Deep Six was a fanzine produced in Rhyl in the early 80s by Scratch (of Mercenary Skank) and Mike Lewis (of Prevent Forest Fires). Here is transcription of a gig review and interview with Theatre Of Hate. Many thanks to Degsy (Derrick Nichols) for digging his archives.
Theatre Of Hate seemed to have attracted quite a lot of interest and the place started filling up to the sound of Dead Cities [The Exploited] (it never seemed to be off the deck).
Prevent Forest Fires from Rhyl as all hip cats know, turned up from nowhere with very short notice after Zoundz failed to show up. Mike and John played extremely well under the circumstances, this was their first outing for quite a while. They played a short, witty and incisive set and seemed to appeal to the lackluster audience, despite a few teenybopping dissenters down the front (Mike afterwards told me they were part of the fun). It must be apparent to anyone who was present and read Malady’s piece in The Journal that their songs are not ‘inane little ditties’ and we here at Deep Six suggest she rethinks her opaque, misinformed opinions on local bands and suggest she stops writing a pop column until she knows a little more about music in general.
It was the first time I’d ever seen Theatre Of Hate but I’d heard a lot of excellent reports. Their music is harsh, grating and invigorating. energy brims over as each member contributes his part. Miltary drums, heavy pounding and tight, backed by stealthy bass. Billy’s angry guitar smatterings and John’s swirly, almost jazzy sax (definitely jazzy). On top of this, Kirk Brandon the most powerful contorted vocals and also adds guitar to the sound.
Theatre Of Hate are not useless rant merchants, neither do they pander to fashionable media tastes. They will not make any claims to have the answers or to be infallible (a mistake many bands have made before). TOH’s music is foreboding, raucous and at times, frantic, but they are not senseless gloom merchants. I danced that night to their (dare I say it?) rock’n’roll (there, I’ve said it), but I also gained something extra; a new emotion; a light at the end of the tunnel.
After the gig I learned further from the group. This is a very rough transcript:
SCRATCH – Why the 50’s image?
BILLY – We like to look good and the t-shirts keep us cool on stage.
S – What do you think of The Clash?
B – Great band, we’ve just finished a tour with them and they’re very nice straight blokes.
S – Do you like touring?
JOHN – It’s hard work, very tiring, but it’s the only way, there’s no other way of reaching some people.
S – Kirk, where do your influences come from?
KIRK – Church music, negro spirituals and ska. Also there is politics, but there’s no bias, just the way I see things.
S – What religious upbringing did you have?
K – Roman Catholic.
S – What were you doing in 1977?
K – Listening to the Pistols and The Clash. I was in my first band in ’76 called Stigmata, then The Cane (a biblical reference), then The Pack Of Lies [later to become The Pack], then this.
S – Why the album title? [Westworld]
K – Well it’s about Ronald Raygun and the neutron bomb.
S – How do you see your music progressing?
K – Hard to explain, there’s no definite plan.
S – How do you feel about the music press?
K – A necessary evil, I don’t particularly like any of them.
S – Are you planning to use any other resources. Video etc?
K – We would if we could afford it but our finances are very limited. There’s just the band, Flea the roadie, Ian our manager, and Terry who sells our t-shirts and things.
S – When’s the album coming out?
K – January hopefully.
Kirk was very tired and I was very nervous because I’d never done an interview before, so sorry if I missed something out, I tried my best. If you get the chance to see them, don’t miss them. At the moment there’s a live tape out containing recent material, it’s quite good and better than ‘Who Dares Wins,’ and it’s only £2.99 if you ask Kevan [Kavern Records] nicely.