29 March 2005

Intaferon - Get Out Of London

Chrysalis Records
7 inch CHS2715, 12 inch CHS122715

Well it seems the obvious place to start. As the Lost Bands Of The New Wave Era post about Intaferon's Baby Pain was my nudge to start this blog, let's get going with those other two singles. First up is the debut, Get Out Of London

I remember this coming on the radio and finding it thoroughly arresting. We were just out of New Romantics time, and this had all that dark brooding tone from that, but with a bristling propulsive power that hadn't been on the airwaves for years. The lyrics are a frantic and volatile, if somewhat oblique, breathless rant. I've stuck them on the MP3 for those of you who use players that can read all the extra info.

The cover is cool too - the dynamism of the track complemented by the black and red lettering, the urgency of making the title all one word in capitals, and the desperate lunge of the picture.

Although the more cynical among us could point out that even if they managed to grab hands, the guy at the back is going to get dragged along the road. Also, a Routemaster bus isn't the prime method for getting out of London, more like for getting around it.

Intaferon were a duo - Simon Fellowes and Simon Gillham - named after a cancer treatment drug. They were produced by Martin Rushent, at that time a Very Big Name. He'd produced all those early Buzzcocks classics, but then went all electronic and produced the Human League's Dare album (the one with Don't You Want Me and all those on).

You can see both elements combining on Get Out Of London, romping synth basslines and strident guitars melding together brilliantly.

Rushent was also a pioneer of the 1980s style 12 inch remix. Most of these were total rubbish; just half the song, then a drum machine and bassline noodling on for a couple of minutes, then the other half of the song. Complete waste of time and vinyl, a cynical marketing ploy.

Over on my Strawberry Switchblade site there's a hilarious discussion of such mixes. The band, both their managers and both their producers all deny responsibility for them. One manager, Bill Drummond, explains

At that time the whole idea of a remixer as being somebody special and somebody you pay a whack of money to go and do it, and this is an actual job, it just didn't exist in those days. You made a record and, as you said, you had to have a twelve inch and so you'd just sit around and think, 'OK, we'll double the length of that drumbeat, double the length of that,' and you'd got a twelve inch. It's like asking me who made the cup of tea.

Rushent's remix is a lot more busy and worthy than the overwhelming majority of 80s 12 inches, and keeps the kinetic fizz of the 7 inch mix, though it does still sound a tad dated nowadays. That heavy use of Paul Hardcastle style sampler stutter hasn't really sounded much good since, well, Paul Hardcastle.

Check back in a few days for the follow-up single, Steamhammer Sam.

[downloads removed due to needing the server space for new postings]


Eric said...

Glad I actually inspired someone to do this sort of thing. I never heard the 12" mix of this song. I liked many of Rushent's remixes, particularly pete Shelley's "Homosapien" and Altered Images "Happy Birthday".

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, reminds me a bit of Carter USM, what with the urban theme, the rat-a-tat lyrics and the drum-machine driven beat.

Anonymous said...

Mixes, some were shite, I agree. The long mix of Gravitate to Me by The The was good as I remember. I'll have a listen and get back to you...


merrick said...

Kirk - Yeah, very proto-Carter USM. Wish I'd been smart enough to spot that and put it in the little write-up.

RA - I'd say a clear majority of 80s 12" mixes were shite. apart from disco records, nobody seemed to know why they were making them. Click the link for the Bill Drummond thing and you'll see everyone involved in the Strawberry Switchblade ones denies responsibility and ridicules them.

Being a major The The fan I bought all formats of the Mind Bomb singles. I remember the orchestral version of Armagaddon Days being amazing (there's one I should post...), but I remember both the mixes of Gravitate To Me being dubious. The box set 12" had the mighty 11 minute Dub Mix, which I remember being better than the laughably named Dance Mix on the normal 12".

I too will play them again and see if my memory seves me well.

Anonymous said...

Yeah< I think it was the Dub mix I was thinking of.. I'll let you know..


Anonymous said...

I love you :D
I was only thinking the other day how I hadn't heard Get out of London in years so I did a wee search and there you are.
Takes me back a couple of decades.
This is the biz.

Anonymous said...

gawd – i haven't heard this in years!
many thanks

as i remember the the slow train to dawn was a good 12 mix

there was a bizarre altered images one (name escapes me) that began with someone trying to coax a young child to count in the band…! – anyone?

Anonymous said...

Woo hoo .... superb stuff. Altered Images track that rockers is looking for is the See Those Eyes remix ... that was my little bother (Martin Rushen't youngest son) counting in the band (actually it was the numbers 1,2,3 and 4 edited in time to the track and flown in at the front!)

Obviously I'm sure everyone knows that Carter USM came AFTER Interfaron and Paul Hardcastles stuttering came a year after Get Out Of London .....?!!?

Now then ... can you find the Rushent remix of Thomas Dolbys "The Devil is an Englishman?!"

Anonymous said...

How frustrating! I belong to those people who have been looking for a mp3 of Intaferon's Steanhammer Sam (and the b-side!) for years and now it's gone from your site... Ca't you put it back there for an hour, so I can finally get my hands on it? Soulseek won't help. Anyway, thanks for the info & keep up the good work.


Viv Rae said...

i love this song. The pretenders did another version of it for the wild thornberrys movie (2002). but it's not nearly as good as the original. I was bored and did a search for is and this is what i got. love your review.


Kieron said...

I'd love to get hold of a copy of this but notice you've removed the link to the download. I used to have a copy of the intercontinentalballistic mix (I think that's what it was called). Any chance you could point me in the direction of a download for the 12" ?

Thanks Kieron

merrick said...

Kieron, gis yer email address and I'll email you the MP3s.

Kieron said...

thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

I haven't heard that for 20 years. Brilliant!!!!

jelltex said...

God I loved Get out of London and Steamhammer Sam. I remember the capaign for GOOL was sending DJs a flyers with just that phrase on it, some radio 1 dj thought it was a threat!

Would love to have those MP3s as well

Anonymous said...

I have been looking for this song for ages, so if you could provide the download link I would appreciate it.

merrick said...


leave your email address and I'll send the MP3 to you via yousendit.com. See the 'Deleted Tracks' bit in the sidebar for details.

Paul Mc said...

Amazing! Was just thinking of Intaferon today!
Used to have both on vinyl!
Can you give me the link for mp3 versions? I was after Get out of London plus the remix and Steamhammer sam! Aceee!

merrick said...

Paul, leave your email address in the comments and I'll send the files (see the 'Deleted tracks' bit in the sidebar)

Paul Mc said...

Thanks Merrick --- absolutely brilliant...!
You're a complete star!