- Originally inspired by both the DIY ethic of the punk movement and the likes of Throbbing Gristle and File Under Pop, two friends Nag and Bendle decided to form The Door And The Window in March ’79. Lacking any musical experience, the first thing they did was to book a gig, then set off to a rehearsal studio to record their first single on a cassette recorder.
“Initially we had little interest in making “music”; we were interested in sound and noise. I had a cheap guitar and a collection of 2nd hand tape recorders, and Nag had a cheap synth. It was an advantage that we couldn’t play anything. When the guy running the rehearsal studio proclaimed that we were the “worst band he had ever heard” we took it as a complement and drunkenly carolled his sentiment back to him. And recorded that, too.” – Bendle
The first single ‘Don’t Kill Colin EP’ came from the pressing plant in plain white labels and sleeves. The band pain stakingly hand-made the labels and sleeves and managed to self-distribute all 1000 copies.
The success led to a distribution deal with Rough Trade. Their next single ‘Production Line EP’ was joint NME ‘Single Of The Week’ with Ian Dury’s ‘(Hit Me With Your) Rhythm Stick’. Inspired by Crass, the Pay No More Than 55p on the sleeve caused problems for the distributors, but the single still sold an impressive 2000 copies.
As true exponents of the DIY ethic the band produced a fanzine called ‘Common Knowledge’ devoted to the politics of record reproduction and included the likes of the Desperate Bicycles.
The Door And The Window were becoming more popular and highly respected. They played with the Pop Group, Scritti Politti, Delta Five, Swell Maps and Raincoats. They even had one of the earliest versions of The The support them.
The line-up of the band was always fluid and sometime members included Fritz (23 Skidoo), Dennis Burns (ATV/Good Missionaries), Grant Showbiz (The Fall) and Giblet (49 Americans). In late 1979, Mark Perry, disillusioned by the constraints and expectations of Alternative TV joined the band as drummer and co-songwriter.
As more bands formed with the same attitude the band toured as part of the ‘Weird Noise Tour’ with The Instant Automatons and 012 – a band fronted by Kif Kif and made up of members of that night’s audience.
1980 saw the release of the album ‘Detailed Twang’ which sold 2000 copies at the ridiculously cheap price of £3.00, before the band split up in the summer of ’81, although they’ve reformed on an occasional basis to experiment with new ideas.
“The punk movement had showed that to make music you didn’t need to have first acquired some musical understanding and/or instrumental dexterity. Understanding that music has no unbreakable rules, and then proving this by breaking them, is a fine thing. But Nag and Bendle went further – they refused to learn what the rules were in the first place. This lack of musical pretension is what still separates them from the all-too-knowing purveyors of what’s called “experimental music”. The Door And The Window were the true experimenters. They had the courage to skip all the theory and just pick up the instruments, to see what would happen.” – Igor
- Detailed Twang
- Don’t Kill Colin
- He Feels Like a Doris
- I Like Sound
- In The Car
- Order and Obey
- Production Line
- Sticks and Stones
- Subculture Fashion Slaves
- The Number One Entertainer
- We Do Scare Each Other
- Why Must You Build Walls Around Us?
- Wurst Band