Within the Walls (Sunday)

Sunday session of “Within the Walls” with local groups of Carlisle, was equally as good as Saturday. Here are some photos of the bands that played.

The line up was:

12:00 – 12:30 – Nat Dempsey
12:30 – 1:00 – Bubble’ead
1:00 – 1:30 – Eleven
1:30 – 2:00 – Cuban Heel
2:00 – 2:30 – 30HZ
2:30 – 3:00 – Reptilians
3:30 – 4:00 – Ogres of Go Go
4:00 – 4:45 – The Chadelics
4:45 – 5:30 – Hardwicke Circus

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I spoke with the organizer (Dunno) after the gig and he said there is a similar event planned for September, and a bigger event next year…



Within the Walls (Saturday)

Saturday 28th May, 2016. Carlisle city center had an assortment of local bands playing free for the general public. Organized by the city council (well done Dunno) for the Saturday and Sunday.

The line-up for the Saturday was:

12:00 – 12:30 – Tony Vincent
12:30 – 1:00 – Mark Carruthers
1:00 – 1:30 – Ivory Veins
1:30 – 2:00 – The Unsung
2:00 – 2:30 – Blind Fiction
2:30 – 3:00 – Mylittlebrother
3:00 – 3:30 – Prowles (didn’t play?)
3:30 – 4:00 – The Postcard Band
4:00 – 4:45 – Mama Sang and the Robot
4:45 – 5:30 – Audioclub

I got there late. so I missed the first few bands (sorry), I came along for the “Unsung” and stayed until the end. Here as some photos of the bands who played:

The Unsung
The Unsung
The Unsung
Blind Fiction
Blind Fiction
The Postcard Band
The Postcard Band
Mama Sang and the Robot
Mama Sang and the Robot

Every Smile’s A Lie

Dung – vocals
Dung – acoustic guitar
Dung – electric guitar
Dung – keyboards
Dung – drums
Dung – bass

I first met dung through an advertisement in the Pink Panther Record Shop in 1981, I was seeking a drummer for my band Frenzy. When Philip Bailey and I met him in his home in Morton, he played drums to the 1st Clash LP. He taught himself to play guitar and started writing songs.

He called himself ‘Dung’ or ‘Dave Dung’ and that is what people knew him by. Besides Frenzy, we had played in a few other groups together (Nightmares in a Damaged Brain, Abuse, Hadrian Ward) but he also had his solo projects, bands and collaborations. After Frenzy he joined with other members to form “Grinning in the Graveyard” and “Every Smile is a Lie” the first band bleeding into the other.

The tracks here cover many years of his writing, from his acoustic music to his full-blown thrash guitar pieces. I am not sure if anyone else played on these recordings, I think all instruments were played by himself, as he played guitar, bass, drums and keyboards and sang. He wrote the song ‘Hell Exists’ which was covered by the band ‘Nightmares in a Damaged Brain’ (he made the name up and formed the original band) and ‘Havana Affair’, his own version of the song is in these recordings. Some titles I am not sure of…

They did a few gigs at The Wheel, Church Halls, etc.

The cassette cover is from his first demo recording, mainly acoustic songs, the girl sitting on the step is called “Andrea” Dung’s girlfriend at that time.

every smiles a lie
It is strange listening to these songs today, as I knew them so well, it was part of my early music days, and I knew the history and early creations of them, the history behind them etc. It also tells of early recording techniques and of D.I.Y. demo cassettes…

Another incarnation of Dung’s music was in a band called Pop Corpse, these songs were his own compositions, and he did all the music himself if I remember rightly. The title of the CD is called “Dead Friends”. Some of these songs were also recorded in the band ‘Hadrian Ward’ which you can read about it its own Page (again, Dung’s name for the band, Hadrian Ward is a wing in a mental hospital just outside of Carlisle), The songs in Hadrian Ward are a little different to the recording here:

I have not seen Dung for many years but the last I heard he was still playing.

UK Charts, 1978

If we are to believe the hype from the TV and various documentaries today about Punk in the 70s and 80s we would think punk had saturated the music charts and was oozing out of every social and cultural orifice in the UK!
That was not my feeling of those times. I remember frequently shouting at the TV, at “Top of the Pops” my frustration at not seeing a punk band that was climbing the charts that particular week. Or, my ear was glued to the “Top 40” on a Sunday evening to hear the latest Countdown on the radio and if any punk singles were played. Another source if information was the various musical press: NME, Sounds, Record Mirror, Smash Hits…

I found it frustrating, like being hungry and being offered left over scraps when ‘they’ felt like it to give it. There was a ‘lack of information’ about punk groups and punk music filtering up to Carlisle, a lack of publicity of the bands I wanted to hear.

I was not an avid music newspaper reader, after being a Boomtown Rats fan, I believed Geldoff’s lyric “Don’t Believe What You Read”. But I bought the papers when there was an article I wanted.

Recently I found a few music papers in the attic. Over the next few weeks I will be uploading a few articles related to punk and what influenced me regarding punk and music in Carlisle.

On the 2nd page of Record Mirror, dated December the 2nd, 1978 is a run-down of the Single Charts within the UK from 1 to 75, a better representation of the music in the charts than TOTP and the Top 40. In those days we had the “Top 40” every Sunday on Radio 1, and we had the “rundown of the Top 30” on ‘Top Of The Pops’ every Thursday.

Record Mirror December 2, 1978

UK Singles
2-1 Rat Trap, Boomtown Rats
5-9 Hanging on the Telephone, Blondie
22-19 Germ Free Adolescence, X-Ray Specs
28-37 Promises, Buzzcocks
29- Tommy Gun, The Clash
42-39 Down at the Tube Station at Midnight, The Jam
43-50 Destination Venus, Rezillos
46-35 Radio Radio, Elvis Costello
56-40 Homicide, 999
59-21 Public Image, Public Image Ltd.
63-36 Hurry Up Harry, Sham 69
69-43 Ever Fallen In Love, Buzzcocks

What is interesting about these music press listings it shows beyond TOTP and the Top 40. So, if you consider that to be in the Top 20, means that “you have made it” (you are getting near the Number 1 slot), then there is very little punk in the UK music scene on December 2nd 1978. Out of the 20 chart slots in the UK there was only 2 punk bands that would have been played on TOTP, and only 5 punk songs that might have been played on the ‘Top 40’… not a UK coup d’état by any stretch of the imagination. From those 5 bands, 3 were climbing the charts (Blondie, Buzzcocks, The Clash) and 2 bands were on the way ‘out’ (X-Ray Specs, Boomtown Rats).

If we look beyond the 40 range, we have 7 other punk bands making their stance amongst the other genres of music. 6 of those bands were on their way ‘out’ of the charts (Jam, Elvis Costello, 999, PIL, Sham 69, Buzzcocks), and only the Rezillos were advancing ‘up’ the charts which would allow them air play; lets face it if you were not in the Top 40 you would not get much air play anyways.

12 punk bands on air, competing against 63 other performers of different musical genres, not a lot really for a UK Punk Explosion.

The UK Album Charts for 2nd December, 1978, tell a similar story. Only 6 punk bands were in the list of 50 places for the Album Chart, although we do have more punk bands ‘climbing the charts’ percentage wise, than the Singles. 2 bands were on their way down the charts (The Clash, The Jam), whereas 4 bands were climbing (Boomtown Rats, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Blondie, Sham 69). The Album Charts did not get the same air play as the Single Charts.

UK Albums
5-2 Give ’em Enough Rope, The Clash
9-12 Tonic For the Troops, Boomtown Rats
12- Scream, Siouxsie and The Banshees
20-13 All Mod Cons, The Jam
28-30 Parallel Lines, Blondie
30- That’s Life, Sham 69

In conclusion, by looking at 1 music paper for 1 week in 1978, it does not tell a story of ‘punk’s invasion’ of the musical culture of the UK’. Anarchy in the December 78… mmmmm not yet! Soul, Disco, Heavy Metal, and music your grandmother would like… was all doing a lot better than Punk.

But I do not feel this was a reflection of what people were feeling or wanting to listen too at that time. I do not think I was the only frustrated teenager wanting to hear more punk music. But it shows what the establishment wanted us to listen too, by the people who controlled the music business. If it was a case of ‘proportional representation’ compared ‘past the post’ statistics, then we might have seen a different chart in the Record Mirror of December the 2nd, 1978.

Picture 216Picture 217

Social Scum

Peter Ostell – ?
Ozzy – drums
Kenyon – bass
Tony Styles – guitar
Wigy – Vocals

Social Scum, in my mind, was a rival to D.O.S. I am not sure if that it is fair to say that now, but in those days it seemed to be so. I do not think I heard them play, although they shared the same rehearsal space as ‘Societies Victims’ in the basement of The Wheel. We never met, it seemed we kept out of each others way!

The fan base was divided, with a following for either Social Scum or for DOS. A lot of it passed me by, but you would hear stories of this or that gig ending in fights.

I can’t find any recordings or photos, but it is fair to say that Social Scum was a fixture of the Carlisle punk scene. Not sure of the songs they sang either?

When Societies Victims’s equipment went ‘missing’ Social Scum was blamed. But it is nice to know years later that it was not them and the gossip was false:

Peter Ostell writes: “I was in the band “Social Scum” in 81/82 (Ozzy-drums) along with (Kenyon-base) & the late (Anthony Styles-aka-Gene) also Wigy for a bit. Practiced in the cellar of the Wheel. Managed to play a few gigs…Star & Stripes, The Wheel, Denton Holme & Annan (always seemed to end up in a scrap or the toilets being smashed up, so always ended up paying for some repair!!). Ended up getting our Amps & Mics stolen from the Wheel practice room, soon after that Gene left & the band eventually folded!!”

Jimmy Johnston kindly sent a ticket from one of Social Scum’s gigs.
social scum

I would value people input on this band as not much is known about them.

Whitehouse Blue

John Ferguson: guitar, vocals
Pete Smith: bass, vocals
Jeremy Robinson: drums, backing vocals
Tony Styles: lead guitar


I was interested to read this account of Whitehouse Blue. Before this band 2 of the members were part of Masters of Middle Earth, a band I had briefly been involved with. I include John’s recordings that he sent me for the blog, as well as his commentary of the tracks. Also, included below the recordings is Pete’s view of the recordings and some nice comments about Tony Styles.

John writes, “Jeremy, the drummer didn’t like the name Masters of Middle Earth. I think as we were changing we needed to find a new name. After much discussion, we chose the name of one of Pete/Smiddy’s songs. I didn’t like it much, but the other two did. As it was a democracy I was voted out! I’ll try to sort out a brief biog later”

John Ferguson writes, “Songs 1-4 from 1st demo, summer 1987. Recorded at Omega studio, Naworth Castle by Alex Warnes.

Songs 5-6 from 2nd demo, December 1987. Recorded at Cluny studio, Newcastle by persons unknown.

Song 7 recorded summer 1988 at Cottage Pie studio by Steve Harrison and someone else. “Unreleased”.

Songs 8-11 recorded live with vocal overdubs at Radio Carlisle (as was) for a Paul Armer session.

Recorded by persons unknown.
Songs 12-16 recorded 2008-10 at home by John Ferguson.

Songs 8-11 recorded early 1989!

Songs by: Pete Smith 1,4,6,14,15,16.
John Ferguson 2,3,5,7,8,11,12.
Jeremy Robinson 9.
Pete Smith and John Ferguson 10.
Cover of Tiffany song 13.

I decided to re-record some WB songs “properly” in 2010. “Premonition” was one of Pete’s songs. We used to open with it. I had to use my original guide vocals, hence the addition of “rough” to the title!”

Personnel: John Ferguson: guitar, vocals, all instruments on 12-16;
Pete Smith: bass, vocals;
Jeremy Robinson: drums, backing vocals;
Tony Styles: guitar on 8-11

[Beside this recording Pete sent me a CD of tracks. I will include his text that came with the CD as it gives a different perspective to John’s. The numbers to the tracks relate to the CD track listing and not to the audio above]

Pete Smith writes:
Tracks as follows,
1. Whitehouse Blue. (Smith)
2. One Day Love Affair. (Fergusson)
3. Writhing in the Nettles. (Fergusson) I think this track was previously named “Carlisle” mentioned in the MME section of the blog. You may have played this in the early days?
4. Walk Like Susannah Hoffs. (I think) inspired by the Smithereens “Behind the Wall of Sleep” but sounding nothing like it. Written about the lead singer of The Bangles.

This was our first proper demo recorded at Naworth Castle Brampton, 1985/86. The sound is shitty as the engineer and producer was unable or unwilling to let us crank up the volume to a level that would allow our normal guitar sound.

5. Go Your Own Way. (John)
6. Sex Religion and Money. (Pete)

Tracks 5 and 6 were recorded at Cluny Studios, Newcastle. A full day cost us a mint at the time, but we came away with smiles on our faces as we felt we had nailed a couple of good tracks (the difference is clear when you listen back to them. Even to this day they don’t sound half bad).
The engineer for this session was a Born Again Christian, I believe, God knows what he was thinking recording Sex, Religion & Money.

7. Go Your Own Way. (John) a different version recorded either specifically for a video or maybe a seven-inch single (can’t remember, JF. will put you straight).
Recorded at The Palace, Aglionby Street, Carlisle, and home to members of “Exit 43” Gary Kerr, Terry Kerr, Steven Harrison etc.

8. Losing My Mind. (JF words, PS music) (Fannied about with this for years before it ended up like this)

9. It’s Good to Know. (I think this is the title) JF and Jeremy Robinson
10. 7am. (John)
11. Take It Away (John) i think this is the title?

8,9,10,11, recorded ar Radio Cumbria for a Youth Radio Programme called T.I.U. (Turn It Up).

Tracks 9 and 11 are notable because ‘I think’ Tony Styles played guitar at the Radio Cumbria sessions, that is what my memory is telling me. John I had the clean part and Tony played the distorted part. Tony was definitely in the band by the time we recorded 8,9,10,11
If he did play then it would be not long before his untimely death (talented guitarist and great bloke, I knew him as a friend through ‘Ste’ (Andrew Stephenson), before he played with us. Playing with him as a 4 piece was great. He was the missing piece to our Jigsaw.

Some Photos taken from John Fergusson’s Facebook page…with permission:


Back stage at Stars and Stripes


John Fergusson


Tony Styles, John Fergusson, Jeremy Robinson, Pete Smith


John Fergusson


john.jpg33The Carlisle Rock Festival 1988 at the Sands Centre! Other bands on that day included: Sid & The Four Corners, Flour, Keltic Storm, The Hill Bandits, The Motorcycle Boy, and Tigertailz. — withJeremy Robinson and Pete Smith.

“Back Your Book”

If you went to school in the late 70s you would have had exercise books to keep your lessons in. In Trinity School they made a point of telling you to “back your book” meaning to cover the front and back with wall paper, or brown paper, or something to protect it from unwanted designs, writings, scribbles etc.

I found my old exercise books in the attic and either I was a very bad student (shock! horror!!) or I misunderstood their meaning. I “backed my book” with newspaper cuttings of punk groups, song titles, and slogans…also a lot of scribbles!

But looking at these exercise books today it tells me a lot more besides that I was bored with school (I hated school). It tells me a transitional period between not listening to punk music and listening to punk music.

The 1st and 2nd Year books, prior to punk, showed I was scribbling the names of characters from the Japanese TV serial “The Water Margin” … Lin Chung, Hu Sang Yang… and a healthy dislike for mathematics with the slogan “Mathematics is a waste of time”then as a new school year began, so did a new type of graffiti…

I started this new art in the 3rd year at school, I estimate it to be 1978. I had often wondered when I started listening to Punk music and what had attracted me to it. I must have been in 1978, but sometime during the 2nd year at school.

3rd year biology

On my Biology book’s front and back cover I started to cut out from newspapers letters making up words such as “The Clash” or lyrics from The Sex Pistols, ‘God Save The Queen’ single “we mean it maan”, and my own take on the Northern Ireland problem!

Inside next to drawing of a limb was the mantra “I should remember God Save the Queen”

3rd year biology 1

My Physics 3rd year book was no exception with newspaper cuttings highlighting the groups The Buzzcocks, The Stranglers, and my prospects after leaving school of “No Future” I doodled the Sex Pistols single “Something Else” on the back cover.

3rd year physics

In the 4th year (1979) I continued to ‘back my books’ with similar art works. My Classical Studies exercise book had a more detailed composition with the group “Public Image Ltd.” blazoned on the front cover telling me that the band would be appearing on TV at 7 o’clock! On the back cover my religious experience grew to new heights with  iconic religious scribbles of “Anarchy, White Riot, Bob Marley and the Wailers, Sid Vicious” written out in the form of a cross, my hopes of “Anarchy in Trinity”, “Angelic Upstarts” and “I am an Anarchist, Anarchy in the UK”. A slogan from one of my own songs “Britain For All”, a Clash’s song “I’m So Bored with the USA”, at the time I was teaching myself Russian and I wrote in Russian the word “Pravda” which meant ‘truth’, as well as being the name of one of the CCCP’s newspapers, it was also the title to one of my own songs “Pravda”. In fainter hand writing a friend (a grebo) has written “Sid Vicious is a poof”

4th year classical studies

4th Year Maths was no exception, a TV told how USA programmes were flooding our airwaves and how the UK lyrics “I’m So Bored with the USA” was an alternative. I had doodled the skull and nuclear sign from The Clash’s song books, as well as my hope of “Anarchy in Trinity”! There is a “R.A.F” scribble which meant “Red Army Faction” a political group from Italy highlighted by The Clash’s/Joe Strummer’s T-shirt, and also the title to one of my own Songs “R.A.F.” (Rock Against Fascism). On the back cover there are the names of the members of The Clash, Sid Vicious on a tomb stone, with a friend writing next to it “bums Elvis Presley”. There are the members of The Sex Pistols, and also the names of the members of one of my early groups “Frenzy”:
Sparrow Trotsky – rhythm
Philip Bailey – bass
Jaws – lead singer
me? – drums (possibly written by the same friend, a guy called Kieth, or QE, who has been “denounced as a slag” in the right hand corner!

4th year maths

The final piece of art work was from another 4th year book, showing more Sex Pistols song titles “Problems” and “New York” and a cutting of [Public] Image [Ltd]. And as a loyal subject I finish with a portrait of the queen herself, looking regal as ever.

4th year

this blog entry will be added to the ‘Art Page’