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Interview

Threshold Shift
24/01/2004 (interview with Kenny Armitage)



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

PART ONE. Threshold Shift originally formed 1988-ish as a 3-piece of Mick Barrett- vocals, bass/ Daz Keighley- guitar, vocals/ Tony Fox ( Foxy)- drums and at this time were managed by yours truly- Kenny Armitage ( you will soon see read that this was just a ploy to sly into the stage line-up!!! ). This line-up recorded one demo tape and also appeared on a live video of a gig in Wisbech with Oi Polloi and Kismet H.C. amongst others. There's also the very first version of " Love Kills" on the Retch Records compilation LP called " Get yerself a Crash Helmet" and a live version of " Powergames" on a 1-in-12 compilation LP.

Around 1990, we became a quartet, with me finally joining the line-up on bass, Mick shifting over to rhythm guitar. This enabled the band to have a twin guitar attack capable of making Thin Lizzy quake in their boots ( ...or summat). We released an LP record in 1992, 100% D.I.Y., simply titled " Threshold Shift" ( for some unknown reason we dropped the working title of " Elton John's a fat fanny who likes rubbing his ringpiece on broken bottles". With help from many people in the scene, the fanzines ( ...like the wonderful Raisin' Hell- we ain't forgot you Ben !!! ) and small D.I.Y. distributers we managed to do quite well, shifting our pressing of 1200 copies with relative ease, not just UK but worldwide. Probably as a result of having a record out as opposed to a tape, gigs came thick and fast and at one point we had a tour of Italy lined up but this all fell through, something which came at the same time as some more bad news- an indie record label which was to release our second LP, " Trees", went bust... this left us with a studio recording time bill and, as we'd no dosh, confiscation of all our equipment for about 4 months !!! A track from the debut LP, " Dig Low" appeared on yet another Retch compilation. In 1994 Daz Keighley quit the band. Daz had become dissillusioned with an ever-inceasing thrash metal punk scene and this, coupled with a love affair of all things Cider, led him to believe that he'd be better off shut of it all. This was a blow, Daz was a lifelong friend to us all as well as the best punk rock guitarist in Bradford ( when not too shitfaced). We continued as a three-piece for another year until Foxy decided he too needed to get away from it all and sodded off to live in Blackpool. Again, replacing Foxy proved too much, nobody we tried out could come near to replacing him. Pity we didn't know our current drummer, Chillo, then.


PART TWO. The rebirth of Threshold Shift.... Mick Barrett- vocals, guitar/ Phil Hey-guitar, vocals/ Paul Child ( Chillo)-drums/ and me on bass. Currently managed by Paul of Barmi Management. Been going since 2002 and these are the releases so far...

" Trees" CD.
" 65" CD.
" Live in Rio" CD.

These are all D.I.Y. releases ( god, we're so punk!!) and are available at the gigs.

We are planning a new CD for early 2004, so watch out for that one. We're on a couple of recently recleased compilation CDs by Retch Records and are also due to appear on one of their DVDs. Oh yeh ( wait for this.... ), we're on a nude 2004 Calender as well ( September as it happens), you may well think this very funny but I kid yee not and..... all I will say is... RESPECT THE FLAB YOU RABBLE !!!

True to form we seem to be carrying on we're we left off- dodgy gigs with dodgy disappearing promoters, and rent-a-wreck vans.... why did we ever split ? It's good to be back !!!!!!


I remember you from the early 90's.... have your views/ style of music changed since then ?

I can only really talk for meself here... I still like all the punk bands that I ever did and I'm into most of the stuff out now, probably I'd pick out Farse, Dead Pets, Turbonegro, Supersuckers and The Living End as being amongst the best. But you know, The Damned are still are a great band !!!

The style of Threshold Shift will never stay exactly the same, I know some bands seem to stick to one formula but why? Hardly creative is it. Threshold Shift SHOULD always try something new, dig up something old, turn it inside out, twist it and gip it up- sometimes you might hear a slow track other times you'll hear something faster than anything we've done before. Welcome to the twilight zone !!!!

Why did Threshold Shift reform and did you keep involved in music inbetween ?

We got the band back together for something to do. Everybody still had their guitars and after meeting each other other in some pub we found we still had ideas we wanted to try out and see what the newer people to the scene would think ( so far we haven't been bottled off.... I'm touching a lot of wood y'know). We'd all lost interest in being in bands and so I think a lot of nostalgia and a lot of beer helped us to get the hunger again.

Have you found that music and gigs have changed since you got back together ?

There does seem to be a friendlier atmosphere at gigs these days. In the early 90's punk turned really sour- people always bickering about politics and dress sense. It got boring listening to it and it also made me question whether I was part of a scene that really did support individuality or part of a scene that just insisted everybody conform to some idealists view of how things should be. It became really naff, all the bands were sounding exactly the same- all a carbon copy of thrash like Napalm Death, all the people looked exactly the same.

I know that now we still have bands trying to copy their heroes but a lot of people seem really enthusiastic about what they're doing, and if you go to their gigs then their enthusiasm rubs off on you.

Do you do any covers in your live set ?

If we're playing on a bill with other bands then we tend to stick to our songs but we often get bookings as well for gigs where we're the only band so we get chance to play 2 sets and this gives us a chance to throw a few covers in..... Wasted Life, New Rose, Neat Neat Neat, Blitzkrieg Bop, Staring at the Rude Boys, Tin Soldiers and Smash it up are a few that we've been playing at the last few gigs.


What's your best gig ever ?

Some of these gigs where we get chance to play 2 sets have been really memorable, The Coniston and the White Swan were a laugh, but probably the best was when we suported Stiff Little Fingers at Rio's in Bradford, 2002.

Why the name, " Threshold Shift" ?

" Threshold Shift" is the real name for that buzzing you get in yer ears after a really loud gig. Type Threshold Shift into your computer search engine and see what comes up.....

Plans, gigs and releases planned for 2004.

Hopefully a new CD will be out and about very, very soon. There should be a track on the Retch Records DVD ( if we get our shit together) and as always we'll be trying to gig as much as possible. We'll also be spending a lot of time fighting of manic, sex mad women after the release of that calender !!!!

Any final comments?

Thanks for taking an interest Rebecca. We may have got a little older but we can reassure punks everywhere that.... we still can't play, so don't worry !!!!
Thanks to YOU for reading this !!!!
See ya,
- Kenny.


Contact us....

visit the site..... www.thresholdshift.co.uk/
e-mail us at..... thresholdshift@hotmail.com
Phone and offer us a gig you gits...Paul at Barmi Management 07947 357742 ( Also use this number as the cheapest way to get hold of our CD's and T-shirts ).

Buy the 2004 " Thackley Thick'eards" Calender and marvel at the devilishly handsome band representing September.... you should phone 0777 3034747 or e-mail a.blossom@blueyonder.co.uk to arrange the post/packaging... the calenders usually sell for £5. Don't forget to plug us when buying !!!!

Threshold Shift photo

Threshold Shift photo

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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.