Various – Sent From Coventry LP – Kathedral Records 1980

The Wild Boys – We’re Only Monsters / The Clique – Mothers Never Know / The End – Panic In The Night / The Mix – With You / Machine – Character Change / Urge – Nuclear Terrorist

Protege – Protection / Solid Action – Message From A Loner / The Wild Boys – Lorraine / Squad – Flasher / Homicide – Armageddon / Riot Act – Sirens / V.Babies – Donna Blitzen 

The LP was essentially organized and put together by Martin Bowes, editor of the Alternative Sounds fanzine from Coventry. He managed to get the Cherry Red label interested in it and they helped by giving a manufacturing deal…

Coventry had a very vibrant music scene at the end of the 1970’s, partly a legacy of the tail-end of the 1960’s R&B boom and partly an extension of the 1970’s Punk explosion (The Pistols and Clash played a gig together in Coventry). The music scene was bolstered by a useful mix of large and small venues: large venues (like Coventry Theatre, Tiffany’s nightclub, Lanchester Polytechnic and Warwick University) catered for the big touring bands, while the smaller venues (the Climax, the Heath Hotel, Zodiac, Hope and Anchor, General Wolfe, the Matrix) catered for the local groups. The local independent record shops (including Virgin and Jill Hansen’s) were also useful in spreading the word and giving people a place to meet…

The bands featured on the LP were all popular local bands who played live regularly: as the sleeve notes explain, many of the bands shared members and the whole scene was quite ‘incestuous’ in a way. Musically, there’s an interesting mix of Punk and Pop (particularly with a disco-esque tinge which reflect the era) in tandem with a strong Reggae influence which reflects the multi-cultural aspects of the Coventry music scene in the 1970’s. It’s also quite interesting to note how many of the bands used keyboards and the prevalence of lyrics touching on atomic warfare…

The Urge were one of the most popular local bands, and were hotly tipped for success. They toured nationally with UK Subs and Specials, and released a D.I.Y. single (Revolving Boy) on their own Consumer Disks label before signing to Arista where they recorded demos with Dennis Bovell and released 1 other single (‘Bobby’) before splitting up…

Their singer – Kevin Harrison – had been in Transposed Men (with Brad (Specials) and Noel (Selector)): many of the bands songs went on to form the basis of The Selector set including the original version of ‘On My Radio’. He was good friends with This Heat (one of his live recordings of the group appeared on their first LP), and he also used Uncle Bill’s ‘Cut Up’ technique (extended from the original by Brion Gysin) to write a number of Urge’s lyrics…

Squad were the stars of the local punk scene, having formed in 1977 with Terry Hall (Automatics/Specials) as their early vocalist. They released 2 singles (£8 A Week / Red Alert and Millionaire / Brockhill Boys) and always seemed to play at Coventry Carnival. Their singer at the time of the LP often wore a kilt onstage (ala Adam?)…

The Wild Boys were a very popular local group, initially started by Roddy Radiation (Specials) with a name inspired by Uncle Bill. Their sound has a strong Only Ones influence, as well as some dubious lyrics on ‘Lorraine’…

The Clique songs sounds frighteningly like ‘I Could Be Happy’ by Altered Images: the album was released by Cherry Red, so perhaps someone heard the song…

The original singer of The Clique went on to sing for the Human Cabbages who are now mentioned regularly in the ‘Messthetics’ scene dedicated to obscure D.I.Y. Post Punk recordings from the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. Then, the Clique’s singer on this LP went on to sing in L’Homme de Terre who had a track on the Coventry compilation EP ‘Boys and Girls Come Out to Play’ which featured The Human Cabbages…

The Human Cabbages drummer went to my school, their guitarist accompanied me to a Crass gig in 1981 with their guitarist, and the drummers sister was the first person to break my heart…

The album was recorded and produced by John Rivers at the famous Woodbine Studios in nearby town Leamington Spa which recorded many great bands (including Swell Maps) and is still going strong today…

The cover features photography by Rob Lapworth (bassist of The Wild Boys) which features images of many of the locations relevant to the local music scene, including The Wedge café which sold anarchist literature and fanzines upstairs…

The album came with a special issue of the popular Coventry fanzine Alternative Sounds which featured a page on each of the bands. The fanzine is available to view here:

http://coventrymusichistory.vox.com/sent-from-cov-alternative-sounds/

The editor of the fanzine – Martin Bowes – went on to form the dark electronic group Attrition.

This is very much a step back in time for me: I went to school in Coventry and consequently saw most of the bands on the LP play live at one time or another. Aspects like the dress sense of the bands help to give a real sense of time and place…

In 1980, inspired by the literature we were reading at the time (including fanzines like Tales of Dayglow, Vague, Toxic Grafity and Aftermath), Miles (other founder member of Napalm Death) and I started to write our own fanzine. With the naivety and arrogance of youth, we brazenly harassed many of the local bands and fanzine writers who (to their credit) put up with us and humoured our haphazard and shoddy attempts…

Particular thanks to Alan Ryder (Adventures in Reality) and Martin Bowes (Alternative Sounds)…

The editor of Alternative Sounds put us in touch with the bassplayer of the Wild Boys (who was a printer) and he printed some of the first few issues of our fanzine (and the last edition of Miles’ fanzine Twisted Nerve)…

It was at a Siouxsie and the Banshees concert in Coventry in 1981 that the editor of Alternative Sounds introduced me to the editors of Flipside fanzine who gave me a number of back issues of their magazine: the ‘Scene Reports’ from around the globe introduced me to some great American bands (and the delights of records like the Solger – ‘Raping Dead Nuns’ ep) and also to the emerging thrash scene from around the world, particularly Finnish thrash like Kaaos and Rattus…

Nic Bullen

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Penguin

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

63 thoughts on “Various – Sent From Coventry LP – Kathedral Records 1980”

  1. Naturally I expect Pengiun to have perfect recall! You seem to remember just about everything that went on in those days, whereas my memory is often hazy at best, which may have meant I was busy having a really good time, or (more likely) that I just have a crap memory!

    Interesting that this LP has sparked so much interest though. Time for a reissue? (though as you can download it easily anyway, theres probably not a lot of point!)

    On a different note, has anyone looked at the ZineWiki site. Its missing a lot of what we regard as iconic fanzines, but interesting nonetheless. And you can add your own entries to update it, no pompous Wikipedia notices telling you you are not important enough to include. Also worth a look is Teal Triggs coffee table book”Fanzines” just published. A few familiar names appear in there (Chainsaw, Pananche and, ahem, Adventures in Reality). A very interesting read.

  2. I’m searching for “Risky City” & “Death of Eddy” by Wild Boys, too.

    I’ve been in Coventry in 1981, when I was a teenager and bought the cassette, but meanwhile it became unplayable… 🙁

    Any Idea where to download?

    Cheers from Germany
    Sven

  3. I’m putting together a book on Coventry Fanzines and the scene at the time and I’m keen for anyone who was around either in bands, editing a zine, or were just there at the time all to get in touch. I really want you all to be a part of this! E-mail me at alanrider1@aol.com heading your e-mail Coventry Fanzines so my Spam Filter doesn’t block it!

  4. Hi Nic

    yes, get in touch. I’m meeting up with Steve Teers next week. It’ll be wierd after all these years! I went along to a play about 1979 in Coventry at the Belgrade at the weekend. Its called Too Much Pressure and had Alternative Sounds and Sent from Coventry all over the programme. Check out the Zine Weekly blog too http://zineweekly.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2011-01-01T00%3A00%3A00-08%3A00&updated-max=2012-01-01T00%3A00%3A00-08%3A00&max-results=4 for an article on Adventures in Reality. Can anyone else who was on the scene at the time get in touch too?

  5. lordy lordy the memories come flooding back, what electricly charged days,
    anyone know what happened to Ricky Bristow ? thanks for the thread… R.I.P
    Mr Gus Chambers .

  6. hi everybody thought i would mention that i am bev from homicide was big time into punk first saw pistols down lanch in cov then at mr georges and huddersfield on xmas day. knew gus really well and lots of others as i travelled a lot to see all the groups they were a big part of my life and i wouldnt change it for a thing. some of you might remember my brother al jones happy days if anybody has got any photos as i have lost all mine or anybody wants to contact me 07516813676 thanks

  7. So many familiar names and common shared memories..a really interesting thread and KYPP is killer as always..

    I lived in Finham and Radford but went to Finham Park 77-82′ , and used to contribute to Rough Justice fanzine in 80/81′, and go to the Belgrade Venue,Swanswell, Hope, Queen Inn, Lanch..and of course the Wedge for the great zines/books upstairs..

    If Pete Sampson reads this could you please ask your brother Steve to drop me a line (or Chris Boyd/Alan Hill (of the infamous Hill clan)/Ian Lawless – the other Delayed Reaction members. (there was the first vocalist ‘Dave’ from Baginton Road ,but ive forgotten his full name)

    Steve Sampson moved from Beechwood Ave, Earlsdon in mid-81 as his dad(a vicar i recall) was posted out of the city and i lost contact .

    It was always great fun going to watch Delayed Reaction rehearse in Ians garden shed opposite Finham library !..and their gigs at Belgrade and the Queens in Hillfields were killer..

    Similarly, if anyone knows the whereabouts of Dave or Johnny Goldring (from Finham’s legendary Monarchy) please ask them to contact me as i would be very interested in releasing live tapes/demos by both bands.

    My email is : julesml.geo@yahoo.com

    thanks…
    Jules

  8. After radio silence for the past year it’s good to see this string has sprung back into life again. Bev, it’s great to hear from you. And yes, how can I forget your brother Al’s Radiation punk disco. Can you get in touch please direct alanrider1@aol.com as I’m still compiling my book on Coventry fanzines (see above) and would love to include a quote or two from you in the section on the Cov scene in the front of the book. Who know? I may be able to help with a few reviews/pix from Cov fanzines from the time too.

    And Nic, if you are reading this, get in touch won’t you!

    Jules, wasn’t the bands name spelt “Monachy”??

    Finally, if anyone’s interested I have posted a live Wild Boys track on Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmGIUjHFI4Y. Its really good so check it out.

    Alan

  9. glad i found this site very intresting indeed i run a label data records and it was us that put the repressing out of sent from coventry lp cherry red were paid so it was a legit repressing not a bootleg i still have copies left if anyone wants to buy one i am in radford so you can pick it up if you want the cost is £5 you can contact us on 02476 601678 or you can email us at rebelliontickets@btinternet.com
    cheers
    dave

  10. Would you believe that this album is now available for download on iTunes and Amazon ? And that according to their latest figures the V.Babies track has had more downloads than the rest of the tracks have put together . I never thought that people had that much taste !

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