No Night Sweats N o  N i g h t  S w e a t s No Night Sweats
Sydney's Post-Punk Bands
I Like Music
Slapp Happy are Terrific
A List of CDs
Text is What I Write
Crime Fiction is Silly
[ No Night Sweats - The Band ]
Patrick Gibson - Image of Evil

Hardly anyone heard No Night Sweats outside of our circle of friends.

We didn't fit easily into the mould of what a band performance should be like. There were no instruments on stage, except for a cassette player and, even when the music was playing, there were very few highly rhythmic numbers. We often played in battered suits and dirty bow ties and, when not actually frightened to death on stage, were sorta lounge-like : Sinatra with a synthesiser big band backing, coming to a dive near you, real soon.

As Wild West slowly dissolved, I bought a 4 track reel-to-reel and started recording a series of multi-tracked instrumental numbers. All of these were in pale imitation of Robert Wyatt's "Rock Bottom" of which I'd been enthralled for years but replacing his whirling, reedy organ sound for the slightly harsher, ring-modulated growl and whomping bass of my Arp Odyssey. They sounded great to me, even as I recorded them, with some gorgeous chord changes backed by massed, buzzing synth drones and frills.

I didn't really know where to take these pieces until it became apparent that my (somewhat thin) mid range voice blended seamlessly with the fluid upper bass displayed by one Patrick Gibson, esq. I'm not certain of how we actually decided to do it or even how we determined the final format of the band. I do remember a couple of rehearsals in Patrick's Darlinghurst bedsit where the duo plus cassette player theme echoed fantastically off the thick walls.

Although I'd written a lot of lyrics that were either quite heartfelt or were obviously just stream of consciousness, we slowly made them funnier ("Harry Wong's Cat" or "C.S.I.R.O.") or added some humorous little moments ("Salad Days" or "Come and See The Silly Work"). We just wanted to be loved, I suppose. We were also fond of quoting popular artists or songs of the time including the nascent rap scene in "Green Tea" ("It's like a jungle, sometimes it makes me wonder, how I keep from going under") and that almost classic "Fever" (ahhh) in "Mucky Wishes". Our small selection of cover versions was superlatively silly as well - "Who's Gonna Help Me Now" (originally a cod-C&W song by the fantastic Slapp Happy to which we added a more loping feel and some ridiculous lyrics concerning types of American cars) and "SSSSSingle Bed" (originally a breathy, sexy pop number by Noosha Foxx to which we added a sub-Kraftwerk beat and a strident delivery).

Because Patrick was involved with M-Squared, we were actually able to record and mix all of these marvellous songs properly before I left to travel overseas in 1984.

A couple of note-worthy performances :

  • Supporting John Cooper Clarke at the Trade Union club in Surry Hills where we played on a small stage-ette amongst the crowd to a somewhat subdued response

  • A party in my (and Lindsay's) flat above King Street, Newtown which was just getting drunk and rowdy where we turned off the indie pop records, wandered around amongst the throng and sang to each and every person there.

  • The last gig at some club on Oxford Street where the crowd went ape whilst we jumped on tables and imitated the cod-yodellng of Holly Johnson singing 'Relax' (aowwwwww!)

After I returned from Europe, well, I just lost heart and lost contact with almost everyone. With the imminent release of "Cant Stop It" I did manage to contact many, many people again. But we had all drifted too far to remain close. Except... I still see Pat every month or so - which is just plain excellent, really.

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