TOM'S MIDNIGHT GARDEN | 1983 - 1984

As the second wave of punk drew to an end there was, for a brief period, a sub-genre that attracted a healthy, if not always 'positive', gathering. In the UK bands such as Theatre of Hate, UK Decay, Sex Gang Children, Blood & Roses, Southern Death Cult, The Mob, Marc & the Mambas, picked up the baton from earlier groups like the Ants, Banshees, Bauhaus, Crass, TG and Joy Division; creating emotional and imaginative music forged on the streets across Thatcher's Britain, which alongside the 'coming together' of Post Industrial Culture, cleverly spearheaded under the umbrella of Psychic TV, fundamentally underwrote the whole underground scene of the decade; culminating in the development of artists such as Coil, Death In June and Current 93... but that was late.

Back in 1982, Dev joined one such band on this wave, Flowers In The Dustbin, initially on drums and then moving across to guitar. During 1983, before establishing the more project orientated While Angels Watch, he formed the band Tom's Midnight Garden [TMG] with two friends from South London mischief makers, Anabollic Steroids. The band played many gigs with like-minded (and not so like-minded) post punk bands of the time. Musically, journalist and J Church legend, Lance Hahn has described TMG as "melodic punk, with as much in common as early 4AD releases as with Anarcho-punk... and lyrically unusual, mixing politics with crypto-spirituality or Crowley-esque philosophy." While others suggested similarities to the AntsBanshees, Crisis and Play Dead.

Onstage, with limited mastery of their instruments, TMG would often be a shambolic affair with a party-like atmosphere; playing in squatted venues, clubs and pubs organised by various collectives to raise money towards direct action such as Stop the City, ALF, Activists court fines or simply to help maintain a venue. It was at this stage, with Dev squatting himself, that the band developed associations with individuals and groups in London's alternative scene... such as Kill Your Pet Puppy, Temple of Psychick Youth and Death In June.

These days were the height of tape cassette releases and almost every TMG gig was recorded and sold as a tape through various fanzines. During this period the band professionally recorded a large part of their set at 99 Studio's in London for release on Hackney based label 96 Tapes, which along with All the Madmen records represented a significant portion of the scenes music of the time. However, the tape was shelved when the group split in August 1984. 

Although resurfacing, [with 'guest line ups' including Patrick Leagas, Garry Smith and Douglas Graham] to play two more gigs and record a final demo
 with a more post-industrial/psychedelic sound, this particular journey was over, and While Angels Watch began where TMG left off.

In association with Infrastition records, Dev has mastered and released the 1984 studio sessions in their entirety along with three tracks from the final demo. The CD, To Kill a Klown is available now from the SHOP at this website.

Alex F. 2011



FEATURE FROM MAXIMUM ROCK 'N' ROLL [1999]