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Saturday, August 26th, 2017
5:00 PM
Westgarth Social Club
Middlesbrough, United Kingdom
999 and The Drones celebrate 40 years since they made their debut at the legendary Rock Garden in Middlesbrough.

Legendary punk band 999 celebrate 40 years since they played the Rock Garden for the first time on August 27th, 1977 - the day after the Sex Pistols played. One of the last remaining punk bands with three original members plus Arturo from The Lurkers/Pinpoint/Lucky Saddles. It will be the fourth time we have hosted them in six years and two of those were complete sellouts.

Nick Cash & Guy Days sprang into life at Northampton Cricket Club in Dec 1976, Nick having previously played with Ian Dury's Kilburn & The High Roads between 1971 & 1976 having originally met at Canterbury College of Art & Design.

999 released a host of classic singles incuding 'I'm Alive', 'Emergency', 'Nasty Nasty', 'Feeling Alright With The Crew' and 'Homocide' before changing their sound dramatically towards an Ennio Morricone spaghetti western direction with 'Obsessed', 'Indian Reservation' & 'Wild Sun'. Producers Martin Rushent and Vic Maile both played a part in shaping their sound on their album releases.

On the 1980 album 'The Biggest Prize in Sport' they mention the Rock Garden in the song 'English Wipeout'.


The band started out in the Manchester area in 1974 as a Glam Rock outfit called Rockslide, releasing a lone single 'Jump Bump Boogaloo' / 'Roller Coaster' in October 1975, before reinvented themselves as a punk rock band the following year. The Drones then relocated to London and became one of the pioneering punk bands that performed in the first few months of the now-legendary Roxy Club. They supported The Vibrators in January 1977, headlined in February, and supported X-Ray Spex and Chelsea in March. Later that year they supported The Stranglers on a full UK tour, and appeared on two influential early punk compilation albums 'Streets' and 'Short Circuit: Live at the Electric Circus'.

The band's debut EP, 'Temptations Of A White Collar Worker' (1977), was described by one reviewer as "classic dole-queue punk." In October 1977, The Drones' second single, 'Just Wanna Be Myself' / 'Bone Idol', was released, and on 6th December they recorded a session at Maida Vale 4 studio for John Peel. Later that month, they released their debut album on Valer Records, 'Further Temptations', produced by Simon Humphrey, and now regarded by many as a punk classic.

Unfortunately, after this the band lost momentum, and the third single 'Be My Baby' / 'Lift Off The Bans' was not released because Valer went bust, and only 200 white label 12" test pressings were made - no picture sleeve. In 1996 some counterfeits emerged, alegedly from the band, as well as a 7" version (see discography). The originals have 'Lets hear it for the Dronettes' scratched on the run-out grooves. A fouth single 'Can't See' / 'Fooled Today' was released on the Fabulous Label in 1980 with John Ellis on guitar and Riki Legair on bass, but this bombed and The Drones would eventually call it a day towards the end of 1982.

It would then be another fourteen years before The Drones would perform live, when they reformed to play the 1996 Holidays In The Sun Festival celebrating 20 years of Punk Rock. This would be followed by sell-out gigs in Japan and the USA, before the band one again called it a day in 1999.

SUPPORT BANDS: The Filth from Thornaby reunited from the ashes of Funhouse but originally formed in 1978 and featured in one of Record Collectors Rarest Punk 7" Singles of all time. They have been recording and performing new material and with the mercurial Endo the manic frontman who strikes a mean pose having spent many years touring the world watching the UK Subs - he even ended up on the cover of the live 'Crash Course' album.

No Way- another vintage Teesside punk band who lost their original singer Matey (Martyn Powell) a few years ago when he died suddenly of an asthma attack whilst at work are now back firing on all cylinders with John Bell on vocals. He was the original drummer in the Middlesbrough version of Discharge. They are back as a band again and its good to have them back at breaking point again !!