The Barracudas – Cells Records – 1979 / The Last Words – Rough Trade Records – 1979

It has now been exactly five years since I have been uploading rare vinyl and cassette tapes onto the KYPP blog.

The cassette tape by Touch Of Hysteria, originally released on 96 Tapes in 1983, was selected to start the ball rolling on the 23th of October 2007.

From the very beginning I have tried to place up rare, diverse but relevant vinyl and cassette tapes onto the KYPP blog and sincerely hope that browsers have enjoyed some of the selections.

Uploaded today for this special fifth year anniversary post are two very special début 7” singles.

Both bands that are featured on this post have a relevant place in the history of Tony D’s original fanzine ‘Ripped & Torn’ and / or ‘Kill Your Pet Puppy’ fanzine.

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!

I love these records, I hope you enjoy them too.

Here’s to the next five years of KYPP downloads posts.

My immense gratitude goes out to Tony D, Bob Short and Jeremy Gluck from the Barracudas for the time they all took to write some memories down regarding the era when Ripped & Torn fanzine, The Barracudas, Last Words and Kill Your Pet Puppy fanzine all overlapped.

Special thanks to Bobbly Jax Bird for being so patient with my KYPP ‘hobby’…

I Want My Woody Back

Subway Surfin

From Freestonia to James Street

Jeremy used to come by the old Rough Trade squat in Freestonia during 1977. The squatted Trafalger pub aside from housing several pivotal Rough Trade movers and shakers was also the Ripped & Torn fanzine base of sorts. The Rough Trade workers referred to the four of us who had arrived in west London as ‘the Scottish plague’!

Jeremy got caught in the eternal crossfire between writing and playing. Sandy Robertson and myself, being the pure typewriter-fiends on one side, whilst Alex Fergusson and Skid Kid were on the other, preferring to let their amps do the talking. Jeremy positioned himself on the side of the printed page but obviously his mind was turned by the sonic and visual power of the amps. If only a typewriter could be plugged into something so comparatively, compellingly inspiring it’d be a different story. And guess who’d be writing that story?

Jeremy was in London to surf the punk energy and began writing for weekly music mag Sounds via a friend of Vivian Goldman (well, weren’t we all?). Mr Gluck and myself also talked through the night many times about punk music, performances and contextual stuff too rich for the Sounds’ reader-base (more succinctly their sub-editors concept of a reader-base) and from these conversations his work first appeared in Ripped & Torn 11, a piece on the Vile Tones, which was published in April 1978.

This was written before Jeremy returned to Canada; when he came back a lot had changed.

Skid Kid and myself had moved the Ripped & Torn base to Covent Garden at the Long Acre and James Street squat (opposite the HQ of Sounds). By the time we were being evicted from this big squat Jeremy had become lead singer with a band he’d set up with Robin from a punk band The Unwanted. Ripped & Torn organised a protest / benefit concert within the squat (which hosted weekly gigs) and Jeremy’s new band, The Barracudas, offered to headline the event.

Having the Barracudas headline a protest / benefit event reveals many things: Jeremy’s band was now pretty much organised, Ripped &Torn were a galvanised bunch and the eviction was a newsworthy situation. And it also shows that Jeremy Gluck was linked to this Ripped & Torn / Kill Your Pet Puppy more than an accidental way.

On the afternoon of the concert police turned up and told us the eviction order was being moved forward to right now; and began some heavy-handed moves to prove their point.

Right about now the Barracudas showed up leaving me arm-wrestling with the police, saying the sound check is delayed and dealing with a Cudas member not happy with the posters that they say R&T stands for ‘Rock Against Thatcher’.

Jeremy does not take his musicians away, or their hired van, and we last minute make an agreement with a Covent Garden Youth Club event a few streets away to merge our two events. Their headliners, Ten Cubic Feet, can hardly believe it. Nor can the police, who’ve got themselves ready for a publicity stunt. Now all they can show on TV is punks directing people down the road and the police dare not smash up that event.

As an organiser I can report this sort of stuff – I’m sure others can relate the emotional and enjoyment side of seeing the Barracudas play. I remember the gig was fantastic. One of the other overwhelming memories I still recall was having to run up and down from both the tube station and to the youth club’s management office many more times than I expected to, damn that bondage strap in my trousers!

Tony D – October 2012

Subway surfin’

I met the Barracudas on the corner of Long Acre and James Street, London in 1979. Tony D and the hint of future Puppydom, squatted an old office block above.  Jeremy Gluck (Cudas’ singer) and I were both wearing Radio Birdman badges and that was as good as a Masonic handshake in those days. Come to think of it, it still is. A lot of people talked about some make believe notion of an “us” and a “them”. We’d been smart enough to work out where that line in the sand should be drawn.  You either had that badge or you didn’t and – if you have no idea what I am talking about – get yourself some education.

The Barracudas were playing a benefit for Ripped & Torn Fanzine. The fact that he was wearing that badge meant I was going to be pay them some attention. I thought they’d at least turn out to be a passable entertainment. I was wrong. They turned out to be seminal.

You don’t get to see a seminal band that often. In particular, you don’t often get to see a seminal band when they’re in the actual act of being seminal. Usually, you get to see once seminal bands go through the motions and embarrass themselves.  You see, seminal is hard. In these days of casual hyperbole, all you have to do is turn up and you’re awesome. If you manage to show up three weeks in a row then you’re a legend. So where is the line between the barely adequate and the wildly sublime? Are there any words left in the English language to express the truly exceptional?

The Barracudas’ début single was still three months in the future. They still had the Woody that they soon would want back. The only thing they had to prove they existed was a bag of “Surf and Destroy” badges. I’d never heard of them and I had had my ears glued to the ground for something cool.

Anything cool.

The grapevine had shrivelled and the cultural winter had rolled on in. To get some kicks in the big town, you needed a god damn Ouija board.

Let me tell it like it was. The London music scene (as deified by the New Musical Express) was turning out to be a wee bit of a clunker. You shook the box and the contents didn’t live up to the labelling. I’d seen a clearly hash stoned Clash limp through their back catalogue with all the enthusiasm of boiled cabbage. It would take me a further five years to listen to their first album again. They were that awful.

A second generation of bands stumbled to fill the hole in the club circuit left in the wake of various ascensions to stardom. With lyrics clearly written after partial lobotomy, they weren’t anything you’d want to write home about and especially nothing you’d want tattooed on your arm for life. The UK Subs and their ilk sounded like old Black Sabbath albums cranked up to 78 rpm. If you think that sounds like a good thing, you should dig up an old phonograph and try it on for size. That’s the difference between theory and practice. It was the sound of good ideas gone bad; a photocopy photocopied over and over again until the whole image went Rorschach – and I’m talking blot test and not Ivy.  If only the Cramps or the Ramones would have come back to town and played, then I’d have been singing a different tune.

The simple fact is that the really good stuff, both then and now, finds it difficult to grab a niche on the establishment circuit. You could trowel the listings of the Marquee, the 100 Club and the Hope and Anchor for weeks on end and still only come across the kind of drizzling shit that always finds a stage to stink up. We were heading to a youth club in a Covent Garden cellar. Urban regeneration had pushed the fruit market, the community and its attendant young people out of the neighbourhood. To justify their continued existence to Westminster Council, the social workers had gladly thrown their doors open for the gig. At least they could say there had been some young people on the premises that month.  Maybe they could hand out a few leaflets.

The night started drearily enough with some guy who called himself Larry the Lamb knocking out some sub Marc Bolan waffle on an acoustic guitar. Not T-Rex Marc Bolan either. I’m-a-prancing-fairy type late Sixties Marc Bolan. A couple of years later, Larry the Lamb changed his name to Andi Sex Gang and, with his Children, would create that thing called Goth. As I said, seminal is hard and there was nothing seminal about his performance that night. Any hint of future fame or greatness was entirely noticeable in its absence. Instead, it was like an animal with its foot caught in a trap being beaten to death with an acoustic guitar.

I knew just how that animal felt as Larry the Lamb left the stage only to be followed by a couple of truly forgettable punk bands. (The next time I would see Andi Sex Gang was in the role that would define him.  I looked up at the Gang and thought to myself “That band is not bad.  But, Jesus, that girl they have singing must be the ugliest woman in the world.” But that’s another story.)

To a hammered four on the floor beat, the bands that followed nailed the zeitgeist to the mast of mediocrity and vanished up their own arseholes. The hideous gravity of those black holes sucked light and hope from the room. By the time the Barracudas played I was ready to neck up.  Fortunately, my life was, indeed, saved by rock and roll.

Because that is what good rock and roll should do. This is the music we chose over the drab wilderness of what we were milk fed. This is the music that we dance to. We don’t expect much; just that it’s done half right. The Barracudas did more than do it right. They wrote the book, drew the pictures and underlined the important parts.

I’ll save us all a bit of lengthy descriptive passage and explanation here. The component parts do not give justice to the whole. Just listen to the sublime “I want my Woody Back” c/w “Subway Surfing” on Cell Records. This perfect slab of wobbly plastic delights with its wit, power and wall of harmonies.

If you have heard of the Barracudas then you don’t need me to tell you how good they were in 1979.  You can be jealous as all fuck that you weren’t there but you and me are at least on the same page in terms of how great they were and how quietly influential they have been. They successfully melded sixties and seventies punk through a pop sensibility and created something beautiful. They could be goofy and funny, melancholy, angry or angst ridden. Unlike their contemporaries, they didn’t just pull something off the Nuggets album and beat it to death with a bloody stump. Their “Drop out with the Barracudas” LP is one of those must-have cornerstones of any half way decent music collection.

Listen to that inspiring LP on this KYPP post HERE.

The Barracudas could have been huge and they should have been too. The trouble was that they were just outside of everything at a time when everything was supposed to have a nice neat box. Their record company could understand “Summer Fun” but not their cover of “Codeine”.

I still listen to the Barracudas. They still thrill me after all these years. I consider their song writing really influential. “Inside Mind”, a later single released on Flicknife, is so perfect that I still listen to it in stunned disbelief, amazed someone could compose something so extraordinary. I would also like to think they heard “Necromantra” before they wrote “On a Sunday” but that’s just how much I love the Barracudas.

Bob Short – October 2012

I want my puppy back: Ripped & Time

In the kingdom of the blind the mind’s eye is king and there’s a big room in a big squat in west London and sitting in it is Sandy Robertson  (I don’t know where he is now; I remember he went to the States ) Tony D and me. There’s (probably) somebody else there too, and it might be Alex Ferguson, who later played with Alternative TV and then some configuration of Genesis P. Orridge’s programme. I used to see Alex in the West End sometimes selling stuff on the street. A dream is like this, and so is the real. One thing bleeds into another; the blood is your life.

In those beautiful days when the blood was fresh and before transfusion seemed inevitable, my dream was real. About six months after my first trip to London and points east I arrived back on an Air Canada (or British Airways?) jet and was met off the flight by Robin Wills, who I’d gotten to know before and together with whom now planned to form a band. Punk was in flux, if not quite crisis, and our own still vague stylistic intentions might slip through the crap. Robin, who plays guitar, had a bassist and drummer in place and we rehearsed and shortly played a depleted Roxy to a few dozen bemused punters. I didn’t care; I was in my real dream: living in London, in a band playing the Roxy.

Now life can seem so rigid but in the dream of course events and people flowed one into another. How I was in a squat in west London with that phalanx of voluntarily exiled Scots I now have little idea. I believe Tony took a major shine to – as we became known – The Barracudas due to our punk aesthetic. Which is funny, because we were not punks and totally apolitical. The Barracudas were an aspirant power pop band if anything but at their inception lacking the music skills to do more than murder the genre. On the other hand, we did have an edge and chaotic quality and, best of all, a fantastic selection of covers in our repertoire, not least The Trashmen’s “King of the Surf”. My own stage presence, which I’ve described elsewhere as a hybrid of Woody Allen and The Seeds’ Sky Saxon, was in its infancy, fuelled by speed and an enthusiasm suitable for treatment. Whatever else was possible at the time, I was: in the dream anything is possible and I qualified.

In fact The Barracudas must have been playing in London a while before I met Tony (he can correct me but did Sandy introduce us?) because the pivotal outcome of our meeting was that Sandy, who worked for SOUNDS  (I sometimes wrote for that music weekly around that time too) was one week while subbing as features editor short a cover story and on very little notice asked The Barracudas to fill the gap. This was for the band coup and for Sandy a crazy initiative. After all, much as The Barracudas had a solid following in the city by that point, made up often of Mods and Skins (yes, you read that correctly), nobody cared about us much. Our stroke of genius, however had been deciding to hard sell our surf music fixation, a move that did attract the approval and affection of some eventual fans and endeared us to journalists fed up with paltry post-punk outpourings. Just when Joy Division loomed, and black was the new, uh, black, appeared for no reason whatsoever a band unwilling to bend to fashion or common sense.

The only surfer boys on town, just about able to master their own songs; The Barracudas, a bored reviewer’s dream.

To digress briefly.

The other piece of the puzzle, and the dream, is the writing component. Not satisfied merely to be the singer of a band few understood but a modest coterie already loved, I was also a keen scribbler from my pre-teens and, having written for fanzines for years and then freelanced for SOUNDS, was in short order writing for Ripped & Torn. My writing for the precursor to Kill Your Pet Puppy is amongst my proudest, and it doesn’t surprise me that its reputation has survived the fading of the dream and the onslaught of the real.

The look and feel of Ripped & Torn is pure punk; I never was much for the agitprop side of things, but just for its aesthetic and spirit Ripped & Torn is genuinely classic and I do recall a forever positive and motivated Tony D happily receiving outpourings on pop and glam to a fanzine whose baseline appeal and audience was quite frankly, not that oriented to surf punk adherence.

The advent of Kill Your Pet Puppy I remember only vaguely but I was more than happy to once again contribute. It’s corny to observe but that big flowering of punk hasn’t ever been reinvented. A lot has come and gone meantime but that time and place, and I know it’s plugged into the personal and for some kid now something else is as big a deal, was magical. Ripped & Torn and Kill Your Pet Puppy  crystallised some of the energy and it still sparkles and shines in the ethos and aesthetic equally invented and embraced by Tony D and his successive ragtag creative collectives.

Some years ago I played a modest solo show in London and who should turn up out of the (twenty or more years) blue than Tony!

I was astounded. It was a great thing to meet him again. I won’t say time is nothing, it can be a goddamned killer, but, yes, at the moment it meant little. The dream isn’t over, I guess, but the real is hungrier than ever. Nevertheless, the “dynamite days” (as Kevin Coyne called them in song) of the punk dream featured not just one love but one blood. Tony D and all of those who made it alive and real are owed a debt. I am very proud to be a part of the Kill Your Pet Puppy narrative.

The Barracudas persist, lately reformed a third time to play Spain, Italy and Japan and about to release a vinyl-only, analogue-crafted single, “God Bless the 45” that is as big dummy as any of our pop outings of thirty plus years ago. In the immortal, sage words of those warrior kings of pop metal, the Blue Oyster Cult, “that’s the way it goes, that’s rock’n’roll…”

Jeremy Gluck – October 2012

Jeremy and Kill Your Pet Puppy

The story of how Kill Your Pet Puppy was born has been reported in this post HERE for our thirtieth anniversary.

However Jeremy Gluck contributed a piece on Abba for the first issue on Kill Your Pet Puppy. He wasn’t amongst the Fire-Station squat evictees so how did that happen?

There was a life-changing flyer for a gig at The Chippenham pub, The Raincoats being supported by The Barracudas, this was a venue in the wasteland between North Ladbroke Grove and South West Kilburn: accessible only by bus, our kind of place.

This flyer came our way via one of my trips to Rough Trade to collect mail. Crikey The Barracudas, I thought; so they’re still going?

Excitedly I took it back to our one room hovel where Val and Brett were also roused by the idea of seeing the Barracudas playing. Most of the inhabitants of our room took the bus to this event, looking forward to a gig almost as much as being able to use a flushing toilet again.

The gig was phenomenal and not just because of  being able to flush a toilet at the pub.

The Barracudas were now a tight band, the songs resembled songs and Jeremy was sensational on stage, even cutting his bared chest with glass at one point. There was a record company owner telling all and sundry he’s signed them and will be releasing a single. The manager was Geoff of Cells Records, the single was to be ‘I Want My Woody Back’ and amazingly it actually was released.

Also amazingly, I managed to get Jeremy to agree to write something for the first issue of our new fanzine concept, Kill Your Pet Puppy. He wrote the piece on Abba and pop music and it sits proudly amongst our ranting.

There are two more stories worthy of Mr Gluck:

One evening myself and some other Puppy collective members witnessed The Barracudas at the Moonlight Club. I told Jeremy about the Black Sheep co-op concept. The very next day he showed up at 103 Grosvenor Avenue in Islington and helped out with the renovations of the building!

Jeremy had stabilised himself and his life enough to have a nice place to live in. He invited me and other Puppy collective members to, as he put it, one of his ‘occasional gatherings of like minds’.  Unfortunately one of our people, the man later to be known as Dave Sex Gang managed to start a fistfight with someone and demanded all of us Puppies support him in his battle. The evening was disrupted wholesale. We were never invited again. God speed Mr Gluck.

Tony D – October 2012

Please check out the following links to find out what Jeremy Gluck is up to nowadays.

Jeremy Gluck @ Bandcamp Everything from chickens to cheese! http://jeremygluck.bandcamp.com

SoftWorld Electronica. It’s smart music. It’s music that isn’t music. How cool is that?
http://www.softworldmusic.com

The Barracudas new 45! http://godblessthe45.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/god-bless-45-coming-soon.html

Animal World

No Music In The World Today

Living in the animal world

“I coulda, shoulda, woulda been a contender.”  If a band gets an epitaph, you’ll find that one scratched deep in the Last Word’s granite. They could have been because they had the talent and, most importantly, the song writing muscle. They should have been because they had record companies falling all over them. They would have been except for a cursed, poisoned, condemned knack of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

The first anyone heard of the Last Words was when a pile of the self produced “Animal World” single emerged on their own Remand Records. Hailing from the wildest of Western Sydney, Malcolm Baxter and Andy Groome apparently played everything on the disc. They then gathered a band around them to play some gigs. They played Blondies (a very short lived club on top of Bondi Junction’s McDonalds) and the Grand Hotel at Railway Square.  They picked up Leigh (aka Rique) Kendall on Bass, who despite being one of the nastiest men in show business, really invested them in a muscular bottom end they had sorely lacked up to that point. The brilliant Geoffrey Wegner (Young Charlatans and Laughing Clowns) and filled in on drums as did Ken Doyle (soon to be a Thought Criminal). Suddenly they were a live band to be reckoned with.

Not that anyone in Sydney seemed to notice. Sydney had Radio Birdman. Brisbane had the Saints.  Melbourne had the Boys Next Door. They were tough cliques manifesting their various destinies (and why not? They’d had had to bear the brunt of bans and resentment for years and figured the route to success was Darwinian).

Wizard was a kind of semi independent record label with major Australian distribution. They had specialised in glam acts like Hush and Supernaut. As glam faded they desperately looked around for their chunk of the next big thing.  If you were looking for an unsigned contender, the Last Words ticked off all their boxes.  Authentically working class punk with a firm grip on traditional pop sensibility, Wizard rushed them into the studio and did the business properly.  Hush’s Marshall amps replaced the wee tinny boxes of punk poverty. Produced with a firm ear to Chris Thomas’ panzer tank version of the Sex Pistols, the Wizard version of “Animal World” is the perfect punk single.

That’s right. Perfect.

Released to an underwhelmed Australian public, it sold nothing. Well it sold at least one copy because I bought one even though I already had the earlier Remand single release. It deeply impressed me. It taught me some really important lessons.  Firstly, the Last Words were playing the same circuit as a band I was in called The Urban Guerrillas (Don’t bother researching them. They didn’t record anything and a latter band took the name). When you’re playing in the same rooms and out of the same amps and making a comparable noise and you hear your “rivals” produce something of true genius, you figure you can do it too. More importantly, I learnt there and then that a great record is made by enhancing and not imitating your live sound. The Last Words were a really good live band but “Animal World” went so far beyond what they had done or would ever do on stage. Finally, I learnt that it doesn’t matter how good you are, you cannot expect anyone on this Earth to give a rat’s arse. Despite splashing out on glorious blue vinyl, the single that should have made the Last Words into stars completely and utterly failed. There was no airplay and no television. Despite the noise, no one was listening.

Or maybe there was.  Suddenly, Rough Trade was releasing the mighty Wizard single in the UK. The Last Words scooped up the Urban Guerrillas’ drummer and headed off to Mother England. Johnny Gunn (not a nom d’punk) is one of the best drummers you will ever hear. His addition to the band provides them with enough raw power to level mountains. All the cards are out on the table and there is no way this band can lose. Except that they did.  An intervening year had bought on the rise of Sham 69 and the Cockney Rejects and, whilst the Last Words had the sound, they didn’t share in that loathsome skinhead culture. The early Clash/Pistols sound had been co-opted by the enemy.  Rough Trade’s “Animal World” still did okay on the Indie Charts but didn’t rocket the band into the A league or even the B league. They remained perpetual outsiders and more power to them for that but you know what that means. It means the less talented walk off with the big prize.

The Last Words were a truly great band who never quite found a way in but they always should have. But the business kept trying to find them a way in. Out of nowhere, another record contract appeared, this time Armageddon records.  Adrian Sherwood produced a self titled album for them but things were getting weird.  Grinding poverty, a rhythm section increasingly infatuated with herb and dub and a ten minute version of “White Rabbit” quickly followed. The inevitable break up and straggling return to Australia was just around the corner.

But here’s the thing; the monument is there standing proud for all to see; a giant fuck you to all the pretenders.  “Animal World” (Wizard or Rough Trade) is a shimmering thing of beauty.  The Wizard b-side “Every School Boys’ Dream” is pretty damn fine as is the version of “No Music” on the Rough Trade single.  As far as contributions to the species go, these are pretty damn fine. Listen in awe.

Bob Short – October 2012

Last Words and Kill Your Pet Puppy

Brett Lees moved into the Long Acre and James Street squat in its last months of existence. Brett begat Bob Short via an Australian connection, who then moved in. I went to Europe after the eviction of the Long Acre and James Street squat and a brief stay at the Fire Station in Old Street, Islington (which at this point had opened and organised by the sensible members of the Long Acre and James Street squat weeks before the final eviction). Again I should point browsers to the thirtieth anniversary of the Kill Your Pet Puppy fanzine KYPP post HERE for further information.

Upon my return from Europe, penniless and homeless I went back to the Fire Station in Old Street as there was nowhere else to go. I expected a frosty reception from the old school organised crowd so was surprised when the door was opened by a punk rocker who immediately placed me as Val’s brother.

Who are you, how do you know who I am and what has Val got to do with this? I didn’t say any of these things. Val, who it transpired, had moved in here, explained how Brett and Bob had been allowed to stay after I emigrated (gee thanks). As more of the organised crowd drifted off from the squat more punks moved in; Val for one and also an Australian musician friend of Bob and Brett’s, Leigh Kendall.

Leigh Kendall was in the band The Last Words, who had shared a drummer with one of Bob Short’s Australian bands. So naturally Leigh moved in with Bob when he arrived in London. This is how the Last Words became intertwined into the history of Kill Your Pet Puppy.

Amazingly Leigh could drive, something that had never occurred to any of us; and he even had a driving licence, which was unheard of in this milieu. This proved useful on our final night at the Fire Station when he drove a van through hordes of local Islington skinheads come to burn us out of the building. Unbelievable unless you lived through it, and thanks to Leigh we did live through it.

More of The Last Words band came to stay when we all moved into Sheriff Road west Hampstead, even when we were living eight to a room with no water. The Last Word’s singer Malcolm and his girlfriend and then guitarist Andy Groome; eventually when we moved into the larger flat upstairs there was a ‘Last Words room’ where they all lived.

As well as having the maturity to drive, Leigh also knew a lot more about Anarchy than the rest of us and used to educate us about the works of famous anarchists when we all lived in Sheriff Road. He looked askance at the Crass version of anarchy and wrote the famous piece in the first issue of the Kill Your Pet Puppy fanzine attacking their pacifist stance. The piece was entitled ‘Peaceful Pro-Crass-tination’, written by Leigh calling himself  Buenaventura Makhno, a combination of two influential anarchists, to underline both his status as qualified anarchist and advocate of direct action.

The Kill Your Pet Puppy piece set the cat amongst the pigeons enough with Crass for myself and Leigh to go to Dial House in North Weald and discuss the situation with members of the band further. Penny Rimbaud then wrote a long response, which was printed in the second issue of the Kill Your Pet Puppy fanzine. Some say Leigh’s article via Kill Your Pet Puppy caused Crass to change their stance somewhat.  I’ll leave others to judge that.

The Last Words single ‘Animal World’ was released on Rough Trade records, and they played a lot of gigs around this time and were actually a damn good band. They got a record deal and released an LP album which Brett from the Puppy collective designed the sleeve for (can be found on this KYPP post HERE).

Just another of the connections between the Puppies and the Words.

The last word is that Andy Groome taught me how to play Leonard Cohen songs on the acoustic guitar, for which I’ll be eternally grateful. My neighbours probably less so.

Tony D – October 2012

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Penguin

1985 – 1988 All The Madmen Records and Distribution
1988 – 1991 King Penguin Distribution
1989 – 2018 Southern Studios / Southern Record Distribution

19 thoughts on “The Barracudas – Cells Records – 1979 / The Last Words – Rough Trade Records – 1979”

  1. Sizzling tunes and great stories, some of which I remember being recounted when I first visited Puppy Mansions. What comes across really strongly is the diversity of influences/ people/musics which fed into KYPP – it was a rich and vibrant mix of ideas and actualities, the antithesis of the narrowness later associated with anarchist inspired punk.

  2. yo tony lol! jeremy good to see he’s still active, the barracudas gigs were ace. great post just downloading what i can before me isp cuts me off!!

  3. No matter how many times one kills the pet puppy you cant keep the rapskallion down! Cheers Mick -cant read the wonderful articles and listen to the music enough…

  4. All my gratitude to Mick for giving a friendly hand and wonderful record collection to listen to, your altruistic gesture, patience and companionship are priceless. This website is a gem! Thank you and all the best for you, your family and KYPP and cheers!!!!

  5. Thanks must go to Penguin for organising this anniversary post and making it read so well.

    Following the post some issues have come up:

    Jeremy says I’m wrong and he cut his arm not his chest, and he still has the scar to prove it; and also the Kevin Coyne song is ‘Dynamite Daze’ not ‘…days’. Otherwise he reckons it’s accurate. Barracudas and Raincoats shared Nick Turner between them as a drummer so playing a gig together that squares up.

    Personally, after reading it I’d like to apologise to Leigh Kendall if he thinks the paragraph printed here starting “As well as having the maturity…” is flippant, passive-aggressive mockery.

    This paragraph is just my notes on a bigger picture, but unfortunately time ran out: his chats with us about Anarchy, anarchists and anarchist writings inform me on a daily basis as I “spectate the television news”. Persuading him to write that bit questioning Crass rather than just moan about it turned out to be one of the best moves of my life . He wrote so clearly, and then talked at Dial House so well about his reasons; it is a pity he didn’t put his knowledge and passion in print again for us. And he was a damn fine bassist.

    Though my bit is nothing compared to Bob Short’s definition of Leigh as the ‘nastiest man in show business’ which leaves more questions than answers.

    I’m hoping Andy Groome will be made aware of this and comment.

  6. Leigh just never missed an opportunity to take the piss out of me. I think he was just testing me and i basically ignored it. But if Leigh decided you were a fool, he never let you get a word in to the contrary. His favourite line was “and I bet you believe everything you read in the paper.” He pulled that one out of the blue at me on at least a half dozen occasions. And I still bought his bloody records!

  7. I alerted Mr Kendall of this thread so hopefully he’ll comment. Me and Leigh hit it off immediately, though the first time I went round Westbere Road I was a skinhead and he and Andy thought it was a raid.

    Leigh was incredibly well read and sharp as a tack. We took acid together once and I went into some long psychedelic monologue about the universe and colours and synchronistic energy or something. He waited patiently, nodding appreciatively until I’d finished and then said: “Wow Sam. That’s really deep”. We both cracked up. A lovely man and I miss him every day.

  8. Picking up on Bob’s point, yeah, it’s true the early ‘cudas were very much a punk band prone to cover The Stooges as much as The Trashmen. Later, when The Paisley Underground bloomed briefly in London we looked askance at the neo-Flower Children because we were Flower (Weed?) Punks to the bone. Even now we can punk rock when necessary. Punk is the ultimate rock n roll. You can call it what you like but, say, some Beatles on The White Album is punk. So is prime Stones. It’s the attitude.

  9. “… a shimmering thing of beauty.” Thanks Bob for all your kind words. We will always be grateful to Wizard for seeing the potential in the song if not the band and for Les who turned the song into a great single. As for Adrian, we were his willing experiment in cross-pollination. You know he was producing in the same studio at the time Creation Rebel’s classic Starship Africa, which also features the legendary Prince Far I. So there was always a thick cloud of sensimilla floating through the Berry Street studio courtesy of Adrian’s entourage. And I remember more than once witnessing intense discussions in the kitchen about the real meaning of Jah’s word or some such thing. The LP needed more time and money and commitment and enthusiasm and judgement and, and, and – all of which were lacking at the time. White Rabbit remains my favourite. Anyway, thanks again Bob, and it’s a shame that the Urban Guerrillas did not leave a record or two – a truly inspiring sound.

    Tony – I will never forget Westbere Road and particularly Sherriff Road and the squatted room we all shared before breaking into (I mean ‘moving into’) the place upstairs. By the way, that was Ross and Andi; and I am sure I arrived in NW6 before they did. I also remember sleeping for a night or two in the same van you all escaped from Old Street in, as I had nowhere to live at the time. Every time I hear Avalanche, though, I think about sitting around your picnic player grinding my teeth to Songs of Love and Hate, if you get my drift. Glad to hear you still play the songs. And now more than thirty years later, Ripped & Torn and KYPP the subject of academic papers and discussions at international conferences on graphic design! I am proud to say that I was there to witness its inception, your creation. And if I remember correctly, you and I went to Ladbroke Grove (I think) to pick up the first issue, and the first fanzine in living colour, that we then carted back on the Tube (or was it the bus). I think we were all still in the box room then. Send my regards to Val. And whatever happened to Brett? As for Leigh, well, if it wasn’t for him, I’d probably still be in that van.

    Cheers,
    Andy

  10. Hi Andy!

    Nice to know this is being read by you. I forgot about going to collect the first KYPPs; I remember only everyone looking at them in that box room.

    If you click on that big blue ‘HERE’ within the text it takes you to Val’s memories and detailed layout of the sleeping arrangements in that room. She calls correctly Ross and Andi; my mistake.

    Keep in touch.

  11. Thanks for all the hard work Penguin. KYPP, ATM, The Mob was the nearest I had to a punk anarcho sense of identity and community, and it’s still there in essence. The tribe still singing together in this virtual dream.

  12. Thank you so much for this. I want my woody back has been my hitch hiking, bath time and driving song for nigh on 30 years now. Its wicked to be taken back there to its birth by your excellent words. How did I miss this blog? Well I’ve found you know thanks to a hippy sharing on farcebook. There is a lot for me to read!!! So far the only artists NOT in my longterm blast it through my vintage amp n speakers playlist are by artists I aint heard. That means… new music. Well new to me. Cant fekkin wait.
    Peace and Anarchy
    Doctor Bastardo

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