Cherry Red add to their sterling series of comprehension genre selections with this fresh rendering of early Independent UK Punk numbers. I’m confessing to personal involvement with the era playing bass in the initial incarnation of The Defects around the time that Belfast’s Good Vibrations records store plus label was in full swing, and it’s timely to hear the inclusions from back then by The Outcasts – Greg Cowan’s crowning glory bassline: Just Another Teenage Rebel – and Rudi’s perfect antidote to what it all became: Big Time. The title of the compilation is gleaned from Alternative TV’s dead-pan yet catchy single of the same name and what’s so breath-taking here is the sheer wealth of energy and intense commitment to some sort of belief in ourselves. In reflection perhaps it may all sound a bit naive, or crass even, through todays more cyclical (self-centred) glance but for anyone who loves this music so many of these songs still strike that chord. Funny, I thought this would all now feel terribly dated but in fact the opposite is true. It sounds even more vital, more real given today’s fantasy society of glitz and false credit. There is of course an obvious parallel to be drawn today between Punk’s picking up a guitar and saying something with it and by contemporary readily available electronics – creating something exciting then sharing the idea. Meanwhile, Action Time Vision provides a fascinating, pointed contrast to the first blaze of synthesizer inspired noises also coming out of the UK in the later seventies via Cherry Red’s equally important compilation: Close To The Noise Floor. I guess that’s all simply down to attitude? And that’s where and when the story got all the more interesting for me as new musical possibilities blended with the thought processes’ offered by Punk.
PS. Kris Needs supplies an excellent, indespensable 64 page spread of all you need to know.
Release: December 9