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Gregory Bull and Friends – The Books

Perdam Babylonis Nomen by Gregory Bull. 

A tale of growing up in oppressive years of the 1980s. Partly surreal it tells of one young man’s agonies over the past, present and future. Contains some strong language and adult themes.

The city’s streets are so wet shining and grey. My wasteland. Another car flies past. A rumble. A lorry. Ceaseless noise fills my ears and eats my mind. The flow is broken. So this is where it all started. I suppose that it will end here too. He is sitting motionless. A young man. Long hair. Anonymous. Uninteresting. Average. So much aggression and frustration pressure rising up. In me? Would I cry. I would. Turn up the volume, stand against the intensity of the moment the music, shiver and cry.

Cover illustration by Georgia de la Bertauche.

Reviews.

“This is not an easy book. When you take as your themes death and darkness, give the book a Latin title, and throw in elements of anarcho punk, it’s no surprise that there aren’t many laughs.

Indeed, the menacing eyes on the black and white cover hover above the title both give a clue to both the seriousness and metaphorical weight of this tome. It’s insular and dark – a journey through one man’s psyche that reads like Camus stabbing Sal Paradise to death in a gothic cathedral.

We are treated to flashback sequences of (presumably) the authors experiences interwoven with a real time cinematic staring at someone staring at the small details of everyday life. It’s not an easy read and it’s clearly not meant to be.

Positive memories of early 80s anarcho punk slide by in black clad shards. Joy Division and the Curtis suicide. Jesus nailed to the cross. In detail. Unremitting darkness, almost suffocating, like watching a film with the light set too low on the television. Next to this, Bladerunner looks like the Sound of Music. Flashes of Blake, Death Cult (or was it the Cult?) and Psychedelic Furs struggle to light the corners.

This is a book of shadows. Special brew, drug addiction, gigs that sound more of a chore than a joy. But it’s the shadow we need to understand in life – things under the carpet don’t stop existing or indeed agitating. There’s a contemporary trend towards pretending our shadows don’t exist and it’s going to come back and bite us. In that context, we need more books like this.

Encounters with Women are remembered in their passing. The 3rd person evokes a French black and white film. Pretentiousness? Perhaps. But noticing is vital; just noticing. There’s a lot of memory but not attempt at insight or hindsight. Instead, things are left as they are and were, beneath the cosmetics. This is also not a book you can digest in one easy session (or at least I couldn’t). It skips between prose and staccato poetry and demands the reader play close, almost magnified, attention.

It feels like Gregory Bull was searching for something deep within in writing this, a time-stamped map of his psyche. I hope he found it. Reaching into the darkness to shine some light on it. Certainly, death visits this book, a big death, that looms permanently in the background before moving centre stage the more the book progresses.

Ultimately, it’s a remarkably brave and insightful book. I’m not sure I understood it all but – maybe like all important art, I’m not sure I was meant to”.

George Berger – The Story Of Crass / Dance Before The Storm – The Official Story Of The Levellers.

“Its a strange read (in a good way) atmospheric and genre-hopping – switches voices in an interesting way from sci-fi dystopian to rock n roll noir thriller, memoir and some kind of weird drug tainted dream like one might have in a hospital pumped full of pain killers. Can’t explain it, but I like it – it’s trippy but not in an acid way, more in a sniffin glue kind of way…”

Amazon review # 1.

“I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book after reading the product description. I was pleasantly surprised. There are elements of a coming of age novel mixed with nostalgia, but it is the prose and tone of the piece which really drag the reader in. Skilfully written, the text portrays the past like real memories, refracted and filtered in parts or, in other moments, experienced through emotion and sensation. Never lingering on solid ground, Mr Bull’s words guide us through a brief but intense journey”.

Amazon review # 2.

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Deua Magnus Timor Mortuum by Gregory Bull.

Was it three days since he had been resurrected? It was hard to put the pieces together as he seemed to be alive and living in all places and all times he had ever lived in. And he was dipping in and out of them and the present was just another moment that had happened in the past, would happen in the future or was happening right now. The right now of everyone else, the present moment that you all live in and as each moment passes and explodes it becomes the past tense.

The sequel to Perdam Babylonis Nomen.

Cover art by Ashely Reakes – Website HERE

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Original A4 book cover.

New edition A5 book cover.

Tales From the Punkside by Gregory Bull and Mike Dines.

An eclectic collection of academic articles, personal recollections, short stories, artwork, poetry and more. An anthology of work about Punk written by the survivors and by those who want the world to see not just the writings of those who were in the bands, but by those who were the supporters of the punk movement.

Get from Active Distribution HERE

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Not Just Bits Of Paper by Gregory Bull and Mickey ‘Penguin’.

“We have our own words, scrawled on bits of paper smudged with some grimy hope. Angry chords waver out from the broken cassette-players – and every now and again a curious prisoner comes out for a look and never returns.”

Tony D.

A series of recollections, memories, imagined dreams perhaps from the collective memories of those who lived through the punk and anarcho-punk years. Tales recalled of times past and a glorious tribute to the bands and the crowds who made the 1980’s so special for so many of us.

This volume focuses on the bits of paper we made to advertise our concerts – we called them hand outs and posters and now we call them flyers. Often these bits of paper were drawn with great pride by enthusiastic young graphic designers to be. It is easy to ridicule some of the content and images, but these were sometimes designed by young punks barely in their teens. These same young punks often organised the gigs themselves and put up the bands in their parent’s houses or any other place local. These same young punks would find money for the gig venues hire, for the posters, a P.A and more.

This was a time when nearly everything was done D.I.Y. And the achievements were many. Not huge commercial concerts held at huge venues but real concerts for real people. I hope you will enjoy this mix of gig posters, tickets, hand outs and recollections via some great essays by the contributors of this book.

This is the book that Greg Bull (ex Sedition) and myself (Penguin ex All The Madmen serf) have spent dozens and dozens of hours working together on.

We have been compiling contributions, scanning the flyers and posters, laying out all the pages along with many hours of care shown towards the book in ways that were far less exciting!

At full price the book cost £12, that’s three pints of cider in old money.

For the price of the book you will get over 55500 words and over 150 images (hi res scans).

The book is a hefty 227 pages and an A4 size.

A whole load of infamous ‘talking heads’ are on the contributor list, some contributors so infamous that if you mention their names you immediately turn to dust.

Best leave that there!

Reviews.

“I used to have a great big box of paper. Full of music magazine cuttings, letter exchanges with bands, fanzines, flyers – it was all in there. But then one day during a house move it made its way to the tip. I miss it all to this day. Some others were not so careless as me. They kept all these bits of paper, knowing that they are things that unlock memories, that they changed minds that are still changed from the mainstream view even today.

They provide the backbone of this new book in which Greg Bull and Mickey ‘Penguin’ collate these fragments and coupled with testimonies from the time create a view into the personal stories behind punk. What I love about punk is the way that you can be part of it all and this book perfectly demonstrates this. Put together by those who had these connections there are stories, pictures and thoughts that to others could seem trivial but to those involved were often life changing.

The stories in here explain why. Pilgrimages to record labels such as All The Madmen, seeing a band like Antisect as your first gig, hand crafted flyers – this book is full of fascinating personal insights that have previously gone unreported and were in danger of being lost. They provide little triggers in the mind about your own experiences – I even found an advert for a gig for my old band that I’d never seen before!

Eighties punk was always about much more than the bands themselves (all of which have been well documented elsewhere). In keeping with the times it’s a bargain too, “Pay No More Than Twelve Pounds” for over 220 pages. You can get it directly from Amazon and if it sells enough the authors promise more of the same”.

Art Of The State blog.

Robert Dellar R.I.P – Southwark Mental Health News Issue 128.

Get from Active Distribution HERE

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Some of Us Scream, Some of Us Shout by Gregory Bull and Mike Dines.

Review.

“Some of Us Scream, Some of Us Shout: Myths, Folklore and Epic Tales of the Anarcho, is the superior – and second – in the Tales From the Punkside series. Whereas the self-titled first volume encompassed the wider punk scene, Some of Us Scream… brings together the stories, the artwork and the inspiration of the anarcho-punk scene from the 1980s to the present day.

It is also the sister volume to Not Just Bits of Paper.

This is another A4 paperback book full of artwork and text. Many rare and original flyers are reproduced here and many an incisive thought is written by those from the time of the anarcho punk era in the form of flyers and now in the form of column inches. Unfortunately many of the original flyers are in places difficult to decipher but most are understandable and indeed as good a quality as the originals were likely to be. I have my own flyers from the time and many were a trial to read only because of the blurred minute printing. It has been a long time intention here at Active to reprint some classic anarcho punk flyers but one thing that has delayed us doing so has been the time it took transcribing them.

The layout of this book is clear and simple and monotone in keeping with the era. Not much of the adobe photo-shop here. I found it a simple pleasure flicking through checking off which flyers I have either got hidden away or have seen before and marvelling at the ones I haven’t. I shall enjoy trying to read the unread ones and see what feelings they stir.

The book stirs many memories of gigs gone to, demos attended and records devoured. Sadly if also reminds me of friends lost. Lance Hahn’s s review of an Antisect gig reminded me more of his bright spirit than Antisects dark one. the book is part dedicated to Paco of Conflict, always a friendly voice on the phone, and face at a gig”.

Jon Active – Active Distribution.

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And All Around Was Darkness by Gregory Bull and Mike Dines.

And All Around Was Darkness is the third in the Tales from the Punkside series; a collection of books whose main concern is to provide a space for stories, anecdotes and various other shenanigans by those persons rarely heard – the fans and everyday participants in the punk movement.

Published by Itchy Monkey Press, the book is A4 size, 288 pages, and full to bursting with essays, reflections, memories, photographs, flyers, poems and drawings.

Get from Active Distribution HERE

Punk is Dead: Modernity Killed Every Night – Richard Cabut Resonance FM Interview

This interview with Richard Cabut was recorded at the Resonance studio in Borough, London, mid-November 2017, but has remained unaired due to administrative difficulties.

It was chaired and produced by Mr A.U – an outstanding job, thank you.

The raw audio of Richard Cabut talking about the book is available here and now on the link below – a KYPP exclusive!

Richard Cabut Resonance FM Interview 

Areas / topics / people covered and / or mentioned:

Ideas and lifestyles associated with punk, and how those lives and lifestyles have evolved and changed until today! The overriding theme is constant ‘becoming’.

The dislike of anniversary culture – the mawkish and sentimental rehashing of history!

The subversive nature of punk!

Jon Savage! National punk rock treasure. Jon has contributed a punk etymology to the book. Jon’s idea is that everyone keeps on adding their own entries; punk as an ever-unfolding concept in other words.

Jonh Ingham! Brilliant Sounds scribe who wrote the first Sex Pistols interview. Jonh’s piece for Punk is Dead follows Patti Smith’s 1976 tour. It’s fantastic. Jonh was the first speaker at the book’s launch, at Rough Trade West in October 2017 – he set the bar high.

Your own, your very own Mr Tony Drayton! The glory and importance of Tony D’s Kill Your Pet Puppy Sid Vicious March piece – which has been annotated by Richard and Tony himself for Punk is Dead: Modernity Killed Every Night.

Neal Brown! Neal was part of the W11 squatting cognoscenti of the early/mid-70s, and played for the Tesco Bombers along with Keith Allen, Richard Dudanski, etc. He has also written books about Tracy Emin and Billy Childish. Neal’s contribution to the book is akin to the best rock ‘n’ roll song ever.

Dorothy Max Prior! Part of early incarnations of Adam and the Ants and Monochrome Set. She also played in Rema Rema and was Dorothy, the Dorothy who recorded a record for Industrial Records. She also played a part in Psychic TV during the mid 1980’s. Max also knows a thing or two about chakras and ballroom dancing. Her piece in the book is about punk rock and stripping. Cool or what!

Tom Vague! The most important psychogeographer in W11 (and beyond!). An authority on Situationist theory. Tom’s contribution to Modernity Killed details not only the links between punk and King Mob, but between punk and the Gordon Riots too. Yeah.

Jacque Vaché – an influence on the Surrealist movement – the origin of phrase Modernity Killed Every Night can be laid at his door. How punk became ‘anti’.

Ultra violence with the Clash in Dunstable! Richard Cabut’s first-hand account – knives and shooters in LU5.

Punks in the 80s ‘create an environment in which we can truthfully run wild in’! Creative squatting.

Richard reads from 1977, one of his pieces in Modernity Killed! ‘In 1977 I am 17, perfect.’

Arguments against academia and Theory in respect of the book!

Tracks played during the show:-

Magazine – Alternate Bites, We Are Eating Sandwiches (My Mind Ain’t So Open). Demo recorded September 1977, Penine Sound Studio, Oldham. (‘Beckett set to music’).

Dorothy – I Confess (Industrial Records). Max in her Dorothy guise.

Psychedelic Furs – Sister Europe. ‘Words are all just useless sound / Just like cards they fall around / And we will be’.

Wire – I am the Fly. ‘I shake you down to say please as you accept the next dose of disease’.

The Fall – It’s the New Thing. ‘As for new hotels / Look like science fiction films or revival gothic pigswill / Watch the skies, what to think / Crash smash crash ring’

Snatch – Stanley. Judy Nylon, one part of Snatch, famously helped to invent ambient music, but more importantly she wrote this book’s fabulous foreword, Punk is the Diamond in My Pocket.

Essential Logic – Aerosol Burns. Some people, especially the Resonance interviewer A.U., feel that X Ray Spex weren’t worth watching after Laura Logic left / was kicked out.

Lydia Lunch (I think) – something quite shouty.

Crass – Punk is Dead. Penny Rimbaud is wonderful – he typed out a copy of his Crass at the Roxy piece for this book by hand. Which seems right, and fits in with the Dial House artisan vibe. Either that or Penny doesn’t know how to cut and paste, which also seems right. Mr Rimbaud’s great chapter includes a brand new intro.

The dub underlay is Bobby Ellis – Minibus Rock (version).

The book is available direct from Zero Books HERE.

The photograph of Richard at Ongar station prior to interviewing Crass for his Kick fanzine courtesy of Tinsel.

REVIEWS & ENDORSEMENTS

Composed of essays, interviews, memoirs and manifestos by veterans of London’s punk scene, Richard Cabut and Andrew Gallix’s Punk is Dead is a nostalgic, intelligent homage to the brief, hazy era of “pure” London punk, before it was named, over-described and turned into another sub­cultural phenomenon. This golden age lasted somewhere between four and eighteen months, depending on who’s recollecting, although most agree that by 1978, it was over. A yearning for its own prelapsarian state was built into punk’s ethos. As the punk musician-turned-philosopher Simon Critchley tells Gallix, “Because of the acute awareness of the fact that punk . . . would become a creature of the very music industry whose codes it subverted, we knew that it was going to be short-lived. And that was fine” The book is also a homage to youth and lost possibilities. In her foreword, Judy Nylon (formerly Niland) describes arriving in London in 1970 with an overnight bag and $250, wearing jean shorts and a black Borganza coat. “Bands are necessarily approximations of the dreams that conjured them up”, Gallix writes in his essay “Unheard Melodies”. Punk is Dead shows the transmission of culture as a kind of lucid group dreaming. The accounts of its contributors capture the role that coincidence plays in history. Ideas can rarely be traced back to one person; they accrete and recur. Gallix is eloquent in his defence of nostalgia against the cult of an amnesiac future. Punk might be not only the last great subculture in the rock and roll mode, but the most analysed and documented. Nevertheless, art and cultural histories are always reductive, and, as he writes, “the past is subtly rewritten, every nuance gradually airbrushed out of the picture”. Some of the contributors to Punk is Dead are professional writers and critics, although most of them are not. Cumulatively, their contributions evoke the texture, meaning and sensation of being young four decades ago in a now-unimaginably derelict London. They recall the smell of new vinyl records, beer, cigarettes and hair dye; the pointless squabbles with band mates; the composition of outfits; the eruption of street fights; the sweet taste of cherries picked outside a squat; and the ubiquitous brown packets of speed. Some of the pieces are historical documents, while others appear for the first time in this anthology. Together, they capture the collective soul of an era. — Chris Kraus, Times Literary Supplement.

Perhaps that’s why this anthology, Punk Is Dead, published on the eve of Never Mind the Bollocks’ 40th, feels so relevant. Punk may be, as co-editor Andrew Gallix admits, “probably the most analysed youth cult ever,” but its resonances with the contemporary zeitgeist make it ripe for such analysis—even if, he is also quick to add, it continues to resist tidy theses. Gallix, the founder of literary webzine 3:AM, and his fellow editor, music journalist turned playwright Richard Cabut, are wise enough not to attempt any grand summations. Instead, they curate and contribute to an eclectic, dialectic collection of 28 short essays, juxtaposing historical testimonies from the eye of punk’s hurricane with more critically distanced analyses of its aftermath. The result admirably captures punk’s fractured, anarchic early spirit—if also, inevitably, some of its clannishness and opacity to newcomers. As its title implies, the ultimate failure of this revolution in the head is the closest thing the book has to a running theme. Virtually every contributor avers that punk, in its most exciting form, was over before it ostensibly began. As Gallix writes in his essay “The Boy Looked at Euridyce,” the movement died “as soon as it ceased being a cult with no name… Punk—in its initial, pre-linguistic incarnation… was the potentiality of punk.” By enshrining these six months or so of ferment, before the cult became a commodity, Punk Is Dead embraces what is, on its surface, a decidedly un-punk emotion: nostalgia. But this is not the ineffectual, ideologically empty nostalgia of events like 2016’s “Punk London” celebration, presided over by the city’s then-mayor, Conservative politician and chief Brexit cheerleader Boris Johnson. Cabut, Gallix and the other contributors use their critically productive nostalgia to correct decades’ worth of the former variety: to prevent punk from being, as Judy Nylon puts it in her foreword, “reduced to a coffee-table book of white English boys spitting.” If reading these essays in early 2018 brings any solace, it’s the knowledge that punk has retained its vitality as an ideal, even if it has long since failed as a movement. “Once we were part of punk,” Gallix writes. “Now punk is part of us.” — Zachary Hoskins, Spectrum Culture

The specific purpose of the book is to celebrate that original evanescent wellspring of creativity when punk emerged as a “stylish boho response to the modern world of inertia and consumption” and retained the “innocence characteristic of childhood” of a movement yet to be frozen by being named or sullied by exposure to popular vitriol and acclaim alike. — Colin Coulter, The Irish Times

In his introduction Gallix admits that punk is not only “probably the most analysed youth culture ever”, but that it’s also one of the most resistant to analysis, a problem that his book “has not quite solved”. Indeed, any attempt at a definitive examination of a movement risks a killing, like an animal categorised through vivisection. Accordingly, he and Richard Cabut have instead chosen the theme of punk as a transformative force, a becoming, not just in terms of the music and the culture around it, but in terms of the humans involved, fans included. Cabut and Gallix are just about old enough to be first-hand witnesses to punk: among these pieces are their own memoirs of the time. Accordingly, the book is as much testimony as it is criticism. …Many of the essays are welcome acts of preservation. Some are taken from rare 1970s fanzines like Kill Your Pet Puppy, long extinct magazines like ZigZag and Sounds, and early 2000s blogposts, such as a typically theoretical take from the late Mark Fisher’s blog K-punk. Often, these historical documents are newly annotated by their authors. This layered reading gives the book a feeling of vital historical scope, rather than indulgent nostalgia. — Dickon Edwards, The Wire

The punk movement has, as this book readily acknowledges, been more closely analysed and chewed over more thoroughly than any other moment in pop history. While it’s true that it meant and continues to mean very different things to different people, it’s also true that in recent years the potted history version, shorn of its more interesting edges and lesser characters, is the one that’s prevailed in the age of post-pub BBC4 viewing. While this book is more of a collection of everything from academic essays and lists to personal recollections than anything claiming to be a definitive history, its chorus of different voices and agendas ultimately creates a more accurate narrative. The opening piece sees Snatch’s Judy Nylon – that’s her referred to in Brian Eno’s 1974 song ‘Back In Judy’s Jungle’- reminiscing on her time in London, hooking up with Chrissie Hynde and partying with Nureyev and Keith Moon. It sets the tone well, emphasising that punk had a past as well as a future, the role of women and the American contingent in the capital’s scene, and the fact that it didn’t all revolve around McClaren and the Pistols. Elsewhere there are several big-name contributions, including an essay that Simon Reynolds wrote in 1986 arguing that, on its tenth anniversary, modern music needed to escape its punk-ness to show any hope of progress. ‘England’s Dreaming’ author Jon Savage provides a fascinating history, in list form, tracking the use of the word ‘punk’ from 1946 onwards in 123 different entries. Crass figurehead Penny Rimbaud, meanwhile, shares the experience of the band’s third ever gig in ‘Banned From The Roxy’, originally penned in 1977 but now viewed with the benefit of hindsight and some honest self-criticism. The most interesting bits here are the descriptions of the cast of thousands that populated and/or surrounded the scene at the time. People who weren’t in the bands that made it, those that were just there, feeding off the energy and the anarchy and reacting to it in a million different ways. The inhabitants of North London described in ‘Camden’s Dreaming’ by Richard Cabut, for instance, or the more impressionistic ‘Camera Squat Art Smiler’ by Neal Brown. They both stand up as vivid snapshots of the time as seen through their own eyes rather than any all-seeing overview. This is a book for those who’ve read and digested all the starter level punk literature and are seeking something a little more. They’ll find it here for sure – a generous hit of the hard stuff. — Ben Willmott, The Extricate blog

This is a well-selected collection of essays about punk and its cultural impact, which mixes contemporary accounts with more academic reflective approaches (sometimes in the same chapter). This means it’s quite uneven but that seems appropriate given its subject. You do come away with feeling how exciting it must have been to be involved in what was happening in 1976 and 1977 and how quickly the excitement seems to have dissipated. A good companion to books like Jon Savage’s England’s Dreaming. — Michael J, NetGalley

The book’s title (Modernity Killed Every Night) quotes Jacques Vaché, friend to the surrealist André Breton. But Punk Is Dead is not end-to-end cultural theory; there’s a lot on clothes. Three strands unfurl – papers, essays and first-person accounts. Cabut and Gallix have included historical documents – such as Penny Rimbaud’s 1977 essay, Banned from the Roxy, newly annotated by the Crass drummer – while Gallix argues that punk started ending when it acquired a name. Jon Savage is here, and Ted Polhemus and Vermorel. (…) As an interview with the punk turned philosopher Simon Critchley attests, punk unleashed ideas. It palpably changed suburban teenage futures, rather than ending them. — Kitty Empire, The Observer.

I thoroughly enjoyed Punk is Dead: Modernity Killed Every Night. Edited by Richard Cabut and Andrew Gallix, this anthology of essays, interviews and personal recollections reflects on the ways in which punk was lived and experienced at the time. Gallix flips his finger at those who see nostalgia as an affliction and rightly attempts to promote the fragmented and contested legend of punk to “a summation of all the avant-garde movements of the 20th century . . . a revolution for everyday life. — Deborah Levy, New Statesman.*

*Booker Prize-shortlisted novelist Deborah Levy has chosen Punk is Dead as one of her books of the year in the New Statesman).

The book is available direct from Zero Books HERE.

Tony D and Richard Cabut under the Kings Cross lights.

James Waynes / 101’ers / The Clash – Dedicated to Joe Strummer 21/08/52 – 22/12/02

Fifteen years ago today Joe Strummer passed on. Here is a You Tube post dedicated to him, and one of the songs that followed Joe throughout the years.

“Junco Partner” is an American blues song first recorded by James Waynes in 1951. It has been recorded and revised by many other artists over several decades, including Louis Jordan, Michael Bloomfield, Dr. John, Professor Longhair, James Booker, and The Clash. It has been covered in various genres of music including blues, folk, rock, reggae, and dub.

Singer James Waynes made the first recording of “Junco Partner” in 1951, for Bob Shad’s record label “Sittin’ in with…”. The song is credited to Shad and “Robert Ellen” (a pseudonym Shad used on some recordings), though it was directly inspired by the Willie Hall song “Junker’s Blues”. According to musician Mac Rebennack (“Dr. John”), James Waynes’ recording made the song popular, although it was already widely known among musicians in New Orleans and elsewhere as “the anthem of the dopers, the whores, the pimps, the cons. It was a song they sang in Angola, the state prison farm, and the rhythm was even known as the ‘jailbird beat’.”

In 1952, several artists covered the song, including Richard Hayes with the Eddie Sauter Orchestra, and Louis Jordan & His Tympany Five for Decca.

Fully credited to himself, Chuck Berry’s 1961 “The Man and the Donkey” is based on the “Junco Partner” melody with a story based on a traditional West African tale heard on other songs such as Willie Dixon’s Signifying Monkey (1947) or Oscar Brown, Jr.’s Signifying Monkey (1960).

Roland Stone, a white R&B singer from New Orleans, recorded two versions with rewritten lyrics, the first in 1959 as “Preacher’s Daughter”, and the second in 1961 as “Down the Road”. The Holy Modal Rounders recorded the song as “Junko Partner” in 1965.
The 1970s produced several widely known covers. In 1972, Dr. John covered the song for his Dr. John’s Gumbo album. In 1976, Professor Longhair covered it for his Rock ‘n’ Roll Gumbo album, and James Booker did the same for his homonymous album, “Junco Partner”.

Joe Strummer recorded it with the London-based band The 101’ers. He later recorded it again, this time in Kingston, Jamaica, with The Clash for their triple hit album Sandinista!, released in 1980, which included two versions: a reggae version, “Junco Partner”, and a dub version, “Version Pardner”.

Joe Strummer, who has died aged 50, was the lead singer of The Clash, the most political of the punk rock groups and, after the Sex Pistols, the most influential.

Joe Strummer was born John Graham Mellor in Ankara, Turkey, on August 21 1952. His father was a diplomat who was posted to Cairo, Mexico City and Bonn before returning to settle at Warlingham, Surrey.

He was educated at City of London Freemen’s School at Ashtead. As a punk rocker, his father’s occupation and his education were an embarrassment, and he told enthusiastic half-truths to journalists to maintain credibility, once referring to his boarding school as “a kind of private comprehensive”.

Unfettered by academic achievement but obsessed by music, Mellor paused briefly at London’s Central School of Art, from which he was expelled, before embracing the life of a busker. When, upon his return to London from a European busking tour, his companion was charged with assaulting a police officer with a violin, Mellor changed his name and decided to start a band.

The 101’ers, who took their name from the number of the Walterton Terrace squat in which they lived, played hard-edged R & B in the pubs of Ladbroke Grove. In April 1976, having released one single, they were supported by the Sex Pistols, whose scorching performance was, Strummer felt, “like an atom bomb in your mind”.

Realising pub rock had no future, he accepted an offer to join Mick Jones and Paul Simonon in The Heartdrops, swiftly renamed The Clash, who played their first concert two months later supporting the Sex Pistols.

Finding that Jones’s melodic skills dovetailed with Strummer’s angry lyrics, the group’s songbook grew alongside their image. Spraying their guitars and clothes with paint, Pollock-esque drips sawing across stencilled slogans, The Clash exemplified punk’s confrontational stance.

Their eponymous first album, released in March 1977 and hailed as an instant classic, was an assault of chainsaw guitar, explosive lyrics and raw belief. Capturing a sense of social desperation and urban decay, songs such as White Riot and Hate and War needed little introduction, while the closing track, Garageland, was a roar from the no-hopers against the critic who had suggested they “should be returned to the garage, preferably with the motor running”.

With the demise of the Sex Pistols, The Clash found themselves standard bearers for punk – rock rebels in customised combat gear. They enjoyed their share of notoriety and riots at concerts and Strummer suffered court appearances for offences ranging from petty theft to drugs.

But throughout their music remained charged with total conviction. The rock writer Greil Marcus, reviewing the single Complete Control in New York’s Village Voice, expressed his “disbelief that mere humans could create such a sound, and disbelief that the world could remain the same when it’s over”.

This furious commitment was sustained over lengthy tours in Europe and, particularly, America, where the band built a large following. Strummer later commented: “It was us against the world . . . touching the audience. You really think you are doing something and maybe for that moment in that hall you are.”
But amid the raging tracks on the debut album, the band included a cover of Junior Murvin’s classic reggae track, Police and Thieves, which gave an early indication of their future direction. Strummer’s roots lay in R & B, rockabilly and folk; Jones’s interests veered towards dance and funk, Simonon was obsessed with reggae, and their new drummer, Topper Headon, who was recruited after 205 others had been auditioned, had a background in soul and jazz.

During punk, most of these influences lay dormant. But after their over-produced, water-treading, second album, the band began to explore their range. If they alienated their own, restricted constituency, which was still spiky-haired and bondage-trousered into the 1980s, The Clash won over the critics with their third album London Calling (1979, US 1980), which was voted the most important record of the 1980s by Rolling Stone magazine.

Strummer, who had by that stage settled into the role of an ideologue leader of a swaggering band which was increasingly being cited as the world’s finest, refused to slip into the role of the traditional rock star; telling one journalist: “I vote for the weirdo, for the loonies.”

The double album, which fused rock, reggae, rockabilly, jazz, dance and ska, was released for the price of a single album. The band insisted CBS released their records at low prices, paying the difference in royalties, and refused to appear on Top of the Pops, complaining it was “manipulated”.

They maintained, at great personal cost, the low price policy on the sprawling, six-sided, Sandinista (1981). Overlong, but extraordinary in its scope, the album encompassed genres as diverse as soca and gospel, along with the expected rock and reggae crossovers.

The Clash were increasingly criticised for failing to live up to their guerrilla rhetoric. And after fashion had moved on to the synthesisers and baroque clothing of the New Romantics, the band emigrated to America, where the mythologising of outlaws and rebels and the primitive musical vocabulary of the New World suited them better.

Their final album, Combat Rock (1982), was their most commercially successful, making the top five there. But tensions were rising in the band: Headon was sacked for failing to control his heroin addiction, and Jones was dismissed by the ever-ascetic Strummer for having “strayed from the original idea of The Clash”.

The Clash Mark II, which found Strummer and Simonon alongside three new recruits, proved unwise. Shorn of his songwriting partner, Strummer’s compositions lacked texture, and his attempts to reignite its spirit with a busking tour met with indifference. The band folded in December 1985; all efforts to reform it, mainly engineered by Strummer, who never forgave himself for sacking Headon and Jones, were futile.

Strummer’s post-Clash career was eclectic but rarely commercially successful. He gave the appearance of drifting, as he had in his busking years, partly because he was always, au fond, in love with the American ideal of the open road; the stateless artist, travelling light.

A chance meeting with the film director Alex Cox saw him compose scores for, and take small parts in, the rarely-seen (and scarcely missed) films Straight to Hell (1986), Walker (1987) and the punk rock movie Sid and Nancy (1986). The soundtrack for Walker was a critical, if not a commercial, triumph, with Strummer’s sensitive Latino/Country & Western score amazing reviewers, who had not imagined that “the man with the demon bark and three chord bite” might compose something so eloquent.

Subsequently he wrote the music for Permanent Record, a bleak movie about a teenage suicide starring Keanu Reeves – Strummer’s only brother had committed suicide aged 18 – and for John Cusack’s black comedy Grosse Point Blank (1997). Through Cox, Strummer became friendly with the director Jim Jarmusch, who cast him as a displaced English rocker nicknamed Elvis in Mystery Train (1989). But, although it was successful on the arthouse circuit, the film did not herald a career change for Strummer.

He recorded an album, Earthquake Weather (1989) that was largely ignored. He toured with his band, The Latino Rockabilly War, both independently and, in a decision which caused considerable criticism, in support of Class War, the political movement advocating violent struggle. As ever, Strummer’s intentions were sincere, but he was incapable of seeing through the contradictions of a wealthy musician touring under the “Rock Against the Rich” banner.

Subsequently, he fronted the Irish folk-punk band The Pogues, having produced their album Hell’s Ditch (1990), after they sacked their singer, Shane MacGowan, shortly before a tour. Strummer also worked with Mick Jones’s new band Big Audio Dynamite throughout the 1980s, co-writing and producing several albums.
The 1990s were a lean decade. Struggling with mild depression and contractual problems, Strummer’s appearances were haphazard. He sang with Black Grape on their World Cup single, and on Roxy Music and Jack Kerouac tribute albums, in addition to several Amnesty International benefit concerts and South Park’s “Chef Aid”.

The belated appearance of a live Clash recording, a BBC screening of the Clash documentary Westway to the World, the release of his second solo album Rock, Art and the X-Ray Style, which was critically supported and enjoyed some chart success, and his first major tour for several years with his band The Mescaleros made 1999 a more successful year.

Strummer still gave no quarter in live performance, exuding “commitment” with pounding guitars, pumping limbs and by pulling expressive faces.

Although he was sometimes maltreated by the press, Joe Strummer was largely a victim of his own enthusiastic and often bombastic rhetoric. He passionately meant what he sang and (however ill-thought-out) said. That the world remained resolutely unchanged did nothing, in his supporters’ eyes, to diminish the power of his performance; he became a kind of treasure for the punk rock generation.

Joe Strummer married Gaby Salter, by whom he had two daughters. The marriage was dissolved and he married, secondly, Lucinda Tait.

In addition, he married a fellow squatter in the early 1970s in order for her to obtain British citizenship. He thought that she was South African and called Pam.

Charles Manson – Fierce Records – 1985 / Blyth Power – Street Level Demos – 1985 & 1986 / Psychic TV – Basildon Peace Festival – 1986 / Various Artists – Folk In Hell – F.O Records – 1981 / Undivided Roots – Well Crucial Records – 1982 / Prince Far I & Suns Of Arqa – B.B.C Session – 1982

Charles Manson – Side A

Charles Manson – Side B

The true identity of Lance Fairweather has puzzled Mansonist scholars for years and probably never will be revealed.

Apparently, the man valued his anonymity as much as his life, for reasons that will become obvious from the following account.

We do know that he was some kind of producer in Hollywood and an intimate friend of Beach Boy Dennis Wilson, producer Terry Melcher and, of course, Charles Manson.

In fact, he is said to have met Manson while living at Wilson’s extravagant Pacific Palisades home in early 1968.

Like Phil Kaufman and Gary Stromberg – neither of whom he knew – Fairweather was a devotee of Manson’s music, but he felt that Manson should first be introduced to the public by a documentary film before his music could be accepted.

For this reason, he brought Melcher to the Spahn movie ranch in the summer of 1969.

There have been many dancers in this world that I have seen, but no one ever danced like Charlie. When Charlie danced, everyone else left the floor. He was like fire, a raw explosion, a mechanical toy that suddenly went crazy.

Charlie was certainly a fascinating cat. He represented a freedom that everybody liked to see. That is why we wanted to document him.

He really was an active revolutionary of the time in that area. Like Castro in the hills before he overthrew the government.

Charlie advocated the overthrow of the government, and the police force and everything. He thought it was all wrong, it was as simple as that. He wanted to do more than talk about it, but like so many revolutionaries, he really had no solution. And he didn’t have the patience to really wait.

Had he waited, he could have had so much more effect with his music. I would say to him, “Charlie, you can do so much more with your music and with film than you can ever fucking do running around in a bus with your girls and preaching the stuff.”

And then in January or February of 1969, eight or nine months after I met him, we started recording him.

Charlie was living at the ranch at that time, and Dennis and I fooled around recording him over at Brian Wilson’s house. As you know, Brian has this studio in his house. But Charlie couldn’t make it with those people. They’re too stiff for him.

Charles Manson: “You know “Cease to Exist.” I wrote that for the Beach Boys. They were fighting among themselves, so I wrote that song to bring them together. “Submission is a gift, give it to your brother.” Dennis has true soul, but his brothers couldn’t accept it. He would go over to Brian’s house and put his arms around his brothers, and they would say, “Gee, Dennis, cut it out!” You know, they could not accept it.”

And Charlie always said, he just asked one thing, he said to me,”I don’t care what you do with the music. Just don’t let anybody change any of the lyrics.”

That was one of his big beefs with Dennis. Dennis had taken some of his songs and changed the lyrics around, which really infuriated him. Charlie had a big thing about the meaning of words that came out of your mouth. That is to say, to him all that a man is what he says he is; so those words better be true.

If Charlie said he would be someplace at 4 o’clock, he would be, even if he had to walk. And it used to infuriate him that Dennis would forget what he promised immediately. So, Charlie and Dennis never got along that well.

One-day Charlie gave me a .45 slug to give to Dennis, saying, “Tell Dennis I got one more for him.” Charlie was really bugged with him because Dennis ran off at the mouth so much.

Sometime later I started recording Charlie at a little studio here called Wilder Studio. And the owner, George Wilder, was leery of Charlie because he knew Charlie was an ex-con, and because Charlie to a straight person is sort of a wild looking guy – his eyes, his hair, his movements and everything.

So he was a little leery of Charlie and he kept bugging me, saying, “Listen, this guy is an ex-con. I don’t know what he’s going to do. He might flip out or beat me up or something. And what about my money?”

So, Charlie turned to him and said, “Aw, don’t worry about your money. You can have all these guitars.” And Wilder, dumbfounded, said, “Wait a minute. What does he mean I can have all these guitars?” It really blew his mind. Charlie just walked out, saying, “You can have ’em, man.” He was bugged. He left him two or three amplifiers, two electric guitars, an acoustic guitar and some other instruments.

Here is one thing to remember about Charlie’s attitude toward giving: Everything Charlie gave away he eventually got back. Only more so. At the ranch one day he demonstrated this attitude by casting a handful of gravel into the air. When the pebbles landed, he reached down and began gathering them up one by one, saying, “You pick up what you want – here, and here, and here.”

By David Felton and David Dalton – Rolling Stone Magazine – June 1970

THE FULL ARTICLE HERE

Charles Manson 12 Nov 1934 – 19 Nov 2017

Blyth Power – Street Level A

Blyth Power – Street Level B

Blyth Power – Street Level C

Two demos recorded at Street Level Studios in Ladbroke Groove, West London, one in 1985 and one in 1986, engineered by Grant Showbiz.

The tracks on the 1985 demo are ‘Ffucke Mastike Room’ that eventually ended up on the 12” version of the ‘Junction Signal’ record released in 1986 on All The Madmen Records. The second track on this demo is ‘Junction Signal’ which was not the version eventually released.

The tracks on the 1986 demo are ‘John O Gaunt’ ‘Good Bye General To Lose’ and ‘Lady Politick’ which are all, as far as I know, unreleased.

An interview snippet by Martin Peters with Grant Showbiz below.

Showbiz started as a soundman for anarcho-hippy punks Here and Now in 1976.

Showbiz ran the sound and stage at many free festivals such as Windsor and Stonehenge. Stamping his personality on proceedings, using a microphone plugged into the soundboard, he would often amiably harangue those onstage to get on with it, or off, as circumstances might merit.

He quickly forged links with the punk scene, producing albums for Alternative TV and The Fall.

In 1979 he set up the Ladbroke Grove-based Street-Level Studio with Kif Kif (ex-drummer of Here And Now) and José Gross (ex-keyboard player from Here And Now, guitarist from Blank Space and The Real Imitations). The studio hosted and recorded a swathe of bands including The Fall, Alternative TV, Mark Perrys’ Good Missionaries, The Door And The Window, 012, World Domination Enterprises, The Mob, Impossible Dreamers, The Astronauts, Blyth Power, Brian Brain, The Petticoats, Androids Of Mu, The Instant Automatons and many others.

Many of the recordings were released on the associated pioneering D.I.Y record label Fuck Off Records.

Around this time Showbiz also began making music himself, playing bass in Blue Midnight.

Q/ Can you tell us a little about your early life…was anyone in your family musical and what sort of music did you listen to as a teenager?

I loved music from an early age although the only musician in my family was my grandmother – I can remember the piano she had, but not really hearing her play. I was entranced by lyrics from an early age and could recite The Beatles’ songs verbatim (and at great volume). I had my own band at nine: called The Wonders, and I wrote and recorded two songs on my dad’s Elizabethan reel to reel tape machine. I also developed a method of recording from the TV by taping the mic onto the speaker on the front of the set – I would hover by the record button throughout The Monkees show and tape the songs, but not the dialogue. Later on I can remember a brilliant solo Neil Young show.

Once a teenager I consumed masses of pop – first single The Animals ‘Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood’ first album Nilsson ‘Aerial Ballet’ and worshipped at the dual shrines of John Peel and Kenny Everett (before he became a twat).

Bowie / Reed / Beefheart /Rundgren and Gong became my joy. Got to Bowie just before ‘Hunky Dory’ so was around for the whole explosion of success. I marvelled at the fact that Todd Rundgren played all the instruments himself on ‘Something / Anything’ and even printed track sheets which showed each instrument went down individually – I imagined him playing the bass drum all the way through the track then going back and adding the snare, then high hat and so on!

At fifteen Gong invited me back to their farm in Oxford and suddenly I was initiated in to the whole running of a band – Steve Hillage took me under his wing when I was seventeen and taught me basic sound control skills. My first professional gig was guitar roadie for Steve when he supported Queen in Hyde Park. That was where I saw my first proper mixing desk, love at first sight.

Q/ Are you still in contact with any of the old Here and Now crowd and do you know if any of them are still involved in the music business?

Kif Kif (the Drummer) and I still chat once a year or so – we both left the band in 1979 and built a studio called Street Level where “Pay Your Rates” an “Container Drivers” were recorded. He had a brilliant band called World Domination Enterprises, but then got really ill and dropped out of music biz.

Steffy does spacey dub reggae stuff and made an album with Gilli from Gong called “Glo”. Gavin who played keyboards went back to office work. Keith the Missile Bass and Steffy occasionally put together a Here and Now band to tour.

Psychic TV – Basildon – Side A

Psychic TV – Basildon – Side B

One of the Psychic TV events that I attended in 1986 was held in a field in Basildon, Essex.

The other events that I attended were:

Kilburn Ballroom with Golden Horde and Zodiac Mindwarp in March.

In April, London’s Virgin Megastore. Psychic TV performing next to the record racks for around thirty minutes in the afternoon to perplexed punters walking around. Dreader still, the Hackney Hell Crew turned up in their unwashed glory to pretty much take the piss, throw some ‘BRIAN JONES DIED FOR YOUR SINS’ stickers around, and to thieve some records.

The Marquee in central London in May supported by Webcore. An International Times benefit.

Hackney Mankind Squat all nighter in June with Jackels, Silverstar Amoeba and My Bloody Valentine. Curtis of Blyth Power, and late of The Mob was there to see Debbie of My Bloody Valentine, his old Yeovil friend.

July was the Basildon Peace Festival. This gig uploaded tonight.

September was the intimate boat trip party / performance on the river Thames celebrating something I do not recall – Ten years of punk or a significant Throbbing Gristle date perhaps?

October was Kentish Town with Primal Scream.

That was that for 1986.

One common denominator for all these events was ‘Psychic’ Rod from Ipswich.

We both went to as many Psychic TV events as we could in a roughly five year period, and he was a great chap to be around, when on best behaviour!

I do not recall a lot of this Basildon Peace Festival.

I do not recall how myself and Rod got there. Perhaps thumbing a ride? I do not recall a lot about any of the other bands on (perhaps we arrived late). I do not recall any anti-war speakers, nor CND or other anti-war icons.

I do remember that the band after Psychic TV was chart friendly ex Depeche Mode member good time band; Erasure. I do not think that Erasure was the main band of the day. Whatever, we probably gave Erasure ten minutes or something and cocked off home, by what transport, I know not.

One thing I do remember is bringing my cheap, but trusted, cassette recorder with me, and settling onto the field and recording the set, the recording of which came out very clearly.

Sadly I chose to take the wrong ‘blank’ cassette tape from home by accident and actually recorded over a copy of the ‘Ching’ demo by The Mob!

It was a spare copy of ‘Ching’ thankfully, so I still got one here intact!

I do not recall the field being heaving with sweaty bodies during Psychic TV’s performance, more a case of room to spare, and then some, with a few (thirty-odd?) people dancing.

Save, recording over the ‘Ching’ demo, I was pleased with the results of the sound when I got home, listening to it in the quieter atmosphere…

I was so pleased in fact that I duped two copies off of my master cassette tape onto two other cassette tapes. One for ‘Psychic’ Rod and one for Genesis P-Orridge.

I went around Psychic TV’s Beck Road base in Hackney a couple of times a month, generally on All The Madmen / WOT Distribution mail order business. I would be getting records, tapes and T-shirts from Beck Road for the customers that had ordered such fare from this little mail order business, which was also based in Hackney, just around the corner to Beck Road in fact. Brougham Road to be precise.

I would have given Genesis the cassette tape that I had duped, and no doubt he was as chuffed as a puppy with a few metres of Andrex. I do not recall.

Anyhow, imagine my immense surprise, only today, when I punted out ‘Psychic TV / Basildon’ on Google, I found as an answer to my search – a CD available on Cold Spring Records!

Checked some YouTube links of the gig and expecting fine sound desk quality (placing my cassette tape into the ‘do not listen again’ file) I was surprised to hear (with my ears) that the YouTube links were from my (this) original recording that I made on a field with the cheapest cassette recorder imaginable!

Presumably Genesis must have lobbed a load of cassette tapes to Cold Spring Records at some point.

I might have to get a copy of the CD now, for prosperity, and keep it with my old cassette tape.

For the visuals to accompany the audio, I have put up my flyer for the Psychic TV boat event on the Thames and also a few photographs of that night.

Genesis and myself trying to out-do each other in the battle of the blondes.

‘Psychic’ Rod and Genesis.

A couple of live photographs of Psychic TV rocking the boat, actually literally in this case.

Also pages from ‘FINAL WARS’ a rare booklet for the Psychic TV Japanese tour in 1986.

Genesis gave me this booklet (he gave me quite a few things as it goes, a nice guy).

There are some nice images in the booklet which would interest people, presumably people interested in Psychic TV as opposed to random folk!

The problem lies with reading the literature, interviews etc.

It’s all in Japanese.

Good luck with that.

Hopefully this YouTube post will reach some Japanese Psychick Youths out there somewhere…

Folk In Hell – Side A

Folk In Hell – Side B

The ‘Folk In Hell’ cassette… A complete mash up of tracks, not so much chosen but seemingly thrown up in the air and see what landed on the ferric oxide.

This cassette tape courtesy of the F.O Tape empire, overlooked by Kif Kif, José Gross and Grant Showbiz, is certainly eclectic and starts with a Mark Perry bass and bongo driven hypnotic repetitive beat.

(A) Pencil I know nothing off, save what it states on the cover, that they are from Manchester and the track seems a little ‘white boy dubby post punk funk’.

The Mob’s track is ripped off of the ‘Ching’ demo, and one of my favourite cassettes, in fact one of my favourite releases of The Mob.

The Astronauts are next with an unreleased fast paced ‘dub’ version of ‘Behave Yourself’, a track off of ‘It’s A Done By Mirrors’ released on All The Madmen Records. Lol Coxhill with the horns.

Impossible Dreamers featured Justin Adams who after recording bands like Blyth Power went onto far better things, being massive all over the ‘World Music’ World. Impossible Dreamers, a little like Maximum Joy if anyone remembers them. The band were set to be massive. Nothing happened.

My favourite song on this cassette tape is by Tasmin, ‘Sailor’ after forgiving the sea and seagull noises at the start and throughout in parts, we have a Patti Smith-esq / Buffy Saint Marie repetitive mainly acoustic drone. Sounds shit written down, but I love the vocal style, and it works in a D.I.Y way. I know nothing about her.

Vince Pie And The Crumbs with a music hall jolly, veterans of the West London scene; the Idiot Ballroom, the Chippenham and probably the Elgin (?). Not my cup of tea, and I very much doubt that matters! Similarly; ‘Pontin Stomp’ from the Street Level E.P. Sorry if you read this Vince.

No Comment I know nothing about, but I do like Wreckless Eric, and this is a song that could have been written and sung by Wreckless Eric, so I think it’s great!

Celebrated Working Men, have you guessed yet? Correct. I know nothing of this band. An anti scab miner song, which rides a chorus of another song, which for the life of me I can not recall. Maybe The Pogues had a song with a similar chorus several years later, different words obviously.

Androids Of Mu who’s line up included Suze Da Blooze after she left perianal squatter and free festival collective Here And Now. Androids Of Mu were given the pleasure (?) of having the first vinyl album released on F.O Records – And very good it is too. Find it on my YouTube channel.

Steve Lake without Lawrence or Josef creates a psychedelic soundscape with possibly the worst ever drum machine ever recorded. A version of ‘Dancing’ the best song that Zounds ever did. This version is, err, not so good. Sorry Steve.

Protag and Mark’s Instant Automations from Grimsby. D.I.Y attitude way before a D.I.Y attitude existed, this band were trail blazers. A track off of the debut E.P. Protag went onto partner Grant Showbiz, setting up the Lancaster Music Co-Op that supported events at Meanwhile Gardens by the canal in Westbourne Grove. Much later joined Blyth Power and Alternative TV (other way around). A must missed lovely man.

Murphy Federation, years later The Cardiacs sounded like this! Great song, and if you see the only 7″ record in a car boot sale go get it, listen to the London Underground / New Age Steppers inspired dub and then flog it for massive cash on Discogs.

Here And Now need no words, essential to all things Street Level and Fuck Off Tapes, so.

Grosse Catastrophe and Sir Alias, I am not sure if those two artists should be separated, seemingly so according to the cover notes, but on my cassette it seems that there is only one song after Here And Now. A short electronic experimental cut up that reminds me of COME; who would shortly become WHITEHOUSE.

Undivided Roots – Side A 

Undivided Roots – Side B

“Crucial” Tony Phillips came into the music business as a guitarist and writer in 1976, after being invited to play on a session by producer Adrian Sherwood.

The session, mixed by Dennis Bovell, evolved into an album called ‘Dub from Creation’. The album became so successful that a band was formed to promote it.

That band was Creation Rebel. As well as promoting the album, they spent these early formative years touring all over Europe with greats like Prince Far I and Bim Sherman.

The Creation Rebel line up was initially Clifton “Bigga” Morrison, Keith “Lizard” Logan, Charlie “Eskimo” Fox, Veral “Magoo” Rose and Bonjo I, with “Crucial” Tony himself on guitar.

“Crucial” Tony quickly rose to the level of band leader for Creation Rebel, with a pre-Roots Radics Style Scott on drums. Well-honed performances, crafted from their time on the road, naturally led the group back into the recording studio, following up with four further albums ‘Rebel Vibrations’, ‘Close Encounters Of The Third World’, ‘Starship Africa’ and ‘Lows And Highs’.

“Crucial” Tony was also one of the original directors of On-U Sound with Adrian Sherwood. Together, they produced projects like African Head Charge, the Singers And Players, New Age Steppers and Dub Syndicate to their very receptive audience. Other bands the intrepid guitarist played with during this period were Spartans, Freedom Fighters and Suns Of Arqa.

AMS: “One of the first releases on On U Sound was ‘Starship Africa’ by Creation Rebel, which is a classic dub album. Creation Rebel predates On-U. That album was recorded in 1979 when I was 20 or something, and it was the second records I ever made. It didn’t get released until 1980, on 4D Rhythms, which was before On-U. And I released it as part of the new batch when I started the On-U Sound label. It started as a studio thing where I had a lot of great musicians: Tony Henry, Misty in Roots, Clifton Morrison who does Jazz Jamaica, Crucial Tony who was Ruff Cut… they were some very important British reggae musicians, and they were all involved in the original Creation Rebel, but we were all teenagers at the time, or early 20’s”.

In 1980, to meet the needs of the large population of singers, musicians and producers in the area, he, along with other local musicians started up their own operation – the Ruff Cutt rehearsal room and studio. Its humble beginnings were in an unused storeroom on the Stonebridge council estate of north London.

Despite this, Ruff Cutt soon became the place in the wider Harlesden and Willesden areas for young artistes and musicians to rehearse and record. It was out of the musicians who used the facility that a nucleus was formed; it was from that core that the Undivided Roots Band was to emerge some years later with a 10” single ‘Englands Cold / Move Up’, produced by Adrian Sherwood, artwork by Kishi and released on Well Crucial Records.

The luxury of having their own rehearsal space and studio enabled them to work on their musicianship without some of the usual hindrances faced by most young bands. Their work soon came to the attention of CSA Records who released their first single; the self-produced ‘True Love’, penned by Phillips and recorded at Ruff Cutt.

Their debut album ‘Ultimate Experience’, came close behind, its release by Island Records’ Mango division heralded a new phase for the band. After the departure for a solo career by their lead singer Don Campbell, the Undivided Roots Band metamorphosed into the Ruff Cutt Band. The equilibrium was finally balanced; everything now came under the Ruff Cutt banner.

The scene was set, the band now consisted of a quintet of musicians whose only aim was to play top quality music; Carlton “Bubblers” Ogilvie (fellow On-U conspirator and later to be driving force behind 2 Bad Card), Kenton “Fish” Brown, Trevor Fagan, Antony “Bongo Dashie” Thomas and the re-named Tony “Ruff Cutt”.

Their reputation grew, making them the UK’s top backing band as they continued to accompany many Jamaican legends: Alton Ellis, Big Youth, U Roy, John Holt and many other contemporary artistes.

Ruff Cutt started to produce and record several of the artistes they were working with on the road, in their newly upgraded and re-located studio, releasing dozens of singles and five albums with some of the biggest names in the industry including Beres Hammond, Mykal Roze and Jazzwad, one of their original proteges, who himself is now a successful producer (and On-U Sound collaborator) in his own right.

Text snatched mainly from the Skysaw website…

Prince Far I / Suns Of Arqa – Side A

Prince Far I / Suns Of Arqa – Side B

Prince Far I – not so much a DJ in the classic style, but more a chanter of words.

It has often been written that his early DJ name, King Cry Cry, was derived form either the pleading nature of his delivery or the righteous content of his lyrics.

The actual explanation of the “nom de mic” is much more prosaic. The Prince had a strange habit of breaking out in uncontrollable sobbing on becoming angry!

Bunny Lee first recorded Far I in the early 70’s with a tune called “The Great Booga Wooga”.

He went on to cut tunes for Coxsone, notably “Natty Farmyard” and a version of “Queen of the Minstrel”. In 1973 the Cordell’s “Simpleton” appeared on the Lion label, with the flip being a strange half-sung half-chanted version by the Prince entitled “Simpleton Skank”.

In 1974 he voiced “Let Jah arise” for Enos McLeod at King Tubbys, and it is Enos who can be credited with renaming the DJ as Prince Far I.

After some self-productions which appeared on Pete Weston’s Micron outlet, Prince Far I hit a period which included two of reggae’s greatest DJ albums.

Firstly the “Psalms for I” collection, a straight chant of bible word, produced by Lloydie Slim and Micron on top of a set of ultra-tough rhythms from Striker Lee and Scratch. This album found Far I totally into his own style, distinct from all other DJs, primal yet righteous — the real “voice of thunder”.

For some reason people remember Far I as a huge man, a gentle giant. On the contrary, he was quite slight — five foot nine inches.

His physical build tends to be purely, but remarkably, conjured up from the sound of his awesome voice (and also perhaps his ability to enclose large amounts of bushweed within his fist!)

The second landmark album was “Under Heavy Manners” for producer Joe Gibbs, engineered by Erroll Thompson. It contained the Prince’s first big Jamaican hit single, “Heavy Manners”, on the rhythm of Naggo Morris’ “Su Su Pon Rasta”.

In 1976 Prince Far I set up his own label in Jamaica — Cry Tuff, with the sub-title Wisdom Man. Suffice to say at this stage that one Cry Tuff single, “No more war”, was a version of the Little Roy original “Tribal War”.

Cry Tuff issued Far I’s productions in Jamaica. His UK business ran through the fledgling label Hit Run, created by Adrian Sherwood.

This arrangement was almost one of master and pupil, as the Arabs/Roots Radics became Dub Syndicate with Sherwood learning the studio craft as both producer and engineer.

The rhythm tracks were laid in Jamaica by Style Scott & Co, the mix and overdubs taken care of in London — creating a tradition which continues to this day. With albums also out on Virgin and Trojan Far I was a regular visitor to the UK in the late seventies becoming a firm favourite within the synergy that sparked between punk and reggae.

“Cry Tuff Dub Encounter Chapter III” by Prince Far I and the Arabs was originally released in the UK by that most avuncular of record shop proprietors Keith Stone of Daddy Kool.

The whole affair was racked out in rapid studio time, conforming with the can-do ethics of the time — not to mention the lack of cash. The set features super-heavy deliveries by the Prince, pre-ambient doodlings and quirky noises from David Toop and Steve Beresford, and backing vocals from the Slit axis of Ari Up together with Viv Goldman and Elizabeth Archer.

The album is important for those concerned with the history of reggae in the UK. It marked the handing on of the producer’s baton from Far I to Sherwood, soon to launch On U Sound at a time when many critics considered reggae to be a finished force.

Prince Far I, a man to grace any style with wisdom, a chanter to quake the walls of the city, a preacher to strike fear in the weakheart, humble in the garden and proud in the city, was shot dead in Jamaica, September 15, 1983, one year short of his 40th birthday.

Steve Barker – On the Wire

Suns of Arqa are a World Music collective founded in 1979 by Michael Wadada. Since the group’s formation, over 200 people from around the world have played and recorded with them, and in many cases these were like-minded musicians Wadada met as he travelled the world.

Pioneers of World Beat, Ambient, Downtempo and Electro-Dub, Suns of Arqa draw inspiration from around the world, interpreting indigenous, tribal and classical folk traditions.

They have created an impressive legacy and earned worldwide recognition.

Suns of Arqa started out in the World Music scene in 1979, recording their debut album Revenge of the Mozabites which was produced by Adrian Sherwood, who later became known for On-U Sound Records. In 1982, they were invited to play at the first WOMAD Festival by Peter Gabriel.

They performed with Prince Far-I at his last concert before his death in 1982.

The Apostles & Demolition Company – B.B.P – 1987 / Chron Gen – Gargoyle & Step Forward Records – 1981 / Mark Stewart & The Maffia – Amsterdam Paradiso – 1986 / Lack Of Knowledge – Southern Studios Rough Mixes – 1984 / Blyth Power – All The Madmen Records – 1985 & 1986 / Various Artists – Top Ranking Records – 1977

The Apostles Side

Demolition Company Side

‘Cartography’

The first side of this cassette tape features The Apostles.

To be more specific, for this release many of the songs were written, performed with various instruments and recorded on a four track recorder by Dave Fanning.

So in effect it is pretty much Dave Fannings ‘solo’ project.

The second side of this cassette tape features Demolition Company from Basildon Essex, who for this recording of their debut live performance, featured both Andy Martin and Dave Fanning.

The core members of Demolition Company were Sean and Colin, who around the time of this debut performance in February 1987 were also the new members of The Apostles after Scruff and Chris Widni had departed shortly after the album, ‘The Equinox Screams’ was released.

The Apostles recordings on this cassette tape are edging towards the more industrial / experimental side of the band that was more prevalent from the mid 1980’s.

Andy and Dave seemed to be steering their band’s sound away from the straight forward traditional arrangement of songs, to create soundscapes, many of which were devoid of vocals, but did have tape recordings on a loop to create a focal point to any of those recordings.

Demolition Company has a more percussion based sound on many of the songs performed on that evening of their debut performance. There were several drummers all crash, bang and walloping all together at the same time. I would imagine sounding like a very much smaller version of the drummers of Calanda, parading the streets of this medieval village in Spain every Easter. Adding feedback, squeaks and shouting, it’s quite a cacophony!

Importantly, ‘Cartography’ was a sonic assault secondary to the sheets of information and artwork that was included in the A4 sized see through plastic envelope.

All those double sided sheets are scanned and are featured on this post.

Chron Gen – Gargoyle Records A

Chron Gen – Gargoyle Records B

Chron Gen – Secret Records A

Chron Gen – Secret Records B

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

The record spun hundreds of times on my cheap mono ‘Dansette style’ record player that I had acquired a year or so prior from a Summer school fete, rubber-banding a penny onto the stylus head to stop the stylus skating across my precious records that I might have just bought!

The band members of Chron Gen were all based around Hitchin and Stevenage. The Stevenage Bowes Lyon House was on the punk circuit and many bands performed at the venue on the weekly punk nights.

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

Chron Gen’s sound had a mid paced tempo with clear lyrics to counter the speed noise and barely understandable screams of Discharge, a band (not a condition)from the same era.

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

The second single that was also released in 1981 on the very excellent Step Forward record label was ‘Reality’ and ‘Subway Sadist’. Two tracks of immense power, the A-side dealing in one of Chron Gen’s loves, acid, dope, and magic mushrooms.

This second 7″ single trumped the Gargoyle Records release, but not by much. Both 7″ singles rotating on that same little mono record player in my bedroom many times…

I wore my original Chron Gen T- shirts with some pride as a thirteen going on fourteen kid.

As an aside; I really wish I did not put all my old original punk, goth, industrial and anarcho T-shirts on a fire in on the cusp of the 2000’s!

Bushell rated Chron Gen, so what could go wrong?

Seemingly for a while, when Bushell rated a band, that band had a high chance of ending up on Larry Prior’s Secret Records, a large record company masquerading as a small record label.

Chron Gen were no exception.

When you see a B-side of the third 7″ single, ‘Jet Boy’ being ‘live’ tracks from some gig, you might hazard a guess that the studio tracks might have dried up somewhat.

Jon Thurlow (who ending up later on in the 1980’s selling scented candles, silver jewelry and trinkets at the door of the Stevenage Bowes Lyon House on the weekly punk nights) had actually left Chron Gen shortly after the Apocalypse Now tour, and eventually formed Verdict (who went on to support The Mob at Monks Walk in Welwyn in the middle of 1983!)

Jon Thurlow leaving the band might have had a bearing on the writing of new songs temporary halting… Or maybe it didn’t!

He stayed on for the recording of the album in any case.

The long anticipated (by me at least) debut album was released on Secret Records in 1982, complete with (you guessed it) a live 7″ single slipped into the package.

I took a deep breath, after spotting some more ‘live’ track credits on the album cover, and gave the record a spin.

‘Lies’, ‘Jet Boy’ and ‘Hounds Of The Night’ (a firm favourite of mine) kicked the album off in a decent enough way, already eight out of ten on the score board.

From the ending of ‘Hounds’ the quality of the tracks on this album went south (in my opinion, which means sod all…but).

I felt let down, and thinking deeper, I came to an opinion that an eight track mini album would have been a powerful work, shafting the studio fillers ‘You Make Me Spew’ and ‘Friends Tell Me Lies’, and the live tracks, ‘Reality’, ‘Alice’ that were all cluttering up the twelve track album.

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

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

A new look Chron Gen, with new guitarist and bassist, released another album, ‘Nowhere To Run’, in 1984, throwing themselves towards a slick pop punk, rockier sound.

Although I bought that album, it did not end up receiving too much interest from me at the time (or in fact since).

The album was, with the possible exception of ‘Fiasco’ a little too ordinary.

The two 7″ singles that were released in 1981 were the dual high points for Chron Gen in my opinion.

Great stuff.

I took the liberty of adding a photograph of myself as I looked around the time when Chron Gen were among my favourite bands in 1981 towards the very end of this YouTube post.

In case anyone thought it was some random…

The promotional posters of ‘Puppets Of War’ and ‘Reality’ are from my collection.

Mark Stewart & The Maffia A

Mark Stewart & The Maffia B

These Mark Stewart / Tackhead / ON U Sound events were loud, hallucinogenic and warped.

The audience consisting of B-Boys, Rastas and ‘Dread At The Control’ bass-heads, punks and Peace Convoy types.

I witnessed several of these events. They were immense soundscapes with Adrian dripping with sweat, pushing switches and dragging faders throughout the night, being another ‘attraction’ to be stared at!

And how we all stared.

Dozens of people eyeballs completely fixed on the sound desk booth trying to get at least a glimpse of how these noises were generated, some taking back clues garnered back to their own small sound systems across the country.

The text below courtesy of John Eden.

Bristol 1978, Mark Stewart started the Pop Group – an out-there, genre-busting band whose titles, political conviction, disrespect for copyright and willingness to collaborate laid the foundations for his later work. This militant gang of leftist radical politicos specialised in a funk-driven cacophony of sound that was abrasive, strident, and ultimately very exciting.

Railing against Margaret Thatcher’s Tory UK government, the state of pop music, racism and sexism, the Pop Group were not the easiest band of the early post-punk era to listen to.

Never intending to make a serious run at the pop charts, the Pop Group imploded in 1981 after three albums. They did, however, contribute some talented people to other bands: most notably Gareth Sanger, who formed Rip Rig & Panic, which also featured the lead vocals of a then-teenage Neneh Cherry. Stewart of course went on to flourish in Adrian Sherwood’s On-U Sound stable of artists.

Post-Pop Group members Mark Stewart, Bruce Smith and John Waddington thus heading off to London and hooked up with the emerging On-U Sound as part of the New Age Steppers.

On-U supremo, Adrian Sherwood, had previously worked as European tour manager for legendary Jamaican deejay Prince Far I, whose live backing band largely comprised members of Creation Rebel and later Roots Radics. So, while Lincoln Valentine ‘Style’ Scott (drums), Errol ‘Flabba’ Holt (bass) and Eric ‘Bingy Bunny’ Lamont (rhythm guitar) formed the core of Dub Syndicate, they were also enlisted as part of Stewart’s new backing band – the first line-up of the Maffia for the recording of the ‘Learning To Cope With Cowardice’ album.

On ‘paper’ it didn’t sound like it would work. Urban paranoia and a techno sensibility; the positivity of dub reggae gone horribly wrong; dystopian visions mixed with those of William Blake, Donna Summer and William Burroughs; voodoo and ultra-left texts. But it worked, and when it didn’t, the fractures could be far more rewarding than the gleaming monolith of any corporate uber-production it could never have been.

Prior to the second album, ‘As The Veneer Of Democracy Starts To Fade’ being recorded, Mark Stewart’s Maffia had mutated. Though Stewart had been aware of Doug Wimbish, Keith LeBlanc and Skip McDonald and their seminal work as the Sugarhill Gang, it was Adrian Sherwood who had recently brought them to the UK and started working with them on a largely experimental but ground-breaking project called Fats Comet. Stewart heard them play at the Language Lab in the mid-80s:

“It was this tape they’d done with like rockets going off and drums that sounded like steamhammers. I was going mental playing it to everyone.”

Sherwood soon introduced the trio to Stewart, and so the new Maffia were formed. Parallel to recording as the Maffia for Stewart, without him and sometimes replaced by Gary Clail or Peech-Boy Bernard Fowler, Keith, Doug, Skip and Sherwood continued to record as Fats Comet and later Tackhead with their own, equally influential brand of funk-soul-sonic mayhem.

Mark Stewart & The Maffia’s ‘Veneer…’ album was without doubt one the heaviest albums he ever made. ‘Passivecation Program’ sets the agenda for the rest of the album by being wickedly harsh, dubby and funky. The track was a highlight of the Maffia’s live set at the time, and Paul Meme recalls their early live shows:

“Basically, the live Maffia experience was just like seeing Tackhead – i.e. a brain-pulverising intense experience, the closest music could get to all-out apocalypse and still be endurable – but with the addition of a front man who projected this incredible political / social paranoia vision which twisted the energy up yet another notch. He was a very focussed performer, he wasn’t obviously in need of help to function, but he wasn’t ‘controlled’ in the sense of being a cynical fake. Watching him bouncing up and down and calling out ‘Operation Passivecation’ had this amazing propulsive energy. There’s no way the On-U story would have happened without him.”

Lack Of Knowledge Rough Mixes A

Lack Of Knowledge Rough Mixes B

Lack Of Knowledge Rough Mixes C

The rough mixes of the tracks that would eventually be included on the album ‘Sirens Are Back’, recorded at Southern Studios, and which was released in 1984 on Corpus Christi Records being the band’s only album.

The text below written by the late, and much missed Lance Hahn, writer for Maximum Rock And Roll magazine.

By 1984, Lack Of Knowledge had been transformed into a combination of ideas which, while further distancing themselves from the traditional notion of creating a sound unique to anything else at the time.

The Joy Division comparisons are again obvious, especially on ‘Flame Thrower’ which could’ve fit in nicely on ‘Closer’. But in general, the comparisons have more to do with the similar vocal styles.

The band at this point was reflecting many different ideas. Moments of ‘Modern Dance’-era Pere Ubu pops up all over the record especially with the bass/drum inter-play. Early Killing Joke can be heard on some of the more primitive rhythms. The gothic affectations driven by, at times, dance beats were reminiscent of X-mal Deutschland’s ‘Incubus Succubus’. The more upbeat or punk songs brings to mind ‘Young Savage’-era Ultravox. The album is atmospheric and lyrically suggestive without giving any clear directions. The record is one of the few releases on Corpus Christi not to include a lyric sheet.

Lack Of Knowledge: “In retrospect, the album sounds even less like anyone else than was previously imagined. It also represented the most uncommercial Lack Of Knowledge material available for recording at that time.”

The recording process seemed to be a clash of generations.

During the recording of this record, the bands refusal to have any connection whatsoever to rock music or its traditions became apparent. Previously, they had refused to refer to performances as ‘gigs’. Now in the studio, they clashed with veteran engineer, Mel Jefferson, over approach and semantics. They refused to refer to bridges as “middle eights” and pretended they didn’t know what Jefferson was talking about when he referred to headphones as “cans”. They sneered at him when he used bands like ‘U2 and Simple Minds’ as reference points. Despite this antagonism, the band and engineer were able to work well enough together to produce a pretty slick sounding record.

It was released to positive greetings from the music press. All Lack Of Knowledge records, incredibly, received very favourable reviews although English music journalists are not exactly noted for their discerning taste!

The anarcho-punk scene by 1984 was reducing its musical scope into narrower and narrower definitions. The opportunities for creativity and experimentation that were made available by the post-punk boom were now giving way to the ‘80s and new wave.

While not directly affecting the still fiercely independent anarcho-punk scene, the safety of known musical genres became as much an issue as in the mainstream.

This mentality regressed underground music to entertainment over art and the fan/star quotient was only one negative effect. The more easily recognizable musical styles associated with punk and hardcore were quickly embraced while musical outsiders were often ignored.

In the face of this adversity, Lack Of Knowledge still managed to find their niche outside of the mainstream and on fringe of the anarcho underground.

A reputation as a great live band helped, even with a brand-new line-up (Paul the bassist replaced by Karen on bass) following the release of ‘Sirens Are Back’.

This is reinforced by a review of the bands gig at the Hammersmith Clarendon:

“Faces twisted by concentration, tongues lolling from corners of mouths, Lack of Knowledge unleash everything they’ve got. Tonight, they are at their very best, under pressure; pushing, pushing, always pushing… A charge surges through them. They win the attention of a (to begin with) completely uninterested Living In Texas audience, and then they push further still, whipping up a multi-textured headfirst collision between Joy Divisions lump-in-the-throat axe-heroism and the driving gritty raunch of the Buzzcocks. And it works like magic. Lack of Knowledge treat us to the epic ‘Sentinel’ – featuring, incidentally, what must rank as one of the Great Bass Intros of rock and pop’s illustrious thirty year history – followed by a handful of numbers from their new album, ’Sirens Are Back’, and in the blink of an eye they are gone, beaten by the clock but elated, nevertheless.”

Mr Spencer, ’Sounds’, April 1985

Dedicated with love to Lena Servo…

Blyth Power – All The Madmen Records – 1985 A

Blyth Power – All The Madmen Records – 1985 B

Blyth Power – All The Madmen Records – 1986 A

Blyth Power – All The Madmen Records – 1986 B

It is the autumn of 1985 and I am asked to go to Holloway Prison to pick up a friend who had just completed a nine month prison sentence for being involved in a stabbing in Harlow.

My friend did not actually stab the victim; her boyfriend did. He had a considerably longer sentence handed down to him by the Court.

They were both skinheads.

I was not working, just signing on at the Labour Exchange every couple of weeks, so I agreed to drive to Holloway and pick her up from prison.

Turning up at the prison I saw that she still had the same look, bleached short feather cut hair, Union Jack T-shirt, bleached jeans, boots and braces.

She got in the car that I had borrowed and I told her that I needed to go to Hackney to get a couple of records. Having no choice in the matter she reluctantly agreed.

Ending up at Brougham Road in Hackney I searched for number 96 while driving along slowly squinting in between the parked coaches, caravans and various cars in various states of repair trying to see any of the numbers on any of the doors.

Dogs without leads were playfully running around, wood smoke was coming from one of the parked coaches, curtains on that coach closed.

Battered old army surplus boots and other clothing lay around the front ‘gardens’, I assumed thrown out and long forgotten.

All the small terraced houses along that side of the street seemed run down.

The overall grimness of each house was interrupted slightly by each house having a pastel colour painted around the doors and on the window sills. One house had one pastel colour; the next house had a different pastel colour and so forth.

After parking up, we both walked to number 96. I knock on the door and we waited patiently.

The door swings open and a large man is in the middle of the doorway.

I ask nervously. “Is this the correct place for All The Madmen Records?”

He tells me it is, and then looks over my shoulder to see the skinhead girl behind me.

Due to this sighting, he starts to interrogate me further.

“Who are you?”

“What is it you want?”

“Are you sure you are at the right place?”

I insist that we are here for All The Madmen Records and he finally lets us both in.

This person I was shortly going to know was J.C, a South African who had been living over in London for several years after dodging national service in the S.A army.

Almost stepping on the cat, my friend and I both shuffled up a thin staircase and immediately saw a woman dressed all in black with long crimped black hair sitting on the top of the staircase looking incredibly nervous at both of us walking up the staircase.

She cowered as we walked passed.

This person I was shortly going to know was Louise a veteran of various dismal squats from years past. An ex-member of the ‘Puppy Collective’, an ex-member of The Witches and Youth In Asia, and who was shortly to front a band called Hysteria Ward.

There was a smell of dampness, roll your own tobacco and cats evident around this small terraced house.

I walked into a small room which over looked the street that was filled up with the coaches, caravans and various cars in various states of repair.

There was a small table against the single window. Some record racks on the right and various other cassettes and fanzines stored around the room along with stacks of untidy paperwork and a large double cassette recorder.

In this small office was another large man who asked who I was and what I wanted in a very pleasant tone.

I told him that I wanted to buy the Blyth Power 12”single ‘Chevy Chase’ E.P which had been released recently and would also like to look in the racks.

This person I was shortly going to know was Sean ‘Gummidge’ who at that time was an avid follower of Blyth Power, as I recognised him from the gigs.

I was allowed to look in the record racks, and my friend sat on the floor in the hallway looking bored outside the office.

After about ten minutes I had chosen a couple more records, the boredom that my (recently released from prison) friend was suffering was almost over.

I had to go, and as I did I gave the large man my details and a told him to call me up if he ever wanted any help. I explained that I was not doing anything just signing on.

The large man replied that he would give my details to the man in charge who was out at that time.

My friend and I walked along the hallway and back down the stairs where the lady in black was still camped out.

She cowered again as we both walked past and after exiting the building we once more breathed in wood smoke from that coach with the curtains drawn.

My friend and I got back into the car and I drove off with my newly bought records and eventually deposited her safely back home for ciders.

After a week, I received a telephone call.

All records, flyers, postcards, promotional literature, original badge, band photographs, and the original ‘Junction Signal’ train and church window photographs from my collection.

Side A

Side B

Text below – Garry Steckles – Caribbean Beat

The first time I met Tommy Cowan, I ended up in one of the Caribbean’s most notorious prisons.

The year was 1976. I was in the middle of my first trip to Jamaica, an island that had intrigued me since I first heard and got hooked on reggae music years earlier.

I was working on a music feature for a major Canadian newspaper, and Jamaican friends had told me that, rather than scurrying around the island looking for reggae musicians, I could just as easily let them come to me.

Go to Kingston, they advised, and make yourself known at 1C Oxford Road.

That’s where Tommy Cowan, reggae jack-of-all-trades, had established the headquarters of a company called Talent Corporation. And that’s where virtually every reggae performer on the island would hang out in the heady days of the 70’s, an era still widely regarded as the music’s golden age.

I took their advice, and I’d barely introduced myself when Cowan asked me if I’d like to accompany a couple of the bands he was managing, Jacob Miller and Inner Circle and Ras Michael and the Sons of Negus, to Spanish Town Jail, where they were playing a concert for the inmates the following day.

I jumped at the opportunity . . . Which is how I found myself in the middle of a grim prison yard, surrounded by almost 600 inmates, 55 of whom had imminent appointments with the gallows, listening to some of the best reggae I’ve heard to this day.

A few hours later, while I was still trying to get to grips with what I’d seen and heard, Spanish Town Jail is not, believe me, a very nice place, I was on the road again with Cowan, this time heading for the Kingston home of superstar Jimmy Cliff, where there was some record business and socialising to be taken care of. It was then I started to realise that, journalistically speaking, I’d struck reggae gold.

Tommy Cowan not only had his finger on the pulse of this wonderful new music, he was a significant part of that pulse.

If the full story of reggae, rocksteady, and ska is ever told, Cowan, without a doubt, is the person best qualified to tell it.

He’s been at the heart of the action from virtually the beginning, as singer, songwriter, manager, producer, concert promoter, talent scout, agent, and MC. His career began way back in 1964, when Kingston was throbbing with the new sounds of ska, and a fledgling group known as the Wailers had just started to make it big in the Jamaican charts.

Cowan joined a group called the Mericoles, who soon became the Jamaicans, and had a smash hit with a song called ‘Ba-Ba Boom Time’, winner of the prestigious Festival Song Competition in 1967.

As well as recording, the Jamaicans toured frequently, and Cowan got his first taste of life on the road in the United States and Canada, on the same line up as Byron Lee and the Dragonaires.

And he started to learn about the business of reggae.

In the early 70’s he made a major career move, joining Byron Lee’s Dynamic Sounds organisation as marketing manager. With the guidance of Lee, one of Caribbean music’s most astute businessmen, as well as a legendary bandleader, Cowan was soon helping manage the careers of many of the top Jamaican performers of that era.

He was also honing his business skills, and the ambitious young Cowan soon decided he was ready to branch out on his own. Lee gave his full support, and Talent Corporation was born.

Before long, Cowan was guiding the careers of Ras Michael, Zap Pow (featuring a promising young singer called Beres Hammond), Inner Circle, and Israel Vibration.

And his sprawling Kingston yard had become, as he puts it, an “inspiration centre” for reggae performers.

“Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer, and Bob Marley would frequent the place. Bob would play football at 1C, and he released ‘Natty Dread’ and ‘One Drop’ there. Bunny gave us ‘Blackheart Man’ to release and promote. Peter’s ‘Babylon Queendom’ and ‘Legalise It’ were released there as well.”

Cindy Breakespeare (who went on to become Miss World, and is the mother of Bob Marley’s son Damian “Junior Gong” Marley) worked in a restaurant on the premises.

For a few years, 1C Oxford Road was the heart of the reggae world. Then Tommy decided to join his good friend Marley in establishing what was to become an even more famous reggae address, 56 Hope Road, a few blocks away.

Cowan produced the legendary 1978 One Love Concert for Peace out of 56 Hope Road, using the sprawling colonial mansion, now converted to the Tuff Gong recording studio and reggae hangout, as its nerve centre.

He toured Europe with Marley, and played a key role in organising the historic Zimbabwe Independence Concert.

After Marley’s death in 1981, Cowan joined forces with the Reggae Sunsplash organisation, became main MC at its annual reggae festivals in Montego Bay, and toured the United States, Europe, Africa, and the Pacific islands when Sunsplash started to take leading reggae acts on the road.

Punk Is Dead: Modernity Killed Every Night – Richard Cabut & Andrew Gallix / No Future: Punk, Politics And British Youth Culture 1976 – 1984 – Matthew Worley

PUNK IS DEAD: MODERNITY KILLED EVERY NIGHT

Co-edited and including essays written by Richard Cabut and Andrew Gallix, this original collection of insight, analysis and conversation charts the course of punk from its underground origins, when it was an un-formed and utterly alluring near-secret – back in the garage, when the cult still had no name – through its rapid development. Punk is Dead: Modernity Killed Every Night takes in sex, style, politics and philosophy, filtered through punk experience, while believing in the ruins (of memory), to explore in depth a past whose essence is always elusive.

Significant contributors include Jon Savage (England’s Dreaming), Jonh Ingham (the journalist who wrote the very first interview with the Sex Pistols, for Sounds), Barney Hoskyns (Rock’s Backpages founder and author), Paul Gorman (Malcolm McLaren biographer), Penny Rimbaud (Crass), Dorothy Max Prior (Rema Rema, original punk), Simon Critchley (On Bowie), Nicholas Rombes (Ramones), Ted Polhemus (Streetstyle), Mark Fisher (Ghosts of my Life), Neal Brown (Tracey Emin), Tom Vague (Vague), Tony D (Ripped & Torn), Andy Blade (Eater, The Secret Life of a Punk Rocker), Simon Reynolds (Shock and Awe) and Judy Nylon (Snatch, multi-disciplinary artist).

At once cerebral and hyperactive, here is a nuanced portrait of the maverick spirit of the age. The anthology makes fabulous connections between ideas, people, events and lifestyle to illuminate our sense of punk rock, retracing and recalibrating the pattern of the culture.

Tony Drayton chatted to Richard Cabut, annotating the influential ‘Pet Puppies in Theory and Practice’ article from the second issue of Kill Your Pet Puppy published in 1980.

I have ONLY placed the original article from the original fanzine below.

Tony’s shares some personal recollections loosely based around this article to Richard Cabut, which offer a fascinating insight to Tony’s world-view and punk ‘lifestyle’ at that time, thirty seven years ago. I have NOT added those words of course.

BUY BUY BUY THE DAMNATION OF YOUR SOUL

Get the book HERE or HERE or HERE

PET PUPPIES IN THEORY AND PRACTICE:

‘Steal your future back and live it out for yourself,’ the boy mumbled, tossing slightly in the bed, he began to wake up…

I wake up tired, trying to remember the rapidly fading remnants of my tortured dream about radical anarchy.

Battle plans conceived, but only fragments remembered, I realise that today is the Sid Vicious March. I have to make plans for today. I still haven’t moved or opened my eyes — when I do I see the blonde figure beside me is still motionless. What time is it? I go back to sleep.

What’s the fucking point of marching for Sid anyway — I never thought anything he did was so important, except maybe smashing Nick Kent’s head open, throwing Kent’s glorification and fascination with violence in his face.

It would make more sense to celebrate the first Sex Pistols gig or the release of Anarchy.

And besides I can think of far better ways to commemorate than marching from Sloane Square to Hyde Park or wherever — but I’m going to go anyway because at least it’s an EVENT, maybe there’ll be some good atmosphere and unity (I’ll probably get beaten up, arrested, or both). Remember ‘Brighton’ and the Jock McDonald football match. Remember the ‘meetings’ in Hyde Park about a year ago? And yet I still manage to raise some optimism, well wouldn’t you?

My room is a total shamble, I lay in bed surveying everything, trying to decide whether to finish off my sulphate supplies before I go, or if I should even get out of bed — the blonde girl’s gone to wash her hair and various people wander in and around — vaguely I try and work out who stayed the night in Puppy Mansions before I realise I’d better get up or forever stay in bed.

Everyone seems to be cynically enthused about the March I discover, as I make the rounds of the house trying to find a brush — vive le revolution and I feel fucking awful. I’ve gone beyond the states that can be cured or at least, temporarily numbed with sulphate —anything speedy or energising I take now will transform in PARANOIA, and that I don’t need. Not today.

Last night I went to see the Swell Maps and Pink Military. Not because I really wanted to see either, but I feel it’s important to get out to gigs – keep in touch. It was sold out when we (me and Iggy/Grant) got there but after a hassle we got in because a Swell Map knew the name ‘Tony D’.

I didn’t enjoy it, even though I sold 36 copies of ‘Pet Puppy’, but at least I knew there was a party on in the squat in my road to look forward to when we got back. I didn’t stay long there although that was where the blonde came from, and I returned there on Saturday morning to rouse them for the March.

When Puppy Mansions had woken up and got itself sorted out there were six of us, four guys and two girls, ready to go — from the squat I collected four participants, three girls and a guy. Today’s Puppy Collective.

A ten strong ‘Puppy Collective’ marching boldly for Sid Vicious? No, ten people marching for their right not to care. Ten people, along with other groups of tens, fours, threes, other individuals who care enough to march for their right to not care — their right to live fast, their right to be ABLE to live fast IF THEY WANT TO.

We want the choice even if we don’t use it, that’s why we’re going to Sloane Square.

Not because some poxy junkie died trying to live up to someone else’s myth, but because we want that chance of creating our own myth, our own future. I’m not sure how and I’m not sure why but there HAS to be a way to create a future where things aren’t just ‘alright’ and where we don’t have to put up with 99% of our lives being wasted waiting for things we KNOW are only going to be second or third best, where we don’t have to be afraid to walk the street just because social failures attempt to ‘get their own back’ on a society that rejected them by beating up and robbing anything identifiable as a separate group or tribe.

We, the Puppy Collective, step beyond prescribed decent standards of dress, attitude, and behaviour. We, as punks as part of a mass punk consciousness that was shown to be still alive and inspired even today, ESPECIALLY TODAY, publicly wear outfits guaranteed to attract derision and abuse, if not open attack, not as an idle game. It is because we have a conviction that can never be destroyed by any number of abusive or physical attacks, a desire to confront people’s standards. To confront and violate their conceptions of decency, to make null and void their false judgements of right and wrong.

A desire to confront MYSELF, to draw from myself a new self.

Because it’s there. By the time we get to the King’s Road it’s half past two and we hear many distorted versions and stories of what we missed.

There’s punks wandering around in every direction, disorganised and colourful — but there’s an atmosphere you could cut with a knife, and it’s not the sort of atmosphere I want to get disorganised and colourful in. Too many skins — organised and GREY — I often wonder how scared inside you have to get, how bitter and full of hate for everything you have to get before you’re driven to such brutally ugly extremes.

The biggest enemy of a skinhead is COMPASSION, and love, and yes, understanding, but especially COMPASSION. It so negates and empties every value they feel necessary to flaunt that they have to violently crush, ruin, destroy and wipe out any trace of it especially if that trace happens to involve other people doing and enjoying everything they can’t, or are too scared to try. Like being yourself, and letting other people be themselves, understanding WHY other people need to be different from you. Like anarchy.

Peaceful anarchists say, ‘Teach them love, let them have a chance to feel compassionate.’ The Pet Puppy Survival Guide says the only lessons skinheads collectively can understand are hard, brutal ones, like a small anonymous militia seeking out their leaders (the ones who use the others by politically organising them for the leaders’ own gain) and killing them. And making fucking sure the underlings know exactly why there’s dead skins lining the streets. I mean it’s fucking war already, when we (the Puppy Collective) left the King’s Road and went straight to Hyde Park (but the diagonally opposite end from Speakers Corner) we walked right into a confrontation, one side blinded in organised hatred, and one side a loose collection of individual conviction.

As we walked along the Serpentine Lake to reach the bridge that led onto the Speakers Corner side of the park we became aware of a gathering of skins watching us. We’d swollen to about 20 (half male and half female) spread about thirty yards apart, there was about 2025 of them, all male. There was about a minute to decide whether to stand or run.

As I had been at the back of our group I moved up through, sussing out the attitude. Most weren’t aware of any impending doom, and I’d just reached the front of our parade when one or two skins started moving forward with intent.

By this time, we were almost at the bridge (or at least the front end was) and they were coming in from out right with the bridge an obvious escape route on our left, leading into the open park. The front skins started running, leading a massed attack and I take off over the bridge, with others following and in front.

They managed to get one punk on the ground, but they stop and walk off in the opposite direction from us almost immediately.

They seem to have been interested in a massed charge rather than a fight (perhaps the odds weren’t one sided enough, after all it was only two of them to every male punk) — but it’s hard to tell. It was the surprise element that fucked us, but we were ready for any further attacks as we crossed the remainder of the park.

Within minutes of us regrouping and marching off though, we’d separated into another shambling stretched out line of spikey hair and leather — but maybe that’s why ‘PUNK’ is so creative (at times), this stubbornness to avoid the security of organisation. The sterility of orderliness.

My paranoia was pushing out fever-pitched thoughts and speculations but the rest of the day was an anti-climax. At Speakers Corner — nothing.

We were three steps behind the ‘real’ march all the way thru Oxford Circus, Carnaby Street, Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square.

All we found and met were straggling bunches telling us where they’d last seen The March vanish into the distance.

With people drifting off like flies and newcomers drifting along we met all the massed police wagons and police hostility that burst into aggression at Piccadilly Circus (just as we seemed to be creating a frail unity amongst the straggling punks following us) when they moved in and really split us apart.

Two grabbed and questioned and searched me (whilst a member of the Puppy Collective was stashing his drugs into a hole in the wall three feet away).

I told them I was on my way home, in a voice that screamed Defeat, Depression and an Apathetic Acceptance of both. Which was how I felt at the time (if I had any feelings left apart from stark, paralyzing paranoia) at half past four in the pouring rain with two police holding my arms and my feet aching from all the pointless walking.

‘Are you alright?’ No, I’m not alright, it can’t be alright, it’s not alright if you have to spend a day defending your faith, carrying your banner only to have THEM try to crucify you on it. When you allow yourself some HOPE that you’re going to gain some ground only to finish up with your back to the wall defending your already hard-fought for space, with clouds of disillusionment poisoning the very conviction you’re using as a weapon.

But we’re learning still. I’m learning to fight and why it’s okay to fight for peace, and the most important lesson of all is that you can talk and talk. Write and write, think and think, but unless you physically back it up when you’re challenged, unless you physically show you believe in your theory you’re just a hypocritical waste of time to yourself and others.

CHAPTER INFORMATION

Foreword: Punk’s the Diamond in My Pocket — Judy Nylon

Introduction: Prose for Heroes — Richard Cabut and Andrew Gallix

The Boy Looked at Eurydice — Andrew Gallix

Rummaging in the Ashes: An Interview with Simon Critchley — Andrew Gallix

King Mob Echo — Tom Vague

Glam into Punk: The Transition — Barney Hoskyns

The Divining Rod and the Lost Vowel — Jonh Ingham

Malcolm’s Children — Paul Gorman talks to Richard Cabut

Boom! — Ted Polhemus

The Flyaway-Collared Shirt — Paul Gorman

SEX in the City — Dorothy Max Prior

A Letter to Jordan — Richard Cabut

Punk’s not Dead. It’s in a Coma… — Andy Blade

Ever Fallen in Love? — David Wilkinson

For Your Unpleasure — Mark Fisher

1977 — Richard Cabut

Sexy Eiffel Towers — Andrew Gallix

The End of Music — Dave and Stuart Wise

Banned From the Roxy — Penny Rimbaud

Learning to Fight — Tony Drayton talks to Richard Cabut

Unheard Melodies — Andrew Gallix

Punk Movies — Nicholas Rombe

Some Brief and Frivolous Thoughts on a Richard Hell Reading — Richard Cabut

Leaving the 21st Century — Andrew Gallix

Tales of Low-Life Losers — Bob Short

Positive Punk — Richard Cabut

1976/86 — Simon Reynolds

Camden Dreaming — Richard Cabut

Camera Squat Art Smiler — Neal Brown

Punk Etymology — Jon Savage

Join John ‘Boogie’ Tiberi at Rough Trade West, celebrating the launch of ‘Punk is Dead: Modernity Killed Every Night’, published 27th October on Zero Books.

With guest readings from Jonh Ingham (Sounds, The Spirit of 76: London Punk Witness), Neal Brown (Tesco Bombers), Tom Vague, Dorothy Max Prior (Rema Rema, Psychic TV), Tony Drayton (Ripped & Torn, Kill Your Pet Puppy), and Editors Richard Cabut and Andrew Gallix.

Guest Speakers:

Jonh Ingham

The legendary music journalist who wrote the very first interview with the Sex Pistols, for Sounds. Author of the essential The Spirit of 76: London Punk Witness (Anthology Editions, 2017), chronicling punk’s early gigs. Jonh’s contribution to Punk is Dead: Modernity Killed Every Night, a piece about Patti Smith, was described by Lenny Kaye as the best on-the-road-article he had ever read. With good reason.

Dorothy Max Prior

Max, as she is better known in the punk world, worked at the ICA in 1976, helping to put on the infamous Prostitution show by COUM Transmissions, as well as the Clash gig of the same year. She played drums in early incarnations of the Ants and The Monochrome Set, before forming and playing with Rema Rema, The El Trains and Psychic TV. She released a single on Industrial Records under the name Dorothy. Her extraordinary piece for this book recounts her experiences as a punk stripper in the mid-70s.

Tony Drayton

Tony D founded two influential and inspirational fanzines, Ripped & Torn in 1976 and Kill Your Pet Puppy in 1980. He traced the rise and evolution of punk into an anarchistic and positive lifestyle. In his piece for Punk is Dead: Modernity Killed Every Night, Tony has annotated his important 1980 piece ‘Pet Puppies in Theory and Practice’, giving an insight into the squatting punk scene of the time.

Neal Brown

Neal is the author of books on Billy Childish and Tracey Emin, and wrote the introduction to Bill Drummond’s 45. A participant in the mid-70s west London squatting and music scenes (Tesco Bombers), he wrote the original sleeve notes for Joe Strummer’s 101’ers LP, Elgin Avenue Breakdown. Neal’s piece in Punk is Dead: Modernity Killed Every Night, gives a very personal insight into the self-negation that was sometimes present in punk rock.

Tom Vague

Well-known and -respected local W11 psychogeographer. Tom published one of the first post-punk fanzines, the renowned Vague, and also wrote for Zigzag, International Times and City Limits. In his piece for the Punk is Dead anthology Tom points out the intense associations between punk and the Situationists.

John ‘Boogie’ Tiberi

Grove-based associate/tour manager/photographer of the Sex Pistols and the 101ers/early Clash – ‘It was arguably John Tiberi who helped create the punk movement when he put the 101ers as headline in a gig with the Sex Pistols as the support act.’ John’s recent exhibitions include Punk Dada Situation at the Lucca Film Festival, Italy.

Richard Cabut

Richard Cabut is the co-editor of and contributor to the anthology Punk is Dead: Modernity Killed Every Night (Zer0 Books, October 2017). His journalism has featured in the NME (pen name Richard North), ZigZag, the Guardian, the Daily Telegraph, The Big Issue, Time Out, etc. He was a Pushcart Prize nominee 2016 for his fiction. Richard’s plays have been performed at various theatres in London and nationwide, including the Arts Theatre, Covent Garden, London. He published the fanzine Kick, and played bass for the punk band Brigandage (album – Pretty Funny Thing – Gung Ho Records – 1985).

Friday 20 October 2017 – 6:00pm

Rough Trade West

130 Talbot Road

London W11 1JA

6.00pm Readings + Q&A

6.45pm Signing

7.15pm Finish.

FREE ENTRY

First there was a manuscript sent to me by Matthew Worley in glorious black and white.

Read by me, underlined and crossed out in equal measure by me (and no doubt a handful of others that were sent manuscripts) and by the grace of the dark arts, this manuscript with my child-like scribbles on has been transformed into a book in glorious colour.*

My hardback book is heavy enough to put through the windows of a Bentley, given the right trajectory and thrown at the correct velocity, I’ve no doubt that the softback edition can also make a dent.

I’ve already read the manuscript, so as night follows day, this book will be well worth a read.

* Text is not in colour.

Get the book HERE or HERE or HERE

NO FUTURE: PUNK / POLITICS / BRITISH YOUTH CULTURE 1976 – 1984

‘No Feelings’, ‘No Fun’, ‘No Future’.

The years 1976–84 saw punk emerge and evolve as a fashion, a musical form, an attitude and an aesthetic. Against a backdrop of social fragmentation, violence, high unemployment and socio-economic change, punk rejuvenated and re-energised British youth culture, inserting marginal voices and political ideas into pop.

Fanzines and independent labels flourished; an emphasis on doing it yourself enabled provincial scenes to form beyond London’s media glare. This was the period of Rock Against Racism and benefit gigs for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and the striking miners.

Matthew Worley charts the full spectrum of punk’s cultural development from the Sex Pistols, Buzzcocks and Slits through the post-punk of Joy Division, the industrial culture of Throbbing Gristle and onto the 1980s diaspora of anarcho-punk, Oi! and goth.

He recaptures punk’s anarchic force as a medium through which the frustrated and the disaffected could reject, revolt and re-invent.

Advance praise:

‘Matthew Worley manages to strike a remarkable balance between vividly evoking punk’s raucous rebellion, while also revealing how its aesthetics and politics disrupted the routines of British society. No Future is history as punk, and punk as history.’

John Street, author of Music and Politics.

‘No Future cuts through the stodgy crust of nostalgia, self-serving memoir and fan-boy facts that conceals punk and reveals the truth of youth culture in late Seventies / early Eighties Britain: the internecine battles fought over issues of sound and style were inextricably linked to the political conflicts and dilemmas of that era. Digging deep into the fanzine squabbles and music press controversies that raged across the punk community, Matthew Worley brings to keen life the urgency of a period that felt at once like an terrifying crisis-time and the dawn of a new epoch delirious with radical possibilities. Giving Anarcho and Oi! the serious attention they’ve long deserved, and analysing this tumultuous time through perspectives that range from anti-consumerist boredom and feminist personal politics to media-critique and dystopian dread, No Future is an essential read for punk scholars and punk fans alike.’

Simon Reynolds, author of Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978-84 and Shock and Awe: Glam Rock and Its Legacy.

‘I’ve been involved with punk for most of my life but even for me it’s easy to forget how diverse the whole movement was. This book reminded me of how exciting and different it all was and how ‘real’ punk had nothing to do with the media’s myths. Look and learn my little droogs.’

Steve Ignorant, former member of the band Crass.

‘A clear and engaged account of a complex and vexed topic.’

Jon Savage, author of England’s Dreaming.

Matt Worley will be in conversation with Steve Ignorant, formerly of legendary punk band Crass.

Chair: Cathi Unsworth.

DJ set by Tim Wells.

Tuesday 17 October 2017 – 7.00pm

Rough Trade East

Old Truman Brewery

91 Brick Lane

London E1 6QL

7.00pm – On-stage “in-conversation” + audience questions

8.00pm – Book signing + Tim Wells DJ set

9.00pm – close.

FREE ENTRY

Flowers In The Dustbin – Cold Harbour Records – 1986 / Kansanturvamusiikkikomissio – Barabbas Records – 1985 / Rod Taylor & Prince Hammer – Little Luke Records – 1979 / Four Came Home – Passion Of Ice – Wounded Knee Records – 1986 / Satta Massagana – Abyssinians / Dillinger / Bongo Herman / Prince Far I / Diatribe – Criminal Damage Records – 1984

Flowers In The Dustbin Single

Flowers In The Dustbin Single

Flowers In The Dustbin Album

Flowers In The Dustbin Album 

In the early to mid-1980’s, Flowers In The Dustbin, were one of my favourite bands and I would go out and witness performances whenever I possibly could.

The All The Madmen Records 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 favourite 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’ both being played back to back on the stereo many times in one listening session!

Some of Gerard’s lyrics seemed to hit the spot for me, with my awkwardly shy sensibilities, desperately trying to figure out a way to change my personal world, and also the outside world for the better!

THE REASON WHY

“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”

LICK MY CRAZY COLOURS

“The windswept horizon of hot summer paradise
You realise the truth, you find where your freedom lies
The taste of love on a dear friend’s 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”

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

The album that was recorded never saw the light of day, although Gerard sent a cassette of the mixes to me a year or so later.

I still have that cassette of the album, and here it is on this YouTube post, right after the 7″ single…

Accompanying the audio on this YouTube post, I have included a scan of a couple of letters from Gerard..

During the 1980’s, I wrote to Gerard, and it was Gerard (and also Andy Martin from The Apostles) that gave me the inspiration to concentrate more and take a little more time to present a far better writing style on paper. Far better than the scrawls I would normally put onto paper before pushing myself! I was never that great at school, and messy handwriting seemed to go with the territory.

Gerard’s words written on his letters were (and still are) full of beauty and the writing style is of course aesthetically beautiful.The letters that I received from Gerard in the 1980’s could all be framed as a work of art!

One letter from Gerard that I have included on this YouTube post is a generic Flowers In The Dustbin letter to followers that was sent out to explain the split-up of the band.

Another letter I received after Gerard had moved to Brighton. This letter came with the cassette of the album that is uploaded this evening, and expressed some positives for the weeks and months ahead with his new band; The First Of May.

Side 1

Side 2

Punk rock from Finland was one of the most intense musical genres around in the early to mid-1980’s.

I wonder whether some of the reason for this was the way of life in the Arctic Circle was infinitely harder (and colder) than the life that their punk cousins in the U.K. Italy, Japan, Brazil or the U.S.A ever had to bear.

The few bands I know who had travelled to Finland in the 1980’s, returned with tales recounting hordes of hard drinking punks (cheap spirits, not cider) marauding the halls with an overtly aggressive attitude.

It could not have been too pleasant to perform in those venues for those bands.

Still these tales could be just unlucky nights, or mass generalisations.

Anyhow, Rattus, Killed By Death and Kaaos had all been formed and all were existing in the harsh Finnish environment, as had Kansanturvamusiikkikomissio.

This debut (only) album by Kansanturvamusiikkikomissio from 1985 has some great material on it, more in line musically (surprisingly enough) with The Ex, Fallout or Big Black than Discharge. Discharge the band that the other Finnish bands favoured as a musical role model to their sound.

Kansanturvamusiikkikomissio were formed in Oulu at the start of 1984 and lasted until March 1986.

Kansanturvamusiikkikomissio only performed about twenty gigs during this time (supposedly) and had this album released on Barabbas Records and shortly after in 1986, a 12″ single released on Fuck Records. There were also some tracks included on various compilation albums and cassette tapes.

The sleeve artwork features a machete seemingly held high in moody black and white.

The title of the album is ‘666’.

I have no clue about the reasons for these choices but if someone could enlighten me, I will add any further details to this post (with a credit).

Incidentally I was told that Kansanturvamusiikkikomissio means Peoples Safety Music Commission in the English language.

Please feel free to correct me if this is not the case!

Anyway a pretty fierce record, and if you are interested in pretty fierce records, then this might be the pretty fierce record for you.

Side 1

Side 2

Uploaded tonight for no apparent reason, is a rare 12″ record, on the original Little Luke record label, a record label that Adrian Sherwood was involved with, alongside Hit Run Records.

I have snatched a part of an interview with Prince Hammer below from the reggae-vibes.com site. Thanks to those kindly folk in advance…

Q: And at the time you had struck up a deal with Adrian Sherwood in the UK, ‘Ten Thousand Lions’ came out on a 12″ on his Hit Run imprint I think.

A: Yeah.

Q: That led up to you being on tour with Bim Sherman and Prince Far I in 1979?

A: ‘Ten Thousand Lions’ came in England as a pre, as pre-release, yeah?

Q: Right, which led to the UK release.

A: Yeah, you used to have a newspaper called the Black Echo paper (now Echoes), and my song was number one in the Black Echo paper as a song that came from Jamaica. They used to like chart the songs, which is the best or next best song from Jamaica or which songs gonna be hits, and my song was the number one song. And people phoned me from England and said, “Listen now, man, your song is really mashin’ up the place here, man!” Other artists came over here and find out what was happenin’ too and come back to Jamaica and explained it to me. Anyhow, Prince Far I knew Adrian Sherwood before I did, he was a friend of his, yunno. And with me and Prince Far I being in the business like we kinda walkin’ up an’ down flatfooted in Jamaica doing the same thing, and with me establishin’ that recording, the story that we talked about before, I was introduced to Adrian Sherwood through Prince Far I. And I said to Adrian, said “Listen, I would like to come to England”, y’know, just to kinda get the chance to be here, get to know the people, and establish my business”. He said to me, say “OK, I’ll try my best to help you come over”. But at the time I did not have the cash, the straight up money, to really buy the ticket. But I had a lot of stuff, a lot of records in Jamaica, y’know what I mean, as records I had been sellin’ from my store. So what I did, you had some cigarette called Craven A, you had some big boxes, some massive boxes when these used to come into Jamaica, and I filled one of these box of lots of 7″-inch records, and send it to Adrian Sherwood them and told him to sell the records, both 7″-inch and 12″-inch records, and asked him to sell it and buy me a plane ticket. And that’s the chance I get was to come to England the first time ever. Adrian buy me the plane ticket, I came over, and then we start doing business together, we start workin’ together as a unit. And when I came over, we came over with Bim Sherman, Prince Far I came over too as much. And we came over and do a tour with…

Q: The Creation Rebel band.

A: Yeah, with Creation Rebel. The tour was called ‘Roots Encounter Part 1′, that was the name of the tour. Which we toured from England right back to Scotland, all over the place, you name it, we’ve been there.

Q: I learned about a story where you apparently fell off the stage in excitement on one of the gigs on that tour (chuckles)? Is that true, or just another one of those rumours or exaggerations?
A: I jump off the stage, and because I like workin’ with my people, so I would jump off the stage in front of the people, stand up in front of them an’ t’ing like that, singin’ in front of the stage, walkin’ around, singin’ from one person to the other, then jump back ‘pon the stage. That’s what I told you before, they used to call me ‘The Legs Man’.

Q: Yes, ‘The Dancer’.

A: ‘The Dancer’ (chuckles), y’know. Because the stage is where I live. Prince Far I is totally different from me, the three of us there, is three different acts. Bim Sherman, he would just stand up like Gregory Isaacs style, and sing like that. Prince Far I would be like chalkin’ up the place, really movin’, not as fast as I would’ve done, but really commandin’ and demanding these people (emphasising it, the way the late Voice of Thunder would) ‘to accept that I appreciate that they listen to me, I am Prince Far I’, y’know, type of a t’ing. He would’ve been that type of a guy. With me now, I would be more flowing, I would be flying and fly from that side to this side of the stage, as I said before snap-falling, splittin’, jumpin’ off the stage, jumpin’ in the crowd, y’know, doing all these type a mad t’ings and so on, which really excite people. Because in those days – it’s not like the now dance when you have all the bogle and these type a t’ings, those days it was like skank and shuffle and split, and all these type a dance, you remember these type a t’ings. Those were the type a dance them times, so when I’ve gone on stage I would be shufflin’ off me foot (chuckles), y’know, and throwing the mic in the air and split-fallin’ and catching back the mic before I reach the floor and all them t’ings, those were the t’ings I used to do. So, yeah, we had a big tour and that’s when I get the chance was to tour with UB40 and the Boomtown Rats…

Four Came Home

Passion Of Ice

Four Came Home were a band that I saw perform on several occasions as the band were pretty local to me and they were pretty good. I am indebted to David, the bassist of Four Came Home, for giving me a nice mint copy of this 7″ single, supplying the flyers, photographs and for writing the text below.

David is undoubtedly, the most traveled gig goer I know about, getting on a train after a shift at his day job in Kings Cross to end up in Leeds or somewhere mad.

With just spare clothes in a bag for company, returning to work for 9am the next day, no doubt bleary eyed from the previous nights gig, and lack of sleep.

Repeat that several times a week, following several bands across the country throughout the years…

That’s dedication for a noble cause!

Furthest I went to a gig was Portsmouth for a Death Cult gig, and that’s only because my brother was living there, and could put me up for the night.

Oh I went to Aylesbury for an Xmal gig.

British Rail must have taken some strain for those two journeys!

Travelling to gigs was a much changed affair once I started helping out at All The Madmen Records in 1985 though.

I would be in the van with different bands, or catching lifts from the dear departed and much missed Raymond, to all kinds of places, North, South, East and West…

Being in the van certainly made up some miles which were woefully lacking earlier on in the 1980’s (and it was certainly cheaper than train fares).

The band was an idea of mine and Wink’s in 1985.

We were not musicians but thought we would have a go.

An advert in the Music Press saw us recruit Paul (Baz) Morea a Guitarist from Enfield who had played in bands and had his own record label which had seen a release from local Enfield band London PX.

A singer soon followed in Sharon Lane.

I played bass and Wink the drums. Wink brought his first kit from Martin of Skeletal Family.

Baz painstakingly helped me and Wink and plenty of rehearsals at Cuffley Youth Centre saw us gradually get ready to play our first gig.

This turned out to be at a friends party in Brentford in May 1985.

We enlisted the help of our good friend Paul Barron as roadie.

Our first official gig was the following month at The Bay Horse Colliers End supporting Petticoat Tales another local Hertfordshire band.

Through people we knew from going to loads of gigs we soon started getting gigs in London at the Clarendon, Greyhound and Bull & Gate supporting the likes of All About Eve, our good friends Shadowland, The Veil and Flag of Convenience.

We also did an all day gig at the Boston Arms in Tufnell Park, called the Mad Bastards Tea Party with Rubella Ballet, Bridandage, Kindergarten and Ausgang and managed a support with the U.K Subs at the Royal Standard, Walthamstow and Into a Circle at Stevenage Bowes Lyon.

We also got to play the Marquee Wardour Street supporting Skeletal Family.

Not sure how that happened!

We still did lots of local gigs playing the Square in Harlow several times.

The Bay Horse again, Cuffley Youth Centre which was a multi local band event we organised ourselves, Cuffley Football Cub and Barclay Hall in Hoddesdon.

We did a few demo’s and started sending them off more in hope to see if we could get some interest.

A call came from an independent label in Oxford called Wounded Knee records which resulted in this split single with an Oxford band called Passion of Ice.

Two tracks were recorded at Jumbo Studios in London called ‘Diamonds in the Sky’ and ‘H’ and these were produced by an engineer from Enfield who we became friendly with Nick. ‘

H’ was written by our roadie Paul.

There was a delay in the record coming out for reasons l can not remember but when it did some kind words from Mick Mercer saw us do a small interview with him in Melody Maker.

That later appeared in his first Gothic Rock book.

We did do a video for the single which is still around somewhere.

We also did some fanzine pieces in ‘Day of The Raygun Cometh’ and ‘Artificial Life’ which were two very good fanzines at the time, and some local press pieces.

Some dates were played with Passion of Ice in Swanley, Luton, London and Oxford to promote the single.

We later became a five piece in 1987 with the addition of Chris a second guitarist.

More gigs followed in Lowestoft, where we played three times thanks to some good friends Kevin and Amanda and we actually got a good following there.

Two were headlines the other supporting Fields of the Nephilim.

We also played in Bristol supporting Ghost Dance.

The Band came to an end in late 1987 with me and Sharon leaving.

Baz, Wink and Chris carried on with a new singer and bassist as FF Bombz.

I joined a band called the Raindogs and Sharon ended up in a band called Benediction.

Me and Wink would end up playing together again in a punk covers band called the Ware Allstars with Nick and Bob from Clampdown and Ric Blaxill from Sound Service and the Thirsty Brothers.

Satta Mix 1

Satta 2

Satta Massagana is one of reggae’s most endearing riddims, most notably showcased on dozens of records released on the Clench record label, the record label the Abyssinians were involved with.

The history of the Abyssinians begins when Bernard Collins arrived in Kingston from St Catherine in the early 1960s. Bernard met up with the Heptones’ Leroy Sibbles, who also introduced him to Carlton Manning & The Shoes. Two of Carlton’s brothers, Donald and Linford, became members of the Abyssinians with Bernard.

Carlton Manning had written a song called ‘Happy Land’, released as the B-side of the first pressings of Carlton And The Shoes’ classic 1968 hit ‘Love Me Forever’ on Studio One Records.

‘Happy Land’ begins with two lines which are also the first tow lines of ‘Satta Massa Gana’, although the latter’s melody is completely different to the earlier song. Donald Manning was studying the (Ethiopian) language Amharic at the time, and ‘Satta Massa Gana’ was said to mean ‘Give Praises’ in that language.

Donald Manning from the Abyssinians recalled.

“We record that song ‘Satta’ in March 1969, and it wasn’t until about 1970 that producer Joe Gibbs actually remade a recording of it. He was the first one who did a re-recorded version, which he called ‘A So’, an instrumental with the Destroyers that him do with Tommy McCook, Bobby Ellis, and him come by some other horns men. And it playing on the radio. It was just an instrumental. But instrumental versions just bring back the record right back to the people, because when it was released first, it used to just play in the dancehall, because ‘Satta’ is really a dancehall tune in those days. Home buyers never have it. It was just sound system people, but it wasn’t until Joe Gibbs brings out this version that everybody start going at this song”.

“When we sing ‘Satta Amassa Gana’, I was giving thanks to God, but you can’t give thanks to God and say ‘Satta Amassa Gana’. So when I go back and read the Amharic books and I realise that, I go back and say ‘You think a so?’ (‘Mabrak’ version of) ‘Satta’ now, I say ‘You think a so? It no so. Tena Yi Stillin. Dina Ifzhabhier Y Mas Gan. Satta Amassa Gana’. When I say ‘Dina’ mean ‘good’, ‘Igzhabier’ mean ‘God’, ‘Yi Mas Gan’ means ‘he may be praise’, so correct the mistake that I made by singing ‘Satta Massa Gana”.

The ‘Satta’ versions that were released as 7″ singles on the Clench record label uploaded this evening onto this YouTube post are:

1/ Mabrak – The Abyssinians conceived as a riposte to the ‘versioning’ of the original ‘Satta’ rhythm by Joe Gibbs & The Destroyers instrumental ‘A So’, this has all three group members declaiming various phrases from the Amharic, as well as sounding off about the practice of copying another’s work. When Donald Manning says ‘This is it, originally…’ at the beginning of this third version of ‘Satta Massa Gana’ it’s no idle boast. The original ‘Satta Massa Gana’ has gone on to become the greatest Rasta anthem and a genuine roots classic…

2/ Satta Me No Born Yah – Bernard Collins from the Abyssinians solo version with reworked lyrics, voiced at King Tubby’s and originally released on the Clinch 7″single.

3/ I Saw He Saw – Dillinger, recorded just before he became one of the most successful deejays of the mid-1970s via his Channel One hits. His lyrics incorporate both biblical story sources and nursery rhyme elements into a satisfying humorous style that he subsequently made his trademark.

4/ Thunderstorm – Featuring Bongo Herman, the renowned percussionist who had played for Haile Selassie I on his arrival at Kingston Airport in 1966 with Donald Manning on repeater

5/ Wisdom – Prince Far I – The voice of thunder delivers some great lines – ‘By wisdom he made the heaven and stretched out the earth above the water and made a great light: the sun to rule by day and the moon and star to rule by night; a thousand years in thy sight is like an evening gone’, in his truly inimitable style. Prince Far I was senselessly shot to death in 1983.

6/ Satta A Massagana – The Abyssinians – This is NOT the original two track vocal cut featuring Bernard Collins, Donald and Linford Manning that was recorded in March 1969 at Studio One in Kingston.

One of life’s ironies is that I do not own this 7” single although I am sure it is easy enough to source!

The version that I do own is the eight track recording featuring Bernard Collins, Donald and Linford Manning, engineered by Clive Hunt at Harry J. Studios in Kingston and released in the U.K as a 12” single on Different Records in 1976.

So this is the version ending this Satta Massagana showcase!

Side 1

Side 2

Diatribe; two brothers from Reading… I have not seen any live performance references so presumably they did not gig much, I have never seen anything in print about them apart from a rave review in Zig Zag magazine which prompted me to buy this record..

One incident did happen to add to the non-legend that is Diatribe.

One of the members brought a gun into the NME offices and fired a shot, luckily the gun only shot blanks, but no one saw the funny side. Criminal Damage Records were left fielding calls from an angry NME editor and the police for a couple of days. In the end the record label blamed enthusiastic fans but the E.P had already been given the media kiss of death

Two great tracks in ‘Seventeen And Dying’ and ‘Stop Dancing’, the more traditional sounding material, a little like a Southern New Model Army. The other two tracks are voiced over a drum beat and minimal instrumentation.

Criminal Damage history below courtesy of greeninconline.com

Hardcore or ‘real’ Punk was the big seller in 1983, the younger kids determined to create a harder, faster ‘77. I never liked any of it but when Illuminated (forever with an eye on the next money spinner) offered the chance to set up a hardcore label I didn’t think twice.

The Stills Yaron Levy joined me as fulltime partner and we named it Criminal Damage, a suitably hardcore name even though we had absolutely no intention of releasing anything like it.

From the start I was determined to leave the whole Reading thing behind and as luck would have it, the first couple of groups to interest us were the Stunt Kites from Sheffield and Twisted Nerve from Edinburgh. We still didn’t have a clue what we were doing and had no idea how tough it would be to establish the label as a viable entity but that was probably just as well.

The Membranes were our first long term signing and certainly helped our cause in the murky world of fanzines and DIY dogma if nowhere else. Their leader John Robb was, indeed still is, incredibly charismatic and would speed talk for hours in his Blackpool twang before sitting back and cackling like a loony, a kind of Northern Indie John Lydon.

During those early days I was still holding down a full time council job. When I wasn’t running the label from the work phone or making full use of the giant photocopier I was in the pub scheming and dreaming. So it didn’t come as a huge shock when I was finally asked to resign in the autumn of 1983. I was more than happy. For the first time I would be able to devote all my energies to what I loved doing. I didn’t need to worry about the lack of a regular wage either. Signing on proved remarkably lucrative and with the black market economy in full swing there was never a shortage of cash in hand jobs. And with the label also starting to earn a few quid it felt like I’d never had it so good. I could even afford a phone at home.

Together with a handful of smaller labels, Illuminated were based in 452 Fulham Road, a ramshackle collection of old warehouses. It was a rabbit warren of offices and storage rooms packed with records. Eventually we were given our own small office on the first floor and for the next year practically lived there; meeting groups, taking in gigs by potential signings and hovering up anything we could get our hands on.

I guess we were lucky because musically the early mid 80’s was the best of times to be running an Indie label. As we were hitting our stride, styles that had once been subsumed within the larger post punk rhetoric emerged from the genius of the early years to be named and identified as such, not least goth which had remained deep underground until the NME proclaimed the arrival of ‘positive punk’ in February 1983. Goth in all but name, while it was a manipulative attempt to connect the new rising groups resonating the most with the nations disenchanted youth, it did spark a massive surge of interest the likes of Southern Death Cult rode for all they were worth. In fact, goth became such a dominant force that almost every label had a likeminded group on its roster and we were no different.

By the summer of 1984 we had gained the reputation of being almost exclusively goth with records by Look Back In Anger, Ausgang, Anorexic Dread and Geschlecht Akt. We didn’t care, it was all rock’n’roll to us. Renowned genre historian Mick Mercer gave us the nod on some signings and eventually worked part time for the label scribbling nonsensical press releases to bemuse his fellow scribes. Through Mich Ebeling we befriended Billy Duffy who bizarrely offered his services as a producer in exchange for tins of baked beans!

Ironically, despite our supposed reputation, the most successful of our largely black hearted roster were The Membranes who were about as far from goth as it was possible to get. ‘Spike Milligan’s Tape Recorder’ and ‘Death To Trad Rock’, are still the best records they ever made and had a massive influence on the Independent networ

Necro – 1983 / Bob Marley & Augustus Pablo – Daddy Kool Records -1979 / Webcore – A Real Kavoom – 1986 / Brigandage – Hammersmith Clarendon – 1984 / Savage Republic – I.P.R – 1982 / Tribesman – Label Records – 1978

Necro 1983

I’m really chuffed that Tim, the old drummer of Necro, found an old C90 cassette tape and a clutch of photographs in a box in his house sometime ago… To me, this stuff is gold dust! A crystal clear recording of the band playing the ‘slower’ three piece line up set without interruption, on the cheapest instruments and amps possible!

Necro were a local band to me that were formed at the dawn of 1982, a band that my younger brother joined towards the end of 1982 (or the dawn of 1983). Rob was firstly Necro’s bassist in the four piece line up, and then, a few months later, ended up as the guitarist in the three piece line up.

The ‘slower’ detail mentioned above is (I think) in part, to Steve the vocalist of Necro taking over bass guitar duties as well as singing.

The four piece Necro line ups recordings that I have here (but not uploaded anywhere yet) have songs that are faster paced possibly due to Steve not having to concentrate on hitting the right notes and getting his lyrics right at the same time. Steve could throw himself around a bit with far some freedom when three of the four piece line ups were making a racket behind him, and therefore the songs seemed (and were) faster! This is a rough and ready practice session that was taped around Tim’s parents home in Hertford, and is absolutely WONDERFUL.

Myself and my brother travelled from Hoddesdon, a town on the East Herts / Essex border so we ‘commuted’ to Hertford on these occasions!

For a much more in-depth history please consult this wonderful KYPP post HERE

It is well worth a read…

Tim also found a few photographs which I have scanned and placed onto this post.

Two graffiti photographs, one of the photographs, showing Flux Of Pink Indians inspired graffiti, that was sprayed onto a council building in 1983, and remained there for decades, finally succumbing to dust when the whole place was demolished a few years ago!

There is a photograph of the short lived ‘Rob era’ four piece, and three photographs of the better (in my opinion) three piece line up… I am captured on one of these photographs standing behind the amps at a gig somewhere, in-between my brother playing guitar and the bassist / vocalist. Some other herberts are also sitting around the back of the amps with a splendid rainbow effect livening up the place, whatever place that was!

There is also a photograph of Steve, the bassist / vocalist with some more graffiti that reads ‘LPYS (Labour Party Young Socialists) are biggest working class rip off’.

So now you know!

Following that, there is a photograph of myself with the white jeans and my younger brother on a cannon taken in 1982 by the sea somewhere or other…

The fanzine ‘War Is Over’ which is featured on the slide show was the first issue.

Tim put it together and we tried hard to punt them out to the disinterested public, although members of other local bands and various youth C.N.D members were a little more interested.

Tim put together another issue of the fanzine which has now been lost in time, although if a copy turns up I will do something with it. This second and last issue contained news and interviews on Conflict / Crass / Flux and a local band from Harlow, The Newtown Neurotics.

The ‘letter of the week’ which also features on the slideshow is from Sounds weekly music newspaper, written and sent in by Tim in the summer of 1983 and was concerning a Conflict gig in Hoddesdon that was set up by Tim and others, but failed to go ahead due to the National Front sticking their noses in, and that is complimented by Tim’s original hand written poster of that Conflict gig.

I’m still so chuffed about this little bit of local punk history from a bunch of teeny schoolboys that has suddenly landed into my possession!

Great stuff.

Bob Marley / Pablo side 1

Bob Marley / Pablo side 2

The first 12” single released on Daddy Kool Records in 1979. I do not know the story of how Keith Stone managed to arrange for one of the trilogy of reggae superstars (Marley, Dennis Brown, Gregory Isaacs) to end up on his record label, and I would be very interested if anyone that does know, will let me know!

Bob Marley, Augustus Pablo and the Upsetters was (and still would be) a scalp worthy of hanging up as a warning of intent.

The Bob Marley track was a track that failed to make the ‘Soul Rebel’ album (from the Lee Perry sessions) released on Upsetter Records / Trojan Records in 1970. The Augustus Pablo track was an alternative cut of ‘Java’, Pablo’s ‘signature tune’, this version originally released on Upsetter Records in 1972.

I went to Daddy Kool several times (as you would expect) but I kept any chatter with Keith to an absolute minimum, keeping my head down flicking through boxes until the time came to toss my selection onto the counter, cash ready to cover.

I had two bad experiences with Keith’s public relations grace (one of which was my younger brother’s experience really).

1979 or 1980, my younger brother sends cancelled cash to Daddy Kool Mail Order to cover the cost of buying the Island Records ‘cash in’ ska compilation album, ‘Intensified’, actually a brilliant compilation album.

Days and weeks went by with no package arriving. Eventually my brother phoned up Daddy Kool and got a very angry record shop owner screaming him down in a one sided verbal spar, after my younger brother had told him that the record had not arrived…

“You calling me a fucking thief – fuck off cunt” etc etc.

My younger brother was twelve or thirteen, and light of one ska compilation album.

This incident was always swimming around in my head when visiting the Daddy Kool record shop. Many years passed and I thought, as no one else was in the shop, that I would humorously bring up this incident.

Let’s just say I didn’t bring the incident up again.

Back to keeping my head down flicking through boxes until the time came to toss my selection onto the counter, cash ready to cover.

Below are a couple of comments that were on a blog, and I found quite interesting and worthy of sharing.

Comment names as given on the britishrecordshoparchive Daddy Kool page.

Photo of Keith Stone and the Daddy Kool record shop in 1978 courtesy of ADz.

I went to Daddy Kool based at Hanway Street in 1978. Keith was at the counter and there was a moody looking Rasta at the side in front, and I walked in. I was a Hi-Fi salesman from Leicester, dressed in a suit with a smart haircut, and while many would have been intimidated, I was in heaven and just listened and observed.

The speakers were concrete columns and incredible, both the Rasta and Keith were amused when I asked for records that the way I looked would not portray my taste. I bought the ‘Mexicano v Dreadlocks at O.K Coral’ 12″ single, ‘Loving Pauper’ 12″ single by Ruddy T and Trinity, and about six 45’s pres. While I waited he played ‘African Dub Chapter 3’ album that had just been delivered to the shop. I bought that to.

The shop was tiny, the place was full of vinyl, and those bins were amazing, the volume was undistorted and earth shatteringly loud.

Keith was pleasant that day and was happy to assist this dorky bloke in the crap suit with his reggae records.

Adrian David.

Daddy Kool Records was originally at street level and the space filled with racks jammed with new and second-hand reggae albums and 12” singles. Expensive, collectable albums yellowed on the walls and the counter boxes contained hundreds of Jamaican 7” singles where affordable treasures could be found.

There were cardboard boxes everywhere brimming with records. The shop had patches of damp cardboard on the floor and strip lighting above but could be really bustling, like the fruit and veg market outside and general pavement traffic.

I first visited in the early 1990’s when I was beginning to get into Jamaican music after moving to Hackney. I found the place fascinating and quite intimidating. It wasn’t just the volume of bass coming at you from the shop system, but the sleazy, ‘you can get what you want here’ vibe that was all over Soho back then, even though the merchandise on offer was vinyl instead of porn.

His reputation for grumpiness was just, and he could be hilariously rude to customers, but that never bothered me. I once asked him to play a stack of records without realising he’d just jammed his finger in a door hinge… on realising I braced myself for the worst, but with bloody nail hanging off he obliged. Wincing and using one hand!

The operation moved to the much cosier basement around the late 1990’s. You’d descend the steep stairs and get a waft of Keith’s lunch! Spanish omelette and chips seemed to be a favourite.

The basement retained much of the upstairs atmosphere but closed around 2003.

I think Keith sold his personal collection to Mick Hucknall.

Robert S

Webcore side 1

Webcore side 2

Uploaded tonight is the second Webcore cassette tape, released on A Real Kavoom from Cornwall in 1986.

I liked this band very much and saw them perform many times in and around the capital in many squatted venues including the 121 Railton Road bookshop in Brixton, the old Jungle Records building in Essex Road Islington, the Mankind Club in Hackney Central and others.

There were also plenty of great nights at the Club Dog venues in Wood Green and Finsbury Park that should also be mentioned.

Webcore also supported Psychic TV on a couple of occasions…

Below is a snippet of an interview with the Webcore keyboardist Paul Chousmer ripped for the aural-innovations.com site.

DS: How would you describe Webcore?

PC: Webcore were often described as way ahead of their time (at the time, if you can see what I mean.) I sort of took the roll of manager as nobody else would and we played everywhere. I (and Ed ‘Ozric’ Wynne) took the same view that the best way to publicize ourselves was to play wherever we could. So we often found ourselves at the same dodgy benefit gigs. All sorts of squats, free festivals, you name it. So we got a reputation for playing together all of the time. I’ve always thought our music was completely different. I felt there was a common psychedelic thread and we were always up for a party. Then Club Dog started (by Mike Dog, who later had the Ultimate Record label with groups like Eat Static and Senser) Webcore, the Ozric Tentacles and Another Green World all became regulars. And we grew with it.

DS: I agree that Webcore’s music was ahead of its time at the time. What would you say were the musical influences of the group?

PC: Our influences at the time inevitably included ENO, but also Psychic TV, Siouxsie and the Banshees, it’s difficult to say now from this distance in time. I would say we brought lots of different things together. Mick was a poet not a singer, so that was his approach. Trying to make his words fit. My idea was to create atmospheres behind the songs. Setting the scene. We were all experimenting. Just trying out ideas and if they felt good. It’s funny now that I’m teaching I see loads of young bands coming together. They all seem to want to sound like somebody else. The A&R mentality of copying whatever the last big hit was! We didn’t think that way at all back then!

DS: Webcore’s music also seems quite different from much of the other free fest bands like the Ozrics and Psi. How do you feel that Webcore fit into this scene?

PC: You’d have to ask this one of the audience really. I find it very hard to be objective. I would say that I was always surprised that Webcore’s audience danced a lot. I didn’t think of our music as dance music. This was fairly unusual in the free fest scene. Our music was also quite structured. Not totally, there was some room for improvisation. But there were definite maps to follow. The other bands seemed to be more into long wibble solos etc…

DS: What are your feelings on the festival scene of the eighties?

PC: You have to remember there was a right wing government ruling here at the time, with that bitch Thatcher at the helm. Lots of unemployment, kids on the dole, etc… Punk had run its course. We were all getting politicized. Stonehenge free festival was banned and suppressed by the police with a heavy hand. So free festivals were often a way to protest. We were all squatting, traveling. I have fond memories of that time. People were thinking of the world around them. I look at the kids now. They have no idea about politics. Nothing to protest about I suppose. The legacy of the Thatcher years is that everyone is out for themselves. Make as much money for yourself as you can and screw everyone else. I think that Reagan and his cronies did the same sort of thing over there.

DS: Through your music as Another Green World, you as an individual have moved quite easily from the scene in the eighties right into the club scene of the nineties and on. How do you feel about the club sound and what are you writing these days?

PC: I really like the music I hear in clubs these days. But it only sounds good in the clubs! In that atmosphere and loud. Most of it doesn’t seem to work when I put it on at home. However loud! In that sense I don’t really understand how I fit in. I actively try to make music that transports you from your armchair at home to some other place, without necessarily being really loud. This is important to me. So I keep in contact with these clubs, send them what I am doing. I just do what I do and they book me if they like it. This is probably quite old-fashioned these days. Everything is high sell, throwaway.

Brigandage Hammersmith Clarendon

Brigandage Hammersmith Clarendon

Indebted to David Manlove for the loan of this audience quality recording cassette tape of Brigandage performing at the Hammersmith Clarendon in 1984.

A handful of bands seem to have been connected with Kill Your Pet Puppy fanzine by forces so strong that one finds it hard to imagine one without the other.

Adam And The Antz, The Mob, Blood And Roses, Sex Gang Children, Southern Death Cult and Brigandage are examples that I can think of.

Obviously these bands would have existed without the fanzine, but a bond, I feel, did exist.

The U.K Subs, Crass or The Ruts, fine bands as they were, could not, I feel, get such a strong bond, or indeed any, with the Kill Your Pet Puppy fanzine.

I suppose it probably helped that some of these bands with that Kill Your Pet Puppy special bond had a history of sharing squatted houses, sharing drugs and gig experiences in similar venues, hairspray, magick and (maybe) even boy/girl friends within the Puppy Collective of the day.

Brigandage were one of the fine bands that I first heard on the John Peel show. The John Peel session that the band recorded in 1983 was so good that nothing (I thought at the time) could ever compare with the sonic pleasure of the three songs that were recorded specifically for John Peel.

I saw the band live and they were great, but then they split up!

The band were quickly resurrected in 1984 with the help of Richard North (who wrote and edited the excellent Kick fanzine and also did reviews, essays and interviews for the N.M.E) and two other members, joining Michelle from the original line up.

This new line up is the band that performed at the Hammersmith Clarendon captured on this cassette tape.

Step back to 1983; Richard North was already a friend of Michelle Brigandage and of the Puppy Collective, and it turned out to be a decent year to have a journo friend onside, as an article was written up on this newly named ‘Positive Punk’ movement which commanded a front page and center spread in the N.M.E.

Featured in this article were Blood And Roses and Brigandage, and for good measure several other bands were name checked throughout the article, Southern Death Cult, The Mob and so on.

Shortly after the N.M.E article, The Face magazine got involved in the rush to feature the movement, slipped effortlessly into the glossy pages of the magazine.

Even notorious speed freak Michael Moorcock, set up his TV cameras and got busy, filming both Blood And Roses and Brigandage at the Tribe Club in Leicester Square, and continuing to film footage at Puppy Mansions in Hampstead.

There were notably, interviews (and much grinding of teeth) with members of Brigandage and Blood And Roses surviving the final cut…

What happened?

Nothing…

The band’s at the forefront of this little scene had all split up by the end of 1983, as did of course, and as previously mentioned, Brigandage themselves.

There were not a lot of bands to replace the disbanded groups like The Mob, Southern Death Cult and Blood And Roses, that were of the same quality to carry this small scene on effectively, so the ‘Positive Punk’ movement pretty much died a sudden death there and then.

The ‘Positive Punk’ movement left in it’s wake some great live experiences, some great records and tapes, and some obscure literature in a few magazines, including of course, Kill Your Pet Puppy fanzine.

Brigandage were really great.

This 1984 performance of Brigandage rocks on with just enough 1976 punk spirit to overtake the opposition by several yards…

The visuals in this YouTube post include the pages of the booklet that accompanied the F.Y.M cassette tape which was released in 1984.

Savage Republic side 1

Savage Republic side 2 

The Africa Corps (Savage Republic) debut album, a stunning release was released in 1982.

This is a beautiful album to gaze at. 1000 individually numbered limited edition copies, all individually screen-printed on a very ‘heavy’ card sleeve. My copy is number 942 and the centre labels, as well as the front and rear of the sleeve have Arabic writing on them – I think other copies are all slightly different.

This release also has rich musical textures within the grooves as well as the packaging and simply must be listened to.

Text below courtesy of furious.com

The album ‘Tragic Figures’ was originally recorded under the band name Africa Corps. After it was recorded and the sleeve had been printed, Drucker announced that he was unhappy with the connotations of the band name.

Bruce; “When Phil laid down the ultimatum that we had to change our name or he would leave the band just as our first album was about to be released we spent a couple days brainstorming on what might be an appropriate new name for the band. We’d recently done some explosive shows in L.A – one at Al’s Bar that a friend had said was like a war zone on stage, so ‘Savage’ seemed to fit. And the idea of a ‘Republic’ also seemed to fit, as we did everything ourselves booked the shows, flyered, wrote all the music, made all the band decisions, did our own recordings, album covers, etc. Just like most every other band that wasn’t on a major or trying to be. But somehow, as conceptual art students we liked the idea of stating the obvious in a conceptual way, and I think somehow both Phil and I were drawn to the idea that we were establishing our group as something a bit more substantial, and we liked the idea of calling ourselves a ‘republic’. I remember thinking of the name ‘Savage Republic’, during the brainstorming and almost saying something, then discarding the idea because it seemed too obvious. Just like an art student to think he has to be more mysterious or obtuse or something. Then Phil said; “What about Savage Republic?” It seems the name was hovering around in the ether that day, and we both sort of plucked it out, though Phil was the first to verbalise it. And it quickly became obvious that that was the right name for us.”

The name had been a problem before, with people approaching the band admiring Africa Corps’ apparent Nazi connection, Drucker was Jewish so its appreciable that he wouldn’t like such thought. There was also a band called Africa Korps on the East coast, which in itself may have created problems. Licher was left having to print ‘Savage Republic’ over every place that the original sleeve said ‘Africa Corps.’ The legacy of the original band name remains in the usage of an altered Africa Corps logo for the band merchandise. Bruce substituted an Islamic Crescent and Star for the original Nazi Swastika thus hopefully removing the original connotations.

This album is the most punk sounding the band got. Beneath the murk in the mix the band sounds like a cerebral hardcore band with a funky rhythm section playing eastern tinged surf music covers of serial music. I tend to group it alongside such mavericks as the first Meat Puppets releases and D.A.F.’s Die Kleinen und Die Bosen, both of which came out in the same year. It definitely shares the same qualities of pushing against the barriers of what could be seen as punk music while retaining the same raw edge that less musically ambitious bands had. This may be down to the band not yet being entirely used to their instruments, a quality that Bruce has said elsewhere led to reinterpretation. Here things were made slightly awry because Mark was dabbling with psychedelics all the way through his time in the band and it had a negative effect on him in the long run. This caused some hairy events just before the recording of ‘Ivory Coast’, otherwise one of ‘Tragic Figures’ most memorable tracks, leading to drum tracks not being quite as strong as they could be.

The original sleeve features the firing squad execution of an Arab dissident, according to Ethan Port; “It’s an Iranian college professor, who’s hand is bandaged from being broken. He was the history professor of a U.C.L.A student who lived in the U.C.L.A Cooperative Student Housing with me in the 1980’s.’ I was afraid that such images would mean that the reissue campaign of late last year would be delayed if not halted by happenings in Afghanistan; luckily this wasn’t to be the case, not for very long anyway.

The French Sordide Sentimentale release used a different, abstract image, presumably because of the political ambiguity of the original images.

Tribesman side 1

Tribesman side 2 

Try as you might you will not find any articles on any websites regarding Tribesman. Nothing apart from a couple of YouTube posts, eBay and Discogs, and other commercial outlets to purchase some re-released copies of the handful of 7″ and 12″ singles and one album.

Nothing else. Ziltch.

I have not found any mention of Tribesman in any of the reggae books that I own, and I own a few!

Before I got pissed off, I glanced through the obvious books.

Steve Barrow’s ‘Rough Guide To Reggae’, David Katz ‘ Solid Foundation’ Tighten Up – The History Of Reggae In The U.K (ahem, except one band), the Virgin Encyclopedia Of Reggae (yuck – a Christmas present several years back).

Further, I looked in Steven Davis’ ‘Reggae International’ and finally Dave Thompson’s ‘Reggae And Caribbean Music’ and Lloyd Bradley’s ‘Bass Culture’.

Nothing. Ziltch.

Absolute madness considering…

What I do know is that Tribesman seemed to have been close to Dave Goodman, ex live soundman, and the studio producer for Sex Pistols in 1976.

Dave Goodman produced the Tribesman records that were released in 1978 and 1979 via ‘Boa’ Records, affiliated to his ‘Label’ record label, the latter better known as the recording home of punk band, Eater, and novelty records like the ‘Cash Pussies’ 7″ single.

Tribesman released three records for Boa Records;

The ‘Rocking Time’ 7″ single.

The ‘Finsbury Park’ 7″ and 12″ single.

The ‘Street Level’ album.

Tribesman released this promotional mini album that I have uploaded this evening via Dave Goodman’s ‘Label’ record label.

No sleeve artwork, just a TRIBESMAN stamp across a generic white sleeve, although there are printed labels on both sides of the record.

Unofficially called ‘Wonder Wolf’ due to the first track on the album.

I haven’t a scooby how many copies would have been pressed up. Although I would correctly guess at ‘not that many’ compared to records pressed up for public sale.

There are four studio demo tracks, and two live tracks (according to the labels on each side of the record) on this promotional mini album, although one of the live tracks sounds like a studio quality recording! The live track that actually sounds like a live track is pretty disposable in my opinion, a feel good jam based on Bob Marley’s ‘Waiting In Vain’.

The studio tracks are decent enough, and include ‘Rocking Time’ the debut 7″ single, a 7″ single that I assume was released after this promotional mini album.

I have seen a mention of Tribesman being part of the whole R.A.R scene in 1978, which is righteous enough.

Overall Tribesman’s sound, in my opinion, is similar to the earlier formed U.K reggae bands from the late 1960’s and dawn of the 1970’s like Matumbi and Cimarons, and how those two bands sounded in the latter part of the 1970’s.

So leaning towards a more commercial path compared to their mid to late 1970’s contemporaries, the tougher sound of Aswad or Misty In Roots and others.

After listening to Misty In Roots, Tribesman might not be everyone’s cup of sonic roots rock militancy…

A decent band, and a decent record nevertheless.

If anyone can enlighten me on a more concise history of the band then please leave a message and I will add ANY information to this YouTube post.

Crass – Glasshouse – May 1984 / Alternative TV – Deptford Fun City Records – 1977 / Demob – Round Ear Records – 1981 – 1982 / The Astronauts – Bugle Records – 1979 / Exit Stance – E.S Records – 1984 / Screaming Dead – Dead Records – 1982

Crass – Glasshouse – May 1984

Indebted to Nick Comfylux for supplying me with this audio that he recorded at the back of the hall of Crass performing their last ever concert in London, and indeed one of the last performances.

Below are snippets of memories for two gigs from Tristian ‘Stringy’ Carter. Crass at the Bingo Hall, Flux at the Glasshouse, and the final word on the gig that was missed, Crass at the Glasshouse!

At the Bingo Hall in Islington, Crass were a little more ‘user-friendly’, more accessible on the night, albeit with well-known numbers interspersed with fury-driven snippets of ‘Yes Sir I Will’, and of course the more recent head-on turn of ‘You’re Already Dead’, and ‘Smash The Mac’ with its chilling guitar refrain.

The perceived failure of the peace-punks’ stance, and the turn towards more confrontational and violent action was of course personified at this time by the major emergence of Class War (established in 1983); the Bingo Hall was the first time I think I really started to take on board these changes in rhetoric and practice, and I have vague recollections of Ian Bone being there, arguments and scuffles…

That was a hell of a weekend, with recollections centring around the post-Camden gig mooch by about twelve of us up to the Bingo Hall, all quiet and seemingly empty, well certainly no-one answered when we banged on the door, so then decision time, what to do next?

Half the guys left for a restless night at Liverpool Street station, while we wandered about until we bumped into some lovely Scottish mohawked character, who knew all about the next night’s gig and was happy for us to crash at his flat, a fun night of incomprehensible accents, cider, and the Icons Of Filth E.P being played again, and again, that and us lot chrysalis-like scrunched up in our sleeping bags on the warm floor…

Next day and to the well-known Upper Street chippy none too far round the corner from the Bingo Hall itself (renowned for the fact that it didn’t fry its chips in lard, so we could eat them), then a day of hanging out, helping to move the gear from Crass’ van into the venue and the gradual gathering of the clans.

Great gig, great memories of togetherness with the Ipswich guys, the feeling of community at the Bingo Hall itself and this feeling of things really happening in new ways, as we segued from the carefully policed C.N.D demos to the more ad hoc and fluid Stop The City movement.

Over the next few weeks things got a bit quieter for me; I didn’t end up participating in the March 29th Stop The City, and most gigging was avowedly local as I had turn my attention to ‘A’ Level exams and the end of high school life.

The next real blip on the radar was the Flux Of Pink Indians / D&V / Chumbawamba gig at the squatted Camden Glasshouse on the 4th June, another great place, albeit with somewhat worryingly bouncy floors for an upstairs venue.

It also had a different vibe because of the bands’ musical variance. I always had a soft spot for D&V, their minimalist sound (drums and vocals), with looping quasi-rap / staccato lyrical punctuation, and a good humoured front-man.

Could have sworn this was the gig of Flux playing in beachwear and an encore in knickers, but if not, then I do recall a broken down reggae-styled segment at the end, I think a ‘Tube Disasters-Progress-Tube Disasters’ segue.

Whether humour was the driving force behind the reinterpretation I am not sure, but I chose to view it as a breath of fresh air, or olive branch to all after the recent aural hostility and fury of the ‘Fucking Cunts Treat Us Like Pricks’ set of March.

Not giving up, or taking the foot off the pedal per se, but maybe an appreciation that your engagement with the shit out there could only run so far on anger, and that we required some nuanced approaches, and different tools in our box, for dealing with all that we were being confronted with.

Then there was Chumbawamba.

I think this has to be the first of many occasions I’d saw them, and it was just wonderfully different. Categorically on the same page in terms of many of the themes being discussed, but here the nuance and variety of approaches I believed were coming to the fore with the Flux Of Pink Indians performance that night, but very much taken to the next level. It was categorically theatrical, with the shifting vocals, the literal changing of the instruments between members, the harmonies alongside the punch, the clothes and posture, again a much needed change of pace from what at times had become a miasma of well-intentioned re-iterations of the Crass / Conflict / Subhumans / Antisect families.

Talking of Crass, that was the one downer of the night, when I asked an attendant Phil Free if those guys might play the Glasshouse, only to be told they’d indeed played there a few weeks earlier…

Bugger.

Tristian ‘Stringy’ Carter

Indebted to Jim Wafford for the photographs of Crass performing at the Glasshouse.

Alternative TV – Version 1 A

Alternative TV – Version 1 B

Alternative TV – Version 2 A

Alternative TV – Version 2 A

Uploaded tonight are BOTH versions of the debut 7″ single by Alternative T.V.

Both records and sleeves have been scanned and if you are sad like me, you will notice that the alternative version of this 7″ single has ALTERNATIVE VERSIONS written upon the label.

Furthermore, the folds on the rear of either sleeves are slightly different. I told you I was sad.

Oddly the catalogue number DFC002 is the same for both versions. I assume it must have been pot luck which copy you were supplied over the counter back when it was released.

The first release on Deptford Fun City Records, DFC001, was ‘A Packet Of Three’ by Squeeze. Yes, that Squeeze!

This debut 7″ single by Alternative T.V is of course a classic, and here are some words on it from Mark Perry

“We didn’t actually record ‘Love Lies Limp’ as a single cos that was one of the songs we did for E.M.I as a demo. We did four songs, we did ‘Love Lies Limp’, ‘How Much Longer’, ‘You Bastard’ and ‘Life’ as as demo.

We went in an’ did these songs, and ‘Love Lies Limp’ was about sex and had swearing in it, I think I swore in ‘How Much Longer’ at the end – “You all don’t fucking care” – ‘You Bastard’ – well, “You bastard”, right? – and ‘Life’ was the only one that was “acceptable”.

E.M.I basically said “Look, very interesting, but we think it’s too political, it’s too controversial” – that’s what they said about our music, it was quite funny – but the good thing about the E.M.I demo was that it was like a free recording for us, so we had these tracks. I dunno I had the idea or someone else had the idea that when it came to the last issue of Sniffin’ Glue, cos by that time we’d recorded a different version of ‘How Much Longer’/’You Bastard’ for the first single but we hadn’t put it out yet, and just thought it’d be a nice introduction to the band.

The concept idea that you end the fanzine so one thing ends of mine, and the band starts. So that’s why. But I don’t know why we chose that particular song for the flexidisc.

It was good to do something different. Someone also mentioned that cos it was a flexi, cos it was on a floppy disc, y’know ‘Love Lies Limp’? I didn’t think of that, someone else come up with that.

Someone said that in the NME, they said “This is not a conventional record, this is ‘Love Lies Limp’ on floppy, and they made that connection. I think it was a bit of an inspired idea doing that flexidisc.

I think we spent all our profits on it, which didn’t amount to much, but we had load of ’em, cos what happened was we had got 20,000 made of the bloody things. In fact, Harry Murlowski, who was at the time he was doing more of the business side of the fanzine and that, he was at his mum’s the other day, well last year or something, and he was looking in the loft and he found a box of ‘LLL’ flexidiscs, about fifty of ’em.

The debut single had two versions. What happened was, we did the E.M.I demo, and we thought that was pretty cool, more rough and ready, and then we re-recorded it for the proper single but after living with the first single for a little bit, not long, I just thought it was over-produced, and I liked the old version better.

What we did, when we did a re-press we just thought we’d put that other version out, the E.M.I session one, so that’s what we did. They are quite different. The E.M.I version is much more what we sounded like live, there’s no overdubs, it’s just as it is, y’know”.

Whichever version you prefer, and I feel you should give both versions a listen while you read this immense KYPP post HERE

The three original 1977 flyers that are featured on this YouTube post are from the collection of Tony D, Ripped And Torn and Kill Your Pet Puppy fanzines.

Dedicated to Robert Dellar – 16th December 1964 – 17th December 2017.

Demob First Single

Demob First Single

Demob Second Single

Demob Second Single

I always thought Demob were great and severely underrated at the time, so I am uploading both 7″ singles that were released during the band’s lifetime.

All these tracks that are uploaded by this band tonight are great, but ‘No Room For You’ (five minute mark) is an absolute stone wall classic…

For best results play this track loud enough to receive a visit and a court order from your local plod / social services.

Undoubtedly one of my favourite songs by any bands at that time.

I’m listening to ‘No Room For You’, as I write this, LOUD.

Text from Wikkiwackiewoo.

Demob formed in late 1978 by guitarist Terry Elcock and drummer Johnny Melfah, and they were soon joined by Mike Howes (vocals), Tony Wakefield (bass) and Chris Rush (guitar). Howes ex-army skinhead friend Andy Kanonik soon joined, also on vocals.

It was this line-up that first rehearsed and played the first gigs in and around Gloucester, the Viking Youth Club becoming the main place of rehearsals and Tracy’s night club was the first venue that Demob played in 1978, and became the local night club hangout for all the band and punks at that time. Elcock had previous experience on guitar as a member of a church band.

Demob’s first big break came in the summer of 1979 when they fooled the authorities into letting them have a place in the Gloucester annual carnival parade.

The ever increasing support for the band resulted in a mass riot between the punks and the bikers and, ultimately, the suspension of the carnival. The riot made national press and attracted the interest of the local record label, Round Ear Records.

In 1980, Howes was sacked from the band, and Kanonik was imprisoned for three months, leaving the band without a singer.

The band had just recruited Mark “Miff” Smith to replace Rush, and he took over the role of singer, with Paul “Fatty” Price also replacing Wakefield on bass. Smith soon become an integral part, arranging and organising gigs.

With the line-up now comprising Mark Smith (vocals), Terry Elcock (guitar), Paul Price & Barry Philips (bass guitar), and Johnny Melfah (drums), the band worked on their first recordings. ‘Anti-Police’ was Demob’s first release on the independent Round Ear Records, the record was supported by the late John Peel, and journalist Garry Bushell.

The record spent over two months in the UK Indie Chart, peaking at number 34.

On the back of the success of ‘Anti-Police’, Demob supported many acts around the punk circuit at this time, including U2 (!), UK Subs, The Angelic Upstarts, Discharge and The Beat (!!).

Most performances ended with a police presence and inevitable violence with their notorious hardcore followers, the ‘Demob Riot Squad’. The band’s multi-racial line-up sometimes attracted hostility from Nazi skinheads who attended their gigs, and the band would play several concerts in aid of the Anti-Nazi League.

A second single, ‘No Room For You’ quickly followed to add to the success, but unfortunately, like so many punk acts of the era, musical differences soon developed amongst the line up and Demob split to pursue other musical avenues in 1983.

THE THREE BAND MEMBER PHOTOGRAPHS THAT ARE FEATURED ON THIS YOUTUBE POST ARE NOT MINE. THEY ARE BRILLIANT PHOTOGRAPHS I JUST HAD TO ADD THEM. IF THE PHOTOGRAPHS ARE YOURS YOU WILL BE DUE FOR A CREDIT. LEAVE A COMMENT.

The Astronauts First Single

The Astronauts First Single

The Astronauts were partly responsible for inspiring me to start helping out at All The Madmen Records, based in Brougham Road Hackney, in 1985.

The Astronauts were 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 wonderful debut extended play 7″ single by The Astronauts was released by Bugle Records based in Potters Bar, Hertfordshire.

Mark Astronauts’s well thought out lyrics are always written with great feeling and care are impeccably delivered.

Bugle Records also released the second extended play 7″ single by The Astronauts a year later.

Text below written by Robin Basak of Zero fanzine fame, ripped off 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 E.P 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 E.P 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’ E.P sold all its copies within weeks. Musically the four songs were not as adventurous as the first E.P 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.

The ‘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.

I have scanned the original biog and lyric sheet that I had stuck in my copy of this record to compliment the audio for this YouTube post.

Exit Stance First Single

Exit Stance First Single

Presenting a brilliant 7″ single by Bristol’s Exit-Stance.

This is not the Milton Keynes punk band that released records on Mortarhate and supported Conflict from time to time.

The Exit-Stance that recorded these two tracks uploaded today and releasing them on this record via the bands own label, were from Bristol and had a sound reminiscent, actually pretty much a carbon copy, of UK Decay (with added Ritual perhaps).

After the recording of the ‘Esthetics’ 7″ single, the punk Exit-Stance (perhaps supported by Mortarhate records) forced the Bristol Exit-Stance to change their name after threatening legal action.

If that was correct then it’s a pretty ironic situation, considering.

Bristol’s Exit-Stance changed their name to Feud and I assume the Milton Keynes Exit-Stance were OK with that.

I know nothing else about this band from Bristol, save that this is a very good 7″ single.

I am sure the record would probably get played at goth nights if anyone owned a copy!

Screaming Dead First Single

Screaming Dead First Single

Screaming Dead were a band I first read about in a copy of ‘Rising Free’ fanzine (The ‘No Future’ issue of Rising Free to be precise) written, edited, printed and distributed in and around the Welwyn, Hitchin and Stevenage areas.

I was surprised to read about this band as the band came from the DARK SIDE of the world, well from Cheltenham to be exact, home to the another punk band, the massively fine Demob.

Screaming Dead. Cheltenham’s answer to the Misfits. That can’t be a bad thing.

The band, named after the English title of Drácula contra Frankenstein, the 1972 horror film directed by Jesús Franco, was formed by guitarist Tony McCormack, who recruited former singer with The Waste, Sam Missile, bass guitarist Mal Page, and drummer Mark Ogilvie.

The band built up a strong local following which spread farther afield with coverage in fanzines such as Gez Lowery’s ‘Rising Free’ and through sales of their demo tape.

They followed their first tape with a more formal release, the ‘Children Of The Boneyard Stones’ cassette, which came with a badge and a copy of the band’s own fanzine, ‘Warcry’.

They then self-financed their debut vinyl release, the ‘Valley of the Dead’ 7″ single, initially released on their own Skull Records label, but when it sold out of its first pressing within a week it was picked up by No Future records.

The band’s next release, the ‘Night Creatures’ 12″ single, saw them break into the UK Indie Chart, reaching number 22 in September 1983.

While the band were at times tagged as Goths, the label was rejected by Bignall, who in a posthumous interview stated “Screaming Dead were a punk rock band, there’s no doubt about that! We had a bit of an interest in the horror theme, and that was how we decided to present ourselves.”

For their next release, the band recorded a cover of the Rolling Stones’ ‘Paint It Black’ which was also an indie hit, and was recorded as a tribute of sorts to Brian Jones who is buried in their home town of Cheltenham.

In 1984, taking inspiration from X-Ray Spex, the band recruited saxophonist Nick Upton, the band also signing to Nine Mile Records, who issued their last two releases on the Angel label.

The change in sound lost a lot of fans, and with interest in punk rock declining, the band split up in 1985.

Hysteria Ward – All The Madmen Records – 1987 / The Fall – Chaos Tapes – 1982 / John The Postman – Bent Records – 1979 / Getting The Fear – Demo – 1984 / Something Stirs – Adventures In Reality Recordings – 1984 / Rudimentary Peni – Welwyn Garden City Ludwick Hall – May 1982

Hysteria Ward flexi-disc

For a full history of Hysteria Ward there is no better place to start than this special Kill Your Pet Puppy post HERE which is well worth reading through.

Side 1

Side 2

This performance by The Fall was recorded on the 11th December 1980 and was the first in a two night stint at the Acklam Hall, Ladbroke Grove in West London.

The support act for the first night were the Furious Pigs.

The audio on this cassette tape is from that performance.

The following night, the 12th December, The Fall performed alongside The Hamsters, members of that band are still writing and performing in the guise of Kill Pretty.

Several years ago Kill Pretty released a 7″ record and a CD on the All The Madmen record label.

This cassette tape has been uploaded on 11th December 2016, thirty six years to the day of this first Acklam Hall gig in 1980.

Below is the review (part interview) of this cassette tape from the N.M.E written by X Moore A.K.A Chris Dean from The Redskins.

AFTER THE GRAM

The Fall – Live In London 1980 – Chaos Tapes

Chaos Tapes captured Discharge, Anti Pasti, Vice Squad, Chron Gen and Chelsea live, and have now thrown The Fall in with them.

“Yeah, well, it’s some lads in East Anglia, got this idea to tape us when we were down there playing two nights at the Acklam Hall. They said they wanted to put it out and we thought it was the second night, the good night, and said yeah… but it was the first night.”

It’s raw.

“Yeah, it’s raw but it’s a good laugh. We were trying out the stuff from ‘Slates’ for the first time so it is rough. Like, that’s the idea of this, to break the backs of all these twats who tape new numbers at our gigs. Cos we play new stuff into our set quick it doesn’t take ’em long to realise they can tape a gig and put them out before the albums released.”

This one’s come after the ‘gram, all material having already appeared elsewhere. The Official bootleg.

“Yeah, we knew about it this time. It’s a good idea, a good tape, y’know.”

It’s sixty minutes of The Fall’s best (and, zwept, their best includes some real gems) and trashed the opposition before it’s halfway through side one. The feel tho’ is less ‘live’, more ‘rehearsal’ cos the gab ‘tween songs has been edited out, taking with it a lot of Mark E Smith and some of the edge.

What you get is a more relaxed Fall, the animal less strung up, and more room for the comedy in the lyrics. On top of ‘Hex’, this is another nail in the coffin of that hack-fabricated monster, Son of Smith, the obsessive prole art dogmatist that masterminds ‘The Fall’. Here it sounds like they’ve got a different singer.

“Yeah, well, that’s alright,” he says and talks about Yorkshiremen instead, asks about London.

“Are you enjoying yourself?”

The ‘Live In London’ cassette tape states: Don’t get so hung up about a great band.

Son of Smith is not The Fall says… X Moore

This record has a standout track in a ten minute version of ‘Gloria’, originally performed and recorded by Them, Van Morrisons band.

The other tracks seem to have been just a few ramshakle ideas made up on the spot in the studio, which is a shame as if John The Postman and his band could seriously pull off a mad version of ‘Gloria’ then who knows how good this album could have been.

A niche listen for sure, and quite humourous in parts, but effectively a one spin record. Except ‘Gloria’ starting at 2.50.

Below is a nicely written orbituatury from The Guardian.

My friend Jonathan Ormrod, who has died unexpectedly aged 59, was the Manchester punk musician known as Jon the Postman.

A rebellious attitude, the public house, Woodbines and Frank Zappa helped to terminate Jon’s studies early, and in 1971 he started work as a junior postman in Newton Street main sorting office. But music was his first love, fed with a regular dose of John Peel’s late night programmes, which he recorded and catalogued every night.

Watching live bands quickly followed, with the NME as his bible and the underground music scene his sanctuary; he was devoted to Soft Machine, MC5 and the 13th Floor Elevators, and dedicated to the countless gigs in the numerous pubs and clubs of early-70’s Manchester.

The UK punk explosion in 1976 and the era-defining Sex Pistols gig at the Lesser Free Trade Hall prompted him to form a band of his own, and Jon the Postman and his backing band, Puerile, were born. They were crude musically, but had real passion and support, playing at the Electric Circus, Green Room, Russell and Squat clubs, and many more venues, supporting emerging new bands such as the Fall, Buzzcocks and Joy Division. They borrowed the equipment, and usually ended the set with the Standells’ Louie Louie, but it was never easy to tell.

Jon and the band released two albums – and added an “h” to his name. John the Postman’s Puerile was followed by John the Postman’s Psychedelic Rock’N’Roll 5 Skinners – Steppin’ Out (of Holts Brewery). Then, but for Michael Winterbottom’s film, ’24 Hour Party People’ the act faded into oblivion, in the spirit of the times.

For most of the 80’s Jon lived and worked in San Francisco, then returned to his roots in 1987. Until his death he was again working as a postman in Manchester, but his dream was to retire to Berlin where he felt truly at home, visiting it constantly for the past twenty years and with plans in place to celebrate his 60th birthday there.

The son of Harry and Edna Ormrod, Jon grew up in Harpurhey, north Manchester, the family finally settling in New Moston. He attended North Manchester high school, where we first met in 1967. He was a bright spark, excelling with little effort in English and history, and developed a love of cricket that continued for the rest of his life.

Jon was a gregarious character with a superb memory and an aversion to sleep. He was happiest with a wheat beer, a willing audience and a monologue about a particular night a very long time ago.

He is survived by his mother, brothers, Stephen and Mark, and sister, Cathryn.

Paul T Birkett

A cassette tape given to me by Genesis P’Orridge while he was still residing in Beck Road, Hackney during one of my visits there.

The first song, ‘My Struggle’ being my personal favourite of this demo cassette tape.

Getting The Fear evolved from the ashes of Southern Death Cult whose singer Ian Astbury jumped ship in 1983 to form Death Cult with various members of Ritual and Theatre Of Hate.

Bee, an ex member of Danse Society joined the back-line of Southern Death Cult namely Buzz, Barry and Aky and started rehearsals to lead up to the recordings of the tracks that appear on this demo cassette tape.

Bee at the time was an on/off member of Thee Temple Ov Psychic Youth and friend of Psychic TV. He was suitably adorned with piercings and tattoos, stabbed and inked by Mr Sebastian who operated in his tattoo and piercing parlour along Grays Inn Road near the Mount Pleasant Post Office hub in Kings Cross.

Mr Sebastian sadly died many many years ago.

The band got a lot of attention from Kill Your Pet Puppy’s fanzine’s successor in all things – colour-musu-politikal-magick – wise, Vague fanzine. Tom Vague was, in general, around the same squats and run down gig venues, that the Kill Your Pet Puppy collective would have been around.

Vague fanzine essays also meant there were features in the sadly missed Zig Zag magazine which was a nationwide monthly alternative music publication.

There was a real buzz about this band and Tom who had a finger in both the Southern Death Cult and Thee Temple Ov Psychick Youth camps, went onto champion this band and was rightly expecting huge potential from them.

RCA signed up this extremely good looking bunch of alternative boys in 1985 and sold them, as one would imagine, as a flat sounding, over made up pop band ready for the then dwindling Smash Hits magazine market.

Not quite as gritty as Vague fanzine or anyone that saw some of the celebrations that were the concerts that Getting The Fear performed imagined them to be.

Still…

RCA released one 12″ single entitled ‘Last Salute’ (with the B side ‘We Struggle’ being the pick of the tracks).

Getting The Fear seemed to be a band that were destined to burn out very quickly which of course they did.

1986 saw Bee and Barry start up Into A Circle and Aky got Fun-Da-Mental together.

Bee went to Thailand where he still resides and Buzz went to France where he may well still be…

Tracklisting:

We Struggle

Swell

Rise

Before I Hang

Coming Down Fast

The artwork that accompanies the audio for this YouTube post is the sleeve from my other demo cassette tape, an early demo.

This sleeve artwork was personally drawn by Bee, Genesis P-Orridge informed me when he handed me the cassette tape.

Side 1

Side 2

Seven chunks of dark-wave, and three less so (Furious Apples) from some of the obscure bands of that time.

Attrition and Furious Apples, both from Coventry starting off proceedings, Bourbonese Qualk and Legendary Pink Dots bringing up the rear.

The text below courtesy of Nic Bullen and Alan Rider.

Adventures in Reality was a fanzine put out in Coventry by a guy called Alan Rider. He was a friend of Martin Bowes (of Alternative Sounds fanzine and Attrition), and initially started doing live visuals for Attrition…

He then went on to start the label and released some interesting material such as his first cassette compilation (which also featured Attrition and 86 Mix (who appeared on the ‘New Criminals’ compilation with Sinyx, Subhumans and Flux of Pink Indians), the Attrition flexi-disc (which came as a freebie with an issue of his fanzine), the ‘Last Supper’ compilation tape (which featured SPK, Test Department and Muslimgauze), and this album…

He was also in a duo called Stress with Phil Clarke (who was the editor of the fanzine Damn Latin – if I remember correctly?) who played synth-based songs…

He moved to London in 1984 and that was the last I heard of him…

Attrition were a dark synth-based band who started in Coventry in the early 1980’s by Martin Bowes (editor of Alternative Sounds fanzine). Over the years they have garnered a reputation with elements of the ‘Industrial’ and ‘Goth’ scenes, and still continue to make music…

The Furious Apples were a very popular local indie band from Coventry who released 1 single and appeared on a couple of compilations including the ‘What a Nice Way to Turn 17 – No.3’ compilation (on the Swell Maps label Rather Records), and this album. One of their managers (who went on to manage The Primitives and Birdland) was responsible for the ‘Adolf Hitler European Tour’ T-Shirt that appeared in the mid-1980’s.

Nic Bullen

All that Nic says about me is correct, but he didn’t mention I also lived briefly at the Ambulance Station squat when I first moved to London and didn’t have anywhere to stay. I ended up at the Ambulance Station through Bourbonese Qualk actually, but was only there for a very short time. It felt too dangerous to stay in the Old Kent Road for any longer than was strictly necessary in those days!

It was a dangerous area for a scrawny industrial fan like me. I remember petrol being poured through the letterbox one night.

There was a fully working guillotine in one of the rooms too. I saw a few bands there. Attrition of course (I was still doing slides & visuals for them then), Bourbonese Qualk, Test Dept, and King Kurt.

Incidentally, I’m sure I have a few copies of the Furious Apples 7″ single somewhere. I’ve also a box of Attrition flexi-discs sitting in the cupboard.

There’s a lot more history to Adventures in Reality too, but that’s another story….

Simon Tanza from Bourbonese Qualk also did the front sleeve artwork for the ‘Something Stirs’ album. I remember him getting a bit annoyed that we were drinking his private beer stash we found behind the bar at the gig and he went round grabbing half drunk cans out of everyone’s hands!

Alan Rider

Side 1

Side 2

This performance was recorded on a hand held cassette recorder within the crowd and is of only average quality.

Just about listenable to be honest, although it is Rudimentary Peni, and any live tape by this band is rare enough, so worthy of archiving!

Most people in the hall were waiting for Subhumans to come on stage Rudimentary Peni went through their set fast and without interruptions. I think the band got a decent reception. Listening back at the cassette tape it seems like they did.

A band called Nightmare also performed, a band that I knew nothing of before seeing them. A few years later though, retrospectively, I learned that the bassist of Nightmare, Adi, had joined The Astronauts, and as a fixture in the Astronauts mid 1980’s line up, he was present for the recording sessions for what turned out to be the first side of the ‘Soon’ album released on the All The Madmen record label.

I was helping out at All The Madmen around this time so spoke to Adi on occasions at gigs, and I got to realise through chatting that I had seen his old band!

Incidentally, the Ludwick Hall venue also hosted a Crass, D.I.R.T and Flux Of Pink Indians gig a month or two before this Rudimentary Peni and Subhumans gig.

Every now and again, if there was a gig that my younger brother and I were keen on going to, our Father would give us both a lift in his black Austin Maxi 1750 to the gig venues, as long as those venues were within a reasonable driving distance and if the route there was not overcomplicated. He would pick us both up at an appointed time, fifty or so metres away from any of the venues!

The road to Stevenage Bowes Lyon House would be driven, but every now and again, roads to Welwyn, Harlow or Bishops Stortford.

Rudimentary Peni returned to Welwyn Garden City again the same year, and I think performed with The Mob, Flux Of Pink Indians and Conflict. I was not at that gig.

In the summer of 1983, The Mob returned to Welwyn Garden City to perform at Monks Walk school with Verdict, a band that featured Jon Thurlow ex of Chron Gen on the guitar. Chron Gen were one of my favourite bands a year or two previously!

Verdict had a saxophone player so they had a little bit of a Theatre Of Hate-ish sound music-wise! Verdict would never have been in the races style and boyish good looks-wise, I think it would be fair to state!

Towards the end of 1983 Verdict performed at the Pioneer Hall in Hertford with some local bands including Strontium 90, a band that included a couple of ex-school friends (I had left school in the summer of 1983) and Tim, the ex drummer of Necro, my younger brothers’ school boy punk band.

Necro, as a band, had halted by the summer of 1983, but within that bands short lifetime, the band failed to impress, not one, but two punk superstars in Colin from Flux and Steve from Newtown Neurotics at a gig down the Triad in Bishops Stortford.

The band failed to support Flux Of Pink Indians at a C.N.D festival in Hertford, due to ‘time issues’. Tim, Necro’s drummer had actually helped to set that event up!

The band failed to support Conflict at the Tudor Hall in Hoddesdon, due to B.M/ N.F / B.M threats to the venue on the day of the gig so everyone went home!

I think the band was jinxed.

On a happier note, local band-wise, Virus, another school boy punk band, with connections to Necro, did manage to actually support Subhumans and (I think) The Destructors in 1983 at the Bowes Lyon House in Stevenage.

Another local band, Onslaught, released one 7″ record which was great!