The Red Aligatorz

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:

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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]

20th Dec. Salutation Pub, Penrith (ultra fantasic)

22nd Dec. Tudor Pub, Penrith (amazing)

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…

red alig poster 2

I am not sure where or when the gigs were at…?

red alig poster

…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.

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Ellie, Me, Swanny (Photo Papa Joe)

The Ironing Boards

Jeff Deaf – vocals
Norman Fright – guitar
Morbid Electrician – bass guitar
Paul Pimms – drums

ironing boards 8One 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…

Jeff writes:
“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:

Beri Beri,
Hooligan,
You’re Just A Lozenge,
Sucked In Blown Out,
Famine,
Lamposts,
Police State,
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:

ironing boards 3ironing boards 4

 

David Carruthers sent me some photos of the Ironing Boards (via Jeff smith) many thanks to them both.

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An article featuring The Ironing Boards:

ironing boards
Photo: David Carruthers

members of The Ironing Boards…as they are now…

ironing boards older
And Now… (photo: David Carruthers)