the Horn Farm Paste Mob

The Desperate Bicycles – “Advice On Arrest”

Hear it on Youtube.

The Desperate Bicycles were a DIY band in the UK at the end of the 70s*, maybe known best for ending their first 7″ with a few seconds of silence and then the shout “it was easy, it was cheap– GO AND DO IT”.

Vocalist Danny Wigley starts this song with pretty standard political lyrics (the man on the street saying “if you haven’t done anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about”) but then matter-of-factly changes gears to a survival guide for those being arrested. I find it uniquely compelling how the same chorus can function as information (for a listener who does imagine they could ever be arrested) and as polemical narrative (for a listener who doesn’t).

* They get called “the first DIY band” a lot, though I don’t know how you’d verify that.


3 Responses to “The Desperate Bicycles – “Advice On Arrest””

  1. Tim Walters, on December 3rd, 2010 at 8:12 am, said:

    They get called “the first DIY band” a lot, though I don’t know how you’d verify that.”

    If it means “first to self-record and self-publish,” it’s not even close to being true.

  2. villain, on December 3rd, 2010 at 9:56 am, said:

    funny, I just stumbled across them the other week

  3. JJRJ, on December 3rd, 2010 at 7:22 pm, said:


    My impression is that there’s a particular cluster of UK bands from that period that some people call “the DIY scene” (and that, beyond circumstances of creation and distribution, there’s a particular sound which the term refers to). Though I suppose if you draw the lines tightly enough, you can indeed be sure which band started it off.

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