Civilised society? played punk music that was fused with metal, yet had brilliant lyrics. They were from Batley in West Yorkshire and started out with Dinger on vocals, Stan on drums, his brother Jerry on bass and Mick on guitar. Mick apparently 'sucked too much' and was replaced by Jerri. Afterwards, their roadie named 'Slops' took over on bass, and they got two more additional vocalists named Bev and Jowan. All of the members pointed out that early Metallica and Anthrax(the metal one) had become influences on their style, as well as Crass's ideas.
They immediately recorded their first demo titled 'You must be Joking' but Jowan apparently 'got pissed and left'. Afterwards, the band recorded their second demo called 'Who would have Thought?'. By this time, the Instigators had split, and they asked their ex-drummer Hammy to join them as their third vocalist. The band released their demo tapes with the help of Dick Lucas from the Subhumans and Simon Mooney from the Instigators.
Their first record would had been through Bluurg, but something that has not been explained yet happened between the band and the label which led them to Manic Ear Records instead. With a budget of two hundred, and forty-eight dollars, the band recorded their 'Scrap Metal' album. Some say it marked the new era for the 'Thrash' genre. It was described as 'Virtually Heavy Metal Music, played at Punk speed with meaningful lyrics. And even a touch of 'harmony' thrown in!'
After he album, Civilised Society went through a nasty fallout with another anarchist band called Conflict. According the Civilised Society?, they disagreed Conflict's idea of fighting the system which was 'Fight Fire with Fire'. The band said 'Two wrongs don't make a right' and cautioned the activists that were getting exposed to Conflict(I have nothing against either bands). Conflict countered this by calling the band 'Pacifist Headbangers' and threatened them with a reception committee at a show in London. Soon after, Dinger left the band to focus on his activist activities, but he was incarcerated for four years after a big A.L.F. conspiracy.
This didn't stop the band, and they quickly recorded and released their second album titled 'Violence Sucks!' on the same Manic Ears label. Kerrang's Paul Miller awarded the album 4.5 K!s and Bernard Doe(editor for Metal Forces) gave it a 90 out of 100. However, the band began losing hope in itself, and split in 1987, playing their final gig at a very special Christmas party on 23/12/87 in Adam and Eves in Leeds where it all began for them. Several tracks were recorded after 'Violence Sucks!' for several compilation albums that were considered to be their 'finest and most advanced work' but they were ultimately lost over time. Civilised Society? managed to release a retrospective double record release in 1990 titled 'You have been Warned' but the band was unable to find their last recordings so it only featured their two albums in one release.
"I Can be Free"
Can it really be true?
Can it truly be real?
Can they really lock me up
for the way that I feel?
Can they tell me - What to say?
Can they tell me - What to do?
Can someone please tell me.
Please tell me it's not true.
When they give me advice.
When they tell me what's right.
Does it really mean
I've got no other choice?
When they tell me to be quiet.
Not to make a lot of voice.
Are they really telling me
They've got no use for my voice?
If they tell me when to laugh
Then they tell me when to cry
Are the keeping me in practice
To be told what to buy
When they tell me - What to eat
When they tell me - What I need
Do they make me a consumer
Just to satisfy their greed?
No of course it's not true
No it's not right
If I really wanted to
I can live my own life
I can make my own rules
And ignore the fools
All the ones who tell me
What to say and do
If I open my eyes so that I can see
That if I open my mind then
I can be free!
More lyrics coming soon(I don't have my lyric sheets with me)
Soon to come downloads:
You must be Joking July 1984 Peaceville
Who Would have Thought? March 1985 Peaceville
Unreleased Demo from October 1985
Live in at Leeds University 20/10/86
Unreleased Demo from March 1986
Unused L.P. Recordings August 1986
Scrap Metal 1986 Manic Ears
Violence Sucks! 1987 Manic Ears
Live in Brixton 7/3/87