Archive for the ‘Dead Fingers Talk’ Category

Dead Fingers Talk Redcar Coatham Bowl 1978

Dead Fingers Talk Redcar Coatham Bowl 1978
I can’t be certain exactly when I went with a couple of mates to see Dead Fingers Talk, but I would guess it was around 1978. Dead Fingers Talk are a largely forgotten, and very under-rated band. They hailed from Hull and released one album entitled “Storm the Reality Studios”, which was produced by Hull-born Mick Ronson. Their best song, and the highlight of their live show, was a song called “Harry”. “For the uninitiated, `Harry’ was a song protesting against the persecution of gay people by society. In the form of a dramatic monologue over a basic backing track, Bobo takes the role of the persecutor, picking upon members of the audience as the persecuted. Chillingly effective, it is still the highlight.” (From a Record Mirror interview of the time). Dead Fingers Talk played extensively in the North East in the mid-70s, and built up quite a following in local clubs, before they were drawn into the punk movement. The Coatham Bowl was quite empty for this gig; I would guess that there were no more than 50 to 100 people there. But those of us who were there were treated to a great show by Dead Fingers Talk. Front man Bobo Pheonix was just amazing, “charismatic and an absolute dynamite stage performer – he was compelling and riveting” (Jeff Parsons, Dead Fingers Talk guitarist, 2005). During Harry, Bobo picked out members of the audience and shone a massive flashlight on them, shouting directly at them, persecuting them and haranguing them with a barrage of anti-gay slogans. Very, very powerful stuff that had to be seen to be believed; and I was so relieved that Bobo didn’t pick on me. A poor guy standing just in front of us bore the brunt of Bobo’s fury, and clearly didn’t know what had hit him. Their music showed influences of The Velvet Underground, the New York Dolls, and they mixed punk with more traditional rock. Sadly Harry was never recorded so all I have to remember the song are my memories of that night in Redcar.