The Sound – Rafters, Manchester 1st May 1981

Deep in the country
The factories hide
Where they make the missiles
That run our lives

I was introduced to the Sound by my friend Nick during my first year at University – I seem to recall he sent me a cassette which had loads of random stuff on it including a wonderful track called Missiles by the Sound. I loved it so much I went out and bought their album, Jeopardy.

Then one night I was out in Manchester with my University friends when we walked past the music venue Rafters – I have no idea where we were going but as we walked past I spotted a sign outside that said “Tonight, The Sound £2” – I just knew I had to go but I couldn’t convince any of my friends to come with me so in the end I said goodbye to them and went to the gig on my own!

I really enjoyed seeing them and I only got to see them once more at Futurama 3 later in the year. I can’t remember what they played apart from Missiles of course but a set list from later that year was:

Winning
I Can’t Escape Myself
The Fire
Fatal Flaw
Brute Force
Heartland
Hour of Need
Skeletons
Unwritten Law
Heyday
Missiles
Resistance
Heyday

Missiles cause damage
And make an eerie sound
Missiles leave carnage
Where there once was a town
Who the hell makes those missiles?
Who the hell makes those missiles? Missiles
Who the hell makes those missiles?
When they know what they can do

About ten years later I was in Birmingham working and the lighting man and I went to see Iggy Pop at the Humming Bird. Afterwards as we wandered out into the Birmingham night and headed back to the railway station to catch a train back to the hotel. On the way we passed the Birmingham Odeon where I had seen Echo and the Bunnymen about ten years previously. I pointed this out to him and he suddenly came out with a statement that took me by surprise he said “I supported Echo and the Bunnymen there!” So somewhat taken aback I asked which band he’d been in and knocking me even further back he replied “The Sound”

I then asked “the Sound as in Who the Hell makes those missiles, The Sound” to which he replied yes. Wow thought I and proceeded to tell him about the time I’d been out with some friends in Manchester and just happened to be passing Rafters and saw the Sound were playing. I ended up not convincing any of my mates to go and see the band and went in on my own. To my surprise he seemed to recall the gig and even went as far as saying that they’d never got paid that night as the promoter (and at this point he mentioned a name that I recognised) had done the dirty on them.

Now since that night the internet has of course opened the world of useless information up for everyone. I googled about this and to be honest I still don’t know if he was telling the truth about being a member of the group. I couldn’t remember his name or the instrument he said he played and none of the post band stories ring true for someone I was working with but I did find out that the Sound did support Echo and the Bunnymen at the Birmingham Odeon so I guess I’ll never know!