Monday, July 25, 2011

The Instigators

Aeptember 1985 at the Eschhaus, Duisburg, Germany, photo by Helge Schreiber.

       The Instigators were a brilliant band that were at their strongest during their first five years before changing into just another energetic 'Rock' band in the mid eighties with almost an entirely new line-up. In 1980, two school friends from Thornhill High named Paul 'Hammy' Halmshaw and Simon Mooney began The Instigators. Hammy played drums, and also started the Peaceville label in his bedroom which sold tapes, records, and fanzines, and eventually it became one of the most respected metal labels around. Simon Mooney took up the guitar. Soon after they were joined by Simon 'Semi' Bridgewater on vocals and Nicky Djorjevic on bass. They began by practicing in Semi's parent's garage, until they were kicked out and got a much better practicing spot at the Thornhill Youth Club.

22.10.83 YMCA Beeston, Leeds, photo by Jenny Plaits.

     At every practice they had an audience, and soon enough they were known by everyone in Dewsbury. This is when they came up with their name the Instigators, and a certain friend of theirs named Ritchie 'Perv' Calvert(who's band was going for the same name, but he let them use it instead) tagged the bands name all over town.

Their debut gig had been planned for their school's 1981 Christmas dance but it was ultimately cancelled due to bad weather(the band became frustrated because they had to travel there on foot, carrying all their gear through the snow), so the band's first gig was at the Morley Youth Club during the middle of 1982. During this time, Hammy had really gotten into Crass. He often wrote Crass letters asking them what anarchy meant to them and if pacifist anarchy could work, and in return, Crass would send him long, in depth answers explaining their philosophy, along with several badges, art work and fliers.

     Unfortunately, bassist Nicky was then replaced by 'Tompo' for being a drug addict, and that line-up went on to record the band's first demo. Afterwards, the band began buying anything associated with Crass and got into all the other anarchist bands. They noted Flux of Pink Indians as a big influence, who's 'New Smell' E.P. turned all of the band members except for Tab into veggie's.

22.10.83 YMCA Beeston, Leeds, photo by Jenny Plaits. Pictured here is a young Hammy.
     They sent their first demo out everywhere and eventually got a call from Colin, the vocalist of Flux of Pink Indians, to come down and open for them and The System, but after the show, vocalist Semi left the band and was replaced by Darren 'Daz' Dean from Sheffield, but he came back and replaced him when 'Tombo' got replaced by 'Tab' on bass. The band then recorded two more demos, and released all three of their demos together as the 'Demos 81-83' tape on Hammy's own Peaceville label.

     On May 15Th, 1983, The Instigators played a gig with the Subhumans which was organised and ran by punk poet Nick Toczek. Dick Lucas of the Subhumans liked the band's performance so much that he released it as a live tape on his Bluurg label. He then let the band record their first single the following year called 'The Blood is on your hands'. Before this, the band had already sent two tracks named 'Old Soldiers' and 'Monkey Man' for the Pax compilation called 'Bollox the Gonads'.

     During January of 1985, Dick Lucas helped the band release their first album called 'Nobody Listens Anymore'. The album was finished and released during the Summer of that same year. This album proved to be their finest work, in my opinion, and helped the band greatly get across to many, many people and it appeared in the top 5 on the Melody Makers Indie Charts. The track 'Dine Upon the Dead' appeared on Mortarhate's 'We don't want your Fucking War' compilation album, and two more tracks named 'Free' and 'The Blood is on your Hands' appeared in the U.S. label Pusmort's 'Cleanse the Bacteria' compilation that same year. However, things turned to the worst soon after a gig with Chumbawamba at Haddon Hall, Leeds.

September 1985 at the Eschhaus, Duisburg, Germany, photo by Helge Schreiber.

     Now that the band were at their highest, Hammy and Semi began discussing a Yugoslavian tour, but they got into an argument because Semi wanted to stay with his girlfriend in case she couldn't go, which led to him just shouting 'I'm leaving!'(their friendship however, was not broken and they continued to be good friends). They got a new vocalist named Tez Turner from the Xpozez, but Hammy and Tab didn't didn't feel like the band was working out so they left too. The remaining members Tez and Mooney recruited Andrew 'Trimble' on bass and Steve 'Cuzzy' Curran on drums, and they carried on the band and released lots of material, but sadly the old Instigators were gone and this new band named 'Instigators MK II' became a completely different band that their drummer Hammy disliked and looked at as just another fast 'Rock' band. I will stop here seeing as though the band changed into something else, but they did release an album called 'Shock Gun' in 1988 which was liked quite a bit. The old Instigators were now gone, but the original Instigators co-founder and drummer Hammy wanted to continue on with his Peaceville label and decided to join an entirely different anarchist band named 'Civilised Society?'

"The Church Says"


There is no God, just society's lie.
Another clever trick, to keep us all in line.
The chance to go to heaven stops them fighting back.
Never stop to care about looking at the facts.

The church says: no contraception.
The church says: no alcohol.

The Irish are fighting all because of the church.
While Maggie's military forces are waiting in the lurch.
The population's booming, 'cos the Pope has banned
the sheath.
So they cull the population by getting armed to the

"Ignorance is Bliss"

Learn the quotes, say the words.
Follow the leaders to get yourself heard.
Another disciple to the deadly race.
Same points of view, just another face.

A disposable race to the leaders who hide
behind a smiling face; it's just another lie
while they hide in the shelters and watch us die.

Ignorance to their suicide's bliss.
You know you can't take much more of this.
We've got to put this to a stop
and remove these lunatics from the top.

"Ugly People"

A distant land as far as I can see.
A chill fresh wind from the ice blue sea.
A mother playing with her newborn child.
Peace and contentment in this desolate wild.

The infant's fur, so white and clean
is the prize of the men arriving on the scene
with a club in his hand, the man delivers a blow.
The skull is smashed, blood runs into the snow.

She looked through the window at the lovely fur coat.
The ink flowed like blood on the cheque that she wrote.
'This coat is so warm, so lovely and white'
but that looked like blood as she turned to the light.

'All Creatures'

The doctors feel the time has come
to kill all the animals under the sun.
Whether for meat or inhuman experiments
their lives are not ours to forsake and torment.

All god's creatures, a human disease.
To die for us, for vanity.
What right have we got, to kill and maim?
Not at all, and they call us 'humane'

"Monkey Man"

You think that you're a man.
Grow your muscles
as big as you can
with violence
as your tool.
You'd better
get back to school.

Monkey Man!

You drink
seven pints a night.
Then out with the boys
looking for a fight.
Blinded by your
desire for pain.
Monkey Man
You ain't got a brain.

Monkey man!

"Old Soldiers"

War is trapping
of all our fears.
To be released
like a cornered rat.
Politics 'divine'
to affirm the con.
That war..
is a necessary fact.

It only takes
the time to realize
that while we fight
they keep their hold.
A hopeless action
for none to gain
We must be bold.

A country's young
are off to war.
Who decides what
they're fighting for?
Bloody generals.
They don't fight.
They deal in death.
But is it right?

Old Soldiers
never DIE.

The government
don't care
as people cry.
Mourning for someone
who shouldn't have died.

They gave him
a medal
to prove he was someone.
Old soldiers don't die.
It's only the YOUNG ONES!


"Dine Upon the Dead"

Dine upon the dead,
cremate the living flesh.
Served upon a dinner place,
the stench today is fresh.

Onward Christian children,
march to the cold store.
Wield the axe of jesus,
Thirsty as before.

Scythe the flesh of human,
or carve up an animal's life.
Destroy the myth of phallus,
just stab them with a knife.

Crumbling gluttonous fools,
never realize how.
Shake the hand of death,
this hand that bites you now

We want to eat the masters.
show them what it's like.
We have to give resistance,
our life must be a fight.

'The Fix'

No need for a screen,
just pump into the brain.
No need for different channels,
it's all the same.
No need for opinions,
tell them what to say.
No need for withdrawal,
pump it out all day.
We are the race of the media fix.

'Wrong Word'

In the evening air prey the silver wings.
To the men in the silos the stale air rings.
Lights are green and the code-word's 'go'.
It's five to midnight, the time goes slow.
At four the doomsday kneecap flies
and the red aggressors' ultimatum dies.
A solar scar tears the cerulean sky
and not even time for a pointless 'why?'.
Two minutemen fly unleashed to the sky.
The sequence ends, now only time
and distance keeps, but not for long
to preserve a life which soon is gone.
Your time is up.
Desolation, destruction, doom.
Vaporized ash sits in blinded rooms.
Human freedom gone forever.
With the shit politicians who promised never.
Life gives the unique chance
to affect the changes you feel we need.
So take this sole opportunity
and eliminate this greed.
The morning sun breaks the cloudless sky
in a faraway land, warmongers shouted the cry.
A town awaits, another day begins.
Unaware of the war no one can win.
We're all ignorant to the power of those.
They make decisions we don't even know.
We are led by fools, and like fools we are led.
Fools who never listened to the words that were said.
Warning flash onto your TV screen
in another language, we don't know what it means.
Intellectuals theorize and women protest.
The curtain is drawn on the east and the west.
A wrong word said, a bad move made.
The end of us all, but we'll be saved.
War games become reality.
If you're looking for blame, then it's you and me.
The wrong word was said.


You're hiding from the real world
that rules your everyday.
Sitting by a TV screen
while your world just wears away!
Another shocking picture comes on your TV screen.
You just try and turn away
from the things you hate to see.
You go into the kitchen to make yourself a meal.
Thinking about those awful things that happen on TV.
Violence, rape and slaughter, starving on the streets.
These people who are suffering
are just like you and me!

"The Blood is on your Hands"

We torture, discriminate and hate.
Use, abuse and dictate.
Your ignorance is the bliss on which it's fed.
With a plan so structured we'll all end up dead.

The blood is on your hands.

Depression exists outside the public eye.
Behind closed doors innocent people cry.
The word of the minority keeps a nation in fear
and the crushing jackboots to an orphan's tear.

The blood is on your hands.

We torture, discriminate and hate.
Use, abuse and dictate.
Your ignorance is the bliss on which it's fed.
With a plan so structured we'll all end up dead.

The people in chains we choose to ignore.
The horrors we condone in the name of war.
Tortured faces, hands grasping the air.
While we stay silent but for the few who care

The blood is on your hands 

A people guilty of the crime of thought.
Creating martyrs for the ones who fought.
Your ignorance is the bliss on which it's fed.
With a plan so structure we'll all end up dead.

The blood is on your hands.

"Old is Sad"

Today I saw lonely old lives, determined by habit.
Their families outgrown their need,
dependent on a welfare state.
Communities giving so little, yet taking so much.
Pride ground into dust appears on the shelf.
Stored amongst the cobwebs.
Clutter and remains a latter day.
Friends lost, mumbled names.
Homeless some, vagrant.
These disillusioned souls, waiting for death.

"It's got to be Stopped"

Fed lies and lies and lies and lies, that rule our
From the men at the top, it's got to be stopped.
Pumps out packages, neatly shrink-wrapped.
Pumps out lies and tricks and tricks and tricks.
From the meat on your plate to the shops in the
From the shit that you sell to the shit that you

Soon to come Downloads:
(There's way too much music to upload for them, so I'll only upload the most important tapes and records)

Demo 1983
The Blood is on your Hands 1984 Bluurg
Nobody Listens Anymore 1985 Bluurg
Phoenix L.P. 1986 Bluurg
Shock Gun 1988