Oxy And The Morons – Music For The Deaf – 1981

Nice To Be Back

Dirty Harry On The Falls Road

This record uploaded tonight clocking in at ten minutes over the two sides is one of only 500 in existence. The band originally from Hackney were active from 1978 until 1983 although by the end the only constant member was the guitarist Simon.

Oxy And The Morons were sometimes mentioned in Northern Ireland circles, as according to the very small snippets of information available on the band, they performed in Belfast several times.

‘Dirty Harry On The Falls Road’ is obviously a nod to the catholic front-line so prominently surrounded by the British Army in the decades that the troubles existed in Belfast with Shankhill Road being the protestant equivalent. The song deals with the mentality of some British soldiers stationed in that area.

The band performed their last gig in 1983 at the Brixton White Horse and morphed into the band ‘See You In Vegas’.

The record itself aside from having a lovely (or in the case of my copy uploaded tonight, used to be lovely) screen-printed paper bag showing some scenes typical from Belfast back in the early 1980’s is a mixture of D.I.Y funk and reggae with punky overtones and attitude. An almighty mix up of styles but generally this works for this particular band and is reasonably presented on both sides of this record. The vocals on ‘Nice To Be Back’ reminds me a little of the late Billy McKenzie from The Associates!

I could imagine Oxy And The Morons recording for Grant Showbiz at the Street Level studio, or performing at the Idiot Ballroom or Meanwhile Gardens quite easily.

If anyone has any further information on Oxy And The Morons I would be happy to add any text to this post with a credit to the writer.

  1. Stewart Jellyfish
    Stewart Jellyfish
    October 2, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    Hi you! I have this, too! There was another single release as well: 7″ – Work / The Good Life (Music for the Deaf MFD2, UK 1982). Oxy used to play with the Managing Directors all the time. I think Dirty Harry is a great song. Their lead singer Rene used to squat off Stamford Hill somewhere. Bizarrely, four years ago I was surfing the net and came across some reasonably interesting site which mentioned Oxy – and it was by their original drummer. He’s a professor in the USA now. This is one of his emails:

    Andrew Goodwin professorofpop@gmail.com

    to me
    hey Stewart,

    Thanks for this. Thanks so much. I was the (very str8) drummer who was in college at the pcl at the time, I played on the Anti-Nazi League rally gig on the back of a truck (lorry!), April 1978, and did Chat’s Palace and a few other things. Then I went on to play with Rob Vasey in Dry Rib and O&TM went on to put out a couple of records, but with another drummer.

    That’s just FYI.

    Chuck Warner at Hyped-2-Death is *very* interested in O&TM. I’ve sent him a cassette of 2 rehearsals, but there’s nothing on there that could be put out. He’s trying to track them done. So if you have any info. please send it along.

    I enjoyed the YouTube clip. Did you see This Is England? I thought that was pretty decent.

    Would you mind if I shared some of your email at the blog? I think a post on Oxy would be a good thing, and maybe it would help Chuck find some of the main guys.

    Stay in touch. It’s things like this that make blogging worth it!



    PS KYPP people – just Googled them and found this: http://www.boredteenagers.co.uk/oxyandthemorons.htm

  2. Stewart Jellyfish
    Stewart Jellyfish
    October 2, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    LAST PS They all lived in bloody Hackney, not Belfast!!!! And they also played with Blood and Roses, who I know you all love (*winks*). Bob has namechecked them in your blurb on The Peel Tapes: “We played with the Apostles, the Witches and Oxy and the Morons.”

  3. Penguin
    Penguin • Post Author •
    October 2, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    Thanks for all those snippets Stewey. It would be cool if one of your old muckers could join the dots a little bit to expand this post. PS I mentioned the band are from Hackney in the post, just also stated they were also talked about a lot in Northern Ireland! Hugs.

  4. Charli Williams
    Charli Williams
    February 20, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    Hey, I’m the daughter of Simon (writer/guitarist of the band) and happened to put in the name of his old band and was surprised that it came up with a few pages! You can get hold of him at bankling@iol.ie! I know he’s got an attic full of old stuff, see what you get out of him. Best of luck!

  5. Martin Meteyard
    Martin Meteyard
    August 10, 2017 at 7:38 pm

    I used to hang out with the band from time to time through involvement with Hackney Rock Against Racism, went to a number of their gigs and indeed organised one or two fund-raisers where they played. My most vivid memory is of a fund-raiser they organised at Chats Palace in Homerton for the Charter 80 movement (to do with Northern Ireland). Lora Logic (formerly of X-Ray Spex) was playing – I think it might have been solo rather than with her new band Essential Logic. She was asked to make a statement about Northern Ireland, and when she refused Andy from the Mekons pulled the plug on the sound system. We then all went back to someone’s flat (might have been Simon’s?), argued for hours about whether that was justified and more generally about the relationship between politics and music, and finally all crashed out on the floor around 4am. Happy days!

  6. Lorraine Bowen
    Lorraine Bowen
    April 14, 2021 at 8:27 pm

    I’m Lorraine Bowen who replaced Hank the bass player when he left ‘See You in Vegas’. Wonderful memories of rehearsing in Simon’s flat in the Pembury Estate in Hackney in 1985, crouching in the back of the van to go to The Bull and Gate in Archway and boys coming up to me saying “you’re a great bass player” – but unfortunately I wasn’t!!

  7. Skinthegoat
    August 9, 2021 at 6:05 pm

    They played a fundraiser for the Socialist Workers’ Tendency in a pub whose name eludes my ageing faculties, in Pearse Street, Dublin in, I think, 1979. The enthusiastic left-wing pogo-ing in the upstairs room sent a shower of plaster into the pints of bemused punters in the bar below, and we were told to fuck off and never come back. Happy days!

  8. Joe Carey
    Joe Carey
    January 18, 2024 at 3:14 pm

    I remember their gig in Belfast at Rock Against Repression in June ’79. Charge played too along with some local bands. They were held in high regard here, because I think they were the first band from GB to play West Belfast. A very exciting time, seeing a gig in what was considered by many as a no-go area. They inspired quite a few young folk to have a go.

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