It's funny how you get the sudden buzz to listen to stuff.... stuff you haven't played for years... stuff that's been lying dormant in the record collection, untroubled by a needle for a decade or more... All of a sudden it becomes essential listening again. And that is just one of the reasons I never chuck out old records, coz you just never can tell what's gonna be floating your boat next time... this last couple of weeks it's been Zodiac Mindwarp and the Love Reaction!
There were two things that put Zodiac Mindwarp back on my radar...
1) Bloggin buddy Planet Mondo doing a recent post about his days in an 80's Glam band, who supported the Zods a few times back in the day (Mondo went on to get an article publish in The Word magazine, regaling his tales of sharing a stage with the self proclaimed "love dictator").
2) Someone at work asking me what was the worst autobiography I ever read (worst as in filthy/outrageous, rather than poorly written!).... I may not have read them for some years, but BOTH of Mark Manning's (for t'was he that was, and still is, Zodiac Mindwarp) disgusting tomes have permanently scared my brain, so it was an instant reply. After my 'recommendation', the person asked if they could borrow them, so I dug them out and had a quick flick... Shit! Although I have them both lodged in my brain as pure evil, I couldn't quite remember why any more... the quick flick provided a handy reminder!! And I'd just agreed to lend them to a girl in the office!
Anyway, all this Zodiac talk got me a-buzzin to hear some of their stuff again, and in particular their defining moment (for me anyway), the mini album they made for Food records early in their career - High Priest of Love. Unlike some old treasures that you dust down, I was delighted to find that this LP still hits the spot, 6 dirty, biker rock tracks full of the sleaziest guitar riffs and Zodiacs trademark single-entendre lyrics!
It's almost exactly twenty three years since I discovered Zodiac Mindwarp... 27th March 1986. They were the 'filling' in a 3 band sandwich at the Queens Hotel (a legendary Southend venue in the 70's and 80's.. now a block of flats). Zodiac were the only group in the line-up that I didn't know. First band on were Mondo's Ladykillers and the main act were Dr and the Medics. In between stumbled the dirtiest bunch of reprobates I think i'd ever seen! all decked out in Nazi regalia and German helmets.. It certainly got your attention, as did the blistering set they proceeded to perform. I went on to see them a few times in the next year or so, they had an aura of danger about them, they were edgy and not a little psychotic (the two autobiographies have since proved my initial instincts to be completely correct!).... But looking back on them now it all looks quite comical!! More 'Bad News' than anything else!! but time's a funny thing isn't it?! They still sound pretty convincing though, check out these videos...
My favourite Zodiac Mindwarp track 'High Priest of Love'... Fast forward to 1 minute 30 as the song doesn't actually kick in till then! Some great early footage weaved in to this compilation vid.
The big 'hit' Prime Mover:
Hows this for an odd-ball match up? The Love Reaction mime backing band for Belinda Carlisle!
Richard Cowper cover gallery
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