THE SENDERS Seven Song Super Single Mini lp 1980 Max Kansas City Records 320 kbps
6 th Street / The killing floor / Don't make me mad / Cut it out / Please give me something / I feel so bad / Great big fool (at the wheel).
Produced by Peter Crowley.
The Senders : Phil Marcade : vocals , harp / Wild Bill Thompson : guitar / Steve Shevlin : bass / Marc Bourset : drums.
During 1978, The Senders (Phil Marcade, Steve Shevlin, Wild Bill Thompson and Marc Bourset) rise to club fame, regularly playing New York venues such as MAX'S, THE PEPPERMINT LOUNGE, C.B.G.B., HURRAH'S, THE MUDD CLUB and HEAT. They started to build up quite a following not just in New York but in Boston and Philadelphia also. They spend much of the year traveling up and down the east coast, developing their unique brand of "punky vintage-R'n'B" sounds and their image as shark-skin suit and D.A. wearing sophisticated R'n'B rockers. Their "immaculate" look and punch-drunk fortitude attracts many other bands to their shows and often in their crowd are members of Blondie, The Cramps, the Heartbreakers and the Tomcats (soon to become the Straycats). They also start to gather lots of good press: Village Voice's Robert Christgau even hails them as "the most interesting exponents of the good old Rock'n'Roll approach to New York new wave" and Bruce Paley of the Soho News goes on to say: "The Senders, with a vigorous set reminiscent of the early Stones, proved that they are the BEST of the city's unsigned bands. "Trouser Press Magazine points out: "The Senders disprove the conventional wisdom that classicism has to be stuffy, the energy level here matches that of the Ramones in their prime. Bands will continue in R'n'B and Rockabilly but few will match the verve of The Senders. "They even start to get international press, being held by England's N.M.E. as "New York's answer to Doctor Feelgood" and given the title "PUNK BLUES" in French magazine Rock and Folk.
1979 sees The Senders taking off for a 3 week stint in Los Angeles, playing at the legendary Troubadour and at the Starwood with Levi and the Rockcats amongst others. Once in L.A. they get booked to appear on afternoon T.V. with none other than Heavy Metal sensation DOKKEN. Back in New York, their shows were becoming increasingly insane with the band going through such antics as playing on their knees or with singer Phil Marcade belting out vintage R'n'B rareties laying on the floor in the middle of the crowd. Once in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, they proceeded to dismantle the stage itself until it collapsed under them, playing the last few songs with all the amps and drums fallen flat down on the floor. The crowd loved it and, much to the Senders surprise, so did the club owner who promptly rehired them (promising to fix the stage before they'd be back!!). Drummer Marc Bourset became especially acrobatic with his "grand dive above his drums to stage-front" often taking half his drum-kit along with him. One night at C.B.G.B. they were visited by members of Doctor Feelgood who had just played the Paladium earlier that evening. Seeing the familiar face of Wilko Johnson in the audience they go on to play Feelgood's classics "The More I Give", "I Can Tell" and "She Does It Right", and end the night drinking with Lee Brilleaux. On another occasion, at Max's, they are spotted by The Clash's Joe Strummer and Paul Simenon who end up hiring them to open for The Clash at Bonds Casino in Times Square. To their delight The Senders get to play in front of 8000 people instead of the usual 200 + they pack in small clubs. By the end of the year, they record a patch of oldies and original numbers for the Max's Kansas City label with Peter Crowley producing, and early in 1980 they release it as "The Senders Seven Song Super Single" a 12 inch vinyl that was to become their much praised cult-classic. By the spring of 1980, they signed a new management deal with Frank Yendolino (who also managed Joe Cocker). Wild Bill has by then gained such respect amongst guitar players that he even landed a gig as second guitarist with the Straycats for a tour of England. Phil meanwhile played drums with Johnny Thunders' new group Gang War which featured ex-MC5 Wayne Kramer also. After doing their first recording in Michigan Phil had to quit to resume his Sender gig.
1980 continued being a glorious year for The Senders as they became one of the main acts on the New York club scene. They played constantly. MAX'S even had a drink called "THE SENDER" on their new menu now! (though no one seems to remember what on earth was in it!!). They now also had a strong following in Boston where they played a lot at THE RAT with their beantown pals The Real Kids. They appeared a few times on T.V.'s Uncle Floyd show though on their last visit they were thrown out of the studio after they were found to have eaten the Uncle's personal pizza pie! As 1981 came around, they got the attention of French producer Marc Zermati who flew to New York to record them. Unfortunately, Wild Bill had to be hospitalized after having collapsed from exhaustion, and the band had to do the booked sessions without him, Phil playing most of the guitar parts with Barry Ryan of the Rockcats lending a hand. These sessions were released later on that year on SKYDOG Records as "RETOUR A L'ENVOYEUR". Wild Bill soon recovered, the band resumed their beloved line up and the gigs continued, with total maddness, of course. Around this time, Steve Shevlin started suffering from hearing problems which worsened as they played gig after gig through '82. By then, Phil had written lots of songs for the band and some of them started to get covered by other bands as well. "No More Foolin' Me" was recorded by The Vipers and Johnny Thunders included "The Living End" in his set at one point. Later on, The Ultra-Fives did "Devil Shooting Dice" and Los Dudes did "Don't Mind Me". Phil also wrote such great ones back then as "Little Rocker", "Don't Make Me Mad", "Another Night Without My Baby", "6th Street" and "I'm A Stranger Here Myself". The Senders headlined the Rock Against Racism Festival in Central Park and were now filling up places like Irving Plaza and The Peppermint Lounge. They added a second guitarist for awhile, none other than Basile Kolliopoulos (a.k.a. Basile Nodoe) who fit in perfectly. But, after playing several hundred shows Steve's hearing problems were getting very serious, turning into deafness in one ear, then the other started to go too. Marc, meanwhile, was battling a devastating drug addiction. These incredible 5 years of pure Rock and Roll and Maximum Rhythm and Blues had taken their toll too and in the spring of '83 The Senders decided to stop playing... For awhile anyway.
Thanks to Fabien and Manu for music & scans .
Artwork by Max !