Marz Imprint > Urge
urge: clippings

reviews / photos and articles circa '80 - '81

urge in Köln - Germany - 22nd January 1980: - Lynda, John, David, Billy, Kevin - Photo by Nick den Bravens
Record Reviews
urge: 'Revolving boy' (Consumer Disk)

Catchy stuff from Coventry and it isn't ska! Instrumentally mesmerising, it builds on a central synthesiser figure whilst coasting along on quiet drums and unusually in-tune vocals. Should be in with a chance of charting. Record Mirror 25/10/80 link to spaceward (discography)

urge 'Bobby' (Consumer Disk) link to bobby (edit).mp3

The sweet vocal chords of Lynda Wulf add a sugary flavour to this sweet 'n' sour ditty. 'Bobby' combines the style of the Shangi-Las with the warmth of the Rezillos; probably the purest pop record I've heard this year. NME 14/2/81

urge 'Bobby' (Consumer Disk)

Coventry band produced by Nigel Gray. Sixties pop delivered with a smirk and a punkish defiance. It's appeal isn't immediate but it gets you with a sly trip from behind. Melody Maker14/2/81 Colin Irwin.

Spaceward 3 ( David, Kevin, Lynda ) Photo by John Wankling
"The Urge are particularly interesting as their debut single, 'Revolving boy', gives us an insight into how Kraftwerk may have approached Two Tone!"

SENT FROM COVENTRY: THE CHEQUERED PAST OF TWO TONE. 2004 (www.impbooks.com) by Richard Eddington.

"Claimed they refused to jump on the 'ska' bandwagon, then released the virtual ska single Revolving Boy in 1980. It made them a lot of fans especially John Peel and Kid Jensen who made it his record of the week!"

GODIVA ROCKS. 2004 (http://rocksgodiva.tripod.com/) by Pete Chambers.

left to right: John, David, Kevin, Lynda, Billy. Photo by Jim Botton
21st March, 1981 Record Mirror
get the urge

URGE Lanchester Poly, Coventry

anti-clockwise from bottom:

Lynda, Kevin, David, Nigel & Billy

Photo by Simon Reeves

By Philip Hall

UP AND off the M1 to check out Urge, Urge stand on their own. Too straight to be experimental, too perverse to be poppy.

Their set at this ill-organised benefit gig was dogged by sound problems. A determined strength of character pulled Urge above the the technical difficulties and on to an impressive high. 'Radiation' got the set off to a marching start with it's criss-cross rhythms and chanting chorus. Though the sound quality never did justice to the songs it was clear that Urge have a tempting talent. They play slightly off-balance pop music which is never made easy to grasp hold of.

The songs are centred around simple beaty melodies but the band throw in eccentric rhythm changes which add a welcome dose of spontaneity. Vocalists David Wankling and Lynda Wulf contribute tongue in cheek boy girl harmonies while providing the set with plenty of visual stimulus. Though Lynda always seems a little self-concious, the genuinely strange looking Wankling oozes real charisma as he bursts into a whole series of unco-ordinated dances.

Urge don't provide instant entertainment. There's a depth lurking beneath their songs which demands further exploration.

Given a chance to play around London Urge could become an attention-grabbing band.

Page 40 SOUNDS March 21. 1981
La skank electronique

Coventry Ska boom since they were formed in 1978

They supported the Specials on their 1980 European tour, but since their music is essentially not the derivative stuff that came out of the ska revival, they’ve been steadfastly ignored by record companies and the media alike. Still, a few more gigs like this one and perhaps that will be put right.

In my humble opinion, Urge are playing the kind of music that should be developing from the ska/reggae revival of the past eighteen months, It’s fast, tight, fun pop music, sometimes with a reggae beat, all of it original, and they don’t sound like anyone else.

The label Urge put on their music is ‘New Eastern Electric’. I dunno about that, but whatever it is, it certainly worked. Singers Lynda and David achieve just the right balance of vocal interplay and are visually in tune, arms flailing like a couple of manic windmills as they punch out the lyrics. The music can be fast, driving rhythms, as ‘Sea Of Storms’, or light hummable tunes like ‘Bobby’ the new single. The reggae beat is incorporated into a modern electronic sound, used as a foundation to build with instead of a fast passport to audience acceptance...where so many bands nowadays seem to work on the premise that if you bung in a bit of dub and the odd off-beat riff it’ll make people dance and buy your records, Urge are using the reggae in an innovative and positive way

Of the three bands, they are definitely the most progressive even though they haven’t been famous before. If it’s possible for a non-ska Coventry ensemble to make it in the outside world this must be the one most likely to.

CAROLYN SPENCE

Urge / 21 Guns / The People

Coventry

THERE’S ALWAYS (if you’II pardon the pun) a special atmosphere at a Coventry gig. Even if you’ve come from Birmingham, a mere eleven minutes by train, you feel like a complete outsider. Everyone seems to know everyone else, and a good percentage of the audience are local musicians of varying degrees of celebrity who all appear to have played with each other at some time in the past... in fact, considering the number of people who are supposed to have begun their musical careers in the Squad, it’s amazing they ever found time to play between line-up changes.

It’s a family occasion. The People proceed to deliver what it’s obvious that Coventry wants, although I’m not too certain how the rest of the world will take to it. The new band formed by Desmond Brown and Charley Anderson (who so unceremoniously got the boot from The Selecter last year), The People seem to be flirting with lots of different musical directions. the sound is commercial, but more ethnic than the pop-ska rhythms of early Selecter. To begin with the set sounded disappointingly like umpteen other performances by middle-of-the-road British reggae bands, but there were some surprises.

A pleasant little ditty about running over rabbits on the motorway turned into a heavy, rock-orientated piece with powerful guitar and fluid

keyboards. ‘This Place Is Not My Home ‘continues the idiom, with strangely mannered vocals from the guitarist that are reminiscent of a Jamaican Johnny Rotten. For my money, these are the best songs in the set, combining a basic reggae feel with an aggressive, contemporary beat and interesting lyrics. There followed a couple of blues-type things that I found fairly unimpressive. It’s as though the direction of this band is not yet established, and they’re wavering about in mid-stream at the moment. There’s a good chance, though, that the end product will be worth watching.

There’s been a lot of fuss just lately in this part of the world about 21 Guns. They’ve got the saxophonist from the Swinging Cats and yet another ex-Squad person on vocals. A really mean looking bunch of lads in ex-army fatigues, they sound like the Ruts might’ve if they came from. Coventry. Theirs is angry music,

and they belt out songs with titles like ‘Enemy At The Door’ and State Of Emergency’ with the sort of manic energy and aggression that would put other ‘political’ punk/ska bands to shame. It’s difficult not to dance to a beat as infectious as this, and the audience go wild. There’s a high degree of musical competence, and the songs aren’t bad... but hasn’t it all been done before? It’s a shame really, because I did enjoy the set, but it isn’t very likely that 21 Guns will ever make it big unless they can come up with a new slant on the punk/ska/idealist genre stuff that they’re doing now. They’re too much like the early Specials to stand on their own merit

Now Urge are a different barrel of salt fish altogether. Their first single, ‘Revolving Boy’, is one of the best examples of white reggae heard since the Police stopped making good records (and that was a long time ago). They’ve suffered a lot from the great

17th January, 1981 New Musical Express - Page 7
urge throw their hats into the ring, throw some shapes, throw up
CLOSE TO THE URGE
Left to right: Kevin Harrison, Lynda Wulf, Billy Little, Nigel Mulvey, David Wankling Photo by Joe Stevens
by CHRIS SALEWICZ
REALLY WE should have gone from Luton airport, but the only flight to Barcelona that night was from Heathrow.

And so, two days before they were due to play a concert in a bloodstained bullring. The Specials and new Arista signing urge and all their aides-de-camp picked up 36 tickets from a Coventry travel agent and only a few hours later were puking up their paella and chips and Spanish-brewed Skol after an evening’s relaxation in the historic Spanish port. The colour of the puke of urge co-singer Lynda Wulf matched her pink hair - she’d been imbibing red wine. Her husband, urge guitarist and co-songwriter Kevin Harrison, pointed this out just as we were stepping into a taxi outside Studio 54, the city’s main discotheque which, even though it’s unrelated to the now deceased New York club, would make Franco turn in his grave

urge is a group of many paradoxes. "I’m dreamily determined, for example" sighed Kevin with poetic wistfulness as he flopped down on the cab’s back seat, tossing a casual glance in the direction of his missus as she levered her head upwards from the pavement and searched in her hand-bag for a tissue.

A major urge paradox is that their music consists of clear-visioned, witty pop songs. Yet Kevin himself, often as ascetically insecure onstage as only a Fripp-like guitar anti-hero may be, seems far more comfortable sitting at home in his Coventry council flat releasing the tapes he makes with his Revox and synthesizer. 'New Eastern Electric' is how Kevin waggishly describes what he is creating on such sound collages as ‘On Earth 2’. an NME Garageland featured cassette

He denies, though, that he’d prefer working on his own - his solo work, he claims, is just one of the elements that go towards making up the urge sound. "Philip Glass meets The Kinks at the grassroots of. . whatever..." he succinctly sums up their music. "We’re doing The Shangri-la’s ‘Past. Present And Future’ on our first album"

"I’m very fond of the intertwining of fact and fiction," continued Kevin as we sat in the back of the Spanish cab making drunken attempts to recall the name of our hotel. "For example, on our original record company biography we were listed as ‘five former supermarket managers’. And now Nigel Mulvey joins us on bass and that was what he really did once do." <

(Nigel Mulvey is a portly, large fellow who eats vast amounts of sweets and has about him something of the air of one-time Turtle Mark Volman.)

Much of this makes more sense, of course. when you appreciate that our Kev is a former art student. After twelve months at Nuneaton Art School. Kevin applied for a course in communicatlons at Leicester University. "They didn’t seem to be able to handle it when they discovered my portfolio wasn’t visual, but audio. It was made up entirely of tapes of sound."

So Illuminatus-fan Kevin went to work instead at British Leyland as a systems analyst, which maybe he was destined to do all along: Eighteen months ago, as a victim of cut-backs within the car firm, he picked up £1,500 redundancy money and bought the Revox and synthesizer with which he makes his tapes

Kevin Harrison, in fact, is a fully paid alumnus of the Coventry Scene: the last group he was in before urge was Transposed Men, which also featured Special Brad, sometime Selecter Desmond Brown and Selecter main man Neol Davies - it was Kevin’s long-standing friend Davies, in fact, who first brought urge to my attention, playing me the group’s tapes when I visited his home last summer.

AIthough a different urge line-up was already established when Kevin joined in January of 79, he quickly became a central force and in September of that year, his wife Lynda was added to the group to share vocals with the less willful David Wankling, who writes the lyrics and founded the band

Whimsically having decided in 1976 to quit his native Coventry, David had moved to Brighton where he quickly found he was combining his job of croupier ("Casinos don’t have to be fixed: they always end up winning" with singing in a punk band with flat-mate and guitarist John Shipley, later of the now defunct Swinging Cats.

The pair returned to their home-town in 1978 to form the first edition of urge, which included the group’s current drummer, rockabilly fan Billy Little, who’d previously played behind Special Terry Hall in The Squad. When Shipley departed for the Cats, it was Kevin who came in as replacement

January of 1980 saw urge releasing their first 45, ‘Revolving Boy’, an independent single that the group is re-recording for release by Arista. Under the terms of their new deal, urge have already been in the studio with Dennis Bovell at the production helm. They have decided, though, against working with Bovell on their imminent album. "He’s a helluva nice guy," says Kevin, "but I think the problem is that half the time he’s too stoned to actually get anything together. It's his own studio and it's not really fully equipped yet. It makes studio work very expensive."

At the same time as ‘Revolving Boy’ came out, urge endured for their first national tour an ordeal by mutant gob when they supported The UK Subs. At the Marquee date on that tour Billy Little’s kit was so covered in plastic beer glasses that had been chucked at the group that he was actually unable to make contact with his drum-skins

Also, this Barcelona bash is not the first time that the group have trod the European boards. Picking up their passports in Coventry Post Office late last winter for a couple of Dutch dates, Lynda ran into Jerry Dammers. "Oh, come along to Germany with us when you’re finished in Holland," offered the generous Jerry, and urge ended up as support act to The Specials on their European tour. urge, dressing room - koln.jpg

At least those dates were not as disaster-prone as this Spanish trip: perhaps it was something to do with the karma of attempting to put on a pop show in a place normally reserved for the unnecessary slaughtering of inoffensive animals. As Kevin remarked at one point "theres an awful lot of bulishit about this gig."

Only 2.000 Spanish punkettas show up - which may have bean caused by rival promoter having taken a TV ad the previous evening to announce the concert had been cancelled!

This left the German promoter, a man whose finances came from the buying and selling of exotic snuffs, to lose his shirt. and nearly his life - this particular bullring being apparently controlled by the Spanish mafia

As Jerry Dammers and urge manager Ian Foster were departing their hotel the next morning to travel back to London by road, the promoter suddenly appeared out of the shadows, to request a ride to the border. He’d also been busted in Barcelona some days previously, and he only had one of his four passports left.

Dammers and Foster made their excuses and left.

link to The Specials website

link to Roddy Radiation's website

revolving boy on youtube
'ZINE STUFF:

Billy Little - Drums; Dave Wankling - Vocals, Stylo & Radio; John Westacott - Bass Guitar; John Shipley - Guitar; Kev Harrison Synth, E-Piano, Guitar & Prepared Tapes.

CAN YOU FEEL THE URGE?


It is not often that an original and exciting band goes unnoticed in Cov. but Urge have managed it! They have been together for almost two years, with Kevin joining in January, but they have only begun to gather a small following. 0f the original "new wave" (for want of a better label) bands in Cov. they were the most experimental and technical, now they are joined by bands like 'Gods Toys' and 'The End' and the growth in popularity of these 3 bands indicates that there is a receptive audience for this type of music now.

This 'type' of music being exciting without developing into a barrage of noise, being experimental without becoming introvert or obscure, and meaningful without preaching or becoming moralistic.

Urge are as hard to interview as they are to label:

Q. Do you think you are influenced by Ultravox? Various - "Ultravox?" - "I've never seen them, "I don't like them", "No-one's ever said that before"

How old are members of the band?

Raucous Laughter.

Other vitally important questions which the band skilfully avoided were: The type of music they enjoyed, whether or not they would like to be a 'Pop group', and the price of cheese. Despite intense interrogation by TOM none of the members of Urge would confess to being the leader of the group.

from the interview I gained the impression that Urge feel that music is relative to the environment and atmosphere and feeling at the time, hence the imaginative and experimental nature of the music, it is probably because of this that Urge are accused of being a 'student' band. But none of the members are students and judging from the grunts from some of the members of the group they are not too partial to students.

In the past Urge have had their problems which they felt was usually due to a bad P.A or insufficient time to sound check. Other things which they felt they had problems with were lack of visual image and lack of communication with the audience. Now they feel they are getting over to the audience and that where they do not communicate it is because there is no-one to communicate with. they would like to create a good visual image ( I think they already do) but they feel that this is secondary to the music and so are quite happy as they are.

Judging from the tape I've recently heard they have condensed their music, making it more intense, unusual, original and disjointed and they leave the listener curiously disorientated. Urge is not a group which I could portray in an interview, it is definitely a group which needs to be seen to be believed!

by Debbie, Alternative Sounds 4, June 1979

Billy Little, Kevin, John Westacott, David Wankling, John Shipley

URGE LIVE GIG 19th May 1979


CLOTHES - 4 in military black, smart shirts and trousers - 1 in cricket strip, white, also very smart (Kraftwerk springs to mind)

PLACE - A party at Warwick University Airport Lounge.

TIME - Approx. 11.30

TYPE OF MUSIC PLAYED - Strange mutation of rock n roll, near to early Velvets thrashings, using noises rather than melodies to create emotional songs.

SET IN SONG TITLE ORDER - Set started out with tape of japanese woman's voice, straight into


1. 'I found a reason', title repeated till end of song, music loud intense, interesting

2. 'Vapour trails', mechanical funk, skeletal music with hypnotic beat.

3. 'Wavelength', changing tempo, disorientated rock n roll, lyrics concern (I think) the evil radio stations giving us too many choices.

4. 'Wet erasable', cacophony of sounds, noises leads into...

5, 'Ugly youth', intense noise - lowest part of set, similar style of music to 1st track.

6. 'Look out', the nightmare starts properly as the Urge decapitate this song of children playing with machinery.

7. 'Away', hideous electric George Formby type song where white noise replaces ukulele

8. 'Alienation', slower, softer, with haunting melody.

9. 'Outside interference', slightly punk, with helter skelter guitars.

10. 'Two way flex', is disjointed and the keyboards player looks like a weirdy.

11. 'The evacuation', fast rock n roll again.

12. 'Nuclear terrorist' is their projected single, heavy lyrics get swallowed in a happy 'borstal breakout' sing along - sinister fun.


13. 'The final number reminds me of 'Heroin' (Lou Reed), the song builds up on a gallop then slides down on a menacing African beat.

The Urge do not go out with a bang but with a whimper. Two members and a radio are left in in the end. Urge finish their set leaving me cold and unstable.


CONCLUSION - Urge are a nightmare and they will not do your thinking for you.

I cannot put them in a box, go see them and try yourself.

Urge are excellent!

Dill, Alternative Sounds 4, June 1979

Urge at Chilvers Coton Sports and Social Club, Nuneaton with The Reluctant Stereotypes, Summer '79. Photos by Al Starkey
Prior to all this came the unsung impetus - the motivator -the twenty-second century sci-fi thrash 'n trash of the strung out URGE ..... This band were IT: intelligent dirty noise, the crazed b-movie to die for, beaming transistor radios at the audience in a two chord garage frenzy of sonic ecstasy and ugly - and yes: they were all beautiful punk style, content & essence: all vapour trails and evacuation, all seeds and stooges with cheap home-made chemist and mad scientist kits. Magnetic revolving boys throwing shapes in the shadows, they signed to Arista, and promptly found themselves left to die.

It's MORE than a sad story, this........ It was, and still is, a tragedy for all true believers in the creed of music head-fuck...... look out (edit).mp3

Martyn Bates (Eyeless in Gaza) - Soundbyte ƒrom Godiva Rocks. 2004.

urge - revolving boy (consumer disk)

Urges impressive debut single on their own label. The best record to come from Cov yet. It's not such a beefy bounce as their live sound but it still catches you. It's a record to dance into the 80's with (the B side for advanced dancers - a dub version of the A side). If you haven't got this record then squander some money now.

Alternative Sounds 11

the definitive urge ?

“minutes to go - make no mistake - no re-make - no one, two, three, four”

urge encourage their audience to re-evaluate their faculties, value judgements etc. Irony and understated cliché are also employed in their lyrics to keep any overt artiness or over-seriousness well in check. urge are fun and you can dance if you so desire, the metaphysical dance: exploring abstract emotions - is there anybody there? urge goes down but not down but up only not up but not down someone comes somebody else goes somebody else comes and nobody else either comes or goes. The base pulses, the trousers are tight, urge doesn't be such, maybe never too much.

semaphore parachute elastic braille false limbs knitting frame air-pump cigarette beehive dental drill silk-screen caterpillar track cats eye television jukebox xerography camouflage can-opener barbed-wire combine harvester x-ray breakfast cereals zip fastener brassiere urge xxxx

kevin tapes and tapes are heard but the herd instinct never hints at development. The electricity is exciting and freezes... the projected sound may feature random subversive noise to four-part harmony: they are not a band to label. What they are is very difficult to define.

The members of urge constantly involve themselves in all aspects of the industry, from producing the records, right through to marketing. (sticking sleeves together, cutting, folding, advertising, delivery and all that) - a sort of cottage industrial research and development project which seeks to explore the imagination and market place of the record buying public (to which they are fully paid up members)

David likes canned wine, Rico 2, dog potatoes, blue and green, Giorgio Moroder, Christopher Isherwood and David Luger. He started getting involved with music when he was living in Brighton. together with Alain Royer, (now of ‘Bron Area') John Shipley, Proton and Phillipe Bailly, they formed the Squares and played local venues. On moving back to Coventry armed with a large Stylophone he ran into Billy, got together with John the Ship on guitar and went in search of a bass guitarist, who turned out to be Johnny Dark. (aka Westy) who we will hear from later:

“frame by frame - a blurred response - somewhere - someone run, run, run”

Billy Little on his way up the ladder. "When I started at Woolworth's I was on hardware and DIY, it wasn't until I got together with Terry, Scully and Sam, that I realised that drums was for me; the group was Squad, anyway Terry left to join a two-tone pop-group or something and I decided it was time to learn how to play the drums properly. So, dear readers, every minute I had to spare. I would go to my bedroom, get three pillows and a hard book and place them in position on my bed. The hardback book was the snare and the pillows were the tom-toms; then I'd stick an album on and play along with it. This went on for three months until I met David Wankling and The Urge was formed." So, there we have the story of Billy's formative days, he would also like to add that, "Urge have given me the chance to play in my own style, urge work really hard at rehearsals and when they get together for a social evening they are a complete bunch of nutters."

Meanwhile in Bulkington, Kevin after two years garrisoned with a tape recorder and a head full of strange ideas ventured cautiously into the public eye. The occasion, Tansey's twenty-first birthday party, the place, The Bali-Hai (above Tiffany's). Entertainment for the evening was The Urge, who asked Kevin to come along and play a solo set. Utilising pre-recorded tapes and live electronics he proceeded to delight and confuse the assembled partygoers with a bombardment of sound that at times shook the room. Later that evening he played on two numbers in the Urge set. Kevin recalls this period in time. " I remember it well. I'd just packed in my day job, stacking shelves, I had already encountered The Urge when I was asked if I would record them at the Pitt's Head. Anyway, having known John for some time and chance meetings with David at parties at The Elms, I decided to go along and do the recording. I was pleasantly surprised to find the group bristling with ideas and enthusiasm. At this time I was very tempted to ask if I could join. Events overtook me however, and I was asked if I would join Transposed Men, Neol and Brad were friends of mine. This I enjoyed immensely (partly because it gave me the chance to play guitar again) but after good rehearsals, three or four gigs, with record company interest waning and the drummer departed, the band folded. After weeks of inactivity and no signs of the band getting back together, I decide to ask The Urge if I could join them. Shortly after we start rehearsing at the Binley Oak.

Besides playing guitar and synthesiser he is the producer of their first single (Revolving Boy on Consumer Disk. Buy it folks!) and is responsible for compiling audio documentaries with his portable cassette recorder *. Kev is a keen fan of Philip K. Dick, Kurt Schwitters, The Illuminatus, William Burroughs, Terry Riley, Steve Reich and Brian Eno, he is also a snappy dresser.

August '79 John Shipley decides to leave (he later forms Coventry group 'The Swinging Cats')

Shortly before this, Lynda joins. "I was a fan of urge, my secret ambition was to give up my job and sing with them. Anyway I got the chance to guest on a couple of numbers, and the first booking I did with them was at Hewell Grange Borstal, July ‘79. We had a great time, the kids really enjoyed themselves. (previous visitors had been a Salvation Army band and a traditional folk group) next came the 'dodging the gob' tour with the U.K. Subs; definitely an experience, shortly after that I became a permanent part of the the group. Another important thing aside from the music is the friendly bonhomie within the band." You can hear Lynda to full effect on the 'Z' side of Revolving Boy where she sings, breathes, zings the strings of your heart condition. Lynda likes; fun, music, films, drinking and her favourite colour is pink.

“I'm heading for the meta-city fair - fair game for the electric chair”

John plays the bass guitar, a Rickenbacker one pick-up model, he uses Rotosound 'swing bass' (wire wound) strings and a No. 3 or No. 4 nylon plectrum. He feeds his bass via a noiseless lead into a Sound City 150 w. bass amplifier, which in turn is fed into a Laney 2 x 15 bass cabinet. In the future John would like to synthesise his bass or possibly use keyboard type synthesiser for bass patterns. His philosophy on playing live and recording is that they are two completely different ball games, Unlike Kevin, John says he is a moderate drinker although he has been known on occasions to go over the top. He is looking forward to giving up his job at Rolls Royce, at present he is still living at home. His friends outside the group tend to be musicians, although there are exceptions to this rule. Favourite colour - bright red. Favourite food - CornfIakes (with plenty of milk).

'Century 21 Prestige Hit Consul' - Urge songs are now written and composed by David and Kevin.

November '79 support 'Cowboys International,' Warwick University: Dec. '79 support The Beat, UB40 at Coventry Tiffanies. Jan. ‘80 urge were invited by the Specials as support on their European Tour, Ian Foster joins Urge combine and becomes Priceless Harry, driving thousands of miles in Europe and speaking terrible Deutsch.

March '80 - Record 'Nuclear Terrorist' for Coventry Compilation album 'Sent to Coventry' on Kathedral records. April '80 play quite a few local gigs with Eyeless in Gaza and Bron Area as supports. May '80, spend three nights, their own money and friends money, recording three songs to be used as demos to lure the record companies. This was done at John Rivers, 'Woodbine Studio' in Leamington, which is 8-track, friendly and inexpensive. End of May, Kevin readying material for his forthcoming solo cassette for release on Nuneaton's 'Ambivalent Scale' label. (incidentally, you may have seen Kevin performing as solo artist with guitar and tape delay system, with Eyeless in Gaza at the Nag's Head recently). June ‘80 beginning to get positive feedback from record companies.

annotated from an article in DAMN LATIN 3

“and it's just like a negative re-run - of a movie - already fading - (fading)......"

(lyric from 'minutes to go' courtesy of Kevin Harrison © 1980) more urge lyrics

urge - alternative sounds

It has been well over a year since we last did an interview with Urge. June 1979, issue 4 to be exact. So in this interview we'll bring you more up to date on what they have been doing. We met three of the band in a pub one Saturday lunchtime......

Urge now consist of - Kevin Harrison - guitar/synthesiser, David Wankling - vocals, sax; John Westacott - bass; Lynda Wulf - vocals, and Billy Little - drums. The band originally formed in the summer of '78 but the present line up settled by September of last year.

Since the last interview, Urge have toured with the UK Subs during Sept-Oct '79. The UK Subs are not exactly the first group you’d think that Urge would be suitable to support. Reactions were mixed. Then in January the band released their debut single "Revolving Boy" on their own label "Consumer Disks".(see AS no. 11). They had 2,000 copies pressed and for an independent with little publicity and little or no distribution (no one seemed to want to distribute it though Pinnacle did for a few weeks) they did quite well with it, selling 1,500 copies. lt was played a few times on Radio One though in the end they didn't quite break even with it. It is an excellent record and since they have now signed a major recording contract it is being withdrawn from the shops so get a copy while you can. During Jan-Feb the band played some gigs as support on The Specials tour of Holland and Germany. they got back in time to record their contribution for the ‘Sent from Coventry’ compilation album, "Nuclear Terrorist", a revamped version from that which they originally used to play. They’re not too happy with the final mix has they feel they were a bit rushed in the studio. 'The guitars have ended up a little quiet, they would also have liked to have been in on the final mixing stage. However,on the whole they think that the LP is good.

Sometime after recording that track, Urge went back to Woodbine Studios (not them again!) to record 3 tracks to use as a demo to (hopefully) attract record companies, CBS Beggars Banquet and Arista are all interested, it was Arista that were quick off the mark though, they came to see Urge at the Lanchester Polytechnic and the group have now signed to them. The deal is for 2 singles and an album, they will be on their own Consumer Disks label, but marketed by Arista (much the same as The Beat are doing with their ‘Go-Feet Records', which means they will keep artistic control on the label and artwork. The first single should be 'Bobby’ with a new recording of 'Revolving Boy" on the B-Side. It should be out in September or October depending on how the recording goes. There was an abortive recording session with Dennis Bovell (of Slits` ‘n ‘Pop Group’ fame amongst others) producing. They found the music ended up too fast and they didn't like the studio anyway. (There was even a flood from The Thames one weekend)) The new producer is Nigel Gray who has produced the Police to name one. Although Kevin has done some production in the past (he did their first single), He prefers to take back-seat this time and hopefully learn something off their producer.

There has been no tour yet as they are not yet signed up to an agency and Arista are waiting until the single is ready, so they are just playing odd gigs as they have done in the past. A couple of recent London gigs went down well, they played The Nashville with The Swinging Cats, the band would like a wide audience, they would like to do something for the under-18 audience too. Earlier this year they finally got manager Harry Wolf, he was driving for them when the band were in Europe and ended up as manager. He takes a lot of weight off them. This leaves them more time to concentrate on the music.

Urge rehearse at The General Wolfe (a few other bands do too) obviously this is ideal as it is a venue itself. They haven't got their own PA but aren't too bothered about buying their own, you can hire them. Kev and Dave write the songs and recently their music has undergone a transformation from the faster guitar based stuff to the funkier bass sounds. Kev says that they did this to the earlier songs to make them more interesting, they are now exploring the same sort of area with their newer ones.

Finally, Kevin Harrison has released a solo cassette recently which is available locally for £1.50. Some Urge members do actually play on it and there are versions of one or two old Urge songs but Kev says that it was put out separately as it was different material to the Urge stuff, it would not fit. It remains to be seen whether the Urge will make Coventry an even trendier place to be than Two-Tone already has. Hopefully they will just produce some good music.

Martin, Alternative Sounds. 16th September 1980

urge - bobby (consumer disk)

It's a shame that urge are being dropped from Arista as this single is far better than I'd expected. A really catchy commercial song which is still good and has great lyrics. Why don't other pop songs sound like this? The sound is almost Sixties Phil Spector. The other side 'Teach yourself Dutch' is a stranger song with more sound effects and partly Dutch lyrics. Would make a good theme tune to a spy film. This is great - Arista should drop The Stray Pratts not Urge. Hope they get another deal.

Alternative Sounds. 18th November 1980

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