Offensive Weapon (2)
Offensive Weapon (2)
Early foundations of Offensive Weapon (Mid Wales) began to take shape in the summer months of 1981 when four young mates all inspired by the emerging talents of The Angelic Upstarts, Cockney Rejects, Cock Sparrer, and 4-Skins who were standard bearers for the fresh exciting new breed of British Streetpunk, got together to form a band which was initially called Social Disease. Each also shared a passion for the Punk Rock sounds of UK Subs, The Ruts, Slaughter & The Dogs, Menace, Skrewdriver, The Lurkers and Sham 69.
A couple of months rehearsing, several line-up changes, and a name change later, the band, Twizz - Vocals, Mike - Guitar, Martin - Bass, and John - Drums, were ready to take on the world. Early gigs were played at local pubs, clubs, schools and church fetes, and Offensive Weapon, as they were then known, were soon picking up a small but loyal and decidedly mental following of punks, skins, local criminals and other dubious characters who became known locally as the 'Offensive Weapon wreckin' crew' or the KBA (Knighton Barmy Army).
Unfortunately for O.W., as well as enjoying the band's music there was nothing certain elements of the KBA enjoyed more than having a damn good scrap and it wasn't long before many of Offensive Weapon's gigs, if not cancelled beforehand, were being brought to an abrupt end as the events decended into chaos. The band found themselves being labelled as 'trouble' with a capital T and were finding it increasingly harder to get local gigs.
It was around this time that John decided to leave, stating that he could no longer stand the abuse he had to endure from certain other band members and certain elements of their following, he also wasn't happy with the direction the band seemed to be taking. Out goes John, in comes a local boy, born and bred: Alec Hughes, who hated the world with a vengeance and only ever left his home to practice or gig with the vand. He was a natural to fill the recently vacated drumstool of Offensive Weapon.
Alec's addition to the line-up saw Offensive Weapon grow in confidence and start to play gigs further and farther afield:
Cardiff & Bristol (several times) with the likes of The Oppressed, Fatal Blow, Societies Rejects, Condemned, Soldier Dolls, Wipeout, Onslaught, Chaos UK, Picture Frame Seduction amongst others. Merthyr Tydfil (twice) with Dead On Arrival (later known as Foreign Legion), Direct Action, Devoid and others.
Llanfyllin (Montgomery), with YR Anrefn, Back To Back, and a shit load of Welsh Speaking bands.
Liverpool, with Distortion, The Aborted, The Insane.
And a variety of venues around the Midlands with bands such as Devoid, Dead Wretched, Dying Cult, The Anthill Mob, Thermal Undies and more.
As well as helping organise the 'Armageddon Festivals' with the PBO and sharing stages with the likes of The Oppressed, Vicious Rumours, Intnesive Care, Condemned 84, The Samples, Poison Justice, Chaos, Solvent Abuse, Brutal Attack, Foreign Legion, Resistance 77, English Dogs, YR Anrefn, The Accursed, Picture Frame Seduction and many many more.
By this time stories of the violence at Offensive Weapon gigs had made the band so notorious that several palms had to be greased with charitable donations before the venue could be booked, and even then the booking had to be made under a false name such as the Presteigne Bible Club or Presteigne Family Knitting Circle or something equally ridiculous. Imagine the looks on the faces of the local police and counsellors when 100's of punks & skins turned up on Festival days - it was a picture.
Somewhere in this melee Mike (the guitarist) decided to quit the band, he decided he didn't like travelling to gigs and felt that with all the trouble that seemed to follow them about that "It's only a matter of time before one of us is hurt or seriously killed" as he said to Twizzle at the time.
His replacement Thommo, former guitarist with Midlands bands Dying Cult and P.P. & The Pungent Smells, moved to Wales and joined Offensive Weapon sometime at the tail end of 1983 or early in 1984.
Several demo and live tapes were recorded during the band's short and not so glorious existance, none of which survive besides for a recently rediscovered 16-song bonanza recorded live thru a homemade 4-track and was distributed to fanzines and record labels as well as being given away/sold at gigs and to mates. Although rough and ready these recordings (Twizz - Vocals, Thommo - Guitar, Martin - Bass, Alec - Drums) were regarded by many to be Offensive Weapon's best and were well received by the fanzine press of the time and attracted passing interest from Rot Records, Riot City, No Future, Punishment Block, and Roddy Moreno's Oppressed (Oi!) Records. Sadly nothing ever came of that 'passing interest' and nothing was ever released by the band which once they split left nothing behind but a few bruises and scars and a barrel full of fond memories.
1985 started slowly for Offensive Weapon who grew increasingly frustrated with the lack of gigs and absence of that so elusive Record Deal. Rehersal times were taken up by more and more arguments and it soon became obvious that the band had grown to loathe each other, so it was decided that a gig they were to play at Builth Wells with London bands 16 Guns, Chaos, and Dead Loss would possibly be their last. "Cometh the hour cometh the man", are not as the case may be cos the guitarist and drummer failed to show and Offensive Weapon never actually played. The gig ended in a riot situation with about 100 punks besieged in the venue by around 400 locals. Even tho O.W. never played the local press jumped on their involvement and had a field day. Enough was enough and Offensive Weapon called it a day.
A couple of years ago the aforementioned 16-song Demo was rediscovered in the fabled 'Box under the Bed' and mysteriously found its way into the hands of French Eddie who was looking for material from early 80's British Punk & Oi! bands to release on his Revenge Records label. He selected four songs for release as a 7" EP.
The chosen four songs were sent to a studio and rennovated to a quality which would be suitable for vinyl release; unfortunately shortly after that the 16-song Demo and the four restored tracks went AWOL once again (Benny's filing system is not what it should be).
The lost, found, lost again tapes have once again resurfaced and now, not only are we hoping to resurrect French Eddie's interest in the planned 7" but maybe we'll be able to rennovate the entire 16-song recording to a quality fit for release as a full length CD so at last Offensive Weapon can leave more than a few bruises and fond memories behind as a legacy.