The Destructors, Peterborough

The Destructors, Peterborough

Formed: Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, England, UK

Band Bio / Lineups / Discography

The Destructors, Peterborough

Years before he achieved a measure of international fame as guitarist with The Prodigy, Gizz Butt - or (presumably) Graham to his parents - was the talented one in The Destructors, an occasionally fondly remembered band from what could loosely be called the third wave of punk (the first being the Pistols etc and the second being the U.K. Subs etc). Their first couple of EPs were sunk by a combination of appalling production and some of the worst drumming ever committed to tape, with the Senseless Violence, EP managing to be a level or two lower than your average Riot City dross. Anybody’s who’s listened to any of the Bullshit Detector albums should have some idea of what to expect, especially if they owned the second one, because that includes a Destructors ditty, 'Agent Orange', which is just nondescript tin pot punk.

The Destructors, PeterboroughThe Destructors, Peterborough

ABOVE: Press courtesy of Gizz (thank you), and a photo of the 16-year-old Gizz.

You can read a detailed band history of the Destructors on Wikipedia, but I'll sum up their career briefly by saying that the original Destructors existed between 1977 and 1978 and morphed into The Blanks, who recorded The Northern Ripper in 1979.

The Blanks then morphed into a new lineup of The Destructors, bolstered by new guitarist Butt.

Gizz Butt, Burning Britain: The first bands I played in were The Exits, Berserk, and then The Maniacs, but my first real gigging band was The System. It was around 1980, and we used to hire out local community centres and put on our own shows. We pulled an army of punks from the region and supported The Destructors in one of their earliest lineups a couple of times. And it was at a legendary local gig where The System played a venue called the Gladstone Arms that the members of the Destructors were in the audience and approached me to to join the band. It was very exciting, being a fourteen year-old kid in a band of fully-grown punk men. The first jam was revealing. I couldn't believe how shit they were musically! I was showing them how to play their own stuff!

Over the next four years the band released seven singles (if you include the Electronic Church freebie) and three albums (one of them live), most of which were not very good, although as they seemed to improve with every release it looks like they might eventually have become a good band.

Neil Singleton, Burning Britain: I can honestly say that I didn't think we ever made a really good record! They never ever lived up to our live shows; we were so much better on stage. Even when the band was going I never really listened to our own records - by the time we'd spent all night recording, I was sick of them!

Allen Adams, Film, 1983: When the Destructors originally started we just set out to be sensational and obnoxious.

The Destructors, PeterboroughThe Destructors, Peterborough

ABOVE: From Punk Lives Issue 9, and Neil in action in 1983.

Their most famous release was the Jailbait! 7", a tune with a memorable, naggingly insistent lead guitar riff, which was plucked from obscurity to reach a much larger audience as part of the Punk And Disorderly III - The Final Solution compilation: "Underage, underage, underage sex. That's. What. I. Want". The drumming was still piss-poor, however.

Gizz Butt, Burning Britain: The Destructors' drummer was really hopeless, and could only play a fast straight 4/4 beat, which made every song sound almost like 'Shout!' There were times when we sounded like The Stooges with a country and Western drummer; the guy was dismally weak. Neil's vocal style was pretty laid back too, and he was definitely on his own. He did have a kind of Iggy Pop thing about him...minus the schlong!

The Destructors, PeterboroughThe Destructors, Peterborough

Armageddon In Action sidestepped the production problem by being a live effort, and as they were better live than in the studio is probably their best release. Having said that, the 6-song 12" Cry Havoc And Unleash The Dogs Of War actually showed improvement on both the drumming and the production front, especially on the title track, and side two contained two really good songs, 'Bodybags' and 'Khmer Rouge Boogie'.

A Final Testament: Bomb Hanoi Bomb Saigon Bomb Disneyland is a compilation drawing on their first two singles and a bunch of alternate versions.

The group imploded in 1984, with Gizz forming the short-lived The Desecrators before joining the English Dogs, which he steered into a heavy metal direction.

Gizz Butt, Burning Britain: There was never any money and my gear was crap; we were quite popular but Neil wanted to move from the area and our friendships were fraught, even though Alan was once my best friend. I enjoyed being with the band and I gave it my all, but it was never gong to be ideal because musically it was so weak!

Neil Singleton, Burning Britain: I think the band had basically run its course. I remember a meeting we had with the owner of our record label, Illuminated, before we played a gig at the 100 Club. This bloke was wearing a suit jacket and had a ponytail...and was telling us that punk was finished, and that we should change to being a rock band. Certain members of the band were nodding in agreement, and right then I thought, "That's it, I'm out of here!"

Bassist Allen Adams tried his hand in Five Go Mad before teaming up with former Destructor Dave Ivermee to form Destructors V, with two other blokes, releasing the widely ignored T.V. Eye single. In 2006, Adams (along with two members from the 1977 lineup) resurfaced in 2006 with a new band called Destructors 666, which became known as The Destructors in 2009, and under which name a plethora of singles and albums have been released.

(P.S. Punky Gibbon thanks Gizz for some of the above photos.)

DISCOGRAPHY

Subsequent studio albums: Many Were Killed Few Were Chosen (as Destructors 666, 2007), Pow! That's Kill Musik 666 Volume 1: Revision (as Destructors 666, 2009), Dead Beat To White Heat (2010), Wohlgefuhl (split with Dun2Def, 2011), Schwerpunkt (split with The Astronauts, 2012), The Sublime, The Perverse & The Ridiculous (2013).

Singles / Albums

Destructors - Senseless Violence, EP Destructors - Religion! There Is No Religion! The Destructors ‎– Jailbait! Destructors - Exercise The Demons Of Youth Destructors - Forces Of Law EP
Senseless Violence, EP
(7", 1982)
Religion! There Is No Religion!
(7", 1982)
Jailbait!
(7", 1982)
Exercise The Demons Of Youth
(LP, 1982)
Forces Of Law EP
(7", 1983)
Destructors - Armageddon In Action Destructors - Cry Havoc And Unleash The Dogs Of War Destructors - Wild Thing. Destructors - Electronic Church Destructors - Merry Christmas And Fuck Off
Armageddon In Action
(LP, 1983)
Cry Havoc And Unleash The Dogs Of War
(12", 1983)
Wild Thing.
(12", 1983)
Electronic Church
(7", magazine freebie, 1983)
Merry Christmas And Fuck Off
(LP, 1983)
The Destructors - A Final Testament: Bomb Hanoi Bomb Saigon Bomb Disneyland Destructors V ‎– T.V. Eye      
A Final Testament: Bomb Hanoi Bomb Saigon Bomb Disneyland
(LP, 1984)
T.V. Eye
(7", as Destructors V, 1984)
     

Extraneous Releases

Destructors ‎– Live + Demo's Destructors ‎– Fast Forward To Hell...... The Destructors - The Destructors Tape 1984 Destructors - Punk Singles Collection Destructors - Demos 1982 / 1983
Live + Demo's
(Tape, 1984)
Fast Forward To Hell......
(Tape, 1984)
The Destructors
(Tape, 1984)
Punk Singles Collection
(CD, 2006)
Demos 1982 / 1983
(LP, 2017)

Various Artists

Bullshit Detector Two UK 2xLP 1982 (Crass): Agent Orange

All This And More UK Tape 1983 (Solo): Bomb

Fiddler In The Furnace! UK Tape 1983 (Band Aid): Urban Terrorist (live) / Forces Of Law (live)

Grevious Musical Harm UK Tape 1983 (Xcentric Noise): Electron Church / Nerve Gas

Have A Nice Day Vol. 2 UK Tape 1983 (no label): Nerve Gas / Duty Unto Death / Trinity

Hmmm... UK Tape 1983 (I Thought It Might Shock You Tapes/Hit Ranking Fanzine): Electronic Church / Forces Of Law / Body Bags

Punk And Disorderly III - The Final Solution UK LP 1983 (Anagram): Jailbait

Tribal Rantings UK Tape 1983 (Peaceville): Bodybags / Nerve Gas

"Get Lost!" UK Tape 1984 (Greenhouse Tapes): Bullshit / Working With Radiation

No Aarhus - Live 83 Dennmark Tape 1984 (No Aarhus): unknown track by Destructors V

Persons Unknown Comp (2) UK Tape 1985 (LOL Tapes): Dachau / Religion

No Rules UK LP 1986 (Conifer): Duty Unto Death / Khmer Rouge / Religion / Electronic Church

Burning Britain - A Story Of Independent UK Punk 1980-1983 UK 4xCD 2018 (Cherry Red): Northern Ripper

Links

DESTRUCTORS - Home of The Destructors

BFI PLAYER - Watch The Destructors for Free - 12 mins from 1983 (where the colour shots on this page come from)

 

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

jane@punkygibbon.co.uk

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