Thursday, March 17, 2011

The System

11.4.83 Warehouse Liverpool, photo by Jenny Plaits.

      In 1980, The Lethal Objects and the Atomz joined together as a five-piece and named themselves The System. Jimi, Jan, Maki, Andy and Spider played their first gigs in a car park. At one gig there, they caused an outrage when the played during Prince Charles and Lady Di's wedding day, but where stopped halfway through their set by police. Once The System heard "The Feeding of the 5000" they met up with Crass and began playing gigs with them.


     Further connections with Flux of Pink Indians led to The System playing their first real show at Sheffield's Marples on 7th September, 1981. Flux of Pink Indians were so impressed that they helped the System release their first two singles on their label Spiderleg records. Marcus Featherby, promoter at Marples and head of Pax records, was impressed with the band and asked them if he could include their song "Their Decisions" in his anti-war compilation "Wargasm".


       Their debut E.P. "Dogs of War" was going to originally be released on Crass's label, but Spiderleg insisted, releasing it in April on 1982. It became a success, and was followed by their E.P. "The System is Murder" later that year.


June 1982, Wigan, photo by Jenny Plaits.
     Flux of Pink Indians and The System toured nationally in April of 1983 to promote it(Gigs were going to be played in Europe, but Dick Lucas who was in charge of those gigs was hit by a bus, cancelling the gigs).


     The system played around 60 gigs and traveled from Inverness(on that night they slept over a fans croft home, in the middle of nowhere) to Aberdeen. At one gig, Crass came by surprise and asked them if they could burrow their equipment to play at the Triad in Bishops Stortford, Essex, to support them in the summer of 1982.

  
     The band had an interesting way of making music, seeing as they did not have a practice room. Jimi the bass player wrote most of the songs and Andy would add his bits on guitar. Afterwards, they would all work together on the their songs during sound checks and play them on those nights at gigs. "Struggling" is a song that was created that way, and is featured in their album"Thought Control" released on the German label Skuld Records.


     The System split in November 1983, after vocalist Ian decided to leave.Andy(guitar), Jimi(bass and vocals) and Spider(drums) reformed in 1986 as Fear of Music, wrote new material, played old System songs, recorded a live set at Wigan Transport Club on 27th June 1986 but split again around the end of the year.






     In 1998, The System reformed for a Mclibel Benefit gig. Dick Lucas from the Subhumans and Jon from Active Distribution organised it. They played at London University on the 16th and 17th of June.


     They helped raise money for legal costs, for a couple of activists whom Mcdonalds had sued for exposing their environmental damage from deforestation. They played alongside Zounds, The Subhumans and Omega Tribe.


11.4.83 Warehouse Liverpool, photo by Jenny Plaits

      However, their vocalist Ian did not show up, as he was planning to move to New Zealand, so they had to move Jimi from Bass to vocals, have Maki, their original second guitarist play bass, have Andy and Simon play guitar and Bri(from Wigan band ACAB) play drums. After that gig, the System disappeared forever. In 2006, their drummer Spider passed away.



"Dogs of War"


What will happen to the country when it starts
warheads, atom bombs dropping with the rain
giving the war dogs another fucking game
just like the Japanese they had to sit there when it came
don't think you'll get away with
because you've got a famous name
chemical warfare doesn't want to know your fame!

The dogs of war are starting with their game
warfare,warfare! it will always be the same
the dogs of war don't even know your name
who gives a fuck they'll destroy you anyway!

you'll end up a pile of ashes of fertilizing fields
miles of devastation to match your needs
the war dogs look around them and say it had to be done
to perverse the human race
it wasn't just for fun
well we don't want a part in your mindless little games
because a four minute warning just isn't playing fair!!

The dogs of war are starting with their game
warfare,warfare! it will always be the same
the dogs of war don't even know your name
who gives a fuck they'll destroy you anyway!

is Europe your next target
will we see another D-day
are the Normandy beaches gonna see another lot
miles and miles of gravestones glorify a loss
its Auschwitz MKII but they don't give a toss
well I'm not gonna end up with your soldiers on their task
they'd never find me,oh no they'd never tell
I'm not gonna end up a poppy on your lapel

The dogs of war are starting with their game
warfare,warfare! it will always be the same
the dogs of war don't even know your name
who gives a fuck they'll destroy you anyway!

The dogs of war are starting with their game
warfare,warfare! it will always be the same
the dogs of war don't even know your name
who gives a fuck they'll destroy you anyway!
Who's fucking war?


"In the System"


You've got nowhere to go
Fuck all to do
trapped in their lives
But you'll have to strive
To get away
from the things that they say
Coz your anarchist thoughts just can't delay

Well your in the System
and you want to get out of it
Being in the system is breaking your life 
to bits

You live day by day
by the laws that they lay
and you work nine to five
just to live system lives
and your bored with the state 
and the things of today
and your sick of the way that they still make you pay

Well your in the System
and you want to get out of it
Being in the system is breaking your life 
to bits

They say your bad
but you know your sad
and the governments law is gonna put you away
so you'd better run before they come 
It's a straight jacket life for someone who fights

Well your in the System
and you want to get out of it
Being in the system is breaking your life 
to bits

Still the flesh-piles mount
as they die day by day
for their country they fought
so their minds would not stray
anarchy i what we want
so we must now delay
because this is the hour
and we have the power


Downloads:

The Atomz Demo(Pre-System)
http://www.box.net/shared/2gv2p01iab
Lethal Dose demo(Pre-System)
http://www.box.net/shared/ray3bayxqq
March 22nd, 1981 Demo
http://www.box.net/shared/x2i5ir67nd
Demo October 10th, 1981
http://www.box.net/shared/1bk5htleyv
The Warefare E.P. 1982 (Dogs of War)
http://www.box.net/shared/rujzd3nh59
The System is Murder 1982 E.P.
http://www.box.net/shared/2gjs6xlr7s
Demo July 22nd, 1982
http://www.box.net/shared/a5a2synt1u
Thought Control L.P. (1982, released 1997)
http://www.box.net/shared/m9s1sozyoh
Live in 1982
http://www.box.net/shared/gly9obp4qh
Live 04/05/1982
http://www.box.net/shared/kaf0o5mkix
Live Unknown Date and Place (1982?)
http://www.box.net/shared/fqdze2rv9h

1 comment:

  1. I was in The Atomz with Kid White (drums), we changed our name to The System in 1980 & played a couple of gigs at 'Trucks' in Wigan before Kid & i left the band, i didn't actually play at the 'infamous' car park gig at Downall Green nr Wigan, I was playing bass in A.C.A.B. in 1988 with Simon Fox (Guitar) & Bri Edwards (Drums) & as neither Jan or Spider didn't want to play we joined Jimi & Andy. The System reformed a couple of years ago with Jimi on vocals & bass & are still playing to this date, you should check them out if you get a chance, Maki
    R.I.P. Spider (Jimmy Brown)

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