Sunday, 31 May 2009
UK DECAY - Live @ Bowes Lyon House, Stevenage 4/1/81
This is the first in a series of live shows recorded by the legend that is Simon Herd. UK Decay were a favourite of mine in the early 80’s saw them on several occasions, as they were regular visitors to my local venue Bowes Lyon House when I was younger, always a good night out, even if at times the atmosphere was a bit tense. Listening to these tapes and thinking back, the early 80’s were pretty messy times and UK Decay seemed to capture those feelings into sounds. They were dark, intense and errr…. atmospheric, almost claustrophobic and as uplifting as they were gloomy. Swirling guitars pounding bass lines and heavy tribal drums, with vocals more akin to chanting and shouting than singing. Described by in an early review by NME as; the worst punk band ever, and then later as gothic. (possibly the first time the term goth was used in the music press to describe a band.) With song titles like The Black Cat, Necromancer and Rising From The Dead its easy to see why, not that all their politics were of death. For My Country along with The Mob’s No Doves Fly Here remains one of the best ever anti-war songs, another; Dresden was a slab of social commentary about the allied bombings of Dresden during WWII. Wait up, perhaps their songs were all about death . As for Punk, well UK Decay weren’t yer average 3 chord punk trash, I mean their Guitarist only had 5 strings on his guitar. They were beyond punk , I cant recall any other band that appears in both Gothic Rock, Mick Mercer’s account of Goth and Ian Glasper’s book Burning Britain about 80’s Punk. UK Decay were that kind of band, distinctive and different for the times but a product of the times and at times listening to them again now, ahead of the times. See what yer think with this here recording. The first of a few, which will follow over the passing weeks. Enjoy!