999, The Vibrators and Wonk Unit
Age restriction 14+
23 Smyth Street WF1 1ED Wakefield
Starts Tuesday, 07/03/17 12:12
999 celebrated their 38th anniversary on 5th December 2014. The reason for their longevity is not airplay, massive publicity, hype or even a major recording deal but word of mouth and that “word of mouth” now extends to nearly every country on earth.
999 were first conceived in late 1976 when Nick Cash (vocals/guitar) and Guy Days (vocals/lead guitar), who were at school together, decided to form a group. Within a couple of months they had teamed up with Jon Watson (bass) and Pablo Labritain (drums) and 999 were officially born. Their first gig was at the Northampton Cricket Club in January 1977. Interest in the band was immediate and constant gigging around London brought with it critical acclaim and a hard core following of supporters from Southall, calling themselves “The Crew”. These ranks were soon swollen by the Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Munich, Vienna, Zagreb, Stockholm, Oslo, Berlin, New York, LA., Toronto, Philadelphia, and San Francisco “Crews” each proving as dedicated as the last.
The frenzy and raw energy of the early days were captured by their debut single “I’m Alive on the bands own Labritain label and sold well enough to become a minor hit. Next through their association with United Artists records the second and third singles, “Nasty Nasty” and the now classic “Emergency” were released both scaling the lower reaches of the charts and confirming 999 to be one of the major forces in the British New Wave Movement.
The first album titled simply “999” was released and was greeted with impressive sales and critical acclaim. Extensive touring took them throughout Britain and Europe where they now encountered full houses.
The second album “Separates” was released and immediately the single “Homicide” leapt straight into the UK top forty without any Radio airplay and was banned by the BBC and most radio stations.
Early 1979 saw the band embarking on their first U.S. tour, which was an achievement in itself, as they were still without a record deal in America at the time. Response to the band was ecstatic, all the venues being filled and import albums being sold out in a rush of enthusiasm. The band were immediately booked for a return trip.
Since leaving United Artists 999 have recorded another eleven albums. Jon Watson was replaced in 1986 on bass by Danny Palmer and subsequently by Arturo Bassick in 1991.
THE VIBRATORS have a career lasting 35 years, vocalist/guitarist IAN “KNOX” CARNOCHAN, bassist PAT COLLIER, guitarist JOHN ELLIS and drummer EDDIE originally formed the VIBRATORS in February 1976, and their first gig was supporting THE STRANGLERS at Hornsey Art College in North London. They supported THE SEX PISTOLS at the 100 CLUB and were one of the bands playing at the now legendary 100 CLUB PUNK ROCK FESTIV…AL, where as well as doing their own set they supported guitar hero CHRIS SPEDDING. CHRIS recommended the band to his then record company, RAK. The band’s debut single “WE VIBRATE” came out in November (one of the first punk singles) and was followed two weeks later by CHRIS SPEDDING’S “POGO DANCING” single with the VIBRATORS as the band on that. Early in 1977 the band supported IGGY POP (with DAVID BOWIE on keyboards) on a UK tour, then moved to EPIC RECORDS and released the classic “BABY BABY” single, followed by their first album “PURE MANIA” which spent five weeks in the UK Top 75, peaking at number 49. A second single from the album – but a live version – “LONDON GIRLS”, came out in the summer of 1977 and was promoted by a tour supporting ex-MOTT THE HOOPLE mainman IAN HUNTER. Bassist PAT COLLIER left soon after and was replaced by GARY TIBBS. The band released the single “AUTOMATIC LOVER” (March 1978), which not only reached 35 in the charts but also got the band on TOP OF THE POPS. A second LP, “V2″ was released in April and reached number 33 in the British Charts, and is still regarded today as one of New Waves finest moments. JOHN ELLIS left soon after to follow a solo career and to work with PETER GABRIEL, and was replaced by DAVE BIRCH, whilst a fifth member was added with keyboard/saxophonist DON SNOW. However this line up of the band only recorded the “JUDY SAYS (KNOCK YOU IN THE HEAD)” single (a UK No 70 single in the summer of 1978). There then followed a new line up of the band: KNOX – guitar/vocals, EDDIE – drums, with new members BEN BRIERLY – bass, and GREG VAN COOK – guitar. This again proved to be short lived and KNOX left to have a go at being a solo artist towards the end of 1978. EDDIE carried on with the band, as well as drumming for THE INMATES (an R&B band). In early 1980 a more successful line up : KIP – vocals, EDDIE – drums, IAN WOODCOCK (ex-EATER) – bass, PHIL RAM – guitar, ADRIAN WYATT – guitar, signed to RAT RACE RECORDS. They released two singles “GIMME SOME LOVIN’” and “DISCO IN MOSCO”, but the band split up at the end of the year. The original line up reformed in mid 1982 (KNOX, EDDIE, PAT COLLIER and JOHN ELLIS) and signed to ANAGRAM RECORDS, releasing a new version of “BABY BABY”. This was followed by a single and album both called “GUILTY” before the band moved to RAM RECORDS, releasing the singles “MX AMERICA” and “FLYING HOME” and the LP “ALASKA 127″ (named after PAT COLLIER’S studio). By mid 1985 the band had signed to CARRERE RECORDS for whom they recorded the “BABY BLUE EYES” single before moving back to RAM for the “FIFTH AMENDMENT” LP and “BLOWN AWAY BY LOVE” single. By the time the band signed to FM REVOLVER in mid 1986, PA
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