Sunday, 16 May 2010

Art V. Filth

It was 25 years ago and almost to the day that the Art V. Filth project came to an end.
It all began in January of 1985 when (not for the first time and not for the last) I became homeless and moved back to North Hykeham. This time from Manchester. Dave (Uden) was still in North Hykeham and taking a rest from his project "Diet Of Worms" whilst other members (Sarah Taylor and Andrzej K - aka Crabby) were on a European holiday, he also had bought new musical equipment and was busy installing a 4-Track studio in his house. A TEAC 244, Roland SH101, Boss Digital Delay and Roland Drumatix and a Casio keyboard. We christened the studio "The Wormery".
At this time I was also "projectless" after leaving Manchester. A situation I had not been in since 1979, so with Dave happy with his Diet Of Worms I hunted down friends Paul Carr and Tim Bayes and muted starting up something under the "I.B.F. Ideas Beyond Filth" banner. Both were agreed and rehearsals were to begin in April 1985 - when I planned to leave North Hykeham and move to Sheffield. So that left 4 months to start and finish a project with Dave. Art V. Filth was born. We literally recorded a track a day. We would rehearse a track in the morning, have lunch, record the track, have tea, mix track down on to a cassette, go to pub (The Centurion on Newark Road) to discuss the next days track. They weren't all classics but a few gems appeared in that few weeks. Dave and myself were still discovering what the possibilities were with the equipment to hand.
Some time in the first three months of 1985 I had the great idea to cap the project off with a live gig. This was to prove a bit of a problem because the only venue in Lincoln that was a possibility to play without hiring (and still get a credible audience) was the Cornhill Vaults. Unfortunately Dave was banned from playing The Vaults due to "blowing up the PA" on Christmas Eve 1984. Diet Of Worms supporting Heavens To Betsy. I went in person with a cassette of "poppy" tunes that Dave had recorded solo handed it in to the then owner Anna and waited over a pint of Samuel Smiths whilst she played the cassette in her office. I did claim that we were from Sheffield and support on the evening would come from a psychedelic rock band from Manchester called "Furious Fish", and she bought it. Not only that she put us in the middle of the 1985 Lincoln Music Festival. (The one where John Peel was supposed to play at the Regency Ballroom but never showed up, so we got The Nightingales and Gist instead).
With something to work towards we got on with working out a live set. We roped in Tim and Paul to help, also Sarah and Crabby - who were back from France by now. We got Furious Fish to come and play, and Sean Rorke was to play a set as Sonic Death Hypnosis. I roped in my old friend John Stafford to MC. We weren't going to use a PA (not with Dave's history) so John could fill in with banter and an acoustic guitar whilst each group set up.
An evening of filth was planned.
We got to The Vaults to set up early in the day. Pre-Anna. Left the equipment set up and returned later in the day. We hid Dave for a short while but Anna spotted him....I said something like; with us coming from Sheffield we needed to borrow Dave's equipment. She agreed and let us play.
The set started with "Purulent" a beat driven track about a nervous breakdown, in to "A Mouthful Of Sand" an ambient piece about a guy murdering a girl on a beach by burying her feet and hands in sand and then filling her mouth likewise. Then came "An Ostracised Man" a slow beat number about a sex offender being free mentally if not physically and then there was the all out noise attack "Arlington, Texas" with Tim randomly blurting out saxophone riffs to feedback and white noise. Shortly after we finished we all got barred.
Then that was more Art V. Filth.
Dave went back to his Diet Of Worms releasing the cassette "Burden Of Proof" and I moved to Sheffield but was back in Lincoln only weeks later to carry on as I.B.F. with Tim Bayes.

Art V. Filth was one of my favourite times. We did perform a version of "A Mouthful Of Sand" as Dieter Muh in Jyvaskyla, Finland fifteen years later. Dave just said that he had this pulse that the lyrics fitted to perfectly, so unrehearsed we did it...trouble was, on the night I forgot the bloody words! Another note. In 1991 I went in to The Cornhill Vaults with a friend whilst visiting Lincoln and Anna was behind the bar. She spotted me and said "you're barred". We all laughed, but she was serious....had to go to the Green Dragon instead.

1: Art V. Filth Postcard. (Design by Steve Cammack).
2: Art V. Filth Flyer. (coffee stained).
3: Myself during "A Mouthful Of Sand"
4: Myself and Sarah Taylor during "A Mouthful Of Sand". (Sarah's vocal was a faked orgasm).

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