Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Exhibit A ‎– "No Elephants This Side Of Watford Gap EP" (Irrelevant Wombat Records ‎– DAMP 1) 1979

Exhibit 'A' formed in late 1978 when four 14-year-olds discovered a shared interest in John Peel's late night radio shows — whilst avoiding sporting activities together during school breaks. They produced three issues of a fanzine, Wombat Weekly, and recorded their first EP, No Elephants this Side of Watford Gap at a central London youth club in 1979. At age 15 and 16 they were one of the youngest bands to release their own record independently. Guitarist and indie idealist Paul Platypus also played with the excellent Reflections (with Mark Perry and Nag from the Door & the Window), Doof with Phillip Johnson, and Twelve Cubic Feet (joined by former Exhibits drummer Andrew Lunchbox-good stagename- and bassist Matthew Matrices among others), and founded Namedrop Records. Matthew went on to release one of thee classic DIY tapes ever with Solid Space's "Space Museum" (1982).In fact everything the members of Exhibit A had to do with was rather marvelous indeed.
This lot deserve their place in the pantheon of real boy(and girl, as in Honey Bane*) Bands, alongside The Prats, The Fatal Microbes*, and half of Eater.
But above that they were one of the earliest indicators of what would become the 'Indie' template, and the de-rocking of Pop music; before fey shoegazing and the inordinately floppy fringe became more important than the attitude.Then, even worse, before major labels started to set up their own 'Fake Indie' labels and shoved Jesus and Mary Chain clones down our throats into the proper charts,and eventually became rebranded as 'Brit Pop'?????(ugh!).The Subway Sect and the TV Personalities would have turned in their graves....although they both still exist as Zombie Indie cash-in acts to this very day!?


A1 In The Night 2:55
A2 Fame And Fortune 2:08
B1 Digital Age 1:38
B2 Maniac Garden 4:36


Ian said...

Fantastic stuff, thanks for the post. A contemporary parallel might be made with Iceage, from Denmark. Just teens when they started who play way above their heads.

Jonny Zchivago said...

Iceage?....where do you find these people?
That felt good...thats what i usually get asked.
I will check these kids out sir.
You can't beat a good kid band.

Ian said...

You'll hear a wide swath of Joy Division running through their music. Their first two albums New Brigade and You're Nothing are my faves; they've gone a bit more melodic on third album Plowing Into the Field of Love. Terrific live show, I've had the opportunity to see them twice.