Parrots VolSec PARSEC CD on sale here - just £7.99

It's here, it's on sale and you can buy it now.
19 tracks from the Parrots / VolSec

Just £7.99 including p&p

The Parrots/Vol Sec CD is made up of 19 tracks of songs written by members of the band, including Vicious Circles, Pinhead Refugees, (Don't give up your) Dayjob, Photography Song, Love (sic), and Vasectomy, all played by the band at the recent AllDayer gig.
The tracks on the CD were mixed and converted from analogue tapes by Stuart Jones

They include 2 tracks released on Vaultage 78, 4 tracks released on a 12" EP by the Parrots in 1980, 4 tracks released as a casette by Vol Sec in 1981, other unreleased studio recordings of songs played regularly by the band, one rough live track recorded at the Great Dane in Seaford in 1981, one further live track recorded at a Parrots and Lillettes reunion gig at the Zap Club in 1984, and a seriously funky rehearsal track, quite unlike anything else done by either the Parrots or Vol Sec, in which Rick Blair cuts loose on a Wasp Synth! 

The CD contains a picture sleeve and full recording and personnel details, and the first copies ordered also contain a pictorial insert commorating the band's re-animation at the Prince Albert PunkBrighton AllDayer in October 2010. 

PARSEC at the Albert Sat 8th Jan 2011

One of the Brighton bands that performed beyond the normal call of duty at the the punkbrighton Alldayer back in October, The Parrots / Vol Sec - were back at the Albert on Saturday night under the name of PARSEC .

As expected, they played another top class set. Sam Blair was again in fine form with his riffs and vocals while Brenda added some more style when she sang towards the end of the set. Nick Wells played some sparkling lead guitar from start to finish.

PARSEC were supported admirably by the Hollywood Assassins, who came onto the bill at less than 24 hours notice and Fractured, who played a tight set with some resounding guitar work and no lack of humour in their vocal delivery. All in all a splendid evening. Thanks guys and gals.

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About The Parrots

Ken Hogg • drums
Colin Murray • bass
Rob Starling • guitar, harmonica
Jay Derrick • organ
Rick Blair • vocals, guitar

Stuart Jones chats to Jay Derrick:
In late August 2009 I was chuffed to receive an e-mail from Jay Derrick, who used to be one of the Parrots (later Vol Sec) in those now distant Attrix days here in Brighton. Jay asked me if it would be possible to help him: he had some ancient, dusty, deteriorating cassettes of various gigs, demos and rehearsals from his former glory years which he wanted to clean up and quickly transfer onto CD, before they self-destructed. Could I help?

Of course! After a further flurry of e-mails, we finally met up again, Jay coming along to my abode in Hove on Halloween. In between carving a grotesque face on my small son’s pumpkin and making the tea, I listened to Jay as he described life in London and his needs concerning his proposed CD compilation. We caught up on a lot of reminiscing, and I showed him what might be possible for the sleeve packaging and digital-cleaning of sound files.

He left me with some faded old photos, the tapes, and a hearty farewell. In the next two weeks I was welded to the computer, carefully filtering out abnormal amounts of hiss, removing scratches, whacking up the sound level and generally brightening things up. The biggest challenge was making a one-channel only recording into double-channel mono. It was an eerie and emotional experience, listening to my old mentor, Rick Blair, singing so clearly and passionately on these great, vintage recordings.

The Parrots were a very fine band indeed – the musicianship was superb. It was odd; I felt like Jeff Lynne, cleaning up ‘Free As A Bird’ for the Fabs, the big difference being a non-existent budget and only the use of a simple home PC and CoolEdit Pro. Well, the job got done and the discs handed over. I only hope they like the result! What follows is an informal chat between Jay and myself.

SJ: Jay, tell me a little about that extraordinarily busy, creative post-punk time in Brighton.
Jay: During that period I was working part-time as an adult literacy and numeracy teacher at the Friends Centre, in the Lanes. I taught evening classes at the Resource Centre, above the Vault where the bands rehearsed, until it burned down in 1980.

The Friends Centre is still going strong, as an adult education centre, as it has been now for nearly 50 years. I remember drinking with the Resource centre gang in the Windsor Tavern, and breakfast at Mrs Beetons, not there any more I think.

SJ: And since then?
Jay: I left Brighton in Feb 1981, and worked abroad as a teacher for a short time, before coming back and moving to London. I have worked in adult and further education ever since then, for most of that time in Islington, and mostly in adult literacy, numeracy and ESOL work – exactly what I was doing in Brighton.

I’m now working independently as a consultant – if anyone is interested go to I now live in Hackney with Bridget who used to sing with the Devil’s Dykes, and two teenagers.

SJ: A genuine rock ‘n roll relationship! So tell me Jay, anything interesting occurred lately?
Jay: It was weird to find out from an email to the Brighton punk site that someone had released a Parrots song on a CD compilation of British Ska, and this inspired me to put together a Parrots / Vol Sec compilation CD from a series of decaying audio cassettes I had in a box.

Our thanks go to you, Stuart, for making this possible. If anyone is interested, contact me and I will send you a copy. It is dedicated to the memory of Rick Blair and Russ Greenwood, who have since died, both well before their time. They were terrific musicians, and lovely guys.

Love also to Nick, Col, Bren, Tom, Ken Hogg (the original Parrots drummer, on loan from the Dots), Hilary, Sandy, Simon, Alan, Titus, Tom, Heather, Pete, Paul, Sal, Debbie and everyone else who made those times such a laugh, in spite of Thatcher getting elected!

SJ: Last memories?
Jay: Best gig: Lewes Road Bus club 1977, with the Piranhas, Nicky and the Dots and Attrix. Favourite lyric from a Brighton band composition: ‘I wanna go where they’ve never seen snow – send my giro to Cairo’ from Bloody by the Golinski Brothers. Most amusing moment: Radio Brighton playing our song ‘Home Sweet Home’ – probably the first time the word ‘fuck’ had been broadcast locally!

useful links:
Parrots 2004 re-union
featured on Vaultage 78
listen to the Parrots on punkbrighton jukebox
Go to Vol Sec

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The Parrots Scrapbook

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Parrots reunion 2004, by Stuart Jones

After months of planning and many e-mails zipping across the country, the Parrots Reunion evening finally occurred on February 7th 2004. I arrived at guitarist and BBC researcher Nick Wells' delightful house in the Elm Grove area of Brighton, with the genial host guiding me into his spacious kitchen, where I discovered twelve-feet tall, saturnine Jay Derrick holding forth over a glass of wine.

I was introduced to Nick's charming other half, Helen, and no sooner had I settled into my chair than the doorbell rang again. It was Simon Fanshawe, arch dandy from the far away days of the Resource Centre, accompanied by Brenda, former vocalist for Vol Sec, and her offspring. The final arrival was the punkdaddy himself - ace guitarist, webmaster and graphic designer, Phil, the man behind so many fab songs from the Lillettes.

Two people who should have been there couldn't make it: Colin, Parrots bass player, and the fabulous Julie Blair. Oh well, maybe next time - if there is a next time.

There was a whiff of the pensive hanging in the air that night. Would we all get on after so many years had passed? But we needn't have worried. It turned out to be an excellent evening of reminiscing, fervent topical discussion and the refreshing of long splintered connections, helped along by superb Indian cuisine (thanks Nick and Helen!)

We chatted about post-punk Brighton and about the Birds With Ears album, which I promised to copy for Helen (must get around to that sometime).

Apart from one fiery exchange between Phil and Simon concerning the Hutton Report (and even that wasn't too savage), all went smoothly.

It was interesting swapping notes with Simon. I remember being amazed and curious back in 1979, on my first visit to the Resource Centre when I first met him, a real gay man! This was all an essential part of broadening my horizons. I was an ignorant teenager living on a Council Estate in Lancing at the time.

We chatted about how he got his career up and running at BBC Radio 4, and he asked me about what I'd done since the Attrix days. It turns out we had all done a very great deal! Then Nick brought in his laptop and we all gathered around the kitchen table and began shouting, pointing, laughing and generally whooping it up.

The reason for this was that Jay had brought along a CDR containing many ancient photographs of lots of of faces from the heady days of Brighton punk/post-punk circa 1976 to 1982. A good deal of 'Hey, isn't that....' and 'Look! That's Rick! And there's...'

After dinner we moved into the lounge to watch a video of The Parrots and the Lillettes, filmed at the old, small Zap Club at the Attrix Reunion night in 1985, loaned to us for the evening by Julie Blair.

Following heartfelt goodbyes, Nick kindly drove me home.

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