Altered Natives

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The Official Site of Curse and Silent Prayer (1980 - 1986)

Curse - Manchester Punk / Goth

A Retrospective

With the aid of The SYSTEM the fledgling band have their first rehearsals in the Summer of 1980 at a church hall in OFFERTON.

In NOVEMBER the same year the band begin practising in the basement of REDCROFT, a Mental Rehabilitation Centre in HEATON MOOR. EDDIE on vocals, JIM and COL on "cheap guitars", PETE on drums and ERIC, who replaces STEVE on bass name themselves WARGASM after toying with CLICHÉ and OVERMAN CULTURE. Pete leaves in JANUARY 1981 to be replaced by ANDY LEVY who lasts until JULY. When Andy leaves, Eddie takes over the drums and the band search for a new vocalist. SOOTY, a friend of Eddie's and a girl called SABRANI try out but to no avail. The first posters of the band are produced at this time, as is the first "dodgy demo" recorded live on a 4-track Teac machine owned by JOHN GOODING, a social worker at Redcroft. A sax player BRIAN considers joining but doesn't due to his interest in Jazz.

At around this time band members do a fanzine which they call ALTERED NATIVES/ALTERNATIVES. Some of the bands interviewed include X.O.DUS, CRISPY AMBULANCE, PATRIK FITZGERALD, A FLOCK OF SEAGULLS, THEATRE OF HATE (ex-PACK), ALLIES (ex-U.K. SUBS) and STOCKHOLM MONSTERS among others. Demo tapes reviewed include the BLITZ 4 song demo that will eventually become the ALL OUT ATTACK e.p. and others by VICTIM, ATTAK and ZANTI-MISFITS to name a few.

In SEPTEMBER of '81 LES OSMOSIS, the bass player of the defunct Skinhead band SECURITY FORCE brings ASH to the practice room, and thus is born the first incarnation of CURSE. ASH, or RABBITT as he is also known is from Gloucestershire in Southern England.

The band start to use a spider and web as its motif and create ARACHNID PROMOTIONS to promote gigs, which will often work in tandem with LIFE ON EARTH's NOISE PROMOTIONS. Various people over the years help design the posters and band artwork, although the majority of it is done by DRAC and BEN, with help from PAUL and CARON.

The BOAR'S HEAD gig in BOLLINGTON, near MACCLESFIELD is cancelled because "the band play punk."


THURS. NOV. 19, 1981: SMUGGLER'S CAVE in STOCKPORT with CURSE, BOMB SQUAD (actually STRESS with BLITZ producer TIM HARRIS on vocals playing under a pseudonym) and NU-TRIX.

(1) DEC. 5, 1981 : STUDIO LUSTRETTE 4-track, located behind the RUSSEL CLUB/FACTORY in HULME, MANCHESTER. Engineered by ADAM and KIM and mixed with the input of the band. The six songs recorded are RIOT ACT, NO MAN'S BAND, POWER FORCE, FASHION WORLD, LIES and NORMAL PEOPLE.

FRI. DEC. 11, 1981: DISLEY METHODIST CHURCH HALL with LIFE ON EARTH, CURSE, ATTAK and NU-TRIX. DISLEY-based band VOID are billed to play but don't.

Having visited the U.S. the previous year CURSE are aware of the budding Californian UNDERGROUND/PUNK/HARDCORE scene. They send a CURSE demo to SST (SOLID STATE TUNERS), the label of the then relatively unknown hardcore band BLACK FLAG being run by GREG GINN, the guitarist. The bands will correspond sporadically over the next couple of years but won't meet up until BLACK FLAG play The GALLERY in MANCHESTER on a British tour, sometime in '83 or '84.

FEB. 17, 1982, ERIC (bass) announces that he will be leaving the band after the next studio recording (booked for FEB. 27, 1982) due to 'musical differences'.

(2) FEB. 27, 1982 : STUDIO LUSTRETTE : Songs recorded are CURSE (minus its chorus backing vocals), LOUIE LOUIE/WILD THING, COMFORTABLE ROUTINES and OUTLAWS.

BEN (EX-FRENCH LETTERS/BELL-ENDS) replaces Eric on bass in MARCH and the band almost do some gigs with VICTIM, the Belfast band relocated to Manchester with the then unknown MIKE JOYCE (The HOAX/The SMITHS) on drums.

MARCH 10, 1982 : 'VIDEO NIGHT SPECIAL' with DISTORTED, SUMMERHOUSE, PARANOIDS, NU-TRIX, DESTRUCTION, BLADDER x3, LIFE ON EARTH, CURSE with Ben playing his first gig with the band and ATTAK all supposedly being videoed. The band REBELLION don't show up.

In MAY 1982 the band receive the first consignment of 110 badges (55 black and 55 white) from BETTER BADGES of LONDON after sending DRAC's artwork back in APRIL.

On TUES. MAY 25, 1982 the band hire a small coach from a company in REDDISH and 20 people go down to The BRIDGEHOUSE in CANNING TOWN, LONDON for a band contest with S.O.S., FUTURE LEGEND and WINTER TREES. CURSE win the contest after an eventful journey down that sees the coach crashing with an Army truck and having to be push-started back in EDGELEY, STOCKPORT.

On JUNE 12, 1982 CURSE play MANCHESTER UNIVERSITY's SALOM BAR, with GANG OF FOUR and KING TRIGGER in the main hall. Several members of local band YOUTHANAZIA are in the audience and there is talk of a support slot at THE HACIENDA.

(3) SAT. JUNE 26, 1982: OUT OF THE BLUE 8-Track Recording Studio in ANCOATES, MANCHESTER. They record four songs for this their 3rd demo and mix them on SUN. 27th. This tape becomes the first thing that the band makes readily available to friends and fans and has the famous 'CHOD' cover. Songs recorded are KAMIKAZE LOVERS, THE OBJECTOR, FOOLSGAME and U.S.A. STUDIO LUSTRETTE owners ADAM and KIM with partner JOHN have recently moved from the infamous 'BULLRING' flats to a bigger studio space in ANCOATS.

On SAT. JULY 10, 1982 43 people go down in a 50 seater coach for the semi-finals of the contest at The BRIDGEHOUSE, Canning Town, London with SPY Vs. SPY (BILLY BRAGG) and VICTIMS OF ROMANCE. HISS THE VILLAIN, although advertised doesn't play due to sickness. SPY Vs. SPY is voted 1st by the judges who include the RADIO ONE DJ PETER POWELL, members of NINE BELOW ZERO and OVAL RECORDS, and journalists from RECORD MIRROR and MUSIC WEEK. CURSE comes 2nd in this heat.

SAT. JULY 24, 1982 sees 37 go down to The BRIDGEHOUSE by coach for the Contest Finals with DEVIATION, THE VOLCANOS, HISS THE VILLAIN, NICOLAS PARTOCK ON HIS OWN and SPY Vs. SPY (BILLY BRAGG). BUSH, manager of the MARQUEE who is one of the judges promises CURSE a gig - Bullshit! Other judges include IAN MITCHELL (ex-BAY CITY ROLLERS), the organisers LOUIS SAVY and JOHN and two other people connected to the music industry. SPY Vs. SPY comes 2nd and CURSE 4th.

In AUGUST a woman manager watches the band practice at the REDCROFT basement and says she'd like to manage the band - MORE BOLLOCKS!

BEN buys a huge bass speaker cab from ANDY ANARCHY and 'BIG' GARY, the vocalist and guitarist of DRESDEN. CURSE receive letters from CRASS and the relatively unknown BLACK FLAG around this time concerning demos. Also around this time a P.A. is bought on Hire Purchase from A1 MUSIC on OXFORD ROAD, located near The RITZ and The HACIENDA in MANCHESTER.
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