Rising like a phoenix from the ashes of the early eighties band, the new-look Verbal Warning spluttered into life in 2005.
Paul, switching to bass, decided to resurrect the band, and, after using the modern technology of the Internet to find Ian on drums and Lee on guitar, finally turned the years back to bring in John on vocals
Trying to keep the spirit of old school punk rock alive, the band retained some of the old songs as well as writing some new ones, as the new line-up took the band, having actually learnt how to play with their instruments, off into a slightly more melodic direction, making sure to retain the energy of Punk Rock. The comment at practices often being “Are we sure that’s fast enough?”
The nerve racking first gig for the new line-up was supporting Smother and the Peer Pressure Puppets at Mansfield ’s Town Mill on Friday, 27th May 2005 .
Gigs in Nottingham and Bishop’s Stortford followed before the band took to their first outdoor festival stage, courtesy of Blyth Power, at the Tallington Ashes in July of that year.A mix of Politics and humour rub shoulders and the band always try to make live shows as entertaining as possible, often doing two hour sets with new songs mixing with the old plus a selection crowd-pleasing covers.
By October 2005 VW had ticked one of their boxes by doing a gig at the Victoria Inn, Derby supporting Punk Rock pioneers the Vibrators and were beginning to build themselves a loyal following in the Nottingham, Derby and Mansfield areas.
The debut album A Kick in the Verbals was released in 2006 and regular live shows continued.
Since then they have supported a host of punk rock legends including the UK Subs, Eddie and the Hot Rods, TV Smith, Patrik Fitzgerald, John Otway, Penetration and the Lurkers.
They have also played a string of top festivals including Rebellion in Blackpool, the world’s biggest punk fest, Strummercamp, Glastonwick and Concrete Jungle along with some CAMRA beer festival appearances, another cause dear to the band’s hearts!
Finally, after a four-year wait, you can’t rush quality as they say, Verbal Warning have finally released their 2nd Album, the stunning Red Star Radio this summer (2010), which has been very well received, getting the thumbs up from Big Cheese magazine, and a 5 Star review in the Nottingham Post.
Both CD’s are available at their online shop at http://verbalwarning.bigcartel.com/
VERBAL Warning’s early eighties incarnation built themselves an uncompromising reputation in the Nottingham area and played with some of the big bands of the day.
Chumbawumba,, Conflict Napalm Death, and The Subhumans all shared bills with the original Warning.
The first gig as the tastefully named Dead Presleys, with Dave on vocals, Paul on guitar, Colin on bass and Phil playing drums was at Nottingham’s legendary Ad Lib Club on 7th December 1980. After it was discovered, in no uncertain terms, that the local Teddy Boy community didn’t share the bands sense of humour, the name was changed to Verbal Warning, with Wayne replacing Phil on drums and later sharing vocals with Dave after Paul Clarke, aka Adolf, was drafted in on drums.
A gig at the-then Trent Polytechnic on 14th May 1981, ended in a hasty exit after Singer Dave Smith was thought to have suggested he was glad IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands was dead, infuriating a large Irish contingent in the audience.
After Wayne quit the band the “classic” line-up of Paul on guitar, Adolf on drums, Colin on bass and Dave doing the vocals then evolved.
A gig at Beeston Community Centre on 11th July 1981 saw them on a bill with one Potential Difference whose vocalist John is now the front man for the modern-day VW.
A big gig at Beeston Community Centre (known affectionately as The Shed) on 24th October 1981 saw Warning on the same bill as Flux, Subhumans, The Fits and Anarchist Attack.
They even strutted their stuff in Long Eaton’s dance nightclub Isabellas in May 1982.Other notable 1982 gigs included an appearance with stalwarts Resistance 77 at The Black Horse, Somercotes, on 20th August, Resistance are still going strong today, in fact both bands appeared on the same bill again nearly 30 years later at the Mill in Mansfield, one at Sherwood Community Centre with Flux, Antisect, Black Anthem, and Blasphemy and a great gig at Derby’s Havana Club.
On 22nd January 1983, Warning appeared with Conflict and Omega Tribe at Nottingham’s Union Club but were forced to leave the venue quickly after plugs were pulled on them during their set and threats made when the band suggested to a hostile audience that Conflict and Crass were ‘only rock and roll bands’.
They also played at the city’s Yorker (now the Rose of England) on Mansfield Road with Rudimentary Peni, Business of Pleasure and Vexed.
When the Apostles didn’t turn up for a gig at St Anns’ Bluebell Hill Leisure Centre on 30th April, Warning found themselves headlining, supported by soon-to-be John Peel faves Napalm Death.
Warning also supported Dirt and Heresy in Colwick, Resistance 77 at the Hearty Good Fellow, and, once again, the Subhumans at the Ad Lib.
A trip to London saw the band play with The Apostles while a gig at The Meadows Community Centre on 13th August saw the band on with Chumbawumba, Disorder and Potential Threat.
An all-dayer at Colwick’s Vale Social Club on 10th March 1984 was headlined by Conflict, supported by bands including Antisystem, Icons of Filth, The Instigators, Verbal Warning, Hagar the Womb, Seats of Piss and The Scumdribblers.
But it wasn’t to last much longer and after a handful of gigs, and more personnel changes a show with Lost Cherries at Nottingham’s long demolished Narrowboat proved to be the catalyst for prolonged sabbatical.