Sunday, 25 March 2012

LISTEN TO: The Sharks - Infamy

'Infamy' is the much anticipated new album from The Sharks - one of the seminal bands of the early 1980s neo-rockabilly/psychobilly first wave.
The band are celebrating their 30th anniversary with this new album - their first in 15 years.
This is the classic Sharks line up of Alan Wilson, Steve Whitehouse and Hodge.
Packaged in a 6-panel digi-pack with an additional 8 page booklet insert. A review of this album will be coming to this blog soon (as soon as I've managed to get hold of a copy!) You can now listen to the whole album for free via the embedded Spotify player below...

1. House of Wax  
2. A Tornado Called Smith   
3. Holloway Road   
4. The King Of London 
5. First Men On the Moon  
6. Control  
7. Ship To Shore
8. Hell Riders 
9. I Can’t Believe You’re Back
10. Breakin’ Bones
11. Luck O’ The Irish
12. Desert Diamond
13. She’s Fallen In Love With The Monster-Man

The Sharks were formed in the late 1970's by guitarist Alan Wilson and were initially a 50's style Rockabilly band. A line up change in 1982 brought in Steve Whitehouse on slap bass and Paul 'Hodge' Hodges on drums. Within 2 weeks the trio had not only written and recorded their first album, but had also signed to Nervous records - a new label that was spearheading the Neo-Rockabilly movement.

Their first release was the classic 'Phantom Rockers' (1983) an album that even now still sells well. Alan Wilson: " We wrote and recorded some material right away and within two weeks we signed our first album deal. We were very young. I was about 19 and I think the other two were a couple of years younger! It all seemed to happen quite fast and I sort of didn't believe it was happening, because it was all so quick. Our first album has since come to be regarded as a classic of the Neo-Rockabilly genre, although it was a complete fluke because looking back we really were clueless. But possibly the naivety is what people find attractive.. I don't know." Within a few months of the release the band split and it would be another 10 years before The Sharks would resurface, albeit with a different line up. The band went through various splits but still had a large fan base in Europe, even attracting Morrissey's bass player Gary Day. Steve Whitehouse formed the legendary Frenzy, who still tour to this day and release brilliant new material as well as playing astonishing live shows, while Wilson set up his own Western Star record label and recording studios. But now after years of one-off gigs, and temporary reunions The Sharks are back with a bang.

"This is to celebrate our 30th anniversary plus to launch the new album. Not bad for three nobodies from the backwoods of Somerset."

Asked what made them decide to get together again and bring out this anniversary album Alan says : "After I stopped performing, I never stopped writing songs and about 18 months ago I called up our old drummer who was by now in Spain, and asked him to come over and record with me on some of the songs I had written. I hadn't seen him in ages since he moved over there. We had a blast. Then I got Steve in to play on the tracks and I realised I had the basis of a good album. Then last year someone reminded me that any minute now (2012) it would be the 30th anniversary of our first album being recorded. So I decided to finish this new album and release it as The Sharks. It's the same line up as the first."

The band will play two massive gigs this year to launch the new record... "I really don't want to tour again, but as determined as I was to not do it, we have had some fantastic offers from promoters all over the world, since the news of the new album has filtered out. I have accepted just two stand-alone gigs . These are a headliner slot at a large festival in Germany this Easter and a one off show in Hollywood in August. After that I am definitely retiring from live work"

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