999, The Vibrators and Wonk Unit
Friday 9th June 2017
Doors Open: 19:00
Advanced Ticket Price: £12
Age Restriction: 14+
999 celebrated their 38th anniversary on 5th December 2014. The reason for their longevity is not airplay, massive publicity, hype or even a major recording deal but word of mouth and that “word of mouth” now extends to nearly every country on earth.
999 were first conceived in late 1976 when Nick Cash (vocals/guitar) and Guy Days (vocals/lead guitar), who were at school together, decided to form a group. Within a couple of months they had teamed up with Jon Watson (bass) and Pablo Labritain (drums) and 999 were officially born. Their first gig was at the Northampton Cricket Club in January 1977. Interest in the band was immediate and constant gigging around London brought with it critical acclaim and a hard core following of supporters from Southall, calling themselves “The Crew”. These ranks were soon swollen by the Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Munich, Vienna, Zagreb, Stockholm, Oslo, Berlin, New York, LA., Toronto, Philadelphia, and San Francisco “Crews” each proving as dedicated as the last.
The frenzy and raw energy of the early days were captured by their debut single “I’m Alive on the bands own Labritain label and sold well enough to become a minor hit. Next through their association with United Artists records the second and third singles, “Nasty Nasty” and the now classic “Emergency” were released both scaling the lower reaches of the charts and confirming 999 to be one of the major forces in the British New Wave Movement.
The first album titled simply “999” was released and was greeted with impressive sales and critical acclaim. Extensive touring took them throughout Britain and Europe where they now encountered full houses.
The second album “Separates” was released and immediately the single “Homicide” leapt straight into the UK top forty without any Radio airplay and was banned by the BBC and most radio stations.
Early 1979 saw the band embarking on their first U.S. tour, which was an achievement in itself, as they were still without a record deal in America at the time. Response to the band was ecstatic, all the venues being filled and import albums being sold out in a rush of enthusiasm. The band were immediately booked for a return trip.
Since leaving United Artists 999 have recorded another eleven albums. Jon Watson was replaced in 1986 on bass by Danny Palmer and subsequently by Arturo Bassick in 1991.
THE VIBRATORS have a career lasting 35 years, vocalist/guitarist IAN “KNOX” CARNOCHAN, bassist PAT COLLIER, guitarist JOHN ELLIS and drummer EDDIE originally formed the VIBRATORS in February 1976, and their first gig was supporting THE STRANGLERS at Hornsey Art College in North London. They supported THE SEX PISTOLS at the 100 CLUB and were one of the bands playing at the now legendary 100 CLUB PUNK ROCK FESTIV…AL, where as well as doing their own set they supported guitar hero CHRIS SPEDDING. CHRIS recommended the band to his then record company, RAK. The band’s debut single “WE VIBRATE” came out in November (one of the first punk singles) and was followed two weeks later by CHRIS SPEDDING’S “POGO DANCING” single with the VIBRATORS as the band on that. Early in 1977 the band supported IGGY POP (with DAVID BOWIE on keyboards) on a UK tour, then moved to EPIC RECORDS and released the classic “BABY BABY” single, followed by their first album “PURE MANIA” which spent five weeks in the UK Top 75, peaking at number 49. A second single from the album – but a live version – “LONDON GIRLS”, came out in the summer of 1977 and was promoted by a tour supporting ex-MOTT THE HOOPLE mainman IAN HUNTER. Bassist PAT COLLIER left soon after and was replaced by GARY TIBBS. The band released the single “AUTOMATIC LOVER” (March 1978), which not only reached 35 in the charts but also got the band on TOP OF THE POPS. A second LP, “V2″ was released in April and reached number 33 in the British Charts, and is still regarded today as one of New Waves finest moments. JOHN ELLIS left soon after to follow a solo career and to work with PETER GABRIEL, and was replaced by DAVE BIRCH, whilst a fifth member was added with keyboard/saxophonist DON SNOW. However this line up of the band only recorded the “JUDY SAYS (KNOCK YOU IN THE HEAD)” single (a UK No 70 single in the summer of 1978). There then followed a new line up of the band: KNOX – guitar/vocals, EDDIE – drums, with new members BEN BRIERLY – bass, and GREG VAN COOK – guitar. This again proved to be short lived and KNOX left to have a go at being a solo artist towards the end of 1978. EDDIE carried on with the band, as well as drumming for THE INMATES (an R&B band). In early 1980 a more successful line up : KIP – vocals, EDDIE – drums, IAN WOODCOCK (ex-EATER) – bass, PHIL RAM – guitar, ADRIAN WYATT – guitar, signed to RAT RACE RECORDS. They released two singles “GIMME SOME LOVIN’” and “DISCO IN MOSCO”, but the band split up at the end of the year. The original line up reformed in mid 1982 (KNOX, EDDIE, PAT COLLIER and JOHN ELLIS) and signed to ANAGRAM RECORDS, releasing a new version of “BABY BABY”. This was followed by a single and album both called “GUILTY” before the band moved to RAM RECORDS, releasing the singles “MX AMERICA” and “FLYING HOME” and the LP “ALASKA 127″ (named after PAT COLLIER’S studio). By mid 1985 the band had signed to CARRERE RECORDS for whom they recorded the “BABY BLUE EYES” single before moving back to RAM for the “FIFTH AMENDMENT” LP and “BLOWN AWAY BY LOVE” single. By the time the band signed to FM REVOLVER in mid 1986, PAT COLLIER had left to pursue a successful career producing bands, and was replaced by NOEL THOMPSON for the “VIBRATORS LIVE” LP. JOHN ELLIS then left (to become a full-time member of the STRANGLERS) and was replaced by MICKIE OWEN, and NOEL THOMPSON left and was replaced by MARK DUNCAN. The new line up released the “RECHARGED” album, the “STRING HIM ALONG” single and also the 1988′s “MELTDOWN” album. MICKIE OWEN left and was replaced by NIGEL BENNETT (ex-MEMBERS) for the 1990′s “VICIOUS CIRCLE” LP. This line up of the VIBRATORS toured regularly, and released a string of albums: “VOLUME TEN” (1990), “THE POWER OF MONEY” (a re-make compilation, 1993), “HUNTING FOR YOU” (1994), and “UNPUNKED” (an acoustic compilation album, 1996). 1990 lineup (left to right) Mark Duncan (bass), Eddie (drums), Knox (guitar/vocals), Nigel Bennett (guitar) In 1996, in their twentieth year, they started with a new line-up: KNOX – guitar/vocals, EDDIE – drums, with newcomers DARRELL BATH (ex- UK SUBS, CRYBABIES, DOGS D’AMOUR) – guitar, and NICK PECKHAM (ex- BIG BOY TOMATO) – bass, but by June that year they had become a three-piece (KNOX, NICK, and EDDIE). The band recorded the albums “FRENCH LESSONS WITH CORRECTION!” (1997) and “BUZZIN’” (1999). with the band doing extensive touring, (almost 100 gigs in 1999 – including the USA and Canada), plus the release of many albums. NICK PECKHAM (bass) left in Sepatember 1999 and was replaced by ROBBIE TART (ex- HEARTBREAK ANGELS). In 2002 the band released a new compilation of the first two albums the band recorded, closely followed by a new studio album ENERGIZE, both on Ian Grant’s TRACK RECORDS. In September 2003 ROBBIE TART left and was replaced by PETE from Finnish band No Direction, and the band toured the UK and Europe with the UK Subs, doing really good business. In their long career the VIBRATORS have toured with the likes of IGGY POP, IAN HUNTER, THE FLAMING GROOVIES, DIE TOTEN HOSEN,and have had their songs covered by THE EXPLOITED, UK SUBS, GBH, REM, DIE TOTEN HOSEN, to name but a few. Now in 2011 the band celebrate 35 years of making records and touring heavily. Get ready for another 30 years of PURE MANIA!
Daddy Wonk used to be in a band called The Flying Medallions back in the early 1990’s when the punk scene was well underground. They kinda crossed over into the mainstream and the music press would get themselves into a right tiz over the chaos they caused.
Riots and chaos at every show.
But live by the sword, die by the sword…
The chaos caught up in late 95 when the band suffered a fatal tour bus crash in France. Bassist Dougie didn’t make it and MC Mr Stephen suffered critical injuries (He made a full recovery).
Toby Sure DTF
They released the album “We love everybody and everything’s great” in 1994. (now available on Itunes).
The name Wonk Unit came about like this:-
About 5 years ago,myself and original Wonk axe man Gavin “Mad Dog” Kinch were laying a crazy paving driveway.
It was miserable,cold and wet,and then it started snowing on our sorry asses, and i looked over and said;
“Look at us,we’re a right f**king Wonk Unit aint we!”
Steely Ham DTF
“Wonk Unit” we exclaimed.
What a great name for a band.
So there you have it.
A reference to the cold pathetic miserable and depressed.
A description that sums us up perfectly in no way whatsoever
Wonk released their 4th album (Nervous Racehorse) which was released back in March 2014 on Manchester punk label TNS Records.
Their 5th Album is a limited edition vinyl; Feel the Wonkness, originally released as 100 green, and 200 black copies, with a reprint in 300 white vinyls.
Album Six, Mr Splashy, will be revealed later in 2016….
The band are constantly touring the UK and beyond, winning new fans and friends as they go – and their gigs are always good fun
Online Tickets: www.seetickets.com(08712200260)
Tickets also available from:
Hellraiser Records (Wakefield). Crash Records and Jumbo Records (Leeds)
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