Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Whatever happened to the Mighty Ballistics Hi-Power?

This British band made two EPs in the mid-to-late 80s, then vanished. Have yet to find them on vinyl, CD, or mp3. Good stuff in a dubbed out punky reggae vein with allusions to old folk songs and earnest lyrics about the UK miners' strike, class struggle, the British tabloid press, the Cable Street riot, and in this particular track, misogyny. Yeah, a "message band", but not as heavy-handed as that sounds, filled with haunting spaces and ear-grabbing choruses. The MBHP were on regular rotation in the X-tal van back in our touring days as both Mick and I were fans.

Until now, I never even knew what these guys looked like. Below is a video I found. That sure is one filthy looking warehouse they're playing in.

It would be great to see this lost music released again. I'm not sure their records even came out on CD the first time around. (On the other hand, in these days when every formerly rare record seems to be turning up somewhere, it's almost refreshing to see something this truly elusive. When I was a kid, record collecting was a SKILL! Now get off my lawn!)

17 comments:

IanSchultz said...

http://shop.ebay.co.uk/items/__Mighty-Ballistics-Hi-Power_W0QQ_nkwZMightyQ20BallisticsQ20HiQ2dPowerQQLHQ5fPrefLocZ2QQ_flnZ1QQ_trksidZp3286Q2ec0Q2em283

J Neo Marvin said...

Ah, the internet. Is there nothing it can't do?

IanSchultz said...

nothing off the top of my head.

J Neo Marvin said...

Although I'm a little unsure about the idea of ordering a vinyl record from Europe. That's a long way for something so fragile to travel.

IanSchultz said...

it will alright... they will package it up good.

Anonymous said...

Hi. I am in discussions with Chris & Steve about making up a few CD's of the band and offering them at a good value price of Here Come The Blues and Matchless EP probably all on one... not sure.
Re : what happened to us : (as quoted on another website) Well.. we split up, I was fed up of living on the dole and felt (probably wrongly) that we were hitting a wall so I left. Trev and Steve felt the same way and also threw in the towel. Chris however who was the brains of the whole outfit ie: lyrics and the majority of the music, did try to carry on but found it hard without us so had to quit. He does still talk to us but I would not have blamed him if he did’nt. I came up with quite a few of the ideas to make the dub work live, for example the endless wiring headaches of echo pedals and stuff… so I did play a good part towards it all. I still write some dub stuff it’s under the name papa grey on dubtronic via a friends website tone396/esnips and facebook. It’s pc stuff on my small studio (a laptop, a bass, a guitar & a midi keyboard). Chris has a studio and has been making dub tunes for a long while. Will be helping him setup a somewhat smaller pc studio soon and will try and get him to release his songs online. Thanks for thinking of us!
Gary Taylor

Levadaman said...

Amazing. Just yesterday I was watching tv about the coal strike, which made me think of this great band, I look online and there's a band member leaving a comment a couple of days before.

I used to have a cassette (young people: cassettes were what we had before we had CDs, when home taping was killing music), of a John Peel session by MB hi-power, with a tune called Woman of Straw on it. I sure wish I still had that song.

Any ideas?

Anonymous said...

I will ask Chris or Steve if they have a copy, I know I don't I am sorry to say. We did a session for the Andy Kershaw show on Radio one, I will ask if anyone has that aswell. Cheers Gary

Al;ex N. Hay said...

Me too- would love any of their stuff- i got into them via Peelie and thought they were outta-sight. Like to hear the Andy kershaw session.

pete k said...

gary,hopefully you will read this post and get in touch.pete from norwich backs records,we distributed your records,i put the gig on when we took you to the beach and played,remember? to this day i still talk about MBHP..i still work in distribution,and think i can help with getting an MBHP CD together and sold.. pete@shellshock.co.uk it would be a labour of love for me..

garyt said...

They have a page on facebook now just search M B Hi Power. The songs from the album : here come the blues, triple A EP Matchless, videos you name it! Some of it is downloadable too!

garyt said...

I have sent you an email Pete, have spoken to Steve and that sounds bloody marvelous! Excuse my memory it will come back to me haha

Rose. said...

Wow, listening to these great 80's tunes reminds me of my childhood! Although I am a 90's kid! Love the tunes, and proud of my dad's (Steve) and rest of the bands work. Awesome stuff. Would love to meet you guys someday!

J Neo Marvin said...

I was just checking the blog archives and found this discussion is alive and well. So glad to have you here, Gary. We'd love to get some music, old and new, to play on Ear Candle Radio. You guys were one of the most underrated bands of the 80s.

greytarlor said...

If you want the mp3's of M B Hi Power songs I can send them to you with dropbox or email. Cheers Gary T

Sue said...

I'm so pleased to find this blog post. I used to go and see MBHP in Reading quite lot with Phil Broadhurst who did the What's Happening little old school cut and paste gig guide (in the days when you could get enterprise allowance for starting a business or being a juggler or in band or something!) I wondered what happened to the band - nice to hear about you all on here :)

sweet-hooligan said...

Hi .... if Gary T is around drop me a line at sweethooligan at aol.com. I'm researching a commissioned article for a national mag and could do with contacting him...