The Bash Street Kids in punk t-shirts from The Beano, 4 March, 1978.
The magnificent Gymslips’ second Peel session, recorded 1 September, 1982 and broadcast on the 16th of that month. The session includes two of their best; Pie and Mash and Drink Problem.
From Sounds, 10 November, 1979.
Two new grass roots rock films are being made by a bunch of Paddington teenagers who claim to be very appealing – very appealing for money that is, or they won’t be able to finish the project.
The first is a 25 minute documentary called Knuckles which is about gig violence and bouncers, including film of Stiff Little Fingers‘ riotous Brixton carnival appearance and interviews with Jake Burns, the UK Subs and the Cockney Rejects.
But even more ambitious is a 90 minute film on “alternative music and commercialism”, which they describe as a collage of interviews, live performances and “general messing about”. This one features more of the Stiffs, the Subs, Rejects and Purple Hearts, Barracudas, Johnny G, Baby Patrol, Charles Shaar-Murray (boo!) and Garry Bushell (ray!) – at least.
Forum Youth Films, as they call themselves, won’t get it done though without an infusion of ackers to the tune of £1,300 (they’ll hum it, you pick it up). These ten people have so far put in £700 out of money they’ve earned in their day jobs as shop assistants, waitresses, part-time actors and school students.
You might calculate that the record companies whose bands will be featured would have to ante up about £200 each to supply all Forum’s needs, which might not break the bank of such as Chrysalis, EMI and Beggars Banquet even in these dire times.
If you’d like further details contact Dom Shaw, 12 All Souls Avenue, NW10 (965 9368) or ‘Tubby’ Hasan Shah, 153 Burnham Towers, Adelaide Road, NW3 (722 2419).
On 7 September, 1979 Crass did a gig at the Conway Hall as a benefit for the Persons Unknown trial. The gig was attacked by a heavy BM mob and the call went out from some people present to the anti-fascist squads who turned up and dealt with them.
Crass were not happy and blamed the violence on the politicisation of punk by Rock Against Racism. Really!
Even weirder, given Crass’ much touted pacifism (seen by many as an avoidance of class politics) those involved in the trial were up for causing explosions.
The Leveller, October 1979 reports on the gig.
A great band reviewed live at a much missed London venue in the NME, 23 November, 1985.
The Three Johns
Hammersmith Clarendon Hotel
With a set that sometimes seems more like a mock “multi-media” event than just another jaded gig. The Three Johns again burp up a coherent perspective of their position as (almost) the best and most “important” English rock group in ’85. So inbetween both old and new songs like ‘English White Boy Engineeer’. ‘Death Of The European’ and ‘Demon Drink’ which really are “scathing” and “searing”, there’s plenty of polemic disguised as parody of current pop’n’politics hipsters.
The Three Johns’ forthcoming single, ‘Brainbox (He’s A Brainbox)’, is also imbued with a political dedication – this time to Big Ron Reagan, with the song’s sub-title providing a poignant “this one’s called ‘Wanker (He’s A Wanker)” introduction.
Besides this sort of entertainment – and that of Jon Langford singing “night-time Radio One, with Janice Long” jingles and stepping out with a Travolta-type Spanish deesco dance during the group’s wracking cover of Fine Young Cannibals’ ‘Johnny’ – The Three Johns are alsocarriers of more serious comment. “The Membranes have been kicked off Creation and it makes me sick down to my boots.”
They’ve played better gigs than tonight, and they wrongly excluded great songs like ‘Do The Square Thing’, ‘Coals To Newcastle’ and even their ‘Like A Virgin’ version, but The Three Johns – as political laxatives and trad-rock thrashers – remain prime purveyors of all that’s sharply sneering, irreverent and “purging” about English rock. Long may they (ahem) “bop” . . .
The NME, 23 April, 1983, reviews Action Pact live.
London, Moonlight Club
A packed, tangled and bubbling Moonlight Club this evening – proof, if nothing else, that people still find delight in exploring small bands in sweaty places. Yes m’man, that old r’n’r medium still stirs. Them there kids want something dirty and slightly risky, they want tough sounds provided by the likes of Action pact.
This lot are quite special actually, their sharp, hard but tuneful songs with suss lyrics set them apart from most of the ‘pure-punk’ dross that abounds at present. The stand out number tonight is the lurching, crunching ‘Suicide Bag’: “Throw away that suicide bag, I don’t wanna see you dead,” pleads the deceptively demure looking vocalist George.
She is the Pact’s main asset, her leaping and screaming infuses the set with colourful charisma, the heart of the group lies within her sweet and sour persona.
The band hurtle on, the crowd jump up and down; nothing that spectacular or too amazing but action packed certainly.
An album that I played a lot reviewed in Sounds, 10 November 1979.
‘Jellied Eels To Record Deals’
(Chrysalis CHR1213) *****
There’s nothing quite as nifty as a last minute winner,the 33-1 outsider who comes from nowhere in the last two furlongs to steam past the post a head and a half in front of the favourite and furnish you with beer money for a week.
Most people had the Buzzards marked down as no-hope outsiders, one hit wonders with a one way ticket on the tube back to Leyton, and I’ve gotta admit I wouldn’t have bet the rent money on ’em either. Neither, obviously, have Chrysalis ‘cos ‘Jellied Eels’ has got ‘cut-price’ stamped all over it.
It comes in cheapo packaging, consists of their singles, some Peel session stuff and some demos, and retails at four quid … but screw me with a rag man’s trumpet if that ain’t more to do with punk than 98 days with some flash yank producer in a posh recording studio.
And all packaging and rhetoric aside the album is a guaranteed, last minute winner diamiind in the rough, the Buzzards’ story so far told in 18 trumpeting tracks of noisy pop and sod the niceties.
Now you don’t need to be Bamber Gascoigne to work out where the Buzzards are coming from. All the influences of Mott, Clash, even Slade, are here for all to hear in a happy-go-lucky collection which probably explains why the band have found recognition so elusive. They were inspired by punk but fell by the popular wayside by refusing to toe any strict tribal stance.
The brace of excellent 45s included here illustrates their diversity well, from the hardcore punk anthem of ’19 And Mad’ (“won’t reach 20 and I don’t want to”) thru the slow credibility Kate ironies of ‘Art School’, the magnificent lightly-reggaed nostalgic toast to growing up to reggae of the ’69 kind in ‘Saturday Night’, the poppy ‘Hanging Around’, and the raucous New Wave Slade manifesto ‘We Make A Noise’.
Elsewhere we get shar young pop of ‘Land Of The Free’ and ‘Sharp Young Men’ (an obvious next single with Harley and Hunter vocal throwbacks); a stabbing reggae singalong in ‘British Justice’; silly covers like ‘Can’t Stand Losing You’, a Status Quo pisstake on ‘People On The Street’ and riproaring punkouts like ‘Mixed Marriages’ and ‘No Dry Ice And Flying Pigs’ – another catchy tongue-in-cheek manifesto.
Like Mott, the band write about themselves a lot, and possess a nice line in strory-telling as exemplified by the excellent ‘Greatest Story Ever Told’ which is a sort of biblical account of punk’s rise and demise (“right before my eyes I see my dreams destroyed with fire and brimstone”)
But if you wanna know what the Buzzards are about check out the lyrics to the great should-have-been-a-hit single ‘We Make A Noise: “The music climate’s turned against us so it seems/We’re full of East End promise but we’ve lost our dreams/Now everybody says we’re a noisy band/We’ve got a one-way ticket back to Garageland”.
My only niggle about the Buzzards is that I’ve come across them so late. But then again as that bloated Tory twat Winnie says in their ad: “This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”