It has been a month now since the album release, and thank you to everyone for their support and feedback; the band are humbled and appreciative and we do try to respond to all who tap the boards onto the various social network sites and forums. Keep spreading the Hot Sauce please!!
On the eve of the band’s new release New Hope For The Dead, Uk Decay are privileged and humbled to announce the collaboration with artist Franko B, whose stunning artwork adorns the album sleeve and the Killer/Heavy Metal Jews single.
Several themes run through the songs of the album and the band’s efforts to find artwork which would encapsulate these themes and be worthy of the new material and sound, the Decay legacy, the support of the Pledgers, justice to the UK Decay communities old and new was proving very, very difficult, until contact was made with Franko that is!
Che knew Franko through a mutual friend, art dealer Guy Hilton, and had actually missed out on purchasing Franko’s Black Stars and Stripes at the British Art Fair a few years back; and they say life has no regrets! Anyway, Che did a deal on one of Luton artist Clive Barker’s “Heart” sculptors from Franko around the same time.
When Che showed the band Franko’s art, it resonated with them immediately and here’s what the guys had to say.
Raymondo: ” There’s a horrible reality in those black flags; an end of the road feel to them. If you’re strapped to a chair in Bagram airforce base they’ll make a lot of sense.”
Spon: ” Is the ideology represented behind those flags, deserving of colour, given the acquisition of oil at the cost of truth?”
Eduardo: ” When I saw both the white and black Union Jacks and Stars and Stripes it left me speechless with such powerful imagery.”
Back to the story. Che writes Franko a short note, leaving a number for Franko to contact him on. Within a short space of time, Franko responds and listens to what Che has to say. Franko was familiar with the band back in the day, having moved to London from Italy in 1979. Abbo sends Franko a copy of the TDL mix of the album to listen to on his return from taking care of art matters in the North East. A meeting is arranged at the steps of St Johns Church in Waterloo. It is a bright, clear January. The espresso is ordered and the collaboration begins.
As Franko explains, “I always love the opportunity to work with other artists. I don’t separate art forms and I am not precious about my own work. This collaboration is a good thing that allows each other’s work – Decay’s and mine – to reach out to each other’s audience. I still believe in the spirit of punk and there is a common thread of our core ideals, but most importantly I love the new songs – Killer and Woman With The Black Heart especially, and the new material has made me listen to the old Decay too. I love it!”
The band are indebted to Franko for his love and generosity. Yes, its UK Decay as art critics!, and we leave you all with the continuing eloquence from Abbo,
“Franko B had made a statement so simple yet so profound and most importantly the most singular representation in my mind of the acknowledgement that the concept of the symbol of a nation now rests sadly in mourning in Britain and in the USA today, caused by the irresponsible, corrupt and immoral actions of those elected and empowered to represent it.”
One day we may claim it back!