Focus: Brian Bond | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Who are you?    
Brian Bond, originally from Middlesex – a writer, singer and musician with the bands Punishment of Luxury and Punching Holes. In 1973 I moved to Newcastle and in 1980-81 wrote and sang the 8 songs on Punching Holes’ forthcoming vinyl album release (17/04/20) The Ghosts of Pilgrim Street on ZX Records, based in Essex.

What is it you do?
I am a writer/singer who left Punishment of Luxury (Punilux) for 28 years in 1980 and then wrote some songs and formed a band called Punching Holes. We recorded a host of tracks at Spectro studios, Pilgrim Street, Newcastle and the tapes were lost but now recently found again by Steve Cowgill the keyboard-player. 

How long have you been doing it?
I started out with Punilux in 1977 while I was helping to run a theatre company, then we signed with United Artists Records in 1979, and made an album Laughing Academy. Punching Holes first performed in the Cooperage, Newcastle on 5th February 1981. There was a line-up change in 1982, and 1988. Punching Holes dissolved in 1989, then Punilux reunited in 2008. 

What inspires you?
To write songs: relationships, rejections, science fiction books, world events, newspapers, films, friends and seeing other artists. I saw Dusty Springfield, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Frank Zappa and the Rolling Stones play during the 60s, and Bowie in ’72. Richard Sharpe has also been a friend and an inspiration for years.

Tell us about your music.
Of the songs on the ‘Ghosts’ album, Joke Elaine is about doing impulsive things that have bad consequences, Spots on the Sun is about a sci-fi world where nun-like acolytes of the machine rule the Earth by means of a subterranean central computer. Sour-face Valerie looks at teenage rejection, Life in the Zoo explores infidelity, Mad Mother is about the media replacing the pillory in the marketplace, Bits of Romeo is inspired by a volatile relationship, Gone Loco is about an assassin focussing on a high-profile victim and The Ghost of Danube Street concerns a famous Edinburgh brothel. Richard Sharpe and Kevin Burtt, who work tirelessly for our incredible label ZX Records, shot and edited a film last summer in Edinburgh to promote this last track, using family, band and friends as actors. 

What have you got coming up in the future?
ZX Records is all set to release the historic Punching Holes album The Ghosts of Pilgrim Street on 17th April 2020. It is not a gigging band but the members are frequently in contact, as we are all friends. I also sing and perform on occasions with Punishment of Luxury. Next gig: October 24th this year at The Black Bull, Gateshead.

Where can people find out more about you?
On the Punching Holes website and on the Punishment of Luxury website. There have been some excellent interviews and articles written by Dave Simpson (The Guardian) and others.

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