The

Mick

Sinclair

Archive

Black Flag

December

1981

Sounds

live review

 
 
BLACK FLAG

London Lyceum

FIRST THE problems. An untried PA hastily assembled at short notice due to the ‘disappearing rig' problems stemming from the previous night of the Damned tour. Therefore no soundcheck.

Black Flag are an LA band, freshly flown in, suffering from culture shock and time disorientation. When they do go on it is as if their legs are still wobbling from the hours spent in the air. Then there's the Lyceum itself to deal with.

A crowd unaccustomed to the band, unaware of the name and with a distrust of anything American and not attired in regulation British bondage. The building's acoustic gremlins are working overtime, ensuring that all lyrics are inaudible (oddly this situation remedies itself immediately the following group, the Anti-Nowhere League, come on).

The set contains sixteen songs crammed into half an hour. It starts with a lazy howl of feedback which gradually grows into a song. Henry Rollins, the shaven headed singer, fresh from dressing room gymnastics and several gallons of vitamin rich orange juice, yells the first in a series of pre-song taunts.

To continue reading this article and to discover many more (over 140,000 words-worth!), purchase Mick Sinclair’s Adjusting the Stars: Music journalism from post-punk London. 

 

mick sinclair

any use of the text on this page is subject to permission