The Mothmen

14 December, 2012

When we posted that early On-U Sound compilation, Wild Paarty Sounds, the track that got most attention was by The Mothmen, Manchester’s shadowy purveyors of post-punk dub-funk. It’s well past time, we thought, to revisit them…

Their brief life is a surprisingly fascinating one. They were assembled from various Manc bands, including the Alberto Y Lost Trios Paranoias, to form the backing for Vini Reilly on his first Durutti Column album. This line-up split and Reilly effectively went solo, and the rest of them formed The Mothmen. After a single on local label Absurd, their debut album Pay Attention was picked up by On-U Sound for their second release. Despite this, owner Adrian Sherwood played no part in the record, and only remixed one track (for the aforementioned Wild Paarty Sounds) – though drummer Chris Joyce did guest with the London Underground on some recordings. A couple of singles and a more new wave, almost Talking Heads-ish second album for Robin “M” Scott’s Do It! label were followed in early 1982 by the band splitting.

And then – Joyce and guitarist Tony Bowers joined the first line-up of a little band called Simply Red, which in turn led to Adrian Sherwood providing some remixes for that band… and rumours of a whole “Simply Red In Dub” album languishing in the vaults somewhere. Various members have also played with the Suns of Arqa over the years; sure it’s no coincidence that the first track on One Black Dot is called “Wadada”. And tragically, the Happy Mondays song “Cowboy Dave” was inspired by the murder of guitarist Dave Rowbotham in 1991.

Credit where it’s due: The Irene single, included for completeness, came courtesy the mighty Always Searching For Music.


Does It Matter Irene, 7″, Absurd, 1979

A. Does It Matter Irene
B. Please Let Go

Working link | Discogs


Pay Attention, LP, On-U Sound, 1980

A1. Afghan Farmer Driving Cattle
A2. Animal Animaux
A3. Not Moving
A4. Factory/Teapoint/Factory
A5. Please Let Go
A6. Tardis (Sweep is Dead, Long Live Sweep)
B1. The Mothman

Working link | Discogs


One Black Dot, LP, Do It!, 1982

A1. Wadada
A2. Temptation
A3. One More Weapon
A4. Let’s Talk About It
A5. No Rest
B1. One Black Dot
B2. Weekend
B3. House & Car
B4. Home Sweet Home
B5. Thank You I Like It

Working link | Discogs


  1. Got “pay attention” over at http://ramdogsroughsite.blogspot.com/

    Good stuff.
    Don’t know how I missed these guys back in the day.


  2. I guess you’re right, ha ha, great minds think alike..

  3. question: you guys ever have any problem with megaupload? i got the nasty “anti-virus 2009″ virus from somewhere, might have been mediafire or zshare or megaupload via sharbee. cost me $200 to get the pc cleaned/fixed! i like using something other than superslow rapidshare, but not sure what hosting site screwed me last time. appreciate your comments.

    - jam

  4. ps: love your blog!!

  5. Jam — Never had problems with MU, but as we’re both Mac users viruses rarely impinge. OTOH the only reason we use it is that we have a paid premier account with it and with RS, but uploading times to RS make snails look speedy. If in doubt, junk your PC and move to the almost virus-free Mac, or invest in heavy duty anti-viral software that can lase-erase inside .Zip and .Rar files, should there be such a thing.

    Sorry for such a shrug of an answer.

    Stefan M—

  6. thanks, stefan. if i had an extra few thousand dollars, i’d get a mac right now!!

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