Tuesday 25 March 2014


Reprinted from Wikipedia:

The first incarnation of what became The Cure was The Obelisk, a band formed by students at Notre Dame Middle School in Crawley, Sussex. The band made their public debut in a one-off performance in April 1973, and featured Robert Smith on piano, Michael "Mick" Dempsey on guitar, Laurence "Lol" Tolhurst on percussion, Marc Ceccagno on lead guitar and Alan Hill on bass guitar.[1] In January 1976 the band took a more substantial form when Ceccagno formed Malice with Smith and Dempsey along with two other classmates from St. Wilfrid's Catholic Comprehensive School, with Ceccagno on lead, Smith on guitar and Dempsey switching to bass. Ceccagno soon left, however, to form a jazz-rock fusion band called Amulet. Increasingly influenced by the emergence of punk rock, Malice's remaining members became known as Easy Cure in January 1977.[2] By this time, Smith and Dempsey had been joined by Lol Tolhurst from The Obelisk on drums and new lead guitarist Porl Thompson. Both Malice and Easy Cure auditioned several vocalists before Smith finally assumed the role of Easy Cure's frontman in September 1977.[3]
That year, Easy Cure won a talent competition with German label Hansa Records, and received a recording contract. Although the band recorded tracks for the company, none were ever released.[4] Following disagreements in March 1978 over the direction the band should take, the contract with Hansa was dissolved. Smith later recalled, "We were very young. They just thought they could turn us into a teen group. They actually wanted us to do cover versions and we always refused."[4] Thompson was dropped from the band in May, and the remaining trio were soon renamed The Cure by Smith.[5] Later that month, the band recorded their first sessions as a trio at Chestnut Studios in Sussex, which were distributed as a demo tape to a dozen major record labels.[6] The demo found its way to Polydor Records scout Chris Parry, who signed The Cure to his newly formed Fiction label—distributed by Polydor—in September 1978.[7] The Cure released their debut single "Killing an Arab" in December 1978 on the Small Wonder label as a stopgap until Fiction finalised distribution arrangements with Polydor. "Killing an Arab" garnered both acclaim and controversy: while the single's provocative title led to accusations of racism, the song is actually based on French absurdist Albert Camus's novel The Stranger.[8] The band placed a sticker label that denied the racist connotations on the single's 1979 reissue on Fiction. An early NME article on the band wrote that The Cure "are like a breath of fresh suburban air on the capital's smog-ridden pub-and-club circuit", and noted, "With a John Peel session and more extensive London gigging on their immediate agenda, it remains to be seen whether or not The Cure can retain their refreshing joie de vivre."[9]
The Cure released their debut album Three Imaginary Boys in May 1979. Because of the band's inexperience in the studio, Parry and engineer Mike Hedges took control of the recording.[10] The band, particularly Smith, were unhappy with the album; in a 1987 interview, he admitted, "a lot of it was very superficial – I didn't even like it at the time. There were criticisms made that it was very lightweight, and I thought they were justified. Even when we'd made it, I wanted to do something that I thought had more substance to it".[11] The band's second single, "Boys Don't Cry", was released in June. The Cure then embarked as the support band for Siouxsie and the Banshees' Join Hands promotional tour of England, Northern Ireland and Wales between August and October. The tour saw Smith pull double duty each night by performing with The Cure and as the guitarist with the Banshees when John McKay quit the group.[12] That musical experience had a strong impact on him: "On stage that first night with the Banshees, I was blown away by how powerful I felt playing that kind of music. It was so different to what we were doing with The Cure. Before that, I'd wanted us to be like the Buzzcocks or Elvis Costello; the punk Beatles. Being a Banshee really changed my attitude to what I was doing."[13]
The Cure's third single, "Jumping Someone Else's Train", was released in early October 1979. Soon afterwards, Dempsey was dropped from the band because of his cold reception to material Smith had written for the upcoming album.[14] Dempsey joined the Associates, while Simon Gallup (bass) and Matthieu Hartley (keyboards) from The Magspies joined The Cure. The Associates toured as support band for The Cure and The Passions on the Future Pastimes Tour of England between November and December—all three bands were on the Fiction Records roster—with the new Cure line-up already performing a number of new songs for the projected second album.[15] Meanwhile, a spin-off band comprising Smith, Tolhurst, Dempsey, Gallup, Hartley and Thompson, with backing vocals from assorted family and friends and lead vocals provided by their local postman Frankie Bell, released a 7-inch single in December under the assumed name of Cult Hero.[16]

Below is a collection of early demos and out takes:


Comprised of demos, various radio & TV sessions.

Tracks 1-5: Sound & Vision Studios, London 11.10.77

Track 6: Chestnet Studios, Sussex 26.05.78

Tracks 7-9: Morgan Studios, London 00.01.79

Tracks 10-14: Maida Vale Studios, London 00.05.79

Track 15: Extended Version Acetate 00.09.79

Track 16: Original Version Of 'A Forest' 00.12.79

Tracks 17-20: Morgan Studios, London 00.01.80

Tracks 21-22: Echo B Studio, France 00.00.81

Track 6 is the same version as found on "Curiosity".

Track 15 claims to be an acetate version, but it's a live version from a 1979 concert.

Track 16, "Into The Trees", is a rough demo of what became "A Forest", but it's shorter and with different lyrics.



Before embarking on a solo career, between 1977 and 1980, Billy Bragg released several singles with his punk band Riff Raff. Below is a collection of their recorded output. 

Friday 14 March 2014


Formed in 1975 by Johnny Thunders & Jerry Nolan after their exit from the New York Dolls along with Richard Hell on bass, who had just left Television around the same week. Started rehearsing and played a few shows as a three piece before adding second guitar player Walter Lure from The Demons. By 1976, Richard Hell would be replaced by Billy Rath. For the whole Heartbreakers/Johnny Thunders story, there is no better source than Nina Antonia's In Cold Blood

The Heartbreakers continued to play gigs occasionally  throughout the 80's when individual schedules allowed, sometimes using Billy Rogers or Ty Styx on drums or Tony Coiro on bass. Johnny passed away in 1991 and Jerry passed away in 1992. Walter Lure still plays with his band the Waldos when he has time and Billy Rath started up the Street Pirates a few years ago. 

Below are a selection of Heartbreakers' gigs ranging from their early beginnings with Richard Hell in 1975, at their peak in 1977 and the "Rent Parties" of 1979-80. 


No introduction needed for this band and not much I could say would in a few paragraphs could do the band justice. Here are all of the recorded gigs from 1976 that I am aware of being in circulation. Some shows feature fifth member, guitarist Keith Levine (who would later help define the sound of Public Image Ltd). Not only is it fascinating to hear the Clash as they are literally learning onstage but there are quite a few songs that were dropped before 1977 and thus were never recorded.

Thursday 6 March 2014


First Sex Pistols poster , from German magazine Bravo 1976

Very little point in writing much here. Anyone without knowledge of this band would not be here in the first place.

Here are a handful of shows recorded in 1976 while Glen Matlock was the bass player.

Get them here:


1977 punk documentary produced by Robert Glassman. Filmed in UK & France. Bands featured include The Jam, The Stinky Toys, The Damned, The Police, Wayne County & The Electric Chairs and The Sex Pistols.

Watch it here:

Tuesday 4 March 2014


Text reprinted from wikipedia.org:

Johnny & The Self-Abusers formed on the South Side of Glasgow in 1977. The band was conceived by would-be Glasgow scenemaker Alan Cairnduff, although he left the job of organising the band to his friend John Milarky. At Cairnduff’s suggestion, Milarky teamed up with two musicians he had never worked with before – budding singer and lyricist Jim Kerr and guitarist Charlie Burchill. Kerr and Burchill had known each other since the age of eight. After joining Johnny & The Self-Abusers, they brought in two of their school friends, Brian McGee on drums and Tony Donald on bass (all four had previously played together in the schoolboy band Biba-Rom!).
With Milarky established as singer, guitarist and saxophonist, the line-up was completed by his friend Alan McNeil as third guitarist. Kerr and Burchill also doubled on keyboards and violin respectively. In common with the early punk bands, various members took on stage names—Milarky became "Johnnie Plague", Kerr became "Pripton Weird", MacNeil chose "Sid Syphilis" and Burchill chose "Charlie Argue".
Johnny & The Self-Abusers played their first gig on Easter Monday, 1977 at the Dourne Castle pub in Glasgow. The band played support to rising punk stars Generation X in Edinburgh two weeks later. The band went on to play a summer of concerts in Glasgow. The band soon split into two factions, with Milarky and McNeil on one side and Kerr, Donald, Burchill and McGee on the other: at the same time, Milarky’s compositions were being edged out in favour of those of Kerr and Burchill.
In November 1977, Johnny & The Self-Abusers released its only single, "Saints And Sinners", on Chiswick Records (which was dismissed as being "rank and file" in a Melody Maker review.) The band split on the same day that the single was released, with Milarky and McNeil going on to form The Cuban Heels. Ditching the stage names and the overt punkiness, the remaining members continued together as Simple Minds 

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