Sometime around 1975-76 Monkey, Mel, Pete Dee and Kid Dee, four lads from Ipswich, Suffolk, England started a band called “Afterbirth & The Pinz”. They quickly changed their name to The Adicts and are largely still intact and playing today. Over time they became known for their lead singers “Joker” makeup and the band members Clockwork Orange inspired “droog” clothing and image.
What first drew my attention to them was the leader singers “joker” makeup. It reminded me of "Zal" Cleminson from the Alex Harvey Band and Paul Pope of Molkie Cole, but the interesting thing was The Adicts were “Punk”. Their music was a very up tempo punk style that just seemed to encourage having fun. It struck me as being different from the majority of punk music, but still used the rip roaring fast paced punk tempo and chords I like.
I was pretty blown away by them and a big Adicts fan ever since.
The Adicts are not what would be considered a typical punk band. Their image and dress is not in the typical punk “torn shirt”, “spikes” and Mohawk inspired stereotypical genre. The band wears all-white “droog” clothing with black boots and bowler hats, the lead singer today dresses in wildly patterned suits colorful shirts and flared pants. Their stage shows have evolved over the years and today include the use of streamers, beach balls, and confetti and joker playing cards dealt out to the crowed. The Adicts have fine-tuned their persona and evolved over the years without changing the core principals they defined themselves by back in the early 80’s.
The music is indeed punk and many songs have a punk anthem about them, but unlike typical punk music the lyrics are light-hearted and up tempo, but rest assured the songs are fast short with no guitar or drum solo’s. The Addicts also sometimes use a variety extra instruments, sound clips, violin the occasional key board, gongs and noises in their music. They are used well and are something seldom found in “punk” music. In one song there is sound clip of Chickens, when I play it my dog will get up from a sound sleep jump off the coach and run to the speakers and wait for the Chicken sounds then she goes nuts.
After listening to them for years I still go crazy when I play their music. They really like to have a good time and comes through in their music. Anthem style songs are typically sprinkled around in every album. Some of the best are “Viva La Revolution”, “Joker in the Pack”, “Steamroller”, “F*** It Up”, “Life Goes On” and “Walk On” the list just goes on and with these guys. Unfortunately, I have never seen the Addicts live. If I ever even get remotely close to one of their shows, I intend to make it happen. I have DVD’s of their shows and they are on YouTube it looks like a simply unbelievably good time. I have been fortunate to see Iggy Pop, the Ramones, The Dead Milkmen and hopefully I’ll get the same chance to see The Adicts.
Core Members still today
Monkey, Pete Dee, Kid Dee
Songs of Praise - 1981
Sound of Music - 1982
Smart Alex - 1985
Fifth Overture - 1986
Twenty-Seven - 1992
Rise and Shine - 2002
Rollercoaster - 2004
Songs of Praise: 25th Anniversary Edition (Re-recording of Songs of Praise) - 2008
Life Goes On - 2009
All the Young Droogs - 2012
Great write up Mr Jim about a good "punk" band. A band as you say were a little different....Im sure I used to own a copy of "bad boy" 7 in single in my record collection
Reminds me of d.j John Peel who used to give bands like THE ADICTS airplay on his radio show.
Amazed to see the band still on the circuit, and good to see they still have their following.
This is my favourite song by THE ADICTS
Awesome Mr. Jim...I just can't believe that they didn't break it here in the States. They really had some stuff I could see being Punk anthems.
Their later shows are kind of Glam Punk ( if there was such a thing) or something isn't it ?
I remember reading an article where Monkey stated they have a sweet spot in the Southern California area. I think they all live in that area and knowing these guys they probably built that following over time.
Here are a couple tracks from The Adicts first album "Songs of Praise". This is a great album and IMO ranks in the top 3 Adicts albums overall. originally there were 16 tracks, but the 93 reissue on Cleopatra Records had 2 Bonus tracks "Sound of Music" and "Who Spilt my Beer" which as I recall was off the Bar Room Bop! EP.
The band re-recorded Songs of Praise in 2008 and released it as "Songs of Praise: 25th Anniversary Edition". I highly recommend trying either, but I personally own them both
Sound of Music is the second full studio album from The Adicts and likely their best all around album certainly top 2. This album is solid and epitomizes The Adicts just have fun, catchy punk tunes style that will be their trademark for years to come. It's also the most well rounded music they produced in one album.
The anchor tracks on this one are "Joker in the Pack", "Johnny Was a Soldier" and "Steamroller" (My Baby Got Run Over by a). Joker will become the Adicts foundation song for years to come. "Johnny was Soldier" is as political tune you can get from The Adicts about a soldier returning from war unable to start a band or dance due losing a leg in battle.
From there all solid tracks. Its hard not to like "Chinese Takeaway" a catchy tune about having to have Chineese Takeout as opposed to the many other take out options like fish n chip and burgers. And what punk album from the day would be without an anti disco song and in fun loving Adicts style "Disco" is offered up, asking everyone if they want to go to the Disco ???? and the answer is simply no.
Other solid tracks include "4-3-2-1", "Lullaby" and the catchy anthem style songs "Eyes in the Back of Your Head", "Let's Go", "Easy Way Out", "Shake Rattle, Bang Your Head"
"How Sad" and "A Man's Gotta Do" are the weakest tracks on the album. For some reason "How Sad" does work well as an opening song.