Fatal Microbes, Donna & The Kebabs, EMI...
|FATAL MICROBES # 1 (1978)
HONEY BANE -Vocals
PETE FENDER - Guitar
SCOTTY BOY BARKER - Bass
GEM STONE - Drums
FATAL MICROBES # 2 (1979-81)
HONEY BANE - Vocals
DANNY TRICKETT - Lead Guitar
DAVE MALTBEY - Rhythm Guitar
KEITH HUDSON - Bass
DEREK HADLEY - Drums
HONEY BANE (1981-82)
HONEY BANE - Vocals
PETE HIGHES - Guitar
NIGEL MOORE - Bass
JB SLOANE - Keyboards
|FATAL MICROBES/DONNA & THE KEBABS/
FATAL MICROBES Discography:
SPLIT 12" With the Poison Girls 1978 (Xntrix/Small
Wonder Weeny 3)
Recorded at Spaceward Studios 4/10/78
SINGLE 0F THE WEEK
POISON GIRLS: Closed Shop/ FATAL MICROBES: Violence Grows (Small Wonder) XNtrix WEENY 3).
Always sounds so patronising/cowardly/vague to call a record 'interesting', but its the best I can do here. Neither of these two bands have developed their ideas very far yet, but there's enough evidence to suggest they 're on to something. Both pretty strange: Fatal Microbes are gawky,angular but intense. A bit like the Slits, and (this comment exploits women) seem to possess a rather tantalising nymphet as singer. Poison Girls are mostly men, of course, and sound a bit like Jonathan Richman on one track and very early Mothers Of Invention on the other, a chaotic, menacing doomsday singalong called 'Piano Lessons'. Worth investigating.
(Sounds March 1979)
VIOLENCE GROWS EP 45 1979 (Small Wonder Records Small 20)
DONNA AND THE KEBABS Discography:
YOU CAN BE YOU EP (1979) (Crass Records 521984/1)
Girl On The Run
Recorded at Southern Studios 27/10/79. Honey is backed by Crass under the pseudonym Danna And The Kebabs.
HONEY BANE solo Discography.
Guilty / Guilty Dub (1980) (Honey Bane Records)
HONEY BANE: 'Guilty' (hb Records)
The buxom Ms Bane groans and sighs in a most unsettling manner over this slice of Mickey Mouse reggae. A goodbye to indie land, it's a faultless example of gobclub disco, wallpaper dance music. With seemingly no effort whatsoever-the lady has trashed the Clash at their own game . Top hat and tails with stains
Turn Me On Turn Me Off / In Dreams (1981) (EMI/ Zonophone Recs, Z15)
Baby Love / Mass Production (March 1981) (EMI/ Zonophone Recs, Z19)
Jimmy Listen To Me / Negative Exposure (1981)((EMI/ Zonophone Recs, Z23)
HONEY BANE: 'Jimmy Listen To Me' (EMI)
ZOUNDS: 'Demystification' (Rough Trade)
Both of these artistes have had records out on Crass' independant label so there is a connection. Honey Bane looks like one of those baby seals about to be clubbed on the cover of her offering. She must have faith in her talents to record the same song twice using different producers and then to make matters worse she adds an equally repulsive Jimmy Pursey production called 'Negative Exposure'. I think Honey Bane is treading water in a big way before she eventually drowns in her own sentimentality.
Zounds on the other hand have more of that Crass strength to offer the punter who likes carefully controlled thrashing. It fires no emotion in my soul however but at least it makes an attempt to go for the throat.
Wish I Could Be Me / Childhood Prince (1982) ((EMI/ Zonophone Recs, Z32)
Dizzy Dreamers / Io's Burning/ Ongoing Situation (1983) ((EMI/ Zonophone Recs, Z36)
SOUNDS APRIL 19TH 1980
ZIG ZAG 1981
SOUNDS JANUARY 9TH 1982
DRUG Squad play a hybrid set of punk,
personality, straight rock and R&B. Then
they shock the assembled survivors of '77
by spraying the audience with a fire
extinguisher. The crowd scatters as the air
fills with foam and for a few seconds the
atmosphere in front of the stage hovers
between anger and amusement. But the
cans fielded by the band and tossed back
into the audience are more a mark of mutual respect.
Honour — on either side — is apparently satisfied. After only six gigs with their present personnel, Fatal Microbes sound messy. The main core of their music remains exuberant, archaic punk yet they veer bravely but blindly in different directions. There are explicit averagely inept echoes of PIL, an early rock 'n' roll number that sounds as incongruous it is uninspired. And the savoured sensation of Lou Reeds 'Vicious' is obliterated by anonymous vocals and enthusiastic guitars.
Fatal Microbes' stage presence is as disorganised as the structure of their set. The bass player is a particular pain. He strips of his shirt, poses on the speakers, takes over singing and generally indulges himself in the sort of antics that are traditionally reserved for the rock guitarist.
However, the attention of the audience is on Honey herself. Sixteen-year-old Ms Bane has pink hair, clasps a cigarette in a lace-gloved hand and wears white plimsolls and a battered, black mac. Most of the time she looks bemused, understandably self-concious or just plain uncomprehending. She moves a little leadenly, is prone to hold her head in her hands and crouches on stage to establish a closer rapport with the crowd, some of whom she quite chastely kisses.
Near the end of the set the punters dutifully invade the stage and then look lost when the plugs are pulled. Meanwhile the Microbes dish out a couple of cans and stand around chatting. Honey is embraced by another drunken, daring admirer. . . and that's all there is. I'm informed that Fatal Microbes are anxious to alter their image. It's clear that any change can't come too soon.
(New Musical Express Late 1979)
London born Honey Bane or Donna Tracy as she was officially known never knew who her father was? but her mother was an ex-model and passed on her photogenic good looks. After moving around the capital in perpetual transit, their instability and nomadic lifestyle seemed to take its toll on the young Honey. By her early teens she was prone to outbreaks of violence and under age boozing gaining her a problem child personality and finally she run away from home life. Her mother couldn't cope no more with her out of control behaviour and Honey's growing involvement in the punk scene and Honey got placed in Youth treatment care in the summer of 78.
By now 14 year old Honey had also formed the first Fatal Microbes
nucleus which also featured two siblings of Vi Subversa (Poison Girls) in
their ranks. They recorded the impressive and rather sinister 'Violence
Grows' in October 1978 which first came out as split 12" on XNTRIX
Records alongside the debut tracks of the Poison Girls. 'Violence
Grows' was later released in its own right with 'Beatiful Pictures' and 'Cry
Baby' as a 3 track EP on Small Wonder Records. The outstanding
'Violence Grows' track got single of the week in Sounds. However things
weren't destined to be a smooth ride for the young Fatal Microbes.
Honeys tempermental problems arose once more and she wasn't getting
on with her fellow Microbes enough to sustain their tempestuous
relationship any further so they parted company. Pete and Gemma (Vi
Subversa's kids) went on to form the nucleus for psychedelic Anarcho
longevity merchants Rubella Ballet.
Meanwhile Honey's life went from bad to worse. Life in juvenile care in
Essex was a drag and along with restrictive rules that were severely
constricting her punk lifestyle she went on the run once more from the kids home she was currently residing in. She was on Juvenile Care's most wanted list and spent the next 12 months living on peoples settees till she was 16 and legally outside the systems grips. One good thing did come out of this period and that was she met up and formed an unholy alliance with those loveable law abiding rogues Crass who give her place to stay, along with a shortlived backing band and recording time to boot. Honey had just the song to entertain the troops with, called autobiographically 'Girl On The Run' which featured on the rather good 'You Can Be You' EP that was the first non Crass band to came out on Crass records under the pseudonym Donna And The Kebabs in late 1979 while she was still 15.
Honey was by now getting quite a large press portfolio with her fugitive status, Crass connections and John Peel airplay. It was however only a breathing space before she got together a new Fatal Microbes line-up who made their world debut on Christmas Day 1979 at Studio 21 in London. This line-up spent the next 12 months gigging up and down the country playing Kharzis as one journo put it. Honey now 16 hit the floor running and was networking fast and picking up valuable media interest along the way. It was around this time she met up with Jimmy Pursey (Sham 69) one night down the Marquee. Honey gave him a tape of her band. Sir Jim who was also at this time talent scouting for EMI/Zonophone at was pretty knocked out by Honey's talent and got the national conglomerates subdivision Zonophone interested. So as Honey was once enticed by the gritty living of Crasstafari with no money but free lovin', she was now seduced by the bright lights and big cheques of EMI who wanted a piece of this new young sex symbol.
Honey signed to EMI/Zonophone Records in early 1981 for a 5 year contract. This whirlwind rise to fame which got her a couple of appearances on Top Of The Pops for 'Turn Me On Tur Me Off' also came with its pitfalls. She was blighted by the usual rock 'n' roll extravagances like dating Micky Geggus outta the Cockney Rejects who were also hitting the big time. But she was also linked with heroin, more dodgy boyfriends and an even dodgier corporate management. Her flirtations with the pop charts were as shortlived as her rock 'n' roll romances. By the time of her second release 'Baby Love' which only got to number 54 in the charts the alarm bells were ringing. She had let her regular band go and hired in a constant procession of session musicans "on the orders of EMI" she later pleaded. Having reached the dizzy heights of chart action and with plenty of press and the occasional front page in the music weeklies it was all a very fragile existance with no real band behind her to bounce off her ideas and her shelf life was destined to decrease with every release. Even Jimmy Pursey producing couldn't save her from a faster decline than Aby Titmus's panties. And the final nail was driven home when EMI give her a Sheena Easton perm in a desperate bid to market her to a more pop orientated audience. However chart positions of 101 don't feed the greedy jaws of a record giant and by 1983 she was catapulted back into obscurity with her punk credibility in tatters and her pop career down the drain. Although Honey did make
her film debut as the character Molly in a supporting role in British flick 'Scrubbers' (1983) which was set in
a Womens Prison. My mate Dave Decadence reckons its not bad either.
It took over a decade before we next heard of Honey in the mid 90's. She had returned with a new metallic
direction as she unveiled Dogs Tooth Violet to a distinctly unimpressed public. No label, little contacts and
not a lot else her songs had lost their edge and she was never to reach the jagged heights of 'Violence
Grows'. Honey has now relocated to sunny Florida in the US and has a family of her own, but is still writing
music and looks set to front her own band once more so watch this space. In fact you can hear some new
tracks as well as 'Violence Grows' and 'Girl On The Run' on Honeys Myspace page.
Peter Don't Care (June 2006)
Honey Bane was last heard of musically fronting London Metal band called
Dogs Tooth Violet in 1995. However the trail went cold shortly after. She has
now reappeared on Myspace and is now based back in London UK with new
material and a new band and book promised. No doubt more on Honey
Bane will be unveiled in the long awaited Anarcho book 'The Day The
Country Died' by Ian Glasper due for release in October 2006.