Celebrating the life of the late great DJ (1939-2004) with the legendary Vic Godard & Subway Sect, Piranhas 3D (formerly Brighton's original punk band The Piranhas), south London Peel faves I Ludicrous and garage group The Fallen Leaves. DJ Ian Part Time plays a selection of tunes first heard by many on Peelie's show.
7:30pm @ The Hydrant
75 London Road, Brighton.
Tickets: £10 advance from www.wegottickets.com
Resident and on the door
RECENT PIRANHAS 3D GIGS
THE PIRANHAS 3D, the latest incarnation of Brighton's favourite punk band, continued their rehabilitation as a gigging band with a support slot on the the Blockheads bill at the Komedia on Friday 29th Apri 2011l.
Anybody out there got any photos from this gig, or any other of their recent gigs? If so, send them in and I'll post them on the this page.
With a nice little warm-up at a heaving Horse & Groom the weekend before, which I was lucky enough to witness, the boys introduced a fewnew numbers, with a real solid rock feel, into their set. I'm looking forward to hearing those new songs again. Geat value on tickets available online with a £5 discount on the advance ticket price of £15.
Along with a really solid set from the Piranhas, a big thank you to Pat, the landlord of the House of Doom, for his hospitality and for a great atmosphere in the pub on the night.
Dicke Slexia • drums
Reginald Frederick Hornsbury • bass
John Helmer • vocals, lead guitar
Bob Grover • vocals, guitar
Zoot Alors • saxophone
Featured onVaultage 78, this band really got the ball rolling in Brighton. Their live act was one of the best around and they soon had a large following and were beginning to get some choice gigs out of town. Their songs were laced with a dry, sardonic wit, backed up with some catchy hooklines.
From Suzy Horne in the the Piranhas first fan club fanzine:
"Their first gig as the Piranhas was at the Vault supporting another local punk band Wrist Action. It was an anti-Jubilee gig, held on Jubilee Day 1977. Even the hand stamp said 'Fuck the Jubilee'.
Their set consisted of about eight punk songs with titles such as Maniac, Tell the Truth, Hilary Bites, I Want Your Body and Johnny Mono, plus a couple of covers including a punk version of Let's Spend the Night Together. The only slower song was called Shut Up which became a strong favourite and highlight of the set. It even had it's own dance at one time."
I first met Bob Grover in 1976. Intense, hunched, with the pallor of milk-fed veal and eyes like pissholes in the snow; the next four years of my life would be dedicated to his vision. We were the first Brighton band of the punk era to nose our way out of a small but highly active scene and gain wider acceptance.
What marked us out (apart from that all-playing-the-same-chord-at-the-same-time thing) was a distinctive take on life emanating largely from between Bob's ears. Reg was a qualified sparks who could rustle PA equipment and plugboards out of nowhere. Dické had street credibility (coming from Lewes). Zoot Alors was the art school influence. I could count up to four without checking on my fingers. But Bob - Bob gave us weltanschauung.
Eventually the welt and its wife - including John Peel, Robert Smith and Jerry Dammers - beat a path to our Sunday night gigs at the Alhambra on Brighton seafront. For a while we enjoyed cult status and a reputation as a live act. There is no significant bodily function that I have not performed in the back of a Transit van.
It was at the Alhambra too that the infamous Pete Waterman saw us, the man who was eventually to give us our first, and as it turned out, fatal taste of chart success. Ironically enough, having survived years of slogging up and down the M1; after a tragIc car crash which killed our Road Manager, Dave Bullock, and hospitalized other members; after poverty, hardship, the Anti-Piranha League (APL), contractual wranglings, bad drugs, bad sex, bad food and the day-to-day rigours of living that vision, it was getting into the Top Ten that finally polished us off.
Most of the Piranhas' tracks on the Vaultage Punk Collection CD (issued in 1997 to commemorate 20 years of punk music), came from an album that was never released. It was junked in favour of a marginally more commercial re-recording that came out to accompany the single Tom Hark. Shortly after its release we split up.
Although Bob went on to a new line-up and another hit single (Zambesi), I don't think it would upset anyone unduly to claim that the original line-up represented on the CD, was the
Some ideas, some of the best ideas, aren't built to last. Having sung the joys of loserdom so long, perhaps we just weren't equipped for the triumphalist Eighties. Whatever.
Since then, of course, bands like Pulp and Blur have visited similar territory. The Piranhas might not have lasted but the strand in popular music they represent - eccentric, eclectic and defiantly English - did.
John Helmer, Brighton, June 1997.
Observer Magazine March 1978
The Sunday supplement, published 32 years ago, featured a double page photo spread of the Piranhas in their police uniforms. Strangely there was no accompanying article. Just a paragraph of the usual cliches that journalists love so much. Excellent photomontage of the band in full colour. preview or download it now