Sunday, 28 October 2012

Puritans - Start to Finish 7" Puritan Records MD-A/B2, 1981?

What little we know about the Puritans - and their (presumably) only release - comes from the handwritten note from brothers Matt (drums) and Jon Dickson (sax, bass, guitar, vocals, and songwriting), included with our copy. It reads thusly:
What can I say about the record? Start to Finish is basically the A-side, recorded about 2 years ago. Love/Bitter was the first thing we played when we got our instruments.

Jon is now playing bass and sax with Kill the King, who should be appearing shortly at the Trade Union Club with Sardine.

We regard the record as jazz rather than rock, as is most of our inspiration. You could say the music for us illustrates what we believe. It's an end in itself. It must have the power of conviction and be derived from your own experience and intelligence. Just as you believe in certain principles, the music must come from those principles.
Righty-o then. Love/Bitter sounds exactly as described - an attempt at free jazz by two dudes who just picked up their instruments. It is tedious. Start to Finish is much better, and fits neatly into the continuum of Laughing Clowns-inspired Sydney jazz-punk. Here, the basic musicianship and four-track recording work in its favour, lending it a feel closer to skronky no wave than Mr Uddich-Schmuddich...

Start to Finish [Download]



Jon Dickson's tenure in Kill the King must have been relatively brief - the definitive No Night Sweats site doesn't include him as a member, for example. By 1982, he had joined Jeff Cannon (guitars, tenor sax, synth) and Bill Muysken (drums, percussion, alto sax, synth) in Little Pieces, who issued their Patrick Gibson/M-Squared-recorded LP The Bright World (Park Avenue Records PA 001, 1982) without having played a single gig. The album has some interesting moments, being a more refined, wholly instrumental take on the Puritans approach with the inclusion of some repetitive, droney tendencies. Brief album opener Lord Tony would not have been out of place on Quarterstick Records in the 1990s (think June of 44, Rodan, and their post-Slint ilk), whereas the driving, droney overtones are used to best effect on Party, our other pick from the LP.

Lord Tony [Download]


Party [Download]

2 comments:

Setting the record straight said...

The Puritans was recorded 1978, released 1979. It's not from 1981. It predates Laughing Clowns. Ed Kuepper was still in England with the Saints at the time. Jon Dickson's first band was Set 16 (because they were all 16 yrs old) which played the Manresa Hall gig in 1977 with The Pyscho Surgeons, Filth and Subversion on the same bill. He went on to be in Little Pieces, then was a founder member of Kill The King, along with John Douglas (drums) and Martin Moore (trumpet).

And Another Thing said...

The Manresa Hall gig was organised by Matt Dickson of the Puritans who was also Filth's manager.