An old cassette release by Assassins Of Hope is uploaded tonight, the only official release that the band sold at gigs. The songs recorded on this one sided cassette tape are as rough as old boots, a screaming holocaust of noise and a whirlwind of shouty vocals.
I like it.
The text below is courtesy of Nuzz
One band missing from Ian Glaspers excellent The Day The Country Died are THE ASSASSINS OF HOPE. The year 1981 the place London, the music anarcho-punk. This is their only recording and it is rougher than a badgers arse, but great with it. Their musical influences ranged from; The Clash, The Mob through to Theatre Of Hate and Del Shannon, not that you’d know it listening to Slowmotion Suicide. Other influences included the punk scene, the angry brigade, seeing the Anarchy Centre at Wapping work and a disillusionment with being on the football terraces. Somewhere along the line they lost their two singers; Peat Protest, Chantal and the Hope.
They found a new singer, and another guitarist and became THE ASSASSINS; musically they changed but lyrically and ideologically they remained the same and you could hear more of their influences in their sound The Ruts spring to mind. They recorded one demo and also a planned single Hell is for Heroes, which was never released. Not only were they a great band in both guises but they were top people. I remember going with ’em (when they were the assassins)to a gig in Oldham where they were supporting The Varukers. The band, the equipment and friends all crammed in the back of some box truck with no windows. They when’t down like a lead balloon with the mohawks. Then there was the time they supported Mercenary Skank and a punk theatre group, also not forgetting a gig they did with The Stingrays.
The Astronauts were partly responsible for me to start helping out at All The Madmen Records back in 1985. Just one part of a mish-mash roster of bands that included Flowers In The Dustbin, Zos Kia, Blyth Power and of course The Mob.
This the debut album co-released by local record label, Bugle and JB’s Genius Records, set up specifically for the release of this album… Bugle Records had previously released the first two Astronauts 7″ singles.
The album itself has an eclectic range of musical styles pressed into the grooves, with a guest appearance from Nic Turner, taking a break from Inner City Unit, playing his saxophone with gusto on several of the tracks.
Mark Astronauts’s well thought out lyrics are beautiful and impeccably delivered. Marks’ lyrics are always written with feeling and care, and have been that way since the songs have been appearing on cassette tapes and eventually the singles and albums.
The All The Madmen released ‘It’s All Done By Mirrors’ album that followed ‘Peter Pan Hits The Suburbs’ is equally an album of absolute quality.
Fast forward a few years and…
I once visited JB when he was staying in Chesterton Road, just off the Portobello Road in Ladbroke Grove, and he sold me all the ‘Peter Pan’ albums that he still had in a box under his bed.
These were all placed into eager hands as cheaply as I could pass them all on for, and I kept a copy myself. So I still have a mint copy of this record, sitting alongside a copy from years before which is not so mint!
A Discog surf revealed that ‘Peter Pan’ reaches a huge price nowadays, such is the eagerness to have this record in the collections of the folk that would like to add it.
Such a great album.
“It was a different world. We made a few EPs and were suddenly offered the chance to make an album. I’d had various songs (or bit of songs) in my head and when we started to rehearse them it came to me that this was not going to be an album that would be easily defined or marketed. But we pressed on in our collective inexperience and eventually we produced a record. Listening to back to it now I’m struck by its innocence and its hap-hazard ‘anarcho punk’ scene was always going to be essentially peripheral but, nonetheless, that was the movement to which I fell akin, and the songs were a product of that era. Albeit seen through a slightly distorted telescope I would like to thank all the people that made the album. Special mention to Grant Showbiz who managed to harness our aspirations into something tangible and his production was sympathetic and really brings out the ‘vibe’ of the time. Also, thanks to Nik Turner, legendary space-rock saxophone guru. Lastly, I would like to dedicate this re-release to Max, our bassist who passed away a few years after the initial release. Many musicians I currently work with weren’t born until 7 years after the album originally came out, and in my more nostalgic moments I sit by the fire with my pipe and slippers bewildering them with tales of free tours, Zounds, Here & Now, The Mob, Stonehenge, Meanwhile Gardens, Kif-Kif, Jonathan Barnett, squat gigs, Rock Against Racism and much more. It was a different world and I’m afraid it’s not coming back”
Mark Wilkins February 2011
Text below written by Robin Basak of Zero fanzine fame and ripped with love from his Acid Stings site.
Eternal long-haired losers who also have some of the best tunes this semi-legendary band has only released six albums in its long existence but each of them is a bonafide classic. The Astronauts second album ‘All Done By Mirrors’ judged by those who heard it as among the best albums of all time was a stunning collection of explosive pop songs and traditional folk ballads recorded at a time when all their gigs were with anarchist punk bands. Their fifth album ’In Defence Of Compassion’ experimented with ambient house music years before other conventional bands even thought of doing so.
Inspired by the UK punk explosion Mark Astronaut formed the band with a few friends in 1977 and began playing local gigs in their hometown of Welwyn Garden City. By 1979 The Astronauts were regularly appearing at free festivals and gigs in London organised by a hippy collective known as Fuck Off Records and from these began a close friendship with then London based punk bands Zounds and the Mob. That year the first Astronauts EP was released on local label Bugle Records and musically it reflected the hippie drug culture combined with the energy of punk. ‘All Night Party’ still sounds like the paranoid nightmare it did back then. The record established the Astronauts on the local gig scene among the non mainstream hippie/punk/biker crowd. Also in 1979 an EP was released under the assumed name of Restricted Hours on the Stevenage Rock Against Racism label. ‘Getting Things Done’ attacked the political apathy of small town life while ‘Still Living Out The Car Crash’ was musically a typically nightmarish theme.
By 1980 gigs throughout England with Zounds had won over an army of fans and the ‘Pranksters In Revolt’ EP sold all its copies within weeks. Musically the four songs were not as adventurous as the first EP although the lyrics were as incisive as ever. Like many great bands from the post punk era the Astronauts were completely ignored by the UK music press which then as now was only interested in anything trendy, fashionable or middle class. Local fanzine Zero began to champion the band as did the local newspapers.
‘Peter Pan Hits The Suburbs’ album was released in 1981 to widespread acclaim. Incredibly it received great reviews in virtually all the UK music press. The typical Astronauts audience at the time was largely hardcore punks attracted by the energetic gigs and a handful of hippies so the album was something of a surprise. Full of heartfelt folk ballads and featuring legendary saxophonist Nic Turner, the album was not what fans had expected but appealed to a different audience. The contradiction of heavy chaotic punk performances and structured melodic alternative pop/folk/ambient songs continues to this day.
Throughout 1982-1985 there were hundreds of gigs with the many anarcho punk bands of the era and ‘All Done By Mirrors’ was arguably the finest album to date. The ‘Soon’ album featured great songs but was let down by lifeless production while the ‘Seedy Side Of Paul’ album combined a scathing indictment of the 1980’s attitudes of greed with some truly wonderful songs.
Uploaded today is a four track E.P from four separate bands from around Paisley, a town slightly west of the city of Glasgow in Scotland.
Listening to the tracks on this E.P, a set of songs that are strongly anti ‘polis’ (police), I realise, how truly wonderful the sound of the bands were. I can only assume that these bands did not get out of Scotland that often, although Mike’s article mentions a gig in Leeds during a showcase tour with all the bands featured on this E.P. If you missed these bands in the flesh back at the dawn of the 1980’s then there was at least a handful of 7″ single releases all based around these bands released on Groucho Marxist records to fall back on.
X.S Discharge is the standout track for me personally.
I do not know a lot about the bands featured on this record, but thankfully Inflammable Material / Defiant Pose main man Mike Clarke does know a bunch, Some of the text from the original KYPP post is written out below.
“The ‘Ha! Ha! Funny Polis’ E.P itself, despite ritual patronizing reviews in the national press and though less gleefully amateurish and individualistic than the debut E.P, wins out through its sheer verve and immediacy. Recorded live in one day again, this time at Sirocco Studios in Kilmarnock, X.S Discharge once more borrowed Snexx drummer Ian Andrews for “Lifted”, the almost endearing tale of police brutality. Defiant Pose shambolically urge local youth to “Fight,” the Fegs posthumously decry the local cop-shop in ‘Mill Street Law And Order”, and Urban Enemies, noted for their on-stage uniform of striped mohair jumpers and ‘the ultimate fat kid street gang member…playing bass’ (Sounds) play a lighter, more melodic punk reminiscent of early Outcasts, with plenty of S.L.F tuneage and plaintive “whoah whoah” vocals, only let down by the painful “because we only wanna rock’n’roll” refrain on the chorus. As with the first E.P there is none of the calculated pretension you might have expected from a similar project originating in London or Manchester. With traditional D.I.Y constraints ever to the forefront, the bands simply plug in and play, first or second take, overdubs / polishing irrelevant. As a whole, the record benefits from a collective theme, and reflects the dynamic, rabble-rousing vision of Tommy Kayes himself. Joe McGlynn remembers driving down to London’s Rough Trade with Kayes and Harris in a car crammed with boxes of the single: “We were stopped and searched in an underground carpark by Special Branch (the I.R.A were busy at the time), they opened all the boxes and I thought our time was up, but they let us go. I don’t know what they were looking for, maybe they didn’t know what ‘Polis’ meant, ha ha! Arriving at Rough Trade, the Spizz Energi single ‘Where’s Captain Kirk?’ had just been released: strangely, that was the name of the top cop in Paisley whom our record was dedicated to. Good old Rough Trade, they took every single copy, agreed to distribute them, AND paid us in cash!”
The full post on KYPP may be looked and listened to HERE
Well worth looking at and listening to.
A cassette tape and booklet that I have had in my possession, that I knew very little about until I uploaded the audio up on KYPP in 2008, and Nic Bullen and someone called Andrew both offered a snippet of information for me.
I met Stephen Thrower a few times in the late 1980’s or early 1990’s, as he was the partner (and still is the partner) to my old childhood friend Simon (now known as Ossian Brown) and both have collaborated in Coil, Current 93 and are both active in Cyclobe to this day…
My top tracks on this cassette tape are U.V Pop (sounding a little like Come (the first Whitehouse outfit which was a little more guitar based) with ‘Be Yourself’.
Then a track in a more classic Whitehouse style, from JahaitB2 with the ironic ‘Love Song’.
And my favorite is the hypnotic middle eastern chant-like ‘Why Did Daddy Die’ from the strangely named 391.
Their comments left on the old KYPP post are below.
Possession included Steve Thrower who went on to become a member of Coil during their early period up to 1992 (as well as playing drums on Skullflower’s classic ‘Form Destroyer’ 12″), and now works under the name Cylobe…
He also contributed articles to the 1980’s Euro-Horror-and-Obscurities magazine Shock Xpress which was edited by guitar demon Stefan Jaworzyn whose acid-damaged guitar made the early Skullflower slabs so vital…
Jaworzyn also ran the Shock record label which put out some great releases by Coil, Nurse with Wound, Ramleh, the Blue Humans and Drunks with Guns (one of my all-time favourite bands)…
UV Pop had a single out on Pax Records (recorded at Cabaret Voltaire’s Western Works studio) which released the ‘Wargasm’ comp LP (featuring Flux, Poison Girls, The System, and Dead Kennedys among others) and the first Anti-System ep (total Discharge worship with heavy Animal Rights message)…
I played a couple of concerts (on the same day!) with O Yuki Conjugate back in 1993: one at a festival in Belgium and then at the Paradiso in Amsterdam…There were some great artists playing as well including Rapoon (ex-Zoviet France), Main (ex-Loop) and God (featuring Kev Martin – aka The Bug: ‘London Zoo’ LP is great!) who were absolutely ferocious as usual…
I was in Scorn at the time, and just enjoyed O Yuki’s sets (I didn’t play with them)…We were supposed to play quite late (1 am-ish) in Belgium, but had been double-booked with the gig in Amsterdam, so we played early in the afternoon…
I forgot that Thrower also edited his own Euro-Horror-Sleaze magazine called Eyeball in the later 1980’s: a great source for obscure Italian Giallo films at the time…
As a member of O Yuki Conjugate back then – and still now – I can confirm that the Final Image cassette was released by myself along with the late D P Benson on our fledgling label. It was a taster of bands involved in both Final Image and a-mission (ran by Gordon Hope).
Many bands were collaborations of artists and were never heard of again. Some – like O Yuki Conjugate – went on to have “careers” of sorts.
a-mission released O Yuki Conjugate, Fazzini and Possession’s first albums along with a few other classics before disappearing for good into the bowels of the Post Office. As far as I know this was the extent of Thrower’s involvement with Possession.
Final Image released O Yuki Conjugate, Son of Sam and a few others before quitting when Red Rhino took all the profits.
As for the gigs.. the Amsterdam one was a classic, the Belgian one a shambles due to the late hour and the sweat dripping off the ceiling which fused the DAT machine! A couple of us also took to the stage and bongo-ed our way onto a Main track as far as I recall.
I saw several performances by Ring, and they were always a decent night out. As were The Cardiacs, a band with a similar musical template to work from.
This YouTube post features Ring’s second demo / album only available on cassette tape. Or at least it was back when I bought it at one of Ring’s gigs in 1986.
I used to have the first demo / album released on Big Banana Productions, a year or so earlier. I cannot find that cassette tape right now though. This second cassette tape was released in 1986 by Ring Mission Control, I assume the bands own label.
I must be honest but I am feeling very very lazy today, so I will add to this text another time. This YouTube post was a rush job for Mick Beadle who leaving a comment requesting it on one of the KYPP pages.
So, I just ripped the text below off of Wiki…
Ring were an English psychedelic rock band active during the 1980’s.
The band is notable for having helped to launch the subsequent musical careers of Robert White (Levitation, The Milk And Honey Band), Michael Tubb (also of The Milk And Honey Band) and Christian Hayes (Cardiacs, Levitation, Dark Star, Mikrokosmos).
The band were noted for their diverse music “blending all manner of riffs and noises” and for their tendency to use circus-style face-paint. This sometimes resulted in them being accused of copying Cardiacs, a fellow musical act of the time that had emerged some years previously and were already renowned for their eclectic and unique sound, as well as their manically exaggerated stagecraft and use of face-paint. Commenting on the Zag And The Coloured Beads homepage, one unidentified member or associate of Ring (allegedly singer Jonny Karma) has admitted that Ring’s final cassette album, Nervous Recreations, sounded “transparently in awe of Cardiacs.”
Ring evolved out of the south London experimental rock scene of the 1980’s and played frequently at London free festivals of the time. The band released three cassette albums and had a shifting line-up in which members used a variety of pseudonyms.
The two consistent core members were Ian “Zag” Faichne (guitar, synthesizer, vocals, percussion) and Robert White (bass, synthesizer, vocals and guitar). Other key members included Bronwen Greaves (synthesizer and vocals) and Mick Oynugulos (drums), both of whom played on the first two cassette albums. Michael Tubb contributed to the middle period of Ring activity, playing guitar on the second cassette album (O De Dun Dun). Greaves and Oynuglos left the band before the third cassette album Nervous Recreations, for which White and Zag were joined by a new line-up including Christian “Bic” Hayes (guitar, synthesizer, vocals), Adrian (percussion) and Stompy and Jonny Karma (vocals).
It is not precisely recorded when Ring came to an end, but it seems likely that the band petered out in 1990 following White and Hayes’ recruitment into Levitation – a band with much more music industry interest (and consequently larger demands regarding time and commitment) than their other projects).
To compliment the audio, I have placed up photographs from the collections of Jen Wilson, Robere Du Bilge Ratte, Janet Henbane and a couple from my collection.
There are black and white photographs of Brougham Road and then squatted bus garage (which was based very near to Brougham Road) in Hackney.
Then there are some colour photographs of members of the Peace Convoy and their vehicles on sites across England.
Thanks to those folks in advance.