Wednesday, 19 October 2016

A Witness - 'Smelt Like A Pedestrian'

Once upon a time, Manchester's musis scene was not dominated by happy go lucky day glo baggies nor strident rock stars but itchy post punks with a nice line in social commentary and impeccable left wing politics. A Witness were a revelation when, age 15, I heard their debut Peel session and I was straight out to buy their first Ep and then their debut album, 'I am John's Pancreas'.

To my ears a UK answer to the machine anger of Big Black, tempered by a nice line in surrealism, their jaggedy sound owed a fair amount to Gang Of Four for sure but provided a perfect backdrop to a period of intense pessimism over the dog days of Thatcherism and the continued threat of both social collapse and nuclear violence. It also provided a nice balance to the other side of my record collection which went jingle jangle and refused to engage with the adult world.

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