TRAPPED IN A SCENE _ UK HARDCORE 1985 _ 1989 by Ian Glasper ISBN: 978_901447_61_3 521 pages (Cherry Red Books) Like the two previous books ‘Burning Britain’ and ‘The Day The Country Died’ Ian Glasper’s new book ‘Trapped In A Scene’ is an exhaustive documentation of a sub genre of punk that disappeared all too quickly from view.
UK Hardcore was a super fast whirlwind of noise and energy that blasted across the land (and sometimes the airwaves) from 1985. Many of its protagonists never realised the ripples they would create from the back rooms of run down pubs. The scenes influence is still very much evident in bands and record labels such as Peaceville even today courtesy of acts such as Napalm Death who actually started out life as a pretty slow band on the Crass label.
Strong themes run throughout the book _ particularly the influence of Radio 1 DJ John Peel who booked many of the scenes leading lights into the BBC’s Maida Vale studios for sessions. Peel was essential for the music’s propagation but on a grass roots level bands depended more on a ready made DIY circuit much of which was formed during the anarcho punk period. Front page publicity in the music press and ever growing audiences resulted in more money being poured into the scene but it eventually lost sight of its original purpose and collapsed in on itself through a mix of excessive demands for guarantees despite dwindling support.
Glasper is the perfect documenter of the scene taking care to contact all the bands he could regardless of their perceived size in the scene. Many follow the same pattern _ bored kids form a band and then see band X (typically Napalm Death!) and speed up. They play gigs, put a record out but then gradually watch the support fade away and split. For some bands even now the separations are still a bone of contention (The Stupids are one example) whilst others have buried their differences with time and have reformed.
For those who missed the whole thing (you could be eighteen today and not even born when this was all going on) the related ‘Trapped In A Scene’ CD is an excellent starting point to hear many of the bands. Featuring rare and unreleased tracks like the book itself it’s a great document of a genre that was referred to as ‘the full stop at the end of music’.
Bands featured in ‘Trapped In A Scene’. WEST MIDLANDS: Napalm Death, Doom, Sacrilege, Filthkick, Unseen Terror, The Depraved / Visions of Change, Joyce Mckinney Experience, Bad Beach.
EAST MIDLANDS: Heresy, Concrete Sox, Filler / Eyes on You, Intense Degree, Skum Dribblurzzz, Dirge, Sarcasm
THE NORTHWEST: Doctor & The Crippens, Electro Hippies, Jailcell Recipes, The Deformed, Mere Dead Men, Feed Your Head, Snapping Bogseats, Exit Condition, Adversary, Death Zone.
THE NORTHEAST: Hellbastard, Generic, Mortal Terror, The Fiend, HDQ, Debauchery, Steadfast, Terminus, Active Minds, Civilised Society?, Incest Brothers, Pleasant Valley Children, Sore Throat, Crowpeople.
THE EAST: Stupids, Extreme Noise Terror, Annihilated, Deviated Instinct, Default, The Uprising, Heavy Discipline.
THE SOUTHEAST: Snuff, Insight, Long Cold Stare, Bad Dress Sense, Trench Fever, Axegrinder, Gutrot, Sons Of Bad Breath / Eat Shit, Decadent Few, Pro Patri Mori, Atavistic.
THE SOUTH: Insurrection, Salad From Atlantis, Immolato Tomatoes, Sleep, MTA, VDG, Corporate Grave, Haywire, Hate That Smile.
THE SOUTHWEST: Ripcord, Mad At The Sun, Smart Pils, Hippy Slags, Decadence Within, Prophecy Of Doom, Terrorain.
WALES: Cowboy Killers, The Abs, Anhrefn.
IRELAND: Paranoid Visions, Pink Turds In Space, FUAL.
SCOTLAND: Toxik Ephex, The Disturbed, Sedition.
Also features Earache, Peaceville, Manic Ears, and Meantime records interviews and discographies.