Anti-Nowhere League

Anti-Nowhere League

Formed: Tunbridge Wells, England, UK

Band Bio / Discography / Lineups

England's ultimate Fuck You band, the League (as they liked to be called) came from Royal Tunbridge Wells, a genteel spa town in the stockbroker belt, just south of London. Hardly be a hotbed of social disaffection, then, but obviously wretched enough to spawn these reprobates. (Actually, I've been there several times and it's a jolly nice place.)

The League were often lumped in with the hardcore crowd, which was more of a result of timing than musical style. Initially a four-piece, the group actually had good songs - in UK punk circles at the time that was a novelty in itself - and affected a super-macho, studs 'n' leathers biker image that made them stand out from the mohican-sporting contemporaries. They proved controversial and, partly because of this, extremely popular. But it was 'So What', more than any other, that earned them a place in the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Infamy, and a soft-spot in the heart of anybody who's heard it.

Anti-Nowhere League on the beach

Formed in 1979, their licentious, expletive-riddled songs and beer-swillin' antics made them pariahs. Their first studio recordings were in 1980, and can be heard on Out Of Control, released many years after the fact. Their notoriety grew when they appeared bottom of the bill on the legendary Apocalypse Tour in 1981, their confrontational attitude and hilarious songs overcoming serious musical incompetence. Their debut single Streets Of London (b/w 'So What') was banned under the obscene Publications Act, because of its extraordinarily rude B-Side. Unsold copies were ordered by magistrates to be burned. The A-Side, meanwhile, was famously described by that cunt Tony Blackburn as "the worst record ever made". It sold by the bucketful and even managed to scrape into the Top 50 of the proper charts all the same, as did the raging follow-up, I Hate...People.

Anti-Nowhere League - AnimalI HATE PEOPLE

God I wish that I could hide away
And find a wall to bang my brains
I'm living in a fantasy, a nightmare dream... reality
People ride about all day
In metal boxes made away
I wish that they would drop the bomb
And kill these cunts that don't belong

I hate people
I hate the human race
I hate people
I hate your ugly face
I hate people
I hate your fucking mess
I hate people
They hate me

My mother thinks that I am a jerk
Because I hate my bleeding work
Be like your daddy he's sincere
But don't be true... or you'll be queer
I'm working at my 9 to 5
with boring cunts that give me jibe
their talking of the love they give
they never give... they never give

SO WHAT

So fucking what!

Well I've been to Hastings
And I've been to Brighton
I've been to Eastbourne too
So what, so what

Well I've been here
And I've been there
And I've been every fucking where
So what, so what

So what, so what you boring little cunt
Well who cares, who cares what you do
Who cares, who cares about you
You, you, you

Well I've sucked sweets
And I've sucked rock
And I've even sucked an old man's cock
So what, so what

Well I've fucked a sheep
And I've fucked a goat
I've had my cock right down its throat

Well I've drunk that
And I've drunk this
And I've spewed up on a pint of piss
So what, so what

And I've had scag
I've had speed
I've jacked up until I bleed

And I've had lice
And I've had the pox and that ain't nice
So what, so what

Well I've fucked this
And I've fucked that
And I've even fucked a schoolgirl's crack

Anti-Nowhere LeagueAnti-Nowhere League - MagooAnti-Nowhere League - Animal

Their third single, Woman only just made it into the Top 75. Here they had recorded a heavily censored (and consequently de-fanged) version of this, one of their most notorious numbers, suggesting that a desire for chart success would be a chink in their armour. Nonetheless, the full, unexpurgated version appeared on the mighty We Are...The League. A strong case could be made for it as the British punk album of the 80s, as they have the tunes to go with the lyrics. It was, of course, ban end immediately and withdrawn from sale. One track, 'Animal', in particular was singled out for attention and when the LP re-appeared later that year it had been replaced with a "softer" version.

WE'RE THE LEAGUE

We are the League!

Another boring night and I'm feeling pissed
My head's fucked up and I'm in a mess
Too many drugs, they make me high
I wanna cause havoc, I wanna die

We are the League, and we're the extra man
We are the League, and we are the anti-band
And don't you say you're feeling bored
The League are here and we are scorned

We are the League
We are the League
We are the League
The Anti-Nowhere League

You criticise us, you say we're shit
But we're up here and we're doing it
So don't you criticise the things we do
No fucker pays to go and see you

We are the League and we are mad
We are the League and the music's bad
Fuck-up noise like you've never known
We'll make you wish you'd stayed at home

But we ain't no dogs, we hate the man
We hate the things we don't understand
A time for love, but that ain't class
If you don't fucking like it stuff it up your arse

We are the League and we are mean
We are the League and we're obscene
Don't give a toss what you think
And all your views they fucking stink

We are the League
We are the League
We are the League
And don't fuck with the League!

Anti-Nowhere LeagueAnti-Nowhere League

ANIMAL

Hello Mrs Shaw
Could I borrow your lawnmower?

Or parts of your body
Why? Why me?
Why am I so lonely?

I'm an animal
I'm a sexual pervert, an animal
A living abortion
I'm an animal, nobody's hero
An animal, I'm your next door neighbour

Everybody hates me
Why am I so ugly?

I'm an animal
I'm a sexual pervert, an animal
I'm a living abortion
I'm an animal, I'm nobody's hero
I'm an animal, I'm your next door neighbour

Everybody scorns me
My wife - she doesn't know me

Everybody shuns me
Why am I so dirty?

I dream of naked ladies leaping over me
I like peeping through holes in public lavatories
Domineering women in thigh-high boots
Tying me up, whipping me!

Somebody help me!
I've lost my sanity

No sex for me!
You, you made me
You scorned my body
You degraded me
You twisted my mind
You made me unkind
You fed on my cravings
You persecuted me
You don't understand
You!

WORLD WAR IIII

We talk of stories yesterday
Of how we worked and never played
How that things were better then
when lads were lads... and men were men
your history means nothing now
it never meant much any how
all your crying is in vain
your gonna die in screaming pain...pain...pain...pain

Let's roll on world war III
Were burning the rubbish of society
roll on world war III
Your gonna burn with me...

This world is but you are small
Your words are meanless most of all
All you do is criticise
of how your better in your eyes
Well don't you know that your all kids
your kids grew up... you never did
all your crying is in vain
your gonna die in screaming pain...pain...pain...pain

So we talk of stories yesterday
Of how we worked and never played
How that things were better then
When lads were lads... and men were men
Well don't you know that your all kids
Your kids grew up... you never did
Only little time will tell
I'll see you bastards all in hell...hell...hell...hell

Burn rubbish...burn rubbish...burn...burn...burn...burn

Anti-Nowhere League - Punk Lives Article Part 1Anti-Nowhere League - Punk Lives Article Part 2

ABOVE: Article from Punk Lives magazine. Click on images for larger vesrions

Anti-Nowhere League - Punk Lives Article Part 1Anti-Nowhere League - Punk Lives Article Part 1

ABOVE: Another article (and a cringy poster) from Punk Lives magazine. Click on images for larger vesrions

Anti-Nowhere League in 1982

The band expanded to a five-piece later that year with the addition of a second guitarist, Gilly. Emboldened by increased levels of musicianship and sophistication, the excellent For You single gave birth to their social conscience, displaying impressively sustained power over two terrific songs. (Both A- and B-Side were written about one of their friends, who died in the Falklands).

FOR YOUAnti-Nowhere League - Punk Lives Inside Leg

For you...I shall give

We laugh..but no-one's laughing
We kiss..and no-one cares
So we shout..but no-one's listening
So we live..like no-one dares

For you - I'll be your soldier
For you - I'll bury friends
For you - I'll be your saviour
For you - I'll play and pretend

So we laugh..but no-one's laughing
And we kiss..but no-one cares
So we shout..but no-one's listening
So we live..like no-one dares

So we cry..but now you're laughing
So we hate..but now who cares
So we shout..but now you're listening
So we'll die..and you won't care

THE BALLAD OF J.J. DECAY

Well, gather around now, you boys and listen to the man
He says we've fought divided but united we will stand
We'll sacrifice the older ones, they're living in the past
We'll burn up their religions and we'll all be free at last

We'll put a hat upon his head and then we'll call him God
And then we'll share our health in him like peas do in a pod
This is the story of a man with a future in his head
But no one ever listens to him when he's dead

We're all getting older
The light is on and bolder
We're all getting older, decay

We'll follow him throughout the land obeying his command
We'll dance a sort of hatred that we think we understand
The children came a-running from their houses of decay
And laid the trust upon a fool who found a better way

He preach the words of wisdom with his hands and with his mouth
Then everyone believed him and then he believed himself
This is the story of a man with a future in his head
But no one ever listens to him when he's dead

This morning I had another talk
With the German chancellor, Herr Hitler
Here is the paper which bears
His name upon it as well as mine

We regard the agreement signed last night
As symbolic of the desire of our two peoples
Never to go to war with one another again

We're all getting older
The light is on and bolder
We're all getting older, decay

The year had come and gone and everyone began to see
Why did we follow such a fool in such a mindless way?
Let's turn our hatred to this man, we know he's just a fraud
We crucify him with the rest and find another God

How many times have you heard someone is coming here to say
That from your hell on earth that you will love until your grave
This is the story of a man with nothing in his head
And no one's gonna listen to you when you're dead

It wasn't until November 1983 that the band were heard of once more, with Live in Yugoslavia filling a gap left open when their second studio album, provisionally entitled Branded, was dropped at the demo stage.

Their final studio single of the decade, Out On The Wasteland, showed them moving towards a stadium rock sound whilst building on their new image (bikers meets Mad Max). Anti-Nowhere League - Yugoslavia Chaos

With no new product, Long Live The League! was trundled out, thus becoming the first of too many compilations, and when the band returned in 1987 Magoo was gone and a new drummer was in place. The Perfect Crime's stab at maturity turned their fan base away so successfully that they had to split soon after. If their fans were unprepared for the expansive arrangements, use of keyboards and proper singing, lyrics such as this really took them by surpirse:

Here's to the future
To a future we may never see
Here's to the brave new world
May we live in harmony

- Johannesburg

Although not nearly as entertaining as their lunk-headed pure abuse material, the LP was still pretty good, despite Animal's assertion that:

"By the mid 80's we were fucked up!! And pissed off with the music scene, due to either drink or drugs, I can't remember which, we started writing some tame songs - 'Queen And Country', 'Summer Days' and 'Westside' and when we finally dsappeared up our own arseholes we came out with 'On The Waterfront'. This made us call it a day".

A farewell live EP, Fuck Around The Clock, came out in 1989, commemorating their (first) farewell gig with only passable sound but plenty of gusto. They reunited for a one-off gig in 1989 (commemorated on the rubbish Live And Loud!!) and disbanded again.

However, in amongst what seemed like a zillion repackages of their old material on CD, Metallica decided to cover 'So What' at Wembley, Animal was invited to guest, and, buoyed by this newfound fame and the lure of more beer/drug money, they reformed in 1993, and have been gigging and recording ever since. Although this material leaves something to be desired, they remain popular.

DISCOGRAPHY

Singles / Albums

Anti-Nowhere League - Streets Of London Anti-Nowhere League - I Hate... People Anti-Nowhere League - We Are...The League Anti-Nowhere League - Woman The Anti-Nowhere League - For You
Streets Of London
(7", 1981)
I Hate...People
(7", 1982)
We Are...The League (LP, 1982)
Woman (7", 1982)
For You (7", 1982)
Anti-Nowhere League - Live In Yugoslavia The Anti-Nowhere League - Out On The Wasteland The Anti-Nowhere League - The Perfect Crime Anti-Nowhere League - Pig Iron Anti-Nowhere League - Scum
Live In Yugoslavia
(LP, 1983)
Out On The Wasteland
(7"/12", 1984)
The Perfect Crime
(LP, 1987)
Pig Iron
(10"/CDS, 1996)
Scum (CD, 1997)
Anti-Nowhere League - Return To Yugoslavia Kings & Queens Anti-Nowhere League - Pig Iron - The Album Anti-Nowhere League - The Road To Rampton Anti-Nowhere League - This Is War
Return To Yugoslavia (CD, live, 1998)
Kings And Queens (CD, 2005)
Pig Iron - The Album (CD, 2006)
The Road To Rampton (CD, 2007) This Is War (7", 2011)
Anti-Nowhere League / The Damn GarrisonSplit 7"        
Anti-Nowhere League / The Damn Garrison
(7", split, 2014)
       

Extraneous Releases

Anti-Nowhere League - Anti-Nowhere League 12" Anti-Nowhere League - Long Live The League! Anti-Nowhere League - Fuck Around The Clock Anti-Nowhere League - Fuck Around The Clock Anti-Nowhere League - Live And Loud!!
Anti-Nowhere League (12", 1982) Long Live The League!
(LP/CD, 1985)
We Are...The League / Live In Yugoslavia (2xLP, 1987) Fuck Around The Clock (12", 1989) Live And Loud!!
(LP/CD, 1990)
Anti-Nowhere League - We Are...The League / Live In Yugoslavia 2xLP Anti-Nowhere LEague - Twofer Anti-Nowhere League - The Best Of Anti-Nowhere League Anti-Nowhere League - Live Animals Anti-Nowhere League - Complete Singles Collection
We Are...The League / Live In Yugoslavia (2xLP, twofer, 1990) Live In Yugoslavia / The Perfect Crime
(CD, twofer, 1992)
The Best Of The Anti-Nowhere League
(CD, 1992)
Live Animals
(CD, 1994)
Complete Singles Collection (CD, 1995)
Anti-Nowhere League - The Horse Is Dead Anti-Nowhere League - Live: So What? Anti-Nowhere League - Anthology Anti-Nowhere League - Out Of Control Anti-Nowhere League - So What
The Horse Is Dead
(CD, 1996)
Live: So What?
(CD, reissue of The Horse Is Dead, 1999)
Anthology
(2xCD, 1999)
Out Of Control
(CD, 2000)
So What (CD, 2000)
Anti-Nowhere League - Punk Singles & Rarities 1981-84 Anti-Nowhere League - Animal! - The Very Best Of The Anti-Nowhere League 1981-1998 Anti-Nowhere League - So What?: Early Demos And Live Abuse Anti-Nowhere League - Secret Radio Recordings Anti-Nowhere League - The Punk Rock Anthology
Punk Singles & Rarities 1981 - 1984 (CD/2xLP, 2001) Animal! - The Very Best Of The Anti-Nowhere League 1981-1998
(CD, 2001)
So What?: Early Demos And Live Abuse
(2xCD, 20/06)
Secret Radio Recordings
(CD, 2007)
The Punk Rock Anthology (2xCD, 2008)
Anti-Nowhere League - We Are...The League / Live In Yugoslavia Anti-Nowhere League - We Are...The League ....Uncut Anti-Nowhere League - For You (CD+DVD)    
We Are...The League / Live In Yugoslavia (2xCD, twofer, 2009) We Are...The League ... Uncut
(LP/CD, 2014)
For You
(CD+DVD, 2015)
   

Promos

       
Anti-Nowhere League - Crime Promo        
Crime (12", 1987)        

Various Artists


A totally incomplete list at the moment, folks

Punky Party E.P. UK 7"-flexi 1982 (Lyntone); World War III (Live)

Apocalypse Punk Tour 1981 UK CD 1992 (Dojo Limited): We Are The League / Animal / I Hate People

Blank Generation - The History Of Punk - Volume 2 UK CD 1992 (Old Gold): Streets Of London

The Great British Punk Rock Explosion Volume 2 UK CD 1992 (Streetlink): Streets Of London / For You

Burning Ambitions - A History Of Punk Vol. 2 UK CD 1993 (Anagram): So What

The Punk Generation UK 4xCD 1995 (Castle Communications): Let's Break The Law / For You

Links

Anti-Nowhere League - The Official Website

The ANL on Wikipedia

ANL on Punkrockers.com

IRS page

 

 

 

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