Monday, October 17, 2011

Omega Tribe

Bassist Daryl on the left and vocalist/guitarist Hugh on the right.
     Omega Tribe were one of the few bands that had a much more softer, poetic and melodic style of playing that still managed to impress, educate and influence their audiences. All  three founding members Daryl, Hugh and Pete came from different bands(Daryl from "Comatose", Hugh from "Whoosh!"), and formed Omega Tribe in Barnet on July 29th, 1981, with the roles of Hugh Vivian on guitar and vocals, Daryl Hardcastle on bass and Pete Shepherd on drums. Before Omega Tribe, they were called "Deadly Game" and after much practicing(at first in a basement) they played their first gig at the Monkfrith Boy's Club during that same year. Their second gig was played at the 100 Club, supporting The Meteors, who had invited the band to come down and play because they knew their drummer Pete. Right from the beginning, they had a strong Crass influence, and committed themselves to everything about the band(Hugh is a poet) while they practiced hard once a week at We Mean It in Barnet.

Bassist Daryl
     The three recorded their first demo during March of 1982, in Poison Girls' basement, and had their track "Nature Wonder" pulled by Crass to appear on "Bullshit Detector 2". This led to an association with Crass that got the band a spot at the Zig Zag squat event alongside several of the other anarchist bands such as The Apostles and Sleeping Dogs on December 20th, 1982. Around 1980, They had met Crass because of Daryl who at the time wanted to interview them for his "The Realities of Society" fanzine. That was also when the band met Pete Fender from Rubella Ballet who would become a great help and part of the band in the future.


     Crass was impressed, and invited the band down to record their first single on Crass records. Their "Angry Songs" single was recorded during September of 1982, and was released during the Spring of 1983. It featured some lead guitar work and piano bits by Pete Fender, who followed by joining the band afterwards as their lead guitarist. The record broke into the Independent Top Ten right after being released and reached higher up than other bands such as The Damned(they were 5th). Several tours where then played with Conflict who were good friends with them.


     After much gigging and the success of the single, Crass invited the band down to Southern to record an album for their Corpus Christi label. This resulted in their 1983 release of the fantastic album "No Love Lost" which was regarded by many one of the top albums to come out of the "Anarcho Punk" movement. They wanted to avoid the heavy sound that most "Punk" bands had by writing and recording it exactly the way they wanted to and not by what was expected of them. Shortly after the album, the band took a huge change in direction, seeing as though Pete Fender left in 1984, their drummer switched roles and new members were recruited. Their drummer Pete switched to percussion, Sonny Flint joined in on drums and Jane was recruited on saxophone and flute duties.

 
      During 1984, their manager Martin Goldschmidt wanted them to take a much more commercial direction, and managed to convince the band to sign a contract since none of them had any money. A tour around the United Kingdom was played next where their listeners were introduced to the "New" Omega Tribe, but people would still shout out for their old numbers.


     Next, their "It's a Hard Life" single was released on Corpus Christi, which showed the band taking on their new sound which caused disappointment among their followers. Afterwards, a live cassette titled "Live at the Clarendon " was released later that year on 96 Tapes which was run by Rob Challice from another band called Faction.

Vocalist/guitarist Hugh on the left and Pete Shepherd the drummer on the right.
     Next, the band began working on their "Hip, Hip, Hooray" single, but Hugh left the band while they were working on it because he simply just didn't want to do it anymore. Omega Tribe fell apart soon after in 1985. Daryl carried on with a new band called The Tribe(sort of sounded like ska), but that project only lasted until 1988 and didn't get very far. Omega Tribe did reform in 1995 so they could play a guest spot for Poison Girls' singer/guitarist Vi Subversa's 60th birthday bash at the Astoria in London during June, but split for good soon after the gig. A retrospective C.D. and record were released in 2000 on Rugger Bugger Records, but both quickly sold out after it was released.



      I do not have my records on me right now, but lyrics for the releases "Angry Songs" and "No Love Lost" will be put here as soon as I get to them.


Soon to come Downloads:

(There is too much live material to upload so I'll stick to the actual releases)
Angry Songs  1982 Crass Records
No Love Lost 1983 Corpus Christi
Live at Clarendon 1984 96 Tapes
It's A Hard Life 1984 Corpus Christi

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