Deathrock, Dark Punk The Dark  


The Early Days:
The Dark formed in late 1978. Phil Langham (bass), Jim Kane (drums), John Flannagan (vocals), and Billy O'Neil (guitar) were the original lineup. Shortly after, Andy Riff (former Rotting Klits, Suspects, and Menace roadie) joined on guitar. They rehearsed in Islington, UK.

Noel Martin from Menace became their manager and got them a deal with the newly formed Fresh Records (My Friends/John Wayne was catalog# Fresh 2). They toured with The Vibrators, The Ruts, and Menace in '79 for it. Guitarist O'Neil leaves the band to join Blast Furnace & the Heatwaves... and singer Flannagan drops out of music. Den Perdicou (The Limit) comes in on guitar. After not being able to find a vocalist, Langham takes up the position, retaining the bass position as well. Not only that but he also takes over management.

In 1980, that lineup appears on the "Hawaii 5-0" single. In 1981, The Dark released their "Einstein's Brain" single. After this, Jim Bryson (Demon Preachers and more...) replaces Perdicou on guitars, and they recorded another single, "On the Wires".

About Jim Bryson?
Jim Bryson who joined The Dark midway through their career, had a histroy of band involvements prior. The Demon Preachers featured another noteworthy character from the ghost of deathrock/batcave past... Nik Fiend! (who would shortly after form Alien Sex Fiend).

The Living End:
Drummer Jim Kane quit to join The Satellites, and Noel Martin played sat in for a replacement. The "Chemical Warfare" LP and "The Masque" are also released in 1981. "The Masque" was recycled from an old Demon Preachers song called "Frankenstein". In 1982, Bryson left the band after a gig with The Damned. Noel Martin (drums) also left. Another ex-Demon Preacher, Razzle, filled in Kane's drum position, and ex-Menace bassist Charlie Casey filled bass, allowing Langham to do vocals only. They recorded "The Living End" live at the 100 Club, their final performance.

Don't Look Now...
Phil Langham continued in the music biz by producing Action Pact (memorable here for their song "Gothic Party Time") and formed Cherry Red record's infamous Anagram label, signing the likes of Alien Sex Fiend, Addicts, Adverts, Demented are Go, Meteors, One Way System, Outcasts, Peter & the Test Tube Babies, Sid Vicious, Skeletal Family, Theatre of Hate, and Vibrators just to name a few. He died at the age of 27.

Razzle joined Hanoi Rocks, but tragically died in America in a car accident in Vince Neil's (of Motley Crue) sports car. Andy Riff formed the V2's. Charlie Casey became the manager of the Cardinals. Jim Bryson would play with numerous bands: Uk Subs, Chelsea, Wasted Youth, The Pogues to name a few. After a spell of ill-health, he returned to recording music, but passed away in 2002.

This history is based on the liner notes of the "Best Of The Dark" (and great!) CD issued by Captain Oi! Records, written by Mark Brennan, as well as personal contact with the band. Some photos taken from the before mentioned disc as well.

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