Remembering a long lost band from a distant generation…
The story of my one time Death Bang Party gig March (31st) 1990…
At the time I lived in London and a friend was visiting so we decided to head on over to the Power House in Islington. This was my favourite live venue so I rarely checked to see who was on; it was just a matter of turning up in hope.
There was a delay in setting off as I happened to be selling a bass guitar amp and the buyer was coming over to check it out. It turned out the dude was a reporter for World in Action; he even had the voice that sounded like the voice over guy so who knows. He purchased the amp and gave a lift close to the venue; we got out and proceeded on foot the last half mile or so. On our way lots of police cars and riot vans screamed passed us, sirens and lights blazing. More and more so as we neared the venue but they appeared to be heading away from our destination.
Arriving we found out the band was called Death Bang Party & from that I had no idea what to expect. Inside it was sparsely populated, maybe about 30 to 50 people maximum so my expectations were lowering. The band entered the stage and started playing upbeat instrumental funk music; this went on for what seemed like ages. I was starting to assume they were an instrumental band when on walks a guy holding a bible wearing dark round sunglasses & dressed as a preacher topped with a round hat. He starts ranting some sermon, jump to the left, right etc “now turn around”… his entire behind is butt naked. The whole room falls about laughing and I’m immediately hooked.
The music is fast & funky and lead singer is costume changing between songs. At one point he’s a character with a huge 6 foot bendy pipe cock running over the tables kicking drinks over & another character turns out to be a surfer with Hawaiian shirt holding a surf board. Most of what happened on that stage is a blur but my lasting feeling is ‘What a band’, ‘what a stage performance’. I’ll never forget, the whole night was crazy and the strange happenings did not stop there.
Leaving the venue we walked the streets looking for a tube station when we noticed hundreds of vintage photographs littering the deserted streets. My friend started collecting some as we pissed our selves laughing reflecting on the gig and now we’re looking at a picture of some Victorian dude holding a chicken?
We started to notice shop windows smashed in, more and more so until we came across the town hall surrounded by an army of police officers and a news crew attempting to do a report. I was pissed and started doing Monty Python style funny walks behind the scenes in camera shot. After a few retakes the Cameraman told me I was a wanker and moved on to the other side of the police cordon.
It turned out that during the DBP gig there had been a full blown poll tax riot in the streets of Islington culminating around the town hall. I guess for us it had been a riot inside and out.
Very little info remains online about this great band but here’s a few links