What’s Going On / Shuffling Souls / Another Day Another Death / Cry Of The Morning / Dance On (You Fool) / Raised In A Prison / Slayed / Our Life Our World / Gates Of Hell / I Wish / Stay / Mirror Breaks / Witch Hunt / No Doves Fly Here / Never Understood / Pissing In The River / I Hear You Laughing
Exactly one week after The Mob performed a reunion gig in Bristol, Kill Your Pet Puppy proudly presents, exclusively, the audio of that night’s performance.
In this small sweaty venue The Mob bashed out most of the classics. There were some inevitable casualties within the set, notibly ‘Cry Of The Morning’, ‘Gates Of Hell’ and ‘Stay’ for which there were a few mistakes during those songs. The audience on the night were forgiving and understanding of the nervousness that the band must have felt after thirty years of non performance. There were bound to be the odd misplaced note or chaotic ending to some of the songs. Folk who had witnessed The Mob in the band’s original lifetime would probably all state that the band always performed pretty ‘loosely’ at any rate. Listening to old period tapes uploaded on this KYPP site would back that statement up!
The original drummer, Graham Fallows (who had not followed Mark and Curtis out of Yeovil in 1980) had never owned or heard a copy of The Mob’s ‘Let The Tribe Increase’ LP released on All The Madmen records in 1983 until November 2010 so his practising over the last few months really did pay off on the tracks that were new to him.
The whole night was one to remember, many old faces were in attendance throughout the night which made it near on impossible to connect with these old aquaintances properly before someone else pulled you away a minute or so later, and that continued throughout the night inside and outside the venue. Mark Astronaut struggled hard all night to remember the chorus to ‘Dirty Squatters’ by Zounds as he was ready to be hauled up on stage with the band to perform exactly those lyrics. The tiny room at the top of the stairs where boxes of lager and cider were stored along with cartons of very tasty lentil, or if you preferred, chick pea curry and rice. This rider was there for all the performing band’s refreshment courtesy of Mark and Leah who were both stepping into ‘Raymond’ mode for the night (minus the Vauxhall Viva of course). Max who helped release the debut 7″ single by The Mob ‘Crying Again’ took back his royalties for that release from 1980 on this warm Bristol night in cans boxed up in that little room!
Father Raymond looked onto the crowd throughout the whole of the evening via digital technology (not a ghostly special appearance) on a large screen over the centre of the venue…This screen, during the Mob’s set, was switched to show, in a loop, selected period photographs of the 1980-83 anarcho punk scene all ripped from this very same Kill Your Pet Puppy site. I should know, I ripped them!
John Active was busy on the stall punting various Mob t-shirts and screen printed posters (limited to 200 copies!) amongst other Active Distribution gear…
Rich Munday, the blond dreadlocked sound man on the night was of enormous help thoughout the evening, attaching backdrops to back of stage, helping Leah with the laptop sound system, helping Steve Rudell with the vinyl sound system…Dealing with the slideshow Apple Mac and last but not least checking all the band’s sound was tip top on the night! Thanks to Rich for all that graft.
Thanks also, on behalf of The Mob, to all the folk that showed up at this gig, and also of course Leah, Tessa and Steve Corr for running around during the last few months helping organise the whole thing in the west country. A pat on the back to me as well for, well, you know…enthusiasm on several Mob related fronts including myspace, facebook and KYPP. Keeping the word alive digitally…
Thanks to all the Wild and Wilson children that turned up seemingly on masse for this occasion. Thanks also of course to the fifty or so Yeovil area folk that showed up including a bunch of Flying Pigs, some Null And Voiders and a smattering of Dead Popstars. Also to Insurrection, Rubella Ballet, Zounds, Idiot Strength and Andy T, bands that all performed well on the night.
Thanks to all those who expressed an interest in the gig from all over the globe but were unable to come personally to witness it…
The whole Mob Bristol performance post is dedicated to three ex Mob followers who could not attend on the night, Alistair and Tony D from Kill Your Pet Puppy and of course Raymond…”We love you”.
The text below is courtesy of Andy Ashford, long standing Mob follower, the photographs are from my collection taken on the night, except for the colour banner, cymbal stand photograph lovingly ripped from Colin (Cream Of The Crop).
SHUFFLING SOULS TO A MIND ALTERING BEAT
THE MOB REUNION GIG – LIVE AT THE FLEECE – BRISTOL – APRIL 2011
From the moment I heard the Mob were reforming as part of Mark Wilson’s 50th birthday celebrations – I couldn’t wait. Back in the day I had nearly always blagged my way into most of the band’s gigs and certainly never paid any more than two or three quid. So twelve quid for a hot little ticket nearly thirty years later seemed like a steal in today’s inflationary terms! There was, however, a certain irony in paying for it online by credit card, in fact the whole concept seemed almost sacrilegious, but there was no way I was missing this one. On pain of death, I had to be there.
By late Friday afternoon people from all over the country and even those of us from beyond the great divide, slowly descended upon a buzzing, sunny Bristol city centre. There were countless rendezvous and emotional reunions in various pubs, bars, parks and hotel receptions. It personally took me two hours to leave the Crown in St Nick’s after meeting a steady flow of old friends and acquaintances – some of whom I hadn’t seen for two decades or more – as well as friends who I had forgotten I’d known and friends who I never even knew I knew!
After finally hitting the Fleece it still took me another hour and a half to actually get into the venue, as I kept continually bumping into even more old heads from days of yonder old. I’m ashamed to say I missed Insurrection and Rubella Ballet, because I was too busy yakking and getting pissed in the pub next door! But then, wasn’t that always the case back then; we hardly ever got to see all the bands half the time anyway? These gigs were as much a social event and an excuse for getting off your face as they were about the music!
Just as I heard that Zounds had come on stage; I could faintly hear those well-known lyrics: “don’t come round here unless you got what I want…I want some…” I gets a tap on the shoulder from none other than my old bandleader and Flying Pig comrade – Captain Max! The first time I’d seen him in over twenty years and what does he say, “you’re a bloody millionaire, you gonna buy me a drink or what?” Some things never change, but then I suppose that’s quite comforting in a way. Two special import Guinnesses later and I finally get in to see the last three or four songs from Zounds, at which point I was grateful of some ‘Demystification!’ Even though Steve was the only original remaining band member – they still had that unique sound – trademarked by his highly infectious, lyrically ‘berkshired’ tones; with classics such as ‘Can’t Cheat Karma,’ ‘Dirty Squatters’ and ‘Subvert’ – I was immediately catapulted back to the early 1980’s.
The clientele were much the same, with the usual suspects of old school punks, diehards, vagabonds, scallywags, reprobates and general riff-raff. Only this time most of us were balding; grey-haired, middle-aged blokes with fat beer bellies! The girls seemed to be fairly thin on the ground this particular night, which was a shame because that scene always seemed to have an equal balance of the sexes. There was of course a whole new plethora of second-generation crazy coloured, twelve inch; Mohican wearing – stage diving – studded jacket types to jizz things up a bit and make up for all us old farts and our lack thereof!
Of course most people’s raison d’être that night – including myself – was to see the Mob. There was no pretentious bullshit, no hype, no hanging about. No sooner had Zounds finished the Mob came on fully armed and ready for battle. They plugged-in and launched straight into ‘What’s Going On’ Instantly the lyrics “don’t know where I’m going and I don’t know where I been, don’t know what I’m doing here, but I know it’s done me in”… had me under their spell. Without hesitation I was up at the front stage jumping around in a frantic, sweaty mosh pit, screaming along with the words, forcing my fist into the air – exactly as I had done at the age of fifteen – over thirty years ago!
The excited anticipation of the entire audience was palpable as adrenaline coursed through every living (and even half living) person. The raw energy of the music instantly taking them into a highly charged, emotional frenzy. Even the first time newcomers to this live Mob gig were swept away by the tsunami-sized tide of nostalgic euphoria. But sentimental it was not. This was very real. As relentless pulsating bass rhythms pounded out of the PA through the tight synergy of Curtis Youe on bass and Graham Fallows on sticks. Mark Wilson’s out of tune, in tune or detuned…guitar distortion drifted in and out like a heat-seeking missile hitting its target with barbed, razor sharp lyrics; cutting to the quick and hitting every raw nerve in your sensory and non-sensory system. I’m sure there isn’t a human being alive who can say they don’t appreciate the Mob’s lyrical prowess. The high octane ‘Shuffling Souls’ took the crowd to even greater heights of mind-altering bliss.
Barring one or two, the Mob played their entire repertoire from the 1983 album -‘Let The Tribe Increase’ – including ‘Our Life Our World’…. “mapped out in scars, carved in wrists and back of arms…” words which are equally as compelling and poignant now as they were then. “Raised in a prison with iron bars and walls too high to be climbed, raised in a four cornered corridor, always kept silent and blind…”- aren’t just lyrics, they are emotional poetry and a deep felt philosophy. A philosophy and belief system the Mob was acutely aware of and extremely clever at encapsulating with such heart-felt emotion. As depressing as some of their songs may seem, they confronted very real and important issues in life, society and politics that ultimately needed to be said. With songs such as ‘No Doves Fly Here’ – the message speaks for itself and this is what drew so many people to the anarcho punk scene back in the late ’70s and early ’80s.
Disenchanted individuals – who literally ‘never understood’ the world they lived in – suddenly became aware that were there were others out there who felt the same way and they could become part of something better, they could become part of a tribe; a family that cared and it would be everyone’s aim to let that tribe increase. Just by looking around the crowd I could see that sense of belonging had never left. I realised that while having changed my life the first time round, the anarcho punk scene is still as much part of my life now as it had been then. I’m still buzzing from it now -like it has been burnt into my very soul.
Unlike some bands, the Mob that night were in perfect harmony with their audience as the gratitude emulated in a two-way symbiotic exchange. They each loved every minute of it just as much as the crowd. Mark actually smiled more than once and Curtis was in his element while pumping out power chords on the bass as if it were a six string – with gut-wrenching melodic riffs and licks that would make your hair stand on end. He very much had the fire in his belly as he directed the occasional Johnny Rotten – psycho glare into the audience. The set was virtually flawless except for one or two false starts and the odd timing hiccup, not bad for a bunch of blokes who hadn’t played together for nearly thirty years! There was even room for a Patti Smith cover- ‘Pissing In A River’ – which I had never heard them do before.
Their last song – ‘I Hear You Laughing’ – reminded me, in contrast, of one of their earlier gigs back home in their stomping ground of Taunton; where a bunch of boot boys & skinheads started harassing the audience. Mark bravely (or rather stupidly) said, “we’re surrounded by millions of mindless morons” when of course, all hell broke lose ! This particular night though, at the Fleece – I think the Mob can say they were surrounded by enlightened individuals who on the contrary, had a lot to thank them for. When once asked why the Mob had bowed out at the height of their popularity; Mark responded with, “what’s the point in writing when there’s nothing left to say?” Well, Mark, Graham and Curtis maybe it’s time to ‘say’ it again – now that the tribe has indeed increased – this could be the time to bring them back together…
The Mob is now on the list of artists to perform at the Beautiful Days Festival in Devon during August 2011. There is also talk of a possible London gig, but nothing definite is confirmed as yet. Make sure you don’t miss out on the opportunity of seeing them.
Update of future gigs and general Mob gossip check out the Facebook site HERE
Reviewed & written by Andy Ashford – email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This whole gig was original planned as a bunch of smaller bands to do Mob cover versions for Mark’s 50th birthday party…It spiralled to the actual Mob performance after a chance meeting. Graham knocked on Mark’s parental home, totally out of the blue after thirty years, towards the end of last year and swapped telephone numbers. Very glad he did… It gave little Aaron, who shares the same birthdate as Mark, a few days in the pleasant company of some decent folk all over the Bristol area on one of the hottest (long) weekends of the year so far…Unfortuanately Aaron did not get to witness The Mob soundcheck, maybe next time…Special thanks to Miles ‘Rat’ one time Napalm Deather who brought over, all the way from Denmark, a chocolate egg for Aaron.
Happy Birthday to Tony D – have a lovely and relaxing day, all the best from all at Kill Your Pet Puppy online…