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 an entire “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”, a word very familiar to Arqanauts. 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 from the much-missed Always Searching For Music.
A. Does It Matter Irene
B. Please Let Go
Pay Attention, LP, On-U Sound, 1980
A1. Afghan Farmer Driving Cattle
A2. Animal Animaux
A3. Not Moving
A5. Please Let Go
A6. Tardis (Sweep is Dead, Long Live Sweep)
B1. The Mothman
One Black Dot, LP, Do It!, 1982
A3. One More Weapon
A4. Let’s Talk About It
A5. No Rest
B1. One Black Dot
B3. House & Car
B4. Home Sweet Home
B5. Thank You I Like It