Monday, 23 March 2009

Tribal Echoes

It sure does help when one wants to do it for one's self to know the right people.
Even in the Anarcho-post-punk world networking and establishing contacts were vital for credibility, and vital when it came to releasing a product.

North London based Omega Tribe were fortunate enough to know the right people.
Pete Fender (Fatal Microbes, Rubella Ballet) was a good friend, as was Gem Stone (Rubella Ballet), who both happened to be the children of Poison Girls' Front woman Vi Subversa, who had worked extensively with Penny Rimbaud (Crass).

Once all these elements had been put in place (I should have drawn a Venn!) Omega Tribe were able to produce the e.p. Angry Songs (Crass Records, produced by Penny Rimbaud and Pete Fender) in 1982, and in '83 cut the album No Love Lost (Corpus Christi Records (Poison Girls' label), produced by Pete Fender and Omega Tribe).

Now I'm not saying that all that networking - and one wouldn't dare use the term nepotism - was the only way and reason Omega Tribe were ever able to cut records... it just helped.

And it's great for all us music fanatics to know about the provenance behind any band or recording, right.
And the reason I am able to share information about this band is the fact that Omega Tribe were one of my local bands in the early eighties.

My relationship with the band was mainly transactional; although I did become a fan and saw them play at various venues, parties, squats and one time even saw them play in Hadley Wood!
(We all considered ourselves outlaws then.)

With two main songwriters Omega Tribe's sound adopted two identities.
Loud, shouty, vitriolic polemics against the state (the best being 'Man Made' and 'Profit') lead by Crass and Oi fan Daryl (voice, bass); and more melodic, thoughtful pieces (best being 'My Tears' [probably their best track]) by Astronauts and Genesis fan [!] Hugh (voice, guitar).

Overall, they do on this album sound a little like the Poisons; but perhaps more like the Mob or Subhumans.
But to be fair they did have their own sound, influenced by both their contemporaries and the zeitgeist, which they soon became part of, especially for us living in those banal nineteen-eighties' London suburbs.

Listening to this album now, it still sounds alive; not in any way a relic.
It's refreshing to hear music so stripped down; to get back in touch with and be reminded that there are real people behind the instruments rather than a PC or a 64 track digital desk.
It's also refreshing to remember that music was once a legitimate addition to debate; young people once cared about things other than themselves and dared stand outside of the mainstream and demand to be heard...

I just realised, I started to sound like some subversive Granddad...

In reality I still adopt the same position.

For those who don't get it - and there are many that never did or never will - pity is all that can be offered.
I used to care. But I don't anymore.
And that's what getting old means.

Omega Tribe - No Love Lost (1983)

Duty Calls
What the Hell
Mother of Cultivation
My Tears
Nature Wonder
Man Made
My Tears Reprise (No More Wars)

Excellent vinyl rip @320kbs
For those who once cared, remind yourself here


cultureshot66 said...

Thanx for doin this, esp @ 320kbps. I liked them in the day but living in NZ i never got to see them.

You couldn't upload Snuff's Demassabebonk (UK edition) could you?


roy rocket said...

I will post the album 'snuffsays...'
Dunno if that helps...

Anonymous said...

cheers for posting this great album roy... i lost my copy many moons ago... so it was great to hear it again.
big love from one subversive granddad to another.x

Novemberer said...

Oooooh, haven't heard this in a LONG time. Thanks for posting... x

Nuzz Prowlin' Wolf said...

tHIS IS A GREAT album. Top band!

Listen and Understand said...

Awesome blog. Much better than those that just post a picture and a download link and move on. I'll put a link to yours on mine.