Wicked Songs: No Word From China by Pel Mel

OK, just got to mix it up a bit and blog about something else and because their is a total lack of Aussie music in that book too. So for Friday’s post this week is gonna be about the post-punk band called Pel Mel and their 1981 song No Word From China. Anyway the very first blog post I ever did here was about two double disc comp album from early 2000’s called Tales From The Australian Underground Vol. 1 & 2 and it’s a collection 7″ singles of Aussie indie DIY scene from around the 1976 to 1989. Almost all the tracks from these two comp albums I totally love so much I just have to add to my fave old wicked songs posts. Someone did want to listen to those comp albums a couple days ago but couldn’t find it anywhere and yeah, it seems to be long out of print. Since then almost all the bands/artists on that comp have had some kind of reissues themselves.

So in a somewhat new set of posts digging out the old songs from that, I’m going talking, write about them and seeing if I can find some kind other release/s by those bands/acts on it. Now before getting into Pel Mel, I did do two of the two tracks already just after writing that very first post, my second post was Ed Kuepper Also Sprach The King Of Euro-Disco and third post was Dropbears Fun Loving. Then for some reason which I don’t I remember why at the time I stop until today.

Pel Mel’s co-founder at the front: McGee (left) and Dunne. 

Anyway someone else then send me a link (who knows I love all this stuff) to this new reissue which was only released late last year. It’s subtitled the best of, which is really funny because they never, ever really had any kind-of chart success in Australia or any country for that matter. Only on the small indie scene at the time but not that matters really it’s really wicked music and I totally dig the rest of their stuff which until getting that link I haven’t heard the rest. So sharing it with anyone, everyone who’s wanna listen here and now.

No Word From China was pretty popular at the time on Double J radio station, they played it on a live radio session and had to rush it out into the shops because everyone that heard it in January 1981 wanted to buy or a lot did. Even popping up on the one and only Aussie music TV show at the time, Countdown but I can’t seem to find it on Youtube.

 Pel Mel was a east coast act and actually from Newcastle not a Sydney band but moving to the big city to hit the big time. They was one of a few post-punk bands from formed late 70’s who used synth and even sax, both was played by the singer Jude McGee on No Word From China. Who’s also has released a brand new solo album last year too, which now I have to check out. In late 70’s and early 80’s they toured Australia with other post-punk acts like The Birthday Party, The Go-Betweens, New Order, The Fall, Elvis Costello etc. They did have two albums after this debut 7″ single which is what the rags to tatters comp album is culled from. Graham Dunne on vocal, guitar and bass were co-founders with Jude McGee of Pel Mel and with the other early members: Jane McGee on guitar, Glenn Hill on bass, Dave Weston was the drummer.

The original 1981 7″ single artwork for No Word From China.

So who knows and love Pel Mel? Or never heard them before but digs No Word From China and maybe even listen the rest of the tracks on this newish reissue?



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