Atavistic (UK) live (Aalst, Bel, 88-06-25)


live set:

(intro tape) / Perpetual Motion / Timshel / Mentally Starved* / (intro tape) / Common Ground / Maelstrom [from the compilation-LP A Vile Peace] / Means To An End / (intro tape) / A Question Of Priorities / Creatures Of Habit / Half Life / (intro tape) / Liberty For Whom?/ It’s All Lies** / Your Time’s Up /// Sun Fell To Earth /// Standardised And Compromised***

These recordings were made by Jan ‘Bux’ De Vriendt in Netwerk, Aalst where the band played a Smurfpunx show (88-06-25) together with the American ‘Rich Kids on LSD’, the Berliner ‘Squandered Message’ and ‘Belgian Asociality’.

‘Atavistic’ was an East Kent (Whitstable) HardCore (thrash/crust/grind) band with Jeremy ‘Jez’ Upcroft (guitar/vocals), Patrick McKernan (bass) and John Brenchley (drums; R.I.P.). At the time of this gig they had done a tape (From Within; 1986) and released 2 7″s out (Equilibrium & Life During Wartime; both ’87). Profane Existence put out their album Vanishing Point in 1990. The band spoke out against major labels and had political lyrics.


I’m delighted and amazed that you’ve managed to track this recording down and even more so that you’ve been able to identify the songs [Brob: our mate ‘Bux’ copied most titles from the set-list] out of what sounds to my ears (in 2018) to be largely indistinguishable noise. Fantastic stuff!

(*) This song at the beginning also contains the intro riff for the album version of Survival Of The Fittest, but is still essentially Mentally Starved.

(**) This is the song starting at 30.46 and running to 31.59. I think this song might be called It’s All Lies. In truth I actually have no real memory of it at all and was totally surprised to hear this in the set. It might be one of two or three songs that we wrote in our early days (even before From Within) that we never did anything with for one reason or another. It gets quite a good cheer and isn’t really even a bad song so I can’t tell you why we never recorded it. As far as the set (and your website) goes it is certainly a collector’s item and may be the only version of it in existence!

(***) Although this is Standardised and Compromised (as named) it also has most of the intro-section that we eventually used on Unlearn (included on the CD which accompanied Ian Glasper’s book Trapped in a Scene) but was otherwise unpublished in the lifetime of the band.

This has been a real trip back into the past and I’m delighted that you’ve sought to include it on your site. Thank you again for your support for the band and for keeping the name and the interest alive.

Jeremy Upcroft

Read more about the band: ‘Atavistic’ interview (1987) in Ripping Thrash #3

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