Sheep Worrying was a fanzine for the Dangerous Brothers who had been gigging since late 1976 and which hit the streets for the first time in September 1977. It then became their record label. For cassette albums and then their single.
In 1980 it became Sheep Worrying Enterprises and under this broad title became not just a magazine and a record label-now expanded to include other bands, but also a Theatre group and Rock promoters, launching from 1980 a monthly series of ‘Sheep Worrying Showcase’ gigs which featured 4 local bands a month at the Bridgwater Arts Centre and expanded to include a network of over 100 bands in the wider Somerset area. It ran 2 different offices, first at 18 Queen Street and then on the top floor of Unity House, the Bridgwater Labour Party HQ. When Sheep Worrying music wound up it left its influence around the town and members went on to take the DIY ideals upwards and onwards into the wider musical world, or , back down the pub.
Diary of Sheep Worrying Music
The DANGEROUS BROTHERS specialised in irony and self parody. Which was great so long as you were in on the joke, knew the band and could hear the words. These days songs about under age sex, casual racism, taking drugs and fancying sheep, might be considered near the knuckle, but in the 1970s when Jimmy Saville and Gary Glitter were on our screens weekly as the moral guardians of youth it was a different world. It was a landscape where TVs popular sit com ‘Love Thy Neighbour’ made the words ‘Nig Nog’ and ‘Honky’ commonplace in our living rooms and justified this by having the white guy working class racist portrayed by Jack Smethurst, master of the double take, look daft at the end of each show. They’re a funny lot these racists. Still, a custard pie in the face will soon sort them out. However, in Bridgwater the Dangerous Brothers were THE band of the 1970’s and their rise to local prominence co-incided exactly with the emergence of punk rock. And that’s where we start our story…
In 1972, Smedley Newman and Newton formed a band called Turatia, which sang songs in a made up Eastern European language while playing pottery drums as a backing track. They’d been driven to this by Dr Morgans Grammar School for Boys. The last refuge of medieval tyranny in Bridgwater. By 1973 it had been shut down and became Haygrove Comprehensive.
From 1973 to 1975 Smedley and Newton had a seiries of ‘proper bands’ as they learnt to play their instruments
In 1975 they went to Bridgwater College and started doing gigs, became influenced by Dr Feelgood and through that punk Rock, eventually formed the Dangerous Brothers.
The scene and the decade was everything.
Let’s head for 1976.