Thursday, 14 September 2017

They Slipped Through The Cracks.... On Parole


  During the making of the 'Here Comes The New Punk' book, there were several short-lived bands who were certainly justifiable for inclusion, but were left out either due to lack of info aside from what little was already out there, or just due to lack of space.
  On such band was On Parole, who are probably best-known (and to many, maybe solely remembered) for their song "Condemned" which appeared on the No Future label's 'A Country Fit For Heroes Vol.2' compilation 12"-er in 1983.
  Having recently had a go at transcribing the lyrics for someone, I thought I'd post them here and also add a quick bio of what is known about the band.

  Formed in 1979 in Livingston, West Lothian in Scotland, their original line-up was main songwriter Liam Murray on vocals, Wullie on guitar, Bob on bass and Dickie on drums. The band played a few local gigs, then Wullie and Bob were replaced by Dougie (guitar) and Graeme (bass), who came via a local punk band named Another Youth who had just split up. 
  This second version of the band made their live debut at Deans Community High School in Livingston, supporting a heavy rock band from London named Visa. June 1982 saw On Parole record a five-song demo which was put on cassette and used by the band to send round mail order to get more publicity and gigs. The demo got them interest from No Future and Riot City, with No Future offering them a slot on its 'A Country Fit For Heroes Vol.2' compilation of up-and-coming new punk bands, sharing vinyl space with the likes of Patrol, Mania, Criminal Damage, Intensive Care and ABH. With the anthemic "Condemned" selected for inclusion, a new version of this track was re-recorded at Palladium Studios in December 1982. By this time, the band's line-up had altered again, with Bob rejoining on bass, and new members recruited in the shape of John on guitar and Stevie on drums.
  As well as the five songs they recorded on their June 1982 demo, another On Parole song which was played live was “Grass”. They also used to cover “Chaos” live by the 4-Skins. One of their more notable gigs came when they played at Skunx in London alongside The Business and Skroteez. Despite the built up of momentum that came with the No Future compilation though, the band split in 1983.

5-track demo recorded 6/82: On The Run / Crown Court / Condemned / Assault / No Justice (Cass, no label 1982)
“Crown Court” (demo) on ‘Pulse Of A Nation: A Rising Free Compilation (Cass, Rising Free fanzine 1983)
“Condemned” on ‘A Country Fit For Heroes Vol.2’  (12", No Future 4/83)

On Parole: “Condemned”  (lyrics by Liam Murray)
We’re expected to be nice little boys
Be good and don’t do anything wrong
Speak when you’re spoken to and not before
That shit doesn’t run with me
I’m not as thick as I appear to be
I’m not gonna be a puppet of society

I get stared at when I walk down the street
They add me up from my head to my feet
I don’t care about them, they don’t care about me
They are so pure, they are so discreet
All with their money and a parliament seat
They’re respected and it’s plain to see
They like to be known as your local MP

They look down at us, we’re lower class
They don’t associate with people like us
Cheap actions, don’t let the side down
They’ve got friends in high up places
They’re the ones with distinguished faces
Going to Ascot(?) this weekend?
I might see you then

Condemned - for being different
Condemned - like a man inside
Condmened - for being one of the lads
Condemned - for not being sophisticated.

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