Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Verbal Warning

     Speaking of anarchist bands who lyrically attacked other anarchist punk bands ideas, Verbal Warning, who were originally named Dead Presleys, were hated and known for insulting bands such as Crass and Conflict and other punk individuals by making fun of them and annoyingly attacking the idea of an anarchist society with their insulting, anti-anarchist lyrics. Their lyrical assaults included such lyrics as "Anarchy Ain't the Answer!", "Part-time punks!", "Meat means murder and leather jackets, say yeah!(the band would back up Dave by saying yeah, yeah!)"and "Conflict - Crass, they're only rock 'n' roll bands! Their gigs caused their committed anarchist and pacifist punk audiences to become infuriated and their vocalist Dave would only take advantage of their vulnerability and only make them more violent and angry by making fun of them to the point where they would get the plug pulled on them or have to leave the stage because they would get assaulted or killed if they didn't. Verbal Warning began in Nottingham during 1979, and played their first gig on December 7th 1980 at Nottingham's Ad Lib Club with their first line-up consisting of Dave Smith on vocals, Paul on guitar, Colin on bass and Phil on drums. Dave was also a heavy early Napalm Death supporter.

     After their first gig, Phil was replaced on drums by Wayne, and Wayne eventually moved on as an additional vocalist, being replaced by Paul "Adolf" Clarke(a different Paul) on drums, and a second gig followed at the Trent Polytechnic on May 14th, 1981 where the band had to quickly leave the place because Dave had pulled a joke saying that he was glad that I.R.A. hunger striker Bobby had died which infuriated their Irish audience. Wayne left the band soon after, leaving behind the 'classic' Verbal Warning line-up of Dave on vocals, Adolf on drums, Paul on guitar, and Colin on bass which lead to a third gig  at the Beeston Community Centre(The Shed) on July 11th, 1981 with Potential Difference who's vocalist John would go on the sing for Verbal Warning in the future. More gigs followed where they played with such bands as The Apostles, Antisect, Icons of Filth, Instigators, Napalm Death, Flux of Pink Indians, Blasphemy, Black Anthem, Dirt, Disorder, Subhumans, Anti-System, Hagar the Womb, Conflict and Omega Tribe. On January 22nd, 1983, Verbal Warning played the infamous gig with Conflict and Omega Tribe where Conflict pulled the plug on them halfway through their set because their audience became too violent to control after Dave had unleashed a tremendously effective attack of anti-anarchist lyrics, resulting in the band having to stop playing and getting offstage(the gig has some very funny dialogue between the audience and Dave, including reactions to some of the lyrics from the first paragraph). The band split soon after a gig in 1984 with Lost Cherees at Nottinghams' Narrow Boat and reformed in 2005, but with a new lineup which has left Paul as the only original member left.

If anyone has any complete lyrics to any Verbal Warning songs, please post them in the comments. If people were not so close minded, they would find them funny! Verbal Warning were truly the "Anarcho Punk Trolls".

Soon to come Downloads:

Live at the Union Rowing Club January 22nd 1983
1981-1983 Compilation Tape


  1. got all there demos posted on my blog as well got them from the band

  2. nice wite up, thanks, although we did write our own lyrics, I think you're thinking of Part Time Punks, which were nicked from The TV Personalities.
    Paul Warning

  3. I see. Thanks for the clarification! I'll go back and change that.