Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Epsilons(D & V)

    How many punks bands do you know of are made up of just one drummer and one vocalist? The Epsilons(name taken from the estate near their home) were the only 'Anarcho Punk' band that did just that. As simple as it may seem, their 'rap like' style of singing backed up by catchy drum beats became a great way for them to spread their words of wisdom and it was all received very well by most who saw them. Eventually, D & V became the name everyone knows them by now, but it was only a description standing for drums and vocals(John Peel accidentally made people think it stood for diarrhea and vomit at some point). The Epsilons were Jeff Antcliffe on vocals and his friend Andrew Paul Leech that lived in the same neighborhood on drums.

     Jeff admits that the inspiration that made him wake up and become a vocalist was another vocalist by the name of Tapper Zuki, who was part of the Jamaican DJ scene. Jeff listened to everything he said, studied the way he delivered his lyrics, and sang them on his own as practice. Other notable influences include Joe Strummer from the Clash, Crass, Annie Anxiety, Flux of Pink Indians, Chumbawamba and Adrian Sherwood. D & V played their first gig in early 1980 with The Eratics, Epileptics, Rubella Ballet and several others at the Grimaldi squat in Pentonville Road, London. People were confused at first, and wondered if their guitarist and bassist hadn't show up, not aware that they never had either.

     In 1982, a cassette release was recorded for Rob's 96 tapes label in Stoke Newington titled 'The New Beginning'. This led to the band appearing at the infamous Zig Zag squat gig with several other bands in December of that same year. D & V had gotten lucky earlier and managed to see Crass with help from one of Crass's guitarists named Andy Palmer. They saw Crass as an inspiration, people who had very similar beliefs as their own. This followed with a connection with Crass and their Crass Records label.

    D & V entered Southern Studios in October of 1983 and recorded their first single with the aid of John Loder and Penny Rimbaud of Crass. It was called 'The Nearest Door' and took people by surprise with it's simple yet inspiring songs.

     It wasn't until 1984 that D & V released anything else. Further connections with Crass led to them recording a full length titled 'Inspiration Gave them Motivation to move on out of their Isolation'. The name of the title was to describe what the band had just gone through, since they had left their home and were welcomed by several other bands that they eventually ended up touring with. As usual, violence plagued the band, and on one occasion, Andy had to drum for Flux of Pink Indians, since Martin had been beaten up and sent to the hospital.

     In 1986, D & V released their final record titled 'Snare' on Flux of Pink Indian's One Little Indian label before splitting during the summer of 1986. Jeff just decided to stop doing it and felt the band had gone full circle. He ultimately left the U.K. scene and went on to 'Walk the Earth' eventually settling in Australia. his lyrics were very direct as he would often scream at the audience "You're all bleeding sheep! Wake up and get a life!"

Sing sweet songs. Sing sweet songs. Sing sweet songs.
Sing sweet songs. Sing sweet songs. You sing sweet songs.

Sing sweet songs.It’s gone on too long.

You sing sweet songs love and dreams,
this tired world’s wearing out.(out, out, out)

You sing songs about love and dreams.

Your world’s wearing out(out,out,out)

Harmonies irrelevance, irrelevance, irrelevance!

Harmonies irrelevance, irrelevance, irrelevance!


The New Beginning Cassette 1982 96 Tapes
The Nearest Door 7" 1983 Crass Records
Various Artists Rising Free Tape 1983
Inspiration Gave them the Inspiration to move on out of their Isolation 1984
Peace News Benefit  Live at Marcus Garvey Centre, Nottingham 2/5/1984
Snare 1986


  1. Hey :) Thanks for the comments on my blog and feel free to add my blog to your list. I'll add yours to mine if you have no objections :)
    Thanks again.

  2. You can go ahead, I don't mind. thanks!

  3. Thank you very much for the upload. It´s unusual to find music like this available on the Internet, which sadly, it´s the only source for this kind of music for most of us. Greetings from Argentina! And thanks again for the music!

  4. Excellent.Thank you so much for this.Greetings from Greece.

  5. I remember D&V very well as I lived near Sheffield at the time and saw them a number of times (I think most memorably playing with KUKL and Flux at the Sheffield Leadmill for a Miners Benefit which would be sometime in 1984). What I really liked about them was the way they looked like any casual from a Sheffield estate (which as you can imagine, Nike trainers and tracksuits were hardly worn in a sea of black combat trousers) - not only that, but the music was excellent, especially the later material like the 1984 LP and the Snare EP, some of the rhythms had a real funky feel and I am surprised they have not been sampled in later house music.

    I think those of us who were trying to find an identity for anarchism that went beyond lifestyle politics really identified with bands like D&V (this was at the time of the miner's strike/Wapping print workers and the emergence of a more class/power based anarchist analysis such as Class War and various anarcho-syndicalist currents - which in aesthetic terms meant ditching the black combats for black Levi 501s ;)

    If anyone has the Snare EP in a higher bitrate, could they please post a link, it would be really appreciated - and of course thank you for sharing all these rare releases.


  7. This is a very good post which I really enjoyed reading.Mylar drum inserts

  8. Anyone know where they are now? Trying to connect for a piece I'm writing... Anyone have any idea how to track them down?