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THE MORE I SEE OF GIZZ
by Cardinal Cox


Write Dope on Pnuk part 77

Local guitarist Gizz Butt has had a productive if sometimes seemingly contradictory career. When I first met him he was playing with Peterborough punk band The Destructors. Over three years they released four albums and toured with Abrasive Wheels, GBH and Blitz. By 1984 though The Destructors had split and Gizz had joined Grantham punk band English Dogs.

Founded by drummer Pinch, with Wakey on vocals, Jon on guitar and Wattie on bass they were a hard playing punk band who had released an album before the line-up changed and Gizz was invited to join. Now though they started to move into a more thrash metal direction. With a fresh vocalist they released a couple of albums and even played America. Their fans from this period included members of Metallica.

They split around 1987 and Gizz now put together a punk band (Wardance) followed by metal band (Monkey Jungle) that also included Pinch on drums. (I was recently lent a demo tape of Monkey Jungle, not too bad). In the early ’nineties though English Dogs reformed (though the line-up continued to change) and they released another couple of albums.

With the late ’nineties Gizz formed the punk band Janus Stark (named after an old comic book villain) who released one album, Great Adventure Cigar, toured widely and had a single, Every Little Thing Counts, that broke into the American top 30. While this song appeared on such film soundtracks as Disturbing Behaviour and Varsity Blues, the band itself got to act (as The Clique) in the British comedy Whatever Happened to Harold Smith. The three numbers they played in this were Night Fever, Raw Power and Personality Breakdown. Around the same time Gizz also toured as guitarist for hire with dance act The Prodigy. Inevitably there was a falling out within the Janus Stark camp and Pinch moved on to become the drummer with The Damned. And when they needed a bass player while Patricia Morrison had her and Dave Vanian’s baby (ahhh) he got Stu West in who had played in a line-up of the English Dogs.

Gizz didn’t sit still though, forming a new metal band The More I See, the line-up for which includes Spikey Smith (who had been in a version of the English Dogs, plus Morrissey’s backing band and Conflict) on drums. These have released two albums, the last of which (bar one track) was given away with an issue of Metal Hammer magazine, earning themselves a veritable legion of fans.

So, whatever else happens, (and recently Gizz has played in line-ups of both Crass and Fields of the Nephilim, an Ozzy Osbourne tribute act and has been known to do the odd blues session) we can be sure that he will stay active and look to try something different. As for The English Dogs, well a line-up including Wakey, Wattie and Jon have been recording and I saw them do a gig just before Christmas 2008, and Gizz was in the audience. Then in May, he got a line-up of Janus Stark together (featuring original members Shop and Fozzy) for a one-off gig.

 

© All work copyright of Cardinal Cox.

 

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