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NIHILISM ON THE PROWL
After the demise of the rather good first wave band Neon Hearts, nearby Wolverhampton, traditionally a haven for rockers and metalheads, found itself strangely devoid of recording punk bands, until a bunch of young outcasts kick-started the scene back into life. Although musically poor, The Stench were outrageous and obnoxious enough to light up the city's underground for a brief time, more on the strength of their anti-social antics than any sort of creative ability. They formed in the summer of 1981, and their original line-up was Peter Paedophile - vocals, Tommo - guitar,  Maff - bass ("Last names didn't seem so important back then!"), and Darrell 'Daz' Davies - drums.
"The early rehearsals were diabolical," laughs Pete. "We just made a fuckin' noise for the first few sessions. They put us in a classroom, in Tommo and Maff's school, right at the back - as far away from anyone as possible, 'cos our noise was that bad. We rehearsed on Monday and Thursday nights, and it cost us the princely sum of l0p each... I had to join the school youth club to get it cheap! We were absolutely fuckin' terrible, but it was fun and something to do.
"The first song we knocked up was 'Raspberry Cripple'. Our equipment was prehistoric. We used to meet up at Daz's house (who was the only one that could store the gear in his shed), load up this big wooden trolley with his kit and various amps, and push the fucker up the hill to the school. All the local snotty-nosed kids would come out and throw things and shout abuse at these punks pushing a trolley full of gear!"
Things became a little more serious when Tommo left, to be replaced
by Shane Williams, who could actually play a few chords, and the
band bought a second hand PA from a music teacher.  Soon after, they
made their live debut - playing thirty minutes in between the DJs at the
annual youth club disco.
"We did eight songs and it was terrifying!" says Pete incredulously.
"You wanna try and play in front of about sixty 11-15 year old school
kids! They literally ripped us apart once they got the bottle to get
within gobbing distance! We retired to the local pub soaked in
chocolate and pop that they spat on us continuously for twenty-five
minutes. Two local beat cops came in to survey the noise and damage
and actually looked sorry for us, haha! Maff left shortly after - he'd
had his fifteen minutes -and was replaced by Nigel Grove, who I knew
from Wednesfield."
As the only spiky-topped band out there at the time, The Stench soon
found themselves with management, in the shape of Jane Plimmer and
Andy Carlin ("A duo of arty punks from the rich suburbs of Finchfield,
Wolverhampton..."), and a recording deal with Sticky, a local label
being run by a slimy soul DJ called Pep ("One of those entrepreneurs
around the country at the time who saw punk as a way of making a
few quid.")
He basically had no passion for punk he was Soul DJ so what the fuck did he know? Before they knew
it, they were in Birmingham's Outlaw Studios, where the likes of the Drongos For Europe and Dead
Wretched had recently recorded singles, with engineer Phil Savage. They recorded eight tracks in less
than a day including 'Nowhere', 'Monstrocity','Oxfam Poster', and 'Student Squat' naievly leaving
Savage to do their mix for them whilst The Stench, adjourned to the nearest pub. Of course, it sounded
awful,  but nonetheless Sticky released 'Raspberry Cripple', 'Nonces' and 'Adoption' as the
'Moral Debauchery' 7" in early '82. Badly recorded and played, it hardly stands as a shining example of
the genre, but its spiteful lyrics, and the 
insane live shows the band were playing to promote it, ensured
it was difficult to ignore.
"I regard it as a failure," admits Pete, when discussing the single with the benefit of hindsight. "It was a very naive, basic attempt by a band who couldn't really play very well. But I blame us as a band for that and our ignorance of the music scene and how to make a record.
We got ripped off by the label for 250 each... our management did the best they could under difficult circumstances, but they were too green by half and we were too wild to take the opportunity to create something good or cover our own arses."
The Stench 1982 still stink!!! - (Dont Care collection)
Thanks to Ian Glasper who had been brave enough to give Wolverhampton's most notorious punk band Stench a mention in his book 'Burming Britain' (2004), there suddenly become a renewed interest.  Gnat from California's Puke and Vomit records re-released the 'Moral Debauchery' EP in 2006 and a new breed of punk was taking notice. I can now reveal the bloody story of how Stench were formed, created a mess then, swiftly (and thankfully in most circles) fucked off!...till one day back in 2006 when Peter and Daz regained contact once more after 20 years and realised they were sitting on some tracks that were destined to be forgotten about. By a stroke of good timing and luck Alex from Italy's (Pure Punk Records) asked if we had any more tracks and could he possibly release a limited edition album on vinyl. We had by now found enough material for an album then proceeded to remix the dusty tracks to a standard we always wanted. 2 years later in February 2008 'Cult Status' was unleashed and is selling fast!!!!...
STENCH - Nige, Daz, Shane and Peter.
Thanks to their now-infamous appearance on Beacon Radio, which was brought to a Premature end when the band just got too rowdy in the studio ("I think someone got a slap... I can't remember who it was, but it wasn't one of us," sneers the vocalist), The Stench's notoriety was growing. And let's not forget Pete's mate 'Sid' Nicholls, who used to accompany the band to shows
and once upstaged them by drawing a syringe full of blood from his arm and spraying it on the horrified Bradford
audience.
"Anarchy Sid, or Dennis Nicholls as he was christened, was a real fucking character and one of the most notorious
of the Wolverhampton punks. He did everything and more that anyone's ever written or said about him. He was
fucking mad and a great laugh. Daz, Shane and Nige hated him... he even had a scrap with Daz at one local gig,
supporting The Partisans; it was like watching two cats fight.
"He was my mate though, so I bought him along to gigs when he wasn't inside. He even held up a building society
for 800 with an element from a kettle wrapped in a plastic bag! He was soon arrested later that day, getting off
the train at Euston, London in typical Sid fashion, he said to the cops, "You could've at least let me spend some of
it first!' He got five years for that. "He was destined for a sad end though, and in between regular spells in prison
he relocated to London for good and got into smak. He had a son with the lead singer of the Decadent Few... they
split up though, probably 'cos of his reckless lifestyle. He then left London, or had to go for his own safety 'cos he
was in so much trouble, but was sadly found dead in 2001 in a homeless hostel in Canterbury from a heroin OD.
He'll always be remembered in Wolverhampton."
After playing as far afield as Chelmsford with The UK Subs (although Pete and Nige were! arrested on the way
home because the vehicle they were in didn't actually belong to them! I blame Paddy Butler (RIP) (another of
Pete's dodgy mates) who was said in court to be our Road Manager he stole the fucker the day of the gig) and in
Bradford (the Palm Cove Club, where Pete got stabbed in the leg with a screwdriver by an offended bouncer after
their set), The Stench split when their second demo featuring the sickly 'Incest' turned out just as bad as their first
one.
"I had some fun and adventures in The Stench," recalls Pete fondly. "We made a record that's become much
sought after by young American punks, so I've not got as many regrets as you'd expect. You
have to remember my time in Stench was at the height of the early Eighties punk boom, so lots
of other stuff was going on at the same time. The Stench was just a small part of those
adventures. The only thing I really regret is not paying more attention to the recording :
sessions, but you live 'n' learn."
Pete turned up in the Nineties in a punk band called
Torcha Shed, who were light years bertter
musically than The Stench but played some selective revamped versions of old Stench numbers
in their set and recorded several demos, one of which is out now on Puke N Vomit Records in
the States. But their unstable line-up prevented them from carrying on and they split up in 2000.
Pete now runs the Nihilism On The Prowl website.
"I retired from bands; they are way too much trouble, being a fucking babysitter, minder and
secretary all at the same time. I prefer doin' stuff on my own now, 'cos you don't have to rely
on others. Fronting a punk band is for the young, loud and snotty, not anyone over thirty, in
my humble opinion. I prefer to write about punk now. I'm totally independent, have no egos to contend with, and still get excited about discovering new bands."




EPITAPH: The above recollection was strictly Pete's interpretation of events with major gaps and flaws in the personel line-ups due to alcohol and the blur of the times. Now with Daz's input and his magpie urge to keep everything Stench ever done, we have now discovered some long lost demos, some rough early live recordings and outtakes that were lying in a box in his attic gathering dust, featuring the Stench #3 line-up of Geoff Brown on guitar and Knocker Norris on drums dating from around 1983-84. Hoping to get some pix soon, if you have a Stench shot please contact us via the myspace site and if Andy Carlin is reading have you got any of those great shots you took of Stench live and elsewhere from the wild days?


SELECT DISCOGRAPHY: 7"

'Moral Debauchery'  45 (Sticky Records - 1982)
'Nonces' appears on the 'Bad Teeth #1 UK and Irish Punk bands R-S 77-82' Compilation CD
'Moral Debauchery' 45 re-released (Puke And Vomit Records - 2006)
'Cult Status' LP (Pure Punk Records - February 2008)


STOP PRESS: For the Stench Myspace page go and listen to us cunts HERE.
Shocking, but Stench
must try to please


WOLVERHAMPTON punk band Stench have finally found someone to print their debut single - they've been looking since last summer, but couldn't get anyone to do it.
It's hardly surprising really. The only words you can understand first time are filthy ones - but they take up quite a percentage of the three songs on show.
All three, 'Raspberry Cripple', 'Nonces' and 'Adoption', are bawled out by singer Pete O'Shea to a blurred backing of guitar, bass and drums played at 90 miles an hcur.
There are one or two imaginative touches, but for the most part the songs offer nothing but a despairing yell of defiance to everyone.
To be fair, it's been so long since the group recorded the single that it hardly represents their sound now.
They have become improved players in the months between recording and release, and now they are getting bookings from as far away as London, Manchester and Blackpool.
The record won't be a success. It cannot possibly get a play on any radio station, and it's not good enough to sell on word of mouth recommendation alone.
Now they have finally seen it released they should'forget about it as quickly as possible and do something more up to date.
Bassist Nige, drummer Vex, lead guitarist Shane, and singer Peter would be better off trying to please instead of shock.
They planned a tour last September to coincide with the EP's release - it's called Moral Debauchery - but the delay in finding someone willing to print it squashed all that.
Together now for a year and a half the group play the Warehouse Manchester, on March 17, The Assylum Blackpool, on March 27, the Hope & Anchor London, April 18, and the the Vine Stoke on May 2nd.


(Express & Star March 3rd 1983)
Anarchy Sid (left) ready to dish out some hippy mantra! (DC Collection)
Shane could play a few chords (DC Collection)
Peter live at Archies, Wolverhampton 1983 (DC Collection)
TRIVIA: The Stench story don't end here. There was in actual fact a US band called The Stench who came out in the mid to late 80's but as far as I know that was where the similaritys ended. And I believe there's another US Stench doin' the rounds now in California?
For a look at the STENCH Galllery of faded Images, criminal evidence and dusty memorabilia
GO HERE
Nige could certainly blow his nose (Courtesy of Nigel Grove)
Stench discuss tactics 1982 (DC Collection)
Stench at Switch music Summer 82 recording first demo (DC Collection)
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