From Arthaus To Bauhaus

A new book takes a hard long look at Bauhaus; not the bit that any fan knows already about Northampton’s famous quartet, but the bit that came before; a look into the history of ‘fampton’s scene in general, but with the spotlight focused on guitarist Daniel Ash and the brothers Haskins, bassist David J and drummer Kevin. This is the untold story chronicling the origins of Bauhaus.

Andrew J. Brooksbank raiding the Bauhaus archive

With author Andrew J. Brooksbank you are in safe hands. Fans have his memory, archive and hard work to thank for the previous page-turner, Bauhaus – Beneath The Mask, which was released in the late 1990s, and has since become a serious collectible.

In time, this new release – From Arthaus To Bauhaus 1972-1979 – might well go the same way, writes Sammy Jones.

David J calls Andrew an ‘invaluable ‘tenacious truffle pig’ adept in the unearthing of minuita and obscure facts.’ The results of this two year project confirm as much.

“Growing up I shared a bedroom with my older brother, we would listen to John Peel. He was into Bowie, Iggy etc and I was into the Sex Pistols,” Andrew said, explaining how his musical spark was ignited.

“I think Bauhaus would have come via Peel, and (Bauhaus’ debut single) Bela Lugosi’s Dead was often on the turntable of our Fidelity ‘music centre’ that consisted of a cassette player/recorder, turntable and radio all in one.”

Andrew is one of those people who kept his gig ticket stubs, who probably ripped posters from the concert venues wall for re-use at home, and who doubtless absorbed all the music magazines of the time, and kept them. A nice looking vinyl collection sprang up too.

In the same year that Princess Di said ‘I do,’ Andrew started work on the band’s archive.

Bauhaus – pic by Anton Corbijn

Forty years later, he is still on the case: “There’s a thin line between obsession and passion, and I would consider myself in the latter for a number of years now,” he tells me, “…but certainly the former for a long time, this is where my archive stemmed from. Just collecting anything and everything even mildly associated with the band.

“The band often pulls from it, and I use it when writing sleeve notes for re-issues. The timelines have proved invaluable.”

But even when you have the information at your fingertips, organising it and working through it for a project like this takes time.
It can be an all-consuming process.

How does From Arthaus To Bauhaus 1972-1979 vary from its bookshelf pal that preceded it?

“My original book was financed by Beggars Banquet, the band’s record label and included a previously unreleased studio session on CD, that was the pull for sure. It was a history of Bauhaus chronologically via flyers, reviews, posters etc. This is the written word, the story in their own words, but it is not a book about Bauhaus,” he clarifies, “It’s the story of the humble beginnings, the paths that led to what eventually became Bauhaus.”

Andrew has done it by using in-depth interviews with the band, together with the recollections of many of the unsung heroes feared lost along the way too.

“…it was those guys that appealed to me,” Andrew said, “I think anyone who has struggled to make it in a band will relate to these stories. Obviously fans of Bauhaus too. I had actually ended the book in December of 1978 when Bauhaus 1919 formed, but after being bullied and tortured by the publishers into writing about Bauhaus, we compromised and I extended it to include 1979, the first crucial year for them, up to and including the release of Bela Lugosi’s Dead.”

There is no huge focus on frontman Pete Murphy in this book, for no other reason than he hadn’t been playing his musical wares anywhere before Bauhaus, so there was little to say.

“As this is the story of those early art school years and the bands formed by the main protagonists along the way, he doesn’t feature particularly, but he does appear from time to time where he perhaps went to a certain gig or something, to give the reader an indication of what he was doing and who he was listening to.

“Pete was contacted, but for one reason or another I never heard back from him,” Andrew says, “But his elder brother Chris helped with some of his/their back story.”

As a fan for more than 40 years, Andrew is perfectly placed to tell us what is so special about the band, and why they are still so revered.

“They never joined the ‘80s retro circuit and were always outside of any fashion, fad or genre. “Sure they were pigeonholed and despised by the press at the time and deemed goth or whatever, but when something is outside of the norm it is so easy to do that, I think,” he says.

“Their music has stood the test of time and a series of world tours has proven that time and time again.”

> Pre-order at: timematterrecordings.bigcartel.com 

Were you too ‘slowthai’ grab a ticket?

slowthai (Credit Crowns & Owls)

 

If you didn’t take a ticket for slowthai’s hometown show on September 10 you’ve only yourself to blame – you must surely have realised they wouldn’t wait around for long.

His second album, Tyron topped the charts upon release in February, and he is rightfully regarded as one of the country’s leading alternative rappers. 

Gutted you missed out? Dry your tears, reach for your plastic pal and book for a date on his Hell Is Home tour in 2022, which will see his name in lights outside leading gig haunts including Nottingham Rock City, Birmingham’s 02 Institute and a two-day stay at Brixton Academy.

Tickets are leaving the Roadmender box office with haste for Skindred too.

Skindred – ‘It feels like we’re a new band again’

The Welsh metal-ragga-punkers have spent far too long sitting at home twiddling their impatient thumbs over the past 18 months or so, and can’t wait to get back to what they know and love best.

“It’s a been a long time coming and it feels like we are a new band again,” drummer Arya Goggin told Pulse Music, “I’m sure a lot of bands will be saying this, but it’s true! 

“The time apart has strengthened bonds not just musically but personally. I know that I for one am extremely thankful that there is a band for me to go back to. 

“The whole pandemic threw everyone into turmoil and there were times when we didn’t know if we would ever play together again…”

The band returned to the stage to take part in the The Download Festival Pilot: “The energy the crowd gave us made us feel incredible,” Arya recalls, “It was a truly humbling experience. 

“Skindred are, if I do say so myself, one of the best live bands around. You know it’s a good time but this time I think it will be a more intense Skindred tour. We have a lot of energy to give out and we want these shows as much as the audience. It’s really gonna go off! We have signed a new record deal with Earache Records and we will be busy working on a new record for the rest of the year. The ‘Showtime Tour’ is about being back to what we do best and we can’t wait to share the experience with all of you.”

Snooze and you’ll lose. Click to theroadmender.com now if you want in for the show on September 25.

Archive gets back in the groove

Alex Novak has announced a new location for Spiral Archive Records – he’ll now be in a spin at the more central location of 43 Hazelwood Road, off Giles Street. 

It’s great news for the vinyl heads who were worried when the store was forced to close its premises on St Michael’s Road earlier this year.

“After surviving the double whammy of covid and being priced out of the previous shop, Spiral Archive rises phoenix like to welcome vinyl heads back,” Alex said.

The new first floor shop launches on Saturday, September 4 and will then open every Wednesday-Saturday, 11am – 3pm for appointments only. 

Call 07974 885450 or email alex@spiralarchive.com

> While the new premises will focus on vinyl only, CDs, DVDs, tapes and books will all be available through the Spiral Archive Ebay shop.

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