Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Internationalists: Let The Pressure Start (1986)

The Internationalists – Let The Pressure Start
Label: Matchless Recordings – MR 11
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country:  UK
Released: 1986
Genre: Punk-Reggae
Also appear on V.A. Not Just Mandela (see HERE)


A1         Every Fifth Man Is Guilty        
A2         Tighten Up        
A3         Kicking On The Wrong Door        
A4         Breaking You Heart        
B1         Solidarity        
B2         Lay The Foundation        
B3         Let The Pressure Start        
B4         Tooth And Nail        
B5         Gun-Runner        


    Lead Guitar – Richard Holgarth
    Rhythm Guitar, Vocals – Colin Wikes
    Bass Guitar – Andy MacDonald
    Drums – Dannie Prévost

    Engineer – Frankie Falcon, Gavin Lewis , Rick Cassman
    Flute – Red Ruth Lomond
    Horns [Tenor Horn] – Jenny Clements
    Tenor Saxophone – Greg Camburn

Recorded at Triple X Studios London on 17th, 18th an 19th July 1986.

Liner Notes
"The Internationalists are a very young band firmly rooted in two traditions: that of a polemical music as old as socialism and that of the use of genuinely popular forms to express experiences of oppression, which is as old as folk music. In both respects they fall easily into the Matchless catalogue.

The primary thrust of their music derives from reggae, the quintessential late twentieth century form for the articulation of oppression and the articulation of solutions and calls to action. In the political use of what is rapidly becoming a universal form they have drawn on Bob Marley, Bunny Wailer, Misty, Aswad, The Zephaniah Band and U.B.40. Drawn on, but not imitated, for, although their instrumentation and musical phrasing echo the best of The Wailers at times and approach the rich textures of U.B.40 at others, the vocal delivery is uniquely post-Punk in anger, accent and attack. It is the voice of de-industrialized unemployed youth raised both against the conditions created by, and for, a realigning capitalism and in support of third world liberation movements fighting to establish alternatives. In this respect these Harlow based "leidermacher" stand alongside Dammers, Weller and Bragg.

The naked unambiguity of their position strikes many an historical resonance. Three examples: the didacticism of Brecht ("Tighten Up" might well have been dedicated to 'The Active Discontented' of our own time), the anthem making of Florence Rees ("Solidarity" and her 'Which Side Are You On?' share an underscoring of the need to continually affirm intra-class alliances) and the anger of the Sixties protest movements (Phil Ochs would have recognized the disgust animating "Kicking On the Wrong Door!").

Unlike many in the latter category however (locked into and finally lost on the college-based folk circuit as they were), The Internationalists have approached and won a wide and growing audience at the sharp end of created disadvantage which recognizes its own experience in their politics and music.

As you will hear, reggae is not the only form that these young musicians have adopted and adapted to the cause of distributive justice. The rock tracks included here carry the politics with equal facility as well as bearing witness to the skills and versatility of this committed young band which, in achieving a strong beginning, promises much for the future."

© John Mackie



  1. Alright, now is your time to speak your peace on the long-ignored red-punk band, The Internationalists

  2. Not heard this before, but looking forward to hearing another record featuring Richard Holgarth's usually stellar guitar work. Nice one, Jeff.

  3. Wow, I din;t even click to that name. Thanks for the heads-up, I added a Wiki link to his name in the post.

  4. nice one . . . thanks.

  5. Those are some seriously pretentious liner notes...I wonder if they are a joke? Album sounds cool, though. Thanks for another one I have never heard.

    1. The writer is a British poet, see here:

  6. I have never heard of this.
    It sounds like I should have.

  7. Deserves a CD release.Thanks Jeffen.The liner notes read like late 1970s NME.I am trying to place John Mackie ... there was a John Mackie in the Scottish band Scars.

    1. or even early eighties NME (circa Red Wedge).

  8. Thanks! I nearly wore out my LP copy back in the early 90s.

    1. If you're willing to do some scans of your copy - let me know!

  9. This John Mackie wrote for the Georgia Straight and Vancouver Sun, during the punk years (and then some...) in Vancouver.

    I'm sure his liner notes have *nothing* to do with giving music journalists a bad name...

    1. judging from the link above and this:

      I'm guessing they are different people.

  10. Is it just me or is this a bit fucked up? I assume the rip came from the French re-issue of the LP because the running order is completely different from the UK, which in itself is obviously not a problem. But the track listed as Tighten Up is actually just the the first 2'30" of Lay The Foundation, (which is then repeated in it's correct place at the start of that track), hence Tighten Up is missing. It also sounds a little warped in places, some of the guitars sound a little wobbly to my ears. Don't know if there's anything you can do about it, Jeff, but I'd love to hear a better rip if there is one.

  11. Damn!
    All three rips of this I've found of this have had problems. This version will have to do for now but I'll see what I can do about finding a proper version.

  12. Great to hear this again, many thanks for posting it.

    Our band The Price used to play in Harlow a fair bit in the mid-'80s-early '90s, mostly at The Square which was and indeed still is a fine venue. I remember the band's earlier incarnation as The Pressure, and when this album was released I for one thought they were destined for great things. Sadly this was not to be, but the album still sounds damn fine (even if it sounds as though side 2 is pressed a bit off centre?)

    Great stuff!

    1. Glad you dug the post.
      Thanks not only for the great music over the years but also for your blog, which is never ceases to intrigue (The Ruts, TV Smith and more! - hell yes!)

      P.S. Is any of The Price stuff still in print?


  14. was just about to put some meat on the bones here but noticed Christian has posted


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