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

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

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

Here is a transcript of the conversations.

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

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

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

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

Indebted to Faebhean Kwest.

Moving Target / Raped

Escalator Hater / Normal

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

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

Before the New York Dolls what were your influences?

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

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

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

So you never met them before in your life?

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

When did Raped start up?

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

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

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

So Swank were still kind of punky?

One of the first punk groups.

But you left Swank and joined Raped?

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

What songs did you have written early on?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The title of the single was ‘Pretty Paedophiles’…

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

Yet you had formed the band.

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

The same question about the band name ‘Raped’.

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

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

So you all sat around and chose Cuddly Toys?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No, not intentionally!

Raped played The Roxy of course.

We did yes, many times.

That was an old gay bar called Chaguaramas.

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

Do you remember the first time there?

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

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

Yeah he got the production that he deserved really.

Yes. He did.

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

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

The Vortex?

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

It wasn’t called Global Village Trucking Company…

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

And then there was a place called the Centro Iberico.

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

Who were you playing there with?

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

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

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

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

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

Cheap Night Out 

Foreplay Playground

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

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

How come you got into that studio?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mick Ronson?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Really? Excellent!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The record was released in Japan, not England right?

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

How did you get this deal then? Alan?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Did he tour with you and stuff?

No, no, he was just in the studio.

What about Steve Treatment?

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

Did he get into the New Romantic scene?

Who me?

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

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

Do you think that influenced Cuddly Toys?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

After Cuddly Toys, what did you do afterwards?

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

What are you doing now?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Isn’t that so bizarre.

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

Thanks to you too Tony…

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

We can be heroes just for one day.

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

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

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

Arrangements

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pete Fender – December 2015

My epic struggle with two blocks of text and a circle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nick Hydra – December 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You may purchase Lee Gibson’s book HERE

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

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

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

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

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

John Coulthart

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thoughts of Pete Fender:

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

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

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

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

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

Tracklisting:

Lion Rock
Armageddon
Too Long In Slavery
Two Sevens Clash

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

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

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

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

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

Although I do know some that were.

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

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

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

Read it HERE.

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

You might find it interesting.

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

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

Fill your boots.

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

Roots reggae of the highest quality.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Track listing:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Antisect – Live In The Darkness – Side 1

Antisect – Live In The Darkness – Side 2

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

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

Pete did all the running around and organising.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The record, a nice grey marble vinyl.

A one off limited pressing of around 970 numbered copies.

What’s not to love?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Something I have just been reminded about by Daryl Dixon…

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

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

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

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

I knew Bim Sherman very well.

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

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

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

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

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

These fond memories will never leave my psyche.

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

Bim Sherman album highlights include:

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

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

Track Listing:

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

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

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

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

That selection may be listened to HERE.

Flowers In The Dustbin demo – 1986

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

…the most beautiful people in the world”

(The Reason Why)

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Lick My Crazy Colours)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This 12″ record is no exception.

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

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

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

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

For other details please get onto the KYPP link HERE.

A decent record this.

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

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

Hypocrite

You Said No

When The Oil Runs Out

Oh No

Kick Out The Tories

Mindless Violence

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Track listing:

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

Blyth Power Rehearsal February 1987

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

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

WARNING: This audio contains bum notes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love Songs By Rosemary’s Baby side 1

Love Songs By Rosemary’s Baby side 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is a 12″ record to summon demons with.

Flux Of Pink Indians demo 1980

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Which is nice.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tracklisting:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TRACK LISTING:

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

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

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

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

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

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

The original KYPP feature and radio download in four parts HERE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tracklisting:
Spirit Ov Youth
Sometimes
Jeroen / Jerome
Swell

Further information and downloads HERE

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

I have now placed the results onto this YouTube channel.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tracklisting:

01/ Scenario (Rehearsal 1981)

02/ Louie Louie (Rehearsal 1981)

03/ Paradise (Rehearsal 1981)

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

05/ Jesus (Clarendon Hotel 1981)

06/ Roles (Rehearsal 1981)

07/ Product Of Love (Clarendon Hotel 1981)

08/ Sympathy (Rehearsal 1981)

09/ Mummy (Clarendon Hotel 1981)

10/ Strychnine (Rehearsal 1981)

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

12/ Curse On You (8 Track Demo)

13/ Necromantra (8 Track Demo)

14/ Spit upon Your Grave (16 Track Demo)

15/ Possession (16 Track Demo)

16/ Tomorrow (8 Track Demo)

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

18/ Love Under Will (8 Track Demo)

The first recordings available from Zos Kia and Coil.

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

The photographs are all from Min’s collection.

A snippet of information on the KYPP post HERE

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

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

HERE

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

Crass – Various times and various places / Gordon Carr – Angry Brigade and Persons Unknown films

An intimate interview with most members of Crass recorded on super 8 video in 1984 around the impossibly small kitchen table at Dial House. How that many members of Crass all got around that table remains a mystery to me!

Possibly the last ever interview with Crass. Transferred from super 8 video to a DVDR several years ago now for £20 by Stanley Production in Soho. Taken this long to figure out what to do with ‘digital’ version. If you share this video you owe me a £1! I did not film the interview.

There is a twenty three second interruption to this Crass interview. Footage of the M11 motorway. This interruption in the footage comes in at 3.17 and lasts until 3.40.

“Dearest Mickey,

No, I haven’t a clue what paper those guys were from – but it could have been Sounds because there’s a Sounds article of the time where I’m wearing the same green polo shirt that I was in the film – but who knows? It must have been one of the few times in my life when I haven’t had sideboards!!!!!

Loads of love, blessings and joy,”

Penny. X

Semi – Detached is a collection of films made by Gee Vaucher, founding Crass member and the artist behind almost all their graphics (except maybe the logo itself, which was done by Dave King).

These six original videos were created for Crass and used as part of all their shows from 1978-1984.Using a VHS video camera, Vaucher created video collages by recording from black and white television with two video machines linked so that one machine could over-ride the other, specific footage could be dropped into the ‘Background’ tape without a break in the imagery.

It’s weird that more aren’t made of these films, given they were such an integral part of the Crass experience.

Please support Dial House and Exitstencil Press buy purchasing the enhanced ‘Semi-Detached’ released on a DVD with fifty page booklet HERE.

An interesting Radio 1 interview with Steve Ignorant and Penny Rimbaud of Crass aired, and recorded way back in May 1981.

Crass did not do too many interviews with radio stations, so sit back and enjoy what they had to say to the nation that were listening on that Saturday afternoon, when this interview was originally aired.

This cassette recording was originally placed up on the KYPP post below in February 2009 HERE. Download available on that KYPP post.

During the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, Pete Millen recorded many Crass and Poison Girls performances with the use of several microphones hanging strategically around the halls that the two bands were invited to perform in.

This Crass performance is one of the many recordings that Pete Millen recorded.

Lee Gibson got some the original cassette tapes (and reel to reel tapes) from Pete Millen and then sent three of the cassettes tapes to me here at Penguin Towers.

Crass and Poison Girls at the Mayflower in Manchester October 1980. Zounds also performed.

Please have a look at the original KYPP post below for downloads of the Crass and the Poison Girls performances (cassette tapes remastered by Pete Fender) and to read reams and reams of information from some of the people that were at the gig that night HERE.

The images that accompany this YouTube post are:

1/ A well worn original Crass patch from the Nagasaki Nightmare 7″ single in 1980

2/ My original 1977 Gee Vaucher artwork for the New York magazine (gouache and collage 220 mm x 160 mm) that is framed and up on the wall at Penguin Towers

3/ All the pages of the first issue of the Eklektic fanzine created in 1979 by Seaman Stockton (A.K.A T42) and Andy Palmer of Crass.

We all know the fanzine which we all purchased in thousands.

We all got copies of the Crass flexi-disc that was included in that issue of the fanzine and we all sung along to the ironic Oi! style lyrics.

This much we all know.

What we did not necessary know is some of the background behind this Crass flexi disc and later hard vinyl version.

Mike Diboll, the young punk behind the Toxic Grafity fanzine in the late 70’s and early ’80’s, writes an essay, loosely based around this Crass flexi-disc, that ends up as one of the most important essays that has been placed up on KYPP.

Read the essay HERE.

The images that accompany the audio, the fanzine, original red letter flexi-disc, and the hard vinyl version with picture sleeve are all nicely tucked away in my collection.

Crass – Isle Of Wight 1

Crass – Isle Of Wight 2

Pete Millen during the late 1970’s and early 1980’s recorded many Crass and Poison Girls performances with the use of several microphones hanging strategically around the halls that the two bands were invited to perform in.

This Crass performance is one of the many recordings that Pete Millen recorded.

Lee Gibson got some the original cassette tapes (and reel to reel tapes) from Pete Millen and then sent three of the cassettes tapes to me here at Penguin Towers.

Crass, Annie Anxiety and Poison Girls at Isle Of Wight June 1981.

Sadly ringing around various Crass members there were conflicting memories of the Isle Of Wight. Personally I would have imagined that a performance on an island a few miles off England would have been relatively memorable compared to several performances up Liverpool or Manchester etc, but there you go, it was a long time ago.

Perhaps someone else could help out with a memory or two, and if anyone can I will add any memories to this YouTube post.

Unfortunately the Isle Of Wight Crass performance was recorded halfway along a flip side of a C90, Crass starting their set after a long (recorded on the cassette tape) interlude after Poison Girls came off stage (assuming there was a stage) and a couple of Annie Anxiety songs.

The Crass performance that actually made it onto the cassette tape only lasted four or five tracks so the Crass performance did not make it onto a KYPP post.

Shame.

As I have a YouTube channel now I might as well place the Crass performance on here!

Thanks to Bradley Hall for the scan of the Crass patch still attached to a pair of trousers he found in a box that illustrates the audio.

***

Tracey Dear remembers this about the night:

“I was there, it was at LaBabalu in Ryde. I remember a bible-thumper berating us all whilst waiting for the venue to open!

Everyone was stuck there the night as there were no night ferry’s. A lot of us slept in an abandoned big house, whilst others slept on the beach waiting for the morning ferry.We were getting grief from the cops for burning deckchairs to keep warm.

It was an amazing gig all three were in fine form. Lababalu had really low ceilings and made for a great atmosphere. No aggro, for once. A great night.

Pete very kindly sent me a lot of his tapes from the early shows and I went on to record a lot of the latter Poison Girls and Crass shows 82-84”.

Thanks Tracey.

Uploaded today is a rehearsal cassette tape recorded at Southern Studios in April 1981.

A couple of months later, all the tracks on this rehearsal cassette tape were soon to be recorded properly at Southern Studios for inclusion on the ‘Christ The Album’ album.

The double album, released to the public in the summer of 1982 was wrapped in an expensive box set and included a large poster and a large informative booklet.

This original cassette tape was given to Penny Rimbaud several years ago now for an ongoing Crass web based rare release free download portal. A project which seems to have hit a brick wall!

I had already uploaded the rehearsal cassette tape onto KYPP in 2007 and then re-launched that post on the same blog in 2009. The 2009 KYPP post may be downloaded on the link HERE.

I have another rehearsal cassette tape from the same month and same year to upload onto YouTube along with a host of rare interviews and other bits and bobs.

So look out for those.

The large Crass ‘Falklands’ poster that accompanies the audio on this YouTube post is framed and on my wall at Penguin Towers…

To hear another Crass rehearsal cassette tape recorded at Southern Studios on YouTube link below, you can do so on this KYPP link HERE.

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I had already uploaded these cassette tapes onto KYPP in 2007 and then re-launched that post on the same blog in 2009.

The 2009 KYPP post may be viewed and links downloaded HERE.

These original cassette tapes were given to Penny Rimbaud several years ago now, for an ongoing Crass website based on offering rare material from the band as free downloads. A project which seems to have hit a brick wall!

The ‘Thatchergate’ audio collage was put together by David Tibet from Current 93 and ex of Psychic T.V.

The infamous cut up conversation between Thatcher and Reagan is in full, towards the end of the audio collage. The telephone ringing all the way through that conversation is intentional.

This YouTube post includes the following:

‘Thatchergate’ audio collage – David Tibet

Capital Radio news broadcast

Penny Rimbaud on KSK Honolulu

Penny Rimbaud on U.S National State Radio

B.A Nana on the phone to Russian News Agency

Richard Skinner Radio 1 – ‘Dry Weather’ – July 1981

The images that accompany this YouTube post is the ‘You’re Already Dead’ mini fanzine from my collection .

Two documentaries on anarchist activism (and trials) in the seventies and eighties. Both were made by Gordon Carr, the first was the basis of his book on the Angry Brigade.

Contains archive footage of events varying from Miguel Garcia to snippets of a Crass gig in 1980. With introductions by Stuart Christie.

The Angry Brigade (1974 – Gordon Carr)

Between 1970 and 1972 the Angry Brigade used guns and bombs in a series of symbolic attacks against property. A series of communiqués accompanied the actions, explaining the choice of targets and the Angry Brigade philosophy: autonomous organisation and attacks on property alongside other forms of militant working class action.

Targets included the embassies of repressive regimes, police stations and army barracks, boutiques and factories, government departments and the homes of Cabinet ministers, the Attorney General and the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.

These attacks on the homes of senior political figures increased the pressure for results and brought an avalanche of police raids. From the start the police were faced with the difficulty of getting to grips with a section of society they found totally alien.

And were they facing an organisation — or an idea? Gordon Carr’s film explores covers the roots of the Angry Brigade in the revolutionary ferment of the 1960’s and the anarchist First of May Group, and follows their campaign and the police investigation to its culmination in the ‘Stoke Newington 8’ conspiracy trial at the Old Bailey — the longest criminal trial in British legal history. It remains the essential study of Britain’s first urban guerrilla group.

Persons Unknown (1980 – Gordon Carr)

Documentary by Gordon Carr on the so-called ‘Persons Unknown’ case in December 1979 in which members of the Anarchist Black Cross were tried at the Old Bailey on a charge of ‘conspiring with persons unknown, at places unknown to cause explosions’.

A concise look at the ‘Persons Unknown’ trial. A fascinating snapshot of history in the making, The Persons Unknown pieces together an intricate web of radicals at a thriller’s pace. Carr crisply relates the correspondences of a Black Cross secretary and imprisoned Irish republican and reaches all the way back to the Paris Commune to discuss the secretive, internationalist elements of radical leftist politics.

Where mainstream media tends to become hysterical where anarchism is concerned, The Persons Unknown remains keenly factual throughout. Among those featured in the film are Stuart Christie, publisher of the “Black Flag” newsletter and former would-be Generalisimo Francisco Franco assassin, and the anarcho-punk group Crass.

Negativland – Seeland Records – 1980

Side PRE

Side POST

The debut album by Negativland from 1980 is a strange listen indeed and some parts are quite scary if you are happy to sit in a quiet dark room!

Synths, radio cut ups, random noises (drills / hoovers etc) the odd primitive drum machine (Think Throbbing Gristle), clarinets, along with a few strums on a guitar all make up the ambiance of this first work by Negativland.

The twenty tracks on this record are not named, Negativland preferring to use track 1, track 2, track 3 and so forth, up to track 20.

All copies of this record features a completely original hand-made cut-and-paste front cover (early copies are wallpaper). Some rear photographs are advertising images cut out of old magazines. Some sleeves are spray painted with NEGATIVLAND.

Early copies are hand-numbered and have different labels.

The text below courtesy of the Negativland website with a little bit of Wikki mixed in.

Negativland is an American experimental music band which took their name from a Neu! track, while their record label, Seeland Records is named after another Neu! track. Negativland started in Concord, California, in 1979 around the core founding members of Lyons and Hosler (who were in high school at the time), and released an eponymous debut, individually sleeved, in 1980.

Since 1980, Negativland have been creating records, video, fine art, books, radio and live performance using appropriated sounds, images, objects, and text. Mixing original materials and original music with things taken from corporately owned mass culture and the world around them, Negativland re-arranges these found bits and pieces to make them say and suggest things that they never intended to. In doing this kind of cultural archaeology and “culture jamming”, Negativland have been sued twice for copyright infringement.

A number of releases followed in the early 1980s, but it wasn’t until after the release of their breakthrough sample and cut-up sonic barrage Escape from Noise in 1987 that Negativland gained wider attention. Vinyl copies of the album came with “CAR BOMB” bumper stickers, in reference to the album’s song “Car Bomb.”

Following the somewhat unexpected success of this album, Negativland faced the prospect of going on a money-losing tour. To prevent this, they created a press release which said Negativland were prevented from touring by “Federal Authority Dick Jordan” due to claims that Negativland’s song “Christianity Is Stupid” had inspired David Brom to kill his family.

The press release went on to denounce the purported connection between Negativland and the murders. While Brom had in fact argued with his father about music shortly before Brom killed his family, no one had ever claimed that Brom was spurred to murder by Negativland’s music. The claim that Brom’s crimes were inspired by Negativland was disseminated and discussed in the mass media, seemingly with little to no fact-checking.

Soon the world was informed of the “Killer Song” that caused a kid to murder his parents with an ax.

The scandal became the foundation for Negativland’s next release, Helter Stupid, which featured a cover photo of TV news anchorman Dave McElhatton intoning the Brom murder story, with the news station’s caption “Killer Song” above his head, and a photo of the ax murderer.

Over the years Negativland’s “illegal” collage and appropriation-based audio and visual works have touched on many things – pranks, media hoaxes, advertising, media literacy, religion, the evolving art of collage, the bizarre banality of suburban existence, creative anti-corporate activism in a media-saturated and multi-national world, intellectual property issues, wacky surrealism, and artistic and humorous observations of mass media and mass culture.

While it is true that, after being sued, Negativland became more publicly involved in advocating significant reforms of our nation’s copyright laws (more recently finding themselves being brought to Washington DC and Capitol Hill as citizen lobbyists for copyright and art issues), Negativland are artists first and activists second. All of their art and media interventions have intended to pose both serious and silly questions about the nature of sound, media, control, ownership, propaganda and perception in the United States of America.

Love Songs From Rosemary’s Baby – T.O.P.Y World Network – 1985

Om / The Power Of Love

Emabs Byos Y’Rra / See Woman See Human / 1 Vortex

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is a 12″ record to summon demons with.

Halloween history and traditions

Halloween, celebrated each year on October 31, is a mix of ancient Celtic practices, Catholic and Roman religious rituals and European folk traditions that blended together over time to create the holiday we know today. Straddling the line between fall and winter, plenty and paucity and life and death, Halloween is a time of celebration and superstition. Halloween has long been thought of as a day when the dead can return to the earth, and ancient Celts would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off these roaming ghosts. The Celtic holiday of Samhain, the Catholic Hallowmas period of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day and the Roman festival of Feralia all influenced the modern holiday of Halloween. In the 19th century, Halloween began to lose its religious connotation, becoming a more secular community-based children’s holiday. Although the superstitions and beliefs surrounding Halloween may have evolved over the years, as the days grow shorter and the nights get colder, people can still look forward to parades, costumes and sweet treats to usher in the winter season.

Halloween’s origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain.

The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31, they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future. For a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter.

To commemorate the event, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities.

During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other’s fortunes. When the celebration was over, they re-lit their hearth fires, which they had extinguished earlier that evening, from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the coming winter.

By A.D. 43, Romans had conquered the majority of Celtic territory. In the course of the four hundred years that they ruled the Celtic lands, two festivals of Roman origin were combined with the traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain.

The first was Feralia, a day in late October when the Romans traditionally commemorated the passing of the dead. The second was a day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. The symbol of Pomona is the apple and the incorporation of this celebration into Samhain probably explains the tradition of “bobbing” for apples that is practiced today on Halloween.

By the 800s, the influence of Christianity had spread into Celtic lands. In the seventh century, Pope Boniface IV designated November 1 All Saints’ Day, a time to honor saints and martyrs. It is widely believed today that the pope was attempting to replace the Celtic festival of the dead with a related, but church-sanctioned holiday. The celebration was also called All-hallows or All-hallowmas (from Middle English Alholowmesse meaning All Saints’ Day) and the night before it, the night of Samhain, began to be called All-hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween. Even later, in A.D. 1000, the church would make November 2 All Souls’ Day, a day to honor the dead. It was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels, and devils. Together, the three celebrations, the eve of All Saints’, All Saints’, and All Souls’, were called Hallowmas.

Halloween has always been a holiday filled with mystery, magic and superstition. It began as a Celtic end-of-summer festival during which people felt especially close to deceased relatives and friends. For these friendly spirits, they set places at the dinner table, left treats on doorsteps and along the side of the road and lit candles to help loved ones find their way back to the spirit world.

Today’s Halloween ghosts are often depicted as more fearsome and malevolent, and our customs and superstitions are scarier too. We avoid crossing paths with black cats, afraid that they might bring us bad luck. This idea has its roots in the Middle Ages, when many people believed that witches avoided detection by turning themselves into cats. We try not to walk under ladders for the same reason. This superstition may have come from the ancient Egyptians, who believed that triangles were sacred; it also may have something to do with the fact that walking under a leaning ladder tends to be fairly unsafe. And around Halloween, especially, we try to avoid breaking mirrors, stepping on cracks in the road or spilling salt.

But what about the Halloween traditions and beliefs that today’s trick-or-treaters have forgotten all about? Many of these obsolete rituals focused on the future instead of the past and the living instead of the dead. In particular, many had to do with helping young women identify their future husbands and reassuring them that they would someday, with luck, by next Halloween, be married.

In 18th-century Ireland, a matchmaking cook might bury a ring in her mashed potatoes on Halloween night, hoping to bring true love to the diner who found it. In Scotland, fortune-tellers recommended that an eligible young woman name a hazelnut for each of her suitors and then toss the nuts into the fireplace. The nut that burned to ashes rather than popping or exploding, the story went, represented the girl’s future husband. (In some versions of this legend, confusingly, the opposite was true: The nut that burned away symbolized a love that would not last.) Another tale had it that if a young woman ate a sugary concoction made out of walnuts, hazelnuts and nutmeg before bed on Halloween night, she would dream about her future husband. Young women tossed apple-peels over their shoulders, hoping that the peels would fall on the floor in the shape of their future husbands’ initials; tried to learn about their futures by peering at egg yolks floating in a bowl of water; and stood in front of mirrors in darkened rooms, holding candles and looking over their shoulders for their husbands’ faces.

Other rituals were more competitive. At some Halloween parties, the first guest to find a burr on a chestnut-hunt would be the first to marry; at others, the first successful apple-bobber would be the first down the aisle.

Another day with connections to Halloween is Guy Fawkes Day, celebrated on November 5. Guy Fawkes was a Roman Catholic who planned to blow up the Protestant House of Parliament on November 5, 1606; luckily for the House, he was apprehended and executed. Afterwards, the anniversary of the day was celebrated by building straw effigies, entreating passersby for “a penny for the Guy”, and finally burning “the Guys” in bonfires.

All the period photographs of Halloween children and adults that are displayed on this post are courtesy of the Ossian Brown book ‘Haunted Air’. Ossian has collated dozens of astonishing photographs for this charming and luxurious felt covered hardback book.

All the photographs were taken in the United States Of America between the late 19th and the mid 20th century.

I would like to thank Ossian for sending me two signed copies of this beautiful book, one which went straight up to Sheffield towards the eager hands of my younger brother who knew Ossian, as I did also, in the mid 1980s.

Ossian is a member of Cyclobe as well as working in collaboration with David Tibet’s Current 93.

Haunted Air is available now ISBN 9780224089708 published by Jonathan Cape with a forward passage by David Lynch and Geoff Cox.

Psychic T.V – C.B.S acetate – 1983

Psychic T.V – Orchids

Psychic T.V – Finale

Psychic T.V – White Nights

Psychic T.V – Ancient Lights

This must be the rarest record that I own. There couldn’t of been many acetates of Psychic T.V handed out by C.B.S / Some Bizarre, and shelved in record collections.

This 7″ acetate contains four songs from the then, yet to be released, ‘Dreams Less Sweet’ album.

Coincidently ‘Dreams Less Sweet’ is not only my favourite Psychic T.V album, but also one of my favourite albums by any band or artist.The album still gets a spin a couple of times a year, over thirty years since I got a copy (with the ‘Full Pack’ 12″ single included).

One side of the acetate has the songs ‘Orchids’ and ‘Finale’. The other side has the songs ‘White Nights’ and ‘Ancient Lights’.

C.B.S also pressed up two extremely limited vinyl versions with the same songs on, handing them out to the press and to the radio stations to promote the ‘Dreams Less Sweet’ album prior to release.

The two vinyl versions have two songs pressed up on each. The first vinyl had the songs on the ‘A’ side of my acetate, ‘Orchids’ and ‘Finale’. The second vinyl had the songs on the ‘B’ side of my acetate, ‘White Nights’ and ‘Ancient Lights’.

There were less than seventy copies of each pre-release vinyl pressed up. T.O.P.Y in Beck Road, Hackney sold a boxful for £20 each vinyl. An immense amount of money in the early to mid 1980’s. There was probably only a handful of acetates produced.

The concept, the thoughts, the ideas, the technology and the numerous performers and field recordings that went into the production of ‘Dreams Less Sweet’ were immense, and could take several hundred words to explain properly, so I won’t.

Thankfully ‘Lord Lucan’ from Julian Cope’s ‘Head Heritage’ online site has. So…

“This nineteen track album is a kaleidophone full of twists and turns, sweetness and light cohabiting with sourness and darkness, all permeated by an uneasy air of mystery, magick and ritual. It forced open my adolescent ears to sonic possibilities which I didn’t know existed nor even imagined. At the time, I knew nothing about T.G, T.O.P.Y or anything else Psychic T.V had done. This album appeared to me like a puff of magickal smoke in a vacuum jar.

Once I had got the record home and put it on the turntable and started playing it I felt I’d fallen through the forest floor into some kind of (oc)cult group’s hidden labyrinth. This album drips with the atmosphere of a network of fire-lit caverns populated by the eldritch shadows of cowl-wearing figures. The group image on the back sleeve places this seminal Psychic T.V line-up in a coastal setting on the edge of dusk.

A large part of the ambience, which permeates the album, is due to the fact that it was recorded using Zuccarelli Holophonic technology, similar to the Artificial Head system used by the 70’s Berlin Krautrockers. Extra spacial dimension and clarity become disorientatingly apparent.

This encouraged Psychic T.V to record sounds and environments which would make the most of the recording system. Locations included The Hell Fire Club caves 300ft. underground, Christ Church in Hampstead, and Caxton Hall. The album is full of sounds designed to exploit the 3D effect. It’s an amazing experience on headphones.

The album begins with a car approaching, then the first track, the tiny ‘Hymn 23’ is played by Andrew Poppy on an emulator, weaving the first of several ecclesiastical and monastic pieces of music into the fabric of this album, which I suppose could be seen as a hymnody for T.O.P.Y.

This is followed by ‘The Orchids’, which is a beautiful song played on Reichian xylophone, oboe and guitar, with Genesis P Orridge duetting with himself in his sweetest choirboy vocal: “In the morning after the night I fall in love with the light”, opening the album in a similar way to ‘Sunday Morning’ opening the first Velvet Underground album, hinting at a night of excess seen from the inevitable spangled daybreak.

This mood is dashed by ‘Botanica’ which drags us into the realm of cavernous ritual drums, possessed metallic tinkering and the distant sound of animal horns.

Blink and it’s gone though, to be replaced by a small ensemble of brass, cor anglais and oboe wrenched from the recital chamber to the cavern to play ‘Iron Glove’. Their sad and beautiful tune floats over to the left channel as Monte Cazazza appears in the right channel reading his own words in a telephone call from San Francisco. The track ends with the vicious attack and decay of a tuning fork.

The telephone line interference gives way to the glorious clarity of a solo choirboy singing ‘Always is Always’, a song penned by the murderer of psychedelic innocence: Charles Manson, and much sung by his adopted family of waifs and strays. The choirboy’s angelic voice drifts around in the sonic space until we are left with the distant sound of what could be water dripping from the roof of a cave, blood dripping from a corpse, a crackling fire or maybe someone pissing in the distance, with a barely discernible voice, perfectly encapsulating the contrast of seductive innocence and the mysterious threat of the unknown that pervades the atmosphere on this album.

The next track is a bitter-sweet winter solstice carol played on organ, guitar, and tambourine with lashings of sugary vocal harmonies. And Genesis is back again with his wide-eyed innocent vocal singing ambiguous lyrics which could be about all manner of other things, or maybe it’s simply about “Santa Claus (…) checking his list / Going over it twice / Seeing who is naughty and who is nice”, though the implication of threat in that last lyric and throughout the song is chilling, particularly as the sound of an Uzi machine gun starts to appear towards the end cracking through the surface innocence [the lyrics are actually part of a sermon by the Rev. Jim Jones prior to the suicide in Guyana].

‘Finale’ smashes right through, beginning with the sound of petrol being thrown on a fire, then all hell breaking loose a mediaeval military fanfare, complete with machine guns and barking and growling hunting dogs sounding like they’re coming out of the speakers and invading the room.

This is followed by ‘Eleusis’, a ritualistic chant by those figures in cowls ringing ritualistic bells. The monastic figures melt away and are replaced by ‘Medmenham’s swarm of Tibetan Thigh Bone bees buzzing all around the cave.

‘Ancient Lights’ follows with its dark, unpredictable, sparse funk. Genesis is on full sinister vocal form this time, as the sounds of phones, car horns and various shrieks, shouts and screams fly around him. ‘Proof On Survival’ follows, with a short piece of psychick motivational polemic spoken by Genesis followed by the sound of earth to earth: The literal sound of being buried alive in a coffin. The ultimate claustrophobic nightmare.

Side two opens with the trilogy ‘Eden 1, 2 and 3’. This mini symphony begins as a building cacophony of ringing telephones. The holophonic recording technique means the brain is fooled into thinking one of them must surely be your own telephone. Mr Sebastian, a tattoo artist and body piercer who would become a household name four years later thanks to the notorious Operation Spanner police raids, had pierced and tattooed various members of Psychic T.V; The sleeve of this album alludes to a Prince Albert piercing. Here he is heard reassuring John Balance about the tattoo he is about to give him.Then a creepy-as-hell track cuts in with a killer bass line and buzzsaw feedback guitar following a tyrannical ritual drum beat, the sound of the tattoo needle providing percussion. Genesis intones lyrics possibly about Cerberus. Dog’s eyes glowing. Towards the end the guitar and Genesis’s voice meld in an indo-oriental chant, building to climax. By far the most sexually charged track on the album. Feedback wails as a baritone singer breaks in with his righteous light, banishing the screeching feedback to Hades, whence it came. The voices multiply until a complete male voice choir is filling the room with plainsong chanting. Cerberus rears his ugly heads again momentarily and growls at the choir, however his growling is soothed and calmed and the choir begin again. However they cannot hold off the march of nasty cacophony forever, and once they have faded the hellhound reawakens,and comes running into the room barking, heralding the arrival of more cavernous drumming and a gristled-to-fuck guitar. The volume rises and rises and culminates in a dervish frenzy of feedback which is slain in an instant by ‘Clouds Without Water’, a beautiful woodwind, horn and xylophone piece with systemic leanings sound tracking distant, rumbling thunder.

‘Black Moon’ follows with Genesis P Orridge at the front of the primary school assembly singing along with the piano as birds tweet outside.

‘Silver And Gold’ brings us back to the cavern as gongs and Tibetan singing bowls are stroked, caressed and gently tapped. What sounds like a large remote-controlled vehicle makes its hesitant way closer and closer to us, then makes a run for it as the swooshing percussive sound that pulls us ‘In The Nursery’ begins.

Genesis comes on like a detective William Burroughs narrating as he enters the house that will take him Exorcist-style to the nursery. The music is wailing howling feedback, concrete clicking and crashing of unidentifiable origins, all the while that insistent whip swooshing sound flying around the room, suggesting the vortex in the bedroom in Poltergeist. Genesis screams louder and louder until the whole thing crashes around him and us.

‘Circle’ finishes the album with a short, cathartic recorder solo.

This record, once it has finished, leaves behind feelings unlike any other. It’s not only the sound that is left ringing in my ears, but my mind feels like it has been well and truly exercised and exorcised too. I was worried that reviewing this album might be like spraying pine air freshener into a room impregnated with a complex, evocative, ethereal odour, but it hasn’t killed any of the mystery or tension in it for me.

‘Dreams Less Sweet’ remains just that, a dream teetering on the verge of a nightmare. It defies anal-ysis, and has the power, unlike almost any other recording I know, to subject the psyche to a severe whip lashing and a tender massage, often at the same time”.