Where were you the day when President Kennedy, Elvis or Lady Diana died? Death goes hand in hand with life. Everybody dies, not everybody lives, well Garry Borland was definitely the latter. He not only lived, but he lived a dream. The dream was that he’d walk out on the biggest stage in the world and shout “We’re Heavy Drapes and we’re a fucking punk rock band”. I was there the day Garry said those very words. It was not a dream, It was Rebellion 2017, the biggest stage in the Punk World and it was the intro to “Number One”. How fitting, to be the first on the main stage and the number one band on everyone’s “to see list”. This made it accessible for everyone, exactly what the band were. For this four piece were destined to be number one, at least in the minds and hearts of those that ever saw them live. Garry had the knack of engaging you when you least expected. Whether it was live during a performance or on social media, where he lived and breathed his passion for the band. Always controversial but a lot of it was tongue in cheek. Garry kept the band to the forefront of their peers by constantly posting updates on the bands gig schedule. Without a doubt, there was a period when they were one of the busiest bands in the UK with their constant gigging every weekend up and down the country. They had to keep pushing the live side as, apart from their debut 4 track E.P. it was the only way you could hear them! The album was long overdue even before Garry’s untimely death.
There’s a rawness to the album, it’s got a live feel to it, electric and makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Right from the off, the opening track “Should I Suck or Should I Blow” transports you to front of stage where you were best to experience this band. This is no one man band though, The Heavy Drapes were a band, a fucking punk rock band. The jigsaw had four essential pieces and if any one of them were missing, it would not make sense. Right from the self professed handsome rugged drummer (Billy Chaos) to the flair of Riki Stiv on guitar, both under pinned by the driving runs of Jerry Dangerous on bass, the band were complete with De-Liberate on vocals. Stage names of course, but it’s the alter egos that elevate them from the norm. We’re looking for escapism with music and The Heavy Drapes escaped the hum drum of the daily grind by projecting themselves into the public eye wherever they could. The constant gigging gave the band the foundation to produce this monumental tribute, not to Garry but to Rock’n’Roll itself. There’s elements of early 70’s glam/punk/grunge rock where the New York Dollsand The Heartbreakers gave us the birth of punk as we came to know it. There’s obvious comparisons to (John) Lydon and Liam (Gallagher) as Garry’s swagger was part of his persona but there was more to him than just bravado and this album is testament to that. Crashing Like Stars is one of those rare albums that you don’t skip through to find your favourite track, or for that matter, only listen to the odd track before you go out. Yes, it’s infectious and you’ll find you need to play it right through to do it justice, everytime! There are stand out tracks, but that’s something you’ll find out when you play this album for yourself. The songs are like the bands kids, all ten of them, and like kids, there’s no favourites and you love them all. Maybe somedays you’ll like one of them more than the others as it’ll make you feel good but in the end, you couldn’t live without any of them. So, no singled out favourites, just nurture them and they’ll be with you for as long as you live, but remember, life’s short so enjoy it while you can and make sure you buy this album as it will breathe life into you. Buy it, Play it, Rock it!