Forward Edge
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Forward Edge

Brighton, England, United Kingdom | INDIE

Brighton, England, United Kingdom | INDIE
Band Rock Punk

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"FORWARD EDGE - ALBUM REVIEW"

Back in 1979 a group of young upstarts with no musical training got together to form the band that would become Forward Edge. Many in the know tipped them for wider success, but despite seminal shows the band imploded without ever releasing a record.



Individual members of the band went on to varying degrees of success in the following decades most notably with art-punk outfit the Vision Restrictors and the highly politicised Love Missile.

However, by 2008 the surviving members of the band had hit rock bottom. Singer and counter culture motor mouth, Mike Clark had descended into a dark opiated oblivion in Texas; the inspired maverick guitar of Mark Blythman was in alcoholic meltdown and the tormented workaholic bass player Pete Passingham had retired to middle management obscurity.



With the band disparate, desperate and dispersed around the globe it took personal tragedy to bring them back together. In late 2008, the death of Clark's younger brother enforced a move back to Britain and shortly after that Passingham's long time partner left him.

With two of the members on the dole and one dealing with the break up of his relationship the band began recording together in May 2009 with a very us against the world attitude. The culmination of their endeavours is this long overdue self titled d├ębut album which is a triumph of the human spirit over adversity.



Unsurprisingly, considering their recent experiences, lyrically this album inhabits the dark confessional denizens often frequented by the likes of Nick Cave, Johnny Cash and Leonard Cohen. Passingham's break up is traced in songs like the bitter sweet missives Awful Memory and Summer Died, the latter including the lines "I never dreamt that you would run" and "You cruelly crushed my boyhood dreams." Singer Clark's narcotic battles are alluded to in the superstar drug fused Americana of S.B.H., "Crack cocaine celebrity, Detox wired libertine"; and Blythman's alcoholism is tackled in Gang of Four-esque Unhappy Birthday, "Drink myself stupid."



However, before you reach for the razor blades, the album is not all doom and gloom and is ultimately about redemption, a refocusing of ideals and bright new beginnings. Musically the album is swept along on a tirade of joyous power pop, with the odd touch of psychedelia, which is reminiscent of the of The Clash, The Sex Pistols and The Libertines to mention but a few. Even in it's darker moments the record is liberally sprinkled with the group's trademark humour, all-be-it a touch dark in places, as evidenced by the single Chlamydia Asbo, the story of a wanna be reality TV star who is famous for being famous and with no real talent, "The tabloids they love her the paparazzi go clickety click. She can do no wrong, even when she's violently sick." Katy Price anyone? - Unused press release. Brilliantly writen though, don'tcha think?


Discography

30 May 2010 - CHLAMYDIA ASBO - Single - iTunes
02 Jul 2010 - CHLAMYDIA ASBO (Original Artwork) - Single - iTunes
23 Aug 2010 - FORWARD EDGE - Mini Album - iTunes

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Bio

The Passengers formed in 1979. The line up was Michael Clark-vocals, Peter Passingham-guitar, Mark Blythman-guitar, Mark Moranne-bass and Neil Goldsmith-drums.

Their first gig ended in chaos and the ensuing riot caused the venue to be permanently closed down. Their place in the punk rock pantheon was assured when the press got wind of these events and the punk rock fanzine Savage Jaw dubbed them the Legendary Passengers.

1980 saw the long arm of the law take it's toll on the band. Peter Passingham had to quit the band due to commitments to Her Majesty the Queen and the band was forced to change it's name for legal reasons.

The band soldiered on as a four peice and played one gig as the Legendary Passengers and for a short while were the LPs. They were rewarded when one of their songs, "Cancer Sticks" appeared at number 10 in an alternative chart.

While the nameless band were drifting along with little sense of direction; the Svengali like figure of Maik Finch entered their lives. This was to prove a double edged sword.

He persuaded the band to rechristen itself Forward Edge and gave their artwork a very militaristic look. The band then went on to play a string of notable performances which saw attendances soar and many people were tipping them for further glory.

However with the rising attendances came a darker side. Violence became increasingly common at live events and the group noticed an alarming right wing element was creeping into the equation. With the band feeling more and more alienated from their audiences matters came to a head when a member of their entourage was stabbed in the eye and the band abandoned the gig to travel to the hospital with their friend.

The band sacked their manager and continued on for a while but their hearts were no longer in it and they played their final gig on new year's eve.

Forward Edge resurfaced in 2009 to play a reunion gig. The original Passengers line-up all turned out for the event. This was so well received and subsequent new material so strong that the core members of the band have decided to continue the project. However the rhythm section of Mark Moranne and Neil Goldsmith due to other contractual commitments are no longer involved with the band on a full time basis.

The current line up is Michael Clark-vocals, Mark Blythman-guitar, Pete Passingham-bass and amazingly mechanical John Doe on drums.

Forward Edge released their debut single, Chlamydia Asbo, on iTunes on the May 30, and their self tilted debut Album on Aug 30, 2010 ahead of live dates in the 2011.