Sunday, 14 December 2008

The Users

"We've got our own individual style. Most punk bands are the same as the Ramones... its pathetic. ..The basic ingredients of rock'n'roll are sex drugs and frustration...If we can get amps and get on stage, that's all. Its a big V sign from us to you."

The Users were from Cambridge and formed in September 1976. Their sound was a mixture of The Stooges, New York Dolls, Rolling Stones and the Sex Pistols. Young and with attitude - plenty of it. Other songs included Russian Roulette, Heart To Heart, Bad Decision, Slow Death (Flaming Groovies) Louie Louie, Moving In A Fast Lane and Red Hot Rag.

Cambridge was also home to Lee Wood and his record shop. "..members of The Users, who had been in the shop before, asked me if I could spare the time to come and hear them rehearse. I went along and they were a five piece. I can't remember the details but somehow we decided to make a record together. " Lee Wood Punk77 Interview

The band had only done two gigs when the first single Sick Of You / In Love With Today was released mid '77 but what a cracker. By early '78 they had still only done 11 gigs, two of them still held day jobs and they still had no equipment. They had lost the original bassist Bobby Kwok and had Pete Bevington on Bass.

Undetered they released a second single Kicks In Style / Dead On Arrival on their own Warped label before eventually calling it a day though not before losing Pete Bevington and getting in Alvin Gibbs on bass.

The Users were fantastic but located in Cambridge and having no equipment did for them. If they could have got down to London, played the Roxy & Vortex and got management mid '77 then who knows what could have happened. By the time they were gigging in London around May 1979 supporting bands like Chelsea at The Music Machine their time had gone. What a waste.

The fact that they got two classic singles out is testament both to the bands spirit and to the spirit of punk rock in that anyone could do it.

Lee Wood, owner of Raw Records, remembering The Users. "They were booked as top of the bill but wanted to go on first because they wanted to get home early because there was a late night programme on TV about the Rolling Stones history. They went on and were TOTALLY FUCKING AMAZING, both musically and visually. There is no doubt that with the right backing they should have been MEGA. "

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