(4 / 5)
A bumper 56 track, four CD box set which offers up Anti Nowhere League’s first three albums – plus a disc of non-LP B-sides and rarities from 1981-87.
The first disc gives us the band’s debut album, which topped the indie chart in 1982 and also dented the Top 30 of the UK album chart, peaking at # 24. It features the indie chart topping single “Streets Of London”.
The second CD, “Live In Yugoslavia”, also hit the UK album chart and reached the second spot in the independent chart. The third disc delivers the rare “Perfect Crime” album. The fourth disc contains indie chart toppers “Woman” and “Let’s Break The Law”, plus the Top Five cut, “For You”, and “So What”, which was later covered by rock legends Metallica.
In 1992, ANL’s singer Animal aka Nick Culmer, was invited by Metallica to appear as a special guest with them at Wembley Arena, when they did their cover version of “So What” in front of 10,000 fans. It blew the roof off the place.
The Rarities disc in this new set, also includes six sought-after mid 80’s demos, and alternative mixes of cuts such as “Animal”, “Woman” and “World War III”. Each disc comes in a cardboard wallet with its original LP art, and the clam shell box also contains a 20-page booklet featuring pictures of all the records, rare photos of the band and detailed liner notes.
The band is still to this day fronted by vocalist Animal, and they are a fixture at many of the European Punk Festivals, such as Rebellion and Punk N Disorderly. Anti Nowhere Leagues’s first gig was as a three piece at the 1980 Chaos Show at St Mark’s Hall, Royal Tunbridge Wells on 31st March 1980. A six band extravaganza of local punk credible bands.
Their first single, a cover version of Ralph McTell’s “Streets of London” was released in November 1981. The single peaked at # 48 in the UK Singles Chart. The B-side of the single, “So What” – which was peppered with foul language – became the group’s anthem. Copies of the single were seized from the record’s distributor, by the Metropolitan Police’s Obscene Publication Squad.
In 1982, ANL took part in the “So What Tour” with Chelsea, Chron Gen and The Defects. They released their debut album, “We Are…The League” that same year, and it reached No. 24 in the UK Album Chart, and stayed in the chart for 11 weeks. They ended that year with the ‘Hardcore Storms America’ tour, with the UK Subs. They ended that year with the
Anti Nowhere League went to Yugoslavia to record a live album, appropriately named “Live In Yugoslavia”, but they ran into serious trouble with the authorities there, who demanded that the band remove references that Animal had made about the country’s President Tito, who had recently died.
In 1987, Anti-Nowhere League split up. But there was a belated ‘farewell’ show at the Victoria Hall in Tunbridge Wells, in 1989, which was recorded and issued as “Live Animals”. In 1996, they were back and signed to Impact Records for their EP “Pig Iron”.
The band released eight studio albums between 1982 and 2017, their last one was called “League Style”. Eight singles and two EPs between 1981 and 1996. Six live albums and nine compilations, plus a DVD from 2008, shot in Milton Keynes.
By Christopher Weston
(2 / 5) ‘OK Zone’
(3 / 5) ‘Decent Zone’
(4 / 5) ‘Super Zone’
(5 / 5) ‘Awesome Zone’