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Thursday, 22 January 2015

Alphabet Beats #022: The Letter D is for...Disco Zombies

D is for...

Disco Zombies

2nd Pressing Cover (I think!)

From Acute Records:

The Disco Zombies should rank high in the pantheon of legendary English DIY punk bands, but a frustrating career of bad timing, record label mismanagement and three terrific singles slipping through the cracks have kept them in the shadows.

Formed in 1977, the Disco Zombies were Leicester’s greatest punk band, but the single that might have shot them to the top of the pops was scrapped—through no fault of their own—at the last possible minute.
Still hopeful, they moved to London and prepared for stardom. They recorded and released the John Peel favorite “Drums Over London” themselves, a song whose satire may have been too subtle for the masses.
One more single—an artier affair with a drum machine and DIY atmosphere—was released. Three more aborted records followed and more songs, only ever played live, were heard by increasingly fewer people as the punk dream gave way.
But now, at long last, The Disco Zombies—a great pop band with catchy hooks, witty lyrics and infectious energy—can be appreciated by the rest of us. Available for the first time since their release, The Disco Zombies’ three classic, collectible singles, coupled with seven bonus unreleased tracks, are featured on the new Acute Records compilation LP Drums Over London. In addition, the digital download contains a complete live set including five more songs not recorded or heard anywhere else, as well as some choice covers that will prove the Disco Zombies are more than another forgotten punk rock hard-luck story.

 Personal Memories

 Original Gatefold Artwork for the 'Drums Over London' South Circular Records 1979 Single.

I used to go to a record store called Counterpoint Records in London Road, Forest Hill SE23. Counterpoint became a hangout for many of us young punks and when we bunked off school we could be found in the shop pestering Andy Ross to play us new music, many times he obliged. 

His band the Disco Zombies, were the first band that I was ever a roadie for (I have some fond memories of a few of those shows) and when their 2nd release - Drums Over London - came out myself and a few others of the Forest Hill Punk gang helped Andy Ross get it ready for sale by stamping the labels of the record (see pictures below) and folding the sleeves and even taking a trip to Rough Trade Records to help distribute the single and of course get product to bring back to be sold at Counterpoint! All of this was done when we should have been at school! But hey, we didn't care, it was fun being part of the D.I.Y. culture and helping out a mate.

For the record singer Dave Henderson went on to become a fine Music Journalist, writing for Sounds and Mojo (and no doubt many more). Andy Ross went on to release another single as The Steppes on South Circular called 'The Beat Drill', was also a music hack for awhile and the last we heard of him he went on to form Food Records and gave some little band called Blur a chance!

Not totally sure what Music Paper this chart was from (it might have been Sounds) but interesting to see that 'Drums Over London' is sitting pretty at #12

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