Thursday, October 18, 2007

Fast Forwarding Through The Adverts

As their recent bulletin that I reposted on the blog indicates, Robert and Piers over at the SPGB page on MySpace have been good enough to repost Danny V's excellent article, Punk Rock's Silver Jubilee, on their blog.

I've posted the article myself a few times on the Socialist Standard page on MySpace but Robert and Piers, being more savvy than myself, have also had the good sense to break up the text with YouTube clips from such groups as X-Ray Spex, Sex Pistols, The Clash and Crass. One of their regular commentators on the page has also chipped in with the addition of a playlist of some of the songs mentioned in the article as a comment. (Nice Devoto version of 'Orgasm Addict', by the way.)

Therefore, just like the bloke you knew at school who always got into stuff the day after everybody else had moved on to something else (I was that bloke - how was I to know that the SPGB legwarmers were out of fashion in 1986? I didn't get the bastard memo.), I thought I'd get in on the act fashionably late by posting a couple of mp3s on the blog from some of the bands mentioned in the article.

As Piers, Robert and Terry have mostly focused on the early punk stuff, I thought I'd chime in with some post-punk material. It also saves me having to come up with a plausible explanation as to why Danny V's can love The Adverts so much, but can't bring himself to mention The Undertones in the article.

The mp3s are just for sampling purposes, and I'll only have them up for a few days. I urge you to check out the albums of the bands featured. All good stuff, and you can always take out a subscription to the Socialist Standard at the same time that you're buying the back catalogues of the featured artists on Amazon:

  • Au Pairs - 'Dear John' (John Peel Session) mp3
  • Delta 5 - 'Mind Your Own Business' mp3
  • Kleenex - 'Nighttoad' mp3
  • The Flowers - 'After Dark' mp3
  • The Au Pairs' track is from their 1980 Peel Session. Delta 5's 'Mind Your Own Business' was released in '79 by Rough Trade, and Kleenex - otherwise known as Liliput - were a post-punk band from Switzerland. I'm not sure when 'Nighttoad' was originally released, as I found the track on a compilation album. I'm guessing it dates from round about '78/'79.

    I'll put my hands up to cheating with the last track included. Danny V doesn't mention The Flowers in his article, but I have enough faith in him that if he had known about them at the time, he would have given them a namecheck in the article.

    Sadly, not a lot is known about The Flowers but what I do know is that they were from Scotland and signed to Bob Last's Fast Product label. Some of their early tracks are featured on the first Earcom compilation.

    The featured track, 'After Dark', was originally released as a b-side to the single 'Confessions' in '79, but this version is from the Mutant Pop compilation that was released in 1980. A compilation which also featured The Mekons, Human League and the Gang of Four.

    I personally think the song is a lost classic of the post-punk era, but maybe it wasn't lost to everyone. I can't help hearing traces of 'After Dark' in the PJ Harvey track, 'Dress', from her 1992 album, Dry. Maybe it's just me.

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