This link to the wayback machine shows one of the inaccuracies that the Crawling Chaos website was created to correct. I’ve posted it here as the blog bloke (Jo Kyle) can’t be bothered to keep things on track, organised or reply to my posts …
Compare and contrast to the Crawling Chaos – Myths page
Letters to the Editor
Crawling Chaos–A Reader’s Memory
Hope you don’t mind me writing but I have a little more information on Crawling Chaos. What I know I know to be true because they went to my school and a saw quite a few gigs including their first and last.
They were from the villages of Seghill and Seaton Delaval in Northumberland, England. The first gig was during morning break at Astley High School, Seaton Delaval, in the main hall circa 1978. Every kid in school (600+) was allowed to attend. Although it was a very embryonic group they did sing “Throwing Pins”. The singer was Paul Shields. The last gig took place at a Miners Welfare Hall in Bebside, Blyth, Northumberland in 1990 when they done a few songs, announced it was the end and walked off.
In the meantime they used to preview new material at the Working Mens Club In New Hartley, Northumberland, to a frankly astounded audience. They used the name Blonde Ethiopean Dance Troupe to do even odder numbers, as their own support band. Paul Shields would come on stage in skimpy shorts and body paintings that made him look like he was covered in ivy.
It has to be said that their live performances differed a lot from the recorded ones. They were a bit more audience friendly with some pretty sonic out and out punk songs. For instance, “sex machine” sounded like something from the first Clash LP.
They weren’t particularly odd people though I recall the bassist lived in a disused church or something. I am sure that for a time, the drummer was Paul Gough (?) who also played for Marc Riley and the Creepers.
The last time I saw Paul Shields was about two years ago when The Fall played locally. He walked onto the stage and tried to take the mic from Mark E. Smith, who just had time to half smile before security removed Paul Shields from the stage fairly brutishly.
I hope this gives you a better idea about Crawling Chaos. I have to say I was staggered when Factory signed them. And guess what? They never recorded there best song – “Merry Christmas Prince Charles” which was a very punk, angry snarl.
It’s good that they are getting some recognition.
That’s fascinating! It’s amazing, in the indie-friendly environment that we live in, to forget exactly how hard things were twenty years ago–and we forget the weirdness was not treated with the same amount of artistic respect that is so common these days.Their music really was some of the weirdest of their day; indeed, there are very few bands today that can even live up to such a standard. Such bands seem so calculated, whereas Crawling Chaos are simply…beyond the scope of time. About the only thing that I’ve heard recently that could compare would be the solo debut album of Matt Elliott, The Mess We Made. Thanks for writing; historical perspective is always welcome!