Return of The Pack by Dave Taylor

Kirk Brandon talks to Dave Taylor about The Pack...

This entry is part 5 of 10 in the series Enjoy Yourself!

Kirk Brandon, frontman of Theatre of Hate, Spear of Destiny & Dead Men Walking recently announced that he would be getting the first band he released a record with, The Pack back together for a short series of dates at the end of January. Dave Taylor spoke to Kirk for Eyeplug just before Theatre of Hate took to the stage at Chinnery’s in Southend to find out more about the upcoming shows.

First question has to be, why get the band back together now? Did a promoter make an offer that you couldn’t refuse?

John (Werner, original bass player) had asked about the possibility of playing the songs live together again on a few occasions and I just thought why not.  It hadn’t been possible to arrange anything before but it’s been 40 years so now so seems as good a time as any to do it. Promoters offering cash unfortunately wasn’t a factor.

When Spear of Destiny played the 229 in London last May, you performed The Pack’s King of Kings, something I hadn’t heard you play with the band before. Was this because you had this reformation in mind?

No not at all. King of Kings is a good song and I just felt it would be the right time to play it live again.

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And so will The Pack line up feature all original members?

Sadly that’s impossible as some members are no longer with us.  The line up will feature myself, John Werner, Warren Wilson on guitar and Steve Grantley from SLF on the drums.

How did you get the band together back in ’78?

The band started as Pack of Lies and was myself, an old school mate John Fuller and a Scottish drummer, Rab Fae Beith. We wrote songs and rehearsed in Johns’ Uncles place in Stanmore, NW London.  The lyrics I wrote were simplistic, aggressive and silly, much like myself at the time.

The Pack itself formed in Clapham springing up from the anarchist punk/squatter scene. The country was in total chaos. Life was simply trying to survive on the streets and squats of South London. The whole period was funny grim and violent all at the same time and the band reflected this.

So had there been any personnel changes by the time The Pack had started playing shows?

The first gig was myself, two Canadian brothers John & Simon Werner, and Rab. The venue screened Marlon Brando in the “Wild One” before we went on so we were expecting a bit of a riot!  What actually happened was people just looking at as with thousand yard stares, stunned at the power of the band. We were fucking angry! 

Any particular gigs stand out in your memory?

The late 70’s were violent times and a lot of the shows we played ended up as mini riots where venues got trashed.  We didn’t play too many shows outside of London but I do remember Coventry being eventful and when we played The Crypt in Deptford I recall thinking to myself that this is going well, everyone’s dancing. Then we stopped playing and the ‘dancing’ continued, everyone was trying to kill each other! 

Was it hard for the group to get a record deal back then?

Record companies wouldn’t touch us with a barge pole! Rough Trade eventually pressed up 1000 copies of King of Kings.

So you didn’t live off royalties then?

The Pack never made a penny, not a single penny! Ever!  For the band, it was a lifestyle and the idea of making any money out of it was so far fetched and in our own way seemed dishonest. We preferred payment by dole cheques.

What caused the band to break up? Personal differences, drugs?

We were all a fairly unhinged group of people, and what we classed as normal certainly didn’t tie in with the outside world as a whole.  The violence, drugs and one member of the band becoming religious didn’t help. It had to implode sooner or later. The band played their last gig at the 101 Club in Clapham. Ironically it was completely sold out by the time we took to the stage, however by this time success was not an option the band was willing to take.

So these 4 shows, will they be the one and only chance to see The Pack perform again?

At present that’s all there is but who knows? We had some really powerful songs. King of Kings, Heathen, St. Theresa, Thalidomide… powerful songs that deserve to be heard live again.

Visit Kirk Brandons Website Here

Dave Taylors Website


THE PACK LiveThe Exchange, BRISTOL
THE PACK LiveUnderworld, LONDON
 —WESTWORLD WEEKEND – XVIILangtry’s @ The Royal Hotel, CREWE

Dave Showplug Taylor

Dave Showplug Taylor is owner of Showplug Promotions, a man who makes things happen, loves providing great affordable quality Events, Gigs, Shows, Comedy Plugs and great all around Entertainment. Works closely alongside Eyeplug Media and lives by the Sea with his Family. Loves the MC5 and Cold Beer.

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