Death Band Party – Strange Night Out

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

Fan Site

YouTube Channel

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Dead Captain – EP

Once upon a time there were a few friends that got together and decided to form a band because of… naaa that’s been done before, try this one… Dan Adams (Cornelius Crane) along with writer/illustrator friend Dunstan Carter find a shoe box outside a pub in Ashton-Under-Lyne filled with a mix mash of scribbled notes, drawings and grainy old VHS tapes. Beneath the box is a message simply stating “Do something with this”.

Dead Captain

So the Dead Captain released their 4 track EP on the 17th of July drawing influence from discarded shoe boxes, classic Americana & the 90’s college rock scene.

First up is ‘This Old Village’, a micro glance over a northern village traditional event i.e. Morris dancing, stalls, kids with ice creams etc , yeah why do these things happen, I remember such things but now I have grown I truly do not know why (as a kid) I bought into this. Sure it still happens, it has a purpose and a public face but I still don’t get it. Beautiful meandering track, laid back rift with perfect lyrics to such a memory, thanks for that.

We’re out of the village and into the suburbs with ‘Looming Moon’, not so much as painting a picture in the mind but more like a walk through the dark streets with a paranoid tour guide. It’s a slight shift in style too, I’m loving the distortion guitar that’s slowly grinding away throughout the track.

‘Who Knows’ follows on in every way and by now I’m getting a real feel for the Captain and their general vibe, a sort of Northern abandonment which we up north tend to accept and in part don’t give a shit about anyway. Just the odd gripe but hey it’s grim up North mate. ‘Finale ‘Toddler Democracy. Is more up front with this theme and I completely agree, we live in echo chambers & democracy is spoon fed to us all.

I have to say I really like The Captain, it sounds fresh yet familiar, a ramble inside the mind of a Northern enigma. Back to that shoe box with the note that simply read “Do something with this”. Well they did something and here it is. Now your turn to do something after reading this article, get yourself a copy of this excellent EP, it’s here for a reason.

Out 17th July 2017 (Stereo Kill records)

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Zero Le Creche – Last Years Wife

I have just unearthed a classic that obviously has completely passed me by; then again, it was 32 years ago.zerolecreche01

Goth band ‘Zero le Creche’ released the Single ‘Last Years Wife’ (Flicknife) in 1984 hitting number 11 in the indie charts and was featured as runner up single of the week in the Melody Maker. Produced by Henry Padovani, it was their biggest hit in their short career and at the time was popular on the Goth scene.

I discovered this gem whilst reading the brilliant book ‘Sharp! Flicknife & Other Adventures’. On page 152 Zero Le Creche become Flicknife Records first Goth band signing and 32 years later, here I am searching them out on the Internet. I love the melodies and particularly the silky smooth vocals; the style is of the goth era, I’d say it has a commercial slant, sort of a ‘Psychedelic Furs’, early ‘Cure’ meets Bauhaus.

The band line up consisted of Andy Nakanza (vocals), Terry Miles (bass), Richard Ollie (drums) & Andy Mitchell (guitar). Not too long after this release Nakanza (real name Andy Manning & sometimes credited as Nkanza) quit the band and was replaced by vocalist Jamie Lord. In 1985 second single ‘Falling’ (Cherry Red) was released but without anything near the same success as their debut, soon after they disappeared from view. I suspect losing the original vocalist played a big part in this turn of misfortune which is a shame really.

They re-surfaced in 2008 with a 21 track album featuring all of the songs from the ‘Last Years Wife’ EP, second single ‘Falling’ and a host of previously unreleased studio recordings (plus one live). Another EP was released in 2010 entitled ‘Silence Speaks’.

Original vocalist Andy Nakanza resurfaced in 1986 fronting ‘Boom Boom Room’ releasing ‘Here Comes The Man’ (Epic) which peaked at 74 UK national charts in 1986.

Hindsight is always a better judge in life; for whatever reasons Andy Nakanza departed from the band, in my opinion, had he stayed, I think that both he and Zero Le Creche would have steered a much more successful direction and who knows! Maybe gone on to much bigger things.