What's Left, reggae and dub music, formed in 1986 in Harlow Essex

 

The Internationalists are a very young band firmly rooted in two traditions: that of a polemical music as old as socialism and that of the use of genuinely popular forms to express experiences of oppression, which is as old as folk music. In both respects they fall easily into the Matchless Recordings catalogue.

 

The primary thrust of their music derives from reggae, the quintessential late twentieth century form for the articulation of oppression and the articulation of solutions and calls to action. In the political use of what is rapidly becoming a universal form they have drawn on Bob Marley, Bunny Wailer, Misty In Roots, Aswad, The Benjamin Zephaniah Band and UB40. Drawn on, but not imitated, for, although their instrumentation and musical phrasing echo the best of The Wailers at times and approach the rich textures of UB40 at others, the vocal delivery is uniquely post-Punk in anger, accent and attack. It is the voice of de-industrialized unemployed youth raised both against the conditions created by, and for, a realigning capitalism and in support of third world liberation movements fighting to establish alternatives. In this respect these Harlow based "leidermacher" stand alongside Jerry Dammers, Paul Weller and Billy Bragg.

 

The naked unambiguity of their position strikes many an historical resonance. Three examples: the didacticism of Brecht ("Tighten Up" might well have been dedicated to 'The Active Discontented' of our own time), the anthem making of Florence Rees ("Solidarity" and her 'Which Side Are You On?' share an underscoring of the need to continually affirm intra-class alliances) and the anger of the Sixties protest movements (Phil Ochs would have recognized the disgust animating "Kicking On the Wrong Door!).

 

Unlike many in the latter category however (locked into and finally lost on the college-based folk circuit as they were), The Internationalists have approached and won a wide and growing audience at the sharp end of created disadvantage which recognizes its own experience in their politics and music.

 

As you will hear, reggae is not the only form that these young musicians have adopted and adapted to the cause of distributive justice. The rock tracks included here carry the politics with equal facility as well as bearing witness to the skills and versatility of this committed young band which, in achieving a strong beginning, promises much for the future.     © John Mackie 1986

 

 

Line up 1985 - 1987

 

Vocal/Rhythm Guitar  -  Colin Wikes

Drums/Percussion -  Isaac Danny Prévost

Bass Guitar  -  Andy MacDonald

Lead Guitar  & Keyboards  -  Richard Holgarth

Flute  -  Red Ruth Lomond

Tenor Horn  -  Jenny Clements

Tenor Saxophone  -  Greg Camburn

B/vox  -  Richard Holgarth, Steph Thorpe & Jim Powney

 

Co-production & effects  -  Christian F

 

Line up 1987 - 1990 (not on album)

 

Ben Evans  -  Guitar

Richard Campbell  -  Guitar

Mac  -  Trombone

Alien  -  Trombone

Roy Brazier   -  Saxophone

Billy Dawkins  -  Percussion

Neil Tye  -  Percussion

Christian F  -  Live mix

 

 

Recorded at Triple X Studios London, July 1986

Produced by The Internationalists & Christian F

Engineered by – Frankie Falcon, Gavin Lewis & Rick Cassman

 

Matchless Recordings — A label profile
Matchless Recordings — A label profile
Few musician-run labels have the iconic identity or influence of percussionist Eddie Prévost’s Matchless Recordings, from its 33-year documentation of free improvisation to the visual brilliance of the cover art and the challenging, unapologetic thoughtfulness of the liner essays. It is, most conspicuously, the label of AMM - the pioneering English free improvisation group that began in 1965 and included Prévost, composer Cornelius Cardew and guitarist Keith Rowe and which continues to this day with Prévost and pianist John Tilbury - but it’s also far more than that.

Few musician-run labels have the iconic identity or influence of percussionist Eddie Prévost’s Matchless Recordings, from its 33-year documentation of free improvisation to the visual brilliance of the cover art and the challenging, unapologetic thoughtfulness of the liner essays. It is, most conspicuously, the label of AMM - the pioneering English free improvisation group that began in 1965 and included Prévost, composer Cornelius Cardew and guitarist Keith Rowe and which continues to this day with Prévost and pianist John Tilbury - but it’s also far more than that. The Internationalists, Let The Pressure Start. Reggae punk band from Harlow, Essex UK. Featuring guitar player Richard Holgarth from Eddie & The Hot Rods. They also feature on the album Not Just Mandela on Davy Lamp Records which also includes songs by Billy Bragg, Porky The Poet alias Phil Jupitus, The Newtown Neurotics, Attilla The Stockbroker, Paul Howard & Jo Clack and The Housemartins. The INTERNATIONALISTS were a punk/reggae band from Harlow, Essex UK. Formed from the ashes of punk rock band The Pressure in late 1985, after many line-up changes the band disbanded in 1990. The band toured extensively throughout the late 1980's, including gigs with Aswad, Jerry Dammers from The Specials and Zeke Manyika from Orange Juice. They released one album entitled Let The Pressure Start in 1986 on Matchless Recordings
The Internationalists, punk reggae dub, Harlow Essex UK. Support band for Aswad at Harlow Town Park in 1988 to a crowd of over 6000 people. The Internationalists, reggae, punk and dub music from Harlow Essex UK. The band toured England extensively in the late 1980's, they also headlined the Strawberr Fair Cambridge with English folk/rock band The Bible which featured lead singer Boo Hewerdine in 1987. The Internationalists on Youtube
The INTERNATIONALISTS were a punk/reggae band from Harlow, Essex UK. The Internationalists on Youtube
The INTERNATIONALISTS were a punk/reggae band from Harlow, Essex UK. Other well known bands from Harlow Essex are The Newtown Neurotics, Attila The Stockbroker, Paul Howard & Jo Clack, Colapsed Lung. 
The Internationalists on Youtube
The band toured extensively throughout the late 1980's, including gigs with Aswad & Jerry Dammers from The Specials The Internationalists, a piece of Harlow Town history! 
From a town that had such incredible artists Steve Drewett and The Newtown Neurotics and Attila The Stockbroker, The Internationalists were also tearing up a storm. But sadly there was just the one album that combined their punk rock roots with a bit of ska and a lot of reggae. And it's a crime that there's not been any to enjoy on YouTube.

The Internationalists were a punk/reggae band from Harlow, Essex UK. Formed from the ashes of punk rock band The Pressure in late 1985, after many line-up changes the group disbanded in 1990. They toured the UK extensively throughout the late 1980's, including shows with Aswad, Jerry Dammers from The Specials, Zeke Manyika from Orange Juice & English folk & rock band The Bible.  They released only one album, entitled Let The Pressure Start on Matchless Recordings in 1986.

Our band The Price used to play in Harlow a fair bit in the mid-'80s-early '90s, mostly at The Square which was and indeed still is a fine venue. I remember the band's earlier incarnation as The Pressure, and when this album was released I for one thought they were destined for great things. Sadly this was not to be, but the album still sounds damn fine.  Great stuff!Mid 80's band The Internationalists bought reggae rock and dub to Harlow, Essex England UK. Colin Wilkes, guitar and vocals, was joined by Andy McDonald on bass, Isaac Prevost on drums, Richard Holgarth on guitar/keyboards, Mac on bass, Chris Fallon on dub and mix, Greg Camburn on saxaphone, Ruth Lomond on flute and Jenny Clements on tenor horn. Ben Evans replaced Richard Holgarth on guitar and Billy Dawkins joined on percussion. Eventually Richard Cambell replaced Ben Evans, Alien replaced Jenny (on trombone) and Neil Tye joined on percussion. They won the 1987 Rock Contest.

Every Fifth Man Is Guilty                 Tighten Up                 Kicking On The Wrong Door                 Breaking You Heart                 Solidarity                 Lay The Foundation                 Let The Pressure Start                 Tooth And Nail                 Gun Runner        

Every Fifth Man Is Guilty        

Tighten Up        

Kicking On The Wrong Door        

Breaking Your Heart        

Solidarity        

Lay The Foundation        

Let The Pressure Start        

Tooth And Nail        

Gun Runner        

Original 1986 album sleeve (see sbove) designed by

Matt Solomon & Tony deZilva  ©1986

Page dedicated to the memory of:

Nigel Wilkes, Richard Campbell & Tom Luck