Virgin Prunes – Various French TV Sessions – 1983

Walls Of Jericho / Caucasion Walk / Yesterday Is Tommorrow / Untitled / Theme For Thought

A cassette I have lying around of various French TV performances from Virgin Prunes, I have no info on the actual programmes they were on, but I do know the sessions were broadcast at various times during 1983.

Sounds like the tape is recorded straight from the TV all those years ago by whoever did the compilation, as I am pretty sure it is in mono. 

Text below ripped from dewikky.

The band consisted of childhood friends of U2’s Bono and The Edge. Lypton Village was a “youthful gang” created by Bono, Guggi (Derek Rowan) and Gavin Friday (Fionan Hanvey) in the early 1970’s, where every member got a new identity and where they could escape from dreary and predictable Dublin life and be anything they wanted to be. It was both lead singers Friday and Guggi who first gave a teenaged Paul Hewson his alter-ego and world-famous moniker “Bono Vox of O’Connell Street,” later simply “Bono.” Known for its outrageous and controversial stage performances, led by the bands’ theatrical singer/songwriter Friday, they first began playing small shows in Dublin gaining them a cult audience and ridicule from the culturally conservative community.


Friday and Guggi, along with third vocalist ‘Dave-iD Busaras’ (David Scott Watson), guitarist Dik Evans (brother of U2’s The Edge), bassist Strongman (Trevor Rowan, brother of Guggi) and drummer Pod (Anthony Murphy), completed the original lineup.


Pod left the group and was replaced by Haa-Lacka Binttii (aka Bintii, aka Princess Tinymeat, né Daniel Figgis). With Binttii now on drums, tape loops and keyboards, the band secured a deal with Rough Trade Records. They released their first single “Twenty Tens (I’ve Been Smoking All Night)”, through Rough Trade but on their own Baby Records label in late 1980. They released a second single “In The Greylight” in early 1981.


Two other Binttii tracks were released during 1980 before conflicts with other members forced him out of the band. “Red Nettle'” was included on an NME compilation C81 and “Third Secret” was included on the Cherry Red compilation “Perspectives And Distortion”. Work had already started on the project “A New Form Of Beauty” while Bintti was with the band, but after he was replaced by Mary D’Nellon (Drums), some of his tracks were re-recorded and his name was not included in the credits.


“A New Form of Beauty” was a project that originally contained four chapters and was released in various formats – 7″ single, 10″ single and 12″ single. There was also supposed to be a cassette but this fourth part was never officially released, although all four parts did appear on an Italian version of “A New Form Of Beauty” which was released as a double album.


In November 1982, the Virgin Prunes release their debut album “…If I Die, I Die” (produced by Colin Newman of Wire) and Heresie, a French boxset. Heresie was commissioned by Yann Farcy after seeing them perform at the Rex Club in Paris and was based on a loose examination of insanity.


In 1984 both Guggi and Dik Evans, unhappy with the music business, left the band. This forced drummer Mary D’Nellon to take up the guitar and allowed Pod to return as the band’s drummer. The Virgin Prunes started to record the album “Sons Find Devils”, which has never been released.

1 comment
  1. Stuart
    March 2, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    I have a couple of the band’s French TV appearances on (atrocious quality) video and the name of the show they were broadcast on was L’Echo Des Bananes (a short-lived rock show on France’s FR3 channel, broadcast in 1982-83). Don’t have time at the moment to dig them out and compare, but they’re probably the same thing.

    The correct titles for these four live songs (with start times in the MP3 file) are: Walls Of Jericho (00:00) / Caucasian Walk (03:14) / Come To Daddy (07:59) / Theme For Thought (15:49). Come To Daddy is long and has a slower, meandering section about three-quarters of the way through, but it’s all one song.

    There’s also just over a minute’s worth of intro from Ulakanakulot at the end of the MP3 (21:11), before it cuts off. It sounds like the album version, rather than a live performance.

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