Discharge – Chaos Cassettes – 1981

Realities Of War / Religion Instigates / Fight Back / Why? / After The Gig / Does This System Work / They Declare It / A Look At Tomorrow / Tomorrow Belongs To Us / Is This To Be / Ain’t No Feeble Bastard / War’s No Fairytale / Visions Of War

You Take Part In Creating This System / No TV Sketch / Mania For Conquest / Always Resrictions / Maimed And Slaughtered / Decontrol / Tomorrow Belongs To Us / Always Restrictions / They Declare It / Realities Of War / Maimed And Slaughtered / No TV Sketch

A below average performance by Discharge on this cassette from 1981. The first release from the ‘semi official’ cassette only label, Chaos Cassettes. Anti Pasti, Vice Squad and Chron Gen were about to get thier own limited edition mixing desk quality live recordings released by this label.

This Discharge gig, recorded at London’s famous Lyceum venue, seems to suffer various technical hitches in the sound through the mixing desk for most of the night. Broken strings need to be fixed on a couple of occasions. Several tracks sound like the band members are performing their guitar, drum and bass parts at a different pace. Several tracks suffer from bad tuning. Altogether a pretty shambolic performance with no help from the venue engineer on a big London stage. Shame really. The cassette is not all bad though, some of the tracks hit home as you would expect from a band as awesome as Discharge, just not enough of them.

This post is dedicated to my old friend and Wood Green house mate, Pete Alberto originally from Ipswich, whose birthday it is today. A big Discharge supporter in his younger days and someone who would have witnessed, like myself, Discharge perform on a smaller stage, give a tight performance and (metaphorically) blow the roof of the venue. Many happy returns Pete.

  1. johnn
    May 29, 2009 at 9:14 am

    never heard this before so thanks penguin.
    was rainy the first crusty (or were the heretics crustier first?)
    anyone remember a poet called ‘biffo the bear’ who performed before discharge gigs, he was i think in a bearsuit but used to wear a gas mask, must have been pretty hot in it. or is my memorey totally mashed?
    i’m sure i saw antisect as well as biffo the bear supporting discharge on one tour way before antisect had brought any records out.

  2. Nic
    May 29, 2009 at 11:03 am

    Rainy always looked a bit ‘bedraggled’…but I think the Heretics might have pipped him at the post…

    The poet was called Biffo the Gasmask: Discharge asked him to drive them to a few gigs after he played at Stoke Poly bar…
    He played a few gigs with Discharge including the April 1982 gigs with Antisect (which included the 100 Club, Stevenage Bowes Lion House, the Palm Cove in Bradford and Drifters in Manchester) and a date at the Zig Zag in London in May 1982 (along with a trip to Holland at the end of 1982)…

    He’s also credited with the photography on the ‘Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing’ LP…

    Antisect were great then (back in 1982): total Discharge mayhem at a time when no-one else was doing that in the UK except Discharge…
    If I remember correctly, the gigs with Discharge were their first 2 or 3 gigs…

  3. Nihilistic Nobody
    Nihilistic Nobody
    May 29, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    Discharge were crap

  4. johnn
    May 29, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    cheers for the info nic, a few more missing pieces of my memory now returned,i knew someone would know the correct info around here.
    didnt realise biffo had done the cover for the ‘Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing’ LP i dont have it anymore, long gone thanks to the fucker who stole it with all my others way back.
    yep,remember seeing and being blown away by antisect at the nightclub in duckinfield near manchester, didnt realise it was one of their first tho, remember seeing them all wandering around greenham common on one of the big cnd protests there, you couldn’t really mistake em, not many looked like them at the time i think.
    shame discharge went all weird, not sure of them now they have ‘reformed’ with the guy from varukers on vocals.

  5. Just Insane
    Just Insane
    May 30, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    I saw Discharge last September in Barcelona at the KGB. I know a lot of “purists” don’t like the idea of the guy from the Varukers on vocals, but it did seem to work. It was fast, angry and as it should have been (with none of those dire heavy metal influences which spoilt their sound in the mid- 80’s. Some of their songs are classics in their genre & they’ve had a massive influence (e.g. on groups like Metallica, Napalm Death, etc, all of who influenced others). Fair play to them.

  6. F
    May 31, 2009 at 10:48 am

    Discharge up to and including ‘Why’ are just so so so fucking brilliant. One of the best bands I recall seeing in early 1981 at the Bowes Lyon ‘ouse, Saint-Evenage…legend.

  7. Andus
    May 31, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    Discharge are a great band, ‘Its tuesday tuesday, tuesday tuesday ‘
    Brilliant stuff…..

  8. Martin C
    Martin C
    June 1, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    Incidentally, the artwork for ‘Hear Nothing’ (the front cover) is actually lifted straight from an anti-control unit poster produced in 1975 by Radical Alternatives to Prison

  9. andy x
    andy x
    June 4, 2009 at 11:54 pm

    i remember rainy jumping offstage at cottesmore and smashing loads of punks round the head with his bass, cunt!

  10. chris
    June 5, 2009 at 3:20 am

    Nic, remember at that gig in Nottingham – Antisect in the dressing room were the first people I had ever seen ‘back-combing’ their hair. When they emerged they looked like the Missing Link. But apart from “Tortured & Abused” which has one of thee best riffs EVER I gotta say I never liked them. There was a band called Life Cycle whose single I picked up on a whim who did that whole thang Soooo much better (“Myths + Rituals” I think it’s called – STUNNING slab of vinyl. Some very odd ideas though)

    Discharge were great. Only ever saw ’em on the Apocalypse Now tour (in Glasgow) but an absolutely seminal act who still stand the test of time today.

  11. matt
    June 7, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    With regards to the Discharge tribute band called ‘Discharge’, I wish people would just leave well alone and not try to resurrect something which died in 1983, an era in which it belonged. I am a massive Discharge fan but I am mortified at the idea of a bunch of 45 yr olds performing Discharge covers almost 25 yrs later. No one could ever do that band true justice and if you weren’t around in the early 80’s to see them at their peak then it’s tough shit. As for the ABBA tributes then that’s a different story…………..

  12. johnn
    June 7, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    “i remember rainy jumping offstage at cottesmore and smashing loads of punks round the head with his bass, cunt!”

    what made him do that then? where is this place they call Cottesmore?

  13. chris mortimer
    chris mortimer
    July 15, 2010 at 11:14 am

    i remember me and my cousin went to see discharge in ipswich in 1980 at the manor ballroom..it was there 4th or 5th gig, we where 13 at the time and the venue used to have a bar upstairs so they used to let us into gigs..i have to say its probably the most hardcore i’ve ever seen, rainy was playing bass with 2 strings as he was pounding them so hard..then at the end a huge fight broke out..needless to say at 13 we were shitting ourselves!!

  14. Chris L
    Chris L
    July 15, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    Was it the collage inside Hear Nothing or the cover of ‘Why’ that was lifted straight from a copy of International Times? Can’t remember which, but remember noticing it was ‘appropriated’ at the time the record came out.

    I think more bassists should jump off stage and smash folk around the heads with their basses. Always livens up a performance AND gets you noticed 🙂

  15. Nick Hydra
    Nick Hydra
    July 17, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    I recently got all the good Discharge stuff on CD complete with hysterically bad attemps at desiphering the lyrics that they didn’t write out on the records..

    Realities of War-
    Actual lyric “War is a black hole to avoid”
    ‘Translated’ lyric: “War is anthem to me”


  16. pinkpressthreat
    October 26, 2010 at 10:50 am

    Did they mean “War is an Anathema to me”? (!)

  17. CosmoNaughty
    November 7, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    When I was about 14 say 1981 I used to hang around in Crewe, and a girlfriend had an older Discharge cassette before their hardcore sound it was them just sounding like a 77 punk band. With a different singer I’m guessing cos the vocals were just in a 80’s youth club style with songs no deeper than “You’ve got acne (go see a doctor)”

  18. jacko
    March 23, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    Just have to agree with Mr Mortimer,Manor Ballroom Ipswich was undoubtedly the most hardcore gig I ever attended,Rainy with his foot on the monitor headbanging,and yes I was 13 and shitting it too !!!

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