Menace – Small Wonder Records – 1978

G.L.C.

I’m Civilised

Second chant along single by Menace, this time on Small Wonder Records. Great stuff and as good as the debut single ‘Screwed Up’ which is also on this site if you care to search for it using the search function.

Text below courtesy of punk77.co.uk.

Menace are the best punk band in England today!” enthused Sniffing Glue way back then. Menace were one of the wave of punk bands to explode out of the London scene in the summer of ’77. They epitomized everything about that incredible year. they played all the main punk gigs like the Roxy, Hope & Anchor and Vortex, as well as Rock Against Racism festivals, building up a large following which was boosted by regular support slots with Sham 69. They were pure punk!

Initially signing to Illegal Records, their first charting single was ‘Screwed Up/Insane Society’. However, their second single ‘GLC’ was much more controversial. It was a superb rant against the then Tory-run Greater London Council which tried to ban punk gigs in the capital. It was hard hitting with it’s take no prisoners ‘you’re full of shit!’ lyrics and was promptly banned my many radio stations. Three more singles followed, but by now, 1979, trouble was brewing. Fascist attendance at Sham 69 gigs, hostile press borne out of ignorance finally led Menace calling it a day.

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38 comments
  1. Ian S
    Ian S
    November 17, 2008 at 11:26 am

    Menace got back together and played some gigs a few years ago. Chris and myself went to see them in Camden.

    It was not a good experience. Not so much a band reforming, more like Frankenstein’s monster being given the illusion of life thanks to the national grid.

  2. Martin C
    Martin C
    November 17, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    I’ve got the Menace ‘GLC-RIP’ CD, which is all the singles (lasts about 20 mins, end to end) – absolutely brilliant band. My older brother saw them play live on the roof of some market in London (Beaufort St?) that got shut down around ’79 or ’80. In fact, there’s not a crap minute on that CD (well, except maybe the cover of ‘The Young Ones’).

  3. Martin C
    Martin C
    November 17, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    Actually, Menace were so great, I reckon KYPP should declare this “MENACE WEEK”, with all posts related to Menace and featuring Menace downloads. You could also do one of those ‘Rickroll’ things – I dunno, like post a rare reggae LP or Psychic TV 12″, but with the download actually being ‘Screwed Up’ by Menace.

  4. Jah Pork Pie
    Jah Pork Pie
    November 17, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    This were the lot that really let me know that it was for real. Sure, a few bands had used the word “fuck” in their songs and the Pistols had called Grundy a dirty old fucker, but a band from London actually calling the GLC “full of shit” let me know that there was no longer a “them” who could stomp on us for saying what we wanted, when we wanted (don’t forget, I was quite young and idealistic at the time). It was brave and good.

  5. Phil R
    Phil R
    November 17, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    I became the proud owner of Morgans original home made GLC T shirt which I loved until it completely fell off me.
    Apparently, Jayne County suggested that they write a song about the bastard head of the GLC who was trying to close down the roxy club at the time

  6. Crass Dave
    Crass Dave
    November 17, 2008 at 4:33 pm

    Excellent track this , classic punk. I also rate “Last Years Youth” and the excellent “Carry no banners”, which at the time everyone was protesting and carrying banners especially with regards to RAR, then later on the Crass CND, Animal Rights, etc. Looking back now it seems so far away from the individual and creative side and enjoyment side of what punk was about.

  7. Crass Dave
    Crass Dave
    November 17, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    Hey Phil R wasn’t Morgan originally from Bishop Auckland ?

  8. Ian S
    Ian S
    November 17, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    he’s a Canadian by birth iirc.

  9. Phil R
    Phil R
    November 17, 2008 at 5:21 pm

    Dunno where he was from, it was my boy friend that obtained the t-shirt from him..Don’t ask me how.

  10. Steve
    Steve
    November 17, 2008 at 9:23 pm

    Isn’t Morgan Webster dead?

    Ironically I think I Need Nothing is their REAL classic…

  11. Martin C
    Martin C
    November 17, 2008 at 10:41 pm

    Yeah, think he died of cancer a few years back.

    Steve is right, “I Need Nothing / Electrocutioner’ needs uploading…you lot should, URRGH! ((sudden sound of breaking glass, as Penguin and KYPP hordes turn their table over, kicking my head in and battering me with knuckledusters and copies of the Club Foot LP))

  12. baronvonzubb
    baronvonzubb
    November 18, 2008 at 10:49 am

    Those menace singles were great.’Civilised’ a great anthem.
    ‘Dont you wanna be civilised too?’
    At the time I thoght they were a bit derivative. Sort of Sham esq. Didnt we all pile up to the Hope & Anchor or somewhere once to see’em, Pork? I got a vague memory of that.

  13. Nic
    Nic
    November 18, 2008 at 11:56 am

    I absolutely love the ‘Screwed Up’/’Insane Society’ single: my copy has been very well-loved…

    There’s a brilliant urgency to the production of ‘Screwed Up’ (something in the bass / hi-hat blend)…I’m also a sucker for the brief pause (punctuated with a slide down the guitar strings) just before the chorus starts…

    ‘Insane Society’ has some great moronic chanting of the title on the chorus, and a particularly great tone to the delivery of the vocal…

    I like ‘GLC’ and ‘Electrocutioner’ (and ‘I’m Civilised’ is OK as a piece of Garage Punk), but I’ve never really dug any of the other songs…

    The very thought of going to see them play live now fills me with inertia…

  14. Martin C
    Martin C
    November 19, 2008 at 1:50 am

    Incidentally, I think Nic is mad, everything Menace recorded between 77 and 79 is awesome. Though yeah, wouldn’t go and see them now, especially as the singer’s pushing up nettles.

  15. Eve Libertine
    Eve Libertine
    November 19, 2008 at 2:02 am

    I’d just like to say…there were times when I was voicing anti-xian poetry for Crass – who I do love dearly – that I wish MENACE had employed a female backing singer. Personally, I adore “INSANE SOCIETY” and wish I’d been a part of the monumental recording session that birthed that particular classic.

    To be honest, ‘Electrocutioner’ makes me want to swoon with its pure prole libidinal charge.

  16. Pete Wright
    Pete Wright
    November 19, 2008 at 2:07 am

    Personally, I hated being in Crass. Being gobbed at by ‘punks’…hardly a dignified way for a man of my age and sensibilities to retire! Punk was a negative waste of energy…but, if I’m honest with myself, I’d have loved to have been in Menace!!! Just check out ‘Live for Today’ and ‘Carry No Banners’…but, be still, my aching prostate gland…I guess I just wasn’t good enough to make it as a Menace bassist. I’ll carry it to my grave…but at least we’ve got the recordings. Can we please have more Menace uploads? Peace + Luv, Pete.

  17. Sir John Read
    Sir John Read
    November 19, 2008 at 2:20 am

    As chairman of EMI during the Sex Pistols furore, many people ask me – was my biggest regret sacking the Pistols off the label, under social and moral pressure, before they became hot property?

    I have to say a resounding NO -my biggest regret is that I never signed up MENACE. Promoted properly, their astounding ‘Screwed Up’ 7″ would have rocketed to number 1. As for songs like ‘Tomorrow’s World’ and ‘GLC’, my pacemaker does skip a bleep when I think of what could have been. Still, hindsight’s a wonderful thing – I admit, I ‘screwed up’ – haha! Geddit?

  18. Jah Pork Pie
    Jah Pork Pie
    November 19, 2008 at 4:43 am

    “Punk was a negative waste of energy”

    1977: I had no idea about politics other than that my parents were Labour voters and that I would proceed that way. You can, I’m sure, see the loss of self-worth in that.

    Punk gave me a sense of being a beautiful sovereign individual and of my ideas being worth as much, and no more, than anybody else’s ideas. It gave me the ability and the impetus to express my thoughts and to learn from the thoughts of my peers (everyone else) and to accept or reject them as appropriate to me or otherwise.

    I don’t do much for a living now because I still have the idea that I don’t want to earn money for rich arseholes who want to make even more money out of poor/stupid/disadvantaged people (like me). I lost a lot of friends in 79-80-odd to drugs/illness/general neglect. But it encouraged me to go to university and learn a little more about it all, it lets me be slightly more articulate about why I don’t want to participate in the game now, and it makes me feel better because I know I’m not alone, as an individual, if I live in a society of individuals.

    That’s what we did. Me, my dead friends, and my living friends with whom I’m reacquainted thanks to Penguin.

    I’m sorry that it didn’t mean that much to you. Perhaps you used it for something else, or mistook it for something else. But then, I guess, Punk meant a lot of things to a lot of people.

  19. John No Last Name
    John No Last Name
    November 19, 2008 at 10:34 am

    Er Pork, sorry to burst your bubble, but I think the posts from Sir John Reid, Eve Libertine and Pete Wright were all intended to be funny and were posted by the same person as a joke.

  20. Nic
    Nic
    November 19, 2008 at 10:36 am

    ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. Mr T
    Mr T
    November 19, 2008 at 10:55 am

    Am I hearing you right, sucka?!?
    Man, you’re crazier than Murdoch!

    I got no time for this Menace jibba jabba: No, I don’t hate Menace, but I pity the fools (just like I pity the fools who tried to close down my center for my kids).

    Why do you think Mr T got a Mohican haircut? I can see I’m gonna have to school a fool: sure, it’s a symbol of my Africal heritage in the Mandiko tribe, but Mr T got hawked because of Crass!

    I don’t mean to come uninvited to the party, but when punks start hasslin’ decent people, I make it my business!

    And one more thing, sucka: treat your mother right – and eat my cereal!

  22. Penguin
    Penguin • Post Author •
    November 19, 2008 at 11:03 am

    I can confirm that Sir John, Eve and Pete W are in fact the same person and I notice that the IP address is the same as one of the commentators on this thread.
    Mr T is a different commentator on this thread though.
    Will Eddie The Eagle leave a comment praising Menace I wonder, by the time I get back from work?
    Bit of a shame really. If it was the real Mr T leaving a comment on this site my life would have been fulfilled at last…oh well ๐Ÿ™ will have to wait patiently.

  23. Jah Pork Pie
    Jah Pork Pie
    November 19, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    “the posts from Sir John Reid, Eve Libertine and Pete Wright were all intended to be funny and were posted by the same person as a joke.”

    I see none of us will be making a living on the standup circuit any time soon then.

  24. Nic
    Nic
    November 19, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    Ha Ha Ha ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. Jimmy Tarbuck
    Jimmy Tarbuck
    November 19, 2008 at 5:24 pm

    “I see none of us will be making a living on the standup circuit any time soon then”

    Hey, no need rub it in

  26. baron von zubb
    baron von zubb
    November 19, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    Glad you fell 4 it before I did Pork.I was gonna say how interesting it was having ex Crass members on the site…

  27. Penguin
    Penguin • Post Author •
    November 21, 2008 at 1:10 am

    Apologies to all that commentated on that link from Sound Hound a few days ago, unfortunately myself and Tony have had to delete comments and the actual post itself due to a high number of blogs being given a thumping due to having the link on the blogs.
    I broke up the the link immediately to avoid any quick detection from the powers that be. But just to be on the safe side we have decided to delete follow up comments. Sorry about that, worked on this site for over a year, with a lot of time and love, and would not relish having it taken off air with no warning via the ‘back door’ by the powers that be who are protecting the guilty whilst waving the data protection act above their heads. Hope you understand.
    Do not mention anything further or post any links to do with this subject please people.

  28. Nic
    Nic
    November 21, 2008 at 9:42 am

    Now we can get back to basking in the sweetness of Pork and Zubb’s innocent belief that the ex-chairman of EMI Records would be a lurker on the KYPP comments…
    ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. Penguin
    Penguin • Post Author •
    November 21, 2008 at 9:59 am

    He must be about a thousand years old by now Nic, hunched over his PC.

  30. Nic
    Nic
    November 21, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    Definitely..and, after all the time he spends posting on the Dubstep forums and updating his Bebo profile, he hasn’t got any time for here…

  31. baron von zubb
    baron von zubb
    November 23, 2008 at 5:07 pm

    My stoopidity is confined to ex crass members.
    Or should that read? Oh never mind! Yesterday I went to see a council estate flat completely covered from floor to ceiling with potassium crystals. Never knew ‘the elephant ‘ was so exciting.

  32. Arthur
    Arthur
    December 7, 2008 at 7:18 pm

    Does anyone know what happened to Pete Stennet of ‘Small Wonder Records’? I used to visit the Hoe Street shop in Walthamstow on a very frequent basis from 1974-1976 as I lived a stones throw away in the YMCA there.
    Through Pete I got intro’d to many new bands.

    The good old days ๐Ÿ™‚

  33. alistairliv
    alistairliv
    December 7, 2008 at 10:31 pm

    Arthur – Pete moved to Sudbury after he left Walthamstow.

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