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Decadent Few - JPop.com
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Decadent Few

Decadent Few

Decadent Few


There's at least two bands that have performed under the name Decadent Few. 1) Formed in East London in 1984 by Kaya, Mike, Bernie and Mark of Youth in Asia, plus Steph of Hagar the Womb briefly, Decadent Few’s first gig was at Studio One in Slough, June 1984. Mark and Steph had stepped out by this point and a friend, Gary, was taught Bass by Mike in vintage Paul Simenon-style, i.e. coloured stickers on the frets to denote where to play which note which song. Read more on Last.fm
There's at least two bands that have performed under the name Decadent Few. 1) Formed in East London in 1984 by Kaya, Mike, Bernie and Mark of Youth in Asia, plus Steph of Hagar the Womb briefly, Decadent Few’s first gig was at Studio One in Slough, June 1984. Mark and Steph had stepped out by this point and a friend, Gary, was taught Bass by Mike in vintage Paul Simenon-style, i.e. coloured stickers on the frets to denote where to play which note which song. Luckily, Gary learnt fast and this line up played regularly across London with bands like Flowers in the Dustbin, Tom's Midnight Garden, Stigma, Andy Lovebug & the Tenderhearts and the Wet Paint Theatre, a Punk Theatre Company.

When Gary left in 1985, Womble was brought in and this trio formed the core of the band that has survived to this day. Bernie left soon after and thus began a long rollcall of drummers, some of the most enduring of which are named above (any I’ve omitted, please email and we will add your name for posterity). Initially linked to the Anarcho Punk scene, which provided a friendlier, more self-sufficient and musically less-straight jacketed framework than the dismal Gary Bushell/’New Punk’ scene of big hair-or-no hair/ speeded-up hard rock bands, DF were always more a product of the early ’76-’77 era (despite existing long after) and perhaps found the ghost of that previous inspiration lingering in the squat venues and small self-run clubs/pubs/halls of London in the early 1980s. However, by the middle of that decade, the self-righteous scene-police pretty much soured the Anarcho movement with their endless backbiting, bickering and petty rules. Despite the inevitable Poly Styrene/Pauline Murray comparisons that assail ANY female punk singer, Kaya if anything listened to Alison Moyet or Billie Holiday and brought to mind Timi Yuro, a belting and criminally-underrated 60’s singer, rather than the above (though we later covered both X Ray Spex and Penetration on occasions, just to live down to expectations).

Also, her lyrics eschewed the standard moaning-by-rote / stating-the-bleeding-obvious ‘War is bad for children’, ‘Thatcher isn’t very nice’ and ‘Nuclear War could harm your health’ for personal issues or stories based on events that had happened to friends or life in London, anything but anti-war/ vivisection /Thatcher (fill in where appropriate). In comparison to Youth in Asia, on first impression more experimental and playing to the brink of their limitations, DF were often simply direct. In ten years we did hundreds of gigs across the UK, often in London and the South East and, except several jaunts to Ireland, unfortunately never made it to Europe, let alone the USA or Japan. Of the drummers listed above, a bewildering array I can barely all remember, let alone name, some recorded with us, some did a lot of gigs, some only a few rehearsals.

On other occasions we used keyboards, electric violin and, on an early demo, one of the first samplers to arrive in the UK, but much of the time there was always another round of gigs to do and only enough money for a few hours in a studio.There is no narrative to tell, people joined, rehearsed, played then left and that’s how it went for over ten years. Most of the venues we played are long gone (who remembers the Ad Lib Club in Kensington, the Metropolitan Theatre in Faringdon, the Blue House in Hackney-now a national trust building-and why do so many punk venues worldwide seem to end up as carparks?). We had no ambition beyond enjoying ourselves,writing and playing music we liked to our own satisfaction. I’m not sure if this was conscious, or just became reality with time, after all by the end of the 1980’s London had effectively burnt itself out on an endless parade of fads/revivals increasingly orchestrated by a small cabal of music press writers who had parachuted into town long after the party was over. They still practice and write music and live in Kent and London respectively. Bernie left Decadent Few in 1985, continued playing drums and still lives in West London. 2) A diy, post-punk band from Risca, Newport, Wales, during the late 1970's and early 1980's.

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