Monday 24 March 2008

A brief history of Pindown

by Jason Whittaker.

Misanthropic university lecturer with guilt complex about comfortable middle-class lifestyle + balding civil servant staring at 40 with a gnawing sense of under-achievement.

Pindown formed in 1998, when industrial metal fret-monkey Martyn "Roki" Peck approached Nigel Ball and Jason Whittaker with the lame idea of forming a WhiteSlug cover band. The band performed once under the laughably pretentious name "Omega Point" and, despite the absence of covers, shocked no one by sounding exactly like WhiteSlug anyway. Roki left the band, bored after one gig and desperate to play covers for cash in a Clash tribute band and it was left to Nigel to relaunch the new line-up with a less shit name. Unfortunately, "Pindown" was the best he could come up with. Inspired by a banned restraint technique used in children’s homes or by a WWF pro-wrestling show, depending on which member of the band you talk to and how drunk they are. The name is of course a metaphor for the doomed struggle for individual freedom of expression in a world of institutionalised repression. And nothing symbolises that better than a sweaty man in tight trunks trapped in a half-nelson.

The band got off to an unusually active start, managing another gig a mere 12 months after the Omega Point debut. Since then, Jason’s abject indifference to entertaining the public and Nigel’s passive-aggressive refusal to write more than one set of lyrics per year has left the band vying with Earth Mother Fucker for the title of least prolific band in Ipswich. Their solitary recorded output, "Democracy in Action" was eventually released in 2004, but immediately withdrawn from public circulation with the realisation that it had become obsolete as soon as it was complete. The band emerged briefly in 2005 to screen a video for "Blood Brand" at the Ipswich Corn Exchange. Disturbingly reminiscent of "Sign o’ the Times" by Prince, with more swearing, the film provides an rare insight into Nigel’s autistic fascination with typography. It has since been screened in Europe and the US.

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