The Intestines – Alternative Capitalists Records – 1980

Life In A Cardboard Box

New Recruit / Anyway

Hugely indebted to Chris Low a long time regular KYPP browser and helping hand, for handing me this Intestines 7″ single during the last Mob gig that we both attended. Many thanks also to Neil Keenan ex of the parish of both Faction and Blyth Power for looking after the gift safely in his bag whilst I got to get munted at the gig. I must admit I did not know of The Intestines, but I do now. Thanks Chris.

The photographs and the timeline was pillaged ungraciously from the dedicated Intestines website ( Thanks in advance to those fine people. The private letter written by Rob of The Intestines to Chris Low in the very early 1980’s has been placed onto the post, thanks to Chris for allowing that and for sending it to me.

JULY 1978 – With little in the way of prospects in the UK seaside resort town of Bournemouth, England – four friends Rob “Banks”, Dave “John the Baptist”, Dale Clarke and Harry “Scrubber” leave school and form a band, Intestines.

The name is chosen because “It was the only thing we had in common”.

They set about putting music to Scrubbers lyrics. With no formal musical know-how – Dave can play a few Beatles songs on guitar – it’s an uphill struggle. They begin to develop their own style of raucous, throw away punk rock.

AUG 1979 – First live performance. Discussions held with Alternative Capitalists record label about releasing some of the bands material. Dale Clarke leaves to take up a career with the Royal Air Force.

SEPT 1979 – Sid Bladder (real name Adrian Jenkinson?) joins on Bass guitar to replace Clarke. Sid can’t play but is welcomed into the band for entertainment value alone

NOV 1979 – ‘Inept Tour’ begins with Intestines supported by five other local bands. After the one gig the ‘tour’ lives up to it’s billing and collapses.

JAN 1980 – ‘Life In a Cardboard Box’, ‘New Recruit’ and ‘Anyway’ recorded at Studio 95.

Alternative Capitalists release a various artists cassette ‘Illigitimi Non Carbonori’ including live recordings of Intestines’ ‘Life In a Cardboard Box’, ‘Rich’ and ‘Family at War’.

The band release a Cassette Album ‘Borborygmus’ on their own label Inept Products. It contains 15 live tracks of dubious sound quality. Borborygmus is the medical term for flatulence in the intestines.

FEB 1980 – Sid Bladder quits the band. He goes to live in Amsterdam “Where the drugs are cheaper”.

MAR 1980 – Richard Jones joins on Bass Guitar. Like Sid he can’t play. A regular feature at Intestines gigs photographing the band Jones uses his local media contacts to step up the profile of the band.

MAY 1980 – Poole Art Centre performance with The Mob, The Review and Null And Void.

JUNE 1980 – Another Cassette album release by Alternative Capitalists ‘No More Kitchen Cooking’ includes Intestines tracks ‘Wet Paint’, ‘Repressed’ and ‘Alternative Capitalist’.

JULY 1980 – Struggling to get high profile gigs the band hit upon the idea of promoting gigs under the Inept banner. They book the up and coming outfit Piranhas,who are touring to promote their new single ‘Tom Hark’, for next to nothing. Intestines are the support act. In the meantime ‘Tom Hark’ rockets to number one in the UK charts and Intestines get to support the number one act in the country before nearly 1,500 people. Trouble erupts though. The venue was only licensed to hold 700 people and sales exceeded capacity.

OCT 1980 – Intestines support chart hits the UK Subs at the Stateside Centre, Bournemouth.

Richard Jones is sacked from the band.

‘Life in a Cardboard Box’ single is released on Alternative Capitalist Label.

NOV 1980 – Steve ‘Snatch’ Morgan joins the band from The Rabies. His ability on the bass guitar is a major boost to the band.

Radio One air play for ‘Life In a Cardboard Box’.

MAR 1981 – Second release by the band on the Inept Product label. A double cassette album ‘Borborygmus II’ contains 30 tracks.

Snatch, increasingly absent from rehearsals, leaves. Scrubber, Banks and Baptist record two tracks ‘Borborygmus’ and ‘Label Madman’ at Studio 95 for what is intended to be the second single.

APRIL 1981 – Determined to maintain the momentum and also breath fresh life into Intestines the decision is made to merge the three remaining Intestines with members of Illegitimate, who have become their regular support band. Menace joins on guitar, Paul Hurst on Bass guitar and Mike Shaw on vocals introducing the unusual practice of having two main vocalists in the band.

JULY 1981 – The merger at first appears to have revived the dynamics of the band but cracks quickly start to show. Trouble follows a gig at Poole Technical College as Menace threatens to quit after walking off stage half way through the set. Paul Hurst pulls out of the next gig in Oxford. He is replaced on bass by Dave Flanagan of the U-Boats.

AUG 1981 – Paul Hurst and Menace quit the band. In the throws of disillusion both Shaw and Harry Scrubber announce their decisions to leave the band also.

Intestines play their final gig on the 24th August. Harry, Rob, Dave and Dave Flanagan, joined on a couple of numbers by Mike Shaw, draw the curtain on the band.

SEPT 1981 – Second vinyl 45 ‘Borborygmus’ released on Inept Label. Only limited run of the single is made following demise of the band.

Intestines Live At Poole Tech Cassette is released on the Inept Label.

1982 – Rob and Dave form a new band Butcher with Steve ‘Snatch’ Morgan.

They went on to release two singles.

Snatch sadly died in 1982

  1. Chris L
    Chris L
    March 10, 2013 at 2:06 am

    Glad you liked the record – and got it home in one piece!

    I’ve always loved the song “New Recruit” . Absolutely classic DIY sound and reminds me of some TVPs or ATV stuff more than anything.

    It may also interest readers to know that the first incarnation of Napalm Death – Nick Bullen & Miles Ratledge period, ie ‘good’ 😉 – did a cover of “New Recruit” . A couple of the earliest tapes Nick + Miles sent me had versions of it.

  2. Graham Burnett
    Graham Burnett
    March 10, 2013 at 10:44 am

    Classic single! I think I still have the ‘Borborygmus Pt 2’ Double cassette ‘Box Set’ around somewhere.

  3. Chris L
    Chris L
    March 10, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    + first person who says what other record lifted it’s cover image direct from this 7″ wins a go on Pengy’s scooter.

  4. Graham Burnett
    Graham Burnett
    March 11, 2013 at 10:58 pm

    I think The Pop Group used it on the big poster that came with ‘Y’, but that pre-dated The Intestines by a couple of years rather than lifting from them…

  5. chris L
    chris L
    March 20, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    Aha!! You’re absolutely right. + explains Sherwood/On-U using the image on the Tackhead 12″

    August 11, 2021 at 5:41 pm

    The image was also used on a Cramps bootleg 7″

  7. Jeff Barber
    Jeff Barber
    July 9, 2022 at 2:44 pm

    Chris L – do you still have that ND demo? Harry from Intestines is my brother in law and I’d like to get a copy for him

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