Voices Of Sin 1984-1986

Cranford Village Hall 17/11/84

Voices Of Sin

Rough and ready tracks recorded on cassette
Hungry For Change Oxfam Benefit
Featured Mental Touch as support

We returned back there in Feb 85 to support One To Midnite featuring James Sexton
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  1. 1 Praying For The Rain 03:25 Info Buy
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  2. 2 Cage/Closewatch 06:43 Info Buy
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  3. 3 The Flowers Are Dead 04:00 Info Buy
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  4. 4 Hungry Animal 01:42 Info Buy
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  5. 5 Voices Of Sin 03:42 Info Buy
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Early 1984 I was still at home at my parents in Little Addington and with some money inherited by my late grandfather acquired my first bass. I was working on the Latimer School magazine with the English teacher, Mr Parkinson who played guitar and after various lunchtime jam sessions with him he set out to form a school band The Ruling Class and did our first gig that April in the school hall. Darron Roue was the singer of that band. By then I was also already jamming on songs with a new guitarist friend Chris Webb who lived in Raunds was very into punk and we used to go to local gigs together. Soon we teamed up and formed a trio and borrowing the concept from the likes of March Violets and Sisters of Mercy  it seemed like much easier idea to use a drum machine. With Darren also into early Genesis and Sabbath, Chris into Discharge and myself info New Model Army it created an interesting blend. The name came from sitting round Chris's house one evening seeing a Klaus Schulze album cover called Voices of Syn. Dreadful name - what were we thinking! Our first gig was at a house party that July. We were buzzing after that and worked hard writing more songs. By September I had got to know a group of friends in the experimental band called ESP Kinetic and we set about putting on our own joint gig at the Recreation Centre in Kettering. We managed to do plenty of promotion and got a good crowd down but our inexperience meant that we had forgotten simple basics like having a PA. We had borrowed some disco speakers which we blew up in our first two songs. Our subsequent gigs were slightly more together and we managed to build a good following sometimes hiring a coach to take fans (and ourselves - none of us could drive).  That autumn we produced own fanzine The Voice and recorded our first demo ''Praying For The Rain' about starving kids in Africa (a year ahead of Live Aid) backed up by a memorable fund raising gig at Cranford Village Hall. That winter pressures at home built up and I left school and home,. moving in with Neil from ESP Kinetic and older punk and Bowie fan John L'Amour. The house soon became a social epicentre, with bizarre antics, music and noise experimentation. Most of us were on the dole or doing part time courses to keep them happy at the local technical college but we all were always busy recording or writing or arranging gigs and it became a drop in centre for so many types like us. We managed to release a compilation cassette of acts tracks called Alternate Opiates which along with the fanzine sold well locally. More gigs for us followed including The Black Lion, Northampton which was a well known venue at the time. I was also sharing my time between these activities and following New Model Army up and down the country, who soon were signed to a major label. Their bassist my hero Stuart Morrow suddenly left the band in May 1985 and they were looking a replacement. Everyone was saying I should go for the audition but at 18 I felt I didn't have the age and experience necessary. You can understand how taken back I was when they announced Moose Harris was the new guy and only 17 and has never been in a band before. Voices of Sin another recorded studio demo  - our strongest material - but divisions by this time had occurred and Chris Webb  played his final gig for us supporting  Death Sentence at The Victoria Centre, Wellingborough that same month. We were going in seperate ways; Chris was ever more obsessed with Sisters of Mercy and after we gave him notice he imediatley formed his next band called The Damage Done who did loads of Sisters covers in their set - complete with dry ice. Darron and myself were more politically minded and replaced him with a guy my sister knew who played guitar called Jerri Neal who was into New Model Army, Crass and our political direction.  Jerri was up for the job but rather rudimentary on guitar and musically it was all very raw again. We wrote a few new songs including an angry pop at smalltown life 'Safe Territories' and my first acoustic effort 'No Pastures New' and recorded another demo that autumn, with a couple of not particularly sucessful gigs. Practices were soon getting fewer and fewer and less progressive. The anarcho scene the other two were heavily into by then could be very judgemental and I wasn't a big fan of it's rules and cliqueyness. A few other personal things were going on at the time between us all and I by the end of 1985 I had left to start The Fire Within and then solo shortly after. Darren's brother Steve Roue who had always been a big fan of us replaced me on bass and they did a few gigs and a demo but by mid 1986 Voices of Sin were no more. I had released a cassette called 'The Official History' which sold quite well and nearly all the tracks I have salvaged here featured on that c60. Chris Webb sadly passed away in 2004 of an MS related illness. I bumped into him once at Sundaze Festival in the mid 90s and we joked about a VOS reunion.. I remember him always as having a great sense of humour and alot of passion for the band. It was a very hard decision to part ways with and in many ways I wished we had just carried on as the momentum were were building up was very positive and we had a good following. Between our three influences we created something very unique that appealed to a broad of different alternative types - it had so much potential - but we were young and priorities and life change so very quickly then. I was very lucky to have such a great start in my gigs and bands journey and although these demos are so raw I think they capture much of  the DIY, passion and fuck you energy we all had that I still take with me today.