ANIMAL FARM Animal Farm - London Punk Band on Rot Records

Formed: London, England, UK

Although signed to Rot, home to many of the UK's gnarliest (and worst) punk bands, the sole single from these Londoners sounds like it could have been recorded anywhere between 1977 and 1979. Model Soldier, their sole release, is melodic, mid-paced, cleanly (almost slickly) produced, with easily decipherable vocals (P Nut has a touch of Colin Newman's campy/sarcastic delivery) and none-too-brilliant but certainly acceptable lyrics. Somehow, in spite of its ordinariness, it's a great record. Animal Farm also issued a demo tape in 1983, including such fine material as 'Social Degeneration' and 'Lies', and big things were expected from them, but after the single and tracks on a handful of Rot compilations, they vanished.

Below is an article from Punk Lives magazine (Thanks to Scott for finding it and thanks to Henk for letting me reprint it):

In this business you get hangers on, hustlers, degenerates, you name it, they're all there, But occasionally you meet someone who not only has enthusiasm and puts themselves out to get to you but are a nice bunch as well/

My first encounter with Animal Farm was through their guitarist, Alan 'Peanuts' Pell. He'd travelled to three places just to get to talk to me about doing something on the band. He's what you call a nice hustler. Well, to cut a long story short, it worked and I listened to Animal Farm's tape and, like them, could hear that they've certainly got something. Not Punk, more punk rock, with the emphasis on rock.

I met Peanuts, the rock and roll star of the group and the two other members of the band - Zarbie, bass and vocals and the eloquent one, and Jik drums, the artist and money earner - in Peanut's East India Dock flat in the heart of London's dockland. Not the brash and garishly made up punks you might expect or de rigeur all black of yer average rock star but a leaning to the street level chick of torn jeans and Doc Martens. The three of them, who'd all played in various bands before, got together when they were asked to play at a party earlier this year. A wild affair where much booze and other substances were imbibed. The whole thing was such a success that they decided they definitely had something going for them. Although at the party they played various Clash, Pistols, Dead Kennedys, Buzzcocks songs, they could all write and started working on their own material. Bitter/sweet songs that not only get you up dancing but also make you think. "I'm Prince William's Dad", "Social Degeneration", "Lies" all have something that can hit your conscience but aren't just trashed out at 100 MPH. After the songs came some dates supporting bands like the UK Subs, !Action Pact!, The Damned. They've also got a few more supports coming up but their main concern now is to be able to get into a studio to record a single, probably titled 'Lies'.,

But that's where it stops and the big plug starts. Not enough money or enough contacts to make that big move. They know they could get something out but Animal Farm are professionally minded and want to do it properly. They've got loads of other songs - Star Wars, War Next Door, Public School Failure, John And Julie, Middle Class Punk, Robin Day Is Dead, Model Soldier" - and tons of good ideas for the band. So if there's a manager, agent or even better, a record company out there looking for a group of good musicians with a lot of talent, then phone 01-*** **** and you'll have a trio of smiling faces jumping up and down the East End of London out of joy.

Unlike some bands some bands who are just frustrated at the position they are in. Animal Farm are confirmed optimists and know that some time they are going to make It. It might be tomorrow, next month or next year and one thing they say they won't do and that's forget the people that helped them right at the beginning, so they'd like to thank them right now. There's Nicko, ace roadie and van lender, Sue and Kevin, their No.1 fans, Garry Bushell, who promises he'll review them, Christine for just being nice to Ray and Mike Goodger for taking the pictures with this article. Oh, and of course, all their mum's for having them. But in the end it's all down to them and as Jik says: " We are three people, all with varying ideas, but when we get together it's like one neat triangle and when it works... ZING... it's amazing". Too true mate and maybe George Orwell's Animal Farm will make it in 1984!

ALF MARTIN (Punk Lives magazine)



P NUT: guitar/Vocals
ZARB: bass / Vocals
JIK: drums



Singles & Albums

Animal Farm - Model Soldier Model Soldier (7", 1984)


Animal Farm - Demo Demo (Tape, 1983)

Various Artists

Two Ninety Nine! UK LP 1984 (Rot): Model Soldier

Have A Rotten Christmas UK LP 1984 (Rot): So Sad / Who Is The Enemy?

Religious As Hell UK LP 1986 (Rot): So Sad

The End Of An Era UK 2xLP 1988 (Rot): So Sad / John And Julie

Rot Records Punk Collection UK CD 1994 (Anagram): Model Soldier




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