Friday, October 26, 2012

Propagandhi- Gilman St. 1995

Last Friday and Saturday night, Winnipeg's West End Cultural Centre celebrated it's 25th anniversary with a pair of shows featuring several prominent Manitoba performers. On Saturday, over a dozen performers took the stage to play covers by other Manitoba singers or bands. The sold out show on Friday night featured local punk icons, Propagandhi who kicked off the celebrations with their usual brand of intense hardcore punk/thrash/metal-core sound. The WECC has seen a wide array of acts over the years, everything from rock to country, folk and punk, practically every style of music and since it's not a bar often shows are all-ages, offering kids, adults and old people a place to watch and listen to music. The venue is a comfortable size (300-350-ish?), the sound is always good and the semi-recently renovated lobby makes for a clean and friendly venue to see a concert. It ranks up there as my favourite live music venue in the city.

Recently, I've been transferring some of my live shows on cassette to the computer, so I thought it would be good timing to share an early Propagandhi show from Gilman St. in Berkeley from 1995. I received this tape back in my tape trading days in the early-late 90's, but I noticed recently it might have been the same show as a bootleg that was released in 1999, titled, Curse of The MTV Punks. I'm almost positive I had this cassette a few years before the bootleg came out. The sound is great, probably a soundboard recording and the show is intense with the band at their confrontational best.

both photos by Chris Bellew

Here are the reasons this recording is essential to any Propagandhi or Winnipeg music fan:
  • John K. Samson (pre-Weakerthans) is in the band and plays bass. This is the earliest live recording I have of Samson who leaves the band in 1996 to form the Weakerthans. This recording is historic for this reason alone, but also gives us a listen to one of the songs he penned, Gifts with Samson on lead vocals. It's apparent that Samson's songs didn't really fit the sound and musical direction of Propagandhi and these musical differences are what prompted Samson to split from the band.
  • The crowd baiting and political rants by the band are met with much hostility with fans spitting and screaming at the band. They even allow members of the audience to participate in an "open mike" to vent their hate and anger towards the band. I must admit despite the threats and craziness, the members of Propagandhi (mainly Chris Hannah) hold it together, they push the envelope, but don't let it get out of hand. Man, these guys are brave, cocky as hell, and they get their message out to their audience (fans) without any compromise...gotta admire them. There's more talk, than rock, but it's entertaining and at times scary!
In the most recent issue of Exclaim magazine (a free giveaway paper in Canada), there's an excellent "timeline" article about Propagandhi. The story tracks the band year by year from their forming in 1986 to the present with the release of their new album, Failed States. A well written, detailed article with much information I didn't know. Read it here @

Gilman St.
Berkeley, CA
June 17, 1995

(tranferred from my cassette copy)

01. Apparently, I'm A P.C. Fascist
02. Nailing Descartes To The Wall (Liquid meat is murder)
03. ...And We Thought That Nation-States Were A Bad Idea
04. Less Talk, More Rock
05. Middle Finger Response
06. Resisting Tyrannical Government (It's dirty job, but somebody's gotta do it)
07. Gifts / open mike
08. America Rules
09. Stick The Fucking Flag Up Your Goddamn Ass, You Sonofabitch
10. Mutual Friend

PROPAGANDHI- 1995-06-17 Gilman St. FLAC. rar


Anonymous said...

Thanks for uploading this recording. Love these guys!

Sven said...

Wow... I'm grave digging here and you came through. :)

Sven said...

I'm going to double-post in this morgue to thank you again. I'm on a "remember when" kick and man, you've totally made my day. Thanks again, sir.

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