can I see? LAND How far? AS FAR AS MY ARM Over your head JANIFACY FARM
……so I was sitting next to Iain in maths and we were messing around with
a calculator and the letter "E" came up. "What's that stand for?" said
Iain. "Elephant" I replied.
Zig Zag magazine came with a free flexi disc of 13th Floor Elevators and
Red Crayola. We loved it. Turned out that Mayo Thompson had reformed Red
Crayola as a two-piece, just guitar and drums. "That's a cool idea" I
thought. Got hold of a white label copy of "God Bless The Red Crayola
and All Who Sail In Her". Loved it. Bought the new Red Crayola album "Soldier
Talk". Loved it.
Iain spent all week queuing for the Honky Tonk sale and got a drum kit
We started practicing at lunch time. We would watch The Sullivans, have
a tin of rhubarb with ice cream and chocolate sauce and then play some
Zero 6 - Monday night musicians workshop - woman who thought she was Annie
Nightingale. Anyone could play there. Some guys at school were talking
of putting a band together. Me and Iain decided to beat them to it.
Farm took to the stage of the Zero 6 at 11.15pm on Monday 28th January
1980. Wedged in between the bastions of the local heavy metal scene two
school kids, one who couldn't sing and one who couldn't drum, set about
combining the avant garde of sixties psychedelia and Rough Trade post
punk discordance with lyrics based mainly on elephants and mackerels.
The audience were stunned and bewildered at the sheer audacity of the
duo but gradually, as their set passed through Red Crayola covers, to
a punk version of "White Horses" they began to get it. "Do another song
about Elephants!" some one screamed. "OK" I said, swiftly changing Red
Crayola's "Sheriff Jack" to "Sheriff Elephant".
So, instead of being bottled off we got a rapturous reception and had
to play "Elephants" twice.
I went to see Red Crayola at the Clarendon. Lora Logic was on sax. It
was good. I saw Mayo afterwards and gave him a tape of the gig. He wrote
back and said he liked "Sheriff Jack/Elephant". We had the approval of
the man himself.
So then Iain goes and enters us into the rock contest at Shrimpers. "What
did you do that for?" I screamed. "It'll be a laugh," said Iain.
Instead of practicing our songs we decided to make a load of props for
the stage. To warm up we supported the Regulators at the Top Alex. The
guy from New Crimes was there and wrote us a real good review.
May 1980 - Shrimpers Rock Contest. Half the school turned up. A mate's
dad owned a fish shop and got us some fresh mackerel to throw around during
"It's a Mackerel". Some of the punks got annoyed cos they thought we were
taking the piss. We got through to the final as highest runners up in
all the heats. Someone told us it was Barry Martin who swung it for us.
We got more props for the final - got rid of the fresh fish and used giant
stuffed ones. Got some fresh lettuces for "Old Mc Mackerel Had a Farm".
Loads of people turned up and chanted "FARM FARM FARM". It was brilliant.
Of course we came last. Outrageous Flesh won it but the best band there
was the Screaming Abdabs.
We were famous! We got to play guest band slot at the Zero 6 musicians
workshop and the Annie Nightingale woman had to call us "the amazing Janifacy
Farm" which made me smile. We were interviewed by New Crimes. Rough Trade
said they would distribute our record if we made one. We played with Outrageous
Flesh at Scamps - we had written a load of new songs about snails and
And sometime that autumn it sort of stopped - and that was that.
Profile by Kevin de Groot