Monday, 31 August 2015
CHELSEA - Live @ Bowes Lyon House, Stevenage 29/3/81) *MPFREE DOWNLOAD*
For no reason other than I've been listening to their new album Saturday Night Sunday Morning a lot recently, I'm gonna post a copy of a gig that Chelsea did way back in March of the year 1981, (Sunday 29th to be exact, as the ticket to yer right testifies) at Bowes Lyon House, Stevenage. In 1981 Chelsea were one of the few survivors from the class of 76 still knocking about, they were on the road promoting their soon to be released single Rockin' Horse. It was a new line up from the days of their self titled debut and Alternative Hits era after both James Stevenson and Chris Bashford upped and left Gene without a Guitarist and Drummer. New members were recruited, including Guitarist and songwriter Nic Austin and Chelsea were back in action with some top toe tapping Rock'n'Roll tunes that would become the Evacuate album.
In the 1980's Chelsea had been accepted by a new generation of UK Punk Rockers, and the band toured with Anti-Pasti, Anti-Nowhere League and Chron Gen. Gene was always proud of his punk rock roots, and lets face it without his input despite what history doesn't tell you, in the early days several doors into the music industry might not have been kicked in. By the end of 1982 Chelsea fell apart and Gene pursued a solo career, until 1983 when he got Chelsea back together with a line up that featured several “Stevenage Hooligans” who attended the gig in March 1981 (Guitarist Jon Thurlow, Drummer Geoff Sewell and Bassist Pete Dimmock, were playing in a local band called Optional Xtras, before Jon and Pete left and joined Chron Gen.) Geoff had played drums for Chelsea on the single Stand Out prior to Jon and Pete joining after the split of Chron Gen in 1982. This line up were captured on the Live and Well album. (recorded at The Lyceum in Oct 1983 when Chelsea supported Johnny Thunders.) Jon left soon after, but Geoff and Pete from the Stevenage connection remained and featured on the next couple of studio albums: Original Sinners and Rocks Off, in places both were rather strange Rock'n'Roll affairs; a blissed out and druggy Punk'n'Blues rhythm, not yer standard Chelsea fodder but still good stuff. Neither of them were well received by the music press, Original Sinners has never been released on CD, although there is a planned re-release of Rocks Off. 1989 saw the release of Underwraps, probably Chelseas weakest album, despite the help of Willy from Glam Poppers The Grip and the appearance of ex Clash Drummer Topper Headon on one track, but something was missing.
By the early 1990's Nic Austin was back in the line up along with Mat Sargent on Bass and Chelsea returned to form releasing a couple of cracking albums in quick succession; The Alternative and Traitors Gate. (Both are due to be re-released soon on CD and vinyl) The classic Chelsea line-up (James Stevenson, Dave Martin, Geoff Myles, Chris Bashford and Gene) re-united in 1999 for the Social Chaos Punk Rock package tour across America, captured on another live Chelsea album; the in yer face and hostile Metallic F.O.
In 2005 minus Myles and Martin Chelsea released a new studio album, Faster, Cheaper, Louder and Better Looking, a great fist in the air pumping and powerful collection of new numbers that saw Chelsea move up a gear, one in which they have continued to the present day; their latest album is a classic, due to the strength of the latest line up that unites Nic Austin and James Stevenson into an awesome twin guitar attack, alongside a solid rhythm section and Gene's passionate vocal delivery of songs that say something. Saturday Night Sunday Morning, check it out now! Until then rewind back to Stevenage 1981 and check out this piece of aural punk rawk history. The Sound quality is OK....it is what it is....
Thanx to whoever it was that originally passed the files my way, sorry my mind has gone blank and I can't remember yer name, but it might have been Harry The Bastard, or it might not have been.