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id :: 36 - Act :: Black Assassins, Thevenue :: QIT Campus Club       Year :: 1981
Keywords :: The Black Assassins first gig QIT Campus Club review by Richard Conrad Verified :: fact
Text ::

A review of The Black Assassins first gig. Extract from an article titled "Local Talent Battles The Odds" by Richard Conrad, The Courier Mail, July 1981

THE BLACK ASSASSINS are undoubtedly the ugliest, vilest and most loathsome four "musicians" to scar a stage with their presence.

And they would revel in being described thus, for their objective is to rock the establishment and shock mainstream values and sensibilities.

For their debut performance at the QIT Campus Club last week, they played dressed completely in black, including battle jackets, cloaks and balaclavas, with a poster threatening "Death to Charles" as a backdrop.

Topical songs included "Going to the Wedding", Iranian Massacre", Painters and Dockers Blues"( about Jack "Putty Nose" Nicholls), Raspberry Cordial Blues, Census ‘81", "Run Ronnie Run" (about the Great Train Robber Ronald Biggs) and "Azaria".

Who are these enigmatic nasty minded people? Perhaps for fear of persecution by outraged citizens, they wish to remain anonymous.

According to their press release, they are: "loud, fast and ugly; four boys from reform school who are out to seek revenge on society. They sing songs about killing Prince Charles and urge their audience to swear, blaspheme and commit violence".

There was more but it was unprintable.

In truth, however, the Black Assassins are not from reform school but from alternative radio station 4ZZZ.

They are an elaborate -– if in typically undergraduate bad taste – joke. On stage they were the antithesis of slick commercial rock.

Although the music was elementary, to put it politely, the lyrics and the stage show were hilarious in a strange sort of way.

There was minor brawl (staged) , and the four continually abused each other.

The guitarist stopped playing for a while and just wandered around. Eventually he started to play but forgot to switch his guitar on.

Their set ended – mercifully – with a cheap kerosine-burning smoke machine obscuring them from view.

Keyboards and lead vocals are by Sirhan Chapman, Bass and vocals by Putty Nose Sarjeant, Lee Harvey Hinkley is on drums and Mohammed El Jackal on guitar and vocals.

Needless to say those are their stage names. "We’ll rip your mothers heart out", they said, warning me not to print their real names.

Sirhan said their motto was "drugs and disorder", and their ambition is to support the Dead Kennedys, who may be touring later this year.

Revolution Rock © Kelvin Johnston