Ian Craig Marsh - Musical Vomit

Musical Vomit

Marsh began in music at Sheffield's council-sponsored community theatre group Meatwhistle. There he met Mark Civico and formed a performance art band called Musical Vomit, taking the name from a music paper's hostile review of the band Suicide. Musical Vomit specialised in Alice Cooper-style stunts, such as vomiting soup onstage, and singing about such topics as masturbation and necrophilia.

Marsh played guitar on two shows in 1973 with the band before leaving after his expulsion from school (for being "an undesirable subversive element"). Civico (stage name Trigae Thugg) persevered with Musical Vomit, adding fellow Meatwhistle artists Paul Bower (later of the band 2.3), Glenn Gregory (who went on to become lead singer for Heaven 17) and Ian Reddington, who later found fame as "Tricky Dicky" in Eastenders and Vernon on Coronation Street. Musical Vomit mainly played at the Meatwhistle workshop at Holly Street but during 1974 they also played shows at the Sheffield University Drama Studio and Burngreave Church Hall where they gave their only performance of self penned rock opera "Vomit Lost in Space" which featured early use of primitive synths. Martyn Ware, a leading figure in the Human League and Heaven 17 was an occasional guest on stylophone but formed a more pop orientated off-shoot of Musical Vomit called Underpants. Vomit went on to play at the Bath Arts Festival in 1974 and were described by Poly Styrene who was in the audience as "the very first punk band". They were booed by irate hippies but, showing true punk attitude and commitment, they remained on stage despite the bombardment of bottles and abuse. Vomit never played together again. A planned come back was shelved when percussionist and backing vocalist Ian Reddington was offered a place to study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

Marsh abandoned the guitar at this time, saying later in an interview for The Face that "they seem a fairly strange instrument...six strings, four fingers, one thumb - it makes no sense.". Instead he bought a cheap synthesizer, which he struggled to get the most from ("though it made very good motorbike noises") and rejoined Musical Vomit. He had found employment as a computer programmer (as had Ware, though at different companies). Marsh also played a key role in the early Sheffield new wave and punk scene by playing the first Ramones album, which he had bought on import, to all his friends.

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