to get that and it used to fucking wind me up. I hope it doesn’t sound like I am being bitter, but actually I am being bitter! When we were doing the album ‘Guillotine Theatre’ that’s when I knew it was the beginning of the end for me. And I was not going to be a vital part of the band. They would say; “Why don’t you play more like…” Oh who’s that guitarist for Bowie?

Mick Ronson?

No, not Mick Ronson, he was brilliant, love his sound, the other one. Earl Slick. I would say I don’t want to sound like him, who hasn’t got grounding in British rock music or the punk scene of Britain. Why would I like to play like him?

So we know that Raped changed their name to Cuddly Toys, and with that change, came a change in sound. What was that about?

Well, we just went from snotty punks being really annoying, and of course to do anything musically, people did not want to hear the; “Blah blah blah, we’re on the dole, blah blah blah” kind of thing. It might be good for a short while, and it’s good to have realism. I don’t really know what it’s like now, and I am trying to think of what it was like back then in 1977 or ’78, but we never wanted to be a punk band. We weren’t really. I certainly did not want to be a punk, and I can say that now, as I was in the heart of all that in the mid ‘70’s. I can get away with that. We didn’t know what or how we wanted to be. We didn’t want to be experimental, new wave or all that nonsense. We just wanted to be a little bit different. It’s something that John Lydon once said about Sex Pistols spawning hundreds of bands that all looked and sounded like Sex Pistols rather going out on their own tangent, and that’s true that is. We wanted to be different to those bands, and not be restricted.

We would get people at gigs coming up saying; “Why have you got so many chords in your songs? You only need two chords”. Well, yeah. There are great songs that only have two or even one chord, but we wanted to do a bit more than that. Branch out with all our influences.

And despite the fact that… And let get this straight, my name is not on a lot of the songs apart from one or two, which is bullshit, because you can see, without my input, they wouldn’t be the songs that they were. Same as Jagger & Richards, Django & Grapelli. The Bowie stuff, ‘Ziggy Stardust’, ‘Honk Dory’, if it had not been for Ronson’s input, the sound would just not be there. Whether Bowie likes it or not, that’s the way of it. Influences that I added would be classical music, which I have always loved, opera which I have always loved, 1930’s music, which countered Sean’s Bowie obsession, because if it just been him, as it eventually ended up, the band sounded like a third rate Bowie, or a third rate Tubeway Army.

Can you remember the first songs that you wrote after the change?

Oh God, I think ‘Aliens’, you know those new songs as soon as you hear them, my guitar style had changed, bringing a bit more of a rockier edge. I cannot remember exactly which songs we wrote early on, ‘Aliens’ was one of them.

Penguin at KYPP likes ‘Aliens’, I think that’s his favourite Cuddly Toys song.

Really? Excellent!

How did you get the ‘Madman’ song off of Bolan and Bowie? How did that come about?

Despite what other people say; and people have said that we found a cassette in the street, it’s probably more likely that we would have found a discarded Brotherhood Of Man cassette in the street! Bolan gave the song to us; we were talking to him and complaining that we did not have any three chord songs anymore. Bolan gave me this cassette, which I still have at home, with him, Gloria Jones and Bowie had all recorded in a glorified hotel room by the sound of things. We did another song off the cassette, a song called ‘Jaguar Scratch’, which has never even been on a bootleg! I’ll play it to you sometime…

Mick Ronson, I met a few times in the ‘80’s, I played him some of our stuff, and he liked the guitar playing, saying it was simple, effective and exactly right. I felt quite vindicated. I thought, wow, someone that inspired me so much. One of my favourite rock guitarists.

Introvenus / Brain Saviour / You Keep Me Hanging On / Full Circle / Astral Joe / Guillotine Theatre

Madman / Time Warp / Alien / Join The Girls / Front Page News / The Fall And Decline Of The Universe

Lets’ talk about the album ‘Guillotine Theatre’. Where was that recorded? Was it Japan?

No, it was recorded in England, but mixed in Japan. Originally it was mixed by Woody Woodmansey in Kingsway Studios near Holburn, owned by Ian Gillan from Deep Purple, a massive man with long hair, he should have been in ‘The Game Of Thrones’ or something. Ian tested the microphones with his beautiful rock voice, and although I am not a huge fan, I did like some of the Deep Purple songs. I thought that the amount of people that I know that were into Deep Purple would love to be here right now! Woody Woodmansey and Ian actually did do some backing vocals on a couple of the songs on our album.

The record was released in Japan, not England right?

Yes, it was released in Japan. Initially, as we could not get a record deal, a company called Teichiku Records released it there, an old fashioned company like Decca Records, and they released it first. They were very bemused with us, as they were used to established folky acts and classical musicians, and the Japanese equivalent of Tony Bennet or something like that.

How did you get this deal then? Alan?

 Oh no, not Alan. I think it was more to do with Paddy’s wife.

Let’s talk about Paddy then. He was from Japan?

Yes, Paddy was born in Japan. Paddy pretended his wife was his sister, the only reason he used to tell people that she was his sister, was that he was a bit worried about us not being as popular over there with young teeny boppers. We would tell him that we were not The Beatles or the Bay City Rollers, don’t be silly. It was quite bonkers. I thought it was strange that he was so possessive of his ‘sister’!

After the Japanese pressing the album came out on Fresh Records.

Yes, Fresh Records. The thing with the Japanese record pressings at the time, the pressing and actual quality of the records was the finest in the World at the time; the recording quality was so good. They would understand stereo in a way that we in Europe had allowed to lapse. The pressing quality was unbelievable. It was like the difference between an Austin Seven and a Lamborghini!

On the Japanese pressing you had ‘You Keep Me Hanging On’ and another old Soul track…

Yes, Sean went through my record collection of old soul music. I used to go to the old Wigan Casino and had a large collection of all those original northern soul records and all that kind of stuff. He found an obscure copy of ‘You Keep Me Hanging On’, a white label that I had and he pinched it and he decided we should do that.  We had a huge fan base in Japan.

The version on Fresh what happened then? Were Cuddly Toys promoted?

Well, no not really. Alan wasn’t really pushing things for the band. He would miss meetings with distribution companies, publishers that would have wanted to give us songs to bullshit our way into the charts. We were meant to have a meeting with Casablanca records, who were very keen on us that never happened.

Let’s talk about some other musicians that were close to Cuddly Toys. Alig from Family Fodder. How did he get involved?

Well, he was part of the Fresh / Parole stable really. He got grafted in to do some keyboards. He was a friend of Alans. He was alright, but he was hardly rock n roll. He was alright, he could play and that, but he’s not somebody I would have wanted in the band really.

Did he tour with you and stuff?

No, no, he was just in the studio.

What about Steve Treatment?

 Well, he was different. He was a mate. I used to have a flat and there were some rooms off it, and Ross who was running the Bolan fan club was there, Steve Treatment was part of that crowd. I got to know him, and he was bonkers but lovely. I was so unhappy when he died; we had kept in touch for many years afterwards.

Did he get into the New Romantic scene?

Who me?

No, Steve Treatment. He was in the Moors Murderers wasn’t he?

 No, he was more in the punky thing really. I jumped into the new romantic scene with both feet as I already knew Steve (Strange) and (Boy) George and all their crowd I had met, and of course I had been asked to audition for Fashion. I knew that entire crowd.

Do you think that influenced Cuddly Toys?

I think it was the other way around, because we were part of the glam punk thing, that there was an element of our ideas in that scene. Bands like Adam And The Ants, and dare I say it, Classix Nouveax, were the more flashier and more flamboyant side of punk. After 1979 punk got really dull. All the band’s looked the same, blue jeans, leather jacket; “I’m on the dole, I’m on the dole”, that was alright in 1976/77 when it was unusual and new, but things have moved on, the nihilistic approach was all well and good, but after a time, no-one wanted to hear that. Which is what a lot of the bands did do.

When Cuddly Toys were gigging, were there people that wanted to hear the earlier stuff, ‘Moving Target’ and songs off of the Raped singles?

All the snotty stuff? Yes we did still play some of that, but we didn’t want to stay in the box, we wanted to be outside of it. I wanted to progress as a guitarist and a writer. We just found it a good sound board to jump off.

Around this time, what do you think of me, Tony D, changing Ripped And Torn to Kill Your Pet Puppy?

Oh the worst… Oh… No seriously, we liked you; you moved on, you didn’t want to do the same old, same old. Nostalgia is great but you can’t live in nostalgia, you have to constantly find something new. You didn’t end up a nostalgic tribute writer. You might not have seen it, as it was your art, but I could see that you thought you could stretch yourself and went out on a tangent. It does not work mind, and you could have fallen flat on your face, but it is better to do that, than to be comfortable.

Talking of comfortable thing, did you used to dress up like glam rock punks. Did you get any aggravation from that? Skinheads and…

Yes we did dress like that. No, not as much as you would think. Actually what was really bizarre was that we did not get aggravation from the rocky crowd, or like the straight people on the street. It was from boring punk bands, and they would say; “Oh you’ve let us all down, you’re not much of a punk”. I would just say that I wasn’t. Even though I was in the heart of the punk thing from 1975 and ’76, so I did not have to prove anything.

Let’s talk about Sean now. What happened to Sean?

Sean believed his own publicity. When people would come up to me and state that I was a wonderful guitarist like Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix’s older brother, and I would be better off being on stage alone, I would just say; “Yeah alright, next”, whereas if they told the same things to Sean, and he would be better off without the band and he would be bigger than Bowie, he would say; “Am I really? Would I really?” and he’d believe it.

And this was the split? What happened to Cuddly Toys?

What happened was, the real reason of what happened, was that they were trying to get rid of me for some time. Sean did not want to be involved with someone who might be a threat to his, um, solo career. He wanted to be him, and Cuddly Toys. He suggested at one time calling it, Sean and the Cuddly Toys. He even suggested we all play keyboards like those buggers Devo and Kraftwork.

Bagget would go along with everything Sean said, I wouldn’t say Paddy as he was in a world of his own. It came to a point where they were looking for any excuse to get rid of me, and Tony Bagget’s cousin was getting shagged on a snooker table in a nightclub that we were playing at. I had this cheap camera, and I saw her getting fucked by a member of another band who will remain nameless. The flash went off, and anyone with any rock and roll attitude would have laughed it off and would have just said; “Oh, fuck off”, but she was getting very upset being photographed doing this in a club. The thing was that I did not have any film in this camera. Tony and Sean were upset and phoning me after I got home telling me that she was going to commit suicide because of me, and; “Look what you’ve done”, and that was it.

Sean told people that he had ‘dismissed me’, like I was working for him. Fuck off!  Years later I saw Sean and he admitted that he had made a mistake, and the bands that he had since, Cuddly Toys 2, 3, 4 and once you get to that stage, the band were taking the piss out of him, he admitted as much, and they were just using him and the band to just further their careers. They had some line ups that you wouldn’t fucking believe. One incarnation of Cuddly Toys looked like a load of builders or bricklayers. The last incarnation of Cuddly Toys, Sean was not even in that band! A band with no original members…

After Cuddly Toys, what did you do afterwards?

I turned down a lot of things that I shouldn’t have done. I had an idea of going off on a tangent, start playing other things. I was in various bands, but I got tired of dragging people with me and trying to get something together.

What are you doing now?

What am I doing now? What I should have done years ago! Even as a child, seven or eight, I always loved music from the 1930’s and ‘40’s, big band music. And now I play swing music. French swing music. And it’s lovely, and it’s the most demanding and difficult guitar style in the world. Some of the musicians I know have more knowledge of sophisticated styling playing guitar than anybody… I try to emulate them, and it’s enjoyable and it’s a whole different ball game, and I don’t have to worry about rock or pop prima donnas everywhere!

Are you proud of that era? Raped and Cuddly Toys.

It’s more than pride. I am just really happy that I was in the heart of a movement that changed things. It’s quite nice when people talk about Strummer, The Damned or Sex Pistols, and afterwards, Duran Duran or whoever, that I can say; “Oh I knew him” or; “I knew her”.  I suppose I am proud of it. I was in a band that made some records, and that reminds me of Bill Wyman when he joined the Rolling Stones when he stated that all he wanted to do after joining a band was to make a record to show his friends and family many years later.

This was before The Rolling Stones became huge of course. They ended up being quite popular didn’t they?

What would be your favourite memory of that time with the bands?

Oh God… When Generation X turned up at the Roxy Club and ended up supporting Raped after a coin toss would be one of them.

We had gone to another place, meant to be a punk venue, where hard core bikers were most of the audience. We went on stage and started playing our stuff, and were met with stony silence. They didn’t like it at all. The manager came over and asked us if we knew anything by Sabbath. We told him that we knew a couple of Sabbath songs. We played ‘Paranoid’ and the place went mad, people dancing on tables and everything. The manager said; “Play it again”. So we played it again repeatedly all night, about twenty times, and saved the night. The manager came up afterwards to tell us that that was the best gig he had seen, and; “Do you write your own songs?” We had to tell him that we do, but not the Sabbath songs that had mostly been the gig.

He invited us back to play another gig there a few weeks later and we played Sabbath again for most of the night… The manager and the audience were ecstatic. Some of the audience had told us that they didn’t want any of that punk shit!

Isn’t that so bizarre.

OK, let’s leave it there. Thanks for all your time Faebhean.

Thanks to you too Tony…

Rest in peace David Bowie who sadly passed on today. The man who sold the world. An inspiration to us all here at Kill Your Pet Puppy.

We can be heroes just for one day.

Poison Girls – Persons Unknown / Statement Orchestral – All The Madmen Records – 2015

FOR ORDERING THE ALL THE MADMEN RECORDS POISON GIRLS ‘PERSONS UNKNOWN / STATEMENT’ DELUX 12″ SINGLE FROM ALL THE MADMEN DIRECTLY PLEASE OPEN THIS LINK: HERE

FOR ORDERING THE POISON GIRLS BADGE SETS FROM ALL THE MADMEN DIRECTLY PLEASE OPEN THIS LINK: HERE

Arrangements

It was during the summer of 2014 that I found myself on the phone with Lance d’Boyle. An international call between England and Spain, in fact. We were catching up on each other since Vi’s final return to the UK the previous autumn. Lance was telling me that he had heard from someone in England that was interested in printing a set of Persons Unknown badges, and had asked for permission to reproduce the designs and inquired as to whether we might have any of the original artwork available.

The person in question was Nick Hydra, who, it turned out, had been an avid collector of punk ephemera for many years and was keen to own a full set of the famous Persons Unknown badges after searching high and low for them without success. Unfortunately, it transpired that most of Lance’s original badge artwork had been demolished by the Spanish termites, which meant that Nick was going to have a difficult job on his hands to recreate the designs.

Lance wanted to know what I thought about the idea – and if Nick was going to all that effort, couldn’t we maybe offer the badge set for sale and see what happened? I told him I would give it some thought and share my opinion the next time we spoke… as I put down the phone, straight away it occurred to me that if the Persons Unknown badge set was going to be produced again, it might be an obvious idea to reissue the single to go with it. After all, it was getting on for thirty-five years since the original record had been released, and there had already been some discussion about what might be the next Poison Girls reissue …

By sheer coincidence I had been introduced to Des Hoskins from All The Madmen Records at the Mob gig in Brighton a few weeks earlier. I had known about All The Madmen since I first met The Mob back in 1981. They had always been a good crowd and the label had released a lot of important stuff.

I told Lance that I would ask Des whether All The Madmen Records might be interested in putting the single out, and perhaps carrying the badges too, as an option for people who might want to buy them together. As it happened, the label seemed quite chuffed to be offered the chance to release a Poison Girls record and told me they’d be very interested.

Encouraged, I alerted former Poisons Vi and Richard to my plan and awaited their responses. Initially, I was greeted with a kind of bemused indifference, which gradually became a sort of tacit approval after I explained in more detail what I was thinking about.

For what seemed like an eternity, ideas flowed back and forth and questions were raised – what form would the release take? Was a combined package too ambitious? Who would coordinate such a task? What should the B-side be? Would anyone even be interested after all this time??

Since there was no actual, working band anymore and the former members were geographically dispersed, I was asked if I would co-ordinate the discussions, so I agreed to act as liaison between the ex-band members and the label. Ideas flowed back and forth, but one thing was already decided in my mind. I suggested that, since one of the most striking things about Persons Unknown was its inordinately long running time of seven-and-a quarter minutes, if we could find a suitable companion piece for the B-side it could be issued as a 12″ pressing, which would give us a lot more scope with the artwork.

Everyone agreed that this seemed like a good idea, so we proceeded to contact graphic designer, default Xntrix cover-art provider and original Persons Unknown bassist Bernhardt Rebours, to see what he might suggest for a sleeve design and / or insert sheets …

Well… more ideas flowed back and forth for what seemed like an eternity. Bernhardt would be delighted to do the artwork, but we had a committee now and many things to be agreed.

Gradually, with input from everyone, decisions were reached. The sleeve artwork would resemble that of the original (Xntrix) Hex, with the shop dummy heads that signify an anonymous multitude.

There would be a fold-out poster with all fifty of the badge designs newly recreated by Nick Hydra, and a printed insert with a piece about the infamous Persons Unknown conspiracy trial, the mission behind the original release (with Crass’s Bloody Revolutions) and the founding of the Autonomy Centre, together with the lyrics to the songs and the credits.

Eventually – after very much discussion – we settled on a B-side, and I arranged for Richard to deliver the original analogue tape masters of both of the tracks we had chosen to my studio, for restoration and transfer. Richard would provide the text for the piece about the trial, the original release and the Autonomy Centre. Bern would press on with the artwork designs while I set about restoring the tapes, and preparing them for transfer to disc at the best possible resolution.

The chosen B-side, Orchestral Statement (recorded originally for the Wargasm compilation) is, in its way, every bit as representative of the collaborative nature of the Poison Girls ethos as Persons Unknown.

We needed something that would carry equal weight to the A-side, both sonically and in terms of lyrical stature. Drawing on the combined talents of classical conductor Jason Osborn and composer and arranger Barney Unwin, together with members of The National Youth Orchestra, this 1982 re-recording of the track that had originally appeared as a flexi-disc with Chappaquiddick Bridge a year earlier, imbues the piece with a far greater depth and emotional reach than had been achievable with the four-piece band alone. It was unanimously decided that Orchestral Statement would back Persons Unknown for the 12″ release.

Well… fast forward a year now and, finally, it has arrived. Many emails have been exchanged. Bernhardt has delivered stunning artwork; the disc has been cut to an exacting standard; Nick has somehow managed to get all of the badge designs in the bag and Des has arranged manufacturing for both the single – on heavyweight vinyl, no less – and the badges, courtesy of Marta at Active Distribution.

In true collaborative spirit, everybody has graciously contributed their time and energy to give this project all the love and care it so richly deserves.

In summing up, I hope everyone who buys this record will appreciate what they have found – a presentation of perhaps two of the finest protest songs ever written, both of which express a similar message but in strikingly different ways: a committed and passionate statement of our continued intention to stand up and be counted in the name of peace and freedom.

You can probably tell how proud I am to have been a part of this project. But then I am incredibly proud of everyone that took part in all of the planning and the creative work with Poison Girls through the years. All the people, past and present, that have helped to bring about this wonderful music. You all know who you are. But most of all, for writing the words and making it all possible in the first place, I’m proud of my dear old mum.

Pete Fender – December 2015

My epic struggle with two blocks of text and a circle

As the Poison Girls ‘Persons Unknown’ thirty five year anniversary edition has now been announced by All The Madmen, I can finally reveal the years of lonely toil that went into recreating the original set of badges. A process with a long gestation period, carried out via trial and error (with the emphasis very firmly on ‘error’).

The story begins in the mist of prehistory known to modern scholars as ‘September 2012’. Gripped by one of my occasional bouts of insomnia, I was wandering the streets of Deptford in the early hours of the morning, when I came across a display attached to the wall directly outside Deptford train station as part of the Deptford X art festival.

I wouldn’t normally have turned that corner, but I was looking for a place to have a crafty piss, so perhaps the gods of chance were smiling on me that day, although considering the heartache and despair that followed perhaps “smiling” isn’t quite the word I want…

Essentially a photo of a badge collection mounted under Perspex by Rachael House, it contained many nice old punk badges, not least several of the original Persons Unknown set.

I took some photos and posted them on Facebook, all the while thinking about the simplicity of the design and how easy it would be to recreate the set. “All I need is a circle and a typewriter” I thought to myself, like the stupid bastard I am.

I punted the possibility of doing a set in one of my comments on the photos, to be met with encouraging comments from Chris Low (Apostles/ Oi Polloi / Part 1). So me being me, I did fuck all about it for two years.

The idea nagged away at me until February 2014, when I finally decided to do something about it. I realised that I didn’t know how many badges had been designed, or what text had been on them, so I turned to Google Images for help. “I’ll easily be able to find a picture of the complete set on the internet” I thought to myself, like the stupid bastard I am.

Obviously I was failed miserably by Google, and all the other search engines I tried. I finally gave up when, in a scene eerily reminiscent of Robinson Crusoe coming across his own footprint in the sand; I got ridiculously exited to finally find an image of one of the designs only to follow the link back to my own Facebook post.

Realising that what I needed was to find other people as weird and obsessive as myself, I started to post appeals for help on various Facebook groups, such as Kill Your Pet Puppy, The Old Punk Rock Badge Fanatics, Pay No More Than Nowt, and obviously enough, Poison Girl Friends.

Through various people replying to my increasingly desperate pleas for help, I established that there were forty eight original designs, and many people generously sent me photos of the badges they had, but I still couldn’t amass a complete set, so I was still stymied in terms of the text.

Then, in March Lance d’Boyle (who admins the Poison Girl Friends page and designed the original set of badges in 1980) contacted me, to tell me that he wasn’t sure he was happy for me to carry on with the project, presumably because he thought I was intending to sell the badges for commercial gain.

Having established that was most certainly not the case, and having shown him some Poison Girls badges I had designed previously, he was happy for me to continue, and we came to an arrangement that I would design the badges, and Poison Girls would sell them (initially to raise money for a mooted re-release of ‘Persons Unknown’), so it was suddenly a bit more serious than me running off a few sets for my mates, and getting it right became even more important.*

He was even able to find and scan some of the original artwork for the badges. Sadly this had been badly damaged by termites and was incomplete, so I still didn’t have the complete text, but together with the other images I had collected, I had something to go on, and more importantly I had good quality, flat, scanned images to use as a template.

He was also able to supply me with original artwork for the 1979 ‘Crow’ and ‘Yin-Yang/ Foetus’ designs, and it was decided that we would add these to the original set of forty eight to make it an even fifty. “Plain sailing from here”, I thought to myself like the stupid bastard I am.

In the interests of authenticity, I decided to use an old manual typewriter to physically type the text, rather than use a font in Photoshop, so I started asking around friends for such a machine. Having drawn a blank, I then tried the various local markets. “I’ll be able to pick one up for a fiver, as it’s a dead technology”, I thought to myself like the stupid bastard I am.

Not so, for as with all things retro and vintage, manual typewriters have been fetishized by hipsters and are now hard to find and expensive.

I eventually discovered a stall on Greenwich Market that sold typewriters, and armed with an image of the text for comparison, I proceeded to type the phrase ‘Persons Unknown’ on every machine I could find. Eventually settling on a decent likeness I paid the £25.00 price tag and dragged the thing home on the bus.

And discovered that the ribbon (apart from the inch currently under the keys) was completely fucked.

“Never mind, I’ll easily be able to buy a new one on the internet” I thought to myself, like the stupid bastard I am.

You know where this is going, so I won’t bore you. Suffice to say I ended up using a font in Photoshop, and authenticity be damned.

By now I was in a three way email conversation with Lance, Bernard and Vi from the band as to what text had been on the badges, and eventually we came up with a definitive list based on actual images I had been able to find, plus a list of ‘best guesses’ based on the memories of various band members and associates.

This was made more complicated by the fact that some of the text on the badges I had found didn’t match the lyrics as they appeared in the song, so there was no way to tell if the text of the ‘best guesses’ was 100% accurate even if a design had in fact featured that particular line.

As we were unable to find a full set, it was decided that we should move forward on the basis of these lists and if any more original designs came to light, I would use them to replace designs from the ‘best guesses’ list.

At this point someone contacted me on Facebook claiming to have the entire set of forty eight in his loft, but no amount of cajoling or bribery resulted in them actually turning up.

Realising that things were moving on apace, I decided to grasp the bull by the horns and start actually designing the badges. Using the damaged original artwork as template, I laid out forty eight designs in Photoshop using ‘Mom’s Typewriter’ as the font, and guessing at the layout of the text based on the few original designs I had access to.

As the ‘Persons Unknown’ text was the same on all the designs, I left this the same and just re typed the other text each time, saving each design and over typing it as I went.

I then needed to lay them out on the template used by the badge making company (Big Wow), and email them over to get a test run of the entire set. As soon as I did the 1st one I knew I had a problem; due to the two files being at a different DPI, the designs were nearly four times bigger than the template. This meant I’d have to resize the badge designs to fit onto the template, which wouldn’t be that difficult, but as I was doing it by eye, there was no way to get each one exactly the same size as the other ones.

Now, if I was doing one design, this wouldn’t matter but if I was doing a set of very similar designs (with a circle, yet), any fluctuation in size would be glaringly obvious. So all I had to show at the end of a process lasting several months were forty eight meticulously laid out designs that were completely bloody useless. So I did what every dedicated craftsman does when presented with a design problem of this magnitude; I threw a massive strop and gave up.

Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your point of view), other people were relying on me to deliver on my promise, so after a dark teatime of the soul drunkenly weeping into my pillow, I went back to the proverbial drawing board. It was at this point that I realised I’d somehow managed to get a greengrocer’s apostrophe in all the designs so they said PERSON’S rather than PERSONS… It was at this point that I lost it for a while.

During the days and nights of madness that followed, ever-after spoken of by the villagers (with many a muttered prayer and gestures of protection against the evil eye) as ‘The Dark Times’,  fearsome howls were heard to emanate from my darkened tower rooms, and slaughtered livestock was found horribly mutilated. The local veterinarian, on examining the remains in detail tore his eyes from their sockets and died some weeks later, screaming wordlessly in his padded cell.

When sanity returned to my fevered brain, I found myself forlornly staring at the computer screen, flicking between the two different templates like a hungry man repeatedly opening an empty fridge, getting exactly nowhere.

Then it struck me, what I needed was to create a third template based on the Big Wow version, but with a good photo of one of the original badges sized to fit it, then lay a scan of the original artwork onto this, resize it so the words PERSONS UNKOWN lined up, delete the photo of the badge, go back to the Photoshop template, re-type each of the forty eight versions of the text, ‘hide’ everything but the text, ‘merge visible’, copy and paste this onto the new template, re-size it so that it lined up, ‘hide’ the scan of the original artwork and save it as a jpeg.

“Fuck me, I’ve cracked it.” I thought to myself, like the stupid bastard I am, and got a test run of one design made.

So what could possibly be the problem now, you ask (probably with some irritation, running as we are to one thousand seven hundred words at this point).

The problem now was that the circle was wrong. It just looked too small. No amount of mucking about with it would make it look right. It’s only a circle, and you’d think that the fact that I had used the original artwork as a guide would ensure that it came out right, but you’d be wrong.

The basic problem was that I couldn’t tell what it would look like on an actual badge by looking at the computer screen. I mucked about with it off and on for another week and in the end I did eight different variations and ordered another test run.

By comparing all eight versions with the pictures of actual badges that I had (not that easy as none of the pictures I had showed badges where the circle was completely central), I eventually decided on one thickness of circle, which was slightly thicker than the original, but looked ‘better’ to me and got a full set of fifty badges printed.

Finally happy with the results, I posted them off to Bernard for approval / scanning.

And that was that as far as I was concerned;  at some point the band decided that rather than sell them to fund the re-release of ‘Persons Unknown’ the intention was to include the badges as part of the single, and then this changed to selling them separately.

I was peripherally involved in these discussions as well as how many sets to print up, who would print them, and how they would be sold (just as a set, individually, or in batches), but I won’t bore you with the details.

It was eventually decided to get the badges done by a small D.I.Y outfit, rather than the web-based firm I had been using, which meant the designs had to be re-sized AGAIN, as they worked to a slightly different template. Luckily the person printing the badges (Hi Marta) was able to resolve the problem without my involvement.

So this brings us to November 2015; the 18th of November to be exact. The posters and the covers have been printed, the records  are being pressed, the new badge set is advertised, and then and only then, an almost complete set of forty five badges turned up on Facebook via Kevin Pedersen.

Looking at the photos, I could tell there were some of my designs that were just plain wrong; and some where the text was right but the layout was wrong.

I could have re-done the ones that were wrong, but I was assuming that it was too late to change the ‘new’ set by then, and even if it wasn’t, we still didn’t have a 100% complete set, so there may still have been mistakes on the ones I couldn’t check against an original.

After a brief consultation, it was decided to not to change them as they wouldn’t match the designs on the poster that had just been packed into a thousand records and people had already been ordering specific sets of ten badges from All The Madmen.

I know I’ll go back over the designs and ‘correct’ them as best I can, just for my own personal satisfaction, but I still have three designs to track down.**

Can anyone help a poor badge designer down on his luck…?

*I had assumed that there had always been an intention to re-issue ‘Persons Unknown’, and the idea of including the badges had grown from that, but reading between the lines it appears that the discussions about the badges might in fact have provoked the decision to re-issue the record.

** A list of all the authenticated designs is included below.

  1. ACCOUNTANTS IN NYLON SHIRTS
  2. AGENTS IN MOTOR CARS
  3. BALD HEADED REALISTS
  4. BIG MEN ON BUILDING SITES
  5. BLACK MEN WHO CAN’T FORGET
  6. BLIND AND INVISIBLE
  7. CLEANERS OF LAVATORIES
  8. CLOSET IDEALISTS
  9. COLLECTORS OF TICKETS
  10. DISSIDENTS AND ANARCHISTS
  11. DEEJAYS AND HYPOCRITES
  12. DYING IN SECRET
  13. FLESH AND BLOOD
  14. HABITS OF HIDING
  15. HEY THERE MR AVERAGE
  16. HOPEFULS ON FOOTBALL POOLS
  17. HOUSEWIVES AND PROSTITUTES
  18. JUDGES WITH PREJUDICE
  19. LOVERS ON ROUNDABOUTS
  20. NURSES FOR WHEN IT HURTS
  21. ONE PARENT FAMILIES
  22. PATIENTS IN CORRIDORS
  23. PERSONS IN HIDING
  24. PIMPS AND ECONOMISTS
  25. RASTAS AND BIKERS
  26. RIOTERS AND PACIFISTS
  27. SICK MEN IN DRESSING GOWNS
  28. SMOKERS WITH HEART DISEASE
  29. SOLDIERS IN UNIFORM
  30. STATISTICS ON BALANCE SHEETS
  31. STRANGERS AND PASSERS BY
  32. STRIKERS AND PICKETS
  33. SURVIVAL IN SILENCE
  34. TEACHERS IN EMPTY SCHOOLS
  35. TERRORISTS AND SABOTEURS
  36. THE LONELY WHO LONG FOR
  37. THE OLD WITH THEIR MEMORIES
  38. THE QUEEN ON HER THRONE
  39. TRUANTS IN COFFEE BARS
  40. TYPISTS AND USHERETTES
  41. VISIONARIES WITH COLOURED HAIR
  42. WANKERS AND BANKERS
  43. WILD GIRLS AND CRIMINALS
  44. WOMEN IN FACTORIES
  45. WOMEN IN PURDAH

Nick Hydra – December 2015

FOR ORDERING THE ALL THE MADMEN RECORDS POISON GIRLS ‘PERSONS UNKNOWN / STATEMENT’ DELUX 12″ SINGLE FROM ALL THE MADMEN DIRECTLY PLEASE OPEN THIS LINK: HERE

FOR ORDERING THE POISON GIRLS BADGE SETS FROM ALL THE MADMEN DIRECTLY PLEASE OPEN THIS LINK: HERE

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT AND THANK YOU TO PETE FENDER AND NICK HYDRA FOR THE EFFORT SHOWN TO WRITE THEIR PARTS PLAYED FOR INCLUSION INTO THIS KYPP POST.

The book by Lee Gibson, ex Brougham Road resident, writer / editor of Anathema fanzine and contributor / editor to many others.

Lee moved in the same circles as The Poison Girls and the Kill Your Pet Puppy Collective for some years. Here in black and white print throughout this immense 214 page A4 book are memories of Lee’s early years from 1976 all through to around 1986.

Lee takes the reader though countless Crass and Poison Girls gigs, some pretty rough nights along with various visits to both Crass and Poison Girls HQ’s. There seems to be dozens of pages relating to The Mob, Brougham Road and various houses that the Puppy Collective would be just about surviving in. Lots of squat horror stories, Stop The City runabouts, drug abuse, The Apostles, Crowley magick and plenty more.

As an added bonus some of Lees original interviews from his fanzines are carefully reprinted half way through this book, massive texts of the thoughts and feelings of The Fall, Crass, Poison Girls and Andy T from the very early 1980’s.

This book seems to be the real deal for anyone who may be interested in reading one persons account of the early anarcho punk culture which was an important, and sometimes scary, time for many of the young people involved.

Absolutely insanely cheap at £10.50 – but having the quality of a £20 book.

A must for anyone interested in this era of the anarcho punk scene.

You may purchase Lee Gibson’s book HERE

23 Skidoo – Seven Songs & Tranquiliser 1 & 2 / Null And Void – Demo cassette – 1982 / Culture – John Peel session – 1982 / Last Words & The Barracudas – Rough Trade Records & Cells Records – 1979 / Culture – Joe Gibbs / Errol T / Sky Note Records – 1977 – 1978 / Various – Hit Run Records – 1979

A KYPP catch up on recent You Tube posts that have been published recently.

A set of 23 Skidoo videos released on the Double Vision label, sitting nicely alongside other Double Vision videos of Throbbing Gristle and Cabaret Voltaire. This video was one of the first video cassettes I ever got my hands on. My family did not own a video recorder at this time, so I had to take this video cassette around friends houses to have a sneaky view.

“Seven Songs is the first and arguably the best of the 23 Skidoo albums, released in 1982 on Fetish Records in a great sleeve by Neville Brody. Production was by “Tony, Terry & David” aka Ken Thomas, Genesis P-Orridge & Peter Christopherson. The latter two were still in Throbbing Gristle at the time. The video director was Richard Heslop who can be seen with his Super-8 camera on the inner sleeve of 23 Skidoo’s second album. Seven Songs is his first credited film work.

The videos are very much of their time, layered and cut-up images mixing footage from numerous sources—tribal rituals, totalitarian politics, animation, medical or scientific films, shots of the group performing, and so on—with the whole mélange processed through a video synthesiser. While it may look outmoded now, over thirty years later this degree of intensity and fragmentation was still radically unlike anything being offered by broadcast television. Pop video directors and ad agencies weren’t slow to adopt similar techniques for far more commercial ends. Richard Heslop went on to work with Derek Jarman, and recently directed a feature of his own, Frank”.

John Coulthart

Null And Void were a band from around the Yeovil area formed in 1980. Closely aligned to Yeovil’s other band at the time, The Mob, the original members of Null And Void were Mark Hedge, Adie Tompkins and Andrew Barker.

Barker had already previously released a record on the All The Madmen record label under the name Andy Stratton, along with The Mob’s then drummer Graham Fallows.

Both The Mob and Null And Void members lived together in a shared commune in Seend a village in Wiltshire.

Adie Tompkins would eventually perform drumming duties for The Mob for a short time after Graham decided to leave that band.

Eventually most of The Mob and Null And Void members decided to leave the sticks and chance squatting in London. Brougham Road in Hackney was the area where the bands shared bus ended up and parked up. Zounds, a close ally to both bands on the newly arrived bus had secured some property in that street a few months previously.

This demo cassette uploaded today were recorded and engineered by Pete Fender at the Xntrix studio situated in the basement of the Poison Girls house in Leytonstone.

The band by the time of recordings had a new drummer in Josef Porta who had been staying in Brougham Road with the other members of Zounds.

Josef of course later joined The Mob, and continues to perform today with Blyth Power. Delia supplied some backing vocals and Pete Nothing added a couple of poems on the sessions that would be released on the cassette.

Pete Nothing was not Pete Fender incidentally in case anyone wondered…

For the download and other information please open up the KYPP link HERE.

This demo cassette contains absolutely wonderful material by Null And Void, material which still sounds incredibly strong today.

Thoughts of Pete Fender:

“I always loved this band, recording them was a joy as the material was so immediate and uplifting, not to mention them being a great bunch of people. I knew Josef already from his work with Zounds and not only were they pretty stoked to have got him for the session, straight away I knew we were going to have no trouble with the drum sound.
I seem to remember bumping into Mark Hedge at Stonehenge 1981 (or was it 82?) and spending much of the festival in his company. Andy Barker shared a house in Cross Street with my sister Gemma (Rubella Ballet) and some other people for a time, including Andy Palmer (Crass).
I used to listen to this demo all the time back then and I was extremely chuffed when they came back to do their 7″ single with me.
Great stuff”

This session by Joseph Hill’s Culture was recorded in December 1982 at the BBC Maida Vale studios for the John Peel radio 1 programme and is one of my favorite Peel sessions. Furthermore it is also one of the all time great Peel sessions, in John Peels own opinion!

I was once told that John Peel wept when he first heard the results on the tapes that Dale Griffin had handed to him a few days before the session was meant to be aired in January 1983. John Peels opinion on Culture is written in burgundy red bold towards the bottom of this KYPP post HERE.

The versions of the two newer tracks ‘Lion Rock’ and ‘Armageddon’ that Culture recorded for the BBC actually eclipse the quality of the versions that had previously been recorded at Aquarius studios in Kingston and both released on the ‘Lion Rock’ album on the Sonic Sounds record label in 1982. This was no mean feat as Culture’s ‘Lion Rock’ album is an immense work in itself!
‘Too Long In Slavery’ and Two Sevens Clash’ were older songs from Culture’s past. 1976 and 1977.

The version of ‘Lion Rock’ recorded at Maida Vale for the John Peel session is just perfect. I cannot stress this enough!

Tracklisting:

Lion Rock
Armageddon
Too Long In Slavery
Two Sevens Clash

That moment when you first hear a song by a band unknown to you at the time and fall for it absolutely and completely.

Still being the age that I am, I was a couple of years late on getting a copy of the Last Words 7″ single ‘Animal World’. Like I was with other classic singles that stop you dead in your tracks; The Fly’s ‘Love In A Molotov Cocktail’ 7″ single for example, and of course, The Barracudas 7″ single, ‘I Want My Woody Back’.

Whilst I was in the record bins at Small Wonder Records or some such record store, scrabbling away for these kind of ‘lost’ classics two years too late (for what?), the real action had already happened and past over in the grimy squats of, in those days, the exceptionally grimy London town.

Members of The Last Words and The Barracudas in 1979, were intertwined with Tony D’s ‘Ripped And Torn’ fanzine and shortly they were both to be intertwined with Tony D’s ‘Kill Your Pet Puppy’ fanzine and extended ‘Puppy Collective’.

I cannot write words about this time, as I was not there during the R&T/ KYPP scene in 1979!

Although I do know some that were.

Tony D, Jeremy Gluck (The Barracudas) and Bob Short certainly can write, and write they all did…

They all contribute words for the 2012 celebratory fifth year anniversary for the Kill Your Pet Puppy blog that I had organised and arranged for these two special bands, The Last Words and The Barracudas to be featured, showcased whatever.

The post was exceptionally good, even if I do say so myself.

Read it HERE.

Glance over the words written by these lost souls, concerning the lost history, about these lost bands, in that lost era.

You might find it interesting.

For my part, I am still fully behind what I wrote on the post.

“Both the début 7” singles by The Barracudas and Last Words were immense power pop punk classics. Both were released in the UK in 1979. Both could be among the best records of that era. That’s for you to decide. Moreover all the tracks on either side of both the records last under two minutes thirty seconds of playing time, just how it should have been in 1979!”

Fill your boots.

Culture are one of my favourite reggae trios; uploaded here on this YouTube post are three 12″ Discos A & B sides from 1977 and 1978.

Roots reggae of the highest quality.

One of my favourite John Peel sessions was the only session by Culture way back in 1982. That session may be listened to, and more information on Culture may be found, on this KYPP post HERE.

Joe Gibbs records 1978
1/ Culture and Nicodemus – Disco Train
2/ The Professionals – Righteous Train

Sky Note records 1977
1/ Culture and Ranking Trevor – Trod On
2/ The Revolutionaries – Trod On In Dub

Errol T records 1978
1/ Culture and Clint Eastward – Send Some Rain
2/ The Professionals – Down Jamaica Way

A little under one and a half hours worth of 12″ vinyl releases A & B sides from Adrian Sherwood’s Hit Run record label.

Adrian licensed the tracks on these vinyl releases for the U.K reggae market from various Jamaican record labels, Scorpio, Cry Tuff etc in 1979.

Hit Run records was a relatively short lived project, releasing around twenty five 12″ singles with several more 12″ singles being shelved, Hit Run records eventually winding down in favour of the birth of Adrian’s On U Sound record label.

For the new On U Sound project Adrian oversaw and engineered all of the recording sessions himself generally favouring the Berry Street Studio in London. Southern Studios in London was also used often for recording sessions. Other recording sessions were completed at Channel One in Kingston, Jamaica and the Manor recording studio in Oxfordshire.

Adrian used some of the same musicians and artists for these sessions that he had dealt with previously, bringing reggae music to the Hit Run record label including Bim Sherman, Prince Far I, Roots Radics and Creation Rebel etc.

Track listing:

Errol Holt – Sweet Reggae Music
Prince Far I – Hairdressing Salon

Prince Hammer – Ten Thousand Lions
Prince Hammer – North London Thing

Bim Sherman / Jah Lion – Down In Jamdown
Teem All Stars – Version

Bobby Melody / Jah Lion – Hunger And Strife
Jah Lion – Jonnie Walker

Peter Broggs / Prince Far I – Higher Field Marshall
Prince Far I / Brigadier Jam Brown – Loved By Everyone

Carol Kalphat / Clint Eastwood – African Land
Doctor Pablo / Cry Tuff All Stars – African Melody

Bim Sherman / Jah Buzz – Love Jah Only
Cry Tuff All Stars – Dub From The Ghetto

Antisect – Clown Discs – 1991 / Bim Sherman – Hit Run Records – 1979 / Flowers In The Dustbin – Demo cassette- 1985 / Kenny Morris & Dorothée Lalanne – Temple Records – 1987

A KYPP catch up on recent You Tube posts that have been published recently.

Antisect- ‘Live In The Darkness’.

The only album released on the Clown Disc label run by Pete Alberto.

Pete was originally a punk from Ipswich, but sometime around 1990 until sometime around 1992, he was living in a house in Wood Green, North London with myself, Mickey ‘Penguin’, and various other kindly folk.

Pete did all the running around and organising.

Lippy from Antisect listened to, and chose, his favorite cassette tape. Various cassette tapes were taken around to the squat he was living in at the time, and the choice was Brighton Richmond 02/02/84.

Bully from Bristol, a then member of the Wood Green Crustie Crew, supplied a rather fetching picture of an English football hooligan to be printed as the B – side center label.
Complimenting this B – side center label, was a beautiful, and far more worthy A – side center label. A Celtic skull designed by Sonia. The insert was also designed by Sonia.

John Loder at Southern Studios did some repair work on the chosen cassette tape, making good drop outs and remixing the cassette tape through the Southern Studios sound desk so it would sound a little bit better when it was eventually transferred to vinyl.
John Loder finished this studio work and did not charge anything. Which was nice of him.

I stumped up the cash (or a fair amount of it) for the pressing and printing costs.

This album when completed, was a very nice looking release.

The cover, a grey Celtic style cover design by Kathy printed in reverse board card.

The record, a nice grey marble vinyl.

A one off limited pressing of around 970 numbered copies.

What’s not to love?

This album took about a week to sell out via Southern Record Distribution.

While working on the the first shipping day to record stores in the U.K that had pre-ordered this album, I recall doing around half an hours work before wondering where Pete had disappeared to. Shortly after I went to actively search for him.

I found Pete slumped down in the toilet, Silly sausage. I got him up placed him in a more reasonable area to ‘rest’, and continued with the shipping!

This ‘Live In Darkness’ album is very rare. If you see one, snatch it up!

Somewhat coincidentally, another live Antisect album, ‘Peace Is Better’ was released on Ferox Records, run by Phil E.N.T and Paul, two more Ipswich punks and friends with Pete Alberto. I think ‘Peace Is Better’ was released around a year before the Clown Discs live album.

A couple of years later ‘Peace Is Better’ was re-released on Camden Town’s Vinyl Japan / Discipline Records to decent sales in the Asian punk market.

In my opinion, the Ferox / Vinyl Japan / Discipline album, ‘Peace Is Better’, is not quite as satisfying as the Clown Disc album, ‘Live In The Darkness’, which was especially pleasing aesthetically and had a better sound quality.

The only studio album ‘In Darkness’ recorded at Southern Studios in 1983, engineered by John Loder and released on Spiderleg Records is a stone wall classic.

As well as the images of the original insert art, the front and rear sleeve artwork and the A side and B side center labels with the wonderful coloured vinyl on show, I have added images of my test press version. The test pressing is normal black vinyl with generic pressing plant center labels and with a normal plain sleeve with a spare insert glued upon it!

Something I have just been reminded about by Daryl Dixon…

The album ‘Hallo There’, was another official bootleg, authorised by Antisect, and released on Graven Image Records. This album also features the same Brighton 2/2/84 gig as ‘Live In The Darkness’, and was released by Al, the vocalist of Nausea specifically for the U.S market.
The U.S version was pressed up on beautiful white vinyl with wonderful sleeve artwork.

Al had visited Pete Alberto at our home in Wood Green several times around the time.

I do not have a copy of this U.S release. I might have to search album out!

Fifteen years ago now, on the 17th November 2000, Jarret Lloyd Vincent A.K.A Bim Sherman died after a short fight with cancer.

I knew Bim Sherman very well.

Bim visited Southern Studios and Southern Record Distributors often, several times a month over many years.

We went out together to eat. I was a visitor to his home in Turnpike Lane. I was present at his rare live performances that were organised in London.

I was also, inevitably, present at his funeral in New Southgate, and later on that afternoon, present at the African – Caribbean Centre in Hornsey for the celebration of his life.

I employed his teenage son at Southern Record Distributors for a short time after his death.

I have many fond memories of Bim Sherman. His gentle personality, his humour, and the live performances that I attended. Two of the live performances, one at The Sir George Robey and one at the Islington Powerhaus were both special in a deeply personal way for me.

These fond memories will never leave my psyche.

And course I have a fondness for his sweet vocal style showcased on his large back catalogue of music recorded for various Jamaican record labels, and for Adrian Sherwood’s Hit Run and ONU Sound record labels.

Bim Sherman album highlights include:

‘Lovers Leap’ originally released on Scorpio Records, re-released on R.D.L Records.
‘Love Forever’ originally released on Tribesman Records.
‘Across The Red Sea’ originally released on ONU Sound records, and his work with the ONU Sound All Stars – Singers And Players.

The two 12″ records uploaded tonight (A and B sides) were the only Bim Sherman records that were released on Hit Sounds Records. Both were issued in 1979, licensed to Adrian Sherwood in the U.K from two Jamaican record labels. Prince Far I’s ‘Cry Tuff’, and Jah Lloyd’s ‘Teem’ imprint.

Track Listing:

Bim Sherman / Jah Buzz – Love Jah Only
Dub From The Ghetto – Cry Tuff All Stars

Bim Sherman / Jah Lion – Down In Jamdown
Teem All Stars – Down In Jamdown Version

Hit Run Records had a sturdy catalogue of some of the best reggae 12″ singles and albums that were available in that era.

Earlier this year I placed a Hit Run Records 12″ singles selection up on my YouTube channel.

That selection may be listened to HERE.

In the early to mid 1980’s, the ex – All The Madmen records band Flowers In The Dustbin, were a firm favorite of mine and I would go out and witness performances whenever I possibly could.

The All The Madmen 12″ single ‘Freaks Run Wild’ released in 1984 was an absolute classic.

A little over a year later Conflicts record label Mortarhate released the ‘Nails Of The Heart’ 7″ single which also included ‘The Reason Why’, my favorite Flowers In The Dustbin song.

A year or so after that release, ‘Like My Crazy Colours’ was released on Cold Harbour records.

Coming up a close second to ‘The Reason Why’, ‘Lick My Crazy Colours’ was for a while played back to back on the stereo, both records played many times in one session.

Some of Gerard’s lyrics seemed to hit the spot every time for someone like me with my awkwardly shy sensibilities at that age, desperately trying to figure out a way to change my world and the outside world for the better.

“People look but they just don’t see
Seem like they’re listening but never seem to hear
Insomnia, pain, won’t stop whirling
Love is a currency, you still use sterling
But some children never grow up
And see the world and see it fucked
And lyrics might be eloquent
But they stop at the skin
Whilst my heart cries tears
For the love wasted within
Like me when I ignored you on the bus
And you even sat next to me on the tube
And the mutual strangers never connect
And people even talk but nothing gets said
I’m reaching for your heart but your skin’s like lead

The whole world goes to work
But nothing is produced
In the out tray lovers remain
Simply seduced
Valium is your only friend
And the world’s got lots of money/love but none to lend
At school standing away from the rest
Crying in the concrete playground cos you’re not the best

And the streets so dirty you don’t want to walk on them anymore
In fields of green lie naked and don’t feel so sore
The sun is shining and your cheeks feel warm
And nature will stand when the concrete’s been torn down
Torn down to the ground
Tear it down
Burn it down

…the most beautiful people in the world”

(The Reason Why)

“The windswept horizon of hot summer paradise
You realise the truth, you find where your freedom lies
The taste of love on a dear friends lips
Feel your vision blur as you give in, so willingly

Is there any tea in the pot?
Is there some left in it for me?
I’m the madman that you forgot
Is there any pot in the tea?
Will you lick my crazy colours?
Cos I’ll lick your wounds baby

The old ones complained and they said they were wiser than us
But us we’re just having a party to last for the rest of our lives
They wised it and sized it and they analysed it through and through
But us we just did it, we had nothing better to do, so willingly

Is there any tea in the pot?
Is there some left in it for me?
I’m the madman that you forgot
Is there any pot in the tea?
Will you lick my crazy colours?
Cos I’d die for you baby

Oh Mr Clean with your nicotine-stained brain
Businesswoman Julie, never felt the beauty, never picked a tulip, just kept fixing Pepsi
But in your business-suits of navy blue
Do you really think your children take any notice of you? Not willingly

Is there any tea in the pot?
Is there some left in it for me?
Is there something you forgot when you gave in so willingly
Will you lick my crazy colours?
Cos I’d die for you baby”

(Lick My Crazy Colours)

This 7″ single released on Cold Harbour Records was to be the last offering from Flowers In The Dustbin.

This cassette was given to me around the time it was recorded for Cold Storage Records, and has four of the tracks that were meant to be released as a full length album.

The album never saw the light of day, although I was sent a cassette of the mixes by Gerard a couple of years later.

I still have that cassette of the album so will upload that at some point.

Accompanying the audio on this YouTube post of these four Flowers In The Dustbin songs which includes ‘Lick My Crazy Colours’, I have included a couple of my many personal letters from Gerard, with his full permission.

I wrote to Gerard over the years, and it was Gerard (and Andy Martin from The Apostles) that gave me the impetus to concentrate on a far better writing style to the scrawls I would normally put onto paper!

Gerard’s words written were (are) full of beauty and the writing style is also aesthetically beautiful. These letters that I received from Gerard could be framed as a work of art!

One letter from Gerard explains his mindset, and the ending of Flowers In The Dustbin to me prior to others knowing.

There is then a generic Flowers In The Dustbin letter to followers that was sent out a little while later to explain the split.

Finally Gerard’s letter to me after he had moved to Brighton, that came with the cassette of the album that he sent me, expressing a far more positive mindset for the weeks and months ahead.

Towards the end of the 1980’s, Psychic TV’s Temple Records were responsible for releasing some interesting material.

This 12″ record is no exception.

A poetic collaboration between musician Kenny Morris (ex Siouxsie And The Banshees) and the radical 1970’s writer Dorothée Lalanne, a collaboration that seems to work out very well.

The two tracks on each side of this 12″ record, are both soundtracks for the two films ‘La Main Morte’ and ‘Chapter Of Faults’.

These two tracks are spoken word, one written and read in English by French writer Dorothée Lalanne, and the other written by 19th century French sculptor Auguste Rodin, read in French, again by Dorothée Lalanne.

The artwork image placed in the middle of both sides of the sleeve artwork on this YouTube post is the front cover for the book “Silence” by Dorothée Lalanne and Loulou Picasso.

For other details please get onto the KYPP link HERE.

A decent record this.

Newtown Neurotics – No Wonder records – 1979 – 1982 / Blyth Power – Rehearsal – 1987 / Rosemarys Baby – T.O.P.Y World Network Records – 1985 / The Epileptics 1979 – 1980 / Lee Perry – Lion Of Judea Records – 1978 / Leather Nun – Industrial Records – 1979

A KYPP catch up on recent You Tube posts that have been published recently.

Newtown Neurotics were based around Harlow, home of Stortbeat Records (released the debut 7″ single by Bishop Stortford band The Licks), Urban Decay, The Square, and The Playhouse and of course No Wonder Records.

I spent a fair bit of time in Harlow as a youth, a gritty concrete town made infamous as being the location for the 1968 kitchen sink drama ‘Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush’.
“Another silent newtown problem with no solution in sight” the Neurotics passionately sung on ‘Oh No’ one of the songs uploaded onto this YouTube post.

Other notable towns that Harlow is near to were, Bishops Stortford, a quaint market town with the Triad as the main venue. Welwyn Garden City, with the Ludwick Hall venue, and yet another newtown, Stevenage which housed the wonders of the Bowes Lyon House, a venue on the ‘professional’ punk rock circuit.

Harlow was also home the Jean Harlow / Bennys pub / club, where the BBC cameras were poised at a Combat 84 performance just in time for a bit of the old ultra-violence, between, I assume, different divisions of boneheads. I guess a nice bit of footage if you like boneheads cracking other bonehead’s heads.

There were plenty of 7″singles by British Movement band Combat 84 in stock, displayed prominently in the window of Star Time Records, the punk record shop in Post Office Walk near to the grey concrete market area. There were certainly many National Front members based in Harlow. At the time it seemed that those politics were favoured, so placing Combat 84 7″ singles in the window display guaranteed sales.

Countering bands like Combat 84 were The Newtown Neurotics, who’s members when the first two records were recorded and released on No Wonder Records, included Tig Barber, the drummer, Steve Drewitt (who had hair Joey Ramone style) and the lean punker Colin.

The debut 7″ record on No Wonder Records, ‘Hypocrite’ was a decent offering. Hypocrite had nice harmonies, and a Rudi style intro and riff coming up now and again throughout the song. ‘You Said No’ is the weaker song, a newtown love song with a slightly awkward ‘reggae’ riff, a bit Stiff Little Fingersesq. It wasn’t that this song was bad, but for me, it wasn’t particularly great either.

The second 7″ single (the third 7″ single released on No Wonder) had the Newtown Neurotics punching above their weight. Two magnificent tracks, ‘When The Oil Runs Out’ and my favorite Newtown Neurotics song ‘Oh No’. This 7″ single adorned with a great image on the picture sleeve really stands out, and is perhaps my favourite record of the locality.
‘Oh No’ is just a stone wall classic. I hope you can keep the interest up long enough to hear this song, the fourth song on this YouTube post.

No Wonder Records released a cassette tape ‘Pissed As Newts’ (an awful choice of title for a band like Newtown Neurotics although ‘Newts’ is a clever twist but whatever) which was a full length album with a selection of songs recorded live at Dingwalls with Tig drumming around 1980. This cassette tape was released in 1982 after Tig had left the band.

Around the latter months of 1981, Tig who had left was replaced by Simon. Colin was still a lean punker and Steve had a cropped haircut, making the band look a little more clean cut and sharp!

By the third 7″ single, ‘Kick Out The Tories’ No Wonder Records had got help from the Leeds based C.N.T record label. Effectively a joint label release.

‘Kick Out The Tories’ never dates as the lyrics seem to be valid whatever the decade, and no doubt will be well into the future. One of my abiding memories of Newtown Neurotics was at a gig at Harlow Square during the miners strike when the final chorus of ‘Kick Out The Tories’, was repeated as a mantra for what seemed like a whole two or three minutes. Everybody in the hall joining in on the rather extended chorus.

‘Mindless Violence’ although it was a great song, when wrestling against the glorious anthem of ‘Kick Out The Tories’, there was only going to be one winner.

The Newtown Neurotics went on to record some great political and personal material and the bands full length album ‘Beggars Can Be Choosers’ released on Razor Records, simply must be heard.

The Newtown Neurotics really were Harlow’s Clash to the younger audience.

Track listing:

Hypocrite
You Said No
When The Oil Runs Out
Oh No
Lets Kick Out The Tories
Mindless Violence

This is a cassette tape of an early Blyth Power rehearsal after Andy, Curtis and Neil had left or been pushed out of the original line up.

This 1987 rehearsal was recorded prior to the new line up having performed any gigs.

WARNING: This audio contains bum notes.

For the second line up of Blyth Power, Josef enlisted the help of fellow Latimer Road soul Protag, infamous soundman for Meanwhile Gardens and many other alternative venues including the Rosebery Avenue Peace Centre.

Protag was a sometime member of Alternative TV and also in the late 1970’s performed with his own D.I.Y band, Instant Automatons. Protag went onto join Zounds for a while in the 1990’s.

Steve Corr was from the old Yeovil scene and was known to Josef from those early days. Steve was involved with Idiot Strength, and still is in fact.

Sian Jefferies was an ex member of the Lost Cherries who backed up Josef on vocal duties, along with Sarah who was not culled from the old line up.

This new line up of Blyth Power were practicing together during the first few weeks of 1987 in a basement in Kings Cross, near to where All The Madmen was based at that time.

Blyth Power performed the first gig with this new line up on the 3rd March at the venue the old band had bowed out of, the Sir George Robey in Finsbury Park.

On this occasion Blyth Power were incognito and supported Stitched Foot Back Airman and Hysteria Ward under the temporary name ‘Night Porter’.

That gig went off OK so the band reverting back to Blyth Power. The next gig was at Stevenage Bowes Lyon House with Culture Shock on 28th March and the third gig was held on the 5th April in Brighton at The Richmond pub.

The new line up performed sixty gigs from March 1987 to January 1988 while still ‘on’ All The Madmen.

January 1988 was the end of Blyth Power’s All The Madmen days, with no releases to their name.

Josef signed up with Midnight Music, a label that had Robyn Hitchcock And The Egyptians on it’s rooster so was used to quirky English bands. All the recorded works from the second and subsequent Blyth Power line ups until 1991 were released on that record label.

Official notification letter, photographs and first gig flyer all from my collection.

Rosemary’s Baby was the musical arm of Ricerche Studi Babalon (RSB), the Italian ‘access point’ of the Temple Ov Psychick Youth (T.O.P.Y.), which issued tapes, booklets, bulletins and videos.

Rosemary’s Baby’s main man was Pier Luigi Zoccatelli. His ideas were rooted in Aleister Crowley’s Thelema and Magick, later turning into Guenonian Christianism.

For Rosemary’s Baby’s first performance, Pier Luigi plastered the streets of Verona with posters, drawn up in the typical style of Italian funeral notices, simply announcing that “Rosemary’s Baby is born”. Unfortunately the local media thought that these posters announced the creation of a new group of Satanists in Verona. From that point on, the Verona public decided that Pier Luigi was a practising Satanist…

After the short lived Rosemary’s Baby days, Zoccatelli decided to wander down the rather dubious route of the Italian Alleanza Cattolica / Alleanza Nazionale. I do not endorse, or share the views of this fundamentalist far right Catholic organisation.

This very rare 12″ record got me a verbal ticking off from Genesis P’Orridge when one day he heard the record being played upstairs on the sound system at his home in Hackney.

No trouble with the 12″ record as T.O.P.Y. were distributing it, or me for using his sound system.

The problem was that his young daughter Caresse was in the room at the time. Genesis quite rightly in hindsight, did not appreciate Caresse hearing this 12″ record.

This is a 12″ record to summon demons with.

The debut 7″ single by Bishop’s Stortford punk band The Epileptics alongside the original cassette tape from ex-Epileptics, the newly named Flux Of Pink Indians.

Sid, the drummer from Rubella Ballet was the new addition to Flux Of Pink Indians and was responsible for bringing a tribal sound to the band.

Some further information may be found on the KYPP link HERE.

The Epileptics flyers that accompanies the audio is from the collection of Bradley Hall.
The photographs of The Epileptics and supporters inside and outside the Bishop’s Stortford venue the Triad from the collection of Michael Mitchell. Michael is pictured on two of the photographs. He is one of the supporters lining up outside the Triad, and he is also featured in the black and white photograph.

The black and white photograph of Flux Of Pink Indians performing at Stevenage Bowes Lyon House with Sid the new drummer is from Tinsel’s collection.

The debut album from Lee Perry, or to be more precise the first album showcasing Lee Perry vocals on all songs. Songs arranged, engineered and produced by Lee Perry at Black Ark Studios, Washington Gardens, Kingston.

For further information have a look at the KYPP linked post HERE.

A decent album, and this copy, the original Jamaican pressing, is now worth a fair chunk of cash…

Which is nice.

Leather Nun from Gothenburg in Sweden, the country’s second largest city.

Uploaded is the debut Leather Nun 7″ record released on Industrial Records in 1979 and re-released on a 12″ record on Criminal Damage Records in 1984.

I have both records which is handy as the last track on the 7″ version ‘Ensam I Natt’ only lasts around fifteen seconds!

On the re-released 12″ version the full ‘Ensam I Natt’ track is pressed onto the vinyl. A good thing really as ‘Ensam I Natt’, along with the first track ‘No Rules’, are two blisteringly raw punk rock tracks, probably still two of the rawest recorded and released on vinyl. The Clash this ain’t.

For completest reasons I have added the full Criminal Damage 12″ version of ‘Ensam I Natt’ onto the end of this YouTube post, straight after the Industrial 7″ teaser finishes off that record.

Sandwiched between the blisteringly raw punk rock tracks ‘Slow Death’ is a slow bass heavy plodder concerning a victim of a bomb planted in an Italian railway station who was burnt badly but lived for several hours.

‘Death Threats’ was recorded earlier than the other three tracks and it was this track that Throbbing Gristle originally expressed an interest in. Members of TG and Leather Nun had been pen pals for a short time prior to recording this ‘industrial masterpiece’ with seemingly a hoover as the main instrument!

For a download of the full Criminal Damage 12″ record open up the KYPP post HERE.

Tracklisting:

No Rule
Death Threats
Slow Death
Ensam I Natt (part)
Ensam I Natt (full)

Flowers In The Dustbin – Freaks – 1983 / The Mob – Greek radio interview – 2012 / Getting The Fear – demo cassette – 1984 / Blood And Roses – Remastered cassette – 1982 / Zos Kia & Coil – Berlin Atonal – 1983 / Attack Punk Records – 1982 – 1984

A KYPP catch up on recent You Tube posts that have been published recently.

Folk that know me, know of my fondness for Flowers In The Dustbin, at one point in time my favourite band from that scene! Shambolic performances and some wonderful vinyl released.

Indebted to Gerard for the informative text below from the original KYPP post HERE

Flowers In The Dustbin were doing a gig at the Roxborough Tavern in Harrow when Mick Lugworm came up and asked us if we wanted to do a record on All The Madmen records. It was a complete surprise – we hadn’t even considered a record at that point. But it was full of good omens for me. David Bowie’s ‘mad’ brother was in “Cane Hill loony bin”, which was my local (so to speak) – so doing a record on a label named after the song Bowie wrote about him was neat, particularly given our fondness for utilising the Doors ‘all the children are insane’ line.

Freaks was recorded after Si (guitar) and Bill (drums) had been in the band less than a week. Bill had filled in on drums with us before however, and none of the songs required a Jimmy Page level of competence for Si to learn.

Finding a studio was done via that traditional rock n roll grapevine, the local Yellow Pages. I found one just around the corner from my old school, which at the time seemed some kind of fitting, if ill-defined, revenge. We booked two days and invited old friend – and This Bitter Lesson chanteuse – Claire Taylor to put some extra vocals on it. I thought Claire was a Goddess and her voice was liquid velvet and so could take the edge off my own perceived vocal shortcomings. Also it seemed a good idea to have a woman singing at a time when the only female punk vocals around seemed to be aping the numbing aggressive shouting of their male counterparts.

Back to the recording. To cut a long story short I lost my voice and consequently missed the two days recording, having to book a third a week later when I was better. So I can’t relay too much about it other than to say there was some muso tinkering with the Pocketful Of Gold guitar line I’d written to make it more ‘tuneful’. While the cats away, da-da – decays.

TRACK LISTING:

Journeys End
Last Tango In Vietnam
Stuck On A Stick
Pocketful Of Gold
True Courage

Clair from This Bitter Lesson may be heard on my YouTube post HERE

PLEASE ENSURE THAT YOU ADJUST YOUR YOUTUBE SETTINGS TO H.D TO VIEW AND READ SOME OF THE IMAGES THAT WERE SCANNED AT 300 DPI AND UPLOADED – THE SETTINGS PROMPT IS THE COG AT THE BOTTOM RIGHT OF THE YOUTUBE STRIP.

Uploaded tonight is the very first radio interview with members of The Mob after the band had reformed late on in 2010 ready for The Mob’s first performance in April 2011 at Bristol Fleece.

The radio interview was conducted on The Mob’s very first overseas visit (since the reformation) in a small studio in the Greek capital of Athens on February 17th 2012. The Mob performed two gigs while in Athens.

Around a week prior to The Mob’s visit to Greece troubles occurred on the streets of Athens.

The original KYPP feature and radio download in four parts HERE

Originally I had the raw downloads of this radio interview separated in four parts which I shared on KYPP. The four parts join together on this YouTube post so you might hear a slight repeat of the discussion as the joins occur. I also left all the Greek language and the adverts in, there was no editing from me at the time (as far as I recall) so you are hearing the radio interview as you would have done if you were listening to it on the radio at that time in Athens.

Most of the artifacts scanned at 300 dpi for the images accompanying this YouTube post are from my collection except for:

The original rising sun / flower artwork for the ‘Let The Tribe’ album (that was not used). The Mob backdrop (first image) and the original ‘Youth’ single artwork(that was not used either).
All this original artwork was created by Wilf, and they are on this YouTube post courtesy of Mark from The Mob.

Andy Tuck from Yeovil also supplied The Mob’s ‘screaming man’ stencil sprayed on green. Andy also supplied the original artwork drawn and coloured by Wilf of Mark from The Mob crouching against a backdrop used by The Mob. An image made (in)famous as the cover of Punk Lives magazine 1983.

Getting The Fear were made up of the three members of Southern Death Cult that were still standing after Ian Astbury went west, along with Bee, an ex member of Danse Society.
In the bands short life span, a live performance was a genuine celebration. The record that was released eventually on R.C.A was not such a celebration. In my opinion, the four songs on this demo cassette tape, are the real deal.

This cassette tape was given to me by Genesis P’Orridge of Psychic TV in Beck Road, Hackney, during one of my visits there.
A nice personalised cassette tape of the earliest demos (I believe) that Getting The Fear recorded together.

The sleeve artwork for this cassette tape is an original pencil and ink drawing of Getting The Fear vocalist Bee, drawn by Bee himself according to Genesis P’Orridge, making my copy (Gen’s old copy) of the demo cassette tape all the more special.

Tracklisting:
Spirit Ov Youth
Sometimes
Jeroen / Jerome
Swell

Further information and downloads HERE

Fifty minutes of the original ninety minute cassette that has been remastered by Bob Short.That equates to eighteen out of twenty eight tracks from the original 96 Tapes release. Originally Bob offered these remastered tracks for a KYPP post just in case anyone was interested in listening to them, as he has just spent a week or two trying to improve the quality!

I have now placed the results onto this YouTube channel.

My original cassette of ‘Life After Death’ I still own and treasure along with the ‘Necromantra’ 12″ single.

I liked this cassette so much that I carried it around in an old army surplus bag for a couple of years… My cassette survived a mugging down an alley near to Leicester Square when two kindly Scottish punks, one of them with Glasgow tattooed on his cheek, took that very same army surplus bag off of me after waving a large knife around my face. Their haul consisted of a cheese sandwich, a few fanzines, a sandwich bag (my wallet in those days) full of small change (which in those days was not quite so ‘small change’, although small enough for me not to give a rat’s arse). And finally the biggest ‘prize’, my Sony Walkman, which I managed to open up and remove the cassette as I was handing it to these kindly folk. When these two punks went west, accompanied by their thousand yard stares, I placed the cassette into it’s box which for a change was in my pocket due to me placing the cassette into my Sony Walkman just ten or so minutes before (in hindsight) an ill advised wander down an alleyway in W1 (Shine On Me).

Thanks to Bob Short for sending me the remastered tracks all the way from New South Wales and also for the text that he wrote out to accompany that KYPP post. Many thanks also to Andy Martin for the text he wrote on Blood And Roses and sent to me a few years ago, which was also added to the KYPP post.

The original KYPP post may be viewed HERE along with the audio download.

Thanks to Tony D for the use of his original flyers and original transcripts of a Blood And Roses interview (later used for Zig Zag magazine) and a review of a Blood And Roses performance.

The photographs that have been used to accompany the Blood And Roses audio feature some of the people and places relevant to Blood And Roses. Those photographs have been swiped and scanned from the collections of Tony D, Mick ‘Lugworm’, Min, Phil Ritchie, Stewart ‘Jelly Fish’, Mick Mercer, Tod Hanson and the much missed Lisa Burrell R.I.P.

Tracklisting:

01/ Scenario (Rehearsal 1981)

02/ Louie Louie (Rehearsal 1981)

03/ Paradise (Rehearsal 1981)

04/ I’m Waiting For My Man (Rehearsal 1981)

05/ Jesus (Clarendon Hotel 1981)

06/ Roles (Rehearsal 1981)

07/ Product Of Love (Clarendon Hotel 1981)

08/ Sympathy (Rehearsal 1981)

09/ Mummy (Clarendon Hotel 1981)

10/ Strychnine (Rehearsal 1981)

11/ Your Sin Is Your Salvation (8 Track Demo)

12/ Curse On You (8 Track Demo)

13/ Necromantra (8 Track Demo)

14/ Spit upon Your Grave (16 Track Demo)

15/ Possession (16 Track Demo)

16/ Tomorrow (8 Track Demo)

17/ Your Sin Is Your Salvation (Dub) (Casenove Road Demo)

18/ Love Under Will (8 Track Demo)

The first recordings available from Zos Kia and Coil.

Zos Kia went on to release a 7″ record on the All The Madmen record label in 1984, which was then reissued in 1986 on the same record label as a 12″ E.P. Zos Kia also released two 12″ records on Psychic TV’s Temple record label in 1985 and 1987 and promptly vanished. Coil’s first vinyl came via the L.A.Y.L.A.H and K422 record labels, and of course Coil were active for several decades.

The photographs are all from Min’s collection.

A snippet of information on the KYPP post HERE

Almost two hours of mostly lo-fi thrash punk tracks (CCCP being the slight exception) by various bands on seven records released in the early 1980’s on the Attack Punk record label. The Attack Punk record label was based around the Marxist / Anarchist stronghold of Bologna in Italy, and all records were pressed up in red vinyl and all had magnificent sleeves and / or booklets.

Far too much to write about all the releases so I will not bother. I have although, already composed a KYPP post on the Attack Punk record label some years ago that may be viewed

HERE

For the record, Sottocultura ‘Attack’ is the lo-fi thrash punk track that melts my brain every time I hear it. Fast forward on the video to twenty seven minutes thirty seconds, jump around and bounce off the walls. It only lasts two minutes twenty seconds so you can rest afterwards.