Monday, May 9, 2011

Reality Control


     Another very underrated band: Reality Control. Formed in late 1980, Micheal Barlow sang(later sang and played rhythm guitar), Micheal Scott played guitar(eventually sang also), Ken Fawcett on bass and Paul 'Rid' Ridly on drums(Paul had been previously kicked out, but let back in). This would become the classic Reality Control line-up. Reality Control's first gig was in Heaton, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, during April 1981. It was in a church/community hall.


     In the beginning, they practiced in bedrooms, garages and church halls. They had constant interruptions from annoyed neighbors. Equipment was hard to come by, so they had to rely on the patience of other bands and their parents. This led on until they discovered music co-ops. They had gotten involved in the Gateshead Music Collective, which helped a lot of bands in their area practice and gig.


     They then quickly hooked up with the Blood Robots. They also started a fanzine. Part of their old live set included a cover of 'Securicor' by crass, seeing as though their bassist could sing like Pete Wright. Early influences include the Damned, UK Subs, Fall, early Cure, Joy Division, P.I.L., Crass, Killing Joke and Zounds to name a few. Crass was the reason for their political awareness.

    
     In early 1983, Reality Control recorded their debut demo titled 'The Happy Face'. It was recorded at Newcastle's Spectro Arts Centre, with Micheal overlooking production. At the time he worked there so he was allowed to use the studio for the demo. Seven tracks were recorded, one(The War is over) which was included in Crass's Bullshit detector 3 after the band sent them a copy. Crass changed the song, changing it from five and a half minutes to two and a half.


    
 The tape was sold at gigs and passed around in the mail. The two Micheals and Ken where the main songwriters. The demo's lyrics showed that they were not only anti-war, but also heavily anti-religion. The band became interested in starting their own label and making an L.P., but for one reason or another it never happened. The Micheal that worked at that studio also helped the Blood Robots release their own "You Fuel the Fire and Fan the Flames' tape there.


     After the success of the demo, the owner of their local independent record shop helped them release their E.P. for Volume records. The Reproduction of Hate 7" was released, featuring some newer versions of tracks from of first demo and some new material as well. They did note that they preferred the version of 'Sunny Outlook' in the first demo more than the one in the 7". They said they played it too fast the second time.


     It was recorded at Impulse Studios in Wallsend, Tyne and Wear. It was an anti-war response to the British war with Argentina over the Falklands Islands in 1982. Though the bass went out of tune around the end, the record did really well. at the time, most of the members were only 16.

        
     Unfortunately, bassist Ken left the band to 'pursue other things'. He was replaced by Carl Craig from local band, The Abductors. In early 1984, the band released their second demo 'While we Live in Cages'. Two tracks from the demo titled 'The Law' and 'Sugar and Spice' were included in the 'Compulsory Overtime' compilation album released by American label, 'Dasein' the following year. It also included The Blood Robots.


     In March of 1984, Reality Control released a split flexi-disc with the Blood Robots. The two bands financed and released the record themselves. Once again, Micheal was allowed to use his job's equipment to help record it. Around this time, Reality Control dropped their old set and began working on completely new material.


     However, by the time the record had just gotten out, their drummer left the band and was replaced by Alistair. Reality Control then recorded their third demo, that was never released. Afterwards, their new drummer left and was replaced by James Murphy, who had just left Alternative.


     Around the end of their time, they had an unfortunate gig where Micheal Scott broke a string on his guitar that had a locking nut, so it threw the entire guitar out of tune. Frustrated from being unable to put a new string and retune it, he then stormed off stage, but not before screaming out their poem 'Priest' so loud in frustration and anger that it caught everyone's attention.


     Reality Control played their final show at the Nottingham Narrowboat on October 10th, 1985, alongside Chumbawamba and No Defences. Afterwards, the band sort of just disappeared. There was no real rhyme or reason to the split, but some of the members had started to move out too far which led to less practicing.


     Their original bassist Ken became a teacher, Micheal Barlow became a graphic designer and photographer in the Health service. Carl became a soccer coach. As for the other members, no one knows!



'Forgive Us'


MONEY, PAY, SIN, PREACH, LIES, WAR, SUCK, LEECH!

Listen to the echoes of distant gunfire.
Listen to the sound as the army tracks roll by.
But I hear no angels singing.
But I hear no beautiful music.
Do you see the Preacher man?
Do you smell money?
Pray for my forgiveness.
I pay for my sins.

MONEY, PAY, SIN, PREACH, LIES, WAR, SUCK, LEECH!

Brightly polished fences on the polished marble floor.
Pay the price of forgiveness.
In the obligatory collection.
Daunted by the fixing trance of the man within the walls.
Daunted by the searing guns.
In the shadow of the crucifix.

MONEY, PAY, SIN, PREACH, LIES, WAR, SUCK, LEECH!


'Nice!'


The guts of the family stay locked away.
The family jewels are nice.
The vicar's house is big.
The vicar's house is nice!
We drink the nice wine and we always say grace.
Nobody swears-not in this house.
Have you seen the boy next door?
He is very nice, he has got short hair.
I am going for a walk in the park.
Look-that man has forgotten to kiss his wife.
It's nice living here I like it, la la la
I'm getting married tomorrow THAT'S NICE!.


'Statement from God'


Hello my name is god and I live in heaven.
You must fear me I rule all. I am the ultimate superiority.
What I saw is correct. A while ago I had a son whom I callously murdered.
He was nailed to my symbol and left to die. I did this for you to see(?)
You poor bastards. My sons blood is still on my fingers. But you'll never seem or my blood.
HAVE YOU EVER SEEN GOD'S BLOOD?
SEEN GOD'S BLOOD?
SEEN GOD'S BLOOD?
SEEN GOD'S BLOOD?
Fear God. He has no mercy, he is ruthless. God moves in mysterious ways. He controls mankind, he is a dictator, he has broken all the commandments because he control man and man has sinned.
THOU SHALT NOT KILL!
THOU SHALT NOT KILL!
THOU SHALT NOT KILL!
He thirsts out for blood give him a sacrifice like it says in the bible, slaughter some animals.
Give him more blood. Just right now he''s getting thirsty, he wont stop the killing cos he wants more blood, wants for blood.
He killed his own son Jesus Christ because he wanted his blood. Blood of Jesus Christ is on his skin, SIN?
SEEN GOD'S BLOOD?
SEEN GOD'S BLOOD?
SEEN GOD'S BLOOD?


'Sunny Outlook'


The sun rises.
The sun falls.
An insult to the beauty of nature with more news of the WAR.

Tired limbs reaching under letterbox,
death on doorstep painted red,
black and white death on pieces of paper,
glorified death, glorified war.
Glorified war.

We as a nation have been aggressed,
our pride and joy, our empire scorned.
Our lads will fight for god, queen and country.
Do not fear young, God is on our side.
OUR SIDE.


At least we got a sunny outlook to the war.
The longer the war, the larger the profits. 

At least we got a sunny outlook to the war.
The longer the war, the larger the profits.

We're right behind you Maggie Thatcher,
we'd call you a fucking whore bitch any other time,
but good old fashioned war is always patriotic.
What if diplomatic frustration ends with a bullet?
WITH A BULLET?


Twisted minds yielding humorous pen,
a sponsored missile a laugh over cornflakes.
We hate the argies but we love the war,
victory means a piss-up in a whore-house.
A WHORE HOUSE.

At least we got a sunny outlook to the war.
The longer the war, the larger the profits. 

At least we got a sunny outlook to the war.
The longer the war, the larger the profits. 

A requiem a new bank holiday.
Courageous heroes 
guns with bullets.
We'll give the highest possible honor which is the lowest form of guilt.
GUILT.

A requiem a new bank holiday.
Courageous heroes 
guns with bullets.
We'll give the highest possible honor which is the lowest form of guilt.
GUILT.
GUILT.
GUILT.
GUILT.
GUILT.

At least we got a sunny outlook to the war.
The longer the war, the larger the profits. 
At least we got a sunny outlook to the war.
The longer the war, the larger the profits. 


'State of Emergency'


A country in mess,
a difficult problem,
a communist country,
a soviet problem.
Polish military puppets 
on Krendin strings,
some sound advice to stomp out their freedom.
To stomp out their freedom.To stomp out their freedom.
Stomp out their freedom.

Keep them in line,
cut their communications,
cut their travel,
employ a curfew,
this is a warning, A STATE OF EMERGENCY.

Military round up 
of the freedom instigators.
A country run by state police, they'll keep them well in line.
The country was a mess now we've military salvation.
Now we've military salvation. Now we've military salvation.
Now we've military salvation.

Keep them in line,
cut their communications,
cut their travel,
employ a curfew,
this is a warning, A STATE OF EMERGENCY.

They must keep the peace 
by shooting those who stray.
The military machines 
patrolling the streets, 
a brand new system, a political police state.
Political police state. Political police state.

Political police state.

Keep them in line,
cut their communications,
cut their travel,
employ a curfew,
this is a warning, A STATE OF EMERGENCY.

You think you got it cushy 
in your armchair at home, 
try to sympathize but you don't give a damn,
when it comes here, 
you'll be looking through their eyes.
Looking through their eyes. Looking through their eyes.
Looking through their eyes

Keep them in line,
cut their communications,
cut their travel,
employ a curfew,
this is a warning, A STATE OF EMERGENCY.


'The War is over'


LIES SPRAY FORTH 
FROM THEIR MOUTHS 
LIKE A JET OF BLOOD FROM PUNCTURED FLESH. 
RIVERS OF WINE FLOW IN THEIR DECADENCE 
AS GANGRENOUS STUMPS CLING IN AGONY TO FRESH WOUNDS. 
LOOK AT THE INJURED DRESSED IN GREEN, 
SKIN IS DRIPPING FROM THEIR HEADS. 
LOOK AT THE DEAD MEN DRESSED IN GREEN. 
SEE 'PRIDE' WRITTEN ON THEIR MANGLED FACES. 

THE WAR IS OVER. 
CRY NO MORE. 
THE WAR IS OVER. 
DIE NO MORE. 
THE OLIVE GREEN THAT TURNED TO RED 
NOW TURNS TO BLACK FOR SMILING FUNERALS. 
DANCE, DANCE, DANCE THE DEAD. 
THAT WAR IS OVER. 
THE WAR IS OVER. 
SPRAY THE CORPSES WITH CHAMPAIGN. THE IS OVER.......

BUT HAS IT BEEN WON?


Downloads:

Live(Taken from the "Religious Vomit" compilation)
http://www.box.com/s/3kteerk85neh1psa1vyp
The Happy Face cassette 1983
http://www.box.net/shared/8l0t16h6uy
Reproduction of hate 7" 1983
http://www.box.net/shared/luexn6scbc
While we live in Cages cassette 1984
http://www.box.net/shared/0g2pk509al
Within these walls flexi-disc 1984
http://www.box.net/shared/sucol0m6sg
Live in 1984
http://www.box.net/shared/lzdg2ah9uh

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