“SONG FOR EWE”
with DANNY INGRAM of
YOUTH BRIGADE THE UNTOUCHABLES

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Danny Ingram and son Sam, the muse behind Danny’s “song for ewe”. Pic courtesy of Danny Ingram.

“SONG FOR EWE” is the feature where artists beloved by VELVET SHEEP choose an obscure song they’ve been listening to that day.

I think I may have said this before but I’m a massive fan of Dischord Records, the DC hardcore label formed by Jeff Nelson & Ian McKaye of Minor Threat. Well today’s guest played in one of the earliest bands on the label Untouchables with Alex McKaye (later of Faith) and Eddie Janney (later of Rites of Spring). They have made one of the best versions ever of “Stepping Stone” (a Monkees song turned DC hardcore classic) and featured on a record beloved in my collection and oft spoke of here on VS – “Flex Your Head” and their hit “Nic Fit” was famously covered by Sonic Youth on their album of “the Year That Punk Broke” – “Dirty”. Also on “Flex Your Head” was Youth Brigade, the band our guest today went onto form in 1980. Also short lived, but equally incendiary, “Moral Majority” was a real anthem, resplendent with trademark shouty but clever vocals and guitar playing like a taut rubber band. This man then rather surprisingly went onto play on tour with UK shoegaze legends Swervedriver. Plus many others including EmmaPeel with John Stabb ex of other DC favs Government Issue and his current post with Dot Dash, it’s breakneck, head flexing drummer and all round wise & nice guy – Danny Ingram!

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See I told you I love “Flex Your Head” – I’ve also got the T-shirt!

And this is me on set of the CBBC kids show I produced “Help! My Supply Teacher Is Magic” with stand up Iain Stirling, wearing my Dischord jumper bought straight from Jeff Nelson (and fancying myself as an Ian McKaye lookalike).

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Hence, I was chuffed to make online pals with Danny Ingram. I’d already co-opted his good friend and fellow Youth Brigade bandmate (also of Teen Idles) Nathan Strejceck to contribute his “song for ewe”…

NATHAN STREJCEK of THE TEEN IDLES & YOUTH BRIGADE – Song For Ewe

…and off the back of that, I got in touch with Danny and was chuffed by his warm-hearted response. He sent me his own self-penned bio, which it would be churlish not to share with you…

“About me –

Washington, DC, native – I started drumming in 1979 in the DC hardcore band the untouchables. After a few months, the band split and I started Youth Brigade (dischord records) with my best mate, Nathan Strejcek. I’ve been bashing away at it ever since and have played in more than a dozen bands from then to now, including EmmaPeel (with John Stabb and Steve Hansgen), strange boutique, ultracherry violet, radioblue and a brief stint in swervedriver. My current band, Dot Dash, is about to start work on our fifth record (all on the Canadian indie label, the beautiful music). The last record was recorded at Fidelitorium in NC with Mitch Easter producing. Dot Dash also includes Terry Banks, Hunter Bennet and Steve Hansgen (ex minor threat and government issue). You can find the family tree thing here: http://www.bandtoband.com/band/dot-dash. “

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Danny also kindly offered the Velvet Sheep readers this ace free download of the Dot Dash single “Flowers” from their album “Earthquakes & Tidal Waves” which I heartily recommend – full of barbed hooks – go on what have you got to lose?

https://dotdashdc.bandcamp.com/track/flowers

Not surprising really that Danny’s band is called “Dot Dash”, named after a Wire 7″ from 1978.

Nathan Strejcek chose “106 Beats That” as his “song for ewe” and the Wire song “1-2-X-U” is a late 70s/early 80s Dischord band staple. But what did our man Ingram go for…it’s time to go…

OVER TO DANNY:

“as a father and musician I’ve encouraged my kids to follow their own musical paths. for the most part this has led them to embrace a lot of the music I did as a kid. but they have also opened my eyes to a few things. such was the case last week when my 13-year-old son, Sam, prompted by the devastating news about David Bowie’s passing, was scouring through youtube listening to some of his favorite tracks.  Sam told me he’d found a version of Life on Mars that was in a different key – and even better than the version on Hunky Dory. I was a bit dubious at first – Life on Mars is one of my favorite songs – but the boy was right. The vocals and Rick Wakeman piano on this 1973 UK single version of the song sounded even more plaintive and beautiful than the lp track. it is an amazing version which my son has helped me discover…like being reunited with something old and precious.”

Here is the single version that Sam hipped me to: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v–IqqusnNQ

Here is the lp version for comparison: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAo7YeRkJYo

 A FULL-BLOODED THANKYOU TO DANNY INGRAM. YOU ARE A STAND UP GUY, ALREADY A HERO BUT EVEN FURTHER UP IN MY ESTIMATIONS.

Following on the Dot Dash / Wire tip, if you’re a Dischord fan you may also want to check out the “song for ewe” chosen by Graham Lewis himself (of Wire)

GRAHAM LEWIS of WIRE – Song For Ewe