Monday, 22 April 2019

Apostles - Will I Ever Be Free? (1985) C90


This probably wasn't the Apostles tape you were waiting for, but it's the one I'm posting. Sorry. I finally finished editing Fire in The Sky, deducing that my copy - bewilderingly recorded on a C180 and lasting three fucking hours - included side two twice, plus Visions of the End - the twenty-four minute industrial opera from the Strength Through Purity C60, which I also digitised just for the sake of checking it was the same version. I won't be sharing either publically because although they're otherwise decent tapes, both include material composed when Andy wasn't feeling very well, as he once put it, these being (for the record, seeing as the shitstorm is puzzlingly still pending regarding this material, and we might as well get it out of the way):

The Master Race - See, this was the first of these songs I actually heard, and it's very obviously taking the piss out of the bonehead community - kill your parents until they're dead, pogo on their fucking heads etc. etc. This was on Strength Through Purity which Andy gave me to put out on my own tape label, Do Easy, and with a big old swastika as the front cover. This made me feel massively uneasy about the undertaking but, given the sarcastic tone of The Master Race, I assumed it was simply Andy indulging in his characteristic leftie-baiting, or just trying to piss people off, or even testing me or something.

Rock Against Communism - Whilst I have no actual problem with the idea of presenting opposition to Communism, it probably depends on what you consider Communism to be, and if you consider Communism to be, for example, lesbian wholefood collectives and other things which annoy readers of the Daily Mail - notably socialism, then you can fuck off, quite frankly. I strongly suspect this one was named after the National Front's answer to Rock Against Racism, and I tell myself that this was Andy's sense of humour (a judgement I'm approximately qualified to make because I know the guy), more leftie-baiting, and an attempt to alienate fans of his own group (which has itself been a common theme over the years) even before we get onto the apparently Marxist, even Maoist tracks recorded by UNIT, Rock in Opposition etc., but even so, being as it's impossible to tell the difference between this song and the sort of shite once peddled by the likes of No Remorse (apart from being more tuneful), it isn't even an argument really worth having.

Stop the Rot - His nibs once told me that the title was originally a chant by a far right paper seller (probably National Front) he encountered in Brick Lane, I think it was - very obviously upper class, waving copies of his shitty rag around whilst trilling stop the rot! in the style of William Joyce. The thrust of Andy telling me this story was not how cool and awesome he thought the guy seemed, and so I've always assumed this one to be - as with the above - another horribly misjudged parody. The cover of Fire in the Sky contains all of the usual impassioned denouncements of racism, homophobia, and so on, but, you know...

Kill or Cure - Yeah, the homophobia - given that Andy is himself gay, and that only a complete fucking idiot could mistake Fucking Queer for anything homophobic, this one is a real dilly of a pickle tangled up with self-loathing and all manner of bipolar shit. I wouldn't even know where to start.

Too Much Confusion - Fire in the Sky's actual Skrewdriver cover version...

As I say, I've known Andy a long, long time, and I don't recall one single instance of him ever having cracked a racist joke, making a racist observation, or anything of the sort, and yet see above. All I can say in his defense is that he's a very complicated man too often let down by his own urge to piss people off, and regardless of the potential for any of these tracks to be no more than innocent parodies of something awful, I have no wish to be complicit in distributing them, so I won't be sharing either Fire in the Sky or Strength Through Purity. I ummed and ahhed over it, maybe figuring full-disclosure might be the best way to go, let people decide for themselves, free speech blah blah blah, but I've decided against it because I don't need the headache when I don't even like these shitty tracks (possibly excepting Master Race because it's funny), and there's already quite enough rightie toss in the world right now and I'd rather not add to it. If the term libtard or anything invoking political correctness as a pejorative crossed your thoughts whilst reading the above, please discontinue your existence. Thanks in advance.

Anyway...

This tape seems to come from the era during which the Apostles were getting quite popular, relatively speaking, and had taken to furnishing interested labels with what were essentially greatest hits collections, being unable to generate enough new material to give everyone their own original tape to release. Will I Ever Be Free? was the one that ended up on Trev Ward's label (and yet somehow I'm the bloke who gets the fucking swastika on the cover) and seems to be mostly material, or variations on material from the first couple of 7" EPs. Presumably superior quality versions of these tracks appear on the Apostles singles collection download which you should buy from the UNIT bandcamp page, but I figured I'd share this tape here because it seems to feature a couple of curiosities of mysterious origin which may not even be on the official download seeing as I don't know where they're from (Larry Peterson singing on Hello You Bastard for example) and because it doesn't seem to include any Jim Davidson covers, so far as I can tell...

Word of warning: the quality is a bit ropey, sounding something like a copy of a copy (nothing to do with me, I swear), but it sort of works as a record of its time. If, after reading the above, you're beginning to wonder what anyone ever saw in the Apostles, then give this a listen.


Tracks:
1 - After the Fact I
2 - After the Fact II
3 - After the Fact III
4 - The Curse
5 - Class War
6 - Proletarian Autonomy
7 - Hello Black Flag
8 - Alien Asian
9 - Skin Deep
10 - Blind Discrimination
11 - Kings Cross Etc.
12 - The Cripple's Radio Story
13 - 1985
14 - Pale Blue Eyes
15 - Hello You Bastard
16 - The Island
17 - Mob Violence
18 - Stumped
19 - The Innocent Bystander
20 - The Phoenix
21 - Mob Violence (part two)
22 - Swimming in the Sea of Life
23 - Libertarian Youth

 
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