Monday, 28 August 2017

v/a - Political Piggies (1984) C60

This was the first compilation put out by Trev Ward and Dave Padbury, then collectively known as Opera for Infantry. Opera for Infantry eventually morphed into the Grey Wolves and had a string of hits, as you'll probably remember, whilst simultaneously stirring up controversy of a general thrust implying they might actually subscribe to some of the extreme Fascist beliefs blasted forth in their music. Having met them a couple of times and spent at least a few years writing to Trev, I'm confident of this being complete bollocks, and clues as to why I might hold with such a conviction can be found here, a tape firmly rooted in the short-lived but fertile period of cross fertilisation occurring between weirdy electronics and the anarchopunk scene; and yes, I'm well aware of all that post-left green anarchist shite having been plopped out of the same arse, but that's something else entirely...

I think this was also the first compilation to which I was asked to contribute, so apologies for my tracks. Marginally less crackly versions can be found elsewhere on this blog if you're stupid enough to look for them. Anyway, it was massively exciting finding myself sharing ferric oxide with Nocturnal Emissions, Nurse With Wound and the Apostles, and I still say this was a fantastic genre-busting tape. You'll probably recognise a few of the names here, and I'm pretty sure the Nocturnal Emissions and Nurse With Wound tracks resurfaced elsewhere, although The Strange Life of August Strindberg was almost certainly an exclusive at the time. Steve Stapleton was known for his generosity when it came to tape labels no-one had heard of asking him for tracks. There's more by Anarchist Angels and Family Patrol Group elsewhere on this blog, if you want to check the index. There's more about Epidemic on the excellent Punky Gibbon site, and Alternative and the Destructors were pretty big names at one point so you should be able to find something about them if you look. Alternative released stuff on Crass, for example.

I suspect they may have been experiencing some technical difficulties at Anal Probe Tapes world headquarters when they were running off my copy of this tape, unless the fuck ups were on the master copy. The tracks varied in recording volume quite a bit so I've tried to bring the quieter ones up to the same level. Also there were a couple of instances of what sounds like a lead cutting out - first during Living a Lie, after which the track comes back much louder. I did some fucking about, raised the volume of the first verse, and copied the missing riff from later in the track so as to effect a repair, which is hopefully better than listening to the track with a few seconds silence just as the chorus kicks off. There was also a gap in the middle of Seen through Tear Stained Eyes, occurring during a sung passage ruling out the possibility of making a repair by copying anything from elsewhere in the song, so I've er... just copied and reversed a bit to at least make the screw up sound deliberate, which will probably make more sense if you listen to the thing.

1 - Nocturnal Emissions - Rabbits Don't Cry
2 -
Anarchist Angels - I Cry with Despair
3 - Destructors V - Urban Terrorist
4 - Do Easy - Waterside at 12
5 - Epidemic - Living a Lie
6 - White Elephants Over Jamaica - Adverts
7 - Alternative - Seen through Tear Stained Eyes
8 - Do Easy - Kick the Dwarf
9 - Epidemic - No Identity
10 - Family Patrol Group - Cronus
11 - Opera for Infantry - Resettlement
12 - Destructors V - Khmer Rouge Boogie
13 - The Cause for Concern - The Occasional Me and You
14 - Alternative - Caroline's Carnival
15 - Nurse With Wound - The Strange Life of August Strindberg
16 - The Apostles - The Phoenix

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  1. Marvelous, this'll get me through the week! Thank you!

  2. Just a heads up, I'm fairly certain that the recording of Seen Through Tear Stained Eyes is exactly the same version as the one on their LP on Corpus Christi. I'm only mentioning this since you went through the trouble of trying to make the track listenable. You could always dub the LP onto tape at a low volume and then make an mp3 of the tape if you wanted to capture the original atmosphere of the comp - ha!

    Either way, I love the blog! I've been trying to find some of this stuff for decades (especially all the early Grey Wolves/OFI stuff).