The Wasps, Walthamstow, Greater London, England, UK

Formed: Walthamstow, Greater London, England, UK

The Wasps, Walthamstow, Greater London, England, UK

"One day soon or Soon an exciting New Wave quartet will explode out of nowhere like Walthamstow with high-energy music which is hard, smart, dynamic & tuneful, but until they do, you'll have to settle for The Wasps. What you are holding in your hands is more than a single. If we are lucky, it is debut."

Back cover of first single

The Wasps, Walthamstow, Greater London, England, UKThe Wasps, Walthamstow, Greater London, England, UK

This Walthamstow group was one of the many second wavers who never got around to recording an album. Instead, they left behind two singles, two songs on the Live At The Vortex - Volume One compilation, a couple of Peel Sessions, and some demo recordings.

The independently released Teenage Treats is swell hyperactive punk in classic '77 mode, a three-minute gem with enthusiasm to burn and references (on the B-Side 'She Made Magic') to The MC5 and Billy Idol ("Up and down to a Vortex band/peroxide charms from a debut man"). The A Side is about the joys of amphetamines and like the B-Side is tight, well-constructed, well-written and well sung. Though it doesn't break out of the second division punk mould, it's a terrific example of it. I can't stop playing the bugger, even after all these years.

The Wasps - Wasps - Rubber Cars AdvertThe Wasps, Walthamstow, Greater London, England, UK

Their two songs on Live At The Vortex - Volume One include the charmingly naïve 'Can’t Wait Till ‘78' and a manic version of 'I'm Waiting For The Man’. The album itself was pretty poor, but Wasps were amongst the best on it. Little wonder 'Can't Wait For '78' was issued as a tie-in single.

After a long lay-off, vocalist Jessie Lynn-Dean returned with an entirely new lineup and a single for RCA, Rubber Cars , which (to me) sounds remarkably like Sparks, and is as lyrically clever as the Maels ever were (the song suggests ideas for reducing road fatalities, such as manufacturing cars made out of rubber).

Jesse: I would however like to say that I never actually sacked the other members of the band. The problem was that for reasons a bit too complicated to bore you with we suddenly found ourselves in a position where the band were torn apart by previous managers who re-surfaced as soon as we signed to RCA and I just wanted to carry on making music. By this time due to legal wrangles corporate greed and about three lorry loads of speed plus a tad of sexual and mental exhaustion I wasn't really at my absolute best and this affected my judgment somewhat and I made a few dubious decisions and basically screwed up. With hindsight I suppose it would be nice to pop back to 1978 and visit a few of those music execs with a chain-saw and a Jack Nicholson face mask but you know what ? I loved every minute of it..

Lynn-Dean also issued a solo single in October 1979, 'Do It' (Creole Records).

Lineup 1 (February 1976 - August 1977):

Jesse Lynn-Dean - vocals
Del May (ex-Blockade) - guitar
Steve Wollaston (ex-Trance, ex-Blockade, ex-Remus Down Boulevard, ex-Lady June's Elysium) - bass
Johnny Rich (ex-Trance) - drums

Lineup 2 (July - August 1977):

Jesse Lynn-Dean - vocals
Del May - guitar
Gary Wellman - guitar
Steve Wollaston - bass
Johnny Rich - drums

Lineup 3 (August 1977 - 1978):

Jesse Lynn-Dean - vocals
Gary Wellman - guitar, vocals
Steve Wollaston (aka Steve Dominic) - bass
Johnny Rich - drums

Recorded: Teenage Treats, Live and 1st Peel session (February 1978).

Lineup 4 (1979):

Jesse Lynn-Dean - vocals
Neil Fitch - guitar
Dave Owen - bass
Tiam Grant - drums

Recorded: 2nd Peel session (February 1979) and Rubber Cars.

DISCOGRAPHY

Singles / Albums

The Wasps - Teenage Treats The Wasps - Wasps /Mean Steet - Live The Wasps - Wasps - Rubber Cars    
Teenage Treats
(7", 1977)
Live
(7", split with Mean Street, 1977)
Rubber Cars
(7", 1979)
   

Extraneous Releases

The Wasps - Wasps - Punkryonics The Wasps - The Wasps - This Was Punk      
Punkryonics
(CD, 2003)
This Was Punk
(LP, 2011)
     

Various Artists

Live At The Vortex - Volume One UK LP 1977 (NEMS): Can't Wait 'Til '78 / Waiting For My Man

1-2-3-4 Punk & New Wave 1976-1979 UK 5xCD 1999 (Universal): Can't Wait 'Til '78

Links

BORED TEENAGERS

PUNK 77

 

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

jane@punkygibbon.co.uk

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