C86 Show - Indie Pop
Doctors of Madness special with Richard Strange

Doctors of Madness special with Richard Strange

June 24, 2019

Richard Strange in conversation - talking about music, art, culture & much much more 

Doctors of Madness were formed in 1974 in a cellar in Brixton, south London by the composer and lead singer/guitarist Richard Strange, known as ‘Kid’ Strange.

To provide a platform for his musical ideas and compositions analysing urban culture neurosis and systems of control, Strange joined forces with Urban Blitz (electric violin, baritone violectra and lead guitar) Stoner (vocals, bass guitar) and Peter DiLemma (vocals, drums) to provide the link between the early 1970s progressive rock and glam rock of David Bowie and Roxy Music, and the later 1970s punk rock of the Sex Pistols and The Clash. Doctors of Madness cited The Velvet Underground and writer William S. Burroughs as major influences on their music which fused avant-garde hard rock with warped quasi-classical tones.


Between 1975 and 1977, Doctors of Madness recorded three albums for Polydor records - Late Night Movies, All Night Brainstorms produced by John Punter, Figments of Emancipation recorded at Abbey Road studios with producer John Leckie, and Sons of Survival. A posthumous compilation, Revisionism, was released in 1981, the band having split in late 1978. 

Doctors of Madness were BBC Radio John Peel Show featured artists on 25 November 1976, and received British television exposure during 1975/76 on the Twiggy Show and also the Janet Street-Porter Show.

Their support acts during their heyday included The Sex Pistols (Middlesbrough 1976), The Jam (London Marquee on several occasions 1976), Joy Division (as "Warsaw" Manchester 1976) and Simple Minds (as "Johnny and the Self Abusers" Falkirk 1976). Furthermore Richard 'Kid' Strange was best man at Dave Vanian's (of the Damned) wedding.

Early in 1978 Urban Blitz was ousted from the band after musical and personal differences, and was briefly replaced by singer Dave Vanian of punk rock band The Damned, who had recently split, albeit temporarily.

Richard Strange, Stoner and Peter DiLemma continued as a trio until October 1978 before disbanding due to withdrawal of record company support. Recognition of Doctors of Madness influence on the emergence of British punk rock was documented in the book An Unauthorized Guide to Punk Rock: The Early English Scene, including the Deviants, the Doctors of Madness, David Bowie, the Sex Pistols, the Clash, which was published in 2011. The band's reappraisal as an important influence in British punk rock prompted their albums to be re-released in 2002 on CD.

Richard Strange has promoted Doctors of Madness music in recent years with performances in Japanbacked by ex-Pogues multi-instrumentalist David Coulter and local band Sister Paul in 2003, and also performances in Leeds and Doncaster, Yorkshire, England, with bassist Stoner in 2006.

The Doctors of Madness reunited in October 2014 for a one-off performance, as part of Richard Strange's "Language is a Virus from Outer Space", a multi-media centenary celebration of satirical US writer William S Burroughs.[10]Joe Elliott of Def Leppard made a guest appearance, duetting on "Suicide City". Stoner died just one month after the October 2014 reunion, and received an obituary in The Times citing his contributions to music.

In May 2017, Cherry Red Records released a comprehensive three CD boxed set of the entire recorded works of the Doctors of Madness, entitled Perfect Past - The Complete Doctors of Madness, and the release was celebrated with a string of live performances by the band, featuring Richard "Kid" Strange, Urban Blitz, and the Japanese rhythm section of Susumu (bass) and Mackii (drums) from the band Sister Paul. This line-up toured in the UK and also in Japan.

In November 2017 Strange and Urban Blitz, joined by protest singer Lily Bud, performed an evening of "Unplugged" Doctors of Madness songs in the neo-gothic chapel of The House of St Barnabas, in Soho, London The event was filmed and released as a DVD, In The Afterglow.

Strange tours annually in Japan, with the Japanese power duo Sister Paul taking bass and drum duties, and has also lectured students in Otaru University, Sapporo.

In 2019 Strange return to the recording to studio once more, to record the first all-new Doctors of Madness album for 41 years. The songs were written by Strange in a short period of feverish activity, and were recorded at Doghouse Studios, Oxfordshire, with world famous producer John Leckie once again at the helm. The album, entitled Dark Times, will be released in September 2019. 8 songs (So Many Ways To Hurt You, Make It Stop!, Sour Hour, Walk Of Shame, This Kind Of Failure, This Is How To Die, Blood Brother and Dark Times) comprise this highly political, passionate album. Guests who were asked to participate in the recording include Joe Elliott of Def Leppard as backing vocalist in 5 songs, Sarah Jane Morris of the Communards sings on 4, and there are contributions from Terry Edwards (Tindersticks, Nick Cave, PJ Harvey and Madness), Steve 'Boltz' Bolton (Paul Young, The Who and Atomic Rooster as well as the young protest singer Lily Bud, and the Japanese power duo Sister Paul, comprising Susumu Ukei on bass and Mackii Ukei on Drums, who appear on all tracks.

The Doctors of Madness will tour Japan again in September 2019.


Band of Holy Joy with Johny Brown

Band of Holy Joy with Johny Brown

June 18, 2019

The Band of Holy Joy with Johny Brown in conversation

The band was formed in 1984, by Johny Brown in New Cross, South London. Early experiments revolved around cheap junk shop instrumentation and rudimentary electronics. After two self-issued cassettes, they signed to South London indie label Flim Flam for a string of singles and two 1987 albums; More Tales From The City and the live LP When Stars Come Out To Play.

The band reached a commercial and critical peak after signing to Rough Trade, with Manic, Magic, Majesticin 1989, and Positively Spooked in 1990, supported by a tour of the U.S.S.R. The label was forced into receivership in 1991 following cash flow problems and eventual bankruptcy. The band re-emerged in 1992 as Holy Joy, with the album Tracksuit Vendetta. They split up in 1993 and Brown moved into freelance journalism, playwriting and production.

Band of Holy Joy reformed in 2002 and released an album Love Never Fails. After a number of live dates the band became inactive between 2003, and 2006, pursuing other musical projects. In May 2007, the band began playing live again. October 2007 saw the release of Leaves That Fall in Spring, a best of released on the Cherry Red label.

In 2008, after playing nine warm-up dates in and around London during April, May and June, the band set off to the USA for the first time in their 24-year history and embarked on a successful tour of New York City.[5]Punklore, a six-track CD was released and initially only available at the New York gigs.

In 2009, the band started to explore theatrical and multimedia based performances. As their alter ego Radio Joy, they performed two song plays Troubled Sleep and Invocation to William. Troubled Sleep was a fictional account of Sid and Nancy's last days at the Chelsea Hotel in New York. It played out over several nights in the Shunt Theatre Lounge in London and Star and Shadow Cinema in Newcastle.[2]Invocation to Williamwas performed at The University of London Institute in Paris at the event celebrating the 50th anniversary of William S. Burroughs' Naked Lunch, 'Lunch @ 50'.[6] The songs from this show were released as a mini album CD A Lucky Thief In A Careless World on band's own Radio Joy label. In October 2009, they were invited to play The Wire magazine's 'Into the Vortex' festival, followed by a series of shows in Athens, Greece, later that year.

Paramour, the band's eleventh album was released on 8 June 2010 and featured eight songs that had evolved from the song play Troubled Sleep.

In 2011, the band embarked on another tour of Greece, playing in cities of Athens, Thessaloniki, and Larissa. They made their first appearance at Glastonbury Festival and performed their third song play BeuysWill Be Beuys in London and Thessaloniki. A CD release titled How To Kill A Butterfly was released on 28 October 2011 on Exotic Pylon Records.

On 15 March 2012, a CD release entitled The North Is Another Land was released on German independent record label Moloko Plus.

On 28 January 2013,a double cassette and digital download titled City of Tales: Volume 1 & 2 was released on Exotic Pylon Records. Volume 1 contains previously unreleased material from 1985 found by former band member Brett Turnbull, restored and accompanied by a second volume of recordings from 2012. This was followed up in 2014 with Easy Listening which was released on Exotic Pylon Records with an accompanying UK tour.

Their album The Land Of Holy Joy was released through Stereogram Recordings on 21 September 2015.

In 2017, the band release an EP on 10" vinyl entitled Brutalism Begins At Home followed by an album, Funambulist We Love You on vinyl and CD. Both put out by Tiny Global Productions.

Band of Holy Joy host their own radio show, Bad Punk, on Resonance FM every Friday from 10pm until 11pm.

A new album entitled Neon Primitives was released on the Tiny Global Productions label in June 2019 on vinyl and CD.

Helen McCookerybook

Helen McCookerybook

June 11, 2019

Helen McCookerybook in conversation.

Helen McCookerybook (born Helen McCallum, now Dr Helen Reddington) is an English musician, best known for serving as the bass guitar player and lead singer with Brighton-based punk rock band The Chefs during the late 1970s and early 1980s. She later formed Helen and the Horns (with Dave Jago on trombone, Paul Davey on sax and Chris Smith on trumpet), before continuing her career as a solo artist, writer and lecturer. In 2010 she released Take One on the Barbaraville label. She plays live gigs as a solo act as well as occasional revivals of Helen and the Horns.

Her pseudonym derives from a 1979 photo shoot in Brighton, with other bands on the Attrix label. When the local news photographer asked McCallum her name, she told him, on the spur of the moment, that it was "McCookerybook" and the name stuck.

Her first book (as Helen Reddington) The Lost Women of Rock Music: Female Musicians of the Punk Erawas published in July 2007. The book featured interviews with The Slits, Gina Birch, The Mo-dettes, Enid Williams (Girlschool), Dolly Mixture, Gaye Black (The Adverts), Vi Subversa (Poison Girls), Rhoda Dakar, Lucy O'Brien, Attila the Stockbroker, Caroline Coon, Geoff Travis and the late John Peel.

She holds a doctorate from the University of Westminster and has been a lecturer at the University of East London since 2006. British songwriter and performer Katy Carr cites Reddington's lectures on the musical works of The Raincoats and the Riot grrrl underground feministpunk rock movement as a source of initial inspiration for her own 2001 debut album Screwing Lies.

The Passmore Sisters with Martin Sadofski

The Passmore Sisters with Martin Sadofski

June 4, 2019

The Passmore Sisters with Martin Sadofski in conversation

Formed in Bradford, England, in 1983, the band were active until 1988. They released 4 singles and an LP before splitting. They also recorded 3 sessions for BBC Radio 1, two for the John Peel Show (1985 & 86) and one for the Janice Long Show (1987).


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