SkullAnti-Pasti

Formed: Derby, Derbyshire, England, UK

Band Bio / Discography / Lineups

The new Clash, somebody said, apparently. The new Epileptics, more like.

Anti Pasti - The Last Call PosterThese Derbyshire 3rd-wavers were massively popular between 1980-1982, lagging only slightly behind The Exploited, G.B.H. and Discharge in terms of sales and leather-jacket endorsements. This did not, of course, mean they were a great band. Sure, they had a few decent songs: the charming 'No Government' (from their self-released Four Sore Points... EP in 1980), the almost passable 'Another Dead Soldier' (despite its 'Teenage Kicks' riff) and the powerful 'Six Guns' were their best efforts. The rest was, at best, average, but the group's rudimentary attack - a chainsaw-raw guitar blaze and unpretentious drumming - made them a definite cut above the likes of, say, Vice Squad.

The most you could say about this lot's records is that they had good sleeves, and their lyrics, although clumsy, were more slightly interesting than most of their peers. Other things in their favour? They had one of the best names for any punk band.

And there was always something likeable about them, even when they were at their worst. They had honesty. And weirdly, every time I play their records, the more I like them. The Last Call... is steadily becoming one of my favouyrite LPs.

Their obsession with war was legendary, although they didn't bleat about it half as much as Discharge did. As singer Martin Roper told Punk Lives fanzine in 1982: "We've always written about things that mean a lot to us at the time. Conscription is a big threat at the moment, so to us it's something well worth writing about. You can see it coming, there are three million or more unemployed and something's eventually got to be done with all those people. We'll be the first to go, kids of our age. All we can do is make people aware of the facts from our songs and hope they'll make their own minds up - or at least realise the dangers."

Their debut EP 'Four Sore Points...' earned some press coverage for a re-working of The Stooges' '1970' ('1980') and a song called 'Two Years Too Late' which they had either stolen from The Epileptics and passed off as their own, or had been given permission to record. Either way, they didn't credit it to The Epileptics. The standout cut was, however, 'No Government', a pretty good song with some amusing lyrics:

Anti Pasti - Band in 1981NO GOVERNMENT

You're paying for your majesty
She's having fun
She don't join the army
And she don't get a gun
You're paying for your civvies
Now what are they for?
They never count the killings
Hiroshima '84
Brew your own it's about to ferment
No Maggie Thatcher and No Government

And 'Something New' made a valiant attempt to capture the mind set of young punks playing rock 'n' roll:

SOMETHING NEW

People in the know
Look for something new
When we started out
We didn't know what to do
Should we go around
Saying we're not the same
We're really only in it for personal gain

Musically it doesn't matter what you do
People in the know
Now look out for something new
With something new
It doesn't matter what you play
Lyrically it doesn't matter what you say

Take a little listen to the John Peel show
This week is industrial if you'd like to know
Something's on this evening on the outskirts of town
I think they're worth watching but you just fucking frown

Martin Roper, Punk Lives, 1982: We cover quite a range of subjects, but we're not political in an aggressive sense. We just sing about things that bother us and make us think. The lyrics might not be our strongest point, but it's the ideas behind them that matter most.

Signing to Rondelet, they released a second single Let Them Free and in August a long-player, The Last Call... Both releases were chocka with ultra-basic, no-production conveyer belt punk, although at least they had a bit of character, with the former chucking a keyboard into the mix. T

They toured with The Exploited, Anti-Nowhere League, Chron Gen and other hardcore types on the Apocalypse Tour in 1981. 'The Last Call...' even encroached into the national charts, peaking at 31. Lyrically, they were still in the strange-but-not-very-good camp:

TRUTH AND JUSTICECrotch design

Is that what you call human power?
Is that what you call human rights?
Fear and hatred is that your judgment
Free us all from the night

All they want is truth and justice
All they want is you to care
Free all prisoners that's your statement
Free all prisoners everywhere

Let's not watch them die tomorrow
Let's not watch them die tonight
Fear and hatred is that your judgment
Free us all from the night

Another murder on the tele
Free us all from the night
Fear and hatred is that your judgment
Free us all from the night

1981 was played out with a tour of the United States and another tour in Blighty, and the release of their best record thus far, the Six Guns 7", which was better produced and demonstrated signs of song-writing progression. Unfortunately for them, time was running out.

The poorly received follow-up album Caution In The Wind saw them attempting to move beyond hardcore punk's simple parameters and failing. They may have had the ambition but they still lacked the ability to write genuinely good songs. Two singles were lifted off the record: the second of these (the title track) came out the same week that Martin Roper was fired. Although the rest soldiered on without him for a while, it obviously wasn't the same and they knocked it on the head in early '84.

The Punk Singles catches the band at its strongest, i.e. avoiding the drudgery of album tracks and including a handful of superior cuts: 'Last Train To Nowhere' recalls the rock force of The Professionals.

DISCOGRAPHY

Singles / Albums

Anti-Pasti - Four Sore Points.... Anti-Pasti - Let Them Free Anti-Pasti - The Last Call.... Anti-Pasti - Six Guns Anti-Pasti - East To The West
Four Sore Points...
(7", 1980)
Let Them Free
(7", 1981)
The Last Call...
(LP, 1981)
Six Guns (7", 1981)
East To The West
(7", 1982)
Anti-Pasti - Caution In The Wind LP Anti-Pasti - Caution In The Wind  7"      
Caution In The Wind (LP, 1982) Caution In The Wind (7", 1982)      

Extraneous Releases

Anti-Pasti - Live At The Lyceum 24th May 1981 The Exploited / Anti-Pasti - Don't Let 'Em Grind You Down Anti-Pasti - Anti-Pasti Anti-Pasti - The Best Of Anti-Pasti Anti-Pasti - No Government: The Best Of
Live At The Lyceum 24th May 1981
(Tape, 1981)
Don't Let Them Grind You Down (7", split with The Exploited, 1981) Anti-Pasti
(LP, 1983)
The Best Of Anti-Pasti (CD, 1996) No Government: The Best Of (CD, 1996)
Anti-Pasti - The Punk Singles        
The Punk Singles
(CD, 1998)
       

Various Artists

Back-Stage Pass UK LP 1980 (Supermusic): No Government

The Only Alternative UK LP 1982 (Rondelet): No Government / Let Them Free / Six Guns

Burning Ambitions (A History Of Punk) UK 2xLP 1982 (Cherry Red): No Government

Apocalypse Punk Tour 1981 France CD 1992 (Link): Another Dead Soldier / Two Years Too Late / Wanna Be Your Dog

Rondelet: The Punk Singles Collection UK CD 1995 (Anagram): No Government / Two Years Too Late / Another Dead Soldier / Six Guns / East To The West / Caution In The Wind

UK/DK - The Original Soundtrack UK CD 1995 (Anagram): No Government

God Save The Queen 3xLP 1996 (Dressed To Kill): Another Dead Soldier

Links

MYSPACE Fan page
WIKIPEDIA - Anti-Pasti page
UK82 - Anti-Pasti page

 

 

You can add stuff and make comments/corrections by emailing me at:

jane@punkygibbon.co.uk

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