Thursday, 12 April 2012

The Great Escape

Some stills I took from Tayside house CCTV when I worked there of a cow escaping from the abattoir in Dundee and dashing to freedom over the Tay bridge through oncoming traffic. This happened on 07th July 2000 about 10:30am, ignore the time and date on the stills, it was always wrong on the system.
The cow got out of the abattoir, negotiated the dock street traffic then made it's way onto the bridge, bashed the bonnet of a car that tried to block it halfway across the mile and a half long bridge and then broke through a chain of cops at the Fife side to get away from being slaughtered. It then got to live on a sanctuary afterwards. A great escape indeed.
Happily the abattoir is no more...

Monday, 9 April 2012

Conflict - To A Nation Of Animal Lovers 7"

This 7" was originally released in 1983 but I first got this through tape trading in about late '86 early '87, tagged onto the end of some album to fill that side of the tape up. Initially as a 13-14 year old kid living in a wee village I got a thrill from the song title Berkshire Cunt as I was reading through the track list of the tape I had been sent, y'know it was like the worst of the bad words, how edgy eh? These guys were punk! Then when the tape trundled through the last of whatever thrash metal album was on the tape and Conflict kicked in, "YOUR BLOOD, THEIR BLOOD, SERVES THE SAME!" it was a shot to the head and heart to say the least, my eyes were opened and connections were made that I had never even given a second thought to. Why did I eat meat? Because everyone else did, I never really connected the animal to the meal even though I knew that steak was a cow, I had never thought of what happened to a cow for it to end up on my plate. I had just accepted that food was food. I loved animals and would never kill one so why was I allowing myself to be complicit in murder on such a horrific scale?
Even things like cosmetics weren't free from animal abuse, why did scientists torture animals in the name of research? Why? How could they? I was only a kid but I knew it was wrong.
Now I was fucking angry about it. And so were Conflict. They were really fucking angry, I'd never heard a record sound so fucking angry in fact.
This was one of the records responsible for opening my mind and setting me on the course to becoming a vegetarian. I still remember when I told my mum about becoming veggie and she was incredulous "So what are you going to eat? You don't like vegetables!" My reply? "Veggie burgers and pizza!" it seemed like a good plan to me...
I have listened to this record thousands of time since then, and it has always remained the best animal rights record to me, the anger and passion that Conflict spat out was absolute and they didn't just talk the talk either. Inspirational stuff.

Conflict - To A Nation Of Animal Lovers 7"

Bye Bye Ronny - UK punk and hardcore compilation

This is a great comp of UK hardcore and punk bands from '89. Some more well known bands such as Deviated Instinct, Instigators, Hellbastard, Concrete Sox, Paradise Lost plus some more obscure ones like Anorexia, Insurrection, Hedgehogs etc. It is admittedly pretty patchy production wise as tracks were probably just taped from other tapes (which in turn came from yet other tapes...) but that just added to the charm of the entire UK scene for me at that time, it was completely DIY. There was also an A5 zine/booklet that came with this but I can only presume that is still up in the loft someplace. It gave info on the bands and the Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign that the tape was a benefit for, all printed in gloriously shoddy but completely punk Bobprint!

Bye Bye Ronny

Sink - Fashionably Unpopular

Favourite band alert!
In '88 I bought the first Sink 7" from the Full Circle distro because after the record title it had this: "(ex-stupids)". It was indeed ex-stupids, Ed Shred on guitar but it was a lot different to the Stupids, not as fast, not as hardcore, more melancholy I suppose, but I loved it. When their first album, Another Love Triangle, came out the next year I picked it up immediately and they had moved even further from the straight up punk with a liberal dose of post hardcore ala Fugazi to blues and country influences, my mind was truly blown and I played that record continually as it had a bit of everything to it. The mini LP, Old Man Snake And His Fat Black Pig, came in 1990 and continued the development and contained one of my favourite Sink songs, Won't Sell My Guitar, the only thing I didn't like about this record was the length, I needed more.
I got to see Sink live that year and met Ed, it was Sunday night, the Moshpit at the Venue in Edinburgh, thrash and death metal night and I went through every Sunday not knowing who I was going to see most weeks, we got off the train about two in the afternoon and nipped down the back stairs to see if there was any mention of who was playing that night on the blackboard of the Venue and there wasn't so we went on our usual trawl round the record shops and pick up pizza and pepsi before the gig, we just came out the West Nicholson Avalanche shop when I spotted a poster for the Venue with Sink listed and, to say the least, I was excited to know that Sink would be playing soon, then when I saw it was actually that night they were playing I literally exploded with joy, the two mates I was with had no idea who they were and dealt with me being hyper pretty well. They also dealt with the news that it wasn't a thrash or death metal band we were seeing that night admirably well also. I literally ran back to the Venue and waited for the band to turn up and then helped them load their stuff in and hung out and chatted for a while before the gig started.
The usual Sunday night thrash crowd turned up and when Sink came on in multi coloured tie dye apparel with acoustics and tambourines they stood in a large semicircle wide eyed and slack jawed throughout the set. Me and my mates danced non stop like complete loons for the whole thing, was such a great gig.

Sink released a comp of their first two 7"s plus two unreleased songs, Mama Sink, The First 18 Years (1963-1989) that year (which has a great cover of the Replacements song If Only You Were Lonely, which I actually like better than the original...) as well before the final album Vega-Tables was released in 1991. Slower in general but still with the Dischord feel in places. They changed name after that and became Big Ray and continued with the slower more gentle stuff but still great songs throughout.
Anyway for your listening pleasure I give you a bundle of Another Love Triangle, Old Man Snake And His Fat Black Pig, Mama Sink The First 18 Years, Vega-Tables, Don't Burn The Hook 7" and the first Big Ray album, Naked.
I hope you enjoy it all as much as I do.