Wah! Heat: Hey Disco Joe (1980)

 |   |  1 min read

Wah! Heat: Hey Disco Joe (1980)

In the immediate post-punk era in Britain when the DIY culture meant bands could release singles faster than anyone could keep up with, it wasn't uncommon to see regional or themed compilation albums and cassettes.

In 1980 freelance writer Nigel Burnham (aka Des Moines) from Leeds threw attention on the north west "to neutralise the incredible London bias of the music press as effected by its most powerful journalists".

His album Hicks from the Sticks gathered 16 tracks from bands who subsequently made a small mark (Modern Eon, Clock DVA, Section 25) and those who didn't (Airkraft, Art Failure, Ada Wilson and Keeping Dark, the Distributors).

And the album was picked up and favourable reviewed in the London press (to salve its conscience?).

But in the grooves were some pretty terrific songs (Nightmares in Wax's Shangri-La among them) including this by Wah! Heat from Liverpool.

Fronted by Pete Wylie, they went on to considerable acclaim as Wah! who were signed to Warners for the album Wah=Poo! The Art of Bluff.

Wylie has had a creditable career, but here is the first incarnation of the band and - driven by a great bass line -- they already sound impressive and heroic in the manner of their peers in Liverpool like Teardrop Explodes and Echo and the Bunnymen.

Curiously enough though, in the few London reviews I read this track was passed over completely.

More from this and other similar compilations of lost or ignored bands coming soon at From the Vaults. Meantime, play this one loud for full dramatic effect.

For more on-offs or songs with an interesting back-story see From the Vaults.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

Ian Dury: Razzle in My Pocket (1977)

Ian Dury: Razzle in My Pocket (1977)

With Will Birch's biography and the film of his life Sex and Drugs and Rock'n'Roll (Andy Serkis as Ian), there was something of a revival and re-appreciation of Ian Dury recently, a bit more than a... > Read more

Ron Wood: Seven Days (1979)

Ron Wood: Seven Days (1979)

Back when he was "the salaried Stone", guitarist Ron Wood -- before he became Ronnie -- was regularly knocking out solo albums. Of course he could call on some stellar assistance and... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Youssou N'Dour: Dakar-Kingston (Universal)

Youssou N'Dour: Dakar-Kingston (Universal)

After decades of almost becoming the biggest star out of Africa and commanding a global audience (support from Peter Gabriel, the 7 Seconds single with Neneh Cherry, Mandela concerts and so on)... > Read more

GREG HEATH IN LONDON 2009: Kiwi jazz in another climate

GREG HEATH IN LONDON 2009: Kiwi jazz in another climate

Saxophonist Greg Heath has been in London for two decades now, so you’d have to have a long memory to recall him alongside Rick Bryant in the early 80s as a member of The Neighbours – a... > Read more