King Kurt

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Stories of life on the road with King Kurt from 1982-1985.

By “The Onions“.

Bradford Palm Cove, 1983

As conciousness faded I began to wonder from which leg I would pass out first. Would the Hackney Werewolf be kicking me unconcious with his right leg, or suffocating me with his left? I started to think what the band were going to have to say when they finally stopped the damn van and found it full of corpses. Probably write a song about it, knowing them – once they’d all stopped laughing []

Webmaster’s “Face in the Crowd” Flashback – Munich 1984

[The Onions] in the Orwellian year 1984 appreciating the nascent irony of the aptly-named number “Back on the Dole”. A theme which then as now characterizes his life’s history, like a central supporting column in the multistory building of his career, such that it is. []

The Tramshed Riot, Woolwich 1982

The scheduled gig at Woolwich Tramshed never happened, and the only music played was Big John’s first few bars of Destination Zululand before the police – who at that time did not know what was about to befall them – pulled the plug. It was a courageous and inspired attempt by John to assert control over a rapidly deteriorating situation and restore some kind of order through the medium of music. []

Pumping in Colne 1983

King Kurt’s first trip to Colne to play the legendary Franc’s Club. The first of many trips to the run-down Northern town whose only street credentials, thin though they were, was the wholly ineffective women’s peace camp on the hill, and Franc’s. []

Destruction in Durham, 1983

 Without dispute the messiest gig ever, surpassing even the destruction of the 101 Club in Clapham back in ’82 when King Kurt had made the fool-hardy decision to allow the drummer from skinhead band Combat ’84 to stand-in during the support act. []

Scouse Headcrunchers, Liverpool 1983

The mere fact that the gig was in Liverpool should have put them off. Widely regarded in the nineteen eighties as being the shittiest, most crime-ridden, jobless city in England, if not the whole of Western Europe. []

Franc’s Club, Colne 1983

A one-off gig and a return visit to Franc’s one of the best Northern England clubs west of Barnsley. Barnsley himself would not be returning for this gig however, since he was still a wanted man in Lancashire after the first gig. []

Tidy Old Turn Out, Aston 1983

Gigging at Aston University Student’s Union under the lofty tutelage of Stiff Records promised to be an altogether different kind of affair. Only your narrator (The Onions) and Dave (not Dean) Grimsby would together form the touring contingent in this mid-week mid-tour student-oriented “concert”. We predictably turned up early, Borassic, and still sober. []

Rotterdam NL, 1983

[King Kurt’s] first professional appearance away from home shores, and the first gig of a three-gig mini tour of the Netherlands that would end with a fine performance to the pot-smoking crowd at Amsterdam’s legendary Melkweg venue. []