After a couple of reggae smashes that the nation took to it’s heart: Cockney Translation and Police Officer, the NME, 2 February, 1985 has a feature on Smiley Culture.
Wavis O’Shave gigging with punk legend Spizz and one of the toughest of the ska revival bands; Headline, reviewed in the Record Mirror, 5 April, 1980.
Michael Riley who’d previously been in Steel Pulse was Headline’s singer. They were one hell of a live band.
Wavis O’Shave, Atheltico Spizz 80, Headline
Wavis O’Shave seems intent on joining the select ranks, featuring such entities as Bianca and Britt, of those who do very little asw loudly as possible.
The unrequited lover of Anna Ford made his world debut with The Hooters complete with his, by now, world renowned two-foot false nose.
His sound was suprisingly American, with reference points stemming from Zappa, beach party movie soundtracks abd garage bands of the psychedelia age. But the whole concoction was brought down to earth by his South Shields accented monologues on his various preoccupations with shoes and the famous ITN newscaster.
Like most one joke gimmicks Wavis managed to raise the odd chuckle, particularly after announcing to the bondage panted hoards a song about the death of Sid – and continued to sing an elegy to Sid James. he managed to avoid wearing the joke thin by keeping his set short.
I suppose some are born stars, some seek stardom and some have stardom thrust upon them and Wavis is doing his best to sew up all three options.
I’ve never been able to make up my mind whether to loath or admire Spizz ever since I first saw him support ad act as a decoy phlegm target for Siouxsie and the Banshees in his Spizz Oil incarnation with Pete Petrol. Athletico Spizz 80 still inspire the same feelings of intense hatred to admiration and affectio ad everythig in between.
The music is impossible to pigeonhole being in the main fractured and frenetic. Dirges, frantic bursts of time changes, manic dischords and flecks of melody all merge, confuse and disorintate. I still can’t make up my mind but I’d go again if only for the unbelievably accessible ‘Where’s Captain Kirk?’
Everything that could go wrong did go wrong with Headlines set, from instrumetal breakdown to a 10 minute break for a power failure. But despite the gremlins the six piece band performed a set that was as powerful and enjoyable as anythig I’ve seen this year.
They walked on stage a la Madness LP sleeve, five black and scalped and one white and slicked and grunted “Don’t knock the baldheads.”
They proceeded to play ska with a diamond edge that was as hard and vicious as it beautiful. But these are no more revivalists or pop poseurs. The sound has the usual elements of bluebeat but give a tinge of disco, an almost heavy metal deployment of power and a fierce commitment to their performance.
To quote their song ‘Rudie Don’t Fear’ they are “Tougher than tough, rougher than rough” and a hell of a lot of fun into the bargain. Catch them quicker than your next breath.
I’m the blood and I’m the guts.
I’m with victims trapped in ruts.
I’m the one who’ll burn their huts.
I’m where desperation juts.
Vote for me.
I’m the problems. I’m the buts.
I’m the shortages and cuts.
I’m the bystander who tuts.
I’m the door that simply shuts.
Vote for me.
I’m the shrink who says you’re nuts.
I’m the buckling of struts.
I’m the profit during gluts.
I’m the one who sells you sluts.
So come on, idiots…
Vote for me.
Nick Toczek 2017
This is from the 1969 Corgi anthology Doves For The 70s.
Peter Marshall is a prolific writer including a history of anarchism.
Now We Shall March Through The Streets
When our days were young
The air was full of our glory –
The jets screaming our triumph,
The villagers fleeing in a thousand directions,
And our rockets tearing into their heels.
Well I can speak
Of the mastery of metal over flesh –
Salvoes, machine-gun streams
Leaving blood flowing freely
Even gaily, in the blood season
Of our manhood.
I can write of power,
And nerve tangles of pleasure and fear,
Tenseness and excitement,
The godliness of sky and speed
Suggesting honour and importance –
Yet when I remember, when I think
Of howling motors and hailing metal,
I can set down nothing of significance –
Only some political ramblings
Not worth recall.
A report on a gig organised by Manchester lesbians and gays from 1985. The strike had ended on 3rd March 1985 but the hardship of a year on the picket lines bit deep.
People across the country rallied to support the miners, especially as the brutality of Thatcherism demonstrated by the Police became more and more blatant, as the chaps in the film says: “We all have the same enemies.”
The Redskins are featured, they gigged solidly in support of the miners and often had striking miners on stage to talk about the struggle.