Formed: Luton, England, UK
Band Bio / Discography / Lineups
A widely influential post-punk/Goth band, UK Decay evolved out of The Rezistors, a standard-issue punk band formed in 1978. Singer/guitarist Steve 'Abbo" Abbott, bassist Martin 'Segovia' Smith and drummer Steven Harle formed UK Decay in 1979, and were more of the same: mid-speed, sort-of-plodding doom-laden but semi-melodic punk and there's nothing wong with that. They recorded their first single, a split release with another local band, Pneumania. It received scathing reviews from the music press and all 1,000 copies sold in double quick-time. Spon immediately left Pneumania and joined UK Decay.
Immense cult-level popularity followed them throughout their career, as they gigged relentlessly and scored a string of hit Indie singles, moving with each release into murkier, broodier and - some would say - more pretentious waters. The Black 45 EP from 1980 caught them in their transitional punk-to-goth period, with the main cut a melodramtic tale of witchcraft, the rest a more normal-sounding batch of political songs ('Message Distortion') as well as the much more light-hearded bouncy 'Disco Romance'. Throughout, comparisons with early Adam & The Ants - partly due to Abbo's semi-camp vocals and the scratchy guitars - are self-evident. The pick of these early 45s, however, would have to be the superb anti-war anthem For My Country, which spent a staggering 32 wks in the Indie Charts. No wonder it was selected for the Punk And Disorderly compilation in 1982.
ABOVE: UK Decay in 1980 (Left) and 1982 (Right)
In early 1981, following a tour supporting Yank vistors Dead Kennedys, Segovia left the group, with the unbelievably tediuous Unexpected Guest 7" as his parting shot. During the next few months the band went through a pair of temporary bassists - Loraine 'Lol' Turvey (ex-The Statics) and Creeton Kaos (who was currently in US hardcore act Social Unrest) - whilst preparing for their long-playing debut, For Madmen Only. Kaos had subbed for Segovia during UK Decay's US tour that April, but he left during the recording sessions for the LP, and so the record was completed with Ed 'Twiggy' Branch. By now the band had morphed completely into annoying dirgey goth irritants, and the resultant LP wasn't exactly a laugh-fest. It was a big hit, though, even amongst punks, and especially amongst punks who had tired of the likes of The Exploited. The LP was promoted with a tie-in single, Sexual, which had the good sense to be short enoiugh to be tolerable.
This lineup remained stable as the band signed with Corpus Christi for the Rising From The Dread 12" EP. Another big hit with goth kids (check out the ten-minute 'Werewolf'), it proved to be their last studio effort. The band called it a day in late 1982, bowing out with a farewell gig at the Hammersmith Klub Foot in on the day before New Year's Eve, which they immortalised on the A Night For Celebration tape.
After the split Abbo, Harle and Branch continued to plough a similarly (in fact, ieven more boring) furrow with the even gothier Furyo, as did Spon, who formed In Excelsis.
Singles / Albums
|UK Decay / Pneumania (7", split. 1979)||The Black 45 EP
|For My Country
|Sexual (7", 1981)|
|For Madmen Only
|Rising From The Dread (12", 1982)||A Night For Celebration (Tape, 1983)|
|Death, So Fatal
|Rue Des Cascades, Paris - November 3rd, 1982 (CD, 2013)||Rebellion Punk Festival - August 9th 2009
|Music Machine, London & Excess Club, Berlin, 1980 (CD, 2013)|
|Moonlight Festival - 28th August 2011, Rimini, Italy (2013)|
Punk And Disorderly UK LP 1982 (Abstract Sounds): For My Country
Cascades 82 France Tape 1982 (VISA): For My Country
The Whip UK CD 1994 (Jungle): Slave-Drive [this track actually by Slave-Drive, not UK Decay!)
Rough Trade Shops - Post Punk 01 UK 2xCD 2003 (Mute): For My Country
UK DECAY - Homepage