I recently purchased this SPK live vinyl box set which just arrived in the mail.
Released by the same people who issued a couple of live SPK CD’s I posted about previously.
Interestingly, the box is named “Working Cycle Transmission” which is presumably a strange typo as the original SPK were structured around “Working Circles” rather than Cycles. Given the material here and it’s likely source I had assumed somebody I knew was behind the releases, but now I’m not so sure.
For me, listening to these recordings is like going through an old photo album as they covered two period when I was actively involved in SPK, either behind the scenes or as a member of the band onstage and which I’d mostly forgot about over time.
5 LP’s plus a 10” and like the CD’s of surprisingly good quality, including the following shows in full:
San Francisco May 1981 sounds very much like a soundboard recording but differs to an actual soundboard recording Monte Cazazza made at the time.
Recorded a few days after the London Crypt show which I attended and is famous for it’s small crowd — only 50 or so — that almost all of which went on to their own notoriety, including John Balance, Steve Stapleton , etc. The Crypt show was also memorable for me personally as I was staying with SPK at the time and they organized the show so that I could see them live before they departed for Australia. This recording captures the raw sound of SPK at the time perfectly, which for me was the best period of the band.
London Brixton Ace April 1983 features me as a member in charge of “percussion, machines & mayhem”, and is one of only two shows where we performed the material recorded here live, most of which was never released in any form. A “lost” SPK period just before “Metal Dance” and seems to be a soundboard recording (and as I recall, with a very stoned Glenn Wallis of Konstruktivits doing the mix as best he could under the circumstances).
Amsterdam May 1987 is of particular interest addition here on a personal level as this is the first time that I’ve heard a recording of this show and it was recorded a week before the last time I performed as a member of the band (after taking a couple years break earlier) and is “notable” for my improvised Welsh vocal on In The Dying Moments.
Given the recording quality I assume it’s taken from a Dutch Radio broadcast as I remember a digital multitrack recording being made at the time for that purpose.
– I returned to the Paradiso stage 26 years later to perform TRINITY.
SPK were a great band at times and also plain awful at other times in their history, but it’s good to reminisce about some fun moments in my own life and that part of the journey.
I oversaw the reissues of the SPK albums on Mute Records in 1992 and I recommend picking those up if you can (I don’t know if they’re still available), but I also recommend these recordings as a true representation of what SPK sounded like live.
I purchased mine from my friends at Burning World via this link who I recommend, but I’m sure you can also find it elsewhere.
(I also oversaw the Monte Cazazza release and compiled four CD’s of live Throbbing Gristle for Mute back then, but that’s another story)
Me, on the right, in Brixton.
Me again, presumably at the Paradiso.