an attempt to reconstruct the history of the local music scene based
on the memories and photographs of bands from retford and worksop
and the surrounding villages.

the family tree is an ongoing project.

the mutilators - a history by ged asbery

anyone wishing to submit branches to the family tree please contact me on toxicpop @

anyone wishing to have a link to their current activity from this page is also welcome to submit at the same address.


for me it all started around xmas 1976 when i got a radio and heard music i chose to listen to rather then what i was presented with on the family gramaphone.

this led me to instantly fall in love with john peel.


up until then i had survived on a diet of the beatles and monkees with a dash of beach boys and eddie cochran for good measure. this was topped with frank sinatra and a world of jazz that my parents used to play. all of a sudden i was dazzled by the likes of david bowie , captain beefheart , bob marley , wildman fisher , ivor cutler and most importantly of all "the damned"

now anyone could be in a band and at times it seemed like everyone was.

the sketch on the right is my first bit of memorabilia , produced whilst still at school probably very early 1977.

brian brain was andrew "panda" howard , the only one of us who could actually play a guitar. i can only assume that means that i was going to pass myself off as "mouldy cripple" at that time. political correctness grew from these days by way of openly challenging stereotypes. "nicky" was most likely jim killman though i stand to be corrected.

the a-side was to be "we punks" and the b-side tunes were covers of dylans song and the national anthem. i seem to remember we recorded these on a tape player but that particular curio is probably lost for ever.

this line up never played in public thankfully but after being joined by fellow strumfather mr robert j smith on guitar by way of a chance encounter in the "frog and nightgown" cellar bar due to a prominent "buzzcocks" badge, things took a decidedly torpid upward twist.

we started rehearsing in a variety of venues are wound worksop including the old warehouse that stood where aldi now is which was used by some local entrepreneur as an arthur daly style lock up , the cellar of pete heaths bookies on carlton road and a good many years at "the oddfellows" on carlton road which is now a private house but which was once the meeting place of "the oddfellows society" ( a name we conjured with using for the band a few times )

the noise we made dragged a few people in off the street and amongst such people were our first "fans" and later good friends and fellow musicians by the like s of gillo and snag later to achieve fame in a variety of guises yet to be transcribed. (see glass arcade - real atrocities etc)

this format was , through the years ,further bolstered by the addition of such , dare i say , luminaries? [yes i bloody dare. luminaries!] as , gary smith from the imaginary creswell based band "fuck faced freddy and his festering foreskins from whitwell and firbeck" iirc. ive got my mum chasing gary smith down as we speak , i found him a while back but dont know where he went, and brian clifford (who drummed for worksops first "proper" indie band "veiled threat" with whom we traded the odd riff and ale)

our first gig in this guise was as best left dead at the old ship inn in worksop , off which i believe the below is a poster though we played there several times.

around then we met up with local rockers blood sculpture who supported us at the old ship and were also recorded at the same time as us i believe , including the joint encore of pretty vacant with both bands on stage.

their drummer steve "dowie" dalzell later joined us to form apocalypse jive.

before then we also did a couple of charity spots in the back room of the ship where we starred as "ned kelly and the billy bongs" doing a range of ill thought out covers such as "fosters tears me apart again" and "waltzing with hilda" and a rather drunken evening in the cellar of the frog and nightgown where we joined kenny tweed as "the cosmic trifle band (with cherries) on top"

"red and yellow and pink and green , orange and purple and blancmange , i can sing a trifle , sing a trifle , sing a trifle too"

kenny will be along to remind me of the line up soon but i remember my mate jon smith playing guitar , me botching all the bass and kenny being so drunk by the time he finished his set he couldnt remember half the words to ours. don was there as well i think. where's don? i do remember we covered "should i stay or should i go"  but the rest is a blur.

also in the mix was local deadhead and all round hippie neil "dumbo/dummo/drummo" hansen who i am led to believe is alive and well and tipping in worksop. he had a strange solution to a burst snare skin one day just as we were rehearsing for a gig that evening , though modesty forbids me mentioning what he used to plug the unfortunate tear.

local crooner and punk heart throb ;0) jack langhor joined us for a few short weeks as well fell apart from our punk roots and he and gary smith left to do their thing and we reformed as apocalypse jive with the redoubtable and inspirational steven "dowie" dalzell on drums and the hugely talented and sadly departed david ingham on vocals, not to mention being plugged and poked by the legend and natural born cesterfeldian that is mr nick "gammy pulex" maybury in the process. also now sadly departed from this world.

we had a couple of memorable gigs during this time including supporting "screaming lord sutch" at chesterfield town hall live aid day. "vice squad" at worksop sports centre. (another shambles of a drunken affair. =0) and a support slot to "the nightingales" in sheffield where they pulled our plug half way through the set and someone trashed their van at the end of the night.

never did find out who.


all the tunes below and more are hosted at]

here's the poster for our early gigs....





i did a lot of the early artwork [if thats what you can all it , mainly cut n paste photocopy stuff and copious amounts of "letraset") , then david took over eventually with his neat modernist/industrialist style later prevalent in places like the hacienda etc ] my work was inspired by my love of hammer horror and the appearance of one of my all time favourite voices , david vanian  from the damned. the roots of goth were taking place already and the last year or so i spent at school were sharply dressed top to toe in black with the odd theatrical flourish of say an ivory topped swordstick or great coat/cape with dog chain fastening.


many weekends were spent in the retford porterhouse which helped bring new ideas and cultures into our little bit of hicksville. every weekend trains from hull , london , edinburgh , leeds, sheffield, doncaster and just about anywhere else that had a trainline dropped off an assorted bunch of miscreants in our little market town. ( at the time i was making the 9 mile trip from worksop by train or bus and either cadging a lift home or walking the 2 hours in all conditions.) old punks still appear in all walks of life and the porterhouse is a topic dear to many. that was due in main to sammy jackson who's brother barry still runs his clothes shop in worksop.


my interest in calligraphy was overshadowed by my ability im sure ;0)  it was soon after this i became a committed anti capitalist in a written sense as well as political. capital letters are used to instil a sense of importance into words that would otherwise be impotent , like "god" and "queen" and "england"


i also , to my great shame , used to write prose/poems which i imagined would one day be set to some free form jazz punk fusion beats to shake the conscience of the nation.

i've just read them all and burned them immediately after , i can only apologise to anyone i used to inflict that on. =0)


i kept a few and scanned them , im not claiming to be the sharpest chisel in the tombstone carvers belt indeed some of my words are quite inaccurately spelt but i remain to this day a politically naive though very willing student of philosophical anarchism. the spirit in which the following was composed , google would have me think it was about 1983 , like i say , im a slow learner. ;0)

tight trousers and hand painted "killing joke" leathers , then and now....

killing joke had a copy of turn to red 12" and as soon as i saw the "chap on a wall" logo that joke used on their "wardance" single [taken from the centre spread of the album] i got the paints and dyes out and gave my jacket a serious makeover : i remember a gig in sheffield , mate "turvey" was stage security for the night and a few invaders had already felt his wiry muscles propel them from the stage , i took my chance and dove up and scrambled under the keyboard stand under the front and when he came to throw me off i was rude but blunt. =0)  he left me alone and eventually i and a couple of others got the corner of the stage to ourselves to jump about in.

i bet we looked like pricks. =0)


nuff said.

i very quickly did socialist>militant>s.w.p.>communist>communist anarchist and arrived dazed and confused several years later in a dressing room full of "batcave benders" as our constant foes the worksop skins and teds used to refer to us. most of them cared more about hairspray and eye-liner than marxist anarchist discourse and it was off into that world i drifted for a while.

somewhere along the line things like this happened.. ( between 1979-1983? )


and tunes like these were made...




eventually we even did this...

which i will rip to disc one day.


i occasionally looked like this and sounded similar...



and here is the essence of it.


(most of the sentiments are from dearly departed david ingham..)


...who will forever be cherished in our hearts.








and yes , only one of us was actually gay.


hard to believe eh?