Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Internationalists: Let The Pressure Start (1986)

If you checked out the reggae-punk attack of England's The Internationalists on the 'Not Just Mandela' compilation (see HERE), then you will be happy as a ребенок on May Day to find out that they put out a little-known LP back in 1986. It bristles with a kind of righteous political fury that would become extinct in a matter of a few years. While pretty orthodox lyrically, thanks to inventive guitarist Richard Hogarth (who's played with The Gangsters, John Otway, Attila the Stockbroker and Eddie & the Hot Rods) the music hews to no party line. Sandinista!-era Clash, with a lot more wind instruments and a whole lot less farting around, would be a good point of reference.

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 (Go Discs???)
    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

On this re-up, I've set the track-listing right but it is still an imperfect rip. Any one possessing a better quality version of the album is encouraged to send it along!

COMMENTS about the album or further information about the band wold be welcomed!


  1. Your feedback on this rarity is most Welcome!!!

  2. Sounds interesting.
    Not something I've heard/ been aware of- despite huge collection of late 70s/ early 80s indie/ post punk stuff. This is what makes MRML essential!

  3. Ah, the missing track... Cheers, Jeff.

    1. Enjoy. I still hope to get a better rip someday...

  4. Thanks, not heard this before but the taster whetted the appetite.

    1. Always glad to know that the samples I provide serve a purpose...

  5. Another band that kept the reggae-punk vibe alive

  6. Wow, I really like this. True the sound is poor but I've tweaked the files to reduce the hiss, boost the bass and the normalization and it sounds a lot better. The Tighten Up track is especially good. Nice find. Thanks

    1. Any chance you could send us the files of this 'remastered' version?


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