Tuesday, March 14, 2006


(Newtown) Neurotics

Well the week has got off to a good start if we can put aside 100+kmph winds and below zero morning temperatures, my postman delivered my copy of the Billy Bragg box set, the result of which has been me whistling 'Power In The Union' all day at work! Of particular interest is the live DVD which contains two numbers recorded during an East German tour in 1986. This short detour behind the iron curtain was made in the company of the Newtown Neurotics, who have an amusing account of the experience here.
The Newtown who? A power punk trio considered by some to be one of the nations lost treasures. Formed in 1979 by Ramones fan Steve Drewett, the bands origins were firmly in Harlow, Essex one of the home counties characterless dormitory towns that sprung up like a bad rash in the 50s and 60s, thus the 'newtown'. They quickly fulfilled their early promise releasing a string of melodic punk singles, good as they were they lacked in a certain lyrical edge. The change to remedy this was to be aided by their strong disapproval of Thatchers election and her policies. It was probably their newfound voice of political discontent that was to cost them the wider success that they merited. They certainly didn't hide their beliefs, releasing the classic double A side single 'Kick Out The Tories' / 'Mindless Violence' in 1982. For me the second of these songs was to be their finest moment, strangely reminiscent of another UK trio the Jam but with more overtly political questioning. The band soldiered on until 1988, playing their final gig at the Fulham Greyhound. The Neurotics as they were then known are well served in terms of availability after a recent rerelease campaign, you can check this out for yourself here .
I have always had mixed feelings about bands getting back together, I can still remember strongly voicing my opinions against the Pixies reformation, it probably lost me some friends. Well the Newtown Neurotics are playing together again, albeit on a part time basis, they are probably not earning a fortune from it either, still I wish them all the best but can't help asking why?

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