The Astronauts / Blyth Power – The Crypt, St Albans 07/12/85

The Astronauts– Friends / Books / Gothic Rooms / Blues / Terraways / Getting Things Done / Following Orders / Gold At The Top

Blyth Power– God Has Gone Wrong Again / Corialanus / Chevy Chase / Under The Sea Wind / Blow The Man Down / Bricklayers Arms / Hurling Time / Probably Won’t Be Easy / The Mermaid / John O Gaunt / Junction Signal / Bind Their Kings In Chains / Smoke From Cromwells Time 

A very good month was December 1985, I witnessed Blyth Power five times performing in Brixton, Stoke Newington, Tufnell Park, Welwyn Garden City, and this performance in St Albans, the only one I recorded unfortunately…I wish I took the recorder to the Stoke Newington Blyth Power and Astronauts performance with Zos Kia and Psychic TV…oh well, never mind…

A crystal clear crowd recording of both sets, played well by both the bands. All the way through 1985 Blyth Power seemed on top form and towards the end of the year they seemed even more on the ball. All the gigs that year seemed like genuine celebrations, and well worth the effort to attend, and I attended a lot of them!

Other bands performing on this night in St Albans were The Shout who I remember as being quite Clashy, and Medical Melodies, a band dressed up in white coats sounding a bit like The Cardiacs…

A selection of photos of Blyth Power earlier in the year 24/08/85 at the Idiot Ballroom, Broadway Bar, Clarenden Hotel, Hammersmith, W6, cos I took none in St Albans…Notice to JOHN EDEN – Simon Norris (PTV lackey) back of head bottom left!

Use the search function for more Astronauts and Blyth Power.

  1. John Eden
    John Eden
    March 27, 2008 at 12:18 am

    Ha ha, I think I might have been there, aged all of 16. 🙂 Someone dropped some brussel sprouts all over the floor and I think I offered to sweep them up at the end.

    Have you got any Medical Melodies recordings, Pengy? I remember them as being a great local band… I was a bit in awe of the St Albans anarcho punks really – they put on some great gigs and did some cool zines but were that crucial few years older than the people I hung out with…

  2. Penguin
    Penguin • Post Author •
    March 27, 2008 at 12:34 am

    Yeah I have a Medical Melodies tape, bought off the band on this actual night. It is with the rest of my tapes in a huge box at work in my office! Will dig it out…Black Pig and Mucalige (?) were two zines from that town that I can remember.

  3. John Eden
    John Eden
    March 27, 2008 at 8:52 am

    Yeah Mucilage was probably the first zine I ever bought – Crass interview from it (and a scan of the cover) up here:

    There were also a load of leaflets, stickers on lamp posts, one of them even ran for the local council elections on a kind of CND anti-capitalist ticket. I’ve still got some of this stuff somewhere as well, it was very inspiring to have people doing stuff like this where I was growing up…

  4. Nic
    March 27, 2008 at 10:30 am

    I went to 2 of the gigs on this tour (Birmingham and Leamington Spa): very enjoyable…
    I still have a copy of this flyer somewhere as well…

    Incidentally – the ‘thrash’ incarnation of Napalm Death played their first concert some months earlier (end of August) with Blyth Power and Chumbawamba in Telford…

    The big question is: did the chocolate pressings of ‘Stations…’ ever get eaten?

  5. John Eden
    John Eden
    March 30, 2008 at 8:41 pm

    LOL – I think “lackey” is a bit unfair on Simon!

    He now records as Cyclobe:

    I bumped into him recently and he was mooting a move out of London and seemed chipper.

  6. Nic
    March 30, 2008 at 8:49 pm

    I have a couple of Cyclobe records – throbbing crepuscular nightscapes…

  7. Penguin
    Penguin • Post Author •
    March 30, 2008 at 10:02 pm

    Yeah, Simon is a good bloke, I have not really seen him since I helped him (via Paula P Orridge) get a little job at Beck Road, that’s the reason I put lackey cos it was what he was doing first of all with the TOPY organisation, I know he went onto bigger things. It was not meant to be disrespectful!
    He was with TOPY around the same time Brougham Road was being emptied by the council and All The Madmen had relocated to Kings Cross (I was the ATM lackey by the way, running errends, opening mail etc!!!).
    Will check out the Cyb site John and see if I can get in contact with him again. I knew his folks went to live in Sudbury which fits in nicely with a different post regarding Small Wonder Records! Got a great photo of Simon when he was about 14 or 15…

  8. John Eden
    John Eden
    March 31, 2008 at 9:25 am

    Yeah, I think most people here have done their fair share of envelope stuffing, letter writing, cassette duplicating etc! 🙂

  9. Eddie
    May 31, 2008 at 9:09 pm

    I just wanted to say thanks for this and the other Astronauts tape. I’ve been a fan since I was about 13. Presumably you already know about the Otters, Mark’s other band?

  10. allan clifford
    allan clifford
    September 11, 2008 at 11:15 pm

    Hello Mick P. and KYPP

    Allan Clifford here. I used to do gigs at the Old Queens Head in Stockwell if you remember . . . and I lived at the Maury Road squat in Stokey for years with Suzy and all them Italians.

    I also wrote the Mucilage fanzine, quite chuffed to see me Crass interview on the web and liberally quoted in Crass biog a few years back.

    Sorry to say that Bod who was mainstay of Medical Melodies died a few years back.

    I was also the person who stood in local election in St. Albans for the Letts Havva Party.

    Am sorry to hear the John Eden thought St Anals anarchopunkers were awesome i thought we were a bit cuddly and even fluffy.

    anyhoo i ended up here at this webpage ’cause i now live in Leeds and I got talking and drinking with this guy who’s ‘only’ 29(!!) and he was on about what a great band he thought Blyth Power were. So I dug out the ‘Bricklayers’ tape from the attic and it still sounds pretty great, forgot how bloody great Josef’s lyrics were.

    I once did an interview with Josef for Mucilage at Meanwhile Gardens. I’d love to see it again (I have no copies of Mucilage) cause I was so disgustingly mullered when I did it that I made a right plonker of meself.

    Not for the first time either.



  11. Penguin
    Penguin • Post Author •
    September 11, 2008 at 11:40 pm

    Hi Allan, you certainly put some good gigs on at the Old Queens Head, glad you are well…x

  12. John Eden
    John Eden
    September 12, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    Hi Allan! Drop me an email at

    – eden at uncarved dot org –

    I have issues 2 and 3 of mucilage and can sort you out with scans or photocopies of the blyth power interview. Be great to hear from you.

  13. Neil Transpontine
    Neil Transpontine
    October 23, 2008 at 11:35 pm

    I wasn’t at this gig, but did see Brigandage at the Crypt, supported by Karma Sutra.

    As for Blyth Power in Brixton – where was that?. The first time I saw Blyth Power was around this time at a squat gig in Brixton, in an a squatted pub I believe. Flowers in the Dustbin and I’m pretty sure The Astronauts and Karma Sutra played too. I came down with Karma in their van from Luton. Things is I moved to Brixton a couple of years later and have been in South London ever since but have never been able to work out where I was that night. I’ve got a feeling it may have been somewhere near the Old White Horse but not sure. Somebody help me place this in my personal psychogeographic map.

  14. Penguin
    Penguin • Post Author •
    October 24, 2008 at 1:52 am

    Brixton Fridge with Poison Girls Neil.

  15. Neil Transpontine
    Neil Transpontine
    October 24, 2008 at 5:43 pm

    The gig I went to definitely wasn’t at the (old) Fridge (though I did see Rubella Ballet there around that time). Looking at the list of Blyth Power gigs it could have been the March 1985 gig at the Crown and Anchor in Brixton Rd. This is in the right location – it was definitely a squatted pub on a corner not far from the Old White Horse.

  16. Penguin
    Penguin • Post Author •
    October 24, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    Assumed you were asking about the one in Dec 1985 from my original post above,

    As for Blyth Power in Brixton – where was that?

  17. Neil Transpontine
    Neil Transpontine
    October 24, 2008 at 10:22 pm

    Crossed wires – think we’ve now established there were two BP gigs in Brixton in 1985! Anybody else remember the earlier (Crown & Anchor?) one? It started off in the daytime if I recall correctly, Flowers in the Dustbin definitely played too. I sent off for a Little Touch of Harry in the Night soon after and played that tape to death.

  18. allan clifford
    allan clifford
    January 23, 2009 at 12:18 am

    now i reckon that it might have been one of our gigs at the old queens head on stockwell road??

  19. Pete Smith
    Pete Smith
    May 1, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    Anyone has for sale The Astronauts CD It’s all done by mirrors.
    Will pay a good price.
    If so, please contact me on 07826112455

  20. ady panic
    ady panic
    June 12, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    i know it’s a bit on the late side to ask this, but i dont suppose you’re the Pete Smith that used to run the hatfield print workshop or the pete as in “pete protest” of protest fanzine fame,
    just so you know I was the bass player for the astronauts that night, anyway if that is you pete hope your well and if not just ignore me!
    thanks for the great KYPP site, brings back dem memories.

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