Sunday, August 7, 2016
LIGHTNING RAIDERS  Sweet Revenge
01 - Sweet Revenge
02 - Rowdies
03 - Addiction
04 - Soul Rescue
05 - Criminal World
06 - Citizens
07 - Disguises
08 - Made In Japan
09 - Psychedelic Musik
10 - Views
Tracks: 01-08 Produced by Will Reid Dick
Bonus Tracks: 09 & 10 Produced by Steve Jones
Vocals: Gass Wild (01-08), John Hodge (09), Andy Allan (10)
Remastered compilation album featuring unreleased debut album tracks (01-04,7,8) and previously released singles tracks (5,6,9,10).
Bonus tracks 09 & 10 digitalized from the 1980 7" single as no master tape could be found.
Lightning Raiders were an English Punk n Roll/Pub Rock Band, formed in August 1977 by John Hodge (aka Little John): Lead Guitar, Andy Allan: Rhythm Guitar/Lead Vocals (Ex Pink Fairies), Duncan Sanderson: Bass/Backing Vocals (ex-Pink Fairies), Jorge Panchito: Drums/Percussion, and Michael Wilding: Saxophone.
On 31 March 1980, a lineup including John Hodge: Lead Guitar, Andy Allan: Bass, Paul Cook: Drums, and Steve Jones: Guitar released a 7" single, "Psychedelic Musik b/w Views”", on Arista Records. The two members of the Sex Pistols were never official members of the band - they were repaying a debt to Andy Allan who played bass on the Sex Pistols single, "Silly Thing".
In the next line-up, formed in November 1980, by John Hodge and Duncan Sanderson they were joined by Gass Wild (Lead Vocals, who later drummed with Johnny Thunders and also the Chrissie Hynde Band), Bruce Irvine (Rhythm Guitar, later with Sean Tyla's Tyla Gang) and George Butler (Drums/Percussion, ex Kilburn & The High Roads).
This lineup was very popular on the club circuit, playing in various clubs such as Dingwalls, the Marquee Club, the Music Machine, The Venue, and many more, often with support from heavy rock trio Killerhertz consisting of Hugo Mallett (guitar) Doug McArthur (bass) and former Chelsea drummer Marc Rathbone. Another support act for the Raiders were long haired glam boys Kitsch (under the same management as the Raiders). Kitsch bass player Paul Raven went on to join London cult band, Killing Joke. The Lightning Raiders along with Killerhertz and former Raider Andy Allan, (Andy Allan's Future) performed at the 1981 Stonehenge Free Festival.
In 1981, this lineup, now signed with Island Records put out "Criminal World b/w Citizens" under the Revenge Records label. They then entered the Who's Ramport Studios and recorded tracks for the Will Reid Dick produced LP Sweet Revenge and Island Records (also under the Revenge label) released a four song 12" EP which included "Sweet Revenge", "Rowdies", "Addiction", and "Soul Rescue" from these sessions as a promotional preview of the forthcoming LP, only to find out during December 1981 and half way through the recording sessions that the direction of Island Records had changed and that they were no longer considered part of the plan and were dropped by the label, making the soon deleted Sweet Revenge EP very rare.
Little John Hodge left the band in February 1982, and went on to record briefly with Chelsea and play live with Lena Zavaroni in her fathers Kilburn pub. The remaining members continued for a time, but by the end of 1982, the Lightning Raiders had called it a day. Duncan Sanderson and George Butler played with Larry Wallis in a series of bands during the early '80s, until the reformation of the Pink Fairies and, later, The Deviants at which point George Butler was replaced by Russell Hunter (original Pink Fairy/Deviant). Little John Hodge recorded & performed with Bert Jansch for his final record 'Edge Of A Dream' which included the Hodge song 'La Luna' inspired by Aleister Crowley. Jansch repaid the favour by appearing on Hodge's solo CD 'La Luna' as 2nd guitarist on a number of tracks.
Johnny Hodge died at home in Camden Town in 2012 having visited New York to reunite with Gass Wild for two short 'Lightning Raiders' gigs, airing songs from a 2nd unheard LP, with guest American musicians filmed by old friend and ex Pink Fairies roadie Joly (founder of Better Badges) resident of NYC. Gass Wild fronts a NYC band called The Love Pirates, a name borrowed from the Larry Wallis band of the 80s. The visit was intended to promote forthcoming documentary Lost Rockers, in which Lemmy (of Motörhead) praises the Lightning Raiders (bassist Sandy recalls they were not always welcomed by Motörhead fans who threw spark plugs at the band mid-set, hitting the hapless Sandy in the testicles!). Andy Allan has been active playing with folk combo Hank Dogs, releasing two CDs and touring with the likes of Joan Baez. George Butler continues to drum with a number of bands, notably the Dirty Strangers, around the Ladbroke Grove area. Duncan Sanderson is currently playing with the re-born Deviants.
The 2013 release of a truncated version of the Lighting Raiders 'lost' album, Sweet Revenge, has given them a posthumous recognition which eluded them beyond a cult level during their lifespan. Often thought of as a 'poor mans Pink Fairies' due to the presence of bassist Duncan Sanderson, they were in fact a tight and original act in their own right, a fact only now being recognized by the wider public.
Huge thanks to nekro for his original post and being cool with this re-post.