TV Party - Comps

Burning Britain: The History of UK Punk 1980-1984 {Cherry Red} Given the quality of the book, I had really high hopes for this but it’s a major let down. Of the 30 assembled clips here, only a third were actually filmed in the time span of the title. I realise camcorders were not easily accessible to bands - particularly Punk bands - back then, but surely there was more footage to salvage than what is here? To make it worse, a lot of the more recent material is from the Holidays In The Sun Festivals - not a bad thing as such but the sound quality is shit - even the clip of DISORDER live in Norway in ‘86 has better audio quality!!
OK - the vintage stuff! Yeah - it is worth seeing. Particular highlights have to be THE DESTRUCTORS in ‘81 playing a festival deal on the back of a truck to a group of about 30 thrashing Punks; a fantastic clip of NEWTOWN NEUROTICS slicing through an embittered, passionate ‘Kick Out The Tories’ live in Leeds in ‘83; ABRASIVE WHEELS live in Leeds in ‘84 doing an intense ‘Burn ‘Em Down’; a ragged and raging CHAOS UK promo of ‘No Security’ from ‘84; ‘CID’ from a manic UK SUBS show (with Nicky Garrett) from Manchester in ‘83 and the hugely underrated MAU MAUS live, again in Leeds in ‘83, charging through ‘Running With The Pack’. The other stuff from the actual time frame includes live tracks by BROKEN BONES, DEAD MANS SHADOW and VICE SQUAD and promos from ABH and ACTION PACT.
Just outside of the time frame is a promo for ‘Geordie’s Gone To Jail’ by TOY DOLLS, EXPLOITED live in Japan in ‘91 (not my favourite band but it’s a pretty fierce performance alright!) and PETER AND THE TEST TUBE BABIES’ ‘95 promo for ‘Busy Doin’ Nothin’’.
Of the better new gear is a reformed DISCHARGE doing a badly-recorded ‘Ain’t No Feeble Bastard’ live in Stoke in 2003, THE BUSINESS playing a wild show in Japan in ‘97 and a ferocious ‘Murder’ by THE VARUKERS in Brazil in ‘99. And then it goes down hill...
SPECIAL DUTIES (never ever a good band) live in ‘96 at HITS looking fat, sounding slow and left me kinda cringing that this stuff is associated with Punk Rock; ANTI-NOWHERE LEAGUE (ditto my comment about Special Duties) at the same show just looking and sounding shit while I cringed even more; MAJOR ACCIDENT (need I write it again?) and the same show also looking dismal; ONE WAY SYSTEM (who I rate) doing a tired and terribly produced ‘Jerusalem’ at THE SAME FUCKING SHOW... Get the picture? Thankfully ENGLISH DOGS, CHRON GEN and EXTERNAL MENACE (from THAT show again!) save a bit of face for the HITS material.
What could have been a bit more interesting is interviews with the bands involved, Glasper (who wrote the book) doing an audio commentary or some better vintage clips of the DESTRUCTORS quality (or even TV stuff like BLITZ on The Tube, ADICTS on Cheggars Plays Pop, or even ANGELIC UPSTARTS or COCKNEY REJECTS on Top Of The Pops) - as it is, it seems a decidedly thrown together project that has left a half-cooked taste in my mouth.
Buy the book and burn a copy of the best bits of this from your video rental store.

Eugene Video Zine! {Eugene} A hit and miss hotch-potch of assorted interviews, live performances, promos and general fucking about. Of the 16 listed features, at least 25% are totally throwaway. Highlights have to be the smooth, femme-lead, bubblegum Punk cool of the fantastic CITY MOUSE, the excellent promo of DEEP 13 and the behind the scenes making of the zombie-fied video, ALL AMERICAN WEREWOLVES blasting out super-fuzzed MISFITS-esque Garage core and, finally INFECTED live playing a stunning live take on ‘Self Sacrifice’. INFECTED’s quality really stands out here; the band is fast, tight, powerful and structured and slay the song like few others on the DVD manage.
Other features include a screaming, discordant noisecore performance from A NIGHTMARE AND A CATACLYSM, the frankly bemusing Asian metal rock of ELECTRIC EEL SHOCK and a few extras including a neat guerilla style performance from rappers COVEN AND CRAZY D as they gatecrash a show and do their thang from a sound system in a car.
A lot of the filler stuff just left me bored though; it seemed to lack ideas and direction and just said nothing, although visually it was quite inventive. I’m guessing a lot of the humour revolved around ‘in-jokes’ that the Lexington, KY locals may have appreciated. Also, the DVD misses some of this label’s best bands - YELLOW BELTS and KILL TOBY WYATT to name just two.
Let's hope the next volume has the substance to match the quality of the label’s recorded output.