Schoolboy – Asylum Kids
Schoolboy – Asylum Kids (They were Robb’ed)
The Asylum Kids were one of the leading bands in the late 70’s early 80’s punk movement in South Africa. Led by the enigmatic Robbi Robb (later Tribe After Tribe) they soon captured the attention of Benjy Mudie but their outspoken lyrics and comments from the stage also got the security police interested in them, but not for their musical talents.
‘Schoolboy’ was their first single which was released in 1981. The picture sleeve depicted a bunch of disaffected schoolkids on the kerb, one has a guitar and leather jacket instead of a blazer, while another nonchalantly smokes a cigarette. The image itself would have been enough to raise the ire of the masses of mother grundies that infested the country.
Unlike some punk of the day, the Asylum Kids never took on the thrash, reckless sound. They were more Clash than Sex Pistols. To my mind, this less noisy approach was a sign of intellect in that the lyrics were too important to be lost in sneers and screams. ‘Schoolboy’ was probably the “poppiest” tune that the Kids recorded. It doesn’t have that dark edge that later songs like ‘No, No, No, No’ and ‘Fight It With Your Mind’, but it was an important part of the development of one of the country’s greatest punk bands and is still one of the stand out songs of that era.
Where to find it:
The Complete Asylum Kids – Asylum Kids (2005) Fresh Music, FRESHCD 147