PHANTOMS OF THE UNDERGROUND

Formed: Newcastle-Upon -Tyne, Tyne and Wear, England, UK

Many thanks to Ian McRae for the images and information.

Phantoms Of The UndergroundPhantoms Of The Underground

ABOVE: Mikey Phantom (vocals) and Devo Craig (bass).

Utterly obscure band which formed in 1981 out of the ashes of The Mysterons, which existed between 1980 and 1981. The Phantoms lasted between 1981 and 1984.

Ian McRae, vocals: Wanting to do something positive as we were young and unemployed, up in the north east Phantoms played with bands such as Amebix, Subhumans and Skeptics at The Station and The Bunker, as well as a lot of local bands such as Total Chaos, Reptiles, Blood Robots, New Kicks, Reality Control, The Abductors (who we went down to Rochdale with and did gigs down there with them), The End, The Equalizers and a reggae band from Leeds called Matamba who played at the Newcastle Guildhall with ourselves.

Not quite in keeping with the times, they took their cues from not from the current bunch of bands but from the rich heritage of vintage punk and proto-punk bands, playing tuneful 1977 style punk rock 'n' roll, as evidenced on their two demos, both of which are pretty good.

Ian: Our main influences were The Damned, The Clash, The Stooges etc and we covered 'Neat Neat Neat', 'Loose' and 'Search And Destroy' in live sets. We didn't dig the Anarchist scene, although we played with lots of those bands. We were more into fun rock n roll' punk rock. We also found that a lot of the anarchist lot were middle class and pretentious, so we didn't always fit in with them socially, we just did our own thing. They just whinged on about death and nuclear war, yet we would rather have a good time and a pint. Happy days!

In 1984 they took on a small tour of Northern Ireland with Toxic Waste and other Belfast based bands in and around Belfast, and the Antrim Coast.

Ian: We fell apart after doing gigs in Northern Ireland with a band called Toxic Waste. The tour was organised through the Rathcool Music Collective i.e. Belfast/Port Rush/Port Stewart/Rathcool. We took about about 25 copies of Tracks From The Station LP's over with us, which was a compilation of Gateshead Music Collective Bands and put them in Terry Hooley's Good Vibration Record store. They sold out in two days. We came back to Newcastle and did gigs in Middlesbrough Polytech, Leeds (can't remember the venue we supported Chelsea in 84), Newcastle Guildhall, Peterlee Collage, Sunderland Bunker, The Station Gateshead, then nothing happened. They told me to get singing lessons. Funny really. Threw me out and they done two more gigs then split.

Following the split Mikey joined Sleep Creature And The Vampire, described by McRae as "a psychedelic fuzz rock band". Gilbert joined various bands and still plays. McRae became a youth worker (and still is), Mikey became a teacher and now lives in Japan. The whereabouts of Stobbie and Devo is not known.

Lineup:

Mikey Phantom - Guitar
Stobbie - Drums
Devo Craig - Bass
Crazy Phantom - Vocals

The group's final two gigs saw the addition of a second guitar player, Billy G Gilbert.

Phantoms Of The UndergroundPhantoms Of The Underground

ABOVE: The five-man lineup in action.

Phantoms Of The UndergroundPhantoms Of The UndergroundPhantoms Of The Underground

IMAGE DIRECTLY ABOVE: Ian and Devo

Phantoms Of The Underground

IMAGE DIRECTLY ABOVE: Live in Leeds...Devo and Ian

DISCOGRAPHY

Singles / Albums

Demos

Phantoms of the Underground - Hit The City  Phantoms of the Underground - Ready For The night      
Hit The City
(Tape, 1983)
Ready For The Night (Tape, 1984)      

 

Various Artists

Religious Vomit UK Tape 1983 (Public Disturbance): Time Bomb

Tracks From The Station UK LP 1984 (Gateshead Music Collective): Ready For The Night

Links

TERMINAL ESCAPE - Grab some Phantoms here

YOU TUBE - First Demo '83

 



 

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

jane@punkygibbon.co.uk

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