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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Wonder if any longer-term residents have heard of this group called Hornsey At War (who put out a homemade record in the early 1980s?


No one seems to know too much about them (no address on the record sleeve) but I can't imagine you would call yourselves Hornsey At War if you didn't know N8.

Any other chat about third division bands from round here much appreciated.

Tags for Forum Posts: punk

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You never know where these names originate. About ten years ago, I came across a band who promoted themselves as being a Harringay band. They even had a number called the Harringay Rhapsody. When I asked them about it, their response was to say that they're ostensibly from Harringay!

With Hornsey at War, I wonder if there's a connection to the 1968 Hornsey Art School 'revolution'? They might well have been inspired by the late sixties rebellion

Graham Lewis from Wire was studying at Hornsey Art College when the band got together... And Viv Albertine from the Slits lived on Clarendon Road at some point in her childhood. Although I grant you that neither of those punk/Hornsey crossover moments was probably enough to prompt a band name

Just found their eponymous song Hornsey at War on Youtube and loved it...

(71) hornsey at war-hornsey at war - YouTube

...basslines very similar to the Fall and once a flavour of the month for John Peel apparently, so nothing not to love in my book. 

Re other obscure bands, I used to go with my brother to watch the Space Chickens, who were big in Holloway in their heyday

Space Chickens is a new name to me! Where were the venues in Holloway?

Space Chickens are still gigging - At The priory Pub in early May I believe...

Viv Albertine was very much a local gal and also went to Hornsey Art School. I saw her playing at Ally Pally park one summer.

I seem to recall Hornsey at War being the title of a Hornsey Historical Soc book, or article. It wasn't about a punk band though ...

Ally Pally: If that's the Slits show there are a bunch of photos of it floating around. Was it a Jobs For Change benefit or something?

Remember being told that the fine art dept at Hornsey was based up at Alexandra Palace for a while (one of the Raincoats definitely studied up there).

In terms of DIY, early 80s noise, there was a label called NB (most famous act, The Door And The Window) whose address was on Ferrestone Road in N8 (not far from the YMCA).

Sure there must have been some other groups kicking around this part of the world back then - I presume it was all low-rent bedsitland - but yet to find anyone who was on the Ladder/Gardens.

The band I was in played support to The Raincoats at the Crypt club in Paddington at one of their very early gigs.  They were incredibly nervous so asked if they could go on before us.  They did, most people left after as they had come to see the Raincoats, we played one song and the police came in to shut the place down because it only had a 10pm licence.  We played only once more supporting Cabaret Voltaire and Throbbing Gristle at the same venue and my only memory of it was how incredibly confrontational the audience were.  while I was playing (drums) I was hit by a beer bottle and, strangely, showers of cooked brown rice.  That was the end of my musical career!  

I lived in Kilburn and the other band members resided in Brixton, West Hampstead and Ennis Road in Stroud Green so I suppose there was a very vague local connection.  

My husband worked with Viv Albertine’s Mum Kay at Camden Town Housing Office, although we didn’t know each other at the time.

Loving the sound of your group - did you record anything? Throbbing Gristle/N8 connection is that the band's electronics whizz Chris Carter was part of the same Carter family that ran the framers in Crouch End.

We did a John Peel session but broke up before there was any chance of releasing anything.  Our singer Anne (who gave us the band name ‘Period’) went on to form a band called The Lucies as bass player and also worked with Scritti Politti.


Ooh. That's very cool. Not one I have ever heard before and I am the sort of gonk who prides themselves on knowing 'Peel bands'. 

The only Sunderland punk people I would have heard would have been later: Toy Dolls, Red Alert et al, but they wouldn't have got on a bill with the Raincoats!!



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