Get ready to pogo at The Victoria, Old Town, Swindon on Saturday September 22nd at 20.30pm for the Mick Love Memorial Show. It’s been organised by friends of murder victim Mick to remember his fondness for punk and to share with a new generation the music that inspired and delighted them in their youth.
And what an evening they have planned! Scheduled to be an exceptional evening with punk provided by Swindon’s own The Charred Hearts and punk, post-punk and reggae delivered by internationally acclaimed The Members.
I had the pleasure to speak to JC Carroll (guitar/vocals) to discuss the upcoming gig, and to find out a little more about the band.
As a pioneering spirit himself we discussed the enterprising nature of the event, and the importance of continuing to support punk music today. JC told of his admiration for the Swindon’s own XTC and said he was looking forward to playing in their hometown.
Initially completely unfamiliar with the Members, who were making music long before I was born, it quickly became apparent that the group, formed in 1977 – with their first album released in 1979 – come from a moment in British music exploding with talent, drive and righteousness.
Having been raised on a healthy diet of The Clash, Stiff Little Fingers, Buzzcocks and the Ramones I felt an immediate warm affinity with The Members’ back catalogue. Within three days I had devoured their discography and found myself belting out their first breakthrough hit “Sound of the Suburbs” for the neighbours to hear while in the shower.
Still as powerful as they were when they first exploded onto the scene, the lyrics, subject matters, and musical composition stand up today: passion and attention to detail imbues their music.
It’s a wonder that this band had escaped my attentions before, but a true joy to have the opportunity to discover such gems as “Solitary Confinement” regarding urban isolation and apathy, a serious problem in our increasingly remote society, and “Working Girl” a satirical observation on gender inequality and mutual respect in relationships.
“Offshore Banking Business” an early white reggae song captures the evasive nature of large financial institutes, just as relevant today with the revelatory documents such as the Panama and Paradise Papers demonstrating that injustice and inequality have not changed in 39 years, there are just less people willing to sing about them, and my favourite being an excellent cover of Larry Wallis’ “Police Car” addressing police brutality and racial profiling.
All in all it looks to be a great night, and a fitting tribute to the vibrant, independent music scene of the town and the memory of a much loved friend and family man.
by Tom Silberberg