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Interview

UK Subs
27/11/2002 (interview with Charlie Harper)



Please give a brief history of the band, including current line up.

The UK Subs formed in 1977, did the farewell to the Roxy LP released the following year. It was played on the BBC John Peel show many times and we got a record deal. C.I.D. made no.1 in the indie charts; we then got a major deal. Strangle Hold got into the National chart. Next came Another Kind Of Blues. LPs (what is an LP I hear you say) were released in alphabetical order. We have made a LP every year since. The last one was Universal. The UK Subs line-up has always been fluid. Two weeks ago we played the New Marquee in London. Nicky Garratt played guitar, Alvin Gibbs bass and Steve Roberts drums. Tomorrow, the 8th November, Bones will play guitar, Tez will play bass and our present drummer is Jay - UK Discharge. But 'Tez' Terry Bones has been in the Subs before and done a few tours, mostly in the USA where he lived.


What is the highlight and what is the lowest point in the bands' 25 year history? And how do you plan to celebrate your 25 years in punk?

A picture I will always have imprinted in minds eye is a festival in Spain, which we did not know where it was. By great detective work and a lot of luck we found it 95km from where they told us. We thought we had arrived too late, but they said we were the headline and could we go on at 5am (it was 3am when we arrived). Hot mid-summer, so dust that almost all the 10-thousand+ had bandanas over their faces. We started playing and there was a big dust cloud. We finished and the crowd melted away into the hazy dawn and the sun came up. It was magical.The lowest was getting left stranded in Bratislava. The junkie cunts, too lazy to ride us back to Vienna to get the plane home.


Do all the band members do other jobs as well as being in the band? If so, what?

Sometimes I think the UK Subs must be the only professional punk band but one, the Vibrators and probably the Sex Pistols.

Have you got any idea how many members have been through the UK Subs rank? And is there anyone in particular you would love to have in the band?

Apart from Nicky Garrat, Peter and Paul if you mean outside of our line-ups, I would have Steve Jones, maybe not. Biff from Sick On The Bus will do the Subs proud.


Would UK Subs allow one of their songs appear in a commercial? If yes, what would you like it to be advertising?

Any beer or booze like Jagermieslter - except Bud, or any other Yankee pisswater. No Subs smoke, so ciggies are out.

What is the favourite song (and what band is it by) of each member of the band?

A favourite colour question; wow bollox


What are the main differences you have noticed in the world wide punk scene since the Subs started?

Too many to mention. It is just like I expect every band to better than the US lot in 77. But they haven't learnt a think and they are not even sexy an more. Maybe I should check out Rock Bitch. One thing remains certain; we believed punk would change the world. The ripples are still widening and on our recent US tour we saw a whole new generation of 'real' or now called old school punkers.

Plans, gigs and releases planned for 2002/2003.

After the UK tour ending Christmas eve at the Victoria in Derby, we go to Europe until March to Testock. We have an absoloute Vivious little single for 2003, all four tracks taking high energy over to the limit. I've found a producer who doesn't mind the needles dipping into the red, distortion and feedback out of control. Yea…!


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