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Anthropoid & UFO

March 8, 2017 | by Faber Social

Tags: david keenan, this is memorial device

David Keenan on Anthropoids in Airdrie:

There was a great short-lived Industrial synth group who came out of Airdrie in 1983 called Anthropoid & UFO. This is the cover of their first cassette, Army Of Humanoids, on their own label Daylight Discs. It’s pretty obvious who is who.

A talismanic copy of the classic 1979 edition of J. Allen Hynek’s The UFO Experience which Paul Harrison stole from Airdrie Library in like 1980 and which his brother David Harrison stole from him and which Anthropoid lifted from the two of them during an argument over some computer cassettes that Anthropoid claimed David had erased using a magnet cause he was devious like a rat, which is what he said. Note the anarchist A, the telegraph pole T, the 0 as zero, nothing, nada, zip. It is dated “August ’81 (new era)”.

The church hall where Anthropoid & UFO played their one and only show, supporting a local metal band named Tundra.

By the time the lead singer of Ultra Violet hung himself from a tree on the Carlisle Road he had burned virtually all of his bridges in Airdrie, all except for UFO, who remained faithful to the end and was party to his final blow-out in Edinburgh where he used the proceeds from a found credit card to treat what was left of his friends to an elaborate, macabre re-staging of The Last Supper at The Pubic Triangle just along from the Grassmarket. In the wake of his death UFO took to installing strange hangman ropes hung from lamp-posts and tree-tops around Airdrie as a form of memorial and also as some kind of secret art action. This one is from the summer of 1985.

Last time I visited Airdrie it was still there but maybe it’s gone by now.

The cover of Anthropoid & UFO’s second cassette, In Indiana. Why was it called that who knows?

This is exactly what In Indiana sounds like.

The cover of Anthropoid & UFO’s third cassette, The Importance Of Bavic.

An empty street in Airdrie sometime in the mid-1980s. This is exactly what The Importance Of Bavic sounds like.

Sightline for a UFO that buzzed an airplane in the sky above Airdrie on Thursday 1st October 1979.

Second sightline.

Anthropoid & UFO lived next door to each other. There were rumours that they were actually brothers and that when their mum and dad split up their dad simply moved next door and shacked up with one of the neighbours. But I never met anyone who could confirm it.

Although Anthropoid & UFO only played one live show supporting Tundra at a church hall they rehearsed every Saturday afternoon in an old garage I think on Drumgelloch Street. The old boy who owned it, whose name was Mr Jack or Mr John like a Victorian serial killer, would rent it out to them in order to supplement his pension and he always threw a packet of candy balls into the deal as if they were twelve years old and not nearly seventeen.

The significance of this photograph eludes me but it was in the same file as everything else. On the back of the photograph, in blue pen, it says: I went looking at stars saw a comet.

The back entrance to Anthropoid’s house. The building with the corrugated roof on the right was where they worked on their homemade synths, oscillators and F/X pedals. In the early days you could often hear them from the street which is why they had to move into Mr John or Mr Jack’s garage. Once someone called the police because they said someone was ‘raving’ in their back garden. It was the first time any of us had heard the word but years later, when UFO became quite a well-known local DJ and MC under the handle MC Madman, he used to claim that Anthropoid & UFO staged the first ever rave to take place in Airdrie.