Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Cybernetic Surgery : The Cybermen

Like Sheffield, Accrington is nestled in the foothills of the Pennines. Accrington is home to Accrington Stanley FC, the football club best known for being the football club that no one's ever heard of. It's also home to The Cybermen...

image from cazphoto.co.uk - used without permission
No not those Cybermen! These Cybermen...

Paul Milek (drums), Ian Dixon (bass, vocals), Roger Entwistle (guitar, vocals)

...they are from Accrington after all... not Mondas.

If it wasn't for Hawkwind, The Cybermen may never have formed but thankfully they did and the first song on their first EP was titled Cybernetic Surgery; recorded in '77 and released in '78. It's a punk influenced slice of 70s pub rock, written on the cheap, recorded on the cheap, released on the cheap and the cover was designed using letteraset and a photostat machine... and that's punk through and through. It's not about the spitting or the shouting, it's about the DIY approach; making music for the hell of it. Sadly the DIY approached spelled doom for The Cybermen when the 'unfortunate borrowing' of most of their equipment prevented them from continuing beyond 1979... and I guess the world just wasn't ready for a three piece acapella punk band from Accrington.

Thanks to boredteenagers.co.uk for letting me plagiarise their information and borrow a photo. Further reading on The Cybermen can be found here... the free 'info pack' that came with their second EP is well worth a read.

Does anyone under the age of forty even know what a letteraset or photostat machine is? Answers on a postcard to PO Box 101, Cyberster, Cybershire. ...and don't forget to put your age.

Friday, 11 November 2016

Anorexic Robot : Fat Truckers

I've been wanting to post this particular song right from the beginning... but was prevented by only having it on MP3 and I couldn't be bothered to upload it to YouTube myself. There was a shaky handy-cam video of a performance of this particular robot song but its audio & video quality wasn't up to standard so it never got posted. Having recently found a new video on YouTube, the time has come to find out what happens when robot songs and eating disorders collide.

Fat Truckers hail from Sheffield, a northern city with an industrial heart and an unsurpassed musical provenance. The Human League, Pulp, Richard Hawley, Heaven 17, Tony Christie, Arctic Monkeys, Chakk, Cabaret Voltaire, Joe Cocker (and son Jarvis), I Monster, Living in a Box, All Seeing I, LFO and many more all hailed from these industrial foothills of the Pennines. Some were good, some were great and many still are... but Fat Truckers didn't enjoy the success or longevity of some of their better known contemporaries. They didn't seem to last very long at all. One LP plus three singles adds up to a non-hit wonder... but that is of no concern. I don't care about chart success or how big a band's back catalogue is. One decent tune with a robotic theme is my sole concern, and this robot song bangs and clanks with the best of 'em. Taken from the 2003 LP 'The First Fat Truckers Album is for Sale', it's Anorexic Robot by Fat Truckers.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Do The Robot : The Saints

It's All Saints Day so what better reason to post something by The Saints, the antipodean punk pioneers who's debut single was released in September '76, making them the first 'punk' group outside the USA to release a single. The Saints are still active and are hailed as a major influence on the punk genre.

Do the Robot (AKA International Robots) is taken from their 1978 LP 'Eternally Yours', although it does appear as a bonus track on one re-issue of their 1977 debut album '(I'm) Stranded'. This is proper punk, not that 'shock your granny' punk-pop that the Sex Pistols sold us... enjoy!