The Now – Why? / Development Corporations

6th June 2022 · 1970s, 1977, Music, Punk

The Now were Peterborough’s first punk group. They didn’t make much of an impact but they did make this brilliant debut single. Released on the Ultimatum label in November 1977, it captures the spirit of punk perfectly without resorting to the mindless thrash of so many others jumping on the bandwagon. I’d go so far as to call it a lost classic.

Why? Well, have a listen to the song of that name, perfectly articulating the frustration of life in a provincial small town. Then the other side, Development Corporations, a protest song as relevant today as 45 years go.

Inspired by the nascent punk scene in London, The Now were founded late in 1976 by Mike McGuire and Steve Rolls, from the ashes of another group called The Faderz. The band was completed with the addition of Joe MacColl and Paul Wicks (aka The Dangerous Dip, aka The Mysterious Dip).

They began staging their own gigs at the Peterborough Marcus Garvey Community Centre alongside local reggae bands like The Legions, the audience comprising a mix of West Indians and the handful of local punks.

Another single was recorded after this for East Anglia’s premier punk label (ie. East Anglia’s only punk label) Raw Records, a double-A-side of Into The ’80s and 9 O’Clock.

But the label folded before it could be released and most of the 800 copies pressed were destroyed in a warehouse fire, turning the few surviving singles into collectors’ items.

Soon afterwards they split, though there was a resurgence of interest in those two singles in the early Noughties, especially in Europe, and both were re-released by a German label, aptly called Last Year’s Youth.

That prompted the four band members to get back together to record all their early songs again in 2004. In true punk style they rehearsed for just three hours and spent two days in the studio recording and mixing the songs that made up their old live set.

The resulting album, Fuzztone Fizzadelic, was released the following year.