Prisoners Go Go Band
’s one and only record is a remarkable thing. It was created in the early 1980s in a South Africa under apartheid, which was not only hostile to “race mixing,” but culturally conservative, as well. While punk and alternative music existed, it received scant attention by major labels and no radio airplay. Distribution through record stores was limited to commercial music. Certainly, a mixed-race band influenced by Can, Red Crayola, Pere Ubu, Henry Cow, and Derek Bailey
was not prime for mainstream hearing. Nor was Johannesburg in 1981 exactly the most inviting place for such a band to release its own record. But that is what the Prisoners Go Go Band did.
In 1979, Yunus Momoniat, Iqbal Momoniat, and Neil Goedhals formed a friendship which lead them to playing music. They called themselves the Prisoners Go Go Band. They never played a live show - neither the music they played nor the ethnic make up of the group allowed for that - but they did record their music. In a desolate part of Johannesburg, in Yunus’s DIY recording studio, the three drafted some friends (the “special guest on fire”) and recorded hours worth of songs and sounds. From that they came up with an album and had it pressed up as a LP. However, through mishaps and circumstance, it was a record few people got to hear and even fewer possessed - less than 100 copies were circulated.
In 2007, a long-time fan of the label, a South African, tipped S.S. to Neil Goedhals solo work (to be released on S.S. at a future date). Goedhals was a conceptual artist and guitarist for the great SA post-punk band KOOS. He took his life in 1991, but left a lot of great music. Dutch writer Fred de Vries was introduced to S.S. De Vries has written about Goedhals and KOOS. He also turned us on to Prisoners Go Go Band. Upon first listen, it was obvious that Live! At the Butchery with Special Guests on Fire deserved a second life. Hell, it was one of those records that belonged on the Nurse With Wound list and in every Mutant Sounds fans library. And it certainly would have a good home on S.S. Records. Four years ago we started to make that happen, and now it exists.
Live! At the Butchery with Special Guests on Fire has been mastered from one of the few clean copies of the original record. The original handmade packaging has been recreated tob be as close to the original as possible. Liner notes telling the story of the record, culled from the words of one of the band members, are included. Sample this, this and this. (SS054)