Crawling Chaos, though, was a fucking wreck. Gangling, ungainly, sloppy, self-sabotaging, murderously humorous, and perhaps mildly insane, the group appropriated the title of one of James Brown’s most archetypal funk tracks and basically took a big dump on it. Clinical detachment was the name of the game when it came to that era’s synthesizer-backed post-punk, but Crawling Chaos was about as robotically aloof as a rusty lawnmower–and “Sex Machine” is a dripping, glorious, psychosexual phantasmagoria worthy of Ballard or Cronenberg (or a precociously perverted 11-year-old). The synths are demented, the singing shrill, the beats nearly brain-dead–but it’s the lyrics alone that are worth a trip to the nut farm….
One of the nicest reviews I’ve read by miles, and shows that he’d read this website pretty thoroughly enough to grab and use some phrases creatively.
Two points though.
When I/we entitled the track Sex Machine I was so musically naive that I’d not even heard of James Brown!! Maybe Jeff and Eddie did, but not me.
There are no synths on the track. The sound was derived from my self-made green toota organ and destructively modified afterwards in my self-made black tube both of which can be seen in this live photo. So not synthesised as in a Moog etc.
Spot On Description
Finally a proper review of the B-side. There are some shit ones about by others but Jason’s, I really like:
“Berlin.” The name of that city at that time bore connotations of Lou Reed, David Bowie, and the Teutonic lockstep of Krautrock, which were all clear influences on Crawling Chaos. And they all melt into a dissonant mess all over “Berlin,” an aimlessly menacing jam that limps and burps along for seven torturous minutes before succumbing to some kind of sonic gangrene. In other words: It’s fantastic.
However, Jason’s all wrong (and it’s not his fault) when he says,
Khult and Perfect gradually drifted away from the group, although they reunited in 2003 for a new full-length titled Homunculus Equinox.
A more accurate pattern of events is now thoroughly explained on this website right here: https://crawlingchaos.co.uk/myths#recent – and neither, even back in two thousand and 3, 8 or 17 were we still “plugging away”.
Despite the minor errors mainly due to myself (SP) not updating this website fast enough, it’s a gem of a review with Jason “getting” what the whole thing was about. This is his best bit…. I’ll finish with it:
Crawling Chaos’ [Sex Machine] is the musical equivalent of getting punched in the groin.
The time at the Pits started with Jeff and me (Doomage & Strangely) living above it, accessed through the black door on the left in the picture which is number three. (We were forced out of the top flat in Front Street just down the road by the landlord who wanted his property back in sensible hands… <g> ). The Pits is on the right. The flat was freezing since we couldn’t afford to heat it. It had a combi-gas water heater thus I’d spend many an hour in the bath warming up.
The Pits was a serious pun, since it really was the pits… both up high and down below in Baldy’s flat. True, it was a time of intense creativity, this creativity extending into the time when Jeff and me had to find another place – this was in the prison-like dwellings in Killingworth, Gazza (gary Clennel now adding to us making us a trio). We were in C-wing…. Callaly Tower. This had blown air heating with the front door up some stairs on another level which meant all the heat shot outside when the door was opened. It was truly shite.
The kids used to climb up and down the pillars supporting the pathways such was the level of angst. The pathways were extremely slippy in winter and rain. More pictures of the shitehole can be found here.
During this time Jeff, Gazza, Baldy, me and a young lady called Maxine formed a short-lived troupe playing covers stuff like Moonage Daydream, Heroes and Scary Monsters by Bowie (say) called Maxine & The Lurchers. AFAIK, this is the only photie of it all. German Filmstar comes to mind too…
Don’t it drone on…
For about a year or so, our lives were full of creativity, yet still, the pits. Despite the creativity, there was always the brake, which naturally led to the break.
For a descriptive level of pits-ness, apart from the creativity, a highlight (for me) was one night when Gazza and myself were cycling back to C-Wing pissed up. On passing the Earsdon roundabout I looked left and saw Gazza fall asleep and with the biggest grin on his face tip off left right across the path into the ditch/verge just past the roundabout. – (SP)
Now that was funny, oh how we larft, but it was still the pits.
There are more, but Apple and Amazon are the biggest download players… Here are four screenshots of the above, detailed.
Background to this Post
Some folks may know that I live in France… So what, you may ask? The issue, for my communications, is that both web and mobile reception is iffy in my house. I live in the countryside and in a dip, well hidden from gits in a thick stone walled house. The land-line is fine.
I recently had a call on the mobile that cut out (happens a lot) and later I found 2 voice messages. Normal eh? Well sort of…. It was Mr Anthony Chester, or Baaldy Chester as we all referred to him decades ago. Maybe not Gazza, but the rest for sure. 🙂
Some years ago in a gesture of faith I removed all the references to him of “Baldy” and changed them to “Anth” – which was how he liked to be known. This was not a bland gesture on my part because at that time I asked for false references and copyright assertions to be removed from the stuff that he’d released without my consultation. (The few folks on the planet who have read these pages may remember these circumstances).
Latterly, I reinstated the words. There has been zero activity for too long in the Chester dept.
The images and links at the top are just part of it, and the most visible to casual web users. He is falsely claiming copyright for much of our works. It cannot be plainer than that and yet, after many complaints by all of the extant band members and the passage of a large amount of time, he still keeps them there.
n.b. There are other websites where the works are downloadable, for cash or otherwise: spotify, emusic, soundcloud, rhapsody etc – if you’re in the game you’ll know. But the reality of the web is that no-one has had to pay for music if they really don’t want to for over a decade now.
From Mr Anthony Chester’s angry voicemail voice I get that he’s probably a bit pissed off. So fucking what? If he had any empathy then he’d sharpish realise how pissed off everyone (including the dead members) in the band are. He obviously has no empathy.
Raging he was. I may upload the audio here so folks can see both sides of what goes on? But for now, I know how old we all are and the likely physical appearance because of this. I know what I look like, it’s on my website! It matches the view in the mirror most of the time. Apart from the derogatory nickname that Jeff invented for Eddie (Fatso) no-one on this website was ever called “fat” as claimed by Mr Anthony Chester [I had to check using phpAdmin to be sure though! One never knows]. Neither was anyone actually described as “bald”.
So to clarify: the words on this website are as accurate as possible but since I’ve been the main contributor and I’m trying to make sense of ever-distant events it could be my opinion until I know otherwise. I can change my opinion, but on this particular topic there’s no rush yet.
Maybe Mr Anthony Chester is confused? In his voicemail rant he mentioned going on about who played what on what tracks? Maybe he is thinking of the illegally attributed “Danger In Paradise”, which is attributed to Crawling Chaos. It is available here on Amazon, say.
True, many Crawling Chaos members had a hand in it and it has artistic merit (though that is not the point at all), but no-one in Crawling Chaos, who played as Crawling Chaos, would actually attribute it so. No-one. Not one fucking person.
Maybe, as many bands do when they collaborate as in say “x feat. y” (so that people are clear about what happened during the work’s creation) it could have been like Danger In Paradise feat. A Truncated Crawling Chaos or Danger In Paradise & Friends or Danger In Paradise collab. Foetus Products & Friends or something like that?
Maybe it should’ve been called “The Last Pose 2” or “The Last Pose, Resurrection” by Danger in Paradise, my obvious choice?
But no, it was none of that.
And for all those who did play on the tracks (which Mr Anthony Chester angrily voice-mailed saying he could name), where is the fucking money? Less bluster, less false hurt, more actual doing what should have been done in the first place.
Maybe Mr Anthony Chester is angry about these words regarding CC & DIP where I formerly said at the end of the Myths page?
“…but it was not ever Crawling Chaos and to tag the two bands together is plain deceit.”
Not nice, I know. But hopefully, the preceding words clarify the deceit that I see in front of me, and others, though they have not admitted it so here, only to me personally and in emails. I have clarified the sentiment after considering the above words. It’s now politer, and clearer.
And yes, Mr Anthony Chester, for all those downloads, where exactly is the fucking money? Quoting directly from an email from Jeff to me,
I see where you’re coming from believe me, but Anth asked me for my permission to put the LTM re-releases on iTunes and collect the proceeds on behalf of us all yonks ago, so that isn’t devious behaviour to me for what that’s worth. – Jeff Crowe
Q. So what does it all mean?
A. Where’s the fucking money?
It is deceitful to publish works without permission from an artist – e.g Nice & Chester never asked me, or Jeff for that matter.
It is deceitful to claim copyright where none exists – e.g. Chester’s obvious deceit in the screenshots above
It is deceitful to attribute works to another artist – i.e Chester attributing his collaborative works (that all who joined were certain was under the DIP moniker) to Crawling Chaos
It is deceitful to boost one’s own works by false flagging artists without their permission on works – i.e Chester attributing his works to Crawling Chaos
It is deceitful to withhold payments to artists – i.e. all the download works for which artists performing-as or contributing-to works managed by Mr Anthony Chester
Now in all of this documenting of the band (The) Crawling Chaos, I (sp) have tried to maintain a banter much like the days when the band was extant – not this post though, there’s little banter so pissed off with the bloke am I. Anyway, in banter mode there were a host of nicknames and epithets bandied around, some alcohol fuelled….. For the most of the time I was just called Rees, but stupid cunt happened many times… Knackerdan was another good one. It was the same when Jeff and I were at school – we both got called stuff we didn’t like – I was called twizzle, moustacho, fartin-martin (clever, eh? I even got called that in The Cumberland Arms by some of the coterie, can’t remember who; it does not matter one bit.) &c. Jeff got particularly annoyed when only certain people called him Harry, some he didn’t mind. Funny that. Chester got his nickname from Jeff, baldy.
Mr Anthony Chester seems (IMHO) to have a very thin skin on this point yet still uses this as a blustering pretext for obfuscation of his ongoing deceits, which really, would not take much time to fix on his part.
As I have already said,
I have created the website from opinions and facts which are compiled from many sources.
When something changes and I discover otherwise, I change my opinion, or it gets reinforced. This is one essence of Buddhism – the freedom to have an opinion and the freedom to be allowed to change an opinion without chastisement. n.b. an opinion is different to an idea, say like having an idea to create a law to take away poor people’s money is wholly different to having an opinion about taking poor people’s money away.
I change the website following further information, omissions, typos and yes, correcting some things that are not as clear as they should be.
But one thing I am clear on is that Mr Anthony Chester, IMHO, has not changed, despite his talk of meditation, Buddhism and the like, some years ago by telephone as deflectionary words of appeasement to me.
I advise Mr Anthony Chester not to pull the history thread hanging from the Crawling Chaos t-shirt and quickly fix things at his end – then magically, under The Principle of 3000 realms in a Single Moment, opinions will change and personal irritations will disappear. Maybe his karma will get fixed? I sincerely hope so. Really, I do.
One final thing Chester, don’t call, don’t visit. The contact form on this website will be my only method of dialogue with you until things change. You have no idea how pissed off I am with your petty chest puffing, and auditory dialogue, for now, is right out. Paraphrasing Jeff in his first email to me:
Q: What’s the difference between Mr Anthony Chester and a bucketful of phlegm?
A: The bucket.
You see, Anth? It’s not just about “the music”. It’s about everything.
There was some resistance to doing this one at first. Another E.F.S. It’s essentially an amalgam of spaghetti and other westerns with the emphasis being on the title sequence of Fistful of Dollars, the vocals from Few Dollars More, a melody based on High Chaparral and over-the-top sound effects of Blazing Saddles.
East Of West Allotment
The title is (obviously) a play on the duff film, Krakatoa: East of Java – duff because the Krakatoa is west of Java which amused Jeff and me at school.
West Allotment is on the maps too.
Tell Me Why
Joint creation of Doomage and Strangely. Each had virtually the same effects. Importantly, a VCA/VCF with separate input and output for the internal LFO VCO. Also, a VCA fuzz box so that an input voltage would modulate the degree and tonality of fuzz.Each persons VCO LFO output was connected to the other’s VCA/ VCA-fuzz input. Then the VCO speeds were set to be close but not exact so that long period beat frequencies were initiated. The input sensitivities were turned right up to amplify internal noise. Then the outputs were sent through the mix with lots of cross-echo for each heavily panned source and a bit of extra bass to get a better thump noise…It is a helluva good rythmn. The plan was to do loads more like this. Percussion and screeches/shrieks were added on top to add a bit more atmosphere. The name is a pseudy rendition of Voodoo, pronounced the same.
The Mongolian Steak Bar
Strangely created. Comes from the verse intro of the Rod Stewart song, “If You Think I’m Sexy” mated to a few key Rachmaninov key changes. Fizz guitar works but Holly’s bass doesn’t. I just don’t think it should be a bass guitar, that’s all. Will redo bass part with a breathy bass saxophone and low bass keyboard rumbles.
When this tune was named, the name seemed pretty wacky. Since then there has been a Mongolian Restaurant down on the quayside in Newcastle for some years. However, at the time of recording, you went down “The Side” to the Quayside at night in pairs at least and there were only the “Crown Posada” and my auntie’s pub, the “Newcastle Arms” right under the Tyne Bridge. The back alleys were really dodgy. Now they are trendy housing developments. You should see it…
E.F.S. -which nobody can deny, which nobody can deny.
Heavy metal piss-take. Includes all the usual crap like riffs, solos, namings. A key part of the sound was Strangely’s use of a long hallway at “The Pits” with a cheap guitar amp at one end and a mike at the other. This was the Echo Chamber. Strangely gave it a go after reading how studios did echo in the old days.
The live feed was fed through the amp and re-injected into the mix from the mike. Then this was continuously varied to get a live feel of the audience moving around and the PA mixer guy constantly battling against feedback. It is exactly what gigs sounded like at the “Mayfair”, Newcastle in the 70’s. They’re still doing it now in the pubs round here. Anth played on this and thought it was real.
Doomage inspired. The essence was to have each instrument do a closely related, simple and repeating phrase, each on a different time signature but in the same key. Every so often the music is in phase and true harmony. This is broken up with a standard block chord middle eight prompted by Gazza on drums so each “verse” is of indeterminate length, done on the nod.
This was in the set for years.
Tom’s Bum (There’s)
Basic structure was a Doomage invention, worked up by the other band members.. Single note keyboards on top with bass & drums. Unusual musical phrasing. Haircut words. The words in Ashen are based on Haircut and Holly’s observation of the bartender in a pub in Backworth called “The Deuchars“. The barman had really greasy, lank straight hair that audibly clacked when he bent over to collect empty glasses. The Deuchars pops up in a few places. (Photo from https://www.monkchester.co.uk/backworth.htm)
We never did get the Dyke Neuk fitted in anywhere. Anyway, it’s too posh now.
Ashen was in the set for quite a few years.
What’s Your Noise
School hymn reworked – why not?
Paul sung. The rest is normal Crawling Chaos fiddling. We did have plans to do a few more as a package to upset the “Songs of Praise” mob.
Taste Of Honey
A fairly straight rendition of the classic. Loads of 7th’s. Nice fade in after the intro.
Fuel For The Blonde Ethiopian
A Holly creation from Nothin’, called Loofahs originally. The 442 was a red “United” bus that ran from Ashington to North Shields.
Doomage creation with Mackie vocals. I don’t think we ever did it live. Fast flanged vocals, fuzz bass, large depth VCA’d keyboards. Pretty daft. More a vehicle for Mackie to relieve himself of some bizarre fantasy.
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