An update on the Red Aligatorz page: I recently met Swanny again after many years, the last time I saw him he was in London, now back in Carlisle he and I met up for a chat, good to see him once more. He is still playing guitar, banjo, and singing, but also he has taught himself boogie woogie piano, and does Rockabilly DJ’ing up and down the UK.
I found an old poster in the attic for an Aligatorz gig:
This Red Aligatorz poster is from 1985, It was made by Swanny (since he did most, if not all, of the posters) and it was announcing a ‘pre-Christmas tour’ around north Cumbria, it reads:
Why don’t you try and catch… The Red Aligatorz, pre-Christmas tour at these venues:
18th Dec. Raffles Community Center (Wow) [Raffles is a district of Carlisle]
some of the text says “If you’re hip you will make the trip (and we ain’t talk’n dope); get wild with a crodile smile”; and a reference to me under the Raffles gig “starring for 1 night only ‘Trotsky’, Russia’s answer to Elvis”
2 posters for The Red Aligatorz playing a gig…
I am not sure where or when the gigs were at…?
…but it looks like the gig was at a beer festival (no wonder I can not remember anything).
This photo came to light after being reunited (online) to Papa Joe, an American banjo player from the USA (claw-hammer style of playing). Swanny, Ellie and myself met Papa Joe in Amsterdam in the late 80s while we were busking there under the name of “The Lonesome Pump Attendants”. We all hung out together for a few weeks and played some music. A lovely man and a great banjo player who knew Pete Seeger in the 60s. Papa, when he played used to kick his legs out and dance around which added to the bizzar spectacle of our gigs. It is great to be in contact with Papa again who now lived in USA/Indiana.
Jeff Deaf – vocals
Norman Fright – guitar
Morbid Electrician – bass guitar
Paul Pimms – drums
One of the early Carlisle punk bands (with a great name). I remember seeing them on posters in those early days.
David Carruthers mentioned them in a FB comment: “What about the ironing boards? ..awesome band…the Macca Bros, Jeff Smith and Jammy. I had Jeff the singer asking last year (for some info)..there must be some [info] somewhere…they were all from Carlisle“.
Info there is…
“We formed in 1977 a year after leaving school. We practiced hard for a few months before playing our first gig at Double Up with a Lockerbie band ‘Switch’ in late 1977.
When we played our show stopper “Elvis Presley’s Dead”, ‘Switch’ grabbed their gear and left vowing never to play with us again.
More gigs followed with ‘Skidmarx’ and ‘Switch’ who had a change of heart after “Elvis Presley’s Dead” became “Northern Soul is Dead” which was about an infamous night at Wigan Casino when Punks and Soul Boys had a mass brawl outside with us in attendance.
Most of our songs were self penned and included:
You’re Just A Lozenge,
Sucked In Blown Out,
John Best Salmon
Carlisle Ripper …amongst many others.
We played with ‘V2’ from Manchester, and ‘The Gang Of Four’ before headlining ourselves at Micks Club [Carlisle] and around Cumbria and SW Scotland in a number of gigs.
We recorded some demos at Jimmy Henshaw’s The VIPs studio which were unfortunately lost.
A couple of memorable gigs amongst many were one at Silloth Rugby Club. Chris from Skidmarx drove the van and on the way back he was fully loaded and so was the van with about 20 bodies mostly sitting on the gear in the back. The van was stopped by Police who opened up the back then quickly closed it again and told us to carry on.
Our last gig at Micks Club in May 1979 (we didn’t know that before hand) and had ‘The Renwick Bats’ in support. The gig ended disastrously and as Chris Robson so eloquently put it “amongst toxic smoke bombs and gravy powder”. As a result The Ironing Boards and The Renwick Bats were banned from Micks Club.
After guitarist Spiney Norman left to move to London we split for a little while before reforming as “The Toolbox Murderers ” and had a song included on the 8 from 80 compilation EP before splitting later that year.”
Jeff Smith writes online in a punk blog, “Hi I was the vocalist in The Ironing Boards who were indeed active between 1977 and 1979 but we were from Carlisle not Wigton, that was a mistake in the press years ago. No official releases due to living in punk wilderness of Carlisle. Demos recorded at Jimmy Henshaw’s studio in Carlisle in 1979: Jailbird Police State Sucked In Blown Out No Time For Tiffin Do The Thrombie You,re Just A Lozenger”
Here are more track listings taken from an old ebay site which had a CD for sale of The Ironing Boards: 01. Elvis Presley’s Dead 02. Beri Beri 03. Disco Balls 04. Hooligan 05. You’re Just A Lozenger 06. Packed 07. Jailbird 08. Sucked In Blown Out 09. Dispose Of You 10. Famine 11. I Don’t Care 12. Lamposts 13. No Time For Tiffen 14. Where’s Ya God Now? 15. Plastic Plimsolls 16. British Railways 17. Police State 18. John Best Salmon 19. Carlisle Ripper”
From another web page “Bored Teenagers” there is an entry: “Friday 1st June 1979 The Ironing Boards, Blitz, The Chevettes & Renwick Bats Mick’s Club, Fisher Street, Carlisle”
Here is the article about that gig that was sent to me by David Carruthers:
David Carruthers sent me some photos of the Ironing Boards (via Jeff smith) many thanks to them both.