Thursday, August 18, 2011

Icon A.D.

     Around 1977/1978, Dave Ryan started the band Abrasive Wheels, and this inspired his neighbor Craig to dive into the early punk scene. Craig began listening to bands such as The Clash, Sex Pistols, Adverts, The Damned, Saints, Vibrators, Richard Hell and the Voidoids, and soon bought a Avon Les Paul copy guitar in hopes of starting a band with the same rebellious 'against the norm' attitude. Soon enough, the band Icon was born as four school mates featuring Craig Sharp-Weir on guitar, Mark Holmes on drums, Phil Smith on bass and Dicky Walton on vocals, all aged between 16 and 18 years of age formed the band in Leeds. Their first name was The Jackets, then Terminal Boredom, followed by Icon(ironically they chose the name because they did not want to be icons) which was taken from a Siouxsie and the banshees' track(the Join Hands album). Their early gigs were played at youth clubs, schools and talent shows, and they would often upset the people they played to with their lyrical content.

     However, the band faced a couple of problems in the beginning, since regular places to have gigs in wouldn't allow punk bands to play at first. Their drummer Mark was the politically aware member in the band who eventually sent a rehearsal tape to Crass which let to the track 'Cancer' appearing in Bullshit Detector 1. However, the band split during 1980/1981 due to too many problems regarding unemployment, dropping out out of school, and their vocalist Dicky's lost interest in the band.

     A year later, guitarist Craig decided to pay for a recording session and convinced Mark to drum again while he recorded the guitar and bass parts, and he also recruited Mark's wife Caroline and her sister on vocals. The band sent the recordings to an independent label in Norwich without even being serious about it, and it ended up getting released as the 'Don't Feed us Shit' E.P. on The Disrupter's Radical Change label on September 4th, 1982, which sold well, but Caroline left soon afterwards.

     The band was shocked at the sudden success and decided to reunite the old Icons band, but their original bassist and vocalist couldn't be found, so they kept the two women and recruited Roger Turnbull on bass from another band named F3, and changed their name to Icon A.D. which stands for 'Armistice Day' or even 'After Death'. Thanks to the support from Crass, the success of the first E.P. led to the recording of another single on Radical Change Records, a John Peel session, several tours and other gigs. Radical Change released 'Let the Vultures Fly' on June 26th, 1983. Unfortunately, the band split soon after for unknown reasons(it may have had something to do with family business), but right before they split they recorded their third and best single but it was held back and never released because Backs Records figured out that one of the songs was directed towards them on how they had screwed over Icon A.D. with their previous two releases. The band thought it would had been funny if they had released it, and since they didn't want to be icons, they refused to sign to any big labels for the third E.P. and simply decided to go their separate ways.

Lyrics coming soon!

Soon to come downloads:

Demos 1981
Demos 1982
Don't Feed us Shit E.P. 1982 Radical Change
John Peel Session 13/10/82
Let the Vultures Fly E.P. 1983 Radical Change
Unreleased "Backs Against The Wall" Single 1984

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