Just prior to the start of another free tour in 1978, Here And Now recorded a John Peel radio session following a chance encounter with him at an open air gig at Meanwhile Gardens.
The Peel session captures the essence of Here And Now well.
Two songs are from the ‘Give And Take’ album and the ‘space punk’ style is much more in evidence than on the ‘Floating Anarchy’ album, yet the importance of trying to capture the moment meant that two of the tracks were jammed ‘there and then’ in the Maida Vale studios.
Much to the surprise of the BBC engineers!
Jonathan Barnett – Weird Tales, and roadie for Here And Now and Zounds.
On 7th June 1977, Sex Pistols took a trip down the Thames, manufacturing much media outrage in their wake.
On the same day, Here And Now played a Jubilee Street Party at Bristol Gardens. Bristol Gardens was a squatted street near to Warwick Avenue tube station, one of a network of similar squats which had grown up across London as part of the radical counter culture.
Squatting communities grew up all over London at Bristol Gardens, Charrington Street in Kings Cross, Tolmers Village in Euston, Longfellow Road in Walthamstow, and many other places. A few similar communities occurred outside the capital, too. There were communities in Hebden Bridge, Bristol, Brighton, Norwich, and many other towns across the country.
Each squat was different depending on its size, the conditions of the property, the amount of security, and the people attracted to them. Some were made up of people from predominantly middle class backgrounds; others were almost exclusively working class. Some, like Prince of Wales Crescent in Kentish Town, shared a hippy ideology which never truly “adapted to overcome social or political problems.”
And they all invariably changed rapidly, responding to external and internal pressures. But common to most was a sense of identity seldom found in towns. People had a sense of living somewhere special, symbolised by the street carnivals and parties which became a regular feature of squatting life. For some people, albeit only a small minority of squatters, squatting began to be more than simply finding a roof. It became fun; it offered new freedoms, a sense of community. Squatting was almost a way of life in its own right.
Listening to the relaxed atmosphere of Here And Now’s 30 minute long ‘Now’s The Time To Live’ in contrast to the frenetic sounds Sex Pistols were making that same day brings out the sheer surreal strangeness of it all.
Now we know that Here And Now would tour with the punk band Alternative TV the next year in 1978, and later with The Mob, Zounds and Androids Of Mu. But on 7th June 1977, how far apart were the worlds represented by the two simultaneous events?
Well one was a high profile media spectacle, which has been sampled and repeated to the point of recuperation, a set of sounds and images locked into all subsequent popular reproductions of the Jubilee and thus the Sex Pistols have become part of the mystique of monarchy. As if saying “Here are all these quaintly revolting punks being rude to the Queen but punk has come and gone and she still reigns over us”.
The other, was not.
When Here And Now played at Bristol Gardens, the event was so far underground it has taken thirty nine years to surface. Does this mean Here And Now were more subversive than Sex Pistols?
If there is a cultural / political unconscious (see Frederick Jameson:’ The Political Unconscious: Narrative as a Socially Symbolic Act’ from 1981) the answer is YES. And although Kenneth Grant (Outer Head of the Typhonian O.T.O) would substitute subconscious for unconscious; since Grant argues that nothing is truly unconscious, in the unlikely event that he would ever consider such a question, he would also agree.
It is the squatting that makes the difference. In the book ‘Capital Vol. I’, chapter 27, ‘Expropriation Of The Agricultural Population From The Land’, by Karl Marx, Marx advocates squatting as the most effective method whereby the urban industrial proletarian descendants of an agricultural workforce driven off the land and into cities by enforced enclosure can overcome the alienation of people from the land and the resulting fetish-isation land ownership, still embodied in the figure of the monarch as feudal owner (by divine right) of all land across the country.
Here And Now were based in squats at nearby Latimer Road and Stoneleigh Street in the Notting Hill area, and at Grosvenor Road in Twickenham.
Thus on 7th June 1977, Here And Now and the Bristol Garden party were actually more subversive than Sex Pistols and their boat trip in the media spotlight along the Thames.
Al Puppy – Kill Your Pet Puppy.
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.
Quite 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 fanzine.
I suppose it probably helped that some of these bands above also had a history of sharing squatted houses, drugs, gig experiences in similar venues, hairspray, magick and (maybe) even boy/girl friends with the Puppy Collective of the day.
Brigandage were one of the fine bands that I first heard on the John Peel show. The session the band recorded was so good that nothing, I thought at the time, could ever touch it.
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, the band that recorded the tracks on this 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 several other bands were name checked throughout the article, Southern Death Cult, The Mob and so on.
Shortly after The Face magazine got involved in the rush to feature the movement, slipped into the glossy pages of the magazine. Even Michael Moorcock set up his TV cameras and got busy filming both Blood And Roses and Brigandage at the Tribe Club in Leicester Square, filming at Puppy Mansions in Hampstead, and interviews with members of Brigandage and Blood And Roses…
The band’s at the forefront of this little scene split up by the end of 1983, including of course, 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, but 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 the Kill Your Pet Puppy fanzine.
Brigandage were really great.
This tape is a mixture of live and demo material recorded and released in 1984 that rocks on with just enough 1976 punk spirit to overtake the opposition by several yards…
The name of the cassette tape, F.Y.M (Fuck Your Mother) was actually a name that was considered for Tony D’s new fanzine. Kill Your Pet Puppy was chosen instead! The last track on this cassette tape, a blistering version of ‘Ripped And Torn’ was the name of Tony D’s first fanzine spanning the years 1976 until 1979!
The visuals in this YouTube post include the pages of the booklet that accompanied this cassette tape.
This recording was the first time The Apostles performed at the Recession Club, with the Nocturnal Emissions.
The Apostles performance is in the most part an industrial freeform workout that has a wonderful non-industrial climax, just after the seventeen minute mark. Andy Martin, giving a very moving and respectful rendition of Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘I Am A Rock’ which goes seamlessly straight into ‘Splitting In Two’, the old Alternative T.V anthem.
John Eden writes:
The Recession Club was organised by The Apostles and Larry Peterson between April 1983 to January 1984. The hall was attached to the recording studio used by The Apostles who were responsible for the hire of it and the equipment while Larry Peterson was responsible for the bands who actually played there.
An amusing facet of The Recession Club was that the members of the audience were often better known than the bands booked to perform there!
Those who did play have either disappeared into obscurity or are now very famous indeed: The Apostles, The Nocturnal Emissions, Attrition, Coil, The Unkommuniti, Peter North, The Invisible Band, New 7th Music, Hagar The Womb, In The Nursery, The June Brides, Pus, Napalm Death, Verbal Warning, Bet Lynch, The Replacement Headz, The Paramedic Squad, Youth In Asia. Condom and a variety of poets, performance artists and other industrial / electronic groups.
There were no events other than live music and most of the bands who played were not punk bands, largely due to Andy Martin’s impatience with and ambivalence towards such people who he considered to have become passe and to have outlived what little usefulness they ever had.
Andy Martin writes:
The industrial music scene had taken over and it was here that the original punk spirit had begun to grow and mutate into some huge, many tentacled bat often beautifully subtle intelligence network only occasionally marred by poseurs and butterfly collectors.
The level of commitment on our behalf in respect of The Recession Club was severe as our assembled crew of helpers consisted purely of three or four friends of Dave’s, since I’d done a pretty thorough job in eradicating the few friends I ever had.
This was the place I threatened to throw out two thugs of dubious merit unless they paid their entrance fees like everyone else, told them that neo-nazis weren’t welcome anyway and then found out later that they were Tony Wakeford and Doug Pierce of Death In June.
You see? I should have thrown them out for that reason alone.
I also met a couple of spoilt, middle class brats who went under the moniker of Bourbonese Qualk and was supremely satisfied to have upset their delicate egotism with my suggestion that perhaps they weren’t good-enough to play at our little venue.
We had Sleazy Christopherson there in his capacity as audience member whom everyone recognizes but no-one actually talks to because they’ve seen him on the Throbbing Gristle covers and wish to retain their awe and idolatry.
I chatted to him briefly, he was obviously far too decent, honest and interesting a human being so be involved in Psychic TV and it’s no wonder he left.
I have gone through decades knowing sod all about this record.
I thought I would check the internet, zilch on there.
The band sounds like they had been influenced heavily by Crisis, or indeed Wire, it definitely sounds like an English vocalist chanting away quite happily, the rest of the band, who knows? Wire’s ‘Being Sucked In Again’ comes to mind on the first song off of this 7″ record and the first song on this YT post.
I placed the record up on the Kill Your Pet Puppy blog in 2009 and eventually a couple of years later I got a snippet of information.
The Tenant was an NYC-based band that recorded only this one single in 1979. The band consisted of Robert Appleton, vocals (ex-Gynecologists) Raphael Rubinstein, guitar Ursula Kinzel, guitar, Terry Berne, drums. The band was formed in the winter of 1978. They rehearsed in a loft on the corner of Greenwich and Canal streets which at the time was a squat inhabited by various denizens of the downtown scene. The space was also used by other bands and musicians, including members of the Heartbreakers. The band’s lyrics were written by lead singer Robert Appleton, and the songs were composed and developed by the band as a whole. Their repertoire consisted of some seven songs before they broke up in the spring of 1979 following their only performance at CBGBs. They recorded all seven songs at an independent studio in Brooklyn, though only ‘Manifestation Of Your Sickness’ and ‘TV Parmaceuticals’ were released. The single appeared in various downtown record stores and spent a few weeks on the jukebox at Max’s Kansas City. The master tape containing all the band’s songs has been lost, but some unplayed copies of the single remain in the hands of band members.
T Berne 2011
Thank you to that guy for leaving the comment on the Kill Your Pet Puppy blog.
As it says on the tin, around ninety minutes of laid back chatter from Genesis P-Orridge, Geoff Rushton and Paula P-Orridge recorded at Psychic TV’s Beck Road base in Hackney that was meant to be edited into an article for UK’s early 1980’s fashion magazine ‘The Face’. Which it wasn’t!
I added some visuals to this YT post to compliment the conversation. The Psychic skull test card. All pages from the ‘Personal Message From The T.O.P.Y’ handout. A rare magazine article on P.T.V / T.O.P.Y (including a picture of Min with Lurch from Yeovil) from a magazine that I forget the name off. These pages were cut out. And artwork of a Hitler-Lucifer-Horn affair.
Fiona the lady who conducted the interview left this message on the KYPP site in 2011 as a reponse to the original KYPP post from 2009.
The answer to Fiona’s question about where the cassette tape originated from. The cassette tape was given to me in Beck Road Hackney.
Someone just alerted me to the fact that you posted this interview of mine two years ago. Wish I’d known about it then and intrigued to know how you got your hands on it (although I can imagine).
I know this is a bit after the event but I’d like to set the record straight for those who have commented on my 2009 piece in The New Humanist. Due to limited space, the editor had to cut out more incidents and anecdotes I recalled from the days when I knew Gen and Paula, although I preferred Sleazy and Geoff who were charming company despite their little peccadilloes such as inviting one to a very proper English afternoon tea full of witty and stimulating conversation before Sleazy would get up to nail Geoff to a cross and masturbate him (as you do).
God rest their sweet souls.
I met Gen and visited the Beck Road house several times between early 1983 and late 1984 while I was going out with Gen’s pal Mark Manning aka Zodiac Mindwarp and writing for The Face. I must confess I’d forgotten all about the interview you dug up. Now I’ve found my tapes too and it’s all come flooding back. After much courting and pestering by Gen, who was desperate to be in The Face, offering all sorts of incentives and constantly ringing me at my Old Street council flat to discuss “the interview” (annoyingly letting the phone ring off the hook until I was forced to get out of bed only to be told, repeatedly, that he “knew” I would answer the phone “on the 23rd ring”!), I agreed simply to get him off my back.
I knew The Face had no interest in publishing an interview with him as I had already asked but I went through the motions simply to shut him up (recording it just in case someone, somewhere, would be interested). It took twenty six years but you finally came through!
I never wrote a word and didn’t take much of it seriously as I think is fairly clear. I don’t like to disappoint or to say I will do anything if I know I can’t deliver but I had tried my best and there was zero interest at the time by the most influential youth style and music mag in the UK.
However, Gen was so persistent he just wouldn’t take no for an answer. In many ways, Gen reminded me of Aleister Crowley: the same burning ambition, the same compulsion to escape their backgrounds, the same schoolboy obsession with shocking suburbia while simultaneously courting notoriety, the attempts to hide such base desires with discourse, spectacle and flimflammery, an unpleasant habit of latching onto useful people and sucking them dry (in every sense), the uncanny ability to exploit the zeitgeist of the time then later proclaiming themselves to be the originators. Yes, the similarities are unmistakeable, except that Gen – to his infinite sorrow, I suspect – has always lacked the towering intellect, sexual charisma and formidable presence that Crowley naturally had.
I don’t know why Gen behaved like such a tit when I went to interview him before the Bardens Boudoir gig many years later. Maybe it was payback for the-interview-that-never-was from so long ago that you unearthed two years ago?
He’s an odd little man but one thing’s for sure, he’s VERY good value!
All the best, FRP xxx
Read Fiona’s piece on Genesis on her blog HERE
December 1985 was a very good month for Blyth Power gigs.
I witnessed the band’s performances five times, once in Brixton with The Poison Girls.
Once in Stoke Newington with Psychic TV, Zos Kia and The Astronauts.
Once in Tufnell Park with Play Dead.
Once in Welwyn Garden City with Benjamin Zephania and The Astronauts.
And this performance in St Albans, again with The Astronauts…
This gig was the only one that I recorded unfortunately…
I wish I had taken my little cassette recorder to the Stoke Newington gig!
A crystal clear crowd recording of both The Astronauts and Blyth Power sets, both bands performing brilliantly.
All the way through 1985 Blyth Power seemed to be on top form, and towards the end of the year the band seemed even more on the ball.
All the gigs that year seemed like genuine celebrations, and well worth the effort to attend, and I attended a lot of them!
Other bands performing on this night in St Albans were The Shout who I remember as being quite Clash inspired, and Medical Melodies, a band dressed up in white coats sounding a bit like The Cardiacs…
There was a little bit off pushing and shoving at the gig from a couple of angry folk, but nothing too drastic, and a mad dog running around between the feet of the audience, most of whom were jumping around!
The visuals that accompany the audio, include some promotional photographs of The Astronauts and Blyth Power, an original flyer for gigs in November and December across the country.
The bulk of the visuals belong to a not so well known St Albans fanzine that appeared a few months after this gig.
The well known fanzine from St Albans was ‘Mucilage’, which run for several issues throughout the years.
The fanzine featured on this YT post, ‘Black Pig Shits On St Albans’, as far as I know, was the only issue that was printed.
There are contributions from several different folk, just adding whatever those different folk felt like adding.
No ‘party line’ to tow, no pressure to deliver cutting edge political dogma.
Just random essays and poems.
The fanzine is pretty mad really, but all the better for it.
As for my cheap little cassette tape recorder.
That was given to Mark from The Astronauts during a visit to his ramshakled flat in Panshanger near WGC as I had upgraded my technology.