Drums Over London
The Disco Zombies should rank high in the pantheon of legendary English DIY punk bands, but a frustrating career of bad timing, record label mismanagement and three terrific singles slipping through the cracks have kept them in the shadows.
In 1977 they were Leicester’s greatest punk band but the single that might have shot them to the top of the UK heap, filled with pop gems like Top of the Pops and Punk A Go Go, was scrapped at the last possible minute due to a production company implosion.
Still hopeful, they moved to London and prepared for stardom. They recorded and released the John Peel favorite “Drums Over London” themselves, a song whose satire may have been too subtle for the masses. Sung from the viewpoint of a xenophobic right-winger, many took it as racist and it found fans among the crowd they were trying to critique. Peel had to explain to Rock Against Racism it actually supported their views!
Due to the success of Drums Over London, their first single finally saw release as The Invisible EP. Unfortunately as it was a year late it was seen as being out of time and quickly sank without a trace. With hindsight we can hear it for what it really was, an EP of killer pop-punk. And had it come out on time, their Top of the Pops would’ve beaten the Rezillos to the charts by 6 months.
One more single—an artier affair with a drum machine and DIY atmosphere—was released. Here Come the Buts backed by Mary Millington, their tribute to England’s most famous porn star suicide, marry a more post-punk atmosphere of repetitious drum machine programming with their usual infectious melodies and snarling guitars.
Three more aborted records followed and more songs, only ever played live, were heard by increasingly fewer people as the punk dream gave way.
But now, at long last, The Disco Zombies—a great pop band with catchy hooks, witty lyrics and infectious energy—can be appreciated by the rest of us. Available for the first time since their release, The Disco Zombies’ three classic, collectible singles, coupled with seven bonus unreleased tracks, are featured on the new Acute Records compilation LP Drums Over London. In addition, the digital download contains a complete live set including five more songs not recorded or heard anywhere else, as well as some choice covers that will prove the Disco Zombies are more than another forgotten punk rock hard-luck story.