Monday, June 13, 2011

No Defences


    In 1980, founding member  Dik started the band Toxic. Originally Dik sang and played guitar along with friends Sid on guitar, Bev on drums and James on bass. In 1982, Iggy (first bass then vocals) and Woody (drums) joined  with Bev switching to guitar and Dik to bass. James became a poet and occaisionally gigged alongside. They recorded a demo with one track appearing on Crass Records Bullshit Detector 2- Tradition of Slaughter. At the end of 1983, Andy took on the drumming and Toxic was renamed No Defences. Another track, Wall in the Mind, appeared on Bullshit Detector 3.


     Dik stated this about the name, "Never choose a name by committee! That's what we did and we never were really happy with it. It was supposed to be about not having defences around yourself to others, rather than being a slightly bland anti-nuclear name, which it always sounded like. In some ways I almost preferred our old name of Toxic even though we dumped it as it seemed too spikey-top/glue-sniffing punk."


Early in 1984 they moved from Essex to South London and became part of the squat scene there. Over the next two years they played gigs with many bands including Slave Dance  (Andy drummed for them too), Crucifix, Annie Anxiety, Crass, Karma Sutra and Chumbawamba. Most were in and around London but some further afield, including a tour with Chumbas in October 1985. On stage they had a slide show of lyrics and relevant images,  operated by Tod.  


     Towards the end of 1985, they began recording at Southern Studios for an album on the Crass Records label. Five tracks (total time 31:10) were recorded, with Pete Wright producing, but the album was never finished. Around that time, Iggy also decided that she wanted to leave No Defences, and without her involvement the general consensus in the band was that it was no longer worth continuing.


 With the original  2" tapes lost, only rough-mixed studio cassettes remained.  After 30 years, Sean from Demo Tapes Records persuaded all five ex-band members to release it on vinyl.  The music was remastered, and cover and 12-page booklet were constructed from archive material. This process took 18 months and the album was made available in March  2017.

"Tradition of Slaughter"


The peeling skin he drags behind him
They groan and cry for help
But there is nothing I can do
These pallid ghosts with faces like masks
Walk slowly past me towards the stream
They're all crouching at the water's edge
Trying to quench a never-ending thirst
Condemned by a tradition of slaughter to die


Soon to come Downloads:

Bullshit Detector 2 track-Tradition of Slaughter(1982)
http://www.box.net/shared/ev6dh05gksdzv2gu376v
Practice tape
http://www.box.net/shared/bqkeh8xhgs00jaks983b
Unreleased L.P. 1984
http://www.box.net/shared/b77b0bryinoliioda293
Bullshit Detector 3 track-Work to Consume(1983)
http://www.box.net/shared/5p4fl7vpvcjr7qepg1sl
Live Luton Library Theatre 30/5/85(Crystal clear quality)
http://www.box.net/shared/49magtu8jdqoon9pf49y
Live compilation tracks from the 'Shine on" compilation(new)
http://www.box.net/shared/yeztt7kctdeo1yooyrfg

23 comments:

  1. I have it in a different computer, but I am unable to use it at this time.

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  2. Is there more TOXIC recordings? More than "Tradition of Slaughter"
    And why in Tradition of Slaughetr man take vocals, but in Work To Costume. the singer is woman?

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  3. Their female vocalist came along after the first song. 'Tradition of Slaughter' comes from their first rehearsal tape and contains other tracks as well, but the rest of the tape is lost. The information regarding their link with Toxic comes from a interview done to their bassist Richard. 'Work to Consume' was recorded after 'Tradition of Slaughter' and they had acquired their female vocalist and changed their name to No Defences in between the two songs.

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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  5. Oh, thanks. If I understand correctly, Tradition of Slaughter is the only song that You have with male vocals

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  6. Yes, that is correct. The practice tape I haven't uploaded yet is also only sung by their female vocalist too. I apologize for not being able to post it.

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  7. Thank You so much for the info :)

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  8. Iggy (female singer) and Andy (drummer) went on to form Bold As Love. Dave Slave (Dave Kirkby) who sang with Slave Dance, also sang on and wrote (alot of) the lyrics for the Thatcher On Acid album The Illusion of Being Together. He also recorded with The Ex Pistols and End of the World (of The Spectacle) Orchestra. Andy went onto play in Eat More Fruit, LOB and Moist (a jazz fusion band).

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  9. Thanks for the information. I saw a picture of Bold as Love playing live in the Anarcho Punk Archives site. I couldn't find anything on them and always wondered who they were.

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  10. Many years ago I lived across the road from Dick, & regularly used to sit in on Toxic rehearsals, they were at the time Dick, Iggy, Bev there was another guitarist but I've forgotten his name & a guy called James who was a poet & played an audio generator. I remember them playing a gig at Chigwell school & the Square in Harlow but then the drink & drugs took hold & I lost 20 odd years of memories. Bev was also a DJ on pirate radio station Radio Comsat & his brother bought Small Wonder in Walthamstow from Pete who originally owned it.

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    1. The other guitarist was called Sid. I think his real name was Steve, but he went by "Sid." At Square One in Harlow Toxic played with the Condemmed (I'm pretty sure they spelled their name with two "m"s), an excellent Harlow band.

      I also remember (I think) No Defences playing a gig in Epping with Slave Dance and Flux and Crass. That was quite good.

      Strawb, I'm so pleased to discover that you are still alive.

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  11. Not sure if anyone else is having problems but I can't seem to download these from Box. Any chance of a re-up if possible? Heard their track on Bullshit Detector and am now salivating for more!

    Great blog by the way!

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  12. Strawb - did you see that you were mentioned along with Bev in the documentary Alan Davies Teenage Revolution?
    Bev and his brother are featured in the episode recalling the squat you had in Buckhurst Hill.
    Hope you're well....

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  13. Anonymous, you seem to know me quite well from my past, who are you? & how are you keeping? I've never seen the Alan Davies documentary but will now trawl the net for a copy of it. Thanks for the pointer. Strawb

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  14. www.nsk.radio.com in ur computer no virus inc

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  15. a good night out

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  16. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    1. love your vocals Iggy!grtz from holland

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  17. Well I'm listening to some live stuff on youtube right now and enjoying it very much; Iggy's vocals are great, absolutely fine. Weird decision. Yes, I was a big Crass fan too...more than a 'fan'; they changed my life...but 'Penis Envy' stands head and shoulders above the rest for me musically and vocally. I much preferred Crass when the women took over vocal duties.

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  18. Looks like the album has finally seen the light of day. Called "Released", it's been issued by the Demo Tapes label and is now available on vinyl from the following: http://lavidaesunmus.com/shop/product.php?id_product=4649 or https://www.roughtrade.com/music/released-a54470a2-dc25-4265-be2d-b2dc76ce17b7

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