1987 was a crucial year… Our local venue was shut down, I joined the Smurfpunx collective and organised my first tour (for ‘Ripcord’). While preparing that, I got in touch with a whole lot of nice, interesting, caring, helpful people. Bernd Backhaus (editor of Battlefield fanzine) was keen to set up a gig in his area (Dortmund/Bochum, Germany). After that we met a few times when he visited Smurfpunx (or other Belgian) gigs. I also got his friends’ band ‘Inhuman Conditions‘ a few shows. Bernd was/is one of those people that is rooted in the metal-scene but easily makes the cross-over to hardcore/punk and isn’t afraid to ridicule some aspects of the metal attitude…
The summer after the ‘Ripcord’ tour, I went over to visit them. One day Baz (their guitarist) took me over to Bristol and we dropped by at the squat where ‘Chaos UK’ lived (as was Shane Dabinett of Manic Ears recs & Bear Hackenbush of Skate Muties from the 5th Dimension; and I believe Tim Bennett of Children Of The Revolution recs was around there too). The band shoved all their furniture aside and started to play/rehearse. Even though I wasn’t too keen on the ‘cider-up, drunk-punk’ attitude, I found the guys very humorous and would help them with a bunch of gigs over the years…
Yoho, the mighty ‘Chaos UK’ in Battlefield. Wouldn’t even have dreamt a year ago that we would report something about them, since I actually found their old stuff not so exhilarating. But the Short Sharp Shock LP changed my opinion and the split-LP with ‘Extreme Noise Terror’ is a milestone anyway. Reason enough to do an interview with the band. But Mower (the vocalist of the band) found the question-and-answer game boring (he does have a point there somehow) so let’s just give him space to tell us what he considers important.
OK, Germany, this is what is driving and has driven ‘Chaos UK’. At the moment we are touring with ‘Ripcord’ that are likely to make it big [I also think so – Bernd] in England in ‘87. Until the end of last year we have toured with ‘Extreme Noise Terror’, until they ran into some slight band-difficulties that they, I think, have resolved [Referring to the change of drummer – Bernd] in the mean time.
We are still waiting for the release of Earslaughter in America and this even though it’ll be out in Japan soon.
‘Chaos UK’ is currently planning a tour through Holland with ‘Concrete Sox’ from Nottingham, who have a split-LP with ‘Heresy’, which are also from of Nottingham.
Record-wise there isn’t much happening at present, apart from a track on a Manic Ears sampler with ‘Disorder’, ‘Concrete Sox’ and many other great British bands. As for a European tour, we hope to be able to do more touring there in ‘87, because there are no places to play in England (it’s so small). In addition, some of the promoters are in pretty lousy mood when it comes to paying the bands, they almost never pay in advance so that the bands loose money on gigs, especially the smaller ones.
Violence is not a big problem at concerts these days, although it was in ’81/’82, but that has settled – which is good for the punk-scene Mostly it wasn’t punks who caused the trouble.
Now a brief outline of the band: it consists of Mower – vocals, Gabba – guitar, Chuck – drums and Chaos – bass. Gabba is orginally from Nottingham, what is the reason why Bristol and Nottingham [scenes] are so closely connected. Gabba joined Chuck in ’84 to revive the band after a long break. The result was Short Sharp Shock.
Since then we’ve had the same line-up, which is good because it keeps a stable band if you have constant members.
As for our tour of Japan: that went very well; it was financed by two brothers to start their record-company (Selfish music). They payed all airfares, etc. We were there about 15 days, for 6 gigs scattered all over Japan, so we had to travel a lot by bus, sometimes 14 hours in a row. The scene in Japan is brilliant, just as it was in England in ‘82, without the violence; furthermore: most Japanese bands just play thrash and none of that crossover metal crap.
We now try to prepare a split-LP with the Japanese band ‘Outo’ so that people in Europe can get to hear some Japanese bands that no-one over here often hears. In any case, we hope to tour Germany soon, so that you personally can come to throw bottles at us and tell us how bad we are.
All the best of Mower and the rest of ‘Chaos UK’!
Doesn’t he write beautiful letters, that sweet Mower? The Holland Tour of which he writes happens to take place from May 14th to 25th; when you’re lucky, you’ll get to read something about it.
By the way: I took the photos from the excellent zine Problem Child, which is hereby recommended again.
If you want to write the band, do that to the Manic Ears address, or send your confessions to: Mower / 73 Hamilton Road / Southville / Bristol BS3 1NZ / ENGLAND
Some photos, courtesy of Shane Dabinett: