Altered Natives
ALTERED NATIVES

CURSE / SILENT PRAYER
2 3 4 5 6

NOISE / LIFE ON EARTH

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"FROM A CURSE
TO A SILENT PRAYER"

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

Curse, Silent Prayer - Manchester

TUES. MARCH 21, 1983 : DAVE/STRETCH, a saxophonist friend of MARTYN'S comes to his first rehearsal as the band experiment.

ASH notifies the band that he is leaving as he wants to "work with drum machines". Some months later he joins LAVOLTA LAKOTA, a band that will eventually release a single produced by PETER HOOK (JOY DIVISION/NEW ORDER) on FACTORY RECORDS. The vocalist, DAVE HICKS will later join REVENGE, a side project of "HOOKIE's".

At around the same time that Ash leaves the band, MARCUS FEATHERHEY at PAX RECORDS (MAU MAUS etc.), who has received a CURSE demo writes to say that he is interested in seeing the band live which is impossible without a vocalist.

APRIL '83: BEN creates the first tee-shirt design which shows the same phallic-like symbol ('CHOD') that originally appeared on the cover of the third recording.

MON. APRIL 11, 1983 : The RED LION. To avoid cancelling the gig DAVE, Jim's brother, ex-guitarist of The BELL-ENDS, LONDON resident and guitarist with 4 YEARS OF PLAGIARISM comes up and acts as temporary vocalist. He is helped out by SUE & ERIKA (a friend and ardent socialist who lives in BIRMINGHAM) on backing vocals, with STRETCH on sax, MARTIN & JIM on guitars, BEN on bass and EDDIE on drums.

THURS. APRIL 14, 1983: CURSE is booked to play HOLLINS FACULTY of MANCHESTER POLYTECHNIC.

WED. APRIL 20, 1983: The RED LION, HAZEL GROVE sees the band play with DAVE (4 YEARS OF PLAGIARISM), SUE and ERIKA, all friends helping out on vocal duties.

THURS. APRIL, 21, 1983 : SMUGGLERS with LIFE ON EARTH and The MYSTYX. A friend of MARTYN's, SIMON is drafted in at short notice for the majority of vocals with the aid of "cheat sheets". Ben also sings a couple of songs while other members of the band swap instruments. As before, SUE & ERIKA sing backing vocals at the gig with STRETCH on sax, MARTIN & JIM on guitars, BEN on bass and EDDIE on drums. The gig is reviewed for PULP magazine.

WED. APRIL 27, 1983: The RED LION, HAZEL GROVE. CURSE make a quick return to this popular local venue with The MYSTYX as support. As with the last gig, the vocal duties are carried out by SIMON, SUE and ERIKA.

MON. MAY 16, 1983: The RED LION, HAZEL GROVE. CURSE are unable to soundcheck due to the late arrival of the P.A. but play two sets anyway.

TUES. MAY 17, 1983 : MARTYN brings along former SIGMA bass player JOHN to practice. JOHN wants to play in the style of AZTEC CAMERA so things don't work out. Sax player DAVE STRETCH doesn't show up. Obviously something has to be done about the numbers in the band and the musical direction. After practice the band all reconvene to a pub in HEATON MOOR. MARTYN accuses CURSE of being "too fond of distortion pedals" and wants to change direction radically. By the end of the evening, MARTYN, SUE & STRETCH have left the band, leaving the nucleus of what will become SILENT PRAYER, BEN, EDDIE & JIM.

WED. MAY 18, 1983: The RED LION, HAZEL GROVE. BLADDER x3 do a cover version of CURSE's 'FOOLS GAME', singing it ironically as 'MUGS GAME' with altered lyrics. The PARANOIDS play support. STUART, the guitarist will go on to play with popular local bands ZANATHUS and RESERVOIR JONES in the future.

After a week or two of the threesome jamming in the practice room and half-heartedly looking for a female vocalist, it is decided that BEN will take over the vocal duties and continue to play bass. The band are now a three-piece. They drop a lot of the CURSE songs and begin writing a new set in earnest. Song writing becomes more of a joint effort as the three find that a lot of tunes come together in the practice room. The band borrow an old synth to "experiment with noise", but soon drop the idea in favor of adding keyboards to some of the songs.

CURSE and the band that they become, SILENT PRAYER will play the following cover versions over the coming year: BOB DYLAN's KNOCKING ON HEAVENS DOOR (also covered by GUNS AND ROSES) and MAGGIE'S FARM (with changed lyrics about life in THATCHER's BRITAIN); ROGER MILLER's KING OF THE ROAD and The MEKONS' WHERE WERE YOU?

WED. JUNE 22, 1983: The RED LION, HAZEL GROVE sees CURSE finally slimmed down to a three-piece with BEN on vocals and bass, JIM on guitar and backing yelps and EDDIE on drums. The MYSTYX support. Apart from ASH and COL, all the other ex-members of the band are in the audience at this gig. BEN paints several new stage backdrops at around this time to celebrate the 'revigoration' of the band.

THURS. JULY 7, 1983 : Manchester Polytechnic's HOLLINS BAR with DAVE up visiting from LONDON on keyboards. COL, ex-guitarist replaces him when he returns to LONDON.

THURS. JULY 14, 1983: The CYPRUS TAVERN, MANCHESTER. CURSE play this popular club with LIFE ON EARTH. DAVE (4 YEARS OF PLAGIARISM), who is up visiting from LONDON plays keyboards on some songs in CURSE's set. There is some tension during the gig when DAVE and CURSE roadie DICKIE have a bit of a fight. FASHION, who have played at LEGENDS, directly across the street earlier in the evening drop by and exchange information.

BEN, EDDIE and JIM meet HARPO (former CORROSIVE YOUTH vocalist from STRETFORD) and JOYCE/JOE one SATURDAY NIGHT at The CYPRUS TAVERN in MANCHESTER. HARPO recognises the band from the SMUGGLERS' gig back when The VIOLATORS failed to show up. HARPO will soon become a trusted friend, sometime backing vocalist and advisor to the band and JOE an 'occasional' photographer.

WED. JULY 20, 1983: The RED LION, HAZEL GROVE. CURSE, again play a set with DAVE on keyboards. PAUL and PHIL of LIFE ON EARTH play a set with EDDIE sitting in on drums. Vocalist GAIL isn't present so vocals are done by guitarist PAUL.

THURS. JULY 21, 1983: SMUGGLERS, STOCKPORT. This gig is unexpectedly cancelled a few days before due to a change in the club's management. The club will henceforth be known as JUMPING JACK FLASH and will not have live music. Taking time off to write new material, practice and look for gigs around this time the band visits LEEDS, LIVERPOOL, ROCHDALE, PRESTON and LONDON. BEN, EDDIE and JIM along with DAVE have a photo session at MOSS SIDE and WHALLEY RANGE. COL, ex-guitarist will return to the band on keyboards when DAVE returns to LONDON in September.

SUN. OCT. 2, 1983 : The BROOKFIELD in STOCKPORT with COL on keyboards. LIFE ON EARTH and BLADDER x3 also play.

THURS, OCT. 12, 1983: The CELLAR BAR below The BROOKFIELD in STOCKPORT. Several other local musicians are in the audience including JAN, the vocalist of PRESSURE (ex-SA WOT!) and DAVE LUTY, bass player with The CHEATERS. CURSE come on stage to the 'Spaghetti Western' music of ENNIO MORRICONE for the first time at this gig.

THURS. OCT. 27, 1983: ARCHIES, below UPS 'N' DOWNS in STOCKPORT. This gig is postponed due to a sudden change in the venue management.

THURS. NOV. 3, 1983: The re-scheduled ARCHIES gig is cancelled due to the club losing its drinks' licence the day before.

FRI. NOV. 4, 1983: The MARY DENDY HOSPITAL SOCIAL CLUB situated somewhere between ALDERLY EDGE and CHELFORD is the unusual venue for this benefit for the mentally handicapped. Initially LIFE ON EARTH was going to be playing the gig as PAUL GREENWOOD, their guitarist helped to organise the concert with his NOIZE PROMOTIONS but they had to pull out. The headline act BOB NEWMAN & CAROL GORDON play M.O.R. country music so it comes as no surprise when CURSE are asked to "shorten" their set. As the gig finishes early the band and crew all end up down at DE VILLES, a club in MANCHESTER.

TUES. DECEMBER 6, 1983 : The SHEFFIELD LEADMILL with PLAY DEAD & DACHAU CHOIR. The band again hire a coach for themselves and their friends. Dave plays bass on the encore FAT SUITS.

WED. JAN. 11, 1984: COBDEN'S PLACE, STOCKPORT with CURSE supporting ERIC & The FRANTICS who fail to appear.

SAT. JAN. 14, 1984: BLACKPOOL BIER KELLER with CURSE, DOG FOOD (IGGY & The STOOGES copyists). The X-CERTS, with BEN's cousin BRENNAN on vocals are booked to play but are unable to due to problems setting up the P.A. MIKE, BRENNAN's brother plays bass on the CURSE encore of FAT SUITS.

TUES. JAN. 24, 1984 sees the band in contact with the COWBELL AGENCY, the RONDELET label (ANTI-PASTI), MIKE STONE at CLAY RECORDS (DISCHARGE), PHIL LANGHAM (The DARK) at ANAGRAM RECORDS and the promoter of The ASSASSINATION CLUB in LEEDS, NICK TOCZEK.

SAT. JAN. 28, 1984: BLACKPOOL BIER KELLER with CURSE and The X-CERTS.

SAT. FEB. 4, 1984 : BLACKPOOL BIER KELLER with BOW WOW WOW (who don't show up) and ALWAYS THE NOW (ex-PONDOROSA GLEE BOYS) from LIVERPOOL.

FRI. FEB. 10, 1984 : The BLOOD CLUB at ANNABELS in MANCHESTER, after persuading LEN the manager that live music would improve 'ALTERNATIVE/INDIE' nights. ANDY (MYSTYX) plays bass on the encore number FAT SUITS after BEN requests a bassist. CURSE promote several concerts at the club over the next few months.

WED. FEB. 15, 1984: COBDEN'S PLACE, STOCKPORT. Along with CURSE, CRISIS, "an old-style Heavy Metal band dressed as New Wave" (Not the classic Punk band that become DEATH IN JUNE) also play this night.

FRI. FEB. 17, 1984: The band and friends drive to The ASSASSINATION CLUB/NATURAL DISASTERS at The DORTMUNDER BIER KELLER in LEEDS to see D.O.A. (over from CANADA), SPARTACUS R (a black ranter/poet), MENZI (vocalist with The ANGELIC UPSTARTS doing some spoken word) and SEETHING WELLS (poet and N.M.E. writer). CURSE meet up with NICK TOCZEK, the promoter and get booked to play.

TUES. FEB 21, 1984: The BLOOD CLUB at ANNABELS in ANCOATES, MANCHESTER. CURSE play with bass heavy three-piece C.N.R. ANDY H. (MYSTYX) again plays bass on the encore of FAT SUITS. The METEORS play at The HACIENDA, to name but one of several gigs on the same evening.

WED. FEB. 29, 1984: HULME and STRETFORD in MANCHESTER are the locations for a CURSE photo session.

(5) The start of 1984 sees CURSE return to PARISH BOWMAN, the 8-track studio in MIDDLETON to record their fifth demo. It is the first with BEN on vocals & COL on keyboards. The three songs recorded are PSYCHO MANTRA (a song very different from anything the band have done before with "scratchy" violin), THE CHRISTENING and ROAD OF THE KING. This tape is reviewed in CITY LIFE and The ARTFUL REPORTER.

FRI. MARCH 9, 1984: The BLOOD CLUB at ANNABELS in ANCOATES, MANCHESTER.

WED. MARCH 14, 1984 : CURSE play LEEDS' DORTMUNDER BIER-KELLER with BEKI BONDAGE (ex-VICE SQUAD) and her new band LIGOTAGE. For this gig only CURSE play the MEKONS' song WHERE WERE YOU? in honor of this Leeds' band. Admission for this gig is £2.50 for waged and £2.00 for unwaged. This is COL's last gig with the band, as he leaves soon after to be replaced on keyboards by SHARON who initially receives some hostility from girlfriends and fans but is eventually accepted.

SAT. MARCH 17, 1984: The band and friends head down to LONDON to attend one of DAVE's (4 YEARS OF PLAGIARISM) 'SAVAGE/RAVAGE' parties. As well as the "drunken excess in fancy dress" , several gigs are booked.

SAT. APRIL 21, 1984 : CURSE play NEW MERLIN'S CAVE, near KING'S CROSS in LONDON with LIFE ON EARTH & The MYSTYX. Eddie plays drums for all three bands. This is SHARON's first gig. ANDY H. (MYSTYX) plays bass for the encore of FAT SUITS. Admission is 75 pence.

TUES. MAY 15, 1984 : CURSE'S second gig at The LEADMILL in SHEFFIELD, this time with (SOUTHERN) DEATH CULT. The advertised BLUE IN HEAVEN are replaced for some reason by The DANCING TARANTULAS. There is a £2.50 ticket price to see this show. It is interesting to note that CURSE had once recorded a version of LOUIE LOUIE/WILD THING and several years later The CULT would release the very same song combination - coincidence?

SAT. MAY 26, 1984: NEW MERLINS' CAVE in LONDON. CURSE are supported by local band The PERTURBED, eight punks from a local squat. The vocalist, 'SCOTS JOHN' is a well-known 'character' about town.

THURS. JUNE 14, 1984: CLOUD 9 in MANCHESTER. This benefit for YOUTH CND has CURSE, CHATTERBOX (JOHNNY THUNDERS/NEW YORK DOLLS/HANOI ROCKS in image and sound) and LIFE ON EARTH play with tickets costing 1.50 for waged and 1.00 for unwaged.

SAT. JUNE 16, 1984: The BIER KELLER in BLACKPOOL. CURSE support local band The FITS who have the guitarist of TRAPPER RECORDS label mates PETER & The TEST-TUBE BABIES playing with them. Violence erupts after CURSE play their set and several of their friends are hurt. When order is eventually restored The FITS come on stage.
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