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Prefects - Going Through the Motions

  by Steve Kinrade

published: 24 / 2 / 2020

Prefects - Going Through the Motions
Label: Call of the Void
Format: CD


Insightful retrospective of studio recordings and live performances from short-lived 70's Birmingham punk band the Prefects

For those of us who were not around at the time, that great ‘sage of truth”- Wikipedia - informs us that Birmingham’s the Prefects were one of the UK’s very first purveyors of the punk genre and artistry. Although they never released any singles or albums while they were active, they did have a place at punk’s high table (albeit probably nearer to the end rather than the middle), as they were part of the Clash’s legendary 'White Riot' tour, and shared the same bill with other luminaries such as Buzzcocks, the Slits, the Fall and the mighty Damned. Therefore, 'Going Through the Motions' is a good opportunity to retrospectively assess the Prefects' contribution to the musical and cultural land shift. Named after their 1980 posthumous Rough Trade single, this is a collection that gathers the single alongside all their other studio recordings and some of their live performances. It all kicks off with 'Going Through the Motions', which does exactly what it says on the tin. A one chord proclamation of routine, you can graft onto this soundtrack whatever you feel that is boring and unworthy, pretty much a universal statement. The second track, 'Escort Girls', is all thrashing guitars and spirit of '76, and clocks in at one minute forty seconds of pure gush - adrenaline. It’s funny but when listening through this collection of songs you start to hear other bands as reference points. For example, 'Bristol Road Leads to Dachau', these ears can hear Warsaw, the proto-Joy Division or with 'Things in General', echoes of Scotland’s finest, Josef K. Perhaps the Prefects were short lived and did not have the cultural kudos or the commercial success of the other bands they played with and were associated with, but the fact that they were there, participating, is of great importance. This collection of songs and live recordings give us an insight into the musical landscape of the time and for those of us who were lucky to be actually present, how exciting it was to bare witness. The album ends with a chaotic live recording from the 'White Riot' tour, all guttural yelps and dislocated vocals which merge into a high pitch scream. Fade to black. The End. Appropriate.

Track Listing:-
1 Going Through The Motions
2 Escort Girls
3 Bristol Road Leads To Dachau
4 Faults
5 625 Lines (Live At The Electric Circus)
6 Barbarella's
7 Things In General
8 Agony Column
9 Total Luck
10 She Cracked (Live At The Electric Circus)
11 White Riot Tour (Live)

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Prefects - Interview
One of the forgotten bands of the 70's punk era, the Prefects have recently seen their career got through a revival with the release of two posthumumous records. Adam Wood chats to Rob Lloyd, who is now with the Nightingales, about his one-time band

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