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Interview

Drongos For Europe
09/09/2001



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

Tommy - D.F.E formed in 1979 playing the first gig in Novenber 79 at St Marks Church in Great Barr Birmingham.
The original line up was (myself) Tommy vocals, Steve on guitar, Swainey on bass and Gebs on drums.
The first vinyl release was in 1981, an ep called "Adverse Chorus" financed by local tatoo artist Tony Lynx. Only 1000 copies were pressed, if anyone has a spare copy I want one.
The do it yourself record sleeves all had to be glued together individually, the records always stood out from the others because the sleeve was too big to fit into a standard 45 record box. (totaly unintentional or was it marketing genius??????)
The band signed to Tempest records in 1982 for a 3 single and 1 LP deal, they released two singles "Deaths a Career" and the highly acclaimed "Eternity" both selling well.
Memorable gigs at the time were with Crass, Poison Girls and the Dead Kenedys (were you there?)
Then out of the blue Tempest folded owing the bands lots of money.

Dek -yes, about the time I joined it all turned to shit!

Tom - The next vinyl release was "Dresden" on a compilation album from Flicks studio in 1984. The band split in 1985 and I spent some time out of the country (Germany0

Dek -I played in a couple of bands (Slughterhouse 5 & Fallen Angel) with the then drummer Mark and guitarist Steve before becoming disillusioned with the scene in 1990.

Tom -After returning to the UK a chance meeting with Swainey resulted in the Drongos reforming in 1987.
1990 saw the release of "Cool Baby /This Town on Renegade records (hello Ben) the Drongos never officially split but were inactive in the late 90's. Second wind, call it what you will saw D.F.E splutter back to life, if you want to blame someone it was Jock from G.B.H who suggested it.

Dek - I'd met both Jock and Ross in the pub in Brum on different occassions and they inspired me to pick up the bass again, just by being so possitive about the punk scene.

Tom - The new line up is myself on vocals, Dek on bass, Anton on guitar and Andy (Kimbo) on drums not to mention J.B who helped out early on and now plays in a great skunk rock band called Cracked Actors.

Dek -Thanks also to Mark who played guitar with us for a while.


Discography.

Dek- As above plus Data records have released all the above material on a compilation LP called "Return of the Punk Monster".

We also have 4 new tracks on an ep wich we sell at our gigs and are currently looking for distribution for. The tracks are Nothin Else To Say, Machine, Wasted and Down.


Why did you choose the name Drongos For Europe?

Tom - It was one of those days really, we nearly called ourselves Shaving Foam for Doctor Abraham. I think I must give credit of naming the band to Gebs if anyone, -strange stuff going on up there. We wanted to be different, hey we were the biggest named act at the time -16 letters ha ha

Dek -I think that was a joke..

Tom - I'm sure there are some interesting anagrams, send on a postcard please.

Dek - only not to me!


What is the highlight and what is the lowest point in the bands history?

Tom -personally, performing in front of an energetic crowd of nutters is always a high.

Dek -I love playing live, yeah thats good enough for me.

Tom - the low point has to be the inactivity of the late 90's when I could not get my shit together at that time.

Dek - Spending the night locked in a freezing cold prison cell in January 83 covered in someone elses sick after we all got arrested after playing a gig in Burton, I was suffering with the flu at the time just to top things off.

If you were writing a review about Drongos For Europe, how would you describe the band?

Tom -old tunefull with a hard edge.

Dek - someone said we reminded him of the Ruts which is a huge compliment, a recent review described us as an 82 band with a 77 sound, as far as I'm concerned we're a punk band, no other labels will do.


If you could see any band play live, either of the past or present who would it be?

Tom - the obvious would be the early Pistols, and the Ruts were a great live band.

Dek - Iggy and the Stooges from the past, I'm looking forward to seeing Amen, the best band I ever saw live was Faith No More in a small club in Birmingham.

Anton - The Sex Pistols, Hanoi Rocks and currently the Backyard Babies and Hardcore Superstar.

Andy - The Sex Pistols, and the best band I saw at the Reading Festival was Snuff.


Do you do any covers in your live set, if so what?

Tom -Only if people ask us very nicely and buy us loads of booze and things.


What is the Punk/Oi scene like in your area?

Tom -at this moment it's great there are some really good bands locally, we also have a couple of good sized venues at The Market Tavern and The Railway Curzon Street, both walking distance from Brum city centre and both Punk and Oi friendly.

Dek - The bands in Brum are second to none, we have The Cracked Actors who play a hybrid of punk and reggae (skunk rock) they could make the dead dance. We have Rotunda who are just brilliant, Lashed Up a band with a girl screacher! who capture that 1976 vibe and remind me of a cross between X Ray Spex and the Slits when they were a punk band. We have Contempt and Dogshit Sandwich (respect to Rich who is the heart and soul of Brum punk), 3 and a Half inch Floppy, a brilliant pop punk band called the Buggers, Sensa Yuma who you all know, G.B.H of course, Sister Automatic a punk n' roll band think Generation X /Ramones , Apendix One who are a hardcore band in the same way as Imbalance are hardcore, heavy with tunes and good vocals. We have Sist kind of like the Deftones when they were more punky, Breaker from Redditch who do a cover of "The littlest Hobo" The Cupid Stunts an all girl band exept for the bass player who dresses like a girl, they're a very 76 -77 inspired band ,Codlocker, One Less Than None,Ten Men Jen a great ska band, Trig Boy, Farce and Sick Puppy who I think have just split up. Sorry if I've missed anyone out.


Plans, gigs and releases planned for 2001.

Tom -We plan to gig as much as we can and hopefully get an album released,
we have enough material.

Any final comments?

Tom - obviously there have been a few personel changes in the band line up over the years, but anyone who has appeared or just helped out in the band over the years have come from a very well knit close usually caring punk skin community of friends, and to all of them I say a big thankyou.

Dek - well obviously we're not in it for the money,and I'm not sure about the pussy anymore either!


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Please note that the opinions expressed by band members does not necessarily reflect the views of this website. Punk & Oi in the UK Limited are in no way liable for comments made by interviewees.