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Monthly Archives: May 2009

What about Misuse ?

Misuse_coverTwo guitars, one violin, one ‘cello, one piano, some hammond organ, a vintage Obberheim synth and a drum set.

No vocals, no plug-ins, no simulators.

I can hear the drummer Nid (I guess it’s Elyzion’s drummer) playing somewhere in the background, but the soundscapes here are perfectly described by the guitarists, Titos Moschakis and Dimitris Patsaros.

Along with bass player Stavros Maragos and keyboard player Costas Stergiou, the quintet of Misuse opened for the Canadians A Silver Mt. Zion on March 2008 and about a month later, their self-titled debut album was released.

Misuse might be the best Greek post-rock band.

They were formed in 2001 and in 2003 they supported Mogwai.

Misuse were featured on the compilations “Mad Athens Presents Pop Scene 01“, “Civil Cinder Regalia Vol. 1” and “In The Junkyard vol. 1“.

Their self-titled debut album consumes all their powerful and melodic compositions.

One after the other the songs drag the listener deep into a dark abyss that Misuse fills in with feelings.

Tracklisting:

1.DESECID

2. MADE:  GENESIS

3. MADE:  FLAT LIME EVOLUTION

4. MADE:  LOSS IN ACTION

5. PROGYRIA

6. AMANZI

7. WHILE IT LASTS

8. WAY TO SEASHORE

For more information, click here.

 
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Posted by on May 31, 2009 in Music

 

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Will I be there?

May 30

Thanos Anestopoulos – Kyttaro Club

9th European Jazz Festival – Technopolis – Athens

       21:00        Kaisa KulmalaTrio (Finland)
       22:00        Miriam Bayle Band (Check Rep.)
       23:00        Maria João Quartet (Portugal)

Lanterna & The (International) Noise Conspiracy – Geoponiki Athens

 

May 31

9th European Jazz Festival – Technopolis – Athens

       21.00         The David Kollar Band (Slovakiaα) 
       22.00         Maxime Bender Group (Luxemburg)
       23.00         Aved-Fenyvesi Quartet (Hungary)

 

June 3rd

Franz Ferdinand –  Terra Vibe Park – Athens

 

June 4th

New Zero God, Drama Queen, Envy Never Dies – Mad Club – Athens

 

And….as always, something’s happening far away from Greece:

 

The Cult are touring and they are playing their entire “Love” album.

Jul 4/2009 – El Paso, Texas, Street Festival

Jul 10/2009 – Lockport, New York, Ulrich City Center

Jul 11/2009 – Atlantic City, New Jersey, House Of Blues

Aug 19/2009 – San Diego, California, House Of Blues

Aug 21/2009 – Phoenix, Arizona, Celebrity Theater

Aug 22/2009 – Los Angeles, California, Nokia Theater

Aug 23/2009 – San Francisco, California, Warfield Theater

Aug 25/2009 – Portland, Oregon, Roseland Ballroom

Aug 26/2009 – Seattle, Washington, Moore Theater

Aug 28/2009 – Abbotsford, British Columbia, AG-REC Building

Aug 29/2009 – Calgary, Alberta, Flames Central

Aug 30/2009 – Edmonton, Alberta, River Creek Event Centre

Sep 1/2009 – Minneapolis, Minnesota, First Avenue

Sep 2/2009 – Chicago, Illinois, House Of Blues

Sep 4/2009 – Dallas, Texas, House Of Blues

Sep 5/2009 – Austin, Texas, Stubb’s BBQ

Sep 6/2009 – Houston, Texas, House Of Blues

Sep 7/2009 – Charlotte, North Carolina, Amos

Sep 9/2009 – Washington, DC, 9:30 Club

Sep 11/2009 – New York, New York, Terminal 5

Sep 12/2009 – Boston, Massachusetts, House Of Blues

Sep 13/2009 – Toronto, Ontario, Massey Hall

 
 

Two very rare Dead Babies vids

Wow !!!

What a great way to start your day.

Thanks to Ataktos751 who uploaded these two videos of the post punk band Dead Babies on youtube and was kind enough to leave us a comment on the post we did about the band, here.

I knew there was a dvd capturing  the band playing live on the stage of Rock Palais (and I know who has it…and where he lives and I am a well trained burglar…).

The title on the first is “Nobody”.

What we have here , is a band that never released a single track BUT thanks to Ataktos751 now they are available on the net.

It is obvious that this one was shot on April 27, 1991….

Although Martin Scorsese was busy to direct these videos that day, the almost 20 years old atmosphere is well captured.

Dark and full of cigarette smoke, the club with the black painted walls was near the center of Piraeus area.

A couple of years later it became a recording studio…end of story.

For those of you who didn’t have the luck (???) to attend to Rock Palais during the late 80’s/early ‘90’s, there you go.

For the rest, enjoy…

 
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Posted by on May 29, 2009 in New Wave / Dark Wave

 

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Baby steps to a new era vol. X

Ex Humans live 1984Well, things were not all “sugar and spice” in the Greek punk rock circles during the early ‘80’s.

It wasn’t a non-stop party at all.

I guess, though, shit happens everywhere and people go bananas.

I remember one particular night there were these kids trying to make a freaked-out pill-popping friend of theirs shut up in the toilet of a club.  All this was taking place while cops were raiding the club and Ex Humans were playing a song on stage about pigs and cops etc…

Youth is a period of time in human life which is full of sensitivities.

It’s the “holy shit” period…

The “outside” world is new, bitter and harmful when you’re a teenager.

Heartbroken, feeling different, with family problems, un-employment, outcast, betrayed, with no future, living on the edge…

Some kids can’t handle it while others fight back and carry on.

Happens to all countries no matter the religion or the color of the skin.

You don’t have to get involved with punk rock or heavy metal or some other kind of music to get all that.

You get these feelings anyways…

Fuck, huh ?

Well, you are reading this, so…I guess you know what I mean…

If we could just control our feelings and be less self-destructive while we were teenagers, maybe lots of absent friends would be with us right now.

Music is always a good way to express all that shit a teenager holds inside.

The more you get pissed, the more violent your music comes out.

That’s the spirit.

Revolting teenagers means healthy teenagers within a sick society.

People have all the time in the world to be stupified when they grow up.

By the way, did you like the Black Flag ?

Ex HumansCause, I remember Yiannis Trombetas had a Black Flag sticker on his Rickenbacker bass.

His band, the Ex Humans, was probably the first hardcore punk rock band in Greece.

The band was formed in Athens, initially by the name Guillotines,and had a few gigs by that name before changing it to Soldiers of Anarchy.

Sometimes they were jamming with R.R. Hearse,  and you now have a little snippet from one night in 1983.

R.R. Hearse joined them for awhile when they were called Soldiers of Anarchy.

You can read a story about that here.

They finally settled on the name Ex Humans.

The line up of that trio was:  Yiannis Trombetas – bass, Giorgos “Havoc” Alevras – vocals/guitar and Fivos Pergaliotis on the drums.

Their songs were antimilitaristic, or about the nuclear holocaust, and in general they were dealing with social matters.

Ex Humans liveEx Humans were supported by the whole Athenian punk rock movement since they were very friendly and very helpful to the rest of the bands, sharing their rehearsal room and their instruments (not the Rickenbacker bass though).

Their base camp was in the Galatsi area and they were usually hanging around Halepa Square, which became the HQ of a punk rock group of people called Halepades.

Nothing dangerous though, since there were also members from other bands in that group of people and their aim was to follow Ex Humans to their gigs or to any other punk rock gig in the city.

In 1983 they released a 4 track cassette and when the compilation LP “Diataraxi Kinis Isixias” was released in 1984, they participated with the songs “Aftoktonia se argi kinisi” (engl. Suicide in slow motion ελλ. Αυτοκτονια Σε Αργη Κίνηση) and “Ektyflotiki Lampsi” (engl. Blinding Shine ελλ. Εκτυφλωτική Λάμψη).

the albumTwo members from the band Anypofori joined them in the studio, Giorgos Demelos and Giorgos Glynelis for these recordings and the forthcoming gigs.

(In general, Glynelis was considered one of the top musicians in the Greek punk rock scene. You can find him playing also with Metro Decay…)

Their one and only LP titled “Anofeli Epiviosi” (engl. Survival without a cause ελλ. Ανώφελη Επιβίωση) was released in 1984.

Although the album received great reviews by the Greek music press, the band decided to split a little later, leaving behind them this album as a landmark for the Greek punk rock scene.

Pergaliotis joined the band South of No North while Alevras, Trombetas and guitar player Giorgos Giannopoulos formed the H/C band Abolish Authority.

(Giannopoulos would later become a sax teacher…).

Trombetas and Alevras formed the band Velocity in 1998.

 

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Into The Abyss – Martyrium

Martyrium cassette One more day spent making way and putting some order in that room of mine.

Long forgotten stuff falling on my head that sometimes appear to be useful for this blog.

One of them was the cassette “Martyrium”.

“Martyrium” was the first “official” release of the band Into The Abyss.

They first released a demo in 1992 that was followed by “Martyrium” in 1993 on cassette.

By that time, the band was a trio with guitarist/singer Yiannis Kalifatidis , bassist Costas Tzeras and the German drummer Jens Gellner.

Kalifatidis and Tzeras were two Greek students, based in Darmstadt, coming from Athens and Thessaloniki respectively.

They formed the band in the late 80’s and Gellner, who stayed along with Kalifatidis till the band split in the early ’00’s, joined them on the drums.

They started as a post-punk / gothic rock band and pretty soon were isolated by the Greek minority in Germany as they were not into Greek bouzouki stuff.

Soon the band started touring Germany and recording songs on their own expenses.

“Martyrium” was first released on a self produced tape that through the channels of the “tape movement” of the era was well distributed.

Tracklisting:

A Side

Martyrs (3:51)

Banner Of The Fray (4:37)

Just Another Voice… (9:20)

(War) Against Their Will (5:54)

 

B Side

Research Without Conscience (6:28)

Dumb Crutches (7:31)

Madman (5:41)

Swingin’ Scythe (5:05)

Martyrium CDToday, some might think that a cassette release was a useless thing to do back then.

But the German label Spectre Records, re-released this album on CD in 1995, plus many tracks made it into several compilations around the world.

Banner Of The Fray” must be the most well-known track of the band, since it appeared in Mick Mercer’s 3xLP and CD compilation “Gothic Rock 2” that was released through Jungle Records in 1995.

Nephilimesque guitars are scattered in this great song that would be the highlight of their gigs.

On this cassette, Kalifatidis wasn’t using his epic style of singing yet, but we also find the first attempts of the band to feature a violin player in the wonderful “Just Another Voice…”

For the record, Helmut Eckstein is playing the violin here.

Folk elements mix perfectly with a kind of doom metal style in this song that also made it in the cassette compilation “Simple Addictions Vol. 1” of  Beton Tapes run by the German journalist Alexander Pohle.

cassette back“Martyrs”, the opening track of the album, appeared on the CD compilation Neue Gen-erra-tion “All Styles Sampler” in 1994 and on the Never Ending Alternatives compilation of the English label Nightbreed.

Side B opens with the anthemic “Research Without Conscience” with the violin doubling the basic guitar riff.

I think the title makes it clear what the song is about…

Most of all, B Side makes obvious that Into The Abyss were having an on-going interest in more complicated song structures by taking away the usual pop form of the songs and slowly pushing the band into deep prog-rock waters.

That was something that Kalifatidis would never deny later.

“Research Without Conscience” was also featured on the double cassette compilation “Real Underground Vol.1&2” of the German tape label Progressive Entertainment.

The label was run by musician and journalist Markus Detmer,who later founded Staubgold.

(Released later acts such as: To Rococo Rot, Harald Sack Ziegler, Ekkehard Ehlers, Kammerflimmer Kollektief and many others).

The last song of this album that was featured in a compilation was “Madman”,  a version of which was featured t the cassette compilation “A Tribute To IRRE-Tapes” in 1994.

(IRRE-Tapes was a German label run by Matthias Lang and was mainly active in the late 80s/early 90s covering the whole range of the Independent Underground from Experimental Electronica to Guitar Pop.
In true DIY spirit, he supported the international network of small labels and fanzines through editing the free IRRE Newsletter to spread info and contacts, occasionally writing reviews for various publications. Most of his Compilations should be seen as an attempt to promote lesser known artists and labels. Without doubt he was one of the driving forces of the German Tape Scene).

Between 1993 and 1995 when the cassette release of “Martyrium” turned into a CD format, Into The Abyss had one more release.

It was the cassette “Live Martyrium” that was released through Gorkon Recordings (the same label released the Sweet William album “First Time Live” on cassette before calling it a day in 1996. Sweet William was a German band that released 5 CD albums during the 90’s and had a tenor singer which was making their gothic sound unique).

The “Live Martyrium” was recorded live at “Sägewerk” (Belihei, Pfalz, Germany) on May 11th, 1994.

Tracklisting:

Side A

War (Against Their Will)

Martyrs

Research Without Conscience

Crimes In Advance

 

Side B

Just Another Voice…

Waiting For The Sun (Doors cover)

Banner Of The Fray

The Eternal Heat

Martyrium liveSoon after the release of “Martyrium” on CD, Costas Tzeras left the band to return to Greece.

Kalifatidis was the only Greek left in the band and soon moved to to release a split 10” album as well as the next Into The Abyss CD which was titled “The Feathered Snake”.

I guess this post makes it obvious how useful the cassettes were back then.

The “tape movement” spread the name of Into The Abyss all around the underground world through radio shows and fanzines that were covering the tape scene.

Eventually, of course, the band passed onto the next level, which was releasing LPs and CDs, but keep in mind that thanks to the fame they gained because of the tape movement, they played 5 times at the London Marquee Club, toured Germany about 10 times and appeared in festivals in Spain, Italy and France before their last show in Greece.

 
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Posted by on May 27, 2009 in Goth, etc.

 

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An Interview with Dave Alucard

Dave AlucardThere are some people who are musicians and some people who are music lovers.  Needless to say, there are musicians who are music lovers as well.   But what is there to point out regarding what part of your life music is taking.  Music is like a drug.  Once you taste it, it’s hard to leave it.

Dave Alucard is one such man where music plays a vital role in his life.  He is a musician, a music lover, a pogo-master, and a diehard punk rocker with a great sense of humor.  As the man states in his owns words: “They will never take me alive”.

  • Vernon Joynson quotes in his book, “Up Yours – A Guide to UK Punk, New Wave and Early Post Punk”, the following: “Dave Alucard – bass, Mick Taylor – vocs, guitar, Phil Trotsky – drums. An obscure revival combo whose EP was issued in a photocopied picture sleeve. Alucard and Taylor wrote East Coast Kids, a sixties influenced disc, which can also be heard on 100% British Mod – Captain Mod MODSKA dcd 8 1998.” The name of this band was Exit/The What and this EP was released in 1979?  You’re flirting with music for 30 years now.  What’s the story with Exit/The What?

A….”Show me a boy who never wanted to be a rock star and I’ll show you a liar.” Ray Connolly .  The inspiration came from the Punk Rock explosion, the ripples reached the suburbs and the no hope coastal towns, and we were the kids that were not allowed in the music room at school, we started from scratch and for the most laughed all the way. We got the name EXIT, taking the letters from the words sEX pIsTols plus it was on the door of the way out of Tescos, a shop near the bus stop we used to meet up at. Six of us started the group, this became four then three (with a line up change) It took a long year to obtain equipment and to learn to play and write songs, we watched every live band we could asking questions all the time. Natural born performers like Mick Taylor and erh……….me elevated the band into a good live combo.  Those early gigs were full of humour and menace – it was a chance to change your name, personality and socks, it took a long time and the addition of Neil Burniston to learn how to record our music and to use the studio, another art. To take the band to the next level it was decide to put a record out, we looked for deals and had to become a serious propersion ( oops …….I sound like the chairman of EMI sorry ) . Just as we went to press the tracks another band by the name of Exit started to appear the gig listings. Mick Taylor spoke to them with out any luck, so a name change was needed. To this day I do not know where the name The What came from, we had, like the Sex Pistols used aliases The Christmas Trees and The Dors to name two, but The What ?  This put us in a ludicrous scenario and a lesson on how not to do things. We were still appearing on stage as Exit but at the same time promoting our East Coast Kids e.p under the name the What. Our fan base grow the record via Dead Good Records and Small Wonder sold even getting into the indie charts in Norway! We spilt in disarray, then surprise –surprise reformed in December 1981 becoming a more poppier outfit. As Exit we released two more singles “Planetoid Passion/Social Graces”  “The Bite of Winter/No Respect” on the Red Beret Music label distributed by  Pinnacle and the Cartel. Exit came to end in 1986 but the tracks on the records we made have taking on their own livies.

  • Punk rock is still highly respected nowadays, but if a 15 year old kid would ask you how the atmosphere was back in those late 70’s days, what would you say?  Did it sell out?

ExitA…In those early days there was always a hint of menace in the air, especially  at gigs .The old guard were not ready to give up their dance halls and music venues. Questions were asked about Punk Rock in the houses of parliament , the Sex Pistols were public enemy number one and any kid with a short dodgy hair cut and a ripped up jacket was fair game .To look different was to stand out, O.A.Ps would not sit near you on the bus. I was asked to move on by a policeman , I protested by explaining that I was a Punk Rocker and not a dosser (a tramp) .By late 79 things began to get watered down , the D.I.Y ethos became new business opportunities , the minority of the dog head people became the majority in the mosh pits up and down the land .Did it sell out, life is a compromise, it adapted.

  • Exit were also invited to record a session for BBC Radio Humberside.  What happened? Did you ever release this session or is it in some desk drawer waiting for the light of day? 

East Coast Kids EPA….. The band got a lot of publicity over a riot at one of our gigs. We got mentioned in the Northern editions of the Red Tops as well as being on the radio news . Exit were also summoned to appear at the Lincoln Crown Court, one of the highest in the land. This, then ongoing momentum gave rise to Radio Humberside’s Paull Hunsley Electric Wireless Show getting in touch with the band to arrange an interview .An on air invite from the shows presenter, Tim Jibson lead the band being offered a recording session with the B.B.C. This was our first experience in a recording studio and it showed from the results . We recorded the session , three songs on a Saturday afternoon as a sports programme was  being broadcast live on the air in the background you could hear Phil Trotsky’s drums coming over. Years later when talking to the producer of the session he admitted that it was his first as well. The master tape is held by the band and it his been remastered by Neil Burniston.

  • I have that Exit vid here, “Chinese Eyes”, which sounds less aggressive than your E.P.  I have to admit that it was rare for a band to have a video clip back then.  How come?

A….The original band re-formed in December 1981 then went through some drastic personality changes. Mick Taylor the bands charismatic front man and songwriter was no longer on the scene, his positive influence remains to this day . The song writing changed along with the attitude, we had a deal with Pinnacle Records who wanted some visual material to work with so to practice the band filmed four videos . We wanted to look good in the new cold light of the video age

“Chinese Eyes” was recorded at Fairview a 24 track studio and was engineered by Roy Neave who later went on to work with The Housemartins and Andrew Eldritch of The Sisters of Mercy. Andrew’s camper van was there when we were recording but we did not see him despite banging on the door !

  • There are some great new English punk rock bands around nowadays.  I like the Strawberry Blondes and I know you like the Sex Pistols Experience.  What’s going on?  Do you think the ground is politically fertile again for a punk rock outbreak just like in ‘76-‘77?

A…The do-it-yourself aspect of the punk revolution has come into a new   fruition with the advent of the home computer, You Tube and social networking sites like My Space. Bands now more than ever do not need big record companies to back and promote them. They can, in theory keep hold of their musical rights and more of an income to a point plus hard work! There are people out there like Johnny and Jacqui of Devilish Presley, Paul and Beki of Vice Squad, the mighty John Robb of Gold Blade, Pete Eddie Knox of The Vibrators plus Mickie of the Strawberry Blondes who put every thing into their music as they have nothing else. There must be a backlash against the non talent talent shows.

Live music is getting squeezed out, cut off times in the pubs and clubs are getting earlier as the venues turn into hardcore club mix no brain dance disco megger gut thumping dross. I do like all sorts of music even a bit of techno- techno – techno but not at the expense of live music. Just when did the new wave become old school?

I know attendances are down are the price of guitar strings are up, the economic climate is brewing up a musical revolution……………….the return of skiffle ! No grab your guitar grab your amp vote for Joanna Lumley or Jez  and start playing for the rise up !

  • There is a link to The Damned’s “Captain Sensible”.  Could you please share the story with us?

A…Both Mick Taylor and I adore The Damned and it was by chance that our roadie Dave Robbins was hanging out at the Cleethorpes Winter Gardens looking for free lance work by offering his muscle to The Damned .They were booked by the Students Union for one of their balls, so to speak !  The band turned up but no gear, they only had Captain’s guitar and Algy’s bass .Quick thinking” Robbins “got hold of Phil Trotsky (Exit’s drummer) who stuck a deal with both The Damned and the Students Union .Exit’s P.A. and gear along with the official supports bands equipment (I think their name was Basaxe ) was to be used with Exit gaining a slot on the bill. I didn’t know any of this and when I arrived at the Winter Gardens, I remember saying to my girlfriend “see that bass amp I have one just like it – and those drums look like Phil’s” – of cause they were ours .The Damned were as charming as ever taking time to talk to us, Mick turned up to the gig wearing his Red Beret, after a long chat with Captain, who was wearing a flat cap they exchanged headgear to the great delight of the onlookers. Also one of the members of Basaxe was wearing a fluffy outfit; Captain took a note of where he had got it from. The next time Mick saw his hat was when it turned up Top of The Pops with Captain wearing it along with a fluffy outfit.  Mick went on to name his publishing company Red Beret Music after the event. Just for the record The Damned got £400 (free drinks and a snowball or two) Exit got £15, a musical lesson plus a bloody good night out!

  • I know you take long drives to see your favourite bands almost every weekend.  Can you pick your three all-time favourite gigs that you ever attended?

A….There has been so many, just under are Sex Pistols at Manchester, Devilish Presley at Halifax The Vibrators at Hull but I am going for – The Clash at London Victoria Park David Bowie at Earls Court London and The Damned at Nottingham

  • You once told me that you were about to follow The Damned as their roadie.  (Their keyboard player, Oxymoron, who’s with them the last years, is great, huh?)  I didn’t know they named a train after Captain Sensible…

A….Through a friend of my brother, I got a job working for J.C.Entertainments , they provided entertainment to various pubs and clubs in the area. I became a D.J. and after a time I got to book the bands for the pub that I worked at The P and M  ( Marc Bolan once had a pint there- J.C was a mate of Bolans and John Peel). Booking bands was easy as they came to me for gigs plus I was told not to book my own band…. too often! A few years latter I helped to promote a couple of gigs by a band called The Doctor Space Toad Experience. This band contain the then ex Damned guitarist Captain Sensible and strange keyboard player called Monty Moron (now Monty Oxymoron). Then Captain started touring with his own band, with a friend of mine as their road manager, again I helped to promote a gig of there’s at the Cleethorpes Winter Gardens. Behind the scenes Dave Vanian and Captain Sensible reunited as The Damned, with Rat Scabies no longer involved. Gary Dreadful (drummer) and Monty (keyboards) both from Captain’s band also joined up to be “Damned”. I was asked by the road manager if I wanted to play bass for them; a number of instruments were brought round to my house to practice with. I soon realised that I had the bottle to do it but not the musical skill to learn the set in less than a month, I did suggest that Dave Vanian’ s then girlfriend and now wife Patricia Morrison could fill the spot.  She did join and a new golden area of the band began! ——-

Never mind Knighthoods and Lordships, though I think both Charlie Harper (U.K.Subs) and Knox (the Vibrators)  deserve one each, to have a railway engine named after you must be a top honour ! As far as I know there are three class 47  diesel engines now named there is ,John Peel, Joe Strummer and number (47810) Captain Sensible. I would love it if a Stanier black 5 would be named Dave Alucard   ha!

  • About a month before the band split you managed to have the Eastcoast Kids E.P. in the Norwegian indie import top twenty. Why did you split?  Did you ever wonder what would have happen if you hadn’t split?

A..Our record company Dead Good Records told us that they had selled enough copies of The East Coast Kids ep to gain entry in the Norwegian indie import chart (no.16).We thought we could hitch a lift on a trawler and pop across the North Sea to Norway and do a couple of gigs. By 1979 the band had been going for 2 ½ years with a number of line up changes, it had become a strain, the degree of success was as not much as we wanted, the New Wave was becoming a mill pound we split. Mick Taylor had a number of musical projects that he persuade before joining me in a band called The Funeral Service – after a while the interest in Exit increased and we reformed – the name The What was put on the back burner. We had seen our musical heroes reform so we knew it was a legitimate path to take – any way who else would put up with us?

  • What did you guys do later?

Exit 2A…After Exit, Neil and I formed a band called the Merger. We released a couple of singles that got limited airplay. We also got involved in another couple of bands ,Doctor Ekleberg’s Eyes and Parody .Due to ill health I gave up being in bands just keeping my ego happy with cameo appearances. I did for a short time manage a girl singer Carlie Brown. I got the gigs acted as M.D and producer in the recording studio plus got her into stage school. I felt a little like a puppet master but that to a point is management. Neil still makes music, but locks himself away in his own studio for months on end. He has been a great help in remastering all the old tracks putting them on to new formats. Cheers Neil ! Now for Mick Taylor, he was behind one of the areas all time best live bands The Legendary 96 Tears .After a name change and move to London, he certainly gave the door of opportunity a good knocking. The band was called A Better Mousetrap; they released a number of records, played live on the radio and were booked to appear on the channel 4 TV’s The Tube just as it was axed- how close was that! Mick also made a couple of cd’s under the name Cleethorpes Promenade which generated great interest.

  • Ok, I know you joined the Lurkers on stage for a few tunes a couple of years ago, and you also made a guest appearance with Complete Control for a Clash cover.  It looks like you’re having fun with music, but some people take it too seriously and they end up broken-hearted when they fail to achieve their “goal” (fame, money … whatever).  What do you think?  How should we take music?

A…..There were a couple of points in time when something big nearly happened to us – we came close and achieved a lot for a bunch of oiks from the sticks. The art is selling it, be it music, art, books or electrical products. You do not start a band to be the manager or a back stabber. When we first started the question we got asked all the time was when are you going to be on Top of The Pops, now it is why wasn’t you on Top of The Pops. I have sat in record companies MDs offices and hared the prise and marketing strategies. Serious, it would have been nice to find out if we could have cut the mustard, we had a lot of fun and a lot of laughs, tongue in cheek stuff as well as taking the………

There are a lot of people that are full of themselves and do take it all far too serious. Living with a disappointment  ,arh a British thing , I think. No you have to enjoy music – in all forms ,the sound track to life !

  • You know the game…”You are alone on an island and you have a record player and only 5 records with you”.  Which ones would you pick?

A…Neat Neat Neat. The Damned .Pretty Vacant. The Sex Pistols. I love to Boogie T.Rex. Fortune. Cleethorpes Promenade. Things we said today. The Beatles .Just under the five….. Jeepster. T.Rex Whips and furs. The Vibrators. Rebel Rebel. The Strawberry Blondes. Hung Down. Devilish Presley. Heroes. David Bowie.

  • When I say “Cleethorpes Winter Gardens” what memories come to mind?

A….The Cleethorpes Winter Gardens meant so much too so many people. It was all things to all people, Tea Dancers, Line Dancers, Northern Soulies and of cause Punk Rockers. It hosted trade shows, Christmas dinners and auctions to name a few.  I was going to have my ashes scattered near the place but it’s not to be as it was demolished in 2007. It was a fine Art Deco style sea front building that loomed out of the gloom of a dark damp Cleethorpes day, we have five a week! A more enlightened council could have done a refurbishment like the East Yorkshire Council did on the Spar at Bridlington. What memories…………here are a few – I got my first bass guitar less backstage at the Gardens, Kid Read of The Boys showed me a few things on his Fender Mustang bass and when I got enough money together I got a Mustang bass. There was an after show party when an old upright piano was rolled out a Captain Sensible of  The Damned entertained with a knees up round the old-Joanna – also when he was playing with Dead Men Walking I remember him diving into the crowed and hitting me full in the face with his bass!  When Sham 69 played the Gardens the P.A. packed in and Jimmy Pursey dragged the Winter Gardens manager up on stage – Jimmy also told us to keep our tickets as Sham 69 will be back…………………we are still waiting ! The last ever gig featured the Buzzcocks, I got the honour of introducing them on stage , they made the last night very special , playing at Gaz Ladds request “Times up”.

  • How did you meet Nancy Spungen?

A…….By the time Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers came to the  Cleethorpes Winter Gardens for the second time ( 6-10-1977)  I and a couple of friends  had perfected the art of ligging and smuggerling ourselves backstage and upstairs to the dressing rooms. On this occasion we went to dressing room number one and was greeted by the sight of a man having a shave, This man said ” Hi ” in an American drawl ” I’m Jerry- how you doing” I and my friends introduced ourselves just as the rest of the band and a tartie looking blonde girl plus the man himself Johnny Thunders fell into the dressing room giggling away .For a good half an hour we spoke swoped stories ,then Johnny said that he could do with a drink. I showed Johnny, Jerry and Jerry’s blonde tartie looking girlfriend down to the bar even joining the three of them for a drink.   I was introduced for the first time to vodka, their preferred tipple.  After a few drinks they made their way back upstairs to the dressing room——show time.  I made my way to the front of the stage

The band wearing black leather trousers with mohair jumpers entered the stage to the sound of marching jackboots from. the Nurenberg Rally . Their arrogant stances made them seem more macho than the British groups that had previously played at the Winter Gardens. The set played with such ease and style  mainly came from the L.P. they were promoting at the time L.A.M.F. All through the set sat at the back of the stage behind her boyfriend drummer was the tartie looking blonde girl. The postscript to the story.

The vast amount of vodka consumed was a poor substitute for the methadone that they were on as a heroine addicts.

 Jerry’s blonde tartie looking girlfriend would gain worldwide notoriety in the music world as her name was Nancy Spungen.

  • What’s next for the Pogo-master?

A…. Well, ill health has curtailed a lot of my music making (thank God for that……who said that?) I get a thrill of joining various bands on stage for a song or two , I would love to take to the stage with The Vibrators or Vice Squad ,even better it would be great to co write a song with either Johnny Navarro  from Devilish Presley or the near legendary Mickie Stabbs of The Strawberry Blondes.  The head of the Exit fan club (Kirk Arnold) is organising an exhibition of pictures and art work for a show at the Grimsby Institute, with Mick Taylor expressing a wish to come up from his London home to view. I still enjoy going to gigs looking for the slight surreal things that happen, I have strange mood swings so watching bands and meeting the acts ( yes I get a little star struck – ha ! ) keeps me centred – gosh I now sound like an old hippy not a PUNK ROCKER.

Thank you Dave for taking the time to answer to our questions.

Hope to see you in one of the forthcoming punk rock gigs somewhere in England.

To any of you out there who would like to listen to the Exit sound, you can find it here.

 
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Posted by on May 26, 2009 in Interviews

 

Beyond the Metro Decay

metro decayVery few bands in the Greek underground rock history were so influencial by releasing only one album, as Metro Decay.

Their post punk style, along with their pessimistic Greek lyrics left their personal mark on the map of local bands.

They were formed in Athens, in 1981 by the brothers Yannis and Antonis Maniatis (vocals/quitar and drums respectively), bass player Giannis Roditis and keyboard player Costas Mastoris having strong bonds with the bands Yell-O-Yell, South Of No North, Ex-Humans and Anypofori.

(Anypofori’s bass player, George Glynelis, joined them as a session bassist when Roditis left the band to join Magic De Spell but officially they continued as a trio until the end of the recordings of the album – December 1983).

singleThey shared a rehearsing room with Yell-O Yell and their first gig took place at Kyttaro Club in 1982.

Soon after that, they opened for the Australian band Birthday Party during a three day festival at the Sporting basketball arena and signed to Creep Records.

During March 1983, the band recorded their first single “Kimilia/Skies” (engl. Heirlooms/Shadows ελλ. Κειμήλια/Σκιές) which was released through Creep records during the same year.

If someone would like to specify their sound, they were close enough to the English bands Modern English and Wasted Youth.

Metro Decay went back to the studio during November 1983 to record their full length album “Ypervasi” (engl. going beyond ελλ. Υπέρβαση) engineered by the great sound engineer Christos Manolitsis (he engineered the releases of the bands Yell-O-Yell, Film Noir, Flowers Of Romance and others).

Side A

1. Μαύρος Κύκνος

2.Ανάμεσα Σε Δυο Κρεσσέντα

3. Το Ταξίδι

4. Εισαγωγή Στην Κίνηση

5. Απειλή

 

Side B

1. Παιχνίδια Στην Επιφάνεια

2. Το Πάγωμα Του Πάθους

3. Έβενος

4. Υπέρβαση

5 Λίμπιντο

“Ypervasi” is darker, with a few Cure  elements here and there but in general the band found a personal bitter/sweet sound.

Metro Decay gave their last show in 1987 at An Club, turning their lyrics  to English but they didn’t continue after that.

They announced that they would reform during 2007 but this never happened.

metro decay LPMetro Decay was without a doubt one of the most interesting groups that appeared on the Greek underground scene.

Their two releases are today very rare although some of their tracks were featured in future compilations.

 
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Posted by on May 25, 2009 in New Wave / Dark Wave

 

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