The Instant Automatons – Deleted Records – 1980

Nice Job For The Lad / Laburnum Walk / New Musak

People Laugh At Me Cos I Like Wierd Music / John’s Vacuum Cleaner / Peter Pants His Fence 

I have not put any slice’s of Streetlevel Studio recordings up on the site for a little while.

Here is the debut Deleted Records release by The Instant Automatons from 1980, which was recorded at Streetlevel and fits in quite nicely with the D.I.Y. ethic from that studio, at that period of time. This single release by the Automatons especially reminiscent of the material being recorded there by Mark Perry and Nag for various projects, nicely de-constructed via the mix by either Kif Kif or Grant Showbiz.

Plenty of eclectic sound and variations on this record, performed by Mark Automaton and the wonderful Protag, who was the face behind the mixing desk at many squat and club gigs from the early to mid 1980’s, and of course, the soundman with Grant Showbiz for the bi-annual summer all day music festivals at Meanwhile Gardens, Westbourne Grove, which lasted from 1976 until 1987 or thereabouts…

From the mid 1980’s Protag was the bass player for Alternative TV, a couple of years later on, the bass player for Blyth Power, and nowadays I think, he is performing in Zounds.

If you are interested in all things Streetlevel, please enter that word into the search function. You will find many related items in music download or text format, music wise you can find gems from Zounds practises to 012 demos and live performances by The Mob and The Astronauts. Also many rare, and hard to find, Mark Perry related studio sessions and live material from various bands he was involved in at that time, are one this site.

Check both the sites below for extra information on The Instant Automatons and for a complete Streetlevel Studio discography. 

Will get the Instant Automatons, Blue Midnight and Hamburger All Stars split LP uploaded at some point in the future.

Official Instant Automatons site here

Official Streetlevel Studio site here

  1. Nic
    March 26, 2008 at 10:04 am

    The Blues Masters of the Humber Delta!
    A great slice of UK D.I.Y. (‘New Muzak’ is a classic with its robotic vocal) – and very collectable now (as are all of their releases)…

    The lyrics of ‘People Laugh at Me’ are hilarious – and also tellingly ‘of their time’ in their delineation of the tribalism amongst the youth…

    Protag was in the latest/last line-up of Zoundz with Birmingham’s ex-pat ubiquitous drummer (and thoroughly good egg) Stick (ex-Doom/Extreme Noise Terror, etc)…

    Mark Automaton has made the larger proportion (if not all) of their back catalogue available for free download from his site…

  2. Graham Burnett
    Graham Burnett
    June 1, 2008 at 9:44 am

    I also used to have a tape of an Instant Automatons ‘side project’ called 391, which came with a single frame of some ‘Dada film’ or something. Tracks that I remember include one called ‘mid 50s Teenage Dance Party’ and ‘Falling From Helicopters’. The second side was one long 20 minutes or so ‘Dada concept track’. Ring any bells Nic?

  3. Nic
    June 1, 2008 at 11:32 am

    Yes, Graham – the cassette was called ‘No Easy Way Out’…

    Here’s a link:

  4. richpassivity
    June 1, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    There is also an INSTANT AUTOMATONS CD on the Hyped2Death label that has also put out all the great ‘Messthetics’ UK DIY comp CDs

  5. martin togher
    martin togher
    January 26, 2009 at 10:30 am

    I bought a copy of this when it came out! A friend at school knew the band and sold copies. I think i still have it, will have to check my attic as it must be about 30 years old now. I remember hearing a track from the EP on John Peel, I think he played John’s Vacuum Cleaner.

  6. Sally
    February 21, 2009 at 3:07 am

    Hello All
    Tonight I was out with Mark (automaton). He is well and into other things now. Well not new to him as he as always been into photography. (You can see me on the site – best picture of me yet. Wish I looked like that now!!)
    Can’t believe that something that we had so much fun with and took so seriously at the time has lasted longer than we have.
    And John Peel actually listened to the band and played it — fame indeed.
    I played (badly – of course as that was the point) keyboards, but never made it past Protags bedroom studio.
    Happy days.

  7. Graham Burnett
    Graham Burnett
    February 21, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    Interesting article about Messthetics Al, and nice also to see our old mates 6 Minute War and others namechecked in the Grauniard!

    My band Stripey Zebras appear on Chuck Warner’s latest ‘Messthetics Greatest Hiss’ CD comp, its had positive reviews in The Times, Mojo and airplay on US radio – funny how we are getting far more attention and interest now than we ever did 30 odd years ago when maybe we had some relevance!!

  8. Nic
    February 22, 2009 at 10:59 am

    Chuck (Messthetics) is a great bloke who really appreciates the music he makes available again (or sometimes for the first time)…

    Actually, I have to email the KYPP mafia (Tony, Al, Penguin) regarding Chuck as he would like to contact some people who you know regarding potentially releasing some of their material: I’ll get on it soon…

  9. alistairliv
    February 22, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    KYPP mafia? I thought we were an anarcho-syndicalist collective…

  10. Stewart
    February 22, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    I always thought you were a sort of guerrilla veterinarian death squad?

  11. Chris L
    Chris L
    April 12, 2011 at 2:20 am

    Just found an upload of the “it’s contagious” comp tape which my friend, Todd, has uploaded on his splendid site:

    (contains a couple of Instant Automatons tracks plus other obscurities)

  12. Mic wood.
    Mic wood.
    March 25, 2021 at 2:39 pm

    The Lp Love not devotion. There are 3 or 4 white lable copies with a completely differant recording of 2 of the automaton tracks

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