We are delighted to announce that the much-loved Brainiac 5 have reformed and recently played their first gigs since 1980.
Retaining the core trio of Charles Taylor (guitar/vocals), Woody (bass) and Steve Hudson (drums/backing vocals), they are joined by new boy, Duncan Kerr on lead guitar, thus maintaining their connection with the fabulous, near mythical and sadly long lost Plummet Airlines. Duncan replaces former B5 axe maestro, Richard Wildman Booth, with whom he played in the Plummets. Wildman is currently living in central Wales where he is leading various local bands but he is threatening to join the Brainiacs at one of their forthcoming gigs in the West Country.
The Brainiacs were a Cornwall-based psychedelic punk band, who came to prominence in 1978 with the wonderful 'Mushy Doubt' EP, a favourite of the late DJ John Peel. The EP featured great songs like 'Vegetable' which packed a Pistols type punch with more esoteric leanings. The set's centre piece was 'Endless River', a West Coast-sounding number that drew very favourable comparisons with vintage Country Joe & the Fish. The band played many action-packed live shows both in London (such as the now legendary Comstock Lode/Bucketfull of Brains benefit gig at the Africa Centre in May 80 with the Soft Boys and Barracudas with Alex Chilton in the audience!) and down on the peninsular (including the infamous 4th July Independence Day concert at the Town Hall in Launceston with Ian Dunlop and Terry Clements), and released another 7", ‘Working’ before splitting in 1980. A further single ‘Time’* and an album ‘World Inside’ were posthumously released and are now collectors' items.
This latest incarnation grew out of a reunion attempt last year to re-float Taylor's early 70s combo, the Half Human Band. The quartet sound in excellent shape playing old favourites like 'Space is the Place', 'Primal Screaming', ‘You’ve Got the Power’ and 'Move Up Trotsky', together with Half Human Band songs like 'Matelot Mick' and 'Kabul' plus new material like ‘I Am The Glue’ and the occasional choice cover. The Brainiacs can rock out like The Move or any classic 76 punk band but follow smoke trails laid down by figures as diverse as Sun Ra, Lee Perry, Funkadelic and seminal California acts like Spirit and Skip Spence to create their own inimitable sound.
The set they played at the Shagrat Records Lazy Sunday Afternoon Joint at the Doghouse pub in Kennington on 1st July 2012 suggested that the band is quite as potent now as it was in its heyday. After superb sets from Chicken Legs Weaver and Jim Mercer, the group took the stage for an epic hour and half long set. Ok so Charles doesn’t quite rock back and forth like the human metronome he did back in 1980 but that didn’t seem to matter much to the gathering of fans who cheered the group on and listened open mouthed as they explored all kinds of psychedelic textures such as in the middle sequence of ‘Kabul’. Opening and closing with ‘Space Is The Place’, where Duncan Kerr truly excelled himself, the band covered all bases and even re-activated old favourites such as ‘the ‘Working’ single and the old Gary Glitter stalwart ‘Rock and Roll’ which morphed into a spirited ‘Out Demons Out’. They were also joined by Taylor’s ex-HHB mate Hairy Mart for a few songs. It was quite an afternoon!
The band plays some dates in Cornwall in early August and start a once-a-month residency at the Silver Bullet in Finsbury Park on Sunday 12th. We are also hoping to release much of their back catalogue on CD shortly.
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