Back in the mid eighties Leicester was at the centre of a musical storm. A clutch of bands surfaced that decided that not only Leicester, but the world, was ripe for domination. Leading the charge were The Bomb Party – “a Molotov cocktail of hardcore gothability”, the multicoloured explosion of crazy post-psychedelic riffage Gaye Bykers On Acid and the black clad, leather jacketed, shades wearing offspring of MC5 and Captain Beefheart that was Crazyhead.
Crazyhead’s singles, including the wonderfully titled debut What Gives You The Idea That You’re So Amazing Baby?, topped the indie charts, they graced the cover of legendary music magazines such as Sounds and The NME, toured with Iggy Pop, released a number of albums, singles and eps, appeared on the telly and broke down barriers playing gigs in post communist countries.
Inevitably, as things do, things changed over time – the line up for one – and after a few later releases and farewell gigs Crazyhead called it a day.
That is until now. Just over 30 years since the aforementioned single was released, Crazyhead will be playing dates in the Midlands and beyond. With four of the original founding members, Ian Anderson, Alex Peach (the artist formerly know as ‘Porkbeast’), Kev Reverb, Rob ‘Vom’ Morris and one from the final incarnation, Pete Creed, the band feel it’s time to hit the stage again. “We were offered the Indie Daze 4 gig ( an annual mini festival of bands from the late 80s and early 90s) by Grant Holby of Mute Elephant, when Alex was there last year” explains Ian Anderson. “A couple who met at indie daze 3 and had just got married asked Grant if they could get us to reform, as it would be their best wedding present, so it would have been rude to say no!”
Feeling the time was right, the band decided to make this lone gig part of a tour. “As it was a lot of travelling and rehersals, we rustled up more gigs ourselves, mainly in the Midlands and one in Leeds.” Anderson continues.
Reports are that rehearsals have gone really well. “Most of us haven’t played most of these songs in eighteen years, twenty five for Alex, plus a lot of new ones for Pete from our early days, so not easy, but it’s really gelling together now,” explains Anderson.
Fans of the bands classic debut album, Desert Orchid, will be pleased to hear where the set list is drawn from. “We have mainly concentrated on our live 1987 set – its all great music, but early days stuff for our thirty year reunion.” No doubt fans will look forward to hearing Baby Turpentine, Time Has Taken Its Toll and Rags amongst many other favourites.
The inevitable question of new recordings arose. Anderson answered, “No idea, it’s not been discussed and I don’t know if the other guys would have the time . Vom and Kev have a kraut rock, hard indie style band called the Marrinuccis with another guy (they have an LP out too) ,and I have joined a punk garage rockabilly band in Brighton; double bass, electronic drums, guitar, cool guys: The Scavengers, we should have an LP out next year.”
I was in my late teens when I was first blown away by the incendiary blast of Amazing, Baby and the bands live gigs. As with many others, I’ve remained a fan and eagerly awaited this reunion. I asked Anderson why teenagers of today should get to one of these gigs. “Because we were a great little Garage band. We still are! The people who still like us are great people with good taste!”
The band have made some of their classic material available on bandcamp and hopefully there will be more to come. A particular treat is a recording of the their Reading Festival performance from 1989. You can also check out Desert Orchid there.
Of the Leicester legends of the ‘80s, Gaye Bykers on Acid toured last year, Crazyhead are back, and I asked Anderson, in an ideal world, which other Leicester legends he would like to see tour again next year. He rattlesb off a list – “The Bomb Party, Wellfed, Grumblegrinder, Sister Crow and many others!” (I hear a few Amens here) “Dreams of Carnage are back and gigging already so that’s a start! ”
There may be a few tickets left for the bands gig at The Donkey, Leicester on Friday 15th September or you can catch them at The Doghouse, Nottingham 16th September; N.E.M, Heanor near Derby 29th September; The O2 Forum, London (Indie Daze 4) on 7th October or the Lending Room, Leeds on the 2nd December