Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Demics - "New York City"

Manchester, England's Keith Whittaker named his London, Ontario, Canada's band Demics after a Manchester, slang insult meaning "wanker". The band started playing in the small clubs of London after meeting in the downtown loft scene. They released an E.P. called "Talk's Cheap" which garnered some airplay on cutting edge Toronto radio station CFNY-FM with this version of "New York City". They played the Toronto club circuit and opened for The Dead Boys and Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers. The band split up in 1979 but reformed with new guitarist Steve Koch in early 1980. They recorded a self-titled album with a new version of "New York City" produced by English guitarist/producer Chris Spedding who later covered the song himself over 10 years later. They called it quits again in 1981. In 1996 Chart  Magazine, a Canadian college and alternative radio publication, voted "New York City" the best Canadian single of all time. Demics were Keith Whittaker - vocals, Iain Atkinson -bass, Rob Brent - guitar, Jimmy Weatherstone - drums and Steve Koch- guitar. Weatherstone and Koch would go on to play with country cow-punk Handsome Ned's various band incarnations. Sadly, Keith Whittaker died of cancer in Toronto in 1996.

In 1996, Other People's Music out of Toronto released a compilation CD of Demics material.

This Fall Linus Entertainment is rereleasing the 1980 self-titled album.

Go to the download page to get Demics - "New York City" mp3 here


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amazing band, those Demics were. Spawned an entire music scene in London Ontario, which is documented here:

Local college radio CHRW 94.9 FM has archived ALL OF IT, in mp3 format for download.

You can start here for "Talk's Cheap" and move on from there:



12:59 AM  
Blogger Eric said...

Great link! Can you recommend any of the other bands? I listened to a few but they were not my thing (Sabre, Uranus The Waiting).

9:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is sooo funny. I can't imagine anyone picking 3 bands at random and missing the mark completely. Not that those bands weren't good at their thing. Sabre and Uranus even shared a bass player (hi Ralph!).

So, a quick shortlist of some of my faves from back then, in no particular order:

'63 Monroe
The Legend Killers
Suffer Machine
The Crawling Kingsnakes
The Black Donnellys
October Crisis
Sheep Look Up
Napalm Baby's
Condo Christ
The Flying Squad
Edna and Edna

I could go on and on, not wanting to leave anyone out, or any of my old bands (like The Finks, heh).

Oh yeah, I almost forgot:

"What Wave" compilations, at least a dozen, with most of the above bands, as well as regional and U.S. bands that were touring at the time.

All of the above are downloadble at CHRW's site, certainly enough to get you started.


10:09 PM  
Anonymous Goat said...

I grew up in London, and managed to fake my way into getting a weekly CHRW show while I was still in highschool... '83 - '86 kind of time... Music is still my life - I run a studio in New Orleans, and spend much of the year touring doing live sound for a bunch of different artists. I remember bands like Itsa Skitsa - I remember being kind of intimidated and in awe of Steve Stunning - sneaking into call the office to see sheep look up & even opening up for Vital Sines with my little high school new wave band...
Thanks for the remind.

5:31 PM  
Anonymous tabiji said...

The whole thing is here:

3:12 PM  
Blogger whatwave dave said...

Madonis a couple of comments up mentioned the What Wave compilations that we put out back then...over 300 songs just on those tapes.
Now we're doing Radio What Wave on CHRW (which was mentioned above by Goat (did we ever meet?)...on every thursday, here's a link to the facebook page that has a download link for last week's show and other stuff...

And we're still plugging London bands we dig to this day!

6:15 PM  
Blogger John Burgess said...

Does anyone know the band that did 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow' that got some airplay - I believe - in the early '80s? Heard it on CFNY in Toronto many times way back when.

11:41 AM  
Blogger John Burgess said...

Does anyone know the band who did 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow' in - I believe - the early 80s? It got airplay on CFNY in Toronto way back when.

11:45 AM  

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