Where the hell is Chris Dean???
The Redskins : Neither Washington
Nor Moscow (london Records)
The disappearance of one of the greatest frontmen I have ever seen live
just adds to the aura surrounding this important record. Recorded in
1984/85, it is a powerful document from the fight against the right
wing forces that dominated the British political landscape at that time.
It is a record fashioned from the heart of the 'Miners Strike'. Yet,
today, 'Neither Washington Nor Moscow' seems more relevant than it ever
has done - Dean's lyrics gaining new significance in the current political
For many people the Redskins were inspirational. They came and went
in the kind of way that you wish the Strokes would. One album, thank
you and goodnight. Leaving no trails of off-shoot projects and the like.
That is what now make this record seem like the aural equivalent of
Das Kapital. A collection of twelve songs set in stone but with tunes,
tunes, tunes. And a beat. The kind of record you don't hear anymore.
Think the Jam, the Clash, the Specials, Dexy's, the Fall and the Supremes
all rolled into one. No traces of Velvet Underground or Television here.
No Prog-like attempts. They want you to be focused on the task ahead
with all traces of apathy removed and it's there where their anger is
channelled. If that doesn't make them vital then nothing does. As they
themselves put it - "The Power Is Yours". I could write about
every track on the album but just trust me, it's all good.
After they disbanded rumour had it that they had recorded a follow-up(Dean
told me this himself in the dressing-room at the Leadmill, Sheffield)
but whether this is true remains a mystery to this day. It was whispered
that Dean had become a journalist in Paris and since then little has
been seen or heard. If anyone who knows where he is happens to be reading
this- tell Mr.Dean that his efforts were not in vain. Like the other
great album of 1985, Dexy's 'Don't Stand Me Down', this is one lost
classic that is surely due for reappraisal (how about a re-release with
the alternatve versions and deleted material?) and a new lease of life.
One of the great English bands who showed that it was better to burn
out than to fade away.
Buy Neither Washington Nor Moscow here