Monday, 25 April 2016

Academy 23 - Live in Hackney and Chatham (1995) C90

If you've bothered to click on this link then you probably already know who Academy 23 were, thus saving me the effort of repeating myself. If not, then I refer you to this previous entry or have a look at the Apostles page on the excellent Punky Gibbon site, and I'm sure you'll be able to piece it all together somehow. This tape comprised the first two gigs with myself playing guitar, although I think Dave and Andy had played a gig as Academy 23 somewhere in Scotland prior to this. Anyway, this was the line up of the band which eventually transmogrified into UNIT, and these songs were our set for a year or so - some of our own stuff, a few Apostles numbers tarted up with new lyrics, a Death In June cover (to which usual terms and conditions apply) and At the Academy which someone told me is actually a King Crimson number with the plates switched, although I never really cared enough about King Crimson to bother finding out.

The first gig was at the part of the hospital in which both Andy and (I think) Robert Dellar were working as part of Hackney Patients' Council, possibly, so about half of the audience were there because they had been sectioned. They seemed to appreciate the effort anyway, and whilst technically we were probably a bit ropey, it all seemed to go well enough. I think Robert Dellar wrote a little bit about it in his excellent Splitting in Two, which you can buy from this place and I highly recommend. The only problem was my apparent decision to record the gig by placing the tape recorder inside Pete's drum kit, so the tape may bear closer resemblance to early Test Department performances than it really should, although the numbers without drums came out okay, I guess. 

The recording of the Chatham gig wasn't much better, originally sounding like I'd stuffed the recording microphone down the back of the pub sofa, but I've managed to clean it up a bit on Audacity. I tried the same with the Hackney recording but there was just no rescuing the music from behind Pete's wall of percussion, unfortunately. The Chatham gig was odd and uncomfortable for reasons I've whined about at great length here and which I don't care to rake over any further, but we played all right, I thought, and the tape sounds decent now that I've cleaned it up a bit, or at least it does to me (even despite my singing on a couple of numbers). Annoyingly, we got carried away with our determination to piss off our host by playing for as long as he had originally said we could play and went over time, meaning the last four hours worth of At the Academy were missed off the tape. I've faded it at the end so it doesn't sound like we screwed up, and eight minutes of the thing should be enough for anyone. There are a load of photos taken from the Chatham gig (along with other band pics) here if you need something to look at whilst listening to this stuff.

Hackney Hospital 18/12/94:

1 - The Quantum Quickstep
2 - Alien Nation
3 - Cam Ye O'er Frae France
4 - King's Cross Etc.
5 - Pagga in Pilton
6 - The Patient
7 - We Are the Lust
8 - Look Into the Sky
9 - Willie MacKintosh
10 - At the Academy
11 - Mob Violence

Churchill's, Chatham 10/2/95:

12 - The Quantum Quickstep
13 - We Are the Lust
14 - Cam Ye O'er Frae France
15 - Look Into the Sky 
16 - King's Cross Etc.
17 - Pagga in Pilton
18 - The Stranger
19 - The Patient
20 - Alien Nation 
21 - At the Academy

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