SERIOUS YOUNG INSECTS

Serious Young Insect were a three piece band that emerged out of Melbourne’s Post-Punk scene in 1980.  The sound of the band was an amalgam of their UK influences (Wire, The Cure, The Jam, XTC, Magazine, Joy Division) shot through with a 1960's British-explosion pop aesthetic (Beatles, Zombies etc). Their brief two and a half year career falls into two phases; the first centred around inner city venues like the Crystal Ballroom; the second involved a record deal and relentless six-gigs-a-week interstate touring. In 1980 at the Ballroom they opened for their heroes, The Cure, Magazine and XTC amongst many other acts. Although high energy the Insect’s aesthetic eschewed anything ‘rockist;’ they had no ‘moves,’ no lead singer as such. Like much Post-Punk music they attempted to create a new musical vocabulary using none of the conventions of the 1970s.

In 1981 the band signed a record deal with an indie label (Native Tongue) through Epic/CBS (now Sony) and recorded 'Trouble Understanding' with Men At Work's producer, Peter McIan at Richmond Recorders. At the end of 81 the band returned to Richmond Recorders with Tony Cohen and then with legendary Australian engineer/producer John French to record an album, 'Housebreaking' (1982), which although being slicker than expected, had none of the perk or fury of the band’s live performances. In a move that both made them and finished them they became a touring band and moved out into the 'burbs' of the capital cities of Australia playing six nights a week. The band was created outside of the rock ‘industry’ but eventually they were absorbed and ground down by it. The band released three singles: ‘Trouble Understanding Words’ (1981), ‘Be Patient’ (1982) and ‘Faraway Places’ (1982), all of which could be found on their sole album, ‘Housebreaking’ (1982). Peter Farnan went on to form Boom Crash Opera.

Serious Young Insects line-up included: Peter Farnan - Vocals/Guitar, Michael Vallance - Bass, Mark White - Vocals/Drums. 

Mark White 1980 - Courtesy of Peter Farnan

 

  Peter Farnan 1980 - Courtesy of Peter Farnan

 

  Michael Vallance 1980 - Courtesy of Peter Farnan

 

Serious Young Insects - Am I Dreaming.mp3

 

'Trouble Understanding Words' single sleeve 1981

 

  Serious Young Insects 1980 - Courtesy of Peter Farnan

 

REFERENCES:
  • Main Image - Serious Young Insects 1980 - Courtesy of Peter Farnan
  • Background Image - Jump Club gig poster 1980/81 - Courtesy Laurie Richards
  • Peter Farnan 1980 - Courtesy of Peter Farnan
  • Mark White 1980 - Courtesy of Peter Farnan
  • Michael Vallance 1980 - Courtesy of Peter Farnan
  • 'Trouble Understanding Words' single sleeve 1981 - Courtesy Australian Music Database
  • Serious Young Insects 1980 - Courtesy of Peter Farnan
  • MP3 Track - 'Am I Dreaming' 1981 - Unreleased - (Vallance)
  • Video - 'Be Patient' 1982 - Courtesy Youtube
  • http://www.australianmusicdatabase.com/bands/serious-young-insects