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Black Assassins

Black Assassins

Black Assassins


The Black Assassins are an early '80s punk band from Brisbane, Australia. Keen exponents of the have a go and do it yourself ethos of the era, The Black Assassins formed in the middle of 1981, one week before their first gig. It was the height of Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen's Reich in the state of Queensland, oppression loomed large in the land and people were scared to speak. The Black Assassins were a loud, raucous assertion of the right to free speech against everything Jackboot Joh and his corrupt police state stood for. Read more on Last.fm
The Black Assassins are an early '80s punk band from Brisbane, Australia. Keen exponents of the have a go and do it yourself ethos of the era, The Black Assassins formed in the middle of 1981, one week before their first gig. It was the height of Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen's Reich in the state of Queensland, oppression loomed large in the land and people were scared to speak. The Black Assassins were a loud, raucous assertion of the right to free speech against everything Jackboot Joh and his corrupt police state stood for. The Black Assassins had strong political opinions but were very inexperienced musicians. Many of the scores of new Brisbane bands of the time would rehearse for six months to try to sound good enough before venturing out for a public performance.

The Black Assassins however, knew no shame. We had three rum-soaked rehearsals during our first week to get a set of 8 songs together before hitting the stage for our debut performance at the QIT Campus Club in Brisbane. It was a highly entertaining but musically mutilated performance. You can read a review of this gig on their website The Black Assassins went on to play a total of 14 gigs in and around Brisbane during the following year before the bass player and guitarist moved to Sydney and formed the band Mutant Death in July 1982. Brisbane didn't have many venues for bands playing original music at the time but it had thriving music scene with lots of great creative bands.

Other local bands The Black Assassins played gigs with at the time included Xero, JFK and the Cuban Crisis, The Pits, Missing Words, The End, 3B2, Resistors, The Lamingtons, Les Bon Bons, Outer Limits, Marko Halstead, the Kingswood Trio, Pork, This Five Minutes and Scrap Metal. The Black Assassins continued to play sporadically during the rest of the 1980s if they all happened to wash up in the same town at the same time. The Black Assassins kept their identities secret, adopting composite names of infamous assassins and wearing black balaclavas and indulging themselves to excess. The band was highly theatrical and usually pre-spent all the money they were paid for gigs on props and costumes for our performances. The songs and stage act were energetic and highly political, focussing issues of the day, having fun with imagery evoked by our name and the topics of their songs. It often involved doing things with dummies of corrupt politicians and interaction with members of the audience. The Black Assassins didn't take themselves seriously and aimed to have as much fun as they could while they played. Sometimes it worked and they sounded good and people danced.

Other times they could sound pretty atrocious, especially through crappy little PA's at tiny venues. Probably one of their best sounding gigs was supporting the Dead Kennedys at Brisbane's Festival Hall in 1983. You can find out more information about The Black Assassins on their main website at: http://www.blackassassins.net Over two decades late, in November 2005, the band finally got round to releasing The Black Assassins Greatest Hits - a CD of our music from way back then in the early 80s. The CD contains 13 of our songs that were the most popluar with Brisbane audiences at the time. Read more on Last.fm.

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