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Zounds / Yorkshire Rats / Spinner Fall @ The Jericho Tavern, Oxford
Saturday 18 April 2015, 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm
£6.50 (advance) / £8.50 (door)
The homecoming of legendary anarcho-punk / post-punk band Zounds. Originally formed in the late 1970s in Berkshire, the band could be found playing regularly in Oxford’s music venues at that time. They met up with fellow anarchists Crass when, legend has it, their van broke down on the road. They made their way to nearby Dial House, where Crass were based, who helped them with repairs. The two bands became friends, and although musically very divergent, they shared many common political views. They released their first EP, Can’t Cheat Karma, on the Crass Records label in 1981. The EP featured possibly their most well-known track ‘Subvert’, a call to arms against the grind of daily life. The release of this EP and association with Crass led to an increase in the band’s profile in the embryonic Anarcho-punk scene, touring with both Crass and the Poison Girls, as well as performing several squat gigs in West Berlin. Zounds recorded and released their first album The Curse of Zounds also in 1981, recording and mixing the LP within five days. The cover art, by anarchist artist Clifford Harper, featured a painting of firefighters apparently trying to put out a blaze at the Houses of Parliament in Westminster. However, the picture continued onto the back cover, which showed that in fact they are spraying the fire with petrol, thus feeding it. The band split up in late 1982, but reformed in 2007 Zounds with founder member Steve Lake recruited who Paul O’Donnell (bass) and Paul Gilbert (drums) from The Evil Presleys, a “primal rock n roll” band that they were in together (with guitarist Andy Parker). In 2011, they completed a new album, The Redemption Of Zounds, and have been playing select dates in Europe and UK ever since and this is their first time back in Oxford since reforming.
Yorkshire Rats are a high energy punk’n’roll band from the north of England, their songs are infused with social issues and points of view of life in the UK. They blast out tales of frustration and woe and this band can make the most depressing of struggles seem almost superficial. A cocktail of thundering drums, motown-esk bass, a wall of guitars and socially charged lyrics.
Spinner Fall deliver an intensely turbulent noise that somehow marries shoegaze glissando with a post-punk brittleness and a throat-shreddingly hectoring vocal delivery that can variously remind you of Ride, Husker Du and The Fall, all at the same time. They’ve also had comparisons to Fugazi, Killing Joke and Gang of Four.