Eater (band)

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Eater
OriginFinchley, North London, England
GenresPunk rock
Years active1976-1979, 1996-1997, 1999, 2003, 2006
LabelsThe Label
Associated actsThe Vibrators, Slaughter & the Dogs, the London Cowboys, Classix Nouveaux
Past membersAshruf Radwan (aka Andy Blade)
Brian Haddock (aka Brian Chevette)
Lutfi Radwan (aka Social Demise)
Roger Bullen (aka Dee Generate)
Ian Woodcock
Phil Rowland
Gary Steadman

Eater were an early British punk rock band from North London who took their name from a Marc Bolan lyric.

In October 2001, the band’s second single, "Thinking of the USA" (originally released in June 1977), was included in Mojo magazine's list of the best punk rock singles of all time.[1] In 1999, the track also appeared on the five-CD Universal Records box set 1-2-3-4 Punk & New Wave 1976-1979.[2]

Their sound has been characterized as "run-of-the-mill dole queue punk rock"[3] and "basic boy-ish punk rock".[4]

History[edit]

The band was formed in 1976 by four high school friends from Finchley, North London: Anglo-Egyptian singer and guitarist Andy Blade (real name: Ashruf Radwan),[5] guitarist Brian Chevette (real name: Brian Haddock) and Blade's brother, drummer Social Demise (real name: Lutfi Radwan).[6]

The band's name came from a line in the 1970 T. Rex song "Suneye"; Eater later recorded a cover version of T-Rex's "Jeepster."

Eater were known for being one of the youngest bands, if not the youngest band, in the punk scene. They were 14–17 years old when they formed the group.[7][8] "They were basically young kids, striving to master their instruments and out to shock", according to Up Yours! A Guide to UK Punk, New Wave & Early Post Punk.[9]

Despite originating in London, the band made its first public performance on 20 September 1976 at Manchester's Holdsworth Hall, featuring Buzzcocks as their support act. The band did not yet have a permanent bassist and rented a local musician for the show.[10] Lutfi Radwan was soon replaced by drummer Dee Generate (real name: Roger Bullen), and by November 1976, they had recruited bassist Ian Woodcock in time to play their first London gig.[6]

Eater became one of the pioneering punk bands that played live in the first few months of the now-legendary Roxy Club. They topped the bill twice in January 1977; the second time they were supported by the Damned. They headlined again in February, this time supported by Johnny Moped, and twice more in March, supported first by the Lurkers and then by Sham 69.[11] They also supplied two of their tracks, "15" (a version of "I'm Eighteen" by Alice Cooper) and "Don't Need It", to the seminal live compilation album The Roxy London WC2, released on 24 June 1977 by Harvest Records. Extracts from their performances at The Roxy were also included in Don Letts' Punk Rock Movie (1978).

The band signed to a small London independent label called The Label, which released three initial singles produced by Dave Goodman: "Outside View" (1 March 1977), "Thinkin' of the USA" (June 1977) and "Lock It Up" (October 1977).[6] The latter featured new drummer Phil Rowland, who had replaced Generate in May 1977.[6]

Their sole full-length studio album, simply titled The Album, was released on 11 November 1977.[6] Again produced by Goodman, it included sped-up versions of songs by David Bowie ("Queen Bitch") and the Velvet Underground ("Sweet Jane" and "Waiting for the Man"). "All songs on their sole full-length release sound about the same, played with one stiff light-speed beat and a snotty vehemence to each track, adding up to a ridiculous classic", said AllMusic critic Fred Beldin in a retrospective review, adding, "As fast and clumsy as the material is, there's an undeniable tunefulness at work, particularly in irresistible singalongs like 'No Brains' and 'Room for One', and the sprightly single 'Lock It Up' even attempts some naïve vocal harmonies as they sneer at the upper classes".[12]

The Label issued the four-song live EP Get Your Yo-Yo's Out, recorded at Dingwalls, on 2 June 1978. Gary Steadman replaced Chevette for their final single,[13] "What She Wants She Needs", produced by Martin Hayles and Gwyn Mathias and released in December 1978.[6] The band split up in January 1979.[6]

Later projects[edit]

Woodcock joined the Vibrators in July 1979,[6] appearing on their 1980 single "Gimme Some Lovin'".[14]

Rowland joined Slaughter & the Dogs, appearing on their 1979 single "You're Ready Now",[15] and later played with the London Cowboys.[6]

Steadman joined Classix Nouveaux in 1979,[6] playing on their 1981 debut Night People.

Blade made several attempts to create a solo career during the 1980s, but failed to secure a deal. In 2005, he published a book about his times with Eater and beyond, called The Secret Life of a Teenage Punk Rocker: The Andy Blade Chronicles (Cherry Red Books).[16][17]

Reunions[edit]

Eater reformed to play the first Holidays in the Sun festival, held in 1996 in Blackpool.,[18] and recorded two new songs in 1997 ("Going Down" and "Vegetable Girl") for a projected single that was never released. Both tracks later appeared on The Eater Chronicles 1976-2003 compilation, released in 2003 by Anagram Records.[6][19]

They played another reunion show on 14 May 1999 at the Brighton Centre, supporting Fugazi.[20]

Eater reformed again in 2006, playing a one-off gig at the 100 Club on 28 September, supported by T. V. Smith of the Adverts, and supporting Buzzcocks on 2 December (the 30th anniversary of their original tour) at The Forum.

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Singles and EPs[edit]

  • "Outside View" (1977, The Label)
  • "Thinkin’ of the USA" (1977, The Label)
  • "Lock It Up" (1977, The Label)
  • Get Your Yo-Yo's Out EP (1978, The Label)
  • "What She Wants She Needs" (1978, The Label)

Live albums[edit]

  • Live at Barbarellas 1977 (2004, Anagram Records)

Compilation albums[edit]

  • The History of Eater Volume One (1985, Delorean Record Company)
  • The Rest of Eater (1989, Edison Records)
  • The Compleat Eater (1993, Anagram Records)
  • All of Eater (1995, Creativeman Disc)
  • The Eater Chronicles 1976-2003 (2003, Anagram Records)

Compilation appearances[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mojo (October 2001) - 100 Punk Scorchers , Issue 95, London;
  2. ^ "1,2,3,4: Punk and New Wave 1976-1979 - Various Artists - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  3. ^ Steve Gardner (1996) "Hiljaiset Levyt: 100 Best Punk LP's" Archived 22 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine;
  4. ^ Strong, M.C. (2003) The Great Indie Discography, Canongate, Edinburgh, p. 61;
  5. ^ Punk Profiles: An Inside View With Andy Blade (Eater). May 2003 Archived 14 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "punkmuseum.it potrebbe essere in vendita!". Punkmuseum.it. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  7. ^ "Andy Blade (Eater) Interview". Punkygibbon.co.uk. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  8. ^ Rombes, Nicholas (13 July 2009). "A Cultural Dictionary of Punk: 1974-1982". A&C Black. Retrieved 15 May 2018 – via Google Books.
  9. ^ Joynson, V. (2001) Up Yours! A Guide to UK Punk, New Wave & Early Post Punk, Borderline Productions, Wolverhampton, p. 136;
  10. ^ "The Buzzcocks, Eater: Holdsworth Hall, Manchester. By Paul Morley : Articles, reviews and interviews from Rock's Backpages". Rocksbackpages.com. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  11. ^ Thompson, D. (2000) Punk, Collector’s Guide Publication, Ontario, Canada, p. 61 - 62;
  12. ^ "The Album - Eater - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  13. ^ "Gary Steadman". Discogs.com. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  14. ^ "The Vibrators - Gimme Some Lovin'". Discogs.com. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  15. ^ "Phil Rowland Discography". Discogs.com. Retrieved 18 September 2016.
  16. ^ "Secret Life of a Teenage Punk Rocker - Andy Blade - User Reviews - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  17. ^ "The Secret Life of a Teenage Punk Rocker: The Andy Blade Chronicles". Facebook. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  18. ^ "History". Rebellionfestivals.com. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  19. ^ [1][dead link]
  20. ^ "Fugazi Live Series: Brighton, England 5/14/99". Dischord.com. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  21. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.