Societies Victims

Trotsky – guitar
Martin Hewitt – vocals
Scog – drums
Kevin – bass

societiesThis was the one of the bands that I “joined” as opposed to starting, it was already up and running. I was asked to join the band on 9/8/82, but I did not actually accept until 11/10/82. The truth be told I did not want to join as I had commitments with Frenzy and Abuse as well as Business Controlled, but Frenzy was finishing and Abuse seem to be going in an Oi direction. So I thought it is a step in “a direction” any ways, all the members were there and it was nice to see Skog again, and Martin and I had been at Trinity School together in the same year. Kevin I only new by sight before.

I remember going to the practice rooms, which was a large room below “The Wheel” (a nightclub in the West Walls part of Carlisle city centre); a large dismal room with a couch, an electric fire and a smell of damp. I think we shared the space with another band “Social Scum”. For me Societies Victims was a punk band in the ‘wrong’ sense of the word, thrash, fast and distorted, a copycat band, with no musical originality. I was not completely into it if I was honest, it was more of an 80s punk band with no scope for doing anything different, 3 chord wonders and plenty of distortion, leather jackets and lots of attitude. All fine and dandy if you are into that sort of thing?
We practised a lot, but we never seemed to get much done, I guess our musical differences got in the way. I introduced a few of my songs and they liked I.B.S. (Independent British State).

Another of my songs we performed was “Time for Action”, I had sprayed on my t-shirt “Words have failed, time for action” which was the chorus to the song. I do not have a good memory of what other songs we did? There was a song written by one of the group (not me) called “Societies Victims” which began “We are Societies Victims…”39384-jul09880
 We did a cover version of “Warhead” by the UK Subs; and “New Rose” by the Damned.
On 31/10/82, there was an argument with certain members of the band over “different musical wave lengths”, arguments over, them wanting to play more hard-core punk, and I wanting more of a variation.

We had a gig at Morley Street Church Hall, in Denton Holm on the 12/11/82, and in the photo I am playing an Antoria guitar (left handed) plugged into a Laney valve amp with its own distortion. It weighed a ton, but it had a great sound. I have a bandage on my left arm as I used to pull the skin off my arm when I strummed…a trick borrowed from Joe Strummer (The Clash). The back-drop was done before I joined, I am not sure who painted it?

7b1a1-jul11932The photo was taken during a sound check at the Morley church hall gig; I do not know who took the photo? Martin looks poised and ready to go. I do not know if Skog’s drum kit was his own or borrowed? Skog was a good drummer, as he was also a good guitarist and singer.
Our musical differences seemed to have come to a head, Skog was the first to leave on the 3/12/82 as he did not care much for the material. This was just before another gig at Morley Street Church Hall on the 17/12/82, and so we did not have a drummer, but Skog came back for that gig before leaving for good.
I did not leave the band, I was kicked out. I do not know why…possibly because I was not that into it…not enough attitude or leather? They did not have the guts to tell me to my face I was out, they wrote it on a concert poster and stuck it to the practice room’s door “Tilbs your sacked”… Also, as a parting gesture, they stole my song “I.B.S.” and used it in their next band D.O.S., and they claimed it as their own! In one way I was flattered, but in another way (whoever did it) I did not think much of them.
It made me learn about copyrighting material/songs, as I got the song copy-written. Later, I heard it being performed on stage at “Stars and Stripes” when they had become “D.O.S.” and I was not too impressed with their attempts, it sounded like all the rest of their stuff.
The guitarist they got after me was Tony Styles (Stylo) a great guitarist and a nice bloke.

In a way that’s where my story in this band ends, it would be nice to hear from others about what happened? If anyone wants to write about D.O.S. I can include it in another page?

All I know is that Stylo is now dead and Martin Hewitt is dead also. R.I.P. to you both.c614c-jul11930



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