OK - you probably haven’t heard of this 1980’s indie band before – but they really are worth finding out, especially if you like Echo & The Bunnymen and Killing Joke.
Taming The Outback were a three-piece from Southend-on-Sea (Essex, UK) and were ...
Daryl Amos >> Drums
Tony Sampson >> Guitar & Vocals
Jason Sherwin >> Bass
The band were active from 1986 to 1989, hence the (somewhat unimaginative) title of this retrospective compilation.
While they spent most of their time playing outside of the town itself, they were very much a Southend band and established a large and loyal following all across the UK. The original three members formed after criss-crossing each other’s musical paths in South East Essex in the early 1980s. Melbourne-born drummer Daryl Amos and bass player Jason Sherwin first played together in local band A Wreath For Brezhnev, later meeting-up with guitarist/singer Tony Sampson, who was then playing in the band Playground, to form Taming The Outback – a band characterized by an aggressive, driven, rhythm section, strong self-penned songs with a rich, echo-saturated wall-of-sound guitar.
Taming The Outback soon began recording at Elephant Studios in East London, where they recorded their debut single Blue Heart / Fire & Smoke – now a minor rarity due to limited distribution and a tiny pressing of 500 copies. A limited cassette E.P. was also issued in 1987 in an edition of 100 copies (both releases are included on this retrospective).
However, their public profile rapidly changed when the band attracted local and national press attention with their infamous “crucifixion” publicity shoot – taken (without permission) on Salvation Army land. At the time it was claimed to be in protest over “religious hypocrisy” and “obscenity of ownership of vast tracts of land in the hands of the churches.” It was, of course, pure coincidence that the band were also preparing for a second single: Eight-Hour King / Crack In Your Brain. The image found itself splashed over the local newspaper, The Evening Echo, accompanied by headlines screaming “Blasphemous!”, “Sick!” and a multitude of complaints by local Christian groups. Soon after, national UK tabloids picked up on the story. Whether or not it was a cheap publicity stunt, atheistic protest or a work of art is still a subject of debate among those who remember it. Nevertheless, the punk and post-punk generation always regarded religious, political and other national institutions as legitimate targets for comment.
Playing live became a primary focus for the band but the endless gigging, drinking and the failure to release the aforementioned second single and the LP (already recorded) probably marked the beginning of the end of the band. Taming The Outback itself played their last gigs in 1989 with the aggression being turned inwards between personnel and instruments.
"Finally Found!! Untouched LIVE Footage with audio "Roy The Snake""
Embossed box includes the deluxe CD (entry 1:03, left) and a copy of the band's rare 7" single (in the very rare picture sleeve) - see entry 1:01 above, left, 4 badges, miniature booklet, 2-sided mini-poster, sticker, numbered card insert