Gig FOLK DEVILS & THE INCA BABIES + Dj Rhys Mwyn (Recordiau Rhys Mwyn Radio Cymru)
Saturday 22 July
Named after Stanley Cohen’s book on youth subcultures “Folk Devils and Moral Panics”, this highly underrated British band was as far as one could get from ‘folk music’ at the time. They were formed by Ian Lowery (formerly of The Wall and Ski Patrol) in late 1983 with a line up that consisted of Mark Whiteley (Bass), Kris Jozajtis (Guitar) and Alan Cole (Drums). Throughout their short lifespan, the band released several acclaimed independent singles including “Hank Turns Blue”, “Beautiful Monster” and 1985’s “Fire And Chrome” EP, and recorded three sessions for BBC Radio’s John Peel Show. The band was short-lived yet burned brightly for two years and was very active on the UK live scene sharing bills with Nick Cave, The Gun Club, The Fall and Spacemen 3. The Gun Club are perhaps an apt reference point for the Folk Devils sound, intense bluesy punk with an aggressive psychobilly edge. Sadly, Ian Lowery passed away in 2001, age 45.
Now some 30 years later, Kris and Mark (originally a Porthmadog native) decided to reform for a handful of shows to celebrate the release of their 2016 recorded works anthology “Beautiful Monsters” (Singles & Demo Recordings 1984-86) on Optic Nerve Recordings and to honour the memory of their friend and former frontman. They are joined by John Hamilton (who played drums in a second incarnation of Folk Devils from 1986-87) and Dave Hodgson on vocals, former singer for post-punk band Parting Shots.
Inca Babies were formed in Manchester’s infamous Hulme district in 1982 by Bill Marten (bass) and Harry Stafford (guitar, later vocals). Their music was a raunchy Death Ray twang from a punk-trash, Americana perspective. Radio 1 DJ John Peel and his producer John Walters heard the Inca’s first single ‘The Interior’ and offered them a session. It was to be the first of four they did for Radio 1 between 1984-87. With two number one slots in the Indie single chart and a top 5 album ‘Rumble’, the Incas soon began to find an audience abroad. Tours of mainland Europe included Germany, Holland, Belgium, France, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Austria and Scandinavia. Three further albums (This Train, Opium Den and Evil Hour) and six more singles were released. During this time popularity was not a problem but keeping personnel was, and while singers and drummers came and went, Bill and Harry, the backbone of the band who played every gig and appeared on every record, struggled to keep the integrity of the band alive. The end came when there were no more singers and no more drummers. By the late 80s acid clubbers raved through the night and there was no place for the Incas. But by this time they’d joined them anyway. But then in 2006 came the ‘Best of’ compilation ‘Plutonium’, and the band reformed in 2007 with Gold Blade drummer Rob Haynes the new occupant behind the drum kit. Gigs at home and abroad followed and a new album was midway through being written when the band were hit with the shocking news of the death of bassist Bill Marten. The band was put on hold while they came to terms with this loss, but it was eventually decided to keep Bill’s legacy alive by continuing and finishing off the album they had started writing. Their old friend and former A Witness bass player Vince Hunt joined and made his live debut in Warsaw, Poland in late 2008. The album ‘Death Message Blues’ was released in October 2010, and their first single for 25 years, “My Sick Suburb”, was released on 7″ blue vinyl in April 2012, followed by the album ‘Deep Dark Blue’ later that year. For Record Store Day 2014, the band released the 4 track 12″ EP ‘Scatter’ on clear vinyl. The most recent album “The Stereo Plan” was released in September 2014.
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