Aural Sculptors - The Stranglers Live 1976 to the Present

Welcome to Aural Sculptors, a blog aimed at bringing the music of The Stranglers to as wide an audience as possible. Whilst all of the various members of the band that have passed through the ranks since 1974 are accomplished studio musicians, it is on stage where the band have for me had their biggest impact.

As a collector of their live recordings for many years I want to share some of the better quality material with other fans. By selecting the higher quality recordings I hope to present The Stranglers in the best possible light for the benefit of those less familiar with their material than the hardcore fan.

Needless to say, this site will steer well clear of any officially released material. As well as live gigs, I will post demos, radio interviews and anything else that I feel may be of interest.

In addition, occasionally I will post material by other bands, related or otherwise, that mean a lot to me.

Your comments and/or contributions are most welcome. Please email me at

Thursday, 30 April 2020

Comments and Reflections on the 'Dandy In The Underworld' Tour March 1977

Thanks are due to my daughter Mo who drew my attention to this YouTube clip that captures Marc Bolan talking about The Damned, the tour and that new punk thing that was going on.

For the view from the other side of the fence take a look at the meticulous 'Dandy in the Underworld' website that dedicates a page to The Damned and features interviews with Dave Vanian, Captain Sensible and Brian James on their recollections of touring with the the Bopping Imp.

20 From '77(17) The Damned Birmingham Odeon 17th March 1977

Hey, whilst it was not my intention to post the gigs from The Damned in this 1977 thread, two gigs from the T. Rex 'Dandy In The Underworld' tour found their way into by inbox (many thanks to the sharer!) and it was fitting to share for the penultimate post on what was a pivotal tour for not only The Damned but for the UK punk scene as a whole.... sadly Marc was not to see the full benefit of the pairing as he was lost to us in the September of the same year. So what the hell.... The Damned!.... again!


01. I Feel Alright
02. Born To Kill
03. Fan Club
04. Neat Neat Neat
05. Sick Of Being Sick
06. Stretcher Case
07. Help
08. New Rose
09. Stab Yor Back
10. So Messed Up
11. Fish

20 From '77(16) The Damned Portsmouth Locarno 20th March 1977 (Alternate Version)

Marc Bolan on stage with The Damned  somewhere on tour
(March 1977)

A couple of recordings of The Damned (and T. Rex) exist of this tour, but from a Damned perspective I believe that this is the best. This version of the gig at the Locarno in Portsmouth (on what was my 8th birthday) captures the band on the final date on what was by all accounts a very successful venure for support and headline alike. Being the last night of the tour, I imagine that things went something like this.... T. Rex came on for the finale with the massive 'Get It On' and invited the support who had served as a great livener each night for Marc to follow to join the band on stage. That version is captured on this version of the gig. Elsewhere on the site you can find another recording in lossless format of the same gig minus 'Get It On' (just search for The Damned).

Thanks for the share!

01. I Feel Alright
02. Born To Kill
03. Fan Club
04. Neat Neat Neat
05. Sick Of Being Sick
06. Stretcher Case
07. Help
08. New Rose
09. Stab Yor Back
10. So Messed Up
11. Fish
12. Get It On (With Marc Bolan)

Wednesday, 29 April 2020

T. Rex and The Damned at Newcastle City Hall 10th March 1977 - UK Music Press Reviews

As I have alluded to earlier, this touring partnership was a coming together of two loosely related musical scenes, the move was significant and the reception to this tour would serve as something of a barometer as to where punk was heading in the coming months.

This tour rated highly in the priority ratings of the multiple music weekly papers that were in circulation in 1977. To a man, all of the London paper editors pointed one of their hacks in the direction of King's Cross Station with explicit instructions to get the low down from Newcastle City Hall, the first night of the 'Dandy In The Underworld' tour.

Here's what they said:

Record Mirror 19th March 1977

Melody Maker 19th March 1977

New Musical Express 19th March 1977

Newcastle City Hall Review
Sounds 19th March 1977

IS THIS a Jamboree Bag I see before me? Sure is, right there next to the row of Smarties tubes, the neat lines of Mars bars and a dozen or so other icky sticky things wrapped in vivid oranges, blues and reds, every single one of them with some tyke's oral cavity and points below for a target.

Location of this.l vivid hued parcel of saccharine geometry? Atop this little desk in the foyer of Newcastle's City Hall. A similar desk a few yards to our right deals in items of a somewhat less transitory nature, viz. various scarves, t-shirts and badges emblazoned with the legend T.REX.

You remember T. REX, I presume. But of course you do, how foolish of me to suggest otherwise. Dunno though, only three months ago I seem to recall seeing someone wearing a T. Rex t-shirt like the ones being sold here (a bassist, no less, his maniac presence in the here and now to be manifested in all its proud kookery a mere few moments hence) and it somehow seemed a very nostalgic little artifact, as locked in its own time as MariIyn Monroe's famous Warhol grin, that other favourite of singlet stampers. 

Sure enough, time ticks no faster than in the rock 'n' roll world. But you know about that already. Like those posters saying 'Whatever Happened To Slade?' I keep seeing, wondering all the while how much I really care about the answer. Wondering too how many kids walk past the same hoardings who don't even know who or what Slade was. Same kids probably have vague blurs in their heads marked 'Beatles' that are no clearer than 'Robin Hood' or 'Henry VIII', just history, whatever that is.

Which is why, when I first heard about the upcoming T. Rex tour a few weeks back, I really did stop for a second to muse on the kind of reception the erstwhile Bopping Elf had waiting for him. Or not - what If you gave a tour and nobody came?

How I heard about this thing about to be launched in Newcastle's City Hall was, in fact, via the quartet of young gents known collectively as The Damned. Seemed the fearful foursome had landed the supporting role on what would be boogie Bolan's first national outing in almost two years. And, yes, I have to confess that my first thought was that the boys' appearance on said tour was Marc's way of keeping up with the times, ensuring full houses by adding a dash of good ole 'controversial' punkery to whatever circus he was heading.

And my second thought was that the boys in black would blow the 28 year-old Bolan clean off the stage. Third and final cogitation comin' up – what if (2) came to pass? WoVld The Damned find themselves slung off yet another tour? And, knowing that at least two members of the group retained a fair measure of admiration for MB, how would they feel if this actually came to pass?

Mind you, it'd be crazy to dismiss the Small One quite that lightly - after all, he's been in the bear-pit for near a decade, hardly the kind of background to make a first round wipe out an inevitability. Whatever, there's no denying the ingredients were all set for at least one stimulating evening's fun. Let's just hang loose and see what happens, shall we?

So forget the Jamboree Bag and let's forget ourselves in there - I know that fracas booming from behind the double doors, and it sure as hell ain't a Local Ratepayer's Assn. meeting.

NO SIRRAH, The Damned are on and blasting away for all they're worth, sic'ing the locals with most if not all of 'Damned, Damned, Damned' with nary a pause to blink. Rat Scabies is up back, of course, whacking at his kit so hard you just know what he's aiming at is some invisible point three or four feet beyond the drums, deep into the structure of the stage Itself.

To the right is Brian James, sharp in a black and silver shirt, doing his best to tie knots in the neck of his guitar. 

And stage left is Captain Sensible, face and body contorting as he flails at his silver-faced violin bass, alive once more and out from the cardboard box it travels in.

Vocalist Dave Vanian, he's left ... no centre.  . . er, make that .. . make that just about everywhere he can be in the narrow confines left him by two lots of equipment, hollering thelyrics to 'Help' (78 rpm version, natch), 'Neat, Neat Neat', and so on. Coupla newies in there too - 'Stretcher Case' and' Sick Of Being Sick', both of which sound rather splendid on this first hearing .

Oh sure there's a few cock-ups, times when the shared vocals on one of the new songs don't quite come together, when Dave gets so carried away that the mike leaves his mouth before the end of a line does, little things like that. Big deal, the thing of it is, the fire is there. And there's plenty of really fine moments, not the least of which is the way 'New Rose' rockets its way into 'Stab Your Back', a real breath-stealer. Tasty little bit of mini-theatricals in the finale too. Rat's cymbals bursting into flames so real that even vintage Belgian rocker Rene Magritte would be up and clapping for more were he with us tonight. 

Applause? Riotous almost, went down better than well and called back for an encore which time unfortunately won't allow for. All the same, The Damned have made more than a few new friends on Tyneside tonight.

WHO THESE friends will be exactly is another matter. The lights go on to reveal a truly motley crew. Like, there's the little chickies upfront in the home-made fathead top hats like on The Slider' cover with probably little more than thirty years between the three of them. Also lots of young couples, mid teens and all dressed up for an evening out, a few early twenties, scattered denim soldiers, even a sprinkling of crophaired, monochrome New Wavers, some fifteen hundred souls maybe, filling out the stalls and with a little surplus scampering for front row balcony seating.

Heading for the stage door I suddenly find myself face to face with someone who absolutely begs to be described as a fully fledged son of Woodstock Nation, he with the hair curling over his shoulders and (oh, what? as they used to say when everyone looked or wanted to look like this) a head-band tied around his cranium.

But hey, I know that face . Why, it's only Phil Sutcliffe, 'SOUNDS' man on the banks of the Tyne his-self. Heloo there, Jimmy.

Turns out Phil is here to tape an interview for the local radio station. Asks if I'd lend a hand, seeing as The Damned aren't quite his particular cup of meat. Needn't have even bothered to ask really, should know me well enough by now to realise I never refuse the chance of a little extra exposure.

Unhappily the citizens of Newcastle and environs won't have the indescribably moving thrill of clasping your reporter's dulcet tones to their bosoms or wherever else they keep their trannies this time around on account of Phil managed quite capably on his tod. Wouldn't go so far as to call the ensuing chat amicable ("Why you wear that headband?" sez Cap. "To keep the hair out of my eyes ... ") but it should make quite interesting radio. Phil stood his ground regarding what was, to him, a very repetitive performance and the boys did their best to explain that there were at least a couple of slow numbers in there too.

In the end things had to be terminated because of the sound of T. Rex taking the stage. “It was alright," Brian said as he left. "Better than people saying you're great all the time." Phil was off to catch upon some local talent, maybe eventually to also listen to the Damned's album a few times too. Before Phil split though I did find out that his appearance still drew a lot of abuse from his fellow locals - while down South it was his opposites who were getting aggro for their lack of hair. Pish, human beanz is just too silly for words.

SO NOW it's the Elemental Child's turn and here he is folks, the little bopper himself, half canary (the jacket), half plum (the tight, gleaming pants), topped off with the original corkscrew hair.

And guess what? There really is no Moment Of Truth at all. Because it's only two minutes in and the hall's going crazy and I'd bet my last florin it was like this even before he hit the stage. C- R-A-Z-Y, there really is no other word for it - this place is undoubtedly bopping.

No denying it, the kid looks great. So what if he's twenty-eight, take a computer a hell of a long time to hit all the sixteen year-old males who'd give everything to look half as good.

As for the current T. Rex - true that they  leave the visual part of the show almost entirely to Marc but as far as playing's concerned they're probably the sharpest bunch of musos he's ever worked with. Miller Anderson on guitar, bass c/o Herbie Flowers, Tony Newman on drums and Dino Dines on ze keyboards all adds up to a very solid band. Bolan plays lead guitar too, of course, and though he's no virtuoso it must be said that he has a very distinctive tone still.

The contents are a deft blend of old and new, chartbusters like 'Telegram Sam' , 'Jeepster' and even a spiffingly executed 'Debora' swim alongside the new album's 'Visions Of Domino', 'I Love To Boogie' and 'Groove A Little', all fused into a homogenous whole by the catchy simplicity of it all and the very definitely recharged batteries of the show's frontispiece.

And the kids love every second of it, every bump and bounce of the main protagonist, every little electric thrill. And yeah, I like it too. Not that I've been a particularly constant fan over the last couple of years and know every song or anything or that I've ever been wholly reconciled to Bolan's wholesale plundering of standard blues and boogie but there's no denying there's a very happy, innocent and joyful vibe going down here.

If there's anything at all I'd fault it's the extended soloing during the encore's 'Get It On' during which MB goes well over the top of his guitar 'prowess'. But I'll forget about that one because it does give the band a chance to ease out a little and because by now the kids are in such a frenzy that they can actually benefit from a little looseness.

So there you go; in Newcastle at least Bolan's star shines on; with nary a few nickers dampened and everyone leaving looking flushed and happy. But the real evidence of what's been
going down here is yet to come.
TWENTY MINUTES later the hall's empty and we're all let in to the star dressing room. I finally get to meet Marc, noting that even in close up he looks amazingly healthy and well preserved. Meanwhile there's a rumbling at the curtained windows and a hubbub of young voices.  Suddenly a hand appears and draws back a foot or so of curtain and it becomes obvious there's a fair-sized crowd gathered outside, all of them with one thing in mind. It's about five feet tall, has dark, curly hair ...

Bolan's entourage have seen it all before of course, and pretty soon the thirty or so people in the party mass together for a quick rush to the coach positioned a couple of yards from the backstage door. This we do, the idea being to confuse the kids into thinking they've missed their prey. In fact Bolan leaves the building last, running the gauntlet of the distracted crowd and boarding the bus from the rear. He's spotted, of course, but by then it's too late - a little heave and he's in and we're off.

I've never been in this particular situation before and it's not a little disturbing. If you saw 'Stardust' you'll know what I mean - those last few seconds before the vehicle moves off when all you can hear is the fierce drumming of countless fists on the outside. Adulation, right? Gives you the shivers all the same, knowing that the mob outside would probably tear Marc Bolan into several small pieces in the space of about thirty seconds if they could only get hold of him.

Bolan's been through it all too many times before to look anything but slightly amused by it all. Just the same he must be getting a little buzz of satisfaction at knowing for sure now that he's still needed so badly by his fans, having gone so far as to admit he'd not been totally sure about how much enthusiasm he could conjure still.

It's there alright. There about a mile down the road when a pause at a traffic light finds more fans squaling at the window, there when we stop outside the band's hotel for a few minutes only to find another gaggle of the faithful pressing against the windows for fleshless kisses, and even at the distant Holiday Inn where four girlswait patiently for the opportunity of being photographed next to their dream merchant.

The reason we're gathered here is for a celebratory bash thrown by EMI - plenty of food and drink for the bands and their crews plus the handful of press who've come up to cover the start of the tour. Me and Marc miss out on most of that though as there's an interview planned.

I'd looked forward to interviewing Marc Bolan for quite a while but I don't, in retrospect, think  the twenty minutes we manged to get on tape are really worth bothering with. For a start, we were both ridiculously over-tired, Bolan's problem being somewhat more serious than my own as he was in danger of blowing out his voice and had a show to do the following night. It was rushed and shapeless and there were dumb questions and - dare I say it - dumb answers aplenty.

Okay, if I wanted to make Bolan look silly it'd be easy to take out things at random and do just
that. But then one can do that with practically any interviewee and it's a practice I don't care for one little bit. Worst of all, it'd be totally dishonest unless I also admitted I'd made quite a few boobs myself.

But all it was really was preamble, the requisite amount of probing one would normally engage in before the dialogue proper began. Only this is where it ended. As it was we blew it and we both knew it. We agreed to meet over breakfast next morning to pick it up from there but that proved impossible.

After Marc left I was pretty angry and was all set to write a piece that compared Marc Bolan to
Farley's Rusks - in short a product which would always be in demand but never by the same people for very long. Only next day I realised that I still get the occasional hankering
for a Farley's. And anyway, a baby's breakfast never made me laugh. What follows – intentionally or not - did just that; it's Marc's preface to one of the songs on his 'Dandy In The Underworld'LP: 'A fool's lament is a wise man's milkshake.'

It's the way he tells 'em.

Tuesday, 28 April 2020

The Damned Confirmed for T. Rex Tour

It was a big thing for both bands. It offered The Damned the greatest exposure that they had received to date, playing in venues many times what they had experienced to date, playing to audiences unfamiliar and perhaps unreceptive to punk rock. Likewise for Marc Bolan and his T.Rex this was a test. Taking the band's new album 'Dandy In The Underworld' on tour, much had changed on the musical front line since Marc had toured the UK last in early 1976. Would the Bolan devotees still be there for him? A proportion of his young audience would have changed their taste in music, after all 12 months is a long time in the life of a teenager! And as some of the write ups in the music press were keen to point out, at 28 years of age, Marc Bolan was no spring chicken (!?).

February 1977

However, Marc Bolan and his glittered and boa'd cohorts had allies in the new bands. They were contemptuous (at least in interviews*) of the progressive rock fraternity, those highly accomplished muso's who melded together classical music with rock instrumentation to produce single compositions that spanned the entire side of an LP! Throw into the mix a bit of Tolkien-esque sleeve artwork and Bob's yer Uncle, you have an captivated audience on every university campus in the land. It was the likes of Yes, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, King Crimson and Genesis that the punks had in their cross-hairs and not the likes of Bolan.

New Musical Express 26th February 1977

Although mainstream, the stars of Glam Rock, whilst arguably old hat, did not attract the disdain of the punks. Despite peacock appearances (something that the early punks themselves reveled in) those bands tended to be much more accessible to young fans (much like the punks that followed) and they played rhythm and blues based raunchy rock and roll. They came from places like Hull and Wolverhampton as opposed to the dormitories of Charterhouse...... in short, they were not the enemy.

Read on in subsequent posts and it seems that the critics were in agreement that the marriage worked. Bands like The Damned were indeed worthy successors of the Glam bands that inspired them. Punk carried on that essence of teenage optimism, youthful self-confidence and bravado or cocky arrogance that was so much a part of Glam rock and an element that was so evidently absent in prog.

The Marc Bolan's and David Bowie's of this world appeared to understand what the punk revolution was all about, they did not see these new bands as a threat. Compare that with Rick Wakeman's alleged threats to leave the label if A&M Records did not drop the Pistols.

Marc Bolan and Siouxsie 1977

Marc Bolan and Billy Idol 1977

David Bowie and Jordan Cannes 1978

Monday, 27 April 2020

Damned In The Underworld - The Damned Tour With T Rex March 1977

Punk rock, early doors and against the odds The Damned are winning hands down. Outsiders in terms of King's Road chic or Westway street credibility, the clowns of '77 punk rock must have been doing something right. First to release a punk single...... first to tour the US and relevant to this series of related posts, the first to secure a major tour that took them for a time out of the punk clubs and music pubs and into the City Halls, Odeons and Apollos of the land.

In 1977 glam was glum, the protagonists of bacofoil rock had either moved on in musical terms (David Bowie, Roxy Music) or had unwittingly navigated themselves into the doldrums of popular music (Slade, The Sweet and indeed T Rex themselves). By March 1977 there was definitely something malodorous fermenting in the capital and elsewhere in the bigger cities of the UK..... and the music press were wise to the change that was in progress. Punk rock was occurring and the bands at the forefront of the scene had declared open warfare on the technically super proficient but staid musicians of the day... the perceived dinosaurs of the rock scene, the extinction of whom was punks raison d'être. To give them their dues, some of those very same dinosaurs did venture behind enemy lines, Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant and The Who's Keith Moon were seen at the Roxy and the Vortex checking out the fuss was all about and where the completion lay. But it was Marc Bolan who seemed to take the most interest in the new vanguard and actively embraced this new music.

It was perhaps a happy set of circumstances that of all of the new 'punk' bands making a name for themselves that he chose The Damned as tour support. Sensible was a fan and had appeared in the music press sporting a T Rex T-shirt, but perhaps more to the point the offices of Marc Bolan's publishers were located above the Stiff Records offices in Notting Hill. What ever the exact clincher was, the dynamic of the tour union seemed to work if you consider the interviews and reviews that will follow in this thread.

Grip Chart Cock-Up and Carbona Controversy

Here's a couple of New Wave stories that made it into the pages of New Musical Express on 12th March 1977.

20 From '77(15) Adam and the Antz Home Demos 1977

Here are the Ants or rather Adam with some 1977 made demos of early material, some of which would see the light of day on an official releases and some of which would only do the rounds on highly sought after bootleg releases of the pre-contracted band.

Early doors, the Antz were managed by Sex and Seditionaries stalwart Jordan with whom Adam also appeared in their film debuts in Derek Jarman's 'Jubilee'. From fetish obsessive to pantomime Dick Whittington via the Reservation the career of the Ants short but intense.

The early Ants with manager Jordan

To my mind the band's output in the period of 1977 to 1979 was the best that they did and certainly some of the most original material of any bands of the era.

Adam Ant in 1977

01. Young Parisians
02. Ohh That Max
03. Lady
04. DA DA (AKA Rubbish)
05. Sally Is A Brat
06. Cleopatra
07. Physical
08. Xerox
09. Back To Cindy
10. Sex Rumples The Clothing
11. Song For Ruth Ellis
12. Bathroom Function
13. Toulouse Lautrec (Get On Your Knees)

Sunday, 26 April 2020

Colston Hall 31st January 1983 BBC TV Film

Here is a DVD of footage broadcast many years ago by BBC West of extracts from the bands 'Feline' performance at the Colston Hall in Bristol on 31st January 1983.

Disc iso image:


Saturday, 25 April 2020

20 From '77(14) Rich Kids The Vortex London 29th August 1977

Glen Matlock reflects on Sid's bass playing prowess (1977)

Out of the Pistols by mutual consent, bass player and co-writer contemplated his next move (see article below). In a chat at the bar with NME's Tony Parsons on 11th March at the Harlesden Coliseum prior to a gig by The Slits and The Clash, the bass player without portfolio seemed to be relaxed about his recently changed employment status. He had his eyes on the future and his next venture, already christened The Rich Kids in his head. In the event the job did not fall to his mate, Jimmy Norton, but to Steve New, Rusty Egan and Midge Ure.


01. Burning Sounds
02. Rich Kids
03. No Lip
04. Hung On You
05. I Think We're Alone Now
06. Strange One
07. Empty Words
08. Pretty Vacant
09. No Lip II
10. Burning Sounds II
11. (encore)
12. I Think We're Alone Now II
13. Rich Kids II

Ex-Pistol Plans A New Band
New Musical Express 19th March 1977

THE SHOCK of recognition. Spiky haired kids making a pilgrimage out to the wilds of Harlesden mingle with the regular Irish clientele of this old fashioned Baroque-style London boozer and occasionally one of them does a doubletake at the geezer leaning against the bar drinking a pint of light.

Yeah, the Bill Grundy debacle has left the boat race of Glenn Matlock imprinted firmly on their memory banks, even though he's no longer in the Pistols ...

"That telegram Malcolm (McLaren, the Pistols' manager) sent to Melody Maker saying they kicked me out was wrong," Glenn claims without a trace of bitterness. "It was a mutual agreement. I wanted to leave and they wanted me out. In the beginning it was just mates playing rock 'n' roll and then later all the business side came in and spoiled it ...

" What was it like at the time of your, uh, departure?

"Like playing in The Monkees," he smiles pleasantly. "It just seems like now Malcolm has got to give the impression he's in total control. That press conference, y'know - the Fleet Street lot could just use the articles they wrote years ago about The Move when they were smashing televisions ... Just change the names."

'Where's Midge?'
(Rusty Egan, Glen Matlock, Steve New 1977)

Last time I saw the Pistols was months back on the local council-butchered Anarchy tour. Matlock looked the part as much as any of them, and also seemed like the best bass player the New Wave had produced. But even then he had sussed it wasn't gonna work out ...

"Even before the tour, I'd make suggestions or offer ideas at rehearsals and nobody wanted to know. There was no communication between any of us ...

"Some musicians who leave big-name bands can't come down, and choose the self destruct button, but there's no way that Matlock will be going down that route. He's intelligent, creative and a superb musician. He's not bitter about his split from the Pistols.

"I had a good time there for a while," he says. "But I've been through all the front page articles and the national scandal and all the rest or it. I've done all that and don't need to do it again. I just wanna make my music, get a band together. Maybe we'll call it The Rich Kids - with my mate Jimmy Norton, who plays guitar and sings ... and l want it to be good! There's so much dross coming through, ain't there?"

Sure is, Glenn.

He looks at the clock on the pub wall and bolts down his drink. It's getting late and we ain't come all the way up to Harlesden Just to talk. The last time I saw Glenn Matlock he was dancing to The Clash. And smiling to himself.


20 From '77(13) Blondie Paradiso Amsterdam 17th November 1977

Great radio broadcast of a classic early Blondie set. Everything that the band did between 1977 and 1979 was classy. Blondie can boast some of the best songs of the decade with appeal across the multitude of boundaries that existed within youth culture in those years. With 'Parallel Lines' and 'Eat To The Beat' the band reached a pinnacle in quality, but have a listen to 'Blondie' and 'Plastic Letters' and you will hear a very accomplished pop band right from the start.



01. Detroit 442
02. A Shark In Jets Clothing
03. In The Sun
04. Little Girl Lies
05. Denis
06. (I'm Always Touched By Your) Presence, Dear
07. Fanmail
08. Look Good In Blue
09. Man Overboard
10. Rifle Range
11. In The Flesh
12. Cautious Lip
13. I'm On E
14. Love At The Pier
15. Contact In A Red Square
16. I Didn't Have To Nerve To Say No
17. Bermuda Triangle Blues (Flight 45)
18. Kidnapper
19. Rip Her To Shreads
20. Youth Napped A Sniper

Thursday, 23 April 2020

'Gabba-gabba, we accept you, we accept you, one of us'

Johnny and Dee Dee Ramone 1977
Hand-printed lino cut 30cm x 40cm

'Peelers whistle in the distance, Stand no chance of catching on'

Hugh Cornwell and Robert Williams in Nosferatu.
15cm x 20cm hand printed lino cut.

The Damned The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson Halloween 2008

Here's a US promo appearance from The Damned on The Late Late Show with Craig Fergusson filmed for Halloween 2008.

01. Neat Neat Neat
02. Shallow Diamonds

DVD iso image:

'No More Heroes' Top Pop Dutch TV 1977

Here we have some classic footage of the band back in 1977 on the Dutch equivalent of Top of The Pops.... Top Pop. Two takes of the song were filmed, and both are captured here in this short DVD.

DVD iso image:

Our own Steve Beaumont also caricatured this appearance in his own inimitable style.

Monday, 20 April 2020

20 From '77(12) Devo Pirates Cove Cleveland 19th May 1977

'Devo put the fluid in the punk enema bag' is how Mark Mothersbaugh summed up his band's contribution to the punk rock scene when talking to Granada's Anthony Wilson on 'So It Goes' in 1978. It is true to say that Devo are a little off the wall. Most band's start of a plan, even a manifesto, but Devo went further and created (or borrowed) an entire biological process about themselves.... they were the De-evolution band.

The starting point for the theory of de-evolution is that the human race is moving ever more in an increasingly less evolved direction.... in a word we and everything that we are involved with is becoming increasingly more dumb. The vehicle that they have, throughout their long career, used to illustrate this point in a wholly humorous and tongue in cheek way has been by reference to the work of fellow countryman and resident of Ohio too,  the Rev. B.H. Shadduck (1869-1950). Shadduck was a man of many parts seemingly, a Salvation Army Officer, a Methodist Deacon and outspoken critic of Darwinism and his evolutionary cods-wallop! In short, the good Reverend was what in modern terms a religious zealot of the highest order!

The idea of of de-evolution was a topic of interest to Gerald Casale, a student at Ohio's Kent University at the beginning of the 1970's, but it was upon meeting Mark Mothersbaugh that the two fellow students fleshed out the bones of an idea that they would carry through into their band, Devo.

Mothersbaugh owned one of Shadduck's religious pamphlet's from 1924 entitled 'Jocko-Homo Heaven bound'..... ring a bell? The front cover shows a human figure emerging from an 'ape chrysalis' whilst at the same time the divine (in the form of an angel) emerges from the human. It this tract Shadduck refutes evolutionary theory in humorous, if mocking terms.

Devo were taken by the idea and the thoughts of the wayward Reverend. The De-evolution theme from 'Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!' throughout their career, always taking a sideways glance at society and its motivations and follies. A great band, both musically and visually.

Oh and I always wanted an Energy Dome!

And David Bowie liked them and what greater endorsement is that!

Mark Mothersbaugh, Gerald Casale and Bob Mothersbaugh of Devo with David Bowie and friend at Max's Kansas City, NYC. November 1977

01. (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction
02. Too Much Paranoias
03. Praying Hands
04. Uncontrollable Urge
05. Smart Patrol / Mr Dna
06. Gut Feeling
07. Space Junk
08. Timing X (Synthrock Instrumental)
09. Soo Bawlz
10. Blockhead
11. The Last Time I Saw St. Louis
12. Sloppy (I Saw My Baby Gettin')
13. Come Back Jonee
14. Clockout

Sunday, 19 April 2020

RTL2 Acoustic Session February 2012

Back in 2012 whilst in Europe the band did a fair bit of TV and radio promotional work plugging the 'Giants' album. Here are JJ and Baz in the RTL2 Radio Station studio in Paris knocking out a couple of songs.

Iso Disc image:


01. Strange Little Girl
02. I Hate You
03. Boom Boom
04. Dutch Moon

The Gathering of the 5,000 18th April 1987- 33 Years Ago Today

Mortarhate flyer for the gig

I had been meaning to post something on this gig for a while but today I was prompted to do so by on seeing an Instagram post from Steve Ignorant on this anniversary.

In April 1987 I was 18 years old and for the past twelve months or so in a position to travel up to London gigs from home in West Sussex. Prior to this 'coming together of minds gig' in Brixton I had seen conflict and a couple of the other anarcho bands that were regularly hosted by the Richmond Hotel in Brighton. I used to go with a mate who, like me, lived in Burgess Hill (10 miles north of Brighton) and for both of us the necessity of getting up to this gig was not so much that Conflict were headlining, but the fact that Steve Ignorant would be on stage with them and Crass songs were in the offing. Neither Matt or myself had got to see Crass, who had split in accordance with a long established strategy three years before in 1984.

Announcement of the gig in 'Sounds'

To be honest Matt was a bit more clued up than me on the anarcho scene, having been going to see Conflict at Woolwich Poly and Eltham, AYS, Poison Girls, Rubella Ballet etc etc in London. You see, he was the youngest of five.... so he got to do far more than me at a younger age.... still bitter after all these years!

Arriving in Brixton, there was as we expected a healthy turnout from Conflict's friends of the Metropolitan Police, but inside the venue, initially all was calm. I do not remember many of the bands that played prior to Conflict, other than Thatcher on Acid and Benjamin Zephaniah, the poet. For the first part of the Conflict set I was at the front thrilled to be hearing those Crass songs. 'Banned From The Roxy' renamed as 'Banned From The UK', which turned out to be more prophetic than anyone originally imagined, 'Big A Little A' and 'I Ain't Thick It's Just A Trick'. This was a big occasion that saw buses from all corners of the UK bringing punters down to London for the event. Later I moved back.... that's the wonderful thing about the Brixton Academy, the sloping floor means that even a short arse such as me can see the stage from further back.

Out of the joyous ruck at the front, the mood further back in he venue was a little darker in places. Conflict never shied away from calling out other band's that they had issues with. There were spats with The Exploited, Oi Polloi (if I remember correctly) and most publicly New Modal Army, whose appearance on Top of the Pops in 1984 with Justin sporting an 'Only Stupid Bastards Use Heroin' triggered a war of words between the two prominent 'protest bands' that culminated in Conflict releasing an  album entitled 'Only Stupid Bastards Help E.M.I.', a dig at NMA for signing to the major label.

To my left were a group of punks baying for blood.... 'Kill Colin, Kill Colin!'.... well they were a bit too far away from the stage to do him any serious damage! The gig ended before schedule due to people on the stage so Matt and I decided to make an exit. The atmosphere outside was not so conducive to 'Anarchy and Peace' so we made a beeline for Brixton Tube Station and Victoria.

It was only next morning that we heard on the radio that something of a riot followed the gig with 50 plus arrests and four policemen injured. It turned out that luck had been on our side and we had just managed to make it onto the Tube before the London Transport Police made the decision to close it along with bus routes in and out of Brixton in an attempt to contain a crowd containing elements that were looking for confrontation with the police.

Gig review in 'Sounds'

If Conflict thought that they had been in hot water before the 'Gathering' the fall-out proved how bad thinks could be.

'Sounds' April 1987

News of the live album and detailed reportage of the gig from the Daily Mirror!

Reading through this stuff again, some 30 years after the event, some of the claims made that this was always intended to be an harmonious night in which 'to forget our troubles' may have being stretching credibility a little too far. I never saw any leaflets appealing to people to take the opportunity to riot, but there was certainly information available that pinpointed the locations of all butchers, bookies, burger bars, the Police Station, Boots the Chemist and even the local Conservative Club!

I still have the 'Ungovernable Force' gig shirt with the date on the back that I bought from Rough Trade in Portabello Road a couple of weeks later. It would be rather snug now but who knows after 3 months of housebound isolation....

Saturday, 18 April 2020

Tommy Erdelyi Interview - Record Mirror 13th August 1977

Here is a short interview with drummer, founding member and soon to be producer of the Ramones, Tommy Erdelyi from the 13th August 1977 edition of the UK music weekly, Record Mirror.