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When Tony Page joined Apocalypse in late 1981, he brought with him from his old band The Ploy an excellent song called 'Dark Side Of Town.' When Apocalypse went in to record their second single for EMI in early 1984 ('Mr. Goodbye'), it was finally selected for recording, and slated as the B-Side. As Pagey's luck would (not) have it, the band split up and the single never came out, which means poor Pagey never had a song on record.

That's a shame, because both the song and, especially, the recording, hold up better than anything else from those EMI sessions. If you ask what went wrong once the group were placed in a 'proper' studio (Jacob's, near Farnham) with a proper producer (Ken Thomas, who went on to much greater things), it's probably that the group were given too much time surrounded by too much expensive equipment, and as often happens when you surround boys with toys, they played with themselves to the detriment of the recordings. (Listen to 'Or Something Like That,' if you dare, for proof.)

But for 'Dark SIde Of Town,' they managed to balance technology with necessity. Pagey sampled from his favorite TV show, 'Thunderbirds,' and Chris Boyle painstakingly set about programming his drum parts on a drum machine rather than recording them live, making this the only Apocalypse song not to feature acoustic drums. Tony Fletcher plays piano, a session player was brought in on saxophone, someone strums a fine acoustic guitar line, Sylvie and Albae supply backing vocals, and Pagey himself, of course, sings lead.

Listen to the MP3 of 'Dark Side Of Town' here and feel free to download, if you know how, for non-commercial use only.

3) DOLCIE (1983)

When Apocalypse went into the Mad Professor's Peckham studio in June 1982 to demo possible choices for their first Jamming! single, Fletcher brought with him two typically wordy songs ('Release' and 'For You') while Carrigan's two songs were so short on lyrics they almost qualified as instrumentals. 'People' would eventually become the a-side of the band's only EMI Single, while 'Dolcie' did not see release until the Going Up In The World compilation. The version featured on the CD is the Mad Professor's dub mix from that demo session (as is the version of 'People' on the CD); the version here was recorded in the Capital Radio studios at Warren Street for a Gary Crowley radio session in early 1983. The large amounts of hiss are explained by the fact that the only surviving recording was a second-generation, lo-fi, 20-year old cassette, nobly re-mastered in December 2004 by Phil Palazzolo. Such words as there are on 'Dolcie' suggest that Carrigan was singing about his favorite subject: God. Tony Page loves this song and thinks this version should have been included on Going Up In The World.

Listen to the MP3 of 'Dolcie' here and feel free to download, if you know how, for non-commercial use only.

2) THE DOG SONG (1981)

A number of early Apocalypse songs were never recorded in the studio. Among them: 'The Dog Song,' in which Jeff Carrigan questioned, to a punk-blues arrangement not unlike early Adam and the Ants, the meaning of love. Or, as he explained in Aftermath fanzine that year, "It's why you should choose a member of the opposite sex for a partner. Why not try to get a relationship with something else?" That idea was carried into 'The Teddy Song' which eventually became 'Teddy' and the first Apocalypse single.

This version of 'The Dog Song,' complete with analogue cassette hiss, was recorded live at The Angel, on Lambeth Walk, December 1, 1981. Apocalypse were in the midst of a weekly residency at the South London pub, trying to make it into something of a club, to which end they hired DJs such as Paolo Hewitt and Gary Crowley, support bands like The Questions, and Eddie Steady Go as occasional compere. The residency is now best remembered for breaking in Tony Page and Kevin Bagnall as new members. Neither of them, however, can be heard on this recording. Consider it, then, as a final statement by the old, three-piece Apocalypse.

The original words to 'The Dog Song' were printed in 'A-Z' fanzine. Read them here. They may be the longest lyrics ever written by Carrigan.

Listen to the MP3 here and feel free to download it if you know how.

1) DON'T STOP (1983)

Recorded at EMI's Manchester Square Studios, September 1983. Produced by Apocalypse. Later included on the Jamming! magazine compilation A New Optimism For The 80s, featuring The Specials, R.E.M., Billy Bragg,The Icicle Works and The Alarm

Tony Page on lead vocals, Tony Fletcher on guitar and piano, Jeff Carrigan on bass and backing vocals, Chris Boyle on drums, Kevin Bagnall on trumpet, a session player on trombone, and Albae and Sylvie on backing vocals.

This version is almost 50% faster than the one re-recorded in late 2004/early 2005 for the Going Up In The World album.

Don't Stop 1983 is here. 4.9 MB. Not for commercial redistribution.

Original lyrics, chords and A New Optimism cassette sleeve are here

Buy Going Up In The World: Apocalypse 1982-83 online:
amazon.co.uk, Cherry Red, amazon.com

Apocalypse web page hosted by iJamming!