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Sunday, 25 May 2014

CHARLIE HARPER and KNOX a couple of URBAN DOGS (An Article)

Charlie Harper and Knox, a couple of inspirational people to me, not just back in the day when I was a kid, nearer to fifteen than fifty, but also in the now. Through out the years they have provided a soundtrack to my life. For over thirty years they have kept the faith and the punk rock flame burning with their respective bands the UK Subs, The Vibrators and when they join forces as the Urban Dogs.

During the Nineties New Wave Of New Wave/Brit-Pop/Dance Culture when Rave was being called the New Punk, The UK Subs and The Vibrators soldiered on with campaigns on home soil and in foreign climes, keeping the real Punk Rock fire alight, when a lot of people had left the camp.
The whole New Labour Retro-Lution of re-branding, re-packaging and re-selling the past saw record labels releasing back catalogues and collections of demos and rarities by classic punk bands on CD, more fuel for the fire; as older Punk Rockers re-discovered their youth and a whole new generation of kidz picked up on the past and used it to influence their present.
During the Noughties both The Vibrators and UK Subs have released some of their best albums; Under The Radar and On The Guest List from the 'brators and Work In Progress and XXIV from the Subs, and lets not forget the sublime and superb Urban Dogs acoustic album Bonefield.

Thirty eight years since Punk Rock exploded in the faces of a generation of bored teenagers and boring old people the fire is raging bright; With new bands like The Reverends, The Derellas, Electric River, Deadcuts, The November Five, Continental Liasion all possessing the punk rock spirit sound or sentiment. We've also seen the return of bands like The Fits, The Outcasts and The Mob. Then there are new albums from veterans Chelsea and The Boys due out soon, and lest we forget GLM.    I'm only scratching the surface here, because there are also hundreds more bands young and old out there in bedrooms, garages and rehearsal rooms across this land bashing out a punk rock beat. One such young group are A-M-I who haven't just got the punk rock spirit and sound they have punk in their blood, as guitarist Marley Perez is Charlie Harpers grandson, who had a song Baby Marley written about him on the third Urban Dogs album Wipeout Beach. If A-M-I continue as long as the Subs or Vibrators than I'll slip into death or dementia happy in the knowledge that punk rock will never ever die.

Captain Oi Records, have been responsible for compiling and packaging many of the classic punk CD re-releases. A couple of their recent releases have been by Charlie Harper and the Urban Dogs. Charlie s 1982 solo album Stolen Property is what it says on the tin. A bunch of other peoples including Chuck Berry, Lou Reed, and Bo Diddley tunes plus a couple of Harper originals are given a dirty punk rock blues makeover. Timeless stuff!.
No Pedigree by Charlie and Knox's side project the Urban Dogs was originally released in 1985. Their self titled debut album was a full throttle Rock'n'Roll assault. No Pedigree is a darker, broodier Rock'n'Roll attack with the songs slowly throbbing and thumping their way into your head. Brilliant stuff!
Further proof that the past becomes the present can be heard on the fourth Urban Dogs album Bonefield (released in 2012) with its Stolen Property acoustic blues vibe. The 'experimental' phazed garage fuzz of No Pedigree can be heard on the Too Much Reality EP that Charlie Harper and Captain Sensible released in 2013..

Stolen Property and No Pedigree are available from Captain Oi Records, but be quick cos there are only 500 of each available. Bonefield by the Urban Dogs and Charlie Harper and Captain Sensible's Too Much Reality EP are available from Time and Matter Recordings, as is A-M-I' s debut album Anti Meat Head Inc. Respect to Captain Oi and Time and Matter Recordings for keeping the fire burning especially at a time when fuel prices are high. Given the choice of turning the heating on or buying a CD...I'd put another jumper on and pogo to keep warm!


1 comment:

jeffen said...

Hell, Yeah. Great piece Nuzz, a fitting tribute to Harper + Knox.