Saturday, June 20, 2009

Schoolgirl Bitch - 1978 - Abusing The Rule 7'' (UK)

Schoolgirl Bitch - 1978 - Abusing The Rule 7'' (UK)
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In Autumn 1976 'Blitzkrieg Bop' by 'The Ramones' was the first Punk record to really grab 'Nick Name' and 'Phil Serious' (known officially as 'Nigel and Phil McHugh respectively). The 'Sex Pistols' hype machine also attracted the pair, but it was in April 1977 that the debut 'Clash' LP 'The Clash' hit 'Nick Name' like the FINAL SOLUTION. Suddenly everything made sense and everything seemed possible! 'SCHOOLGIRL BITCH' came out of this inspiration against a backdrop of adolescent depression and hopelessness. The name was coined by 'Phil Serious' after splitting with his girlfriend who at the time was still at school.

Through 1977, fuelled further by the 'Sex Pistols' Jubilee fiasco, the group, now a 3-piece completed by 'Kid Sick' on the drums, played at Youth Clubs and Rock Venues in the North West and even managed to get banned by Blackburn Council for a brief spell. They supported such acts as 'The Boys', '999', 'The Boomtown Rats' at the local venue 'The Loadstar'.

In late 1977, a record was cut in Manchester 'Chaos Studio', 'Phil Serious' worked in 'Mullards' Electrical shop, Blackburn to earn enough money for pressing the vinyl. The record 'Abusing the Rules' and 'Think For Yourself' eventually hit the streets around March 1978 by which time 'Phil Serious' had decided being an anti-hero wasn't for him!

'Nick Name', desperate to carry on, recruited 'non-musician' 'Nigel Talbot' from an ad' in the Lancashire 'Evening Telegraph'. Re-named 'Evil Doctor Talbot', partly because he looked like 'Sid Vicious'. 'Nick Name' taught him to play Bass lines from the single in two days. The band built up a set which began to sound more and more like a Punk version of 'Jimi Hendrix'.

In September 1978 after the bands last Northern gig supporting White Reggae band 'China Street', the 'Doctor' and 'Nick' went to try their luck in London leaving 'Kid Sick' behind. The 'Doctor' only managed to stay until Christmas before splitting back up North to Accrington. 'Nick Name' continued in London recruiting 'Griff Johnson' on Bass and 'Gabby Shearman' on Drums. They played gigs supporting 'The Thompson Twins' and 'The UK Subs' in and around London.

Becoming more and more disillusioned 'SCHOOLGIRL BITCH' finally split after being threatened with legal action over their name by the management of two bands, 'Girlschool' and 'Bitch'. That was the end. The SCHOOLGIRL BITCH had been out bitched.....their career ended in March 1979!!!

As for the single, two original different picture sleeves exist. The first being the hand sprayed Blackmail lettering type sleeve. This was the first issue and was made while the band were still in their home town of Accrington. Then when the band relocated to London, 'Nick Name' still had a pile of unsold singles all of which didn't have the sprayed painted sleeve so he decided to make a new design up giving him more of a chance to sell his remaining copies. This was the in-famous Gas Mask picture sleeve. This sleeve was made up in the last few months of 1978.

Wait for it......The story doesn't end there!! in 1996, Detour Records managed to track down 'Nick Name' while still living in London and he still had a box of 25 singles under his bed. He agreed to sell us these remaining singles and knocked up a third sleeve. This time it featured the Queen's head on one side and the in-famous Gas Mask was used on the reverse. Even though this third sleeve was made up some 18 years after the initial one was made, only 25 copies of this new sleeve exist and was made by the man himself!!!! A rarity of the future? Only time will tell.

Also, there is a demo tape out there some where which the band recorded in late '77 or early '78. It contains the tracks 'Smashing The System' / 'What's In Store' / '18 Year Confusion' / 'Pollution' / 'Lust For You'. Sadly the band members haven't got a copy of this tape...could the tracks be lost forever???

An unreleased track as just been unearthed by one of Nick Name's old friends who he hasn't seen for years. It was one of the last tracks to be recorded by 'Schoolgirl Bitch' and is titled "Heading For The City".

Nick Name 1998
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source Bored Teenagers (link)

Rema-Rema - 1980 - Wheel in the Roses 7'' (UK)

Rema-Rema - 1980 - Wheel in the Roses 7'' (UK)
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Cover found at Eyesore! (link)

Associates, The - 1980 - The Affectionate Punch (Remastered 2005) (UK)

Associates, The - 1980 - The Affectionate Punch (Remastered 2005) (UK)
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Billy MacKenzie and Alan Rankine formed The Associates in Dundee, Scotland, in 1976. They released a self-funded 7" of Boys Keep Swinging mere weeks after David Bowie had released his original. This scam got them a publishing deal with Bowie's publishers and a proper record deal.

By 1980 they were touring with Cure, The and signed to Fiction Records, for whom they recorded The Affectionate Punch. At the turn of the year they relocated to Situation 2 and put out a string of singles, later compiled on the album Fourth Drawer Down, recorded using money from major labels who were expecting demos to be produced with their cash... In tandem with their increasing consumption of coke and speed, the groups' music became increasingly deranged and experimental. John Murphy and Mike Dempsey (ex-The Cure) became official members.

The Associates signed with WEA in 1982. Martha Ladly joined as back-up singer. Billy and Alan immediately scored a string of UK top 20 chart hits. The album Sulk made the UK top 10, winning album of the year awards in the UK music press. The groups drug use was at a peak - Billy & Alans behaviour was becoming somewhat erratic. On the eve of their biggest ever UK tour MacKenzie pulled out. A US deal with Island was consequentially lost. Deciding that he couldn't continue, Alan Rankine left the group. From this moment on, The Associates were to be just that: Billy MacKenzie solo, with different associates for each release.

MacKenzie started recording a follow up album. 1984s Perhaps cost WEA £250,000. It took 3 years and 4 production teams to record - twice (dissatisfied with the original production Billy "lost" the first versions' master tapes, forcing a re-recording). The album had some chart success, but WEA were dissatisfied, and started pressuring MacKenzie to follow a more straightforward pop-soul direction. Frustrated by WEA's lack of support, MacKenzie focussed on collaborations, most notably with Yello (featuring on One Second, Flag, Baby and writing The Rhythm Divine).

1988's comeback single, a cover of Blondie's Heart Of Glass, failed to chart. WEA refused to release its parent album, The Glamour Chase, and with MacKenzie over a million pounds in debt to the label The Associates were dropped.

Circa quickly signed MacKenzie and in 1990 released Wild And Lonely, the last album of original music under the The Associates name. 1992's album, the Thomas Fehlmann / Boris Blank-produced Outernational was issued under the artist name Billy MacKenzie. Even though the album had good reviews in the press and Baby was single of the week in Melody Maker, the album stiffed - partially due to Circa winding down operations.

Aside from an aborted Associates reunion with Alan Rankine in the mid-90s, MacKenzie remained a solo artist, collaborating in the 90s with Peach, Barry Adamson, Paul Haig and Apollo Four Forty amongst others. At the end of 1996, after four years without a deal, he signed with Nude Records.

Tragically his first release for the label was a post-humous one. The death of his mother in 1996 was likely the trigger of an emotional breakdown that led him deeper and deeper into a depressed state. Billy MacKenzie died aged 39, on 22nd January 1997 from an overdose of prescribed and over-the-counter pills.
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source Discogs (link)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Fatal Microbes - 1979 - Violence Grows 7'' (UK)

Fatal Microbes - 1979 - Violence Grows 7'' (UK)
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The Fatal Microbes were a UK punk group that existed in the late 1970s. Honey Bane (Donna Tracey Boylan) was the lead singer. Other band members were Gem Stone (Gemma Sansom) on drums, Pete Fender (Dan Sansom) on guitar, and Scotty Boy Barker (Scott Barker) who was briefly replaced as bassist by It (Quentin North).

In 1979, Small Wonder and XNTRIX Records co-released a split 12" EP entitled "Violence Grows", which also featured the (at that time) Epping based Poison Girls (whose singer, Vi Subversa, was also mother to Gem Stone and Pete Fender). Due to the popularity of Fatal Microbes, Small Wonder Records released a 7" single featuring "Violence Grows", which was hailed as a classic by the late John Peel.[citation needed]

Honey Bane later had a career as a solo artist, a film and stage actress, and a model (see Honey Bane).

Pete Fender subsequently went on to form Rubella Ballet with Gem Stone (bass) and Sid Ation (drums) who was later also in Flux of Pink Indians. It also made a brief appearance, as did Annie Anxiety. Pete Fender later released a 7" EP, "Four Formulas", under his own name on XNTRIX records. Pete Fender and It had originally met when they formed the band Punktuation in 1977. With an average age of just 13 years, it would make them probably the youngest punk band in the country at the time. Later, Pete was also a pivotal member of Omega Tribe.
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source Wikipedia (link)

'O' Level - 1977 - East Sheen 7'' (UK)

'O' Level - 1977 - East Sheen 7'' (UK)
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'O' Level were a British, late 1970s, post punk, indie band, founded in 1976 by Ed Ball with friends John and Gerard Bennett. The group's name refers to the 'O'-Level of the British General Certificate of Education.

Along with the early Television Personalities, 'O' Level's singles are synonymous with a late 1970s DIY-indiesound that emanated from West London, mostly because the personnel of both bands were almost identical.
Fuelled by Punk and the early Beatles, 'O' Level was formed in 1976 by Ed Ball with friends from the London Oratory School, John and Gerard Bennett on drums and bass guitar respectively. Together they played the usual diet of school discos and youth centres, until fellow school chum and sixties enthusiast, Daniel Treacy invited Edward to join him in the studio to record a single. Just to be on the safe side, Edward brought John and Gerard as well, resulting in the TV Personalities single, "14th Floor".
The following week, Ball, the Bennetts and friend Richard Scully recorded "Pseudo Punk", "O Levels" and "East Sheen" as O' Level which came out November 1977. It took Treacy longer to raise the pre-requisite funds to press "14th floor" which finally came out in 1978. In March of that year, John and Gerard Bennett started their own band Reacta, leaving Ball with the name O' Level.
Exactly one year after their debut recording sessions, Daniel and Edward returned to the studio, this time to create the breakthrough "Where's Bill Grundy Now" ep as the TV Personalities. Again, the following week, Ball went back to record - this time by himself a second and final O' Level single, "The Malcolm McLaren Lifestory" ep, featuring "We Love Malcolm". both eps appeared late 1978.
From here, it was just a name change to the Teenage Filmstars and invitations to Daniel Treacy and Joseph Foster...
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source Wikipedia (link)

Detention - 2000 - Expelled (US)

Detention - 2000 - Expelled (US)
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New Jersey, USA based punk band that existed in the early to mid-1980s. Detention achieved notoriety with their minor underground radio hit, "Dead Rock 'N Rollers", released in 1983 and now heavily bootlegged.
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CD's 36 tracks/74 minutes Finally this early to mid 80s heavily bootlegged New Jersey punk band sees legitimate reissue and it includes their infamous single version of "Dead Rock n Rollers" and first self titled debut LP's, but it also includes their 2nd unreleased LP'sunheard until now. Includes a 16 page booklet loaded with lyrics,photos,and very detailed band history.
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source Bomp! (link)