U.K. Subs 1997 Tour Journal by Nicky Garratt

1997 U.K. Subs Set-List

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01. A Massive Return
02. Set List

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01. Day 01
02. Day 02
03. Day 03
04. Day 04
05. Day 05
06. Day 06
07. Day 07
08. Day 08
09. Day 09
10. Day 10
11. Day 11
12. Day 12
13. Day 13
14. Day 14
15. Day 15
16. Day 16
17. Day 17
18. Day 18
19. Day 19
20. Day 20
21. Day 21
22. Day 22
23. Day 23
24. Day 24
25. Day 25
26. Day 26
27. Day 27
28. Day 28
29. Day 29
30. Day 30
31. Day 31
32. Day 32
33. Day 33
34. Day 34
35. Day 35
36. Day 36
37. Day 37
38. Day 38
39. Day 39
40. Day 40
41. Day 41
42. Day 42
43. Day 43

Table Of Contents
UK Subs Main Page

Back To Bands

Charlie and I toyed with the idea of a re-union with Alvin and myself for a new album for the 20th anniversary of the UK Subs which was approaching in the winter of 1996. The press were more than kind about our the last attempt (the 7” Betrayal), particularly the UK Subs at Wally Sound, October 1996. Alvin Gibbs, Dave Ayer, Charlie Haper, Nicky Garratt. B side - “Nobody Move”, so we decided to book time at Wally Sound studios in San Francisco giving us only a few weeks to start working on songs. Alvin was available but again Steve Roberts was discounted as a possibility. There was some talk of Rat Scabbies of the Damned playing on the record. I had just remixed two songs from the last Damned album “Not Of This Earth” for Cleopatra records. I also played all the guitar and bass on the remixes so in a round-about way I had just been playing with him. Rat, of course, was from the same era as the Subs and Charlie, in particular, already were friends with him. However Rat was playing in Joe Strummers new band and moving between Hollywood and the UK. Scheduling Rat for the session was looking less and less likely. Dave Ayer from Samiam was available and interested. Having worked with him on several projects I knew he was one of the few drummers who could handle this kind of project on such a short notice.

By the time Charlie and Alvin arrived in San Francisco I had penned an number of partial songs, (I rarely write lyrics), Alvin brought with him five, 80% finished songs, some with lyrics. Charlie had a couple of songs also, so I announced that we should up the anti as it were and do two albums. We had reached “Q” in our alphabetic catalog, so these new albums were dubbed “Quintessentials” & “Riot”. We had a three week window to finish all recording this would include writing, rehearsing, backing tracks, overdubs and vocals.

Wally sound was a small studio built in a garage across the road from Golden Gate park. Chock full of antique guitars, amps and mics, and using an analog 2” recorder, Wally’s place was perfect for us. We set up a schedule where Alvin and I would work on songs for a day, we would rehearse those songs the next day while Charlie scribbled down lyric Ideas, then we would record the backing tracks the next day. The cycle would repeat again. At the end of the backing track portion of the session we were throwing everything in the pot. We listened to our favorite punk songs for inspiration then wrote 1976 style little pieces with working titles like “Clutching at straws” and “Last ditch attempt” (later renamed). On the last day we attempted to improvise a song based around a drum beat Dave came up with. I drew a blank and went home for a while (Across on the other side of the park), while I was gone Alvin & Dave managed to lay down a take with Alvin also playing a guitar line, (Beggars & Bums), then I added a 2nd part. However while I was at home, for around an hour, I knocked out two short songs. The first, not on either album was used for album ads and station ID’s for U.S. college radio, the second was “Power Corrupts” (On Riot). Right up to the last hours before Alvin’s flight back to the UK we were throwing down tracks, and adding his voice on backing vocals. (Charlie had done a few lead vocals already). The third week Charlie and I worked on vocals and guitar overdubs, before he also left for the UK. After a few days rest Wally and I mixed both albums. The first “Quintessentials” was slatted for release on New Red Archives, the second was licensed to Cleopatra. Cleopatra had released two CD’s of UK Subs material prior to this deal. They were “Punk Can Take It” - A collection of demos and live tracks and “Self Destruct” a collection of tracks licensed from New Red Archives compiled from A.W.O.L., Killing Time, Betrayal and the split 7” with the Swingin’ Utters.

 

 

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