Burning Idols were formed in the early '80's in Southend, and the original
line up was Dave Crix on Vocals and Bass, Rob Botfield on Guitar and Vocals,
and Trevor Little on Drums. Speaking to the Evening Echo in 1982, Dave
said "We originally started when our guitarist Rob bought the Stiff
Little Fingers album 'Inflammable Material' and decided to buy a guitar
and get a band going." He continues "I write 75% of the songs
and one of them is called 'Dead on Arrival' which I wrote about the death
of Malcom Owen from The Ruts, who died from heroin addiction." Asked
about other songs, Dave said "'Bomb in London' is about the IRA bombings
over the last few years and was the first song we wrote where people said
we sounded a bit Clash-y". Also, "'Never be Free' is another
of our songs which says that anarchy will never work because you can never
have 100% freedom. 'Give Me a Chance' is about not agreeing with the things
they teach you in school . They teach you how to wrote poetry , but nothing
about the basic and important things in life such as how to sign on at
the dole or claim your tax back".
1983 saw the band playing live a lot, including a legendary performance at Crocs nightclub with Kronstadt Uprising early in the year. Various members came and went over time, and the majority of 1984 was spent with Andi Schurer occupying the Idols drum stool, but with commitments to The Prey and Anorexic Dread, the situation wasn't to be permanent, although this line up played some notable gigs, with one at The Pink Toothbrush supporting Tenpole Tudor being of special note.
The band hit a creative peak around this period, with the introduction of songs like 'Forever', 'Whitehouse Asylum' and 'Another Song about Johnny'. At this point in time Alan Symons was on Bass and Lee Andrews was in on drums, and this line up put out a six song cassette in 1985 - called 'Burnt Offering' - of the best numbers in their set thus far. ('Give Me A Chance', 'Bomb in London', 'The Fight Goes On', 'Whitehouse Asylum', 'Another Song About Johnny', 'Forever').
Following more line up changes, Paul Deacon came in on Drums and the Idols sported the classic line up of Dave Crix (aka Dave Bear) on Vocals + Guitar, Larry Brennan (ex-Death Obsession + The Last Laugh) on Bass and Paul Deacon on Drums. This line up would play some great local gigs, especially with fellow punks The Kronstadt Uprising and The Prey at Reids on Monday December 23rd 1985. 1986 saw more gigging, culminating in a great show at Reids with Eddie and The Hot Rods at the end of the year.
In the late '80s a change was
needed though and a name and line up change followed, with Dave and Larry
carrying on their respective roles of Dave on Vocals and guitar and with
Larry on Bass and Vocals. The band changed their name to Rock Ola Crazy
and entered the 1990's under this moniker, and recorded a demo containing
the classic song 'Heartbroke and Crazy' that appeared on a cassette compilation
in local magazine Stuff. Dave managed to continue his love of Mexican
Food, French Brandy and American Motorcycles and the band played on, playing
further and further afield before eventually calling it a day.
It is the early to mid eighties period that the Burning Idols material has most pertinence to this site though, and hopefully at some point their songs will see the light of day on CD. The Band can also be viewed on the Lampshade produced video, Southend Rock.
'Southend Punk Volume One' - Features The Burning Idols song 'Give Me A Chance' - CD (Angels in Exile Records AIECD 004) - 2020