Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Mob

    The Mob began around the beginning of 1978 around Yeovil in Somerset, England. Their first line-up was Mark(main songwriter) on guitar and lead vocals, Curtis on bass and backing vocals and Graham on drums. Before The Mob they were called Magnum Force. They started out by playing local halls and stayed as a local band at first.

    The mob were plagued by violence in the early days, and played at the 1978 Stonehenge Festival. In 1979, The Mob toured with Here and Now and got the chance to play outside of their area. They once again played the summer solstice Stonehenge festival.

     Their first single Crying Again 7" was recorded at Crypt Studios in Stonehenge during the Winter of 1979, by the same soundman for Here and Now, and studio engineer Grant Showbiz. It was put out on The Mob's own label All the Madmen. Max helped out with money to help to put the single out in the beginning of 1980. It was sold through the All The Madmen fanzine, at gigs and at Acorn Records.

     During this time, several people with similar ideas started bands and organised gigs with The Mob. One person was Geoff, whom had the original fanzine for All the Matmen based at his house. Since the fanzine began to die down a bit, the name was carried over for the label. Debbie, (formed My Bloody Valentine in the 80s) Christine(from the Bikini Mutants) and Wilf were friends whom contributed artwork to all The Mob's albums,output, etc. The Androids of Mu also became close to The Mob.

     During the summer of 1980, the Witch Hunt single was recorded at Spaceward in Cambridge. It's spread was far more than the first, reaching John Peel and Crass. Many people were introduced to The Mob through this single. The intro scream used to be used as an ansa-phone message for Geoff's phone at his house.

     Several more gigs followed, then a 'free' tour that Here and now had been promiting called 'Weird Tales' featuring The Mob, The Astronauts, Zounds, Androids of Mu plus many local bands that happened to show up. The band played at the Stonehenge free festival in 1980, but a couple of biker gangs that disliked punk turned it into a brawl. The Snipers had played first, then The Mob, but when the Epileptics(later known as Flux of Pink Indians) began playing, the fights broke out. Zounds, Poison Girls and Crass were on the bill too, but were unable to play due to the violence. In late 1980, Mark and Curtis moved upwards into London, but Graham decided to stay in Yeovil so they went to find a new drummer. Adie(Null and Void) tried out, some guy named Tim did too, but Josef Porter(Zounds, Entire Cosmos) became the new drummer.

     They quickly rehearsed and recorded the Ching cassette. It was recorded in Josef's bedroom and was sold at gigs and to people who wrote to the band. Soon after, they caught the attention of Penny Rimbaud, who was the drummer and writer for Crass. He brought them in and let them release a single on Crass Records.

     In 1981, the No Doves fly here 7" was recorded. Penny put in his own synth parts to the song, which upset the band at first, but they ended up accepting it. It stood in the top 5 in the independent charts for weeks.

     In 1982, they played at the infamous Zig Zag squat gig in December alongside other bands such as Omega Tribe, Faction, Dirt, Null and Void, Lack of Knowledge, The Apostles, Conflict, Poison Girls, The Epsilons(D & V), Youth in Asia and Crass. In late 1982, The Mob recorded a couple of tracks at Spaceward with financial help from Alistair and Mick Lugworm. It was released early the following year on All the Madmen.

     It was called 'Let the Tribe Increase'. The band refused to sign to labels, and dedicated this to the 'scene' that the band had been lumped into against their wishes. It came with artwork(burrowed from Alternative T.V.'s second album) and a big poster. The original artwork the band had in mind was too expensive so they went for a cheaper two colour one instead. It hit the top 3 in the independent charts with the aid of fanzine writers(Kill your Pet Puppy) and music weeklies pushing the album out. The Mob played several gigs to promote it.

     The last Mob release was the Mirror Breaks 7" recorded once again at Spaceard and relased in the summer of 1983. The single sold really well, and after a European tour in the winter of 1983, Mark disappeared to roam the countryside. He packed his teepee in his truck and went off. At their last show, he had thrown his guitar into the audience, never seeing it again(he always had the same guitar. This was not the reason why the band split)

     He later settled down near Bath with his family. It was ironic that the band split up when it was at its highest. On the other hand, Josef grew tired of "singing about children dying" and moved on with Curtis to form Blyth Power.

     All the Madmen went on under Alistair following Marks disappearance in 1984. It helped release material by the Astronauts, Flowers in the Dustbin and Zos Kia that same year. In 1986, Rob from Faction took it over and relseased more stuff in the label until 1988. Anarka and Poppy were supposed to have a 3 track single released, but it never happened and the one copy of the tape disappeared.

     Recently in 2010, the Mob reformed and played their first gig in over 28 years in April of 2011.


Left in the cafe, he sits all alone
This person with hopes that are so like my own
And nobody tells him as he's sitting there
He's dead long ago and nobody noticed

But I see a strange look on that face that's uncleaned
Its white bloodless color, now dull, once gleamed
And I know where I've seen that expression before
He's stood in the place where my feet touch the ground

The clock strikes 6 as I drink the last drop of the tea that's been sitting for hours in my cup
I think where to go now, the town has gone dead
And I realize I'm living this death

Disgusted, demented, disillusioned, deranged, mixed up, frustrated, you, youth.

'Witch Hunt'

Stubbing out progress
Where seeds are sown
Killing off anything that's not quite known
Sitting around in a nice safe home
Waiting for the witch hunt

Idle plans for the idol rich
Knitting the economy, not dropping a stitch
Destroying anything that doesn't quite fit
Waiting for the witch hunt

Still living with the english fear
Waiting for the witch hunt here

Changing your course for another way
You better stop that or be willing to pay
Never mind son
You'll come around some day
Under pressure from the witch hunt

'No Doves Fly here'

The sky is empty and it's turning different shades of colour,
It never did before and we never asked for war.

...My mind is empty and my body different shapes of torture,
It never was before and we never asked for war.

No-one is moving and no doves fly here,
No-one is thinking and no doves fly here,
No-one remembers beyond all this fear,
No doves fly here

The buildings are empty and the countryside is wasteland,
It never was before and we never asked for war.

The playgrounds are empty and the children limbless corpses,
They never were before and they never asked for war.

No-one is moving and no doves fly here,
No-one is thinking and no doves fly here,
No-one remembers beyond all this fear,
No doves fly here

'Gates of Hell'

Living here at the gates of hell
My body is a bombed out shell
Devoid of feeling, devoid of life
The only flame is a flicker in my eyes
Living here at the depths of pain
the sun is blacked out by the rain
that keeps on falling, as the blood keeps flowing
Lights at the end of the tunnel
At the gates of hell
Where the corpses yell
And the only sound
Is the toll of your death bells

Living here where the sun hits the streets
Peace flags flying in the breeze
of illusion, a mirage in the desert
Lights at the end of the tunnel

At the gates of hell
Where the corpses yell
And the only sound
Is the toll of your death bells

'The Mirror Breaks'

We walk in fear and trepidation
Count the rows of dead
While the muderer plays his trumpets for the ones he has led.
But theres nothing much that can be done
For we're few while you're still strong
And the big boys laugh to see such fun
And the little girl cries, cos she knows what's wrong

You may think I don't know anything
You may think I've got it wrong
But I know what it means when I hear the hangman whistling his song
And the knives so sharp in Whitehall
Are the knives they keep for us
And the only weapons we've got
Are our hope and fragile love

Theres many pints of blood
upon the gands that rule this earth
Though for every body dragged out
Another one gives birth
And the children have the world one day
I hope they use it well
And I wish their elders all the best
And I hope they burn in hell

And when the sun goes down
And leaves me with the night
Where I suffer with the ghosts
And still more fright
The mirror breaks I stand alone, alone
And I light another cigarette and drown
And the big boys laugh to see such fun
And the little girl cries, cos she knows what's wrong

Downloads(dates are recording dates):

Live in Amsterdam 05/06/79
Crying Again 7" 1979
Witch Hunt 7" 1980
Ching Cassette 1980
No Doves Fly Here 7" 1981
Let the Tribe Increase 12" 1982
The Mirror Breaks 7" 1983
Last Show Live At The Doncaster Co Op 19/11/83

Monday, April 11, 2011


Vocalist Linda in the middle.
      In 1979, vocalist Craig 'Trinity' Nicol, guitarist Rick Bentley, bassist Wilf Shurman and drummer James 'Jaa' Murphy formed Alternative whom many called the 'Scottish Crass' due to their importance. By 1980, one member from the band was replaced by Rodney 'Relax' Comrie and Eric 'Rice' Beveridge joined as their second vocalist. 

     At first, they practiced at Rick's house and then at a community center. Eventually, they got their own practice place in Dunfermline(where the band was formed) that they rented. It was known as 'The Pad' and was more of an anarcho center where like minded individuals gathered to spread ideas and play small gigs. 

     Alternative first came out on Crass's 'Bullshit Detector' with their track 'Change it'. This began a relationship with Crass, which led to them recording their first single 'In Nomine Patri' on Crass records in 1982. By this time, Gordon 'Gogs' had already replaced Wilf on bass, and Dougie Mchale from The Actives had joined as a second guitarist. 

     This started a huge tour, which gave Alternative the opportunity to meet and play with other bands such as Poison Girls, The System, The Mob and many others. During their shows, they would close with 'Where are your Hiroshimas?' while inviting audience members to come up on stage and hold banners until the song ended.

      Soon after, Linda 'Linger' Rotherham joined on vocals, making Alternative a seven-piece. By the end of 1983, Alternative went through several line-up changes(their drummer left to drum for Reality Control). During the Spring of 1984, Alternative recorded the "If they Treat you like Shit, act like Manure' record and went on tour.

     Several line-up changes occurred and the demo "How Dare You" was released. In 1986, after more line-up changes, the "Touch the Earth" demo was recorded. Soon after, Alternative split.

Where are your Hiroshimas?

When the sun rises do you see your shadow
Where are your Hiroshimas? Where are your Hiroshimas?
Does the atomic heat dry you tears
Where are your Hiroshimas? Where are your Hiroshimas?
Does your vision pierce their frozen minds
Where are your Hiroshimas? Where are your Hiroshimas?
This statement of death hangs over our heads
Where are your Hiroshimas? Where are your Hiroshimas?
Will that burning light shatter your dreams
Where are your Hiroshimas? Where are your Hiroshimas?
Will the man on the button hear your screams
Where are your Hiroshimas? Where are your Hiroshimas?
Does it seem so distant inevitable genocide
Where are your Hiroshimas? Where are your Hiroshimas?
Is the future of mankind just another scare
Where are your Hiroshimas? Where are your Hiroshimas?
When the sun sets will you see their graves 
Where are your Hiroshimas? Where are your Hiroshimas?
Where are your Hiroshimas? Where are your Hiroshimas?

"In the Silence of Awareness"

here we go again, how many times do we have to scream in the dark,
In the silence of awareness let's lay the paths to the past,
You can cherish all those expectations, but, I wont talk behind a mask
Because I'm tired of all this bigotry and hatred, were all human first,
Through the silence of awareness, there is only people and love,
Six years of struggling through the tears and joy,
The physical abuse we've had to bear, but enough is enough.

Where there is arrogance and apathy we can create love,
where there is greed and conflict we can reject the bomb,
Where there us separation and barriers we can build new relationships,
 Where color is no longer an excuse to release your aggression,

And love is an honor possessed by men dominant over women,
And nations separated through conditioning and patriotism,
For this is our home which should be respected not owned?
In the silence of awareness we can start again.

Struggling through the darkness, struggling through indifference,
Can't stop the bombs when the fingers on the button,
In the Silence of awareness let's see each other as people,
Not black or white or servant or master,
In the silence of awareness we can open our eyes.


I came out of the warm womb, into a world of fear and hopelessness. I was
given the gift of life, but the package of this gift was opened by someone else.
I was never given the chance to ask myself what could I do with this gift. I will
not cry or reach out for Christ's hand; he carries my guilt and my sin which
was never there. I reject this Christ;I reject the myth that holds us.

Where is this heaven you speak of? Where is this love you offer? Have I no
self - control over my thoughts? Whether I like it or not? Is my fate sealed toan endless existence binded in guilt and sin? Your cross has been worn as a
symbol of guilt for too long. How much more blood will flow in your name?
Do you seek some ultimate genocide? Must we always bear the burden of
your cross?

I seek no Christ as my savior, I must find control myself. I seek no God, No
painted idol; I'm the only one who answers to me. I ask for nothing, I owe
him nothing. His name cause the fires that raged the earth. His conditions,
his ten commandments, slip the nose around our necks. Does your word
epitomize good? Where was he when they gassed the Jews? Northern
Ireland, Hiroshima, Belsen, Auschwitz - where was he? What right has he to
share his pain? What right has he to crucify us? Forever onward Christian
soldiers, Hold up that banner so they can see Hiroshima's children. Let them
see now slaughter in the trenches. Let them see sorrow of the mothers who
lost their sons. The visions of the Christians who'll carry Christ's gun.

You manufacture our destruction; you turn your heads away. Do your
unseeing eyes carry no fear? Has the system channeled your thought's?
Reject this system. Sow the seeds of peace. Don't recognize the rules of the
power monger, for his hand shall not touch upon peace. Let no politician
make your decisions, for the only government is yourself. Reject and pacify.

Religious ranting's support this system, we're caught like flies in a spiders
web.Look to the heavens to find solutions, but you never see your Christ is
dead. Your crown of thorns, it weighs me down, distorts my vision and
burdens my mind. We're still waiting, still watching, a second coming, more
guilt to sell Armageddon, your good and evil, which is the side which speaks
for you? Good and evil possessions of all men. Good and evil is what we
must bear. Cliches of love run from the bible, backed by a negative

"Caroline's Carnival"

'Be back in five minutes,' mother warns, but the carnival's just begun,
A stranger holds her hand and shows her the merry-go-round and round,
Spinning, slowly, slowly. Faster, Faster,
Caroline's eyes shine in childish delight, faster, faster, she takes her last ride
on the merry-go-round of life.

The Carnival's over, lie down for lust, later eyes stare from a putrefying face,
what promises led you to this watery grave? Little girl's bodies used, abused,
media love it, sensation of the day, next to 'Luscious Lucy" Pornographic
dilemma while mother's tears burn.

Suburban children in a make believe world, Till one is taken for phallic
amusement. Young body torn and bleeding, But this one's a boy child,
Potential man. potential rapist is raped, media shocked in a different
dilemma, what filthy perverts enact such foul acts such as this,
Caroline's forgotten, but mother's tears burn.
Caroline's forgotten, but mother's tears burn.

Listen a while, just listen to the screams of little girl's incestuously loved, or
lying dead on the common.
Hear the sobs of battered women.
Hear the bones break.

But one little boy reaps the sympathy of millions.
He's alive isn't he. though his suffering was unjustified.

If one sexual assault is worthy of this kind of publicity, stirring anger and
disgust for this boy child's assailants, then each, and ever sexual and violent
assault should be given equal notoriety.

.......................But only mother's tears burn for Caroline.

"Now I realize"

Sometimes it seems so pointless, my head hits the wall,
No peace, or love, or understanding.
No reason for it all,
Fighting losing battles with people I cannot reach,
Realization of my future I cannot see.

Out in the dark there is only you.

Living on illusions, Can't face reality,
Knocking down the symptoms that create these fantasies,
Priorities of though struggle together in my mind,
My goal, my future, anarchy, discovery takes time.

Out in the dark there is only you.

People seem so distant when I've held them by the hand,
Expressions contradict their thoughts,
Can't seem to understand,
Hope held for the future lifts me high above their though,
Realization of my freedom, a freedom that can't be bought.

Out in the dark there is only you.

Sometimes it seems so pointless, my head hits of a wall,
No peace, or love, or understanding,
No reason for it all,
Fighting losing battles with people I cannot reach,
Realization of my future, a future I cannot see.

Out in the dark there is only you.


In Nomine Patri(Pretty much sums up early Alternative)
If they Treat you like Shit, Act like Manure(Mid-stage Alternative)
Live at Haddon Hall Leeds 7-24-84
Live at the Vaux Hall 1984
How Dare you 1985(final Stage of Alternative)
Get Away From It All With The Army tape Demo 1986