Ah, the 80s. When young pups were pretty sure that the world was theirs for the taking, when people actually couldn’t get into local gigs and if they did merely found themselves in a stale fug of fags ‘n’ pheromones.
It was a great time to grow up and to play music, in hindsight; the charts were full of directionless twaddle but the pubs and clubs of Britain were teeming with bands and eager punters. There was nothing virtual about it, no Myspace, no Facebook and no mp3s, you couldn’t acquire ‘fans’ or friends at the behest of a single mouse-click, you had to go out and find them, or they you.
There, in amongst this long-gone miasma of smelly pub backrooms, was As Is, just like thousands of other bands doing their thing all over the country, all with their loyal following sharing the belief that their sound was the one that would surely break though and be adored by their peers across the country. Some of them probably did go on and make a living out of music but most of them simply didn’t...couldn’t...wouldn’t.
As easy and natural as the birth of As Is was, so painful was its death, four guys weeping around a kitchen table when circumstances led to the end of the party, and the meagre pickings from 28 months of toil were divided, having previously been hoarded away “in case we need it for something special”...to buy a van perhaps, some studio time or just some celebratory beers on seeing a good review.
“One last fling” they decided, and bowed out on Thursday 16th March 1989, in Felixstowe. Thursday. Felixstowe. Not the triumphant hurrah of a group that has been, seen and conquered, but a shuddering stall on a journey that had barely begun, in a vehicle that was surely serviced and fine-tuned only yesterday?
Twenty years later, original master tapes have been rescued from oxidisation, baked in an oven and digitally restored with cottage industry care during hours and hours of screen-staring, peak-finding, ear-bashing bore-thusiasm until ending up on this album. There’s some good stuff on here, As Is were a bloody good band. There were a lot of bloody good bands, and we hope there always will be.
released September 12, 2012
James Partridge - Guitar/Vocals
Paul Read - Drums/Vocals
Steve Mears - Bass/Vocals
Paul Taylor - Guitar (except 7 -13)