They also never had any real coverage by the mainstream music press, except by the journalist Spike Sommer. Despite their relative obscurity during their initial existence they now have an almost mythical cult status, and are indeed far better known and listened to now, than ever before. The reasons for their now legendary status are many, and to understand them you have to go back to the genesis of the band in 1979. The first incarnation of the Screaming Dead consisted of Simon Warner on Vocals, Tony McCormack on Guitar, Martin Middleton on Bass and Hugh Fairley on Drums. They formed at the very end of 1979, and played three gigs the first being Tewkesbury Watson Hall on March 8th 1980, then Cheltenham Art College SU Bar the following week, and finally Beckford Village Hall shortly after. They split up after the Beckford gig, and shortly afterwards the new Screaming Dead was formed. This was the punk phase of the Screaming Dead, and in many ways the period for which they are best remembered.
This is when Sam Bignal joined the band. Tony McCormack and Sam Bignall, soon recruited Ian Grant as second Guitarist and then persuaded Middleton and Fairley to rejoin the band. It was at this stage the band first began to develop into the prototype Goth Rock Band they were later to become. The image came first, when all other small town embryonic punk bands where adopting the dress style of the time with studded leather jackets, mohican hairstyles, jeans and Doc Martin boots, the Screaming Dead take on Punk Fashion was more individual, they dressed almost exclusively in black, except for red scarfs and shirts, and they wore Winkle Picker Chelsea boots with Dinner Jackets, they also used silk and chiffon and wore make-up.
Next followed the music, although the Screaming Dead were essentially a Thrash Punk Band they began to use minor chords and reverb. The lyrical content began to veer towards the Occult, Horror and Death which was completely going off on a tangent against the backdrop of extreme Left and Right political themes that were predominant in the lyrics of almost all of the underground Punk bands of the time. Over the next few months the band replaced Martin Middleton with Mal Page and Ian Grant left, and they began recording their first demos, one of these being released as the Tape Western Front. It was this tape that first got the band noticed and brought them the first seeds of national recognition.
The original Western Front tape is now a much sought after and extremely rare collectors item. In 1981 the band lost drummer Hugh Fairly and gained Mark Ogilvie. With Mark Ogivie the band now had the line-up that would be constant until their demise in 1986. Although the membership of the band remained the same, during 1983, the Screaming Dead became essentially a completely different band, the metamorphosis was sudden, the band went into Cave studios in Bristol, for a three day stint to record their next single for No Future Records as a Thrash Punk band, and came out as the seminal Goth Rockers they are probably best remembered as. It is interesting to nate that whilst the single (Night Creatures) was being Recorded (underground in the St Pauls district of Bristol) , that the Bristol Riots of the 1980s were taking place obove them. The single Night Creatures was released, with it's haunting reverberated guitars, monastic backing vocals, and swirling pipe organ.
Along with a completely different artistic direction for the cover. (This was the first of many pictures drawn in this style by Tony McCormack, the Night Creatures cover was in fact a copy of a Russian Illustration from the periodical Satyricon by S. Tschechonin 1913). Opinion on the single was divided, it was either a work of genius, that demonstrated how the band were capable of not only much greater musical ability than anyone had ever believed possible, but also had the courage to both think outside the box, and then to act outside the box.
Or it was a complete betrayal of the Punk Movement. Either way Night Creatures did spawn a host of Screaming Dead imitators during the mid eighties. Official website: http://www.screamingdead.com 2) Screaming Dead is a 2-piece countrycore Project from Germany, that was started in 2006 when two friends met in studio to create some serious music. Official Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/screamingdeadde Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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