Anti-Social (band)

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Anti-Social was a UK Punk Rock band from Birmingham, United Kingdom, formed in 1977. [1] [2] They released one single, Traffic Lights/Teacher Teacher on Dynamite Records DRO1 that is now one of the rarest UK punk record releases. [3] and was included in John Peels legendary Record Box. [4] They became nationally infamous by advertising for someone to commit suicide live on stage for which the band would pay them £15,000. [1] [5]

Birmingham City in the English Midlands, 2nd highest population of UK cities

Birmingham is the second-most populous city in the United Kingdom, after London, and the most populous city in the English Midlands. It is also the most populous metropolitan district in the United Kingdom, with an estimated 1,137,123 inhabitants, and is considered the social, cultural, financial, and commercial centre of the Midlands. It is the main local government of the West Midlands conurbation, which is the third most populated urban area in the United Kingdom, with a population of 2,897,303 in 2017. The wider Birmingham metropolitan area is the second largest in the United Kingdom with a population of over 4.3 million. It is frequently referred to as the United Kingdom's "second city".

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom (UK), officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.

John Peel English disc jockey, radio presenter, record producer and journalist

John Robert Parker Ravenscroft,, known professionally as John Peel, was an English disc jockey, radio presenter, record producer and journalist. He was the longest serving of the original BBC Radio 1 DJs, broadcasting regularly from 1967 until his death in 2004.


Early history and record

In 1974 bass player Matt Smith joined with vocalist and guitar Robert Fern Geezer Butler) and drummer Johnny Harrison in a band called Maniac, which was later changed to Anti-Social. [3] After gigging for a while, they recorded what would turn out to be a rare UK punk rock single release, "Traffic Lights" backed with "Teacher, Teacher" at Outlaw Recording Studios in Birmingham. The single was released on the Dynamite Label (DR01) in 1977. [3] Paul Morley reviewed their single in NME in January 1978, calling it "archaic rock song sneered with incongruous, but violently necessary contempt." Matt Smith left during these sessions (now married to Carolyn Spence who worked at UK`s Sounds (magazine)) Matt felt that the constant aggression associated with the band was no longer to his liking and was replaced first by Paul Cooper and then by Gabrielle Fern. [3]

Punk rock is a rock music genre that emerged in the mid-1970s in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. Rooted in 1960s garage rock and other forms of what is now known as "proto-punk" music, punk rock bands rejected perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock. They typically produced short, fast-paced songs with hard-edged melodies and singing styles, stripped-down instrumentation, and often political, anti-establishment lyrics. Punk embraces a DIY ethic; many bands self-produce recordings and distribute them through independent record labels and other informal channels.

Paul Morley English journalist

Paul Robert Morley is an English music journalist. He wrote for the New Musical Express from 1977 to 1983 and has since written for a wide range of publications. He was a co-founder of the record label ZTT Records and was a member of the synthpop group Art of Noise. He has also been a band manager, promoter and television presenter.

<i>NME</i> British weekly music journalism magazine

New Musical Express (NME) is a British music journalism website and former magazine that has been published since 1952. It was the first British paper to include a singles chart, in the edition of 14 November 1952. In the 1970s it became the best-selling British music newspaper. During the period 1972 to 1976, it was particularly associated with gonzo journalism, then became closely associated with punk rock through the writings of Julie Burchill, Paul Morley and Tony Parsons. It started as a music newspaper, and gradually moved toward a magazine format during the 1980s and 1990s, changing from newsprint in 1998.

Suicide offer

The band's label manager, Bob Green, offered £15,000 to any volunteer who would commit suicide live on stage via a guillotine. Nobody took the offer but the Department Of Public Prosecutions was angered and the band was arrested. [1] [3] [5]

Guillotine Apparatus designed for carrying out executions by beheading

A guillotine is an apparatus designed for efficiently carrying out executions by beheading. The device consists of a tall, upright frame in which a weighted and angled blade is raised to the top and suspended. The condemned person is secured with stocks at the bottom of the frame, positioning the neck directly below the blade. The blade is then released, to quickly fall and forcefully decapitate the victim with a single, clean pass so that the head falls into a basket below.


Band Manager Les Hemmings died in a car crash in the 1970s, while delivering copies of the single to various shops. [3] The Studio Recordings to their follow up single were stolen and their final gig (at the Kingshurst Labour Club) ended with drummer Harrison playing a drum solo on old chap's head, an offence for which he was later arrested and charged. [3] He phoned Rob Fern the next day to inquire as to whether he was still in the band Fern replied, "There is no band". [3] The 7 inch record now sells for upward of £500 and has thus led to bootleg copies swamping the market (easy to recognize as they have the release date of 1978 instead of original 1977 and have incorrect label credits). [3]


Musician Justin Broadrick is the son of Gabrielle Fern and step-son of Robert Fern.

Justin Broadrick Record producer, musician, singer

Justin Karl Michael Broadrick is a British singer, songwriter, guitarist and drummer. He is best known as a founding member of the band Godflesh, one of the first bands to combine elements of extreme metal and industrial music. He was briefly in the English grindcore band Napalm Death when he was a teenager in the mid-1980s, writing and recording guitar for Side One of Napalm Death's debut album, Scum. Broadrick has also maintained a parallel career as a producer, producing records and remixes for groups such as Pantera, Isis, Mogwai and Hydra Head labelmates Pelican. Since 2012, he has been releasing hard techno music under the solo moniker JK Flesh. Broadrick has set up record labels such as HeadDirt, Avalanche Recordings, Post Mortem Productions, Lo Fibre and Heartache.

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  1. 1 2 3 Sidebottom, Sue E (11 November 1978). "Thrills". New Musical Express.
  2. "Punk77". Punk 77. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 "Diggin` For Gold Anti-Social Behaviour Corker". Record Collector Magazine UK. #340: 142. September 2007.
  4. " Records That John Peel Loved The Most". Retrieved 20 October 2015.
  5. 1 2 "Row Over Band Plan to Stage Suicide". Birmingham Evening Mail (UK). Trinity Mirror Group. 2 November 1978.