Wednesday, June 27, 2012

999: Live at the Vortex, 1977

Like lot of punk-era British bands that got slagged off at home, 999 toured Canada, inducing my hometown of Winnipeg. Hence why the band was comparatively well-known known among my peers in the early 80's and helps to explain how I found not one but THREE 999 LP's - High Energy Plan, The Biggest Prize in Sports and Concrete - in a friend's basement. I loved all three album but, predictably High Energy Plan, which cherry picks the band's first two albums, was the one that made me a fan for life.

This rough '77 bootleg captures the crackling energy of the band's initial outburst. Like many of their pub rock peers (Nick Cash had been in Kilburn and the Highroads with Ian Dury, Pablo LaBritain was an old friend of Joe Strummer who played, briefly, with The Clash early on) waffled between rock classicism and punk modernity (which the years have gone onto prove weren't as far apart as all they were made to seem at the time). As someone who felt that same division, I was  sucked into the band's high-energy mix of pop, punk, glam, reggae and whatnot.

01. Nasty Nasty
02. Pick It Up
03. Hit Me
04. Quite Disappointing
05. Tell Me Something Nice
06. My Street Stinks
07. Emergency
08. I'm Alive
09. No Pity
10. Chicane Destination
11. My Street Stinks
12. Nobody Knows
13. Nasty Nasty
14. I'm Alive 

    Bass, Vocals – Jon Watson
    Drums – Pablo Labritain
    Guitar, Vocals – Guy Days
    Vocals, Guitar – Nick Cash

A forty-something music store lifer said to me,  "Nobody cares about 999".
Prove him wrong in the COMMENTS section!!

Support the band!






  1. Let us know if YOU care about 999
    I got lots more rarities to come...

  2. 999 are a great band done a few support slots with them a couple of years ago keep up the good work-pod-city kids

    1. I bet you have some good 999 stories!

  3. One of the highest energy life bands i've ever experienced!

    1. Winnipeggers still talk about their shows here thirty years ago!

  4. Loved them most in their Biggest Prize-era, the whole record is a big hit and definitly one of the real punk classics.
    Can't wait for the rarities you've mentioned!

    1. i love the first few records - BPIS is a good one, if not my fave.

  5. Your friend was half right... Not enough people care about 999. I've heard them described as punk's Slade! Though from where I'm sat Slade were just a good time rock 'n' roll band anyway. Great band, great post.

    1. 'Not enough people care about 999."
      well-put, I'll keep working on that!

  6. Hi - punks from Zagreb, Croatia here! Feel free to check out our newest album and download it for free or with donation here


  7. I love this band. I liked their newest album too. Unlike most my favourite album is The Biggest Prize in Sport probably due to it being the first one that I heard.

    1. Interesting to have two votes for TBPIS!

  8. Make it 3 for The Biggest Prize In Sport.

    1. I LOVE 999! Biggest Tour In Sport is my favorite--just to be contentious! :)

  9. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU (one for each 9!). I am a big believer that not enough people talk about this band and give them their due! I had Biggest Prize and a compilation record-- High Energy Plan sounds about right. 999 had equal time on the old turntable with everything else in my collection. A totally rocking, infectious band. Is not Homicide one of the great rock anthems??? Love it MRML!!!

  10. 999 was and still is one of the hardest working bands around. Started following them in the States around 1977 and have not stopped. The Boston Crew is alive and strong. We are waiting for their return like some cargo cult

  11. "We are waiting for their return like some cargo cult"


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