Throbbing Gristle

Nags Head, High Wycombe, England, 11 February 1977

I wish I'd gone home

ANYONE who reads the juicier Sunday and popular newspapers will know the name of Throbbing Gristle.
One may have asked in passing: "Who are these weidies?" I still don't know who they are, or why they should have attracted such publicity, and I went out of my way to see them perform at the Nag's Head pub in High Wycombe on Friday.
Well, I say perform because just at the moment I seem to be lost for words to describe what went on.
I make no apology for saying I am a lover of heavy, noisy, jarring ear-splitting music. I'm young and strong and I can take it.
But I had a job to keep my pint in my stomach as I listened to the muck which was Throbbing Gristle's claim to fame.
An ape with his hands severed can thump just as violently on a bass guitar as Genesis did. I thought that was bad, but when he picked up his electric violin and suddenly the place was full of agonised cats.
I can't be sure that he was trying to sing, and I couldn't make out every word he screamed into the microphone, but it sounded like I should have ignored the man and gone home. Our Photographer gave up early. I wish I'd followed him.
But I waited, and watched dumbfounded as Cosey Fanni Tutti bared both her chest and her ignorance of music, and Genesis poured artificial blood over his head and spat it onto the stage.


At least he did stop playing for a while - but only to shout obscenities at the audience and throw a table across the hall.
Then he invited half a dozen youngsters from the cat-calling and jeering audience onto the stage, and he handed them the instruments. They sounded better than Throbbing Gristle, even though they couldn't play a note.
Those youngsters paid 75p to go into the hall and listen to the stomach-churning travesty of music which Throbbing Gristle was oozing into the Nag's Head.
The landlord, Mick Fitzgibbon, told me that the youngsters were about ready to throw Genesis P-Orridge, plus his equipment, boldly through the door.
"I'll never have them back here," he said. "The kids were threatening to punch the promoter, and I don't blame them."
However Gig Reserves, the promoters, want to make amends to customers of the Nag's Head. They promise that next weekend's band, Phil Ram, is good, and not to be missed. I think I'll go along to make sure.

Keith Baldock, Midweek, 16 February 1977

Genesis P-Orridge

Genesis P-Orridge photo by Martin Argles

Set included:

We Hate You
Zyklon B Zombie

Return to index