Saturday, 21 December 2013

From the Top Drawer LIX - Treatment

Happy Winter Solstice to all.
Here's one of the earliest tapes released by London-based Treatment, called 'Intensive' which dates from 1982. Things and stuff have been written about the band on previous posts so I'm just gonna go ahead and copy and paste some self-penned autobiography taken from their own (what looks like still-under-construction) website -

We were just teenagers looking for something worth being. Our good friend Derek Holder taught us the basics of rock and blues, and together with him and Dave Catlin Birch on drums, we formed a crap band.
The name was pinched from Phil Shutt of Arthur Brown's Kingdom Come (a truly psychedelic outfit); the music was ripped off from all around. Although pretty naff, we were vaguely competent and entertaining, so some of our gigs weren't disasters, and we did have some followers. Over its three to four years the band had several line-ups, which included Graham Cronin on drums, guitarists Adam Blake and Simon Economides, Paul Hutchinson on vocals, and the (almost) always present Jonny Chubb as recordist, before it finally ran out of steam.
This was all happening through the mid-seventies: Sorry... we didn't form a punk band; we were Grammar School boys, hippies/yobs/arties or whatever, smoking dope, drinking and taking acid, who didn't want to pretend otherwise. Nevertheless punk (not just the famous few, but the hordes of real nutters who emerged at the time) helped us escape all the dreadful pretensious star-rock and floydy mush of the time.
Meanwhile we'd left school and were in or out of duff jobs, except Gordon, who was at Essex University. Adam and then Clive joined the Cannibals (Mike Spenser's seemingly immortal [then R&B and latterly Trash] band, in which Clive is currently bassist yet again!). In 1979 Clive, Graham and Paul McWhinnie (another school mate, and pukka pianist to boot) decided we wanted a band whose music wasn't ruled by guitar patterns. Even so, we invited Gordon to join us - he knew better than most how to shut up as well as to play, and thus was born what became Treatment.

Through 1979 and 1980, free rehearsals and two gigs at The Basement youth club in Covent Garden (eternal thanks to them), and two appearances at the Covent Garden Community Festival established the band's identity. During this time Adam evolved from honoured guest to full member, and numbers such as Stamp Out Mutants, Nightmare, Blot Out, I Wanna Meet You, Nothinghead and Doncha Know all emerged.
Early in 1981 Graham left the band and was replaced by Paul 'Mr Rah' Ross, who had been up at Essex with Gordon (together in Psycho Hamster). Around this time, Bob (later to become the renowned Bob Dog) joined Jonny to form the offstage part of the band, responsible for mixing, effects, recording and merciless (and sometimes justified) criticism. We also took a squat in Chepstow Road, near to Portobello Road (well, most of us did), along with several friends including the late and lamented Small Paul, who became our roadie and confidant.
Thank God (or the milk snatcher) for mass unemployment. We signed on with little hassle, cashed our Giros, lived in squats, bedsits or with sympathetic parents & friends, stayed up all night, got stoned, tripped out and whatever else, and could indulge ourselves to the degree necessary for our mission. It wasn't just us; there was a whole thing going: Here & Now, Nik Turner's Inner City Unit, Grant Showbiz, Kiff Kiff, The Androids of Mu, to name just a few.
We generally went down well at free festivals (Stonehenge 80 - 85, plus many more in the early 80s, such as Norwich and Torpedotown), squat venues and gigs run by ourselves and friends, but pub gigs were a bit more iffy; no drugs, security wankers, rip-off promoters, straight bands and uninterested audiences being the main drawbacks. One of the few venues which suited us was The Crypt Club, run by a couple of ex-coppers in the crypt of St Paul's Deptford.
Plenty more happened, but that isn't the early years, so there...

Ripped from an original cassette (no label artwork to see - just an anonymous-looking black thing) @320kbps as two side-long tracks. Tunes and info as listed on the artwork scans above.

Get a copy HERE

After some years working as a music journalist and playing with Natacha Atlas and Cornershop, Adam Blake nows plays guitar with the wonderful Lunar Dunes with whom he has recorded two albums to date.

More info from the Delerium Records page on the band


  1. Superb :-)
    The Treatment were one of THE best truly psychedelic acts from back then, I have an unforgettable gig permanently etched on my brain at The Scala Cinema....

    1. Hi pOoTer, yes I agree they were very good at what they did.
      One of the few bands to use a punky in-yer-face confrontational approach whilst also playing top quality multi-coloured psych. Glad you're liking it.

  2. Another great post , many thanks !

    Have a great New Year .

    1. Hi zigzagwanderer, thanx for dropping by and have a bountiful 2014 yerself.