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

The Mighty Sparrow: Jack Palance (1956)

The Mighty Sparrow: Jack Palance (1956)

Actually no, the great Trinidad calypso singer Mighty Sparrow isn't paying a tribute to the wonderful character actor Jack "pick up the gun" Palance (1919-2006). Rather, he is making... > Read more

Sir Douglas Quintet: Lawd I'm Just a Country Boy in This Great Big Freaky City (1968)

Sir Douglas Quintet: Lawd I'm Just a Country Boy in This Great Big Freaky City (1968)

When this song was written, Doug Sahm -- singer, writer and frontman for the Sir Douglas Quintet -- was feeling somewhat jaded about the hippie paradise that had been San Francisco. He and the... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

GUEST WRITERS GAVIN AND ODETTE consider the romantic young John Lennon

GUEST WRITERS GAVIN AND ODETTE consider the romantic young John Lennon

A Hard Day’s Night by the Beatles is a mono vision. When you put it on – while reading this article of course – make sure you put it on loud. The first thing you will realize... > Read more

TIGI NESS INTERVIEWED (2003): From street warrior to natural mystic

TIGI NESS INTERVIEWED (2003): From street warrior to natural mystic

The high-rise skyline shimmers in the summer heat beyond the faded iron roofs of Auckland's inner-city suburbs. Tigi Ness sits on the back porch of his Grey Lynn home, in the foreground a tended... > Read more