03rd Nov2010

History Lesson: The March Violets and The Batfish Boys

by toddc

The March Violets started in 1982 as one of Leeds’ four famous ‘drum machine bands’. The other three being Merciful Release labelmates The Sisters of Mercy, Red Lorry Yellow Lorry and The Three Johns.
Fronted by the two pronged attack of dual vocalists Simon D and Rosie Garland, the band built a large and loyal following throughout the UK and Europe. They released five singles/EP’s, first on Merciful Release then on their own Rebirth label, culminating in the successful indie chart topping Snakedance and Walk Into The Sun.
For me, they were one of the best bands that belonged to the Goth genre of the 80′s. In the midst of a tumultuous break-up Simon D (also known as Si), formed a group called The Batfish Boys, who’s raw energy and grit presaged the genre that became grunge.
The March Violets recently re-formed with their original line-up and will be performing on November 13 at O2 Academy Islington, in London.
They are currently following the formula that bands like Gang of Four have employed, encouraging fans to help them finance recording of a new record. You can do this by clicking here.
I was fortunate to track down Rosie and Simon during the summer. What follows is two lengthy interviews that were conducted separately, with both of them.

TDOA: Can you talk about the process of writing vocal melodies with Rosie. Much in the way that John Doe and Exene from X had an amazing counterplay, the two of you had great chemistry. Did you enjoy writing music with her?

Si: Mmmm, Not sure I can divulge the arcane mysteries and shocking rituals associated with those sessions. Chemistry is probably quite an applicable term. However, technically, our voices are surprisingly similar, though Rosie has a greater range. She is often singing lower parts than me, so although it comes quite naturally it takes a fair bit of thought and arranging, and we have always tried to do something slightly different from the obvious Lead/Backing formula, something more equal. It frequently involves more than one lyrical thread running simultaneously. You also have to leave more space in the music for deeper vocal parts, or they just get swamped. Sometimes the counterplay comes very naturally, sometimes it needs a lot of whittling away and pairing down. And I still enjoy writing music with her. We adapted one of her poems for the track Dress 4 U that was on the 2007 Trinity EP. Nicely twisted. And I am looking forward to writing a new LP with her this year especially since she just successfully kicked the arse of throat cancer.

TDOA: It seems that most of the great Goth bands came from Leeds. Why do you think that so many bands came from that city?

Si: I saw a discussion on Facebook the other day on where was the birthplace of Goth. It ended up in an argument over Leeds and London. Back in the early 80s Leeds was certainly regarded as Gotham City, I remember playing my first gigs outside Leeds and wondering what was different, and basically it was that not everyone was wearing black.

Leeds is a great city, full of fantastic creative people. There have always been tons of bands in Leeds, all in different little social circles. Something about Yorkshire Water. It’s a lot to do with the promoters and if local bands get chances to grow. If there are gigs there are support slots. Leeds usually has quite a few venues, 2 universities, tens of thousands of students and hundreds of pubs. It also has a tradition of live music and open mic nights. I think John Keenan, local Leeds Promoter had an enormous influence on why so many good bands of a darker, edgier nature came from Leeds during that period. He really supported them, still does. He created the Futurama festivals and put his house on the line a few times. Many of the bands you are thinking about probably got their first individual flash of inspiration to ‘do it’ at one of his gigs, and then played their first gig at another. During our formative time there were some fantastic gigs: Magazine, Wire, Cabaret Voltaire +Joy Division, Punishment of Luxury, Pere Ubu + The Human League, The Cure + Teardrop Explodes. I reckon if you look beneath the scene in other cities where there is a long history of successful bands you’ll probably find people like John who do it for the love of music. Ironically I don’t think the Violets did more than one gig for John (supporting Dead or Alive in Bradford to 3 people) and he never paid us! but he definitely changed things: http://www.liveinleeds.com/30jfk.htm.

The Leeds Universities and colleges were and are also massively important, bringing creative people together in a social environment without parental controls, and unlike a lot of the the US, in the UK you can legally drink at 18. The spread of Punk in the UK was initially through the universities, along with STDs.

Also, I guess that if a band from your city makes it you subconsciously think well, if they can, why can’t we? Gang of Four filled that post for me back in 1979. I imagine the Kaiser Chiefs have the same effect now on some aspiring Leeds musicians. I teach music technology for Leeds music-based Charities and get to work with all sorts of local bands and musicians, and am constantly amazed by the number of new bands that are springing up and gigging. It’s quite weird seeing a bunch of talented 15 year olds rock out…

TDOA: As a fan of Goth, I always felt like the British mags (NME and Melody Maker) did a bad job of covering the genre. Was that your perception and why do you think they spent so much time putting Morrissey on the cover, rather than some of the great Goth bands?

Si: I’m not sure I entirely agree, though the fact that you missed out ‘Sounds’ magazine suggests that you are younger than me (not hard) and talking about a slightly later period. And first I have a problem with the term Goth. I don’t really know what it means, or if there is a cut or dried style. I mean, is Souxsie Goth, or the Cramps, or The Gun Club, Magazine, Joy Division or Bauhaus? They may get lumped in with Goth now but at the time it wasn’t a phrase you would have used. In my recollection these are the bands that were driving the “scene” plus Bowie, Numan, Roxy and the Stooges etc. It was a time when Punk was being taken over and commercialised and the New Romantics were breaking down gender and dress codes. I never really saw the Violets as any specific genre, it was more of a Post Punk rage against the system with the desire to create something new and different. The journos were all looking to create a new scene of which they could be master, and lumped a load of Northern bands together… Danse Society, The Sisters, The Violets, Southern Death Cult, Red Lorry Yellow Lorry etc… all within 20 miles of each other. I can’t talk for the others but I never felt like I was part of a movement. In fact I have always rebelled against being pigeon-holed and labeled. It’s a Punk thing (he says, getting in another well stencilled box. Ha ha!). I think the Imagery may be the key here. It was the London/Southern bands that added eyeliner and fishnets to the leather and black the Northern bands preferred, and that seems to me to to be the tipping point to how people label something Goth as opposed to Rock.

Anyway, the answer as to why Morrisey got covers: MONEY. And it’s an interesting question because most people/music buyers probably wouldn’t have any real feelings about the promotional side of the music business, and maybe are just used to being ‘marketed at’, especially these days. As an Indie Label chap (independent not shoegazing) I particularly resented the massive hype bands like the Smiths got at the time from Rough Trade and the Cartel. They bought that band into everything, it was an early precursor to the Radiohead style promotional flood of I Computer, giant cut-outs in every fucking record shop and massive radio plugging. Both great bands of course who would probably have made it anyway, but their record labels just didn’t leave anything to chance. I guess there was a bit of jealousy and frustration in that feeling. The Violets never had any money for promotion, never bought a single ad. And that was what was beginning to drive the features… how much space for how much advertising. It’s even worse now, I doubt whether you could get a proper feature in a major mag just on merit, whereas to be fair, I think that during the early eighties you could if you were lucky.

TDOA: Why was the use of drum machines so pervasive amongst bands like yourselves, The Sisters and a lot of those Leeds bands?

Si: It’s weird how it happened. At the time nobody was really using drum machines mainly due to the fact they were rubbish and mainly preprogrammed Bon Tempi sounds and rhythms. Kraftwerk and Suicide were the best examples but they were hardly fast rockers. The other bands using them were dull droning synth nonsense like Blancmange or the rather lovely Young Marble Giants. In 1979 Roland brought out the first cheap programmable drum machine, the DR55 or Dr. Rhythm. It ran on batteries, the sounds were still a bit crap, and only kick snare hat and rimshot, but you could turn the tempo right up and get an aggressive beat going: Punk in a box! And that’s the difference. I remember doing the first John Peel session in 1982 and turning up without a drummer, just this shitty little box that made a nasty thumping and popping racket at 150 BPM. and Dale “Buffin” Griffin who was session producer (and ex drummer of Mott the Hoople) walked off in disgust.

Reasons? I was going to use the old joke what’s the difference between a drum machine and a drummer? you only have to punch the rhythm into a drum machine once. But thinking about it I just now remembered the real truth why we all used it: you could rehearse in a bedroom and forget about carrying a drum kit around to gigs or hiring a van or paying the drummer, and it didn’t steal your cigarettes or girlfriend. We were all just a bunch of Cheapskates!

TDOA: Can you talk about the decision to leave March Violets to form Batfish Boys?

Si: From my perspective it was all getting a bit crap. We were going through interminable cycles of demoing tracks and playing gigs simply for major labels, There was pressure to write fluffy commercial stuff…. the usual… music biz dickheads knowing what was best over the band. It always amazes me that a band who’s vision has got them into a position where someone from the corporate side thinks they are popular enough to make money then allows themselves to be “advised” and changed. Our particular ‘expert’ was Tim Parry who had somehow been foisted on us by Jazz Summers. Anyway, the other band members wanted to get a record deal and become real pop stars. They felt they could do that better without me. I think they were influenced in their decision by Tim, but there was all sorts of nasty backstabbing going on so there you go. I could have put up a fight but was so fed up with what was happening I just walked away. I’d already recorded the first Batfish Boys album as a side project and that was where I went, into the swamps with a bottle of Jack.

TDOA: I absolutely loved Batfish Boys and felt like I never got enough information about the band. The band had a distinctly heavier sound. Was that a direction that you wanted to take with March Violets, but were unable to? Is any of that material available on CD? My vinyl has worn thin!

Si: I loved Batfish too! A scream of release. The first LP (The Gods Hate Kansas) was written and recorded in a week, almost in a stream of consciousness manner in a haze of chemicals and bubbling resentment and disillusion. It is an album I listen to and think, “Wow, I’d have written stuff exactly like this… oh”. I was in the weird position of being offered gigs and having to put a band together to play the music. Incidentally Chris Haskett was the first recruit as guitarist, for about a month before heading off back to the states and Henry Rollins… wise move. I’m not sure whether I wanted to go this way with the Violets, but it obviously needed saying and was a lot of fun. I think the Batfish Boys were ahead of their time, and copied by a fair few. We watched as eventually another fucking journalist-driven “scene” developed in the UK with crap like Pop will Shit Itself jumping on the bandwagon like eager little puppies. Grebo! That word meant people who hung around in bus shelters with motorcycle helmets but no bike to me. Jesus Jones? Christ! Everyone knows Iggy Pop is the son of God. Needless to say I foolishly refused to get in the box and once again probably threw away a chance to get loads of press and hang out with the other sycophants. Ho hum.

There was one LP that went out on CD, Batfish Brew, that’s it, the rest is a vinyl only experience.

TDOA: Did the Batfish Boys tour the U.S. and can you talk about that experience?

Si: Yes, once, and it was a riot. I’d been over and arranged a deal with a label in Atlanta. The LP was doing really well on the US College radio circuit, No 1 in Hawaii and Buffalo and all that and outplaying Bowie and Skinny Puppy and stuff. Fantastic! At the time we were being managed by the same people as Captain Sensible, a pair of nutters based in Tin Pan Alley in London. They arranged this tour which started with a gig in New York for the New Music Seminar. We were officially visa’d up as a cultural exchange, sponsored by the Mayor of New York Ed Koch! A very dodgy mate of mine agreed to cover our costs and reimburse the management for flights etc until we got paid. We’d only been out there a couple of days when my mate got busted and the management literally cut off any flow of money. So we were in a knackered van travelling across the US for the first time with fuck all money. I remember the Radiator started overheating and we had to turn the AC off and the heaters on to cool the engine. It was 92 degrees and 95 humidity outside and we were in a fucking hair dryer. We would make regular stops at gas stations and physically get into their ice boxes to cool down. Shit, I have so many stories from that tour, like when Man-Ray and Brian Brain Damage, the two Americans who were driving and crewing nearly got us arrested outside the Morgue (a real one) we were staying in that night. It was in Detroit and they were fighting over one of the strippers that had followed the band since New York. This was after a gig where we had I think been supported by Dinosaur Jr in front of a bunch of violent fighting skinheads at a club run by someone called Scary who broke up the fights with an iron bar and .38. All Good Stuff.

TDOA: Given that I’m from Detroit, I have to ask about your decision to use the moniker Simon Detroit. Coupled with the Sisters use of a picture taken in Detroit as part of the artwork on First, Last and Always, I’ve always wondered if the Leeds bands had a fondness for my hometown.

Si: Probably, Todd. It’s almost certainly to do with it being Motor City, home of the huge winged chrome monsters, and Motown, and of course MC5, the Stooges, and Alice Cooper. It is eminently cool. I’m particularly attracted by the architecture, I love old huge buildings, especially Art Deco. I remember the incredible feeling I had as I first arrived there; an ugly but beautiful dirty, edgy city that would probably have been stolen if it wasn’t nailed down. It was murder capital of the world at the time.

TDOA: I read once that you toured with the Sisters of Mercy in the past few years. Obviously, you have a long history with the band. Can you talk about Andrew Eldritch a bit and tell us about how you met and your feelings about him?

Si: I’ve been in the Sisters for about 14 years, as Nurse to the Doktor. We go all round the world and the tour itineraries say I am in the band, but no-one knows. I am usually hidden on stage by smoke and the large pile of old technology I am wrestling with. They hide me away like the relative in the attic, and I am only allowed out when there is no moon. I’m told this is “because I break things”. I don’t get to play with the girls, it’s not fair. I need love too. I can talk about Andrew, but not to you.

TDOA: What led to the March Violets reunion and what are your plans for 2010? Any chance that you’ll play Batfish Boys music live again?

Si: I agreed to do a one off reunion gig back in 2007. This was mainly due to Tom (Ashton, the Violets guitarist) persistently bugging me but also because lots of fans said they really wanted to see us again, or see us for the first time. I am always surprised by the amount of positive Violet related comments I get whilst out with the Sisters. Our music, in particular the song Snake Dance, has been licensed to Goth compilations and played on the darker dancefloors for the last 25 years so we just simmered along. Anyway, the fact that Rosie agreed to do it convinced me, that and doing a bit of recording for an EP just available at the gig. I say gig, it was more of an event, which was what I wanted. I managed to persuade a lot of friends to reform and come out to play, Salvation, James Ray, Chris Reed from Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, Screaming Banshee Aircrew. It was a really great almost festive atmosphere (several hundred grinning goths!), we drank the university dry and as far as I’m aware everyone loved it. That was meant to be it. A one-off reunion. But the offers started coming in for festivals etc. We were going to do WGT but then Rosie developed throat cancer. So things were put on hold till she had recovered from the ridiculous Chemo/Radiation which we are all happy to see worked. And now, I want to record a Violets LP. We never really did a proper one, just singles, compilations and Peel sessions. This is our difficult first Album, after twenty-odd years. The main problem we have is that I am busy with the Sisters and teaching Music Technology, Rosie is doing lots of MCing, comparing events as Rosie Lugosi lesbian vampire, writing books and running a fetish club in Manchester, and Tom is over in Athens Georgia doing his thing. It’s quite a logistical and financial nightmare getting us together, we are expensive. So we asked some of our fans how they felt about ‘doing a Marillion’ and pre-financing the LP, and got a positive feedback. That’s the plan… for fans to pay up-front for a very special new Violets LP, signed, numbered, with their picture on it and loads of artwork and stuff in a booklet. It will be a seriously limited edition, and we are going to smash any remaining copies of the pressing and film it for proof. And we thought, while Tom is over in the UK recording we should probably do another gig too, so we have arranged another Violet Event, this time in London at the O2 Academy Islington London and then the Slimelight just next door. It is on Saturday the 13th November and lasts for 13 hours and is called unsurprisingly ’13′. To keep the mystery factor high we will be announcing the other friends/artists who will be playing with us over the next few months and there might be some surprises.

If you want to support us get over to www.radiantlodge.com and sign up, or go to www.marchviolets.co.uk or find us on Facebook or www.myspace.com/officialmarchviolets.

And to you, Todd and the Dumbing of America, it’s a privilege that anyone is interested in what I have to say,. So thanks, keep up the good work and let us know what you think about the new album. Cheers. Simon D.

TDOA: Can you talk about the process of writing vocal melodies with Simon. Much in the way that John Doe and Exene from X had an amazing counterplay, the two of you had great chemistry. Did you enjoy writing music with him?

Rosie: There was indeed a chemistry – not of opposites but of differences. We couldn’t have looked more different, sounded more different. There was also the unexpectedness. It’s like Si said – I was (and still am) often the one singing the lower parts. I’m not a big-boned gal and people find it a surprise that a big, low voice comes out of my gob when I open it.
And yes, I’m enjoying writing with Si again for the new album. Especially as I’ve just successfully kicked the arse of cancer. It’ll take a lot more than throat cancer to make me shut up…

TDOA: It seems that most of the great Goth bands came from Leeds. Why do you think that so many bands came from that city?

Rosie: All good (for good read exciting, edgy, alive) bands come from outside London. London is too busy looking over its shoulder, worrying about whether it’s being cool enough to produce anything that’s in danger of being real. I was born there, I should bloody know.
The North of England has typically produced bands that kick ass. Leeds in the 80s was doing just that: it was the beginning of the Thatcher years, with bombs going off on my street, serial killers picking off sex workers and the police doing nothing. Ah, in that time to be alive.

TDOA: As a fan of Goth, I always felt like the British mags (NME and Melody Maker) did a bad job of covering the genre. Was that your perception and why do you think they spent so much time putting Morrissey on the cover, rather than some of the great Goth bands?

Rosie: .. and as I’ve said elsewhere, it really did feel I was in the best place in the world to be alive, despite all of the above. There was this new scene that had no name (yet): anything could happen, and felt like it would, any minute now. It was a jumble of punk, glamour, romanticism, death, darkness and glitter. Like Si said, the word ‘goth’ wasn’t stapled to it till later. Not that I have a problem with the word. Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn what you call me.

However, the word ‘goth’ has become dirty word for a lot of people. ‘Goth’ was not accessible to the fashionistas who were at the helm of NME and it still isn’t. It’s not art-school enough. The mainstream music press thought we were too weird, too grungy; and goddam it all to Hell, wore too much black. I agree with Si: it was about labelling, marketing and money. In general, goth doesn’t have enough spending power – even though there was a recent flurry of making money out of it by marketing plastic skull wristbands to teens through outlets like Claire’s.

TDOA: Why was the use of drum machines so pervasive amongst bands like yourselves, The Sisters and a lot of those Leeds bands?

Rosie: It was the cutting edge of technology! And it was lean, pared down, spare and sparse onstage and off. We’d all had the experience of being in bands where you spend 3 days in sound check waiting for the drums to be set up, not to mention needing a pantechnicon to get to a gig. With a drum machine you could get a whole band to a gig in the back of a small car. Or on the bus.

TDOA: I’ve read stories that indicate the bands relationship with Andrew Eldritch deteriorated over time. Is this true and what events led to the split?

Rosie: Yes, there were a lot of stories weren’t there? Believe half of what you see and none of what you read.

Andrew gave the Violets a lot of support right from the start. He spent days in the studio with us when we were putting together the Radiant Boys EP – and I mean days: we slept on the floor and only left the building for more beer and cigarettes. Ah! The glamour of showbiz. It seemed a natural progression that we would release our first singles on Merciful Release… whyever not?

Yes, in the end we did get crossed off each other’s Christmas card list. But that was a long time ago, and considering that Si is the Svengali who twiddles with Dr Avalanche’s knobs, put it down to youthful piss ’n’ vinegar.

TDOA: Why was Cleo brought into the band and did her addition lead to your decision to leave the band?

Rosie: It was the other way round – I left the band, and Cleo was brought in to replace me.
By 1984 a lot of things were happening for me: I didn’t like the way I could see the band going. There was a lot of pressure, within and without, pushing for the Violets to have a more accessible, pop sound. It wasn’t what I wanted. I liked the way the way we’d had always done something different, something surprising. I was never a Kim Wilde clone, nor the stereotyped goth chick in a long velvet dress.

I was getting increasingly frustrated. I looked and sounded powerful on-stage, but it was a different story off. Nuff said. I had the feeling I had seen the best there was to see of the Violets, and I guess I wanted out before the grenades started flying. I made a tough decision. In late 1984 (not long after Snake Dance) I left the band and went to work in Africa, giving rise to all kinds of fabulous myths about where/why I’d gone. My favourite has to be that I was a ‘missionary’. For which branch of Bad Religion I have no idea…

TDOA: When you saw the March Violets music used in “Some Kind of Wonderful”, were you happy or did you feel that it betrayed the principles of the band you had formed?

Rosie: ..and when the Violets featured in ‘Some Kind of Wonderful’ I was living on the edge of the Libyan desert, dodging the US bombing hospitals in Tripoli and concentrating on getting through a military coup in one piece. So brat pack movies weren’t top of my ‘to do’ list.

TDOA: What led to the March Violets reunion and how did it feel when you first got back into the rehearsal room together?

Rosie: Si, Tom and I had kept very, very loosely in touch over the years; and then in 2006 the loosely started to tighten up, and the rest is history. It’s a strange to discover that you still get along with someone after 25 years of not seeing them.
I loved being onstage with the band again. Then again, I’ve never stopped performing since I quit. I’ve been involved with various theatrical and musical projects in the past however many years, and currently work as a singer, performer and compere / MC. So I’m no stranger to performance, and it shows.

TDOA: Can you talk about the transition from Rosie Garland to Rosie Lugosi and what you’re doing now?

Rosie: Rosie Lugosi is a performance character who is a lot of fun to bring out of the dressing up box and play with for a night. She satisfies my need to perform, to dress up, to be rude to people, and get paid for it. I’m slowly returning to touring after an 18 month period dealing with cancer, as I said above. I’ve finished the New York leg of my 2010 Spank the Yanks tour, and am off to the Bay Area in August. Watch this space for updates about gigs in New Orleans…
When Rosie Lugosi is put back in the dressing up box I re-emerge as Rosie Garland. I’ve never stopped writing: short stories, poetry, novels. My latest novel is with my agent, but as I am not a ghostwritten footballer or a ‘celeb’ it’s probably not going to be an easy ride getting it published. I’ve had numerous short stories in anthologies, plus four solo collections of poetry, the latest only a couple of months ago: Things I Did While I Was Dead www.flapjackpress.co.uk

TDOA: A lot of bands and people who loved the music of the 80′s claim to hate current music. Do you share those beliefs or do you have current bands that you love to listen to?

Rosie: There’s always great music: there’s always dross. 80s, 90s, noughties – it never changes. People who say they ‘loved’ the music of the 80s to the exclusion of anything else clearly don’t remember Kajagoogoo.

In the 80s, while I was in the Violets, I didn’t restrict myself to listening to one genre of music. Sure, I was into deathrock / darkwave / goff (whatever your label de choix); but I was also listening to dub reggae, industrial grunge, funk (George Clinton changed my life!), Frank Zappa, female vocalists like Billie Holiday & Peggy Lee, Portuguese fado, and Afrobeat.

3 Responses to “History Lesson: The March Violets and The Batfish Boys”

  • What a weird back-handed compliment! I’m grateful for Simon’s understanding of my role as a promoter. His memory though is somewhat clouded, The Dead or Alive gig in Bradford was cancelled, it never happened!!! There were not enough tickets sold so Pete Burns decided to pull the gig. Stories like that can really damage my reputation and the way I make my living, I wish they’d stop, but it sounds more ‘rock’n'roll’ to say that, than to say, “He gave us £50, because that’s all we were worth at the time!”. They all know where I am, I’ve never ran away or gone into hiding, all anyone needed to do was ask. If they had decided that they would let me off the hook, that’s a different matter, but I’ve never refused to pay them. I’ve seen and spoken to Simon many times over the years and this is the first time I’ve seen or heard it mentioned.

    Over 33 years I’ve promoted thousands of bands and I can count the bands I didn’t pay on one hand, and there were always reasons. It’s such a cliche to say you were never paid by a promoter. Sometimes I’ve paid one member and they’ve never told the others… but I always paid. That’s why people still work with me.

    I recently heard that Andrew Eldritch told a story about me where I’d supposedly said to him or a band, “You’ll never work in this town again!”. For the record, I have never said that or anything like it to any act. I don’t have that power, I’m bright enough to realise that I can’t inhibit anyone from playing in this city or any other city, but these stories will always circulate. I suppose I should be thankful that people are still talking about me after all these years.

    Still annoys me though…

    jfk

  • Alex Staszko

    Well said John
    as a gig goer from Manchester who knows john a little, Ive always found him gracious & honest, everyone I know whos worked with him has worked with him again, if he wasnt straight, why would they?

    Otherwise good article

    Alex

  • Cracking interviews with two of the March Violets – I always wondered why the wheels came off them so spectacularly, now I know the reasons why. I used to have a couple of Batfish Boys singles but I started to lose interest in music around 1986/7 – now fully rekindled of course. I saw lots of the bands during the heyday: Sisters, March Violets, The Chameleons, Inca Babies, Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, Southern Death Cult, X-Mal Deutschland. I’m from Middlesbrough so wasn’t involved in the Leeds scene as such – not such a bad thing. I remember going to see Classix Nouveaux at Leeds Warehouse, thought it was full of poseurs to be honest! Best gig I ever saw in Leeds was The Cramps at the University around 1982.

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