The Spurts
The Spurts - Early 1978 - (Photograph c/o Steve Manuell)
The Spurts 1978 - Phil (Photograph c/o Strange Stories)
The Spurts - Early 1978 (Photograph c/o Steve Manuell)
The Spurts 1978 - Phil
Punk Rock
...The Story...

The Spurts - Paul LangwithThe Spurts from Rayleigh were another key early punk band from the area, existing in one form or another from roughly 1978 - 1979. Various members came and went through the bands time together, but their gigs at the Van Gogh in Basildon became legendary and the band were often to be found getting favourable mentions in local fanzine 'Strange Stories'.

According to another local fanzine 'Bobs Workshop', The Spurts started life as 'Johnny Pullback and The Fore Skins', but they changed their name to 'The Spurts' because they 'got themselves mixed up with another group'.

During Spring/Summer '78, the bands line up was Steve Manuell (Stevie B) - Vocals, Dave Coltman - Guitar, Vince - Bass and Paul Langwith - Drums. This line up gigged quite a lot, often with Alf's Vandals or John Dee's short-lived 'Vinyl Degenerates'. Indeed, 'Bobs Workshop' 'zine, in a review of a Frenzie/Spurts gig at the The Spurts - Ralph Malph (aka Ralph Walton of Bobs Workshop 'zine) - BassVan Gogh on the 17th of July, 1978, said: "The only dancing all night was when The Spurts came on, two punk girls decided to get up and dance", then "The lead singer of The Vandals (Alison) went on stage to do a number called 'I'm in Love with my Guitar', with Paul Langwith (from The Spurts) on drums and the Rhythm Guitarist from 'Frenzie'. It was very good as Alison sang in a very high voice similar to Poly Styrene of X-Ray Spex. Overall a good night for Frenzie and a good night for The Spurts".

'Coming' started to stand out a key Spurts song at this time, as well as other originals such as 'Sexperience' and 'Teddy Boy Hop'. The band would also sometimes throw in a few covers for fun, such as The Killjoys 'Johnny Won't Get to Heaven' and The Troggs ' Wild Thing'.

After some gigs, a line up change occurred, as Vocalist Stevie B moved to Wales, and Vince left (later resurfacing, via a stint in the Deciballs, in The Sinyx). This led to Phil joining on Vocals and Ralph Malph (aka Ralph Walton of Bobs Workshop 'zine) joining on Bass. Around this time, Dave left on Guitar and in came Perry to take over, and with this line up the band performed some classic gigs.

The Spurts - Perry - GuitarApart from performing a couple of numbers at The Raped / Vandals gig at the Van Gogh in October '78, the new line up made their debut proper at a gig at Laindon Youth Centre on 20.10.78. Strange Stories covered the gig, having this to say about it: "Phil was throwing himself around like a maniac...musically, one of The Spurts strongest points is Paul's drumming which has become much more solid and crisp than the first time I saw him play. There were actually kids pogoing, and not your usual bondage crowd, who were also dancing, but just ordinary kids in bomber jackets and flares leaping in the air and falling on the floor. It was GREAT." The reviewer continued : "Alf of The Vandals joined The Spurts for 'Coming'; and 'Sexperience' and The Vandals attempted to play a couple of numbers, but they didn't really come off 'cos Rik W (Guitar) didn't know them that well and had a broken digit to boot." In summary, the reviewer said: "The kids really loved The Spurts and they had to go through their songs once more 'till they were allowed to leave the stage".

After a series of great gigs, mainly in the Basildon area, and some great parties at the infamous 'Bungalow' in Raleigh (Paul Langwith's pad) the band eventually spilt however. It wasn't too long though before the various members emerged in other bands from the area. Paul would go on to help out Alison and also an early version of Depeche Mode, then the School Bullies, before going on to play in Bobo with Terry Piper and Simon Lawrence and would record and release an album with them. Vince (Vints) as mentioned earlier, went on to The Sinyx and Nihilist Corps before joining KMosaic, and Ralph and Perry would also go on to The School Bullies too. Perry also played later on in Anorexic Dread and then, a bit later, in The Cure.

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