YT502951D / Tiny Radios
Catalogue Number - ACT 4
Label - ACTIVE RECORDS
Year Of Release - 1980
Quantity Pressed - 1000
Paul Robins - Guitar & Vocals
|John Ford - Vocals & Bass|
Michael Morgan - Vocals
Ian Dumayne - Guitar
Martin Ford - Drums
Perfectors outside "Paradise Garage", Cardiff, early 1980
(left to right, Paul, Ian, Mike, John, Martin)
Three of the Perfectors served an early apprenticeship in the mid seventies as an R&B combo doing the hard round of pubs and clubs when they were aged around 16 or 17. Even then they had a raw, dynamic sound influenced by the legendary 'Dr. Feelgood', Pirates etc. This sound and grounding provided the basis for the explosive 'Perfectors' live set, which is still remembered by local punters who attended often packed gigs throughout south Wales.
As for content, the band and Gary the lyricist, were influenced by popular cultural forms including films, SF and comics, which is evident in much of their material, however there was also a harder political edge which is demonstrated by songs like "New Wave News" (a swipe at the music press), "When you're young", (A rebel anthem), and most memorably "YT502951D", which was one of their earliest songs. The title is 'Gary's' National Insurance number, which he had to memories after being refused dole because he didn't know it. He memorised it by singing it (very badly). Paul came up with a tune, some driving guitar work and it soon became a favorite.
Gary's dole card featured on the cover of the single. "YT50..." was backed with "Tiny Radios", a slower moodier piece that dealt with alienation in an increasingly technological and totalitarian society (a sort of 1984 world that was partly inspired by the opening lines of a 'Clockwork Orange'). It is quite a dark song but unfortunately the studio recording resulted in a much too poppy, soft sound.
The Perfectors were exactly that, perfecting their sound with a very clear idea of what they were about, initially rehearsing 8 hours a day for months on end. The record deal was secured before any proper gigs were played - something unheard of in those days. Despite record company indifference the band felt (and still do) that their later stuff like "Mysterons" was their best and with hindsight maybe they should have hung on for a deal with a more sympathetic company.
The "Mysterons" session was actually a simple 4-track demo, recorded with the help of a local BBC sound engineer but without the record company's help - to prove the point that the 'Perfectors' knew what they were doing. The session took place in the engineer's house one weekend with the band playing mostly live in the back room with the tape machine and mixer in the front room. The resulting tape, though of course much rougher sounding than the bands studio sessions, better captured the 'Perfectors' live sound, and had a more powerful edge that the band liked. When the session was finished however the record company gave it a disappointingly cool reception.
"The Mysterons" was and still is a very strong tune with some super guitar riffs and, like many of 'Robins' brothers songs, slightly tongue in cheek lyrics. Gary presented one of their heroes 'Gerry Anderson' with a tape of it in 1997, and he seemed really pleased (although he may well have binned it after he got home and played it)
'The Perfectors' eventually split up in the summer of 1980.
'The Perfectors' apparently had a big influence on a few bands that later formed part of the much publicised Welsh music scene. In 1995 'Jeff Rose' from 'Dub War' and 'Richard Parfitt' from the '60 Foot Dolls' were heard singing "YT502951D" together in a local pub, and both said that it was that song, and seeing the 'Perfectors' live that got them into the rock business...How kind!
Finally, 'Sticky', leader of the band 'Rollerco', insists that the 'Perfectors' memorably outshone the 'UK Subs' at the 'Top Rank' in Cardiff when they were the support band back in 1980. Perhaps he's right...
Twenty four years on, most of the 'Perfectors' are still playing in bands. Martin plays in 'Skin Dred', Gary and Paul have recently started writing together again and paul is singing and playing in 'XL5' based in France. One original 'Perfectors' song remains in the 'XL5' live set.
You can hear "YT502951D", "Mysterons" and "New Wave News" on the 'Bored Teenagers volume 3' compilation album.
More shots from the Paradise Garage photo session, early 1980
Live in some club in 1980
An early lineup during a recording session at Chapel Lane Studios, Hereford. Seated is the guitarist Andy shortly before he left and was replaced by Ian
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