The Lurkers At The Threshold

Heat, I’m on heat

Don’t you wanna treat

I’m on heat

Welcome to the complex and nuanced world of The Lurkers Fulham Fallout.  Ferocious live reputation notwithstanding, they were once described to me by an older guy who I worked with as ‘third division punk’, I think that’s a bit unkind there’s some stuff I really like here, I’d promote them up a division to second division, just.  In fact in football terms, Fulham might be a bit of an apt comparison.

Lurkers Fulham Fallout 02

They were birthed in the white-hot ferment of 1977 punk, but Fulham Fallout took two years to arrive so whilst they weren’t bandwagon jumpers they ended up looking like it and they were, label nerds, the first band signed to Beggars Banquet Records, this LP is BEGA2.

Whether stemming from adolescent hormones, white powder or just the beat, speed is the name of the game here.  Speed and energy that is.  Just pop the virtually instrumental ‘Go Go Go’ on your turntable and marvel.  To my woolly ears it sounds a hell of a lot like Motörhead, just check out Nigel Moore’s bass! It’s freaking brilliant, it’d make a dead man pogo and contains some real guitar heroics tucked away inside so the young punks wouldn’t notice them.  This is a really great track, which justifies all the readies I had to fork out to get hold of this LP and lights up my CNS.  Ditto cue up the Phil Spectre cover, ‘Then I Kicked Her’*, it’s another great punk whizz-bang-crash! Played almost too fast for the human ear to register.  Great music for a ruck.

Lurkers Fulham Fallout 06

The Lurkers weren’t all brute force though they had some decent pop smarts too, check out ‘Shadow’, ‘Jenny’ and ‘Ain’t Got A Clue’ – the latter a great statement of intent for an album opener! In their more restrained moments they sound like 1537 punk pop faves The Boys, but not quite as good.  Hey, there’s no disgrace in being second division sometimes.  When the Lurkers were able to channel their tunes and energy flash in one go then they really caught fire.  I have a real soft spot for ‘I’m On Heat’, less of a sex song, more of a mating call really, it was the first track of theirs I ever heard on a compilation and it was good enough to make me investigate further.  It’s as good as it needs to be, totally bypassing any cognitive processes you may still have left and lodging itself firmly in the bit of the brain that controls jumping up and down and mindlessly shouting the words.

Lurkers Fulham Fallout 01

Lurkers Fulham Fallout 03

The Lurkers were often called the ‘British Ramones’ but I disagree – the Lurkers sound like a Ramones made up of four Johnny Ramones.  They borrowed the energy and pummeling speed, but the Lurkers’ sound owes far more to sped up versions of R&B like Eddie & The Hot Rods and Dr Feelgood (at their most basic), the other thing they’re missing is that odd otherness that Joey Ramone brought to the proceedings, that tenderness.  When Joey sang ‘Beat On the Brat’ you couldn’t take it seriously, when Howard wall sings ‘Then I Kicked Her’ it’s morally more taxing.  There were a lot of bands out there who could, and did, bang out walloping facsimiles of ‘Cretin Hop’, but not many could cut ‘I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend’.

Lurkers Fulham Fallout 04
Is it conceptual, or just a shit painting? Discuss

Even though Fulham Fallout was their debut there’s some filler on it, the great stuff flashes past, some like ‘Gerald’ with an ill-advised spoken word bit, and the clumsy ‘Total War’ take an age to drive on by; establishing their second division credentials perfectly.  In the final analysis the Lurkers seem to have been competing with Sham 69** to fill in that gap between the initial British punk flash with all its artiness and the kids on the streets.  It all eventually got more hooliganated and, literally, threw up the whole Oi movement, but at this remove this is for completists, survivors and those who don’t mind-blowing a bit of cash on a historical artefact with a few great tunes lumped in.  Altogether now:

Heat, I’m on heat

Don’t you wanna treat

I’m on heat

Lurkers Fulham Fallout 05

Lurkers Fulham Fallout 07

535 Down.


*see if you can work out the ‘joke’ – it’s not as bad as it sounds, they change the final chorus once at the end.  The end result is hardly threatening – face it Babes In Toyland would have eaten this crew alive and spat out the pips.

**a much better band.

14 thoughts on “The Lurkers At The Threshold

  1. Wasn’t there a link between The Boys and The Lurkers? I went to many gigs by The Boys and I’m sure The Lurkers were sometimes on the same bill. I think Honest John Plain played in both bands at times.

    1. Hiya Mr/Miss/Dr/Reverend Fishface, Pete Stride worked with Honest John Plain later on, I think.

      I love The Boys so much btw – ‘The First Time’ is just one of my fave songs period and its only narrowly better than ‘Brickfield Nights’.

      Can’t believe you saw them both too – where?

  2. A fair review. They weren’t ever my fav band, and I didn’t ever go to see them… I think. The glue and speed back then may have uncrinkled my brain somewhat. (Smooth brain syndrome is a bit like PTS but with a better soundtrack) I think The Lurkers are a bit like… and that is their problem. A bit like Sham, a bit like The Ramones, a bit like… i never think of them and a signature track pops into my head, like Emergency from 999, or Identity from X-Ray Specs or New Rose by The Damned.
    Part-time punks. (Or that one from TVP). Nice to listen to it all again though.
    You should read my book, if you’re feeling nostalgic!

    1. Some really great moments, but I wouldn’t recommend breaking the bank to get them. My whole goal in life is to make everyone’s lists as long as my own!

  3. Another bunch of folks that I’ve never heard of. There’s something about the name that’s a bit sinister, eh? The Lurkers. Almost like ghouls from some John Carpenter flick.

    1. There are just so many great things about punk at that time – I’m reading Viv Albertine’s book at the moment, really great stuff. And yes, the pub/punk thing was a fascinating correlation.

      I’d agree that all the earliest punk stuff was best on 7″ but a number of the LPs, especially later on got pretty amazing, pretty fast. I don’t like the Clash much (heresy, I know) but I’d put up Buzzcocks and the Damned LPs up against most people.

      Whilst I like chunks of this, we’re not talking that standard here at all !!

      1. Have heard good reports of Viv’s Slits book.
        Take your point about later albums; Another Music is terrific and will have to demand satisfaction on the first Clash album. Gobbing at dawn?

  4. Cool read! Like your never hearing Trooper I never heard of these guys but did those lyrics at the top of the post come from Def Lepps Sugar Song?
    Also I think it’s safe to safe I’m the first one to namedrop the Canadian Trooper on your site !
    Hoax indeed!

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