The Leather Nun – Criminal Damage Records – 1984

No Rule / Slow Death / Ensam I Natt / Death Threats

Slow Death Live

A record that was originally released on Genesis P-Orridge’s record label, Industrial Records late on in 1979, in a limited quantity.

Leather Nun originally from Gothenburgh in Sweden, first contacted Throbbing Gristle to complete an interview for a fanzine that the vocalist Jonas was involved in. Genesis P-Orridge was duly interviewed by Jonas in Hackney, London, and he then passed a tape of his band to Genesis P. This tape Genesis P liked very much, and the tracks on that tape are now uploaded here.

Absolutely abrasive and blistering punk rock on ‘No Rule’ and ‘Ensam I Natt’, the kind of music that you find yourself thinking of smashing up your room to! Or maybe that’s just me…

The two (three) other tracks ‘Slow Death’ and ‘Death Threats’ are much more hypnotic, with a plodding bass-line and minimal instrumentation. White noise (a hoover, a drill?) is used on ‘Death Threats’, which I think was recorded by Jonas alone, without the band Leather Nun.

The cover shows a guy dying slowly after a terrorist attack in Italy which were quite regular in the 1970’s, this guy is the subject of the main track.

This re-release on Criminal Damage Records includes a fine 15 minute version of ‘Slow Death’ recorded in Febuary 1980 at the Scala, next to Goodge Street station, in the west end of London, which I feel is superior to the studio version, whispered vocals, with violin and synth performed by Genesis P and Monte Cazazza adding to the hypnotic vibe.

The follow up single by Leather Nun ‘Primemover’ is also magnificent…

  1. Martin C
    Martin C
    April 25, 2008 at 9:39 am

    YES!!! Fucking BRILLIANT slab of viking berserker industrial, trounces all that DiJ / C93 garbage. I’ve been raving about this for years to anyone who’ll listen…my only criticism is you need to crank the pitch up a bit, 36 or 37rpm should do it…

    Interesting about the cover – I’d assumed it was some Swedish pensioner who’d fallen asleep in a deckchair and been badly sunburnt.

    Freddie Wadling also cut a fucking ace single with the band Liket Lever (“The Corpse Lives”) which’ll be right up your street if you dig the thrashy tunes on this…

  2. chris
    April 25, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    Yes. This is an absolutely fucking GENIUS record. Only beaten by the magnificance of the aural bludgeon of ‘Prime Moover’.

    Bizarre than only a couple of years later they had mutated into an bizarre ZZ Top tribute act replete with odes to ‘crusing down the highway on my Harley Davidson” etc.

    Isn’t one of them in prison now his involvement in some Swedish Hells Angels feud where it came to light he had been involved in heroin importing and being a hit-man? That’s certainly ‘walking the walk’.

    The photo on the cover is in fact of the victim of a nail-bomb attack on a cafe in either Milan or Bologna (can’t quite remember), carried out in the 1970s by the fascist Ordine Neuvo as part of their ‘strategy of tension’ to incite confrontation with, and antagonism against, anarchists and leftists.

    the only live clip i’ve seen of Leather Nun is from the tube when they did “Gimme Gimme Gimme”, but they were already well on the way to being crap by then. Though Freddie Wadling looks well sleazy.

    Don’t suppose anyone has the Industrial Records cassette release of their FULL Scala set?

  3. alistairliv
    April 25, 2008 at 12:45 pm

    Saw The Leather Nun at the Feb 29th 1980 Final Solution (Colin Favor) / Scala gig and then bought the Industrial Records Slow Death ep. Still have it.

  4. Nic
    April 25, 2008 at 12:57 pm

    Always loved this record…
    Great blend of Detroit-edged punk energy and twisted noise…
    I’ve got the 7″ on Industrial and the later re-issue 12″ on Criminal Damage in 1984…
    We had ‘No Rule’ played at our wedding reception..hehehe…

    They did lose the plot later though, although I do have a soft spot for ‘Prime Mover’ and the sleaziness of ‘FFA’…

    Ah, to have been older: I would have loved to have gone to that Scala concert…
    Chris – try this link:

  5. Stockholm monster
    Stockholm monster
    April 25, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    As far as I know the story went like this: Jonas Almqvist alone had recorded the track “Death Threats”, and gave a tape of it to Genesis for xmas ’78. Gen came back and wanted to put out a record by Leather Nun, prompting Almqvist to form a full band. He recruited the other three members from Gothenburg punk band Straitjacket, and recorded the remaining tracks of the original IR 7″. Almqvist subsequently fell out with his former buddy P-Orridge, a major reason allegedly being for not receiving a single penny from the 7″.

    There were some great singles by the Nun, “Prime Mover” being the pinnacle of their career, but from there it all went downhill… in inverse proportion to the inflation of Almqvist’s ego. Though in the live situation they continued to be a force to be reckoned with; I saw a few concerts during the second half of the 80s.

    Freddie Wadling has remained a prominent figure in the Swedish underground over the years, through bands like Cortex, The Mobile Whorehouse, and Blue For Two. Lately he has bizarrely enough achieved sort of mainstream popularity through a couple of albums with his interpretations of traditional songs and ballads. His biography, aptly entitled “Freak”, was also published the other year.

  6. Nic
    April 25, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    I wondered: has anyone got a digitised version of the ‘Big Deal’ compilation LP (from 1990) that features alternative takes of Leather Nun songs?

  7. Martin C
    Martin C
    April 25, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    Never heard about the Angels / jail thing, but sounds interesting – sadly, there’s a dearth of info about them on the web. Jonas had a site where I’m pretty sure he mentioned some connection to AIK Solna hooligans the Black Angels, though Solna (Stockholm) aren’t particularly matey with Goteborg…

    True (but slightly sad) fact – I had a Swedish friend called Nick who lived in Deptford, and I was forever getting him to transcribe Swedish punk tapes. Discovering that “Ensamm I Natt” actually meant “lonesome Tonight” was a bit of a comedown, after thinking it might have meant “CHARGE YOUR BLOOD-SPLATTERED KAWASAKIS INTO TOWN AND EXTERMINATE ALL MEN WITH GLASSES”

  8. Martin C
    Martin C
    April 25, 2008 at 5:35 pm

    The glasses thing is a joke BTW, some of my best friends are visually challenged

  9. mark
    April 26, 2008 at 1:16 pm

    not heard this for years n years – no rules is pounding outa my pc and makin mi ears bleed memories – thanks

  10. NXP
    April 27, 2008 at 11:37 pm

    Ensam i natt (All alone to night) was in a edited version on the Industrial EP and was in a complete version on this Criminal Damage 12″ re-issue.

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