Friday, 21 November 2014

TRASH ?...........What is it ? Part One.
Firstly, this is aimed more for our American compatriots and overseas (Non-European) visitors who've contacted me regarding what constitutes a 'TRASH' band or the 'Trash' sound.....for all intents and purposes, particularly in context of this blog, It's a catch all term for the pre-dominantly British bands from the very early 80's to the latter part of the 80's who weren't strictly rockabilly, 60's garage punk revivalists or psychobilly but who had crossover appeal to these genres at the time. Psychobillies generally saw these bands as part of their scene, Klubfoot nights and the like in particular, but apart from sharing some of the more primal root influences, the 'Trash bands' were nothing like groups such as King Kurt, The Guana Batz and their ilk.

This album has 'Hidden Charms'
Drawing on inspiration derived from the first wave of  60's Garage Punk compilations such as 'Nuggets', 'Pebbles' and the releases by Moxie like the 'Boulders' and the 60's Punk EP's, white lable rockabilly compilations featuring artists such as Rod Willis (He of 'The Cat' fame) and evergreens  The Phantom, Link Wray and Hasil adkins who, incidently, were no where near as well known back then. The 'scene' if can be called that ?  was more of a convergence than anything else, The Cannibals had come from the UK 'Pub Rock' circuits with the likes of The Inmates, Dr Feelgood and The Count Bishops & Flying Tigers in particular making up numbers in the never stable Cannibals line ups (35 plus members or so). The Sting Rays brazenly wore their colours on their sleeves openly, giving praise to both The Cramps and The Meteors (original and first line-up, it must be pointed out) on their debut LP. I'm of the opinion that without a doubt they took more musical influence from the former, with more of the attitude and stage presence from the latter. The original line up of The Meteors even got in on the act with a release under the name of The Clapham South Escalators covering The Electric Prunes 'Get Me To The World On Time'. Meanwhile over in Kent,....... Chatham and The Medway areas to be more precise, Billy Childish and his merry band of cohorts had taken their punk sensibilities from The Pop Rivets and mashed it together with  large doses of Beat and Garage giving us first Mickey & The Milkshakes then plain and simply The Milkshakes.

Includes added 'Paralysed Purple Rays' Aka The Sting Rays.
Early in 1982 over the water in Dublin, The Golden Horde had formed adding a rather deranged twist to the mix with their surf/psyche RnR....Bal (Lead singer of The Sting Rays) along with other members of both The Sting Rays and The Golden Horde would collaborate later on the fantastically titled release (1986) of Duane Ripley and The Go Go Set's 'Revenge of the 50 Foot Killer Go Go Girls'....The flipside being an equally disturbing mouthful, as Micheal and The Multi Coloured Rainbow People's  'The Day the Fish Came Out Dancing in Guru Weirdbrains Mind'......acid anyone ?
Front page news no less !
Speaking of Bal (Sting Rays, Bananamen, Earls Of Suave etc etc)....he was getting around quite a lot, he graced the front cover of  'Sounds', one of Britains leading music papers at the time, in april of 1983, which shed further light to the sordid goings on in some of the non too salubrious London clubs.
In particular, self proclaimed 'King of Trash' Mike Spenser, Head honcho of The Cannibals was organising regular gigs in venues across the city including the much adored Clarendon in addition to setting up his own label 'Hit Records' which mainly released The Cannibals material although they put out 'The Trash Box' a repackaged box set of the first 5 volumes of Pebbles as well as an EP by The Bugs (which is essential).

Classic Trash line up.
Whilst Big Beat (A subsidiary of Ace Records) were by far and large responsable for the major part of the vinyl output catering to this 'genre' releasing the hugely influential compilation 'Rockabilly Psychosis and The Garage Disease' as well as the first Hasil Adkins LP (Yep, even before the faultless Norton Recs), that of The  Legendary Stardust Cowboy and Nervous Norvus just to add to the confusion. It was the label set up by Pogues producer Stan Brennan, Media Burn, which was by far the more focused, specialising almost exclusively in what can be termed 'Trash Garage'.

Absolutely essential......the epitomy of Trash.
Releasing greats such as Ug & The Cavemen (kind of Trash All Stars with members of The Sting Rays, X-Men) The Milkshakes, The Prisoners, The X-Men (See previous posts), The Purple Things, The Golden Horde and The Surfadelics among others, some 18 releases in total, all of which are worth owning. The Vibes, (Pre-Purple Things) for me are one of the very best, origianally from Essex they very nearly didn't make it to vinyl at all but fortunately the fine people at Big Beat put out their killer debut EP and so preventing them from an imminent split...Their one and only LP, 'What's Inside' is about as good as it gets, a thunderous stonker of an album which owes as much to The Cramps Psychedelic Jungle as it does to all those 60's Garage comps they plundered.

You need this folks !
As mentioned, Big Beat were behind a lot of the earliest 'Trash' releases, whether they actually considered it to be such I can't really say, guess it just evolved that way and labelled itself,  but by putting out The Bugs only album, The Sting Rays debut LP, The Tall Boys releases, The Prisoners (Not really Trash but you can't exactly leave them out, not even purely by association as some of their cuts are truly magnificent) The Milkshakes and Mighty Caesars, they kind of paved the way to the sound gaining wider audiences even getting a slot on Channel 4's prime music show 'The Tube' and the EP 'Four on Four' subsequently culled from the show.

In the next part I'll put up discographies and some other bits and bobs but in the meantime checkout Charliespliff's on youtube TRASHARAMA collections.  And no I have forgotten the likes of Emptifish (See previous post), The Trash County Dominators, Bad Karma Beckons, The Shockwaves, The Bananamen, Earls Of Suave  and the host of other noteworthys........just hope this goes some way to explain my take on what 'Trash' is.

Enjoy the trip.            

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