Why You Should Take A Trip Into The Wardrobe


“…flashing lights will take you to another world…and the answers you’re looking for may just be found in the inner wardrobes of your mind…”


The Vibes, 1980s trash garage band. Inner Wardrobes of Your Mind


The Psychedelic World of The Vibes

The Vibes’ EP ‘Inner Wardrobe of Your Mind’ is a mind-bending, almost synaesthetic, voyage into another dimension. I recall one sunny autumn afternoon bunking off college with my best mate. We were in my bedroom, waiting for the mushie-tea we’d choked down to kick in. The red and purple and white of the EP label was spinning in a carnivalesque haze on my hi-fi turntable. I was about to do a hand-trail test, convinced the mushies weren’t working, but then did a quick double take on the album cover. The words were undulating, the frazzled bloke’s hair was pulsing and his eyebrows were twitching. I glanced at my mate, but she was too engrossed in smoking a Superking to notice. Back to the cover. It was still hoaching and writhing like a maggot infestation. The deranged bloke on the cover was now nodding and squinting at me. Had he been in the wardrobe? Was that what you look like before you go in or when you come out? What was he trying to tell me?

“This could be the answer you’re looking for…”

I was desperate to know, and allowed myself to merge into the purple and red.

 I sat cross-legged on my bedroom carpet, lost in an unhinged world for an hour, five minutes, a year – how long did it take my mate to smoke that fag? I reached over to switch the light bulb off, it was way too bright. But, despite my attempts, the damn thing stayed on. Frustrated, I turned my attention back to the wardrobe, desperate to see inside and learn its secrets. And all the while the bloke’s hair was pulsing and his eyebrows twitching. Jesus Christ, that wardrobe was a dark place and didn’t offer any hint to its cavernous possibilities. And then, in what seemed like half an eyebrow twitch, the purple and red spewed me out. Side Red had finished and I had to get up and flip the record over to Side Purple.


The Vibes, Inner Wardrobes of Your Mind


Trash is Glorious

If you like your rock ‘n’ roll to spit out a screechin’ and howlin’ explosion of energy, you’re in luck. Punk-trash-garage meets psychedelic-tripped-out rockabilly, this is one helluva trip through your mind’s inner wardrobes. Mine are still leaning precariously to one side with both doors hanging off. The Vibes emerged from the same swamplands as The Sting-Rays and Thee Milkshakes, and have the welts and bruises from the Cramps’ stiletto heels all over them.

There are only four tracks on this EP, and the hallucinatory overtones add to its intensity. Side Red includes ‘I Hear Noises (extended trip version)’ and ‘I’m In Pittsburgh (And It’s Rain’in)’. The latter is a more menacing and urgent cover of The Outcasts’ 1965 garage track. Side Purple brings us ‘Hasil Adkins In My Head’, and ‘Scratch My Back’. For those of you unfamiliar with Hasil Adkins, he was known as the ‘godfather of psychobilly’, and his suitably weird and filthy lyrics were a major influence on the Cramps, who covered ‘She Said’.



Everyone Needs a Wardrobe

‘Yer awfy quiet,’ my mate said, grinding the dowt into the saucer-come-ashtray, ‘let’s get out of here.’ We wandered up to the local post office, where we stood outside for an unknown period of time, trying to get it together to go in and buy a 1st class stamp.

Like bioluminescent fireflies, The Vibes’ lifespan was short. They formed in 1983, but by 1986 they had all but self-immolated.  Although they had several 12” and 7” releases, they only produced one studio album ‘What’s Inside?’ in 1985. Several members went on to form The Purple Things, and Lloyd Tripp moved to America where he still performs as Lloyd Tripp and the Zipguns.

 ‘Inner Wardrobes of Your Mind’ is a bit like The Vibes themselves – it tears through your head like a crazed and hellacious rockin’ twister and then, all too quickly, it’s over. It might be a short ride, but a journey into the wardrobe “could be the answer you’re looking for”.

Check out our 1980s page for more groovy stuff to watch/read/listen to.

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Banned Book Club

Join Our Banned Book Club!

book burning

Greetings Power Cutters!

I’ll be honest, I have only recently discovered #BannedBooksWeek, and was surprised to discover it’s been around since 1982! But I did some digging and found that book banning goes back centuries, and the reasons are all too familiar. John Milton’s Aeropagitica, written in 1644 and banned until 1695, was a passionate defence of free speech and critique of censorship. Milton was a bit of a rebel politically, and a royal proclamation was issued in 1660 calling for the suppression and burning of two of his previous works. Almost 400 years later, the irony continues as academics and writers advocating for free speech follow the same fate, having their work censored or banned. It might have given Milton a degree of satisfaction in knowing his work was banned for posing a threat to the establishment. However, some books are banned for the most ridiculous reasons.

3 Craziest Book Bans

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell – banned by the South African Government during the Apartheid era because of the word ‘Black’ in the title.

Little Red Riding Hood – was banned in 1990 by two Californian school boards because Red had a bottle of wine in her basket.

Tarzan series by Edgar Rice Burroughs – California again. Banned because Tarzan and Jane were cavorting out of wedlock in the treetops.

Leave Agatha Christie Alone! Don’t Mess With Ian Fleming!

Books shouldn’t be banned and they shouldn’t be retrospectively censored. All art is a reflection of a moment in time, which is inextricably fixed in its identity. Attempts to alter a book will only destroy its balance and essence. Books written now are products of this world and this life, and play a vital part in deconstructing society for us. Future attempts to carve them into something more aligned with our descendants’ way of thinking would miss the point entirely.

Banned Book Club

last exit to brooklyn

With this in mind, what better time to launch our Banned Book Club than the end of Banned Books Week? Every month we’ll be reading a banned book from the 20th century. Get in touch if you have any suggestions.

We’re going to kick things off with Last Exit to Brooklyn (1964) by Hubert Selby Jr. Like any good book club, we’d love to know what your thoughts are. Do you love it, hate it, DNF? Here are some Banned Book Club questions to consider:

What scene has stuck with you the most?

What did you think of the writing?

Should it have been banned?

If you are keen to read more cult classics from the 1960s, check out our mini-guide to essential music, books and movies of the decade.

If you have enjoyed reading this post, please support us to keep our Banned Book Club going.