One of the first groups in Belgium to really tap into the power of the international punk scene which was erupting in 1976-77 were The Kids. In retrospect, it is a bit foolish to call the Kids a "punk"-group, since they were much too R&B for that, but they certainly communicated the "punk"-feeling.
Front-man Ludo Mariman in "Wit-lof from Belgium": "In 1976 we were together in a band called "Crash". None of us could really play. We just hammered away, hard and fast, sounding like a really bad Velvet Underground. When the first news of the punk explosion in Britain started to come through, I went to London. I wanted to know what was going on over there, and if these guys had the seem feelings of anger I had. I remember the shivers down my spine seeing Eddie & The Hot Rods. I also saw the Ramones and then I knew we had that same music within us. Technically we could handle it, because you don't have to master the instruments to play punk music".
"Bloody Belgium", "Fascist cops", "No Monarchy" and "Rock over Belgium" were the songs which got them started.
Formed by three angry dock(work)ers, the group evolves from pure energy on the first album to more varied and adult songs. Ludo Mariman (again in "Wit-lof from Belgium") on the changes the band went trough : "Look, punk may be dead and over. But that doesn't mean we have to go away. We are almost a normal rock band now. We even have a slow song. We play better. We don't spit on the public anymore, now we try to amuse them".
Strangely enough, their two first albums were produced by Leo Caerts, the man who had been a band-leader for the likes of Will Tura etc. and the author of the world hit "Eviva España" (see Samantha).
In 1979 they release a single together with Jo Lemaire & Flouze : Jo sings "Tintarella di Luna", the Kids do a cover of "Louie Louie".
The album "Living in the 20th century" becomes a classic. They even hit the hitparades with "Dancing".
Their moment of fame however is the brilliant song "There will be no next time" (or as Humo put it : "the world hit which never was one").
After the split of the group in 1985, the front-singer of the band Ludo Mariman, a former professional soccer-player for Antwerp, keeps trying to make it in the music business. He sings "Angie" for the LSP-band and returns to the public eye four years later with "You never know what's yours" and has kept on recording ever since. Although his records are always of reasonable quality, he never really manages to produce the excitement which was a trademark for The Kids.
That Mariman is a well-respected artist can be deduced from this expert for the 1994 album "They say" in Humo : "Mariman is, just as when he invented the punk movement for the low countries 18 years ago, still angry and that is a quality of this man. ... Most of the twelve songs on this album were written and sung from the viewpoint of something that somebody who has a much smoother tongue than me has described as the "wet dog syndrome". ... Authenticity. You cannot buy it in your local shopping mall. Ludo Mariman has had tons of it for years, and now he has even produced a very good cd with it."
1996 sees a surprise comeback for the Kids. They decide to reform the band and tour the summerfestivals. In 1998 they are featured on the soundtrack of the Belgian movie "Dief". They also reappear on national television (on "Nieuwe Maandag"). Ludo Mariman says the group now has a status where it can decide to play together once in while. They will also continue to tour in the summer of 1998.
This tour lasted well into 1999. During this they found out that they are doing to their own amazement - well eh - amazingly well in Eastern Germany. "There is a lot of demand for punks of the first generation over there. The sadder the surroundings, the better punkrock thrives", said singer Ludo Mariman in "Het Nieuwsblad".
The group has undergone some changes in personnel : ex-Scabs Frankie Saenen now hits the drums, and young Pieter Van Buyten (see also Flip Kowlier, Chitlin' Fooks) handles the bass. Ludo Mariman and guitar-player Luk Van De Poel remain on their post. On March 13th 2001, a live-concert in the Ancienne Belgique was recorded, and the goal still is to release a CD with this material.
Death was a garage rock and punk rock band formed in Detroit, Michigan, in 1971 by the brothers Bobby (bass, vocals), David (guitar), and Dannis (drums) Hackney. The African American trio started out as an R&B band but switched to rock after seeing an Alice Cooper show. Music critic Peter Margasak (incorrectly denoting the youngest brother) retrospectively wrote of their musical direction: "The youngest of the brothers, guitarist David, pushed the group in a hard-rock direction that presaged punk, and while this certainly didn’t help them find a following in the mid-70s, today it makes them look like visionaries."
In the early 1960s, the young Hackney brothers were sat down by their father to witness The Beatles' first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. The following day, David found a discarded guitar in an alley and set about learning to play. Brothers Bobby and Dannis soon followed suit and they began playing music together.
The brothers practiced and recorded early demos in a room in the family home and performed their earliest gigs from their garage. Originally calling themselves Rock Fire Funk Express, guitarist David convinced his brothers to change the name of the band to Death. "His concept was spinning death from the negative to the positive. It was a hard sell", Bobby Hackney recalled in 2010.
In 1974 at Detroit’s United Sound Studios with engineer Jim Vitti, they recorded seven songs written by David and Bobby. According to the Hackney family, Columbia Records president Clive Davis funded the recording sessions, but implored the band to change its name to something more commercially palatable than Death. When the Hackneys refused, Davis ceased his support. At any rate, they only recorded seven songs instead of the planned dozen. The following year they self-released 500 copies from the session on the 7" single “Politicians in My Eyes” b/w “Keep on Knocking,” on their Tryangle label. Death officially broke up in 1977.
The brothers then moved to Burlington, Vermont, and released two albums of gospel rock as The 4th Movement in the early 1980s. David moved back to Detroit in 1982, and died of lung cancer in 2000. Bobby and Dannis still reside in Vermont and lead the reggae band Lambsbread.
In 2009, Drag City Records released all seven Death songs from their 1974 United Sound sessions on CD and LP under the title ...For the Whole World to See. In September 2009, a reformed Death played three shows with original members Bobby and Dannis Hackney, with Lambsbread guitarist Bobbie Duncan taking the place of the late David Hackney.
During a 2010 performance at the Boomslang Festival in Lexington, Kentucky the band announced that Drag City would release a new album with demos and rough cuts that predate the 1974 sessions. The album Spiritual • Mental • Physical was released in January 2011.
Sorry everybody for been away for too long and without saying nothing... everything is all right (btw thanks for all the comments while i was away) and the blog will resume from today, i just can't promise that will be a post everyday like before (perhaps one per week now)...
The Blades were an Irish New Wave band from the 1970s and 80s.
The Blades began in the summer of 1977 with five friends got together to play a gig in the Catholic Young Mens Society hall in Ringsend. The band were thrown out for playing The Sex Pistols single God Save the Queen; the organisers thought it was the British National Anthem.
The line up was whittled down to three - Paul Cleary (b. 9 September 1959) on bass and vocals, his brother Lar (b. 2 June 1957) on guitar and friend Pat Larkin (b. 25 November 1956) on drums.
Even from that early stage, the band's unashamed working-class origins and integrity marked them out from the more elliptical art rock being pioneered by U2 and The Atrix.
The band regularly played in Dublin's infamous venues like The Magnet on Pearse Street, McGonagle's on South Anne Street and The Baggott Inn on Lower Baggot Street which they did a six week residency with U2.
Their first single 'Hot For You' was released on Energy Records in 1980, followed by 'Ghost Of A Chance' in 1981 which they played on The Late Late Show.
Reshuffle and continued success (1982-1986)
After Lar and Pat left the band, Paul switched to guitar bring in drummer Jake Reilly and bassist Brian Foley (ex. The Vipers) and add a brass section "in homage to Stax, Motown and Dexy's Midnight Runners".
The band signed to Irish label Reekus, and a double A-sided single, 'The Bride Wore White'/'Animation' was released in March 1982. In the Hotpress National Poll, 'The Bride Wore White' was voted best single while The Blades were voted 'the most promising act in Ireland' and Paul Cleary 'best Irish songwriter'.
In 1985, Reekus released the album 'The Last Man In Europe'.
One of their last gestures was to shun Self Aid, a 'backslapping' concert "to highlight the chronic unemployment problem in Ireland at the time" and instead played the socialist 'Rock the System' Concert in Liberty Hall in 1986.
In 2001, Reekus records released a Double CD Boxset "Those were the Day", which includes both Albums: "The Last Man in Europe" and "Raytown Revisited".
Paul Cleary continued with backing band The Partisans and later led an eight-piece pub rock band called The Cajun Kings. He also released solo material. In 2001, Paul released his first new material in 15 years, the 11 track album 'Crooked Town.
Imagine unearthing the Rosetta Stone and perhaps you'll understand the importance of releasing the definitive The Pin Group recordings. The Pin Group, who came and went in the brief period between 1981 and 84, was the jumping-off point for the New Zealand pop lexicon: The tinny guitar jangle, sidelong lyrics, flitting bass and intangible bottom-of-the-world sensibility are all there.But the band also launched the careers of guitarist Roy Montgomery, bassist Ross Humphries (stints in Bailter Space and The Great Unwashed) and drummer Peter Stapleton (Handful of Dust). The Pin Group was an odd bird. With the survival instincts of a kiwi (they played infrequently and pressed small issues of records that didn't even bear the band name), the trio was bound to lose. But this collection encapsulates quite brilliantly the pop minds at work on the South Island all those 16 years ago. The raucous "Columbia" and haunting "Long Night" hint at the band's potential. A send-up of The Red Crayola's"Hurricane Fighter Plane" shows off chops and a tongue in cheek cover of War's "Low Rider" reveals a sense of humor. Two blistering versions of "Ambivalence" grace the record, on which Montgomery sings, sounding here asthroughout like a wry Ian Curtis, "You seem to want to shroud your motives/ Were they ever there?" While it's uncertain whether underachievers The Pin Group ever had much motive themselves, it's clear that the makings of brilliance were there all along. — Brian Howard
Tall Dwarfs are a New Zealand rock band formed in 1981 by Chris Knox and Alec Bathgate who, through their do-it-yourself ethic, helped pioneer the lo-fi style of rock music. The duo formed out of the ashes of Toy Love.
The band lacked a drummer but would use household objects and handclaps to act as percussion. Either member can play guitar; with 12 strings and bass guitar often heard on their records. Both can play organ as well, which has been utilised on some of their songs. The Casiotone is used frequently too, especially in live-concerts.
Their debut was the EP Three Songs (1981), and for many years they released EPs only. The album Weeville (1990) was their first full-length album. They did, however, release a number of full-length compilations of their EPs, like Hello Cruel World and The Short And Sick Of It.
In the liner notes to their album 3 EPs (1994) (released as a single CD, or as three vinyl EPs collected in one box) they asked for listeners' rhythm tracks: "Send us your idea of a great T.D. throb." The responses came from many different countries and were used for the next album, Stumpy (1997). This album was therefore officially credited to "International Tall Dwarfs."
Bands who have claimed to be influenced by the Tall Dwarfs include Elf Power, Neutral Milk Hotel and Olivia Tremor Control. In 2005 they did a small number of concerts in the USA, playing with the Olivia Tremor Control.