Restricted Hours (The Astronauts) - Getting things done - Stevenage RAR records (1979)
Eternal long-haired losers who also have some of the best tunes this semi-legendary band has only released 6 albums in its long existence but each of them is a bonafide classic.
The ASTRONAUTS 2nd album ALL DONE BY MIRRORS judged by those who heard it as among the best albums of all time was a stunning collection of explosive pop songs and traditional folk ballads recorded at a time when all their gigs were with anarchist punk bands. Their 5th album IN DEFENCE OF COMPASSION experimented with ambient house music years before other conventional bands even thought of doing so.
With so many excellent songs (many never recorded) it is probably the ASTRONAUTS enthusiasm for drugs and music over career and changing fashions which has stopped them becoming as well known as they should be. Inspired by the UK punk explosion Mark Astronaut formed the band with a few friends in 1977 and began playing local gigs in their hometown of Welwyn Garden City.
By 1979 The Astronauts were regularly appearing at free festivals and gigs in London organised by a hippy collective known as Fuck Off Records and from these began a close friendship with London punk bands Zounds and the Mob. That year the first Astronauts ep was released on local label Bugle Records and musically it reflected the hippie drug culture combined with the energy of punk.'All Night Party' still sounds like the paranoid nightmare it did back then.The record established the Astronauts on the local gig scene among the non mainstram hippie/punk/biker crowd.
Also in 1979 an ep was released under the assumed name of RESTRICTED HOURS on the Stevenage Rock Against Racism label.'Getting Things Done' attacked the political apathy of smalltown life while 'Still Living Out The Carcrash' was musically a typically nightmarish theme.