Getting The Fear

Aki Haq Nawaz Qureshi
Paul Bee Hampshire
David Buzz Burrows
Barry Jepson

Getting the Fear were amongst the first batch of UK teenagers to hatch after the punk revolution. Weaned on a diet of anarchy and revolt, they were taught to tear up rule books, defy definition and question authority. Punk had broken down the doors and paved the path to artistic freedom by rejecting the philosophic tenets that were drummed into musicians by the ‘men in suits’. There was no longer the need to shout-out-loud but still plenty to deplore and denounce. The Margaret Thatcher government was ruling the UK with an iron fist, civil liberties were fading fast, a ferocious new wave of censorship was prevailing and today’s political police-state was taking its first baby-steps towards world domination. There was no blueprint for subversion in this brave new world; they were navigating in the dark without a compass.
Based in a bleak Northern Town called Bradford, Aki, Barry and Buzz were originally in band with Ian Astbury called Southern Death Cult. When Ian split to form The Cult, they were suddenly left without a singer. After a nine-month search they were introduced to Bee, who was looking for a band.
Bee Speaks…
“At the time I’d left my Japanese band and was hanging out with people like Genesis P Orridge and Psychic TV. Desperate for cash, I was roped in to do the door at London’s first ever Fetish club Skin2. One night, a childhood friend, Jane Rolink, who was running Some Bizarre Records and looking after Soft Cell, turned up with a scruffy looking guy called Mark Manning (he’d later transform into Zodiac Mindwarp). I mentioned that I was looking for a new band to which he replied that his mates in Bradford were looking for a singer. He handed me the drummer’s phone number on a scrap of paper, which I immediately lost -a downside of rubber suits is that they don’t have pockets. Fortunately he took mine and passed it onto Aki, the band’s drummer. It turned out that I had met Aki a few months before when he came to my flat with Jane from Sigue Sigue Sputik. Aki invited me to go up to Bradford to have a rehearsal with them.
After a few rehearsals and a subsequent session in their publisher’s recording studio in London they told me that I had passed the audition and was in the band. I think that my ‘can I take a few more days to think it over’ did come as a bit of a shock to them as they had been bombarded with people wanting to sing with the band. I did feel a strong connection with them as people, and still to this day think they’re all really wonderful people, but musically we were worlds apart and they thought my lyrics were a touch too taboo. Looking back I really admire them for letting me express stuff that they weren’t in tune with, which I suspect came from that fact that they although they didn’t agree with the sentiment they were inspired by the passion that drove it. ”

After a few months of writing songs and performing shows all over the UK, Getting the Fear secured a massive record contract with RCA Records. Elated at time, little did they know that it would mark the beginning of the end for the band. A few days after band had recorded their first single (Last Salute) the company’s Managing Director left and took half of the staff with him. When the single was released the band had no A&R person, no press person and no TV or radio person to promote it. The only upside was that they managed to get a photograph of Charlie Manson’s embroidered waistcoat on the front sleeve without anyone realising -that may same tame now but at the time it was unthinkable that a major record company would allow that. Over the next few months they struggled to deal with a dysfunctional record company and eventually decided it would make more sense to spilt the band in half and get out of the dodgy record contract. Aky & Buzz for a band called Joy and Bee & Barry formed Into A Circle.