Stalag 17 (band)

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Stalag 17
Origin Belfast, Northern Ireland
Genres Punk rock, anarcho-punk
Years active 1980–1987
Labels Mortarhate - Warzone - Jungle - Words of Warning
Associated acts The Stillborns
Maimed
Paranoid
FUAL
Shame Academy
A-Political

Stalag 17 were an anarcho-punk band from Belfast, Northern Ireland that existed from 1980 to 1987.

History[edit]

Formed in Belfast by the members of three other punk bands, The Stillborns, Maimed and Paranoid, the band began writing their own material and covering contemporary punk bands such as The Mekons. After several gigs in and around Belfast the band recorded their first demo and began playing in the Belfast Anarchy Centre, supporting other anarcho-punk bands The Poison Girls and Crass. In the early 80's line-up changes and hostility from National Front activists plagued the band.

It wasn't until 1983 that established punk venues began to be formed around Belfast, notably the Manhattan near Belfast city centre as well as The Labour club. This allowed a punk scene to become developed within the city, with Stalag 17 playing alongside bands such as Toxic Waste. Members of the band got involved with Belfast Anarchist bookshop Just Books and began to establish associations with stalwarts of the anarcho-punk scene that began to tour Belfast such as Conflict, The Subhumans and DIRT. Conflict offered Stalag 17 a place on the Mortarhate compilation We Don't Want Your Fucking War, and the interest created by that compilation led to a split 12" with Toxic Waste, The Truth Will Be Heard.

In 1985 the band left for an ill-fated seven date tour of Scotland and England, beginning in Edinburgh where they supported the later to be famous Primal Scream and Shop Assistants. During this tour over half the gigs were cancelled (without prior notice) and the band had to spend all their money repairing their tour van and eventually resorted to siphoning their way back home. On their return the band released their first 'proper' demo 'From Belfast with Love' (titled so in reaction to Mortorhate's decision to catalogue the 'The Truth Will be Heard' 12" as 'From Belfast with Blood' - without either of the band's consent and much to their disgust). The demo was a collection of studio tracks and a live recording from The Station in Gateshead. During the rest of 1985 the band recorded a track for the Words of Warning label's first release 'You Are Not Alone' alongside Oi Polloi and then in 1986 spent a more successful three-week tour in Europe. 1986 also saw the band recording tracks for the 'We Will be Free' album, which also hosted Toxic Waste and Asylum.

The band recorded two more demos ("And All the Birdies Sang Fuck This for a Lark" and "Erection 87"). In 1987 the band played 2 gigs in Scotland. However, general dissatisfaction within the band meant the gigs would be their last. The demo 17 from 17 was released after the bands demise. Petesy, the band's vocalist was later to play in FUAL and join Northern Irish 'Punk Supergroup' Shame Academy comprising ex members of Rudi and The Outcasts. More recently Petesy, Mickey (the original drummer) and Joe (bass player) formed A-Political with Ali Curry.

Discography[edit]

♦ "Society's Fairytale" on We Don't Want Your Fucking War! (Compilation LP, Mortarhate, 1984)

The Truth Will Be Heard (Split with Toxic Waste) (12" EP, Mortarhate, 1985)

♦ "From Belfast with Love" (Cassette, Warzone 1985)

♦ "Harmless Fun" on You Are Not Alone (Compilation 7", Words of Warning, 1986)

We Will Be Free (split with Toxic Waste and Asylum) (LP, Warzone/Jungle, 1986)

♦ "And All the Birdies Sang Fuck This For a Lark" (Cassette, Warzone, 1986)

♦ "Erection 87" (Cassette, Warzone, 1987)

♦ "17 from 17" (Cassette, Warzone, 1989)