Andy Stratton


Andy Stratton I Don’t Know / Evil Minds 7″ reissue

The small UK town of Yeovil, Somerset was home to a fairly bustling punk scene in the late ’70s/early ’80s, the most famous exports of which were the anarcho-punk band the MOB and their DIY label All the Madmen. Teenager ANDY STRATTON (né Barker, later of NULL & VOID) also hung around that scene and ended up befriending members of the MOB. At sixteen, he got a wild hair to make a pop record after attending the 1980 Stonehenge Free Festival. So he wrote a couple of tunes, recruited MOB-ster Graham Fallows to play drums, and came out with this 7”, the third release on All the Madmen. At the time, it was pressed in relatively small numbers (maybe 1000) and has since become all but forgotten. Thankfully Sealed, the archival wing of La Vida Es Un Mus, recognized this was a record worth shining some light on and are here with a faithful recreation of that release (plus they’ve added a lyrics insert alongside an interview with ANDY). “I Don’t Know” is a super catchy DIY power pop number that sounds like a mix of Pete Shelley BUZZCOCKS and TEENAGE HEAD. The lyrics are deliriously simple, as is the guitar riff, but it’s underscored by this incredibly energetic bass line that somehow really bumps up the maturity of the songwriting. It’s a pretty incredible track. “Evil Minds” awkwardly welds verses that sound like a new wave ode to “Nights in White Satin” to hooks that sound lifted from some POINTED STICKS song. It’s a little harder to get into, but at the very least it’s interesting. Still, probably worth it for the A-side alone!