Teenage Punk Rockers

This site explores the punk culture as it was in 1977 England. We were teenage punk rockers that wrote a fanzine and formed a garage band.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Bombsite Fanzine 1977; XTC & The Table Eric's

Eric's August 13th 1977 ; First up tonight were The Table from Cardiff, Wales, best known for their 1977 single "Do The Standing Still". They consisted of Russell Young (vocals, guitar, keyboards, bass), Tony Barnes (guitars, bass), Len Lewis (drums) and Mickey O'Connor (guitars). Russell Young and Tony Barnes had been performing together since 1971 in the band John Stabber, and formed "Do You Want This Table" in 1972. However, they did not own any instruments, refused to tour, and stated that they weren't a "real" band and had no future in music. Despite this, they were signed to Virgin Records and released the single "Do The Standing Still, first recorded as a demo in 1975. The record became an NME Single Of The Week, and became a cult favorite, and subsequently appeared on several punk compilations. Record company pressure saw them reluctantly become a live act. However, their uncompromising stance led to disagreements with Virgin, and they left,signing to Chiswick Records in 1978 and releasing a second single, "Sex Cells". The band ceased to exist after several line-up changes and a policyof playing increasingly distasteful material. Russell Young's later band, Flying Colours, released a single, "Abstract Art", on "No Records" in 1981.

As we left The Grape's we noted an equipment trailer outside the club. XTC's recording unit was set up on Matthew Street. This was interesting stuff for us. Expensive equipment sitting in a back ally in Liverpool during the late 70's was rare. And usually would not last long.

Virgin had beat out Island and EMI to sign XTC, and the band wanted to be recorded live via their mobile truck. Eric's would be the first live taping of this unknown band. Formed back in 1971 or 1972 they could not shake off the hippy branding with the Liverpool punks. We never really understood XTC, they kind of sledded in on the Punk rock wave, and then sailed off into a jingly jangly poppy future.

Early XTC Video it is a pity that the energy did not make it onto the vinyl ...

Recently, I was walking around a discount store in Toledo. They were playing The Boomtown Rats and XTC on a loop through the store. It was like some cheap TV commercial music. XTC were pretty good live, but very ordinary and forgettable and did not fight for their spot in music.

The live recording from this night at Eric's is still available on the "A Coat of Many Cupboards" box set. The keyboard broke down during the performance and started to emit a gargling sound. The roadies gave it a hammering but no good, so they switched to a piano for the duration of the performance. Later XTC commented "Every time we played Eric's two individuals would turn
up, one would shout 'John The Postman' in the gaps between the songs and the other, even more mystifyingly, would bellow 'bromide, get into bromide'. You can hear this on the recording. It was most likely the best part of the album.

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