Sunday, August 11, 2019

Political Asylum

Photo from Steve Brown.

     "While you slash our hospitals and our schools, you buy more of these obscene weapons. You take us all to be mindless fools taken in with your lies and rules."


     Scottish anarcho punk band Political Asylum formed early in 1982 as Distraught. After deciding on the line-up of Ramsey Kanaan on vocals and bass, Chris Low on drums, and Stephen "Cheesy" Brown on guitar, they changed their name to Political Asylum.

Photo: Andrew Bayles
     Despite the differences in their musical tastes they were able to write music together and organize DIY gigs. These benefit gigs would be used to contribute aid towards several revolutionary causes.


     In 1983 Political Asylum released their first album on cassette titled "Fresh Hate." Following the release of the cassette, Kanaan decided to focus only on vocals. This led to Norman Thomson joining in on bass. The next year Chris Low left the band to join Oi Polloi and The Apostles. As a result, Tam Francis joined on drums and the band prepared for their next release.

   
     "Valium For The Masses" was released next in 1984. As the band continued to grow and prosper, they began to perform farther away such as for support with Conflict and Subhumans.


     After joining the Children Of The Revolution label, Political Asylum were able to release their first record in 1985: The "Winter" EP. It was recorded with the addition of Pete Barnett on rhythm guitar. However, by the end of 1985 Barnett and Frances left the band due to personal issues.


     With the addition of Keith Burns on drums, Political Asylum were able to release their next cassette: "Walls have Ears." In early 1986, Thompson left the band and was replaced on bass by Ewan Hunt.


     In 1987, the band released their mini-LP "Someday." The success of the band then led to their first European tour mid-1987. Unfortunately, Brown who was the founding guitarist of the band left due to increasing musical differences. Kanaan, as he said, wanted to develop more of a 'melodic hardcore' style while Brown wanted to "pursue more the "Rush' direction of the band . . . Really, it meant (Brown) wanted to play a little slower... we wanted to play a little faster."

1989-1991. Photo from Steve Brown.
     Despite the loss the band continued on and recruiting Stevie Dewar on guitar from the band Sad Society. This lineup would go on to perform long tours and play alongside others such as Danbert Nobacon from Chumbawamba and Thatcher on Acid.



     Due to the money raised from the tour, Political Asylum were able to release "Window on the World" in 1990. The album included live and studio tracks presenting a powerfully melodic and political message. Afterwards, the band found it increasingly difficult to go on and despite splitting up and coming back for a short revival, Political Asylum was over by 1993. In 2017, the band reformed to play one more time.

2017
"Disarm Or Die"

Over the horizon, over the hill Don’t know what it is but I know it kills Over the horizon, over the hill The missile is coming, it’s time to take your pill. 

Well I see it coming over the hill Everything is silent, death is still Praying to their god, hands in the air But he’s not listening, he doesn’t care. 

While you slash our hospitals and our schools You buy more of these obscene weapons You take us all to be mindless fools Taken in with your lies and rules. 

You think you’ll control us with the Russian threat Buy the bombs, it’s a better bet Until the Russians, they realize You’re threatening them and then you’ll die. 

Disarm or die.


"Winter Of Our Discontent"

The fields have turned grey and the trees have lost their leaves There’s no one to be seen, only crosses and wreaths Row upon row of graves lying there They died for their country but it doesn’t seem to care. 

I don’t wanna die. 

As the harsh wind whips up and the rain turns to snow The priest said they died for God but how were they to know That when they joined up, their heads held high That in the end they were all going to die. 

I don’t wanna die. 

I’ll no longer fight, for them their wars I’m sick of it now, I don’t want it no more If they want to maim, let them get on with it But leave me out of their self-made shit. 

I don’t wanna die.


"Down Amongst The Olive Groves"

This desert rose has deadly thorns The blossoming nation built upon conquest and creed Four million Palestinians scattered in its wake An encamped nation of refugees just learning how to hate. 

Down amongst the olive groves there is no promised land Zion bends to the wargod’s will and blood still stains the sand. 

Attack’s the best form of defense So the strong would have us believe when they make war on the weak The Star of David pierced the heart of Lebanon Innocents lost in the battlefield have no place to run. 

Who fuels the flames of Israel The true bastions of democracy.


"Wish She Were Here"

Just got back from across the sea Met someone there, she meant so much to me She’s gone but I’m holding on to a thousand memories. 

Got a letter from her today Held my breath, afraid of what she’d say It’s ok, she missed me too, what more can she say. 

I can’t help thinking it’s all so unfair Why did I have to find her there We hardly got started, our time slipped away Now I live in hope there’ll be another day. 

I can’t help thinking it’s all so unfair Why did I have to find her there We hardly got started, our time disappeared Now I live in hope and wish that she were here.


"Standing Over Me"

Gently the wind blows Spreading the sand along the shore Up on the cliff Above our head. 

Standing over me. 

The ruined castle stares out to sea Its empty eyes searching for a long lost enemy. 

Our peacetime generation Could forget what they were for Horned winged warriors don’t come here anymore. 

Standing over me. 

A day at the beach makes it all seem so unreal You could forget now the castles made of steel Yet progress marches on and old is swapped for new. 

And Star Wars is standing over you.


"Solitary"

Living in a nightmare Only place I have to stay For want of peace and not for war It’s the price I have to pay. 

Just a solitary white feather The Mark of shame on the family name Just a solitary white feather Who didn’t join up who was to blame. 

People spitting in the streets Everybody jeers at me Abusive names and hateful stares I have no hope of charity. 

Taunting voices haunt me still Seething images in my sleep Violence dominates their minds Thoughts of evil that they keep. 

Reveling in their glory Proud of all the blood they’ve spilt Triumphant standing with their medals Given for the men they’ve killed.

"Window On The World"

Should I open up my window on the world I’d like the sun to come shining in But I’m frightened of the cold. 

Is this my window? Can this be my only window on the world? 

I’ve spent too long looking Inwards with the curtains closed While the daily dirt and grime Have dulled the glass behind. 

Is this my window? Can this be my only window on the world? 

Well if I threw the curtains wide Confusion and uncertainty Would be staring straight back at me Illusion or reality? 

Is this my window? Can this be my only window on the world? On the world.


Downloads:

Fresh Hate 1983
?
Valium For the Masses 1984
?
Winter 1985
?
Walls Have Ears 1986
?
Window On The World 1990

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Still here

Trying to pick this back up again might be difficult but I would like to continue. For now I have a twitter at /thepeoplesrec

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Blood & Roses


     Blood & Roses have been pigeonholed into the goth punk genre as one of that labels greatest projects, yet the band didn't even know what the goth label was until after the band had split. The band is known for rejecting that tag, and only dressed and sounded as they wanted to and not to fit any other genre model. Their guitarist Bob began in another band beforehand called the Urban Guerrillas. Like most punks who were beginning around the late seventies and early eighties, members from the band often found themselves as victims of violence from those who were prejudice against individuals who were different. So much of the violence was caused by skinheads.


     Due to living separate from the normality of society, and just like many of the bands mentioned before, Blood & Roses were often met with living in harsh conditions, the feelings of isolation and sadness, and even getting tired of each other, even though they were all the real company they had. Just as other bands such as The Rondos had pointed out, they became frustrated with Crass's pacifism, due to the fact that skinheads would often plan out, target, and attack them at Crass gigs. Due to Crass's pacifism, they would not respond(unless the situation got really out of proportion) and would continue playing while their followers took the beatings.


     The band began life with guitarist Bob, bassist Ruth 'Ruthless' Tyndall, vocalist Lisa Kirby and drummer Richard Morgan. In the beginning, the band considered themselves as one of the worst bands around. After struggling to find enough money for their first demo, they finally managed to afford it, record and release it, yet they saw it as a disgrace and an embarrassment(their only copy of it was eventually stolen from them). In 1981, they played their first gig at a bar in Bethnal Green, yet they did not have a name at the time; only a symbol. According to the band, no one could really hear each other clear enough, which led to the gig being played poorly.


     After become disillusioned, Ruth left the band, leading to a short wave of new bassists. First was one of Richard's "drug buddies" named "Clapham". Afterwards, they played a gig in Stoke Newinton's Clissold Park under the name "A,B,C,D,E,F,G", and replaced Clapham with Jez James shortly after. Then, during the beginning of January in 1982, the band came up with the name Blood & Roses and played their first gig under that name at the Anarchy Centre.


     Soon enough, this version of the band began recording and releasing some of their best material. The first was a John Peel Session which was recorded around the end of 1982. Next, during that same year, Blood & Roses recorded their "Love Under Will" EP, and released it during February of the next year. Many people remember the impact they got from the introduction track titled "Necromantra".


     In 1983, They released a compilation tape consisting of live and demo tracks titled "Life After Death". The label which it released was Rob's 96 Tapes label. Their track 'ShM YHShVH' was also taken and featured in a Kamera compilation called 'The Whip'. After releasing "Love Under Will", the band was invited to appear in the 'South of Watford' punk documentary. After receiving more attention then they could handle, the band decided to split.


     Fortunately, the band decided to regroup with Ralph Jezzard on bass, and in 1985, they organized with Backs Records to release two more records. The first was their "Enough Is Never Enough" album, and their second record on that label being the '(Some) Like It Hot' EP. Ironically, at the height of the band's life, they decided to split for good after failing to record a new album at an underfunded studio, and seeing as though Lisa had become pregnant which brought their ability to play live to a halt. Right before the split, they were to play on an American tour with the Only Ones, and by that time they had earned a huge following.

   
     Bob eventually went on to play in several bands such as Junkyard Blues whom played with the Subhumans at some point. He ultimately became a low-budget film producer and musical director at Horizon Theatre in Australia. Years after the split, Bob recalled a gig that they happened to play at the end of a show at the Centro Iberico, simply because everyone from the band happened to be there. He remembers that they only played three songs, yet the audience roared in between them with such prolonged applause, that it was louder than the band themselves.



"Necromantra"

Dogs of war fill my unkempt ash trays,
sentinals of my mundane Mondays.
Zombified of the voodoo kind.
Love and death now intertwine.


Bloody death in a bloody game.
Paper tigers never tamed.
General state of a general’s mind.
Mona Lisa’s for the blind.

Burning corpses on the snow,
as above, so below.
Forgive you lord for you have sinned
and heaven’s full like garbage tins.

God have mercy on your soul,
feted slime on streets of gold.
See through eyes that are not your own.
angels open hell has shown.

God shed life upon the land,
and watched it blow away with the sand.
Fire is holy fire is clean,
ashes shatter they’re obscene.

Necromantra.

Necromantra.

Necromantra.

Necromantra.

Necromantra.

Necromantra.

Necromantra.

Necromantra.


Downloads(there is retrospective CD out now for those who are interested:

Love Under Will 1982 Kamera Records
Life After Death 1983 96 Tapes
Enough is Enough1985 Audiodrome Records
Live with Blyth Power at the Ambulance Station, London, 06/04/85

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Rubella Ballet

Left to right: Gem, Sid and Zillah.
     Even more colorful than Hagar The Womb, Rubella Ballet was another creative band that wanted to get away from the black 'uniforms' several other bands were wearing while shouting out that lyrics weren't always about the bomb or wars. Formed in 1979, after several random practices(live ones) and vocalists including Annie Anxiety, the band ultimately came to a steady line up consisting of Zillah Minx on vocals, and three of The Fatal Microbes' ex-members. Sid played drums, Gem played bass and Pete Fender played guitar. Due to their connections with Crass, and Gem and Pete being Poison Girls' vocalist/guitarist Vi Subversa's children, the band found themselves fortunate enough to find places to play at without difficulty, a label to release music with and equipment. The band first appeared live during a Crass/Poison Girls concert at the Conway Hall in Redo Lion Square, London, but played their first 'real' gig at a fundraiser, opening for Poison Girls at the Theatre Royal in Stratford.


     In 1980, the band released their first batch of material in a cassette titled "Ballet Bag" with some additional guitar work from Andy Smith. The band had decided to work on the release by themselves, so they spent days creating, writing, printing and putting together the lyric booklets, badges and tapes into individual bags. In the end, nearly five thousand copies were sold. It was released on Poison Girls' Xntrix label.


     Slightly later, Sid was recruited by Flux of Pink Indians on drums to play in their "Neu Smell" E.P in 1981. Due to Crass's drummer Penny Rimbaud telling Sid that he should do more drum rolls, Rubella Ballet refused their single that was being offered to them on Crass Records. However, the main reason why they didn't want to release a single with Crass was because they did not want to be told how to sound and didn't want to have the same black and white sleeve that all the other bands were getting. They wanted to do everything the way they wanted to, with a color sleeve.


     Rubella Ballet's first single "Ballet Dance" was was recorded and released in 1982 on the Xntrix label. It shot into the Indie top ten and led to two John Peel Sessions on July 6th, 1982, and February 8th, 1983. In 1982, however, Pete Fender left Rubella Ballet to focus on Omega Tribe and was replaced by Mark Adams from the Chaos Bros. Mark was featured in the second John Peel Session. By 1985, Gem was not in the band anymore and had been replaced by Adam and Zillah's younger sister Rachel 'Rachel Minx' Irene Jane Ashworth, and their 'Money Talks' 12" was released that year on the Ubiquitous label. Later but also during that same year, Adam was replaced by Steve Cachman, and their debut L.P. 'At Last It's Playtime' was released, once again on Ubiquitous.


     However, the constant line up changes were beginning to exacerbate the band's progress. Each time they acquired new guitarists and bassists, they had to teach them their sets, but their recruits would either become to drunk to play them live or leave the band before they could even become a part of it which frustrated Sid and Zillah.

Drummer Sid.
     Next, In 1986, their 'If' L.P. and 'Artic Flowers' single were released on the Ubiquitous label. Afterwards, 1986 saw the release of their 'Cocktail Mix' album(Ubiquitous) and in 1988, the 'Birthday Box' double-L.P.(a live L.P.) was released. By 1990, the band released their last album titled 'At The End Of The Rainbow' on Brave records.

Guitarist Pete Fender on the right.
     Unfortunately, Rubella Ballet split in 1991 after their last gig at the Camden Palace. Zillah and Sid decided that they had had enough, seeing as though another guitarist and bassist had left the band, and went to play in a dance band they had already formed prior to the split named Xenophobia.

9.12.82 Warehouse Liverpool, photo by Jenny Plaits.
     Fortunately, Rubella Ballet reformed in 2000 to play at the European punk festival in Milton Keynes, and decided to stay active, and have been to this day. The new line-up they decided to come back with was Sid on drums, Zillah Minx on vocals, Pete Fender on guitar, Phil from P.A.I.N. on guitar and his girlfriend Paris Ite on bass. Zillah Minx has recently released the first of two movies titled 'She's A Punk Rocker'(this started out as a short University project she did), which talks about women in the punk scene.



Here is a live video of Rubella Ballet back from the early eighties.



The following lyrics will be posted from the 'Ballet Bag' lyric booklet.


"Belfast"




"A Dream Of Honey"




"Slant And Slide"






"Newz"







"T"(Emotional Blackmail)







"Krak Trak"







Soon to come Downloads:

(Rubella Ballet have had retrospective C.D's out fairly recently, so only a small portion of their material will be uploaded)
Unreleased demo(possibly their first demo) 19XX
http://www.box.net/shared/ruld4f5pmpq214y1bm4c
Ballet Bag 1980 Xntrix
http://www.box.net/shared/msfqevnm762ugimxk555
Ballet Dance 1982 Xntrix
http://www.box.net/shared/64rsqm3so2sr3lb5d16n

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Hagar The Womb

Left to right:Guitarist Janet, Drummer Chris from Cold War, vocalist Ruth and second guitarist Paul who was also from Cold War.
     Hagar the Womb were a female fronted, rather colorful and refreshing band, who wanted to have a little more fun than just shouting out the same gloomy political message that so many other bands were doing. After being ignored and laughed at by the men who ran the Wapping Anarchy Centre for trying to speak their minds and contributing ideas, several of the women decided to start a band so they could be taken more seriously. In London during 1980, Ruth, Karen, Amden and Nicola Corcoran all decided to become the vocalists, Janet Nassim became the guitarist and Stepth Cohen played the bass, while Andy Martin from The Apostles helped them by giving them a place to practice in and a drummer named Scarecrow. 


     Even though nobody in the band besides Scarecrow knew how to play anything, they were offered their first gig at the Centre, but the band claims that the people who were setting it up only did it because they didn't think they would be ready since they were to have it a week after forming.

4.4.84, Bierkeller Leeds, photo by Jenny Plaits.
      Still, the band pulled it together, came up with a name that had no meaning, and played a somewhat chaotic gig supporting The Mob and Zounds featuring early versions of "Dressed to Kill" and "Puff the Magic Dragon".

Guitarist Janet Nassim.
     Despite the gig being poorly played due to the lack of musical experience, the band received plenty of positive support, so they decided to continue with the project. Next, J.F.B.(Jon from Bromley) was recruited on second guitar, while Scarecrow was replaced behind the drum set by Chris 'Elephant Face' Knowles from the band Cold War.

This picture come from the Kill Your Pet Puppy blog. It may have come from the band themselves.
     Several of their vocalists left soon after, leaving just Ruth and Karen. After several gigs, people began to take notice of the band, their lyrics, which were much more personal instead of always about war and bombs, and their clothes, which were more colorful and not black like what several "Crass clone" bands were doing. Instead of being anti-everything, the band were anti-labeling and tried to be wild.

Chris, their drummer from Cold War standing left to bassist Mitch Flacko. Guitarist Janet on the bottom right.
     Soon enough, Crass's "Feeding of The 5000" got into their hands and gave them it's influence. The band also had connections with the Kill Your Pet Puppy collective, since one of their members was living at their house after being kicked out of her own home for dyeing her hair red. After recording their first demo, the track 'For The Ferryman' was pulled by Conflict to appear on their label Mortarhate's 'Who? What? Why? When? Where' compilation. 

Bassist Steph.
     However, their bassist Steph left soon after, and was replaced on bass by Mitch Flacko who came from other bands such as The Crux, The Snork Maidens and Flack. Soon enough, J.F.B. was replaced on second guitar by Paul Harding, also from Cold War, and gigs were luckily easy for the band to play, since they lived near clubs such as the 100 Club, Marquee, Fulham Greyhound and the Moonlight Club.


     In 1984, Hagar The Womb released their first E.P. titled "Word of The Womb" on Conflict's Mortarhate label. It was engineered by Pete Fender from Rubella Ballet/Omega Tribe at Heart and Souls Studios, Walthamstow. The band got the opportunity to release that E.P. because they had been playing several gigs before it with Conlict. It hit the Indies chart and went up to number six with the track "Dressed to Kill" becoming the favorite, and also appearing in Sean Mcghee's "Anti-Society" compilation, but with the guitar solos heavily quieted down. The band continued by playing several more gigs to promote it.


     Slightly after the release of the E.P. and recruiting a third vocalist by the name of Elaine Reubens, John Peel invited the band to come down and record a Peel session, but due to complications with their lyrical content and struggles to find a drum set, the band ended up sounding kind of rough and not how they really were. Afterwards, the band had a fallout with Mortarhate due to trust issues, and decided to go to Abstract Records to release their next E.P. in 1985 titled 'Funnery In A Nunnery'. 


     Unfortunately, their bassist Mitch left the band before a gig they had with The 3 Johns at Dingwalls in Camden, and was replaced by Paul 'Veg' Venables. Sometime during 1987 the band came to a halt with no explanation or dramatic end. Paul and Vedge went on to play with We Are Going To Eat You and Melt, while Mitch became a roadie for The Mekons and is now a tour manager.


     2011 has become a good year for Hagar The Womb. A retrospective record has just been released titled 'A Brighter Shade Of Black' on Mississippi Records.

Six Minute War eventually evolved into the band Fallout(both bands were highly underrated and have posts in this blog about them .

     Hagar the Womb has recently reformed with original members.

Janet on the right.


"Dressed To Kill"


Saturday Nights coming and I've just got to Prepare.
Have a bath and spend two hours washing my hair
'cos you know I've got to have my face just right. Right!
So all the boys will only fall for me tonight~ Tonight!

oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oo
Gotta try my best, best, best,
to stand out from there rest, rest, rest,.
To make sure that he, he, he, 
will only fancy me, me, me.

In my sequinwed boob top I'll really stand out on the floor.
Make sure the boys will come crawling back begging for more.
With a flashing smile and tons and tons of cheap perfume. Perfume!
They'll soon realize I'm the best piece in the room. Room!

oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oo
Gotta try my best, best, best,
to stand out from there rest, rest, rest,.
To make sure that he, he, he, 
will only fancy me, me, me.

I don't care if I trip or catch a chill
'cos in my flimsy clothes I wanna look dressed to kill.
Make myself out to be really, really, really hot stuff. Stuff!
Tease the boys make sure they never get enough. Enough!

With every single boy in the room I will flirt.
I don't care if I'm used or treated like dirt.
I don't even care if they call me a tart. Tart!
cos I know they reall meant to say sweetheart. Heart!
(Come with me!)
Come with me!

oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oo
Gotta try my best, best, best,
to stand out from there rest, rest, rest,.
To make sure that he, he, he, 
will only fancy me, me, me.

Fancy me.
Fancy me.
Me!


More lyrics coming if I can manage to get my insert back from a friend of mine.


Soon to come Downloads:

(They have recently had a well deserved retrospective record released, so there wont be much to download)
Word Of The Womb 1984 Mortarhate
http://www.box.net/shared/xjhvgnfekagjz37piymx

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cold War


     Cold War were another somewhat melodic band who started in Hornchurch, Essex, sometime during 1980. Their line-up was Chris Knowles on bass, Kev Bulmer on drums, Paul Harding on guitar and Ian Smith on vocals. All three of the musicians played left handed instruments which was pretty unusual. Their members Chris and Kev also ran their own tape label called Rasquap Products that released material by bands such as What is Oil? and Boiled Eggs.


     Their debut gig may have been with the Apostles at the Cliffs Pavilion in Southend. They soon became associated with the Wapping Anarchy Centre, who was helped setup by The Apostles, where Cold War managed to play several times during their existence. During his time in Cold War, Chris the bassist was invited to join Hagar The Womb as their new drummer during the end of 1980. Their guitarist Paul also joined Hagar The Womb as their second guitarist, just in time to feature both Chris and Paul in their "Word of the Womb" record in 1984. Several recording sessions where done by Cold War, but it was their earlier stuff that they chose to release on record.


     During 1981, the band released their "Live at the Autonomy Centre" tape on their own label where they played on October thirteenth during that same year. 1982 saw the release of a self titled demo that wasn't released on any label. Another demo was released during that year, this time on their label, titled "Irrational". Several more were done, but saved for the future.


     In 1983, Namedrop Records released their one and only record "The Machinist". However, Cold War had already split by 1982. In 1984, two unreleased tracks appeared in the compilation "Another Thing from the Crypt" on Hedgehog Records. Chris and Paul continued with Hagar the Womb, until that band split and the two formed other bands such as We Are Going To Eat You, Paralysis(an improvisation band with Ian, Gary Gherkin, J.F.B. from Screaming Babies and A.E.D.) and also Melt, while Ian also took up sax and joined his brother's band Seventh Seance who used to be Orange Cardigan. Chris eventually became D.J. Chris Liberator, Ian vanished from the Earth, Kev emigrated to Australia, and who knows what happened to Paul.

Bassist Chris on the left, and Paul on the right playing guitar for Hagar The Womb.


"The Machinist"


The heavy sounds
of the steel pumping action.
The sheer weight of noise.
the sound of led
pumping, pushing, sweating.

This machine.
This machine must go
on.

The machinist operates the machines,
cause he can('t?) see
the machine may operate him!

Compelled by force.
Stopped(?) by suggestion.
No turning back now.
No turning back now.

This machine.
This machine
must go
on.

The machinist operates the machines,
cause he can('t?) see
the machine may operate him!
     
We're coming closer

to the computer age.

Human programming

Is their way!


Soon to come Downloads:


Live at the Autonomy Centre 18-10-81 Rasquap Products
Irrational Demo 1982 Rasquap Products 1982
Self Title Demo 13/3/82
The Machinist 1983 Namedrop Records
Another Thing From The Crypt Compilation Tracks 1984 Hedgehog Records
Unknown Demo 198X