It’s probably fair to say that when the Sex Pistols sang Anarchy in the UK they were not necessarily thinking of Nelson in Lancashire but it was in that small mill town in 1976 where Andrew Nicholson and Philip Husband took up the call to arms and formed The Pathetix. Joined by drummer Terry Sanders, who bought his drumkit for the princely sum of a pint of mild, they ‘performed’ a farcical first gig. Just 10 minutes in, the band no longer able to stand the appalling feedback trash their gear and walk off stage to huge applause, a legend is born and a scene is created.
Recruiting bassist Gary Brown and guitar hero Pete Rowlands the band record one of the few truly original records of the punk era, ‘Aleister Crowley’ on their own No Records label. Based on a drunken night spent around an Ouija board the song immediately demanded attention.
"The Pathetix make a great entry into the rat race with ‘Aleister Crowley’. These sprightly young sprogs deserve encouragement for going it alone. An original idea brilliantly realised."
Max Bell, NME
"‘Crowley’ is highly lovable thanks largely to the rubbery bass line and snake like guitar. Congratulations Nelson, Lancashire – you’ve just been put on the map. "
Giovanni Dadomo, Sounds
"Atmospheric, bass line based record that builds into a cleverly arranged chorus – great. The B-side is a supercharged punk thrash-along, inspired couple of tracks. "
Mark P, Sniffing Glue
With a distribution deal through Rough Trade the record reaches number 9 in the Independent Charts, nationwide gigs ensue and the band come to the attention of fledgling Manchester based record label TJM. Duly signed they undertake a UK tour with the pre-cabaret, relatively slim-line Mick Hucknall.
"The Pathetix hold down the headline slot – instant improvement. This lot have style, panache, power and punch. A shower to watch out for."
Ian Ravendale, Sounds
"The Pathetix are better than any of the new bands around London, I think they could become really big."
Pete Davies, UK Subs
Gary Brown exits stage left. Philip moves to playing bass and the band record a second single for TJM – Love in Decay.
"Starting with classic punkoid neo heavy riff, bass and drums come in - striding pressure on, pressure off. A great sound – this is the modern soundtrack. "
"Their single on TJM, ‘Love In Decay’ was excellent but the real high spots of their fine set were ‘What Do You Expect From Me?’ and ‘Soldier Tommy’ – both full of venom and power."
Manchester Evening News
The TJM experience is a disaster for The Pathetix, the record isn’t pushed so they give TJM the push and release a third single for obscure French label L’Invitation au Suicide – Apocalypse in 7 Notes
"The band are strange and bewitching. You try and pin them down but they slip away, each time escaping with an unexpected twist."
"I thought it was really interesting. Well thought out, good creative songs."
John Peel, BBC Radio 1
It is now four years down the line and the band have reached the point of no return, wanting different things Andrew, Philip, Terry and Pete amicably go their own ways. Terry plays with a few local bands for a while before putting down his drumsticks; Pete plays on and on, he really has no choice it would be a crime for him to stop; Philip and Andrew form a hip hop/punk hybrid called Trash Culture in the mid 80’s but are three years too early for the indie/dance crossover.
This is not however where the story ends, fast forward to the present day and Andrew and Philip are back doing what they do best, making original music with something to say. 40 years after that chaotic but inspirational first gig the duo have been back in the studio and the Righteous Men ep is the result and I think you'll agree it is a result. And as 2018 begins they are taking to the stage again, watch out world, you have been warned.
1978 Aleister Crowley / Don’t Touch My Machine / Snuffed It
1979 Love in Decay / Nil Carborundum / What Do You Expect?
1981 Apocalypse in 7 Notes / Leave Me Alone / Dining On Expenses
L’Invitation au Suicide
2018 The Righteous Men EP - Nelson’s Arms / Lust / Nowhere Men