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Prefects - Amateur Wankers

  by Jon Rogers

published: 8 / 2 / 2005

Prefects - Amateur Wankers
Label: Acute Records
Format: CD


Largely forgettable compilation from Birmingham 70's punk's also-rans the Prefects, who toured with the Clash, the Slits and the Subway Sect

Birmingham's four piece fronted by Robert Lloyd were amongst punk's also-rans. Like many similar bands at the time they were inspired, largely, by seeing the Sex Pistols on their 'Anarchy in the UK' tour. The band though were largely doomed to play second fiddle to the likes of the Clash - whom they supported on the 'White Riot' tour after the Buzzcocks dropped out. Effectively they were sentenced to play the support slot to the likes of the Slits and the Subway Sect. Even Lloyd in the album's liner notes states that the band were "properly discarded in the history books." Their recorded output, up to now, effectively comprised of one posthumous single and two radio sessions. Not exactly a weighty legacy. History has largely forgotten the Prefects. And not without good reason. Most of what is effectively their one and only album is simply terrible. The band extolled the virtues of the "can't play won't play" ethos that was meant to be so liberating at the time. Unfortunately for the Prefects this led them into a cul-de-sac of brash, snotty-nosed sub pub rock that lacked any charm, grace or finesse. Most songs, like 'Escort Girls' and 'Things in General' are speed-fuelled bursts of cliched chainsaw guitars, monotonously flat vocals shouted out and plodding drums. The notorious 10-second burt of 'VD' is also included. Fortunately, it's over in flash. When the band could be bothered though they could come up with something far more interesting than the usual one and a half minutes of noise. 'Going Through the Motions' slows the pace down and even has the rudimentary beginnings of a melody. 'Total Luck' mucks around for two minutes before it decides to get going but is worth the wait with its spiky, angular phrases. The highlight though is the 10-minute 'Bristol Road Leads to Dachau' (surely a 10-minute song is far, far too long for any self-respecting punk?) It rumbles along with a plaintive wail and manic guitars before all falling apart - in a good way. 'The Prefects are Amateur Wankers' though does little to resurrect the fortunes of a band long forgotten. Apart from a few gems, their output is largely worth ignoring.

Track Listing:-
1 Faults
2 Escort Girls
3 Going Through The Motions
4 Things In General
5 Barbarellas
6 Total Luck
7 625 Lines
8 Agony Column
9 Bristol Road Leads To Dachau
10 VD

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Interview (2006)
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

digital downloads


Going Through the Motions (2020)
Insightful retrospective of studio recordings and live performances from short-lived 70's Birmingham punk band the Prefects
Live 1978 The Co-Op Suite Birmingham (2006)

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