Press Clippings and testimonials

VETO URBAN RENEWAL

(Pete Sutton, Sounds (?), 1977/78)

'I've got to write a hit single. That's my next job.'

Kid Strange, now looking relatively normal - hair merely hannaed instead of lurid blue - sprawls on a Polydor settee and considers the future of the Doctors (of Madness) with confident assurance.

'I've got to write one because we've been where we are on the ladder for so long. We've been in the same place for nine months and I think we deserve better.'

His optimism is apparently undiminished by the recent departure of Urban Blitz, whose anguished guitar and violin gave the Doctors' music its sharp, neurotic edge.

There are no immediate plans to replace him. Encouraged by the success of their recent German visit without Blitz, the band intends to work as a three piece, at least until the summer.

'It was a bit unnerving to realise two days before you go away that you're going to be doing the tour as a three piece,' Kid recalls. 'But the response was just outrageously good - far in excess of anything we've got in Germany before. And it was obvious why the energy level and the intensity level and the commitment level didn't just go up by 25 per cent, because we were 25 per cent down. It went up 150 per cent, because there were three of us really bouncing off each other and knowing that everything we did had to be that intense or people would say there should be a violin solo there.'

Kid Strange, drummer Peter DiLemma and bass guitarist Stoner will make their first trip to the USA later this month, returning to tour Britian and Europe in the Spring. They'll complete promotion of their forthcoming album before bringing in any new players.

The new album, 'Sons of Survival', to be released in March, contains Urban Blitz's last work with the Doctors.

Kid Explains the split: 'What happened was, when we recorded the album, he started to freak out on a personal level, he became unmanageable on a one-to-one, or three-to-one basis. The saving grace about all that was, as it happened, he was playing the best he's ever played. So that with the disintegration of him as a quarter of the band, the nervous energy he was putting in has made what I think is a stupendous record. As soon as he'd done his bits, the backing tracks and any overdubs, that was it, he wasn't interested in mixing or cutting.

So it was a three piece Doctors of Madness who saw the album through to completion. 'I'm just happy that the split came after rather than before he'd done his greatest work with us. I think it's perfect that the band changes after this album, bdecause this album crystallised what we've been working towards for 2 and a half years anyway.

A quick preview of an acetate of 'Sons of Survival' shows the album to be lot more immediate than the previous two, generally more uptempo and wih a fairly 'live' sound and feel. Apart from a couple of guitar solos, Urban's contributions are mostly violin - as nagging, raw-nerved and neurotic as always.

'We've never been a particularly close band socially,' Kid informs me, 'but there's always been a tacit relationship which is based on a common focus. That focus went for him, and it got so he was just turning up for gigs and going home after them. The three of us really developed in that period.'

But clearly his presence will be missed on stage, and there are plans to fill some of the musical gaps with electronics and recorded tapes.

'I'm really excited by the idea of doing that. Its been explored so little, and its somthinbg i've always wanted the Doctors of Madness to get more into. I think what we'll use is sound, sound effects, and electronics... just use sound in a very absract way, where the fourth instrument is demanded.

That might seem like replacing Urban Blitz with a machine, but Kid is dead against getting in a new member just now.

'It's like stepping into a dead man's shoe - what is the point of getting a new guy in, and before you can let him develop at all, you say, right, this is what the old guy did. I just want to see this album through, and then say time for another change. If three people can get the spirit of what's on the album over, that's much more important than the notes.'

 

 

 

'The nervous energy he was putting
in has made what I think is a
stupendous record.'
' 'the

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 dodo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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