I had an interesting contact with Matt recently about the Carlisle band he was in called “Every Smiles A Lie”. As it is coming up to the anniversary from when they supported The Damned in Carlisle, in June 1988; he has been good enough to put together a biog of the band and recordings from the gig and other demo music. It has been an interesting read for me, as I knew Dung for many years but I never knew “what happened next” in his and the bands history.
I never saw The Damned gig so it is good to hear it now. Also an interview of the band done by the ex-singer of The Afterbirths, PH (Andrew Watson) from his Zine “Crack n Deek Aboot” (Cumbrian slang). The band and PH were involved with the local Anti-Hunt (anti-fox hunting, anti-badger baiting etc.) groups, which Cumbria has had a long history of; that is another history of Cumbria that needs to be told…but the music and the activities were very much of the late 80s when Anarchist and Protest Music lived on in the local punk scene.
I will let Matt tell his story of the band, and the material included came from his Sarah, many thanks to her for the info included in these blogs. The transcript is from the Zine and is typed out for you to read. The full piece will be included in the page “Every Smile´s a Lie”.
Matt…”Its 30 years this June since ‘The Damned’ played the Sands. Every Smile’s a Lie were the support band on the night. Thanks to Sarah, we’ve unearthed a rare publication ‘Crack n Deek aboot’, we believe to be the brainchild of Panhead. The interview covers the short history of the band during 88, 89″.
Crack n Deek About. ESAL interview 1989
(PH) “Sitting in Sarah’s boyfriend’s (Will’s) house waiting for her to get enough chocolate together to last her through the interview, I got the impression that Will, (ex-bassist and now guitarist) is a bit of a closet hippy. His room (an attic room in a country cottage) has its fair share of rugs on the walls, and a pile of floor cushions the size of a bed. Not what you would expect after hearing their angry and fast music. While Will is ratching for a record I take the opportunity to start.
PH – “So Sarah, how did you first get involved with Every Smile’s a Lie?”
Sarah – ” I met Dung just before he was about to record ‘A New Era for New Errors’. He had been involved in the music business for about ten years and had previously recorded two solo tapes. For ‘A New Era’ he recruited Matt (ex Slurp drummer) to play in the studio and the band was started. Smoo was brought in to play guitar and Will to play bass. This was the winter of ’87 and much time was devoted to learning and practising Dungs songs”.
PH – “How did you help them at first?”
Sarah – “Dung, Matt and Smoo had done a few gigs together before Will joined up. When Dung’s girlfriend ‘Andrea’ and I were joint managers we organised more gigs, sent off tapes to record companies and generally organised the band as a whole”
PH – “What sort of gigs did they do?”
Sarah – “Anything really. A Few appearances at the Stars and Stripes before and after it lost its late licence, and appeals to save the Stripes. They did various nights at The Front Page too, including charity appearances for Animal Aid and Carlisle Hunt Saboteurs
PH – “Did you feel that Every Smile’s a Lie were up to supporting the Dammed and weren’t you upset that this didn’t further their career at all?”
Sarah – “The band weren’t aware what Andrea and I were planning for them until we had the support of the Damned arranged. Dung, Will and Matt seemed elated by the prospect but Smoo didn’t seem that bothered. They had to do a lot of practising and spend unavailable cash on joining useless organisations like the musicians union. The gig went well, even though they only had half an hour for their sound check because the Damned were late and had to sound check first. We could have used the period after the Dammed to make Every Smile’s a Lie a more heard of name but the band were knackered after the heavy work schedule during the previous month. With a lot of determination we could have got on faster after the Damned as it is a useful reference for further contacts”.
PH – “Every Smiles a Lie seemed to be relatively dormant last autumn and winter. What happened?”
Sarah – “They were supposed to be having a short break at the beginning of the summer after doing several gigs including the Damned in June. Unfortunately, the short rest was more of a long rest during which everyone became rather lethargic due to being let down by the manager of the Wheel. I had organised a gig there but the manger pissed us around so much it wasn’t worth the hassle”.
PH – “Smoo left around this time. How did this happen?”
Sarah – “There was one disastrous at the Front Page for the Hunt Sabs. None of the band had done anything for a while before this, and as a result of this, they thought themselves more capable than they were. Every Smile’s a Lie were headlining that night so they weren’t on till midnight and the bar seemed a more attractive prospect than sitting around getting nervous… They did an appalling rendition of all their songs, had rows and Smoo left. After Smoo left Dung, Matt and Will carried on and did a few gigs locally with Dung playing guitar and doing vocals.”
PH – “Have the relationships between Dung and Andrea and you and Will affected the smooth running of the band in any way?”
Sarah – “Andrea had stopped managing the band and Will and I were going through a bad patch (30 years on – married with kids!) When I had first started managing the band they had been afraid that if Will and I split up I would no longer be involved in the band. Will and I fell out just before Christmas and he became involved with several dubious females and moved out of my flat into the renowned Metcalfe Street residence. This was during the Christmas (88) and New Year period when everyone was more interested in drinking and celebrating than practising. Everyone got their acts together around the end of January (89) when New Model Army released their tour dates and we thought of supporting a tour rather than doing separate gigs. We were too late to arrange the supporting of New Model Army on their 1989 tour but we recorded a short tape of ‘Still Twitching’ and a new song called ‘Promised Heaven’.”
PH – “And the future?”
Sarah – “Dung’s written lead guitar lines for all his material so Will’s now doing rhythm guitar leaving Dung to play lead. Matt’s still trying to drum (30 years on – still trying..!) and we’re trying out various people for the bass guitar. I’ve managed to organise Muppet to learn a few bass lines and believe that he’s quite good enough to join the ranks so he’ll probably end up as bassist. I’ve still to from New Model Army as to the arrangements of their next tour which we’re attempting to become support band for.”
PH – “Reflecting on your work with the band, are there any aspects which you feel you haven’t fulfilled?
Sarah – “Work in Carlisle for bands has become a lot harder to come by in the last year with the Stars and Stripes closing down and the Front Page changing hands. We should have done at least one gig in January in the Front Page when its novelty value of being under different management was still there, but nothing was arranged. We could have arranged an appeal for the Lockerbie disaster before ‘The Mission’ stepped in. I asked the Sands about a Lockerbie air disaster concert but they didn’t seem interested. There is a need for someone in Carlisle dedicated to live music promotion to organise this type of event”.
Matt (2018): In the Crack n Deek interview it mentions I was in a band called Slurp. This was around 86 /87. Pod was the original bassist in this band before he left. We did record a demo tape at Naworth Castle through Omega Sounds. If you see Pod he may have a copy. I would be very keen to here it again and would gladly write a few words for your blog.. And if you see PH – are there any more ‘Crack n Deek aboout’ zines available?