Devils Hole Gang – Free The People E.P. 7″




I heard Isn’t it a few years ago on a mix CD that a friend made for me and it got my attention straight away. Unfortunately he never wrote down the names of neither the bands nor the songs on the compilation, and for reasons unknown I never got around to ask him for it. Anyway, when I saw this record I just knew that it had to be good, or at least interesting, judging from the looks of the members. And boy am I glad I decided to pick it up!

I guess Free the people was meant to be the hit, but it’s way to long and more or less an ordinary boring political rock song. But the B-side is a completely different and quirky British story to say the least. Isn’t it is such a hit, isn’t it? Utterly brilliant as they say and as great D.I.Y. pop as The Dole, The Sods (U.K.), Petticoats, Funboy Five etc. Sometimes Britain is exactly as great as her name, isn’t she? The next song sure is something to look forward to as it’s more punky pop greatness, and Chris Elliott sure gives J Mascis a run for his money in that breathtaking guitar solo! It’s actually a fucking amazing guitar solo, even for a guy like me who normally don’t enjoy public masturbation.

Country: UK
Year: 1979
Label: Slow Burning Fuse
Format: 7″
Songs:
Free the people.mp3
Isn’t it.mp3
Something to look forward to.mp3

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37 Responses to Devils Hole Gang – Free The People E.P. 7″

  1. Jay Thurston says:

    This is utterly amazing mate! Cheers!

  2. hairy palm says:

    Horrible. My 3-years-old son plays better music.

  3. dewey decimal says:

    shit I read the description of this and immediately lifted the needle on side 4 of Double Nickles on the Dime, 42 tracks into 45 (!) tracks of true utter brilliance to listen to this one! Utter brilliance–no way–killer fun, hell yeah! Track 3 busts a nut for sure. Double Nickels, Zen Arcade, London Calling= utter brilliance. The Devil’s Hole Gang=a fun bit of trivia.

  4. Hmmm, I don’t know about the music, but the outfit of these geezers and the band name sure are KILLER!!!!!!!

  5. brian says:

    Thank you and I’ve wanted to hear this one for years. I’ll take it over the minutemen, husker du and the clash anyday.

  6. dewey decimal says:

    there’s no accounting for taste Brian! Like I said this Devils Hole Gang is fun kbd and a great listen, but I think Peter went a little far with his “utter brilliance” characterization.

  7. The Flakes // Drummer says:

    I know it’s confusing but it’s Martin aka The Faintest Ideas // Drummer who posted this. Just after the post date you can see who posted it.

  8. Martin says:

    Maybe I should start calling myself NOT PETER!!! //Drummer when I post instead. I can’t remember this being a subject while TV EYE posted here…

  9. dewey decimal says:

    Hey Peter and Martin, that is weird, when I view this post it shows the posting date but does not show who posted it. Sorry for the mis-attribution of the “utter brilliance” commentary, Peter!

  10. dewey decimal says:

    Correction–it does identify the post-er on the home page, but not on the page that shows the comments. My bad. Thanks to both of you for all the excellent posts.

  11. Brian Devilhole Defender says:

    Let’s get to the bottom of this who said what controversy. Or actually I’ll just say this record has three totally great songs that would fit right in on the first Clash record, top 99 percent of Husker Du, and one of the members could pass for D. Boon’s lost brother. I think its out of context to compare this fury-filled DIY record (which is all rockers/no arty shit/with hooks and cool guitarwork) to big famous music we’ve all heard 10000 times. Devil’s Hole Gang I WOULD consider UTTERLY BRILLIANT along the lines of the 1st Treatment 7″ and it bugs me to hear little bands put down for being “trivia”. Again, are these songs as good as songs on the early sides by these other bands? As good as early Clash, better than Husker, and not really comparable to Paranoid Time (much less the very dissimilar and overrrated Double Nickels).

  12. 894900 says:

    very good single now on my wanted list!

  13. dewey decimal says:

    Brian, not putting down little bands at all. We all love KBD, that’s why we frequent this site. But let’s not get so caught up in a KBD fog that we equate rarity and obscurity to brilliance. Sure, there is brilliant KBD stuff that escaped attention, but this record isn’t in that category. On second listening, it’s barely even interesting. The first track is shit. The second track is pretty generic for the time. I like the energy of the third track, but it’s not great either.

  14. Brian Devilhole says:

    “Trivia” is a putdown that makes you sound like an academic dilettante. In my opinion, the first track is a rightous people’s anthem that might be a little slower, but like I said its no weaker than “Hate and War” and has a greater chorus/slight reggae influence. I bet it sounded quite powerful live nnd the gritty production serves it well. “Isnt It” has ahead of its time ironic lyrics and a Wire-like structure while the third tops it all with energy and anger. Perhaps you are clinging to your classic rock jr. records and see KBD as an eltitist hobby. There is no KBD fog if music is your only interest . . . some are better than others but most are at leaat honest, energetic and innovative . . . and free or corporate BS. Devil’s Hole Gang . . . generic . . . just look at the picture sleeve . . . this was a firey working class band that couldn’t had an album like THIRD WORLD WAR’s first if they’d had the breaks. I’ll put it in my top DIY obscurities . . . but you I wonder if you but the majority of punk in the meaningless trivia section and wouldn’t even listen if the downloads weren’t free. Clash, Husker Du, and Minutemen are occified as Elvis and for rock music to did its way out bads like DHG are inspirational … a political band sounding nothing like Crass or Gang of 4 was certainly not generic in those days. If you can anymore specifically deride the “KBD Fog” that “decieves” us and prove these records are mere fun time-wasters, I respectfully await your illumination. NO STRIFE: JUST HONEST TALK: THAT’S WHAT THE NET’S ABOUT. (Brian, age 31, Portland Oregon.)

    • Doug says:

      I understand the people who want to cut this down. We want to think this is derivitive and poseurish…too bad for us, it’s not. Even in 2009. This is the first 7″ I’ve found on KBD that really has me thinking…not just loving. This site has tons of great music, but this is an extraordinary 7″…seriously.

      I’m also an old guy. Like Dewey Decimal, I am 43. I’ve been listening to these bands since I was in 7th grade…I have a huge list of bands that deserve attention, and because of this posting, I now include Devils Hole Gang, a band I should have heard in the old days, as a great friggin’ band!

      I’d still like them, even if they just made this 7″ last week. In fact…I wish they had…I’m having a hard time finding more than 12 friggin’ great new bands…any suggestions?

  15. Brian Devilhole says:

    Damn I meant could when i said couldn’t. Always the problem. Devil’s Hole Gang + Idle Rich = Third World War.

  16. The Flakes // Drummer says:

    It always amuse that people have the energy to discuss music at this level when it all comes down to taste in the end :). I don´t mind I just wish I “understood”. But that´s what music geeks are for, right.

    I think this is a charming record as long as I skip the first track. Think it would´ve stand out a little bit more if it had been a 1978 release. It sounds a bit too late for trend in the end to me.

  17. The Flakes // Drummer says:

    By the way the front sleeve is brilliant and the outlook of the Devils is hard to beat. Pure punx!

  18. brian, D-Hole Champion says:

    Taste. Yes. I agree. Once upon a time people would spend great amounts of time disgusting taste . . . aesthetics. It is a science of personality and perception. It also reveals subconscious prejudices, ethics, utopian dreams.

    I’m disappointed that you used the cliche “geek” (since when does passion make one a geek? The
    nineties I guess. Also, “late in the trend”.
    So you’d enjoy it more a year older? For all we
    know it WAS recorded in 1978. Are recording
    dates the fulcrum upon which taste is decided?

    Look at the hard-line graphics and hear the gritty
    low-budget rock sound. To my taste this is an
    archetypal, genuine politically charged punk
    classic from a tight, imaginative band so far
    outside the punque fashion brigade they remain
    unknown. A top band worthy of research and, I
    hope, archival release. As I said the only comparison I can make is THIRD WORLD WAR who
    recorded in ’70 and perhaps re-arranged with
    flash lead guitar, the first CLASH album.
    Otherwise TELESCOPES’ “Bye Byes Aren’t Nice” or
    TREATMENT’s “Stamp Out Mutants” seem hippie-punk
    equivalent . . . tho DHG seem more towerblock
    folk than caravan dwellers.

    Either “taste” for you is a completely submental
    phenomenon (which I hardly believe) or you’ve
    failed to state your case convincingly. You’ve
    derided a classic 7″ with a yawn and a slur just
    as Sounds or NME often did and I challege you
    to listen again and do better. Of course I’ve
    badgered you into a corner and discussions like
    these I have with my friends all the time. They
    hate me for it and laugh when terms like “music
    nerd” offend me. I simply want people to talk stuff with more depth and less insults (although
    I’ve insulted you for which I apologize; I do
    respect the “crime” of not liking a record) and
    personally I never liked T-Rex or Swell Maps or
    Elvis Costello much. And as for this all being
    a waste of time there’s nothing I’d rather do
    on a coffee break than talk punk rockers.

  19. The Flakes // Drummer says:

    I admire your passion for the Devils Brian :). That’s great! To me geek hasn’t a bad meaning. I’m a music geek myself though I’ve never been able or interested to discuss music in the way you and many other people do. Maybe that’s why I became a “doer” meaning playing music instead of discussing it. Then there’s people who do both. I’m not one of them.

    Yes, the year IS important. I think all music shall be placed in context. If the Devils had been released in 1954 it would’ve been mindblowing. Does it mean I would liked it more? Probably. But since this apparently is made in 1978 I think it’s a bit more interesting then before. Better? No.

    So Brian, if this is a challenge or something I can’t compete with you. I can just say what I think when hearing something. I can’t defend it or discuss WHY my taste is like it is. It’s just is. Take it or leave it. Like it or lump it(ops! what’s FU’s doing in here?).

  20. I didn’t really expect this discussion when I posted the record, but it’s nice to see that it really makes people bring out the big guns to defend it.

  21. [email protected] says:

    SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO- EXCELLENT, THE OTHERS JUST A POOR EFFORT. STILL IF I GET 1 ILL KEEP IT FOR THE STLFT EFFORT

    CHEERS CORPUS 77

  22. dewey decimal says:

    Brian: Yer a little uptight about yer punk rock! Funny that you take the negative feedback on this record personally, but you’re the only one hurling insults. Believe me, I don’t put “the majority of punk,” or even this record, in the “meaningless trivia section.” I just think this record sucks, that’s all. (Age 43, Portland, Oregon).

  23. clayton s. says:

    I’d like to know who these guys from Portland are talking about this record. I had a sleeveless copy of this one at some point (it really needed that sleeve, such a good one), you guys shoulda came over and had your fight over it then. (Age 27, Portland Oregon).

  24. The Flakes // Drummer says:

    My aunt is living and teaching swedish at some university in Portland, Oregon(age 61), one of my cousins(hi Joakim) is still living at home. None of them like punk rock and doesn’t care for the Devils Hole Gang if that helps.

  25. Nik says:

    Well kids….I read this with some bemusement.
    I was DHG’s drummer for many years and I have umpteen copies of this floating around indoors. If anyone wants one just let me know.
    Free The People just wasn’t done justice here. Live, this was a powerhouse!!! Twice the speed with more balls than a 70s porn film.
    Something To Look Forward To was one of Steve’s (bassist) less, how shall I put this, esoteric songs. Isn’t It shows how bizarre this guy’s musical output can be.
    They WERE a fine band…and Lads?? If you’re ever thinking of getting back together, I’m interested ok?
    Take care
    Nik

  26. Baggerman says:

    ahoi !
    Something To Look Forward To is in my humble opion one of the greatest songs that was made in the `70. and it´s still great in 2010.
    ———-
    hairy palm says:
    December 9, 2008 at 6:11 pm

    Horrible. My 3-years-old son plays better music.
    better music ? you tell your 3-years-old son, what is better music ???
    Who makes the Nazis ???
    ??? better than Devils Hole Gang ???

  27. Chris g says:

    psh.. you totally love public masturbation

  28. Nathan G says:

    What a nice record!!

  29. Levi Johnston says:

    The Devil’s Hole Gang is a not so veiled reference to the Glory Hole Gang. In my desperate years, I probably pleasured these cunts through a hole in the sheetrock. “Free the People” is indeed a populist song but it is more ambivalent for those who were left with cum on our chins.

  30. My name is Chris Elliott. I wrote this song and played guitar. If you are suprised that im still alive,dont worry,so am I. I still write but have not performed for years. i live in Lancashire in poverty. artistic and financial. Help me.

  31. Monger says:

    The guitar solo on the last track reminds me of early 70’s Hawkwind for some reason,which isnt bad thing.

  32. exocetera says:

    So Chris E. still breathes. As a former bassist, I find this difficult to comprehend. The man wrote some memorable songs. Nik the drummer was always the best musician. He tolerated our over-indulgences and sometimes we were as good as anyone. Some tapes still survive. Special Brancg Boogie, Out Of Fuel In Solihull, Bdesprinsg and Time The Great Healer come to mind. A time to look back on with a smile and some pride. I hope you thrive on.

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