One of the most genuine Brit punk bands of
the late ’70s was, unquestionably, X-RAY SPEX.
School friends Marianne Joan Elliott-Saidn, loudmouth Poly Styrene, and Susan Whitby, saxophonist Lora Logic, started the group in 1976 and made
an instant intense impact on London’s punk scene with loud and clear feminist
punk manifestos, but they also ranted about the consumer society, environment
issues and other essential daily life problems.
By 1979 Styrene left the band an did some solo work and
later X-Ray Spex had some reunion shows, but in 2011 Poly
was diagnosed with breast cancer. She didn’t survive the
cruel attack on her body. She was only 53. R.I.P.
Three great X-Ray moments.
– THE DAY THE WORLD TURNED DAY GLO –
– IDENTITY –
– OH BONDAGE! UP YOURS! –
(Saxy live version. ACE!)
Some people think little girls should be seen and not heard
But I think “oh bondage, up yours!”
Bind me, tie me, chain me to the wall
I wanna be a slave to you all
Oh bondage, up yours
Oh bondage, no more
Albums: 4 under the Fad Gadget moniker
and 6 under his own name. Full discography: here.
For all intents and purposes, Frank Tovey was best known as the man behind Fad Gadget, one of the most significant cult acts of the post-punk boom. As Fad Gadget, Tovey and his revolving door of conspirators released several singles and four full-length albums that stretched the boundaries of pop music during the late ’70s and early ’80s. And after Tovey started making records under his own name in the mid-’80s, he continued to remain as unpredictable as ever, working within the realms of Cajun, blues, and folk, in addition to furthering his journey into experimental electronics. – All Music.
Tovey was born on 8 September 1956. He died of
a heart attack on 3 April 2002, only 45. R.I.P.
Three great FAD GADGET moments.
– COLLAPSING NEW PEOPLE –
(From the 1984 ‘Gag’ album)
– KING OF THE FLIES –
(From ‘Incontinent’ album.
Live in Manchester 1984)
Artist: WILLY DEVILLE Who: Celebrated singer-songwriter, born William Paul Borsey Jr.
in Stamford, Connecticut on 25 August 1950. He’s best known as
frontman of his band Mink DeVillle, but he also had a succesful
solo career after that band broke-up. He passed away on 6 August
2009, only 58, due to pancreatic cancer.
With the release of debut album Cabretta in 1977 critics put him
in the ‘new wave’ category just because these were the years of, well,
new wave. He had nothing to see whatsoever with that label. He was
a rock and soul man at heart, adding Latin rhythms, blues riffs, doo-wop,
and Cajun music to his grand work
That effervescent cocktail, his high-quality songwriting talent, his
vivacious live shows (I saw a couple of them) and last but not least
his impassioned voice made him really special.
Active: 1968-2009 / 6 LPs with Mink Deville and 10 solo
DeVille told an interviewer at one point: “I have a theory.
I know that I’ll sell much more records when I’m dead. It isn’t
very pleasant, but I have to get used to this idea.”
Bob Dylan: “DeVille stood out, his voice and presentation
ought to have gotten him in there (Rock and Roll of Fame) by now.”
Three top live moments.
– SPANISH STROLL –
(Sweaty version in Montreux 1982)
– LOVE AND EMOTION –
(Pinkpop Festival, The Netherlands 1985)
Who: Australian alt-rock band formed in 1978 by singer/songwriter David McComb, his brother Robert, and drummer Alsy MacDonald. McComb‘s songs were influenced by the total bleakness of his rural
upbringing resulting in songs of solitude and yearning desire.
McComb‘s life already ended at the age of 36 (on 2 February 1999), due
to heroin toxicity and complications following his 1996 heart transplant.
Band: SCREAMING TREES Who: Grunge rockers from Ellensburg, Washington. The group was
formed in 1985 by Mark Lanegan (vox), Gary Lee Conner (guitarist), Van Conner (bassist) and Mark Pickerel (drummer), later replaced
by Barrett Martin.
Active: 1985-2000 / 7 studio LPs
After the split, Mark Lanegan started a successful solo career and also
played/recorded with multiple artists (Queens Of The Stone Age, Isobel
Campbell, The Gutter Twins with Greg Dulli, Soulsavers). Unfortunately,
he passed away last year, on 22 February. Aged only 57.
In March 2020 Lanegan was infected with Covid-19, went into a coma,
he couldn’t walk for months, and got completely deaf. While recovering
he started to write a memoir called Devil In A Coma, out in December.
One-two-three remarkable moments from remarkable bands from the past
26 February 2023
British post-punk band THE SOUND was formed by its singer-songwriter ADRIAN BORLAND in 1979 after he called it a day with his previous band The Outsiders. They emerged amidst a flood of post-punk bands like Joy
Division, The Cure, Gang Of Four, Teardrop Explodes, Bauhaus, Echo &
The Bunnymen, Magazine, and many more.
Tough competition if you want to shine. Probably one of the reasons they
operated much of their time in the shadows of the giants. But also the lack
of much-deserved support from the press and record industry, plus drug
problems and a not caring entourage turned them into one of the most
underrated bands ever.
The group broke up in 1998, leaving five albums behind. The immensely
sensible, vulnerable, and psychologically troubled Adrian Borland who
suffered from schizoaffective disorder started a solo career with more
downs than ups. Slowly but surely he sank into a deep black hole. He
took his own life in 1999, only 41. R.I.P.
1-2-3 memorable The Sound moments…
– NEW DARK AGE –
(Momentous live version)
– I CAN’T ESCAPE MYSELF –
I’m sick and I’m tired
Just want to break out,
Shake off this skin
I can’t escape myself…
On the cover of legendary British music weekly Sounds – 1984
CABARET VOLTAIRE (1973–1994, 2009–2021) were British pioneers in all
things techno/electro/dance/dark-post-punk-wave/acid-house. They started
as a trio with Stephen Mallinder, Richard H. Kirk, and Chris Watson.
The latter already left in 1981 and Stephen Mallinder went his own way in 1995.
Fourteen years later, in 2009, Kirk revitalized CV until his sudden death last year,
aged only 65.
Cabaret Voltaire released 14 LPs, and individually or collaborating
with other artists all three musicians also recorded multiple albums.
I’m quite sure that the masses think that Vienna boys outfit Ultravox led by Casanova Midge Ure was the band’s original line-up. Wrong. The band formed in 1974 in London named Tiger Lily at first, but became quickly Ultravox! (with exclamation mark) led
by charismatic singer/songwriter John Foxx (in the middle on the cover of their debut album on top) who definitely was a huge Roxy Music fan.
The new wavers’ two LPs (Ultravox! and Ha! Ha! Ha!) had that early
glam and glitter Rpxy-ness and their appetite for sexy, provocative,
and razzle-dazzle pop/rock in look, vision, and music.
Foxx left in 1979 to pursue a solo career. It was then that
Midge Ure took over and the band became a cheesy but
very popular pop group.