Monday, January 21, 2008

THE TRIBE - Aussie New Wave Gem #1

For my first unearthed new wave treasure, I want to introduce The Tribe, number one in a series of stellar Australian 80s band I have recently discovered.

The Tribe emerged in the early 80s, and consisted of Jan Preston on vocals, Phil Wichett on keyboards, Gary Evans on bass, Mina Motu on drums and Guy Le Claire on guitar. Their musical output, as far as I know, consists of a mere three singles and one EP, but within that tiny catalog exist some true pop classics.

The releases include:

- Angel (of the Junkheap) b/w I Aint Waiting (Single, 1984)
- Dreams b/w No Music on My Radio (Single, 1984)
- Even in Russia b/w Caught in the Crossfire (Single, 1985)
- War Cry (6 song EP, 1985)

There are three songs by The Tribe that I would consider lost pop classics. The singles, Angel of the Junkheap, Dreams and Even in Russia are lyrically clever and full of hooks, shimmering keyboards and Jan Preston's soaring, flawless vocals.

The Tribe didn't last long enough to put out an LP, but I'm glad they left behind these few treasures. Apparently, after the band broke up Jan Preston went on to become a respected blues singer and songwriter (site) and Guy Le Claire is now based in Hong Kong playing and teaching guitar (site), but I haven't come across any information on what the other members of The Tribe have been up to.

Unfortunately, The Tribe singles and EP have not yet been released on CD. Check out my vinyl rip of the War Cry EP, and while you're at it follow the link to view the Even in Russia video on Youtube!

- The Tribe - War Cry (1985)

Track listing:
1 - War Cry
2 - Dreams
3 - Angel of the Junkheap
4 - Even in Russia
5 - Caught in the Crossfire
6 - What's Goin' On?

If you have any other information on the band, or just want to comment, please drop a note.

- The Tribe on
- Even in Russia video on


stranded said...

Thankyou very much,you just helped me identify The Tribe's "Angel of the Junkheap" after 25 years.

I'm from Australia, and it's great to get these obscure Australian gems.

Keep up the great work..cheers

Franko6677 said...

Thanks for the comment! Glad I could help with "Angel of the Junkheap."

Overhere said...

Hi Frank

Missed the posts on Dugites and these guys becaus I've only just discovered this great blog - please put 'em back up or send us a link over at They Called it Good at the Time

Great work

Overhere said...

Thanks for the repost Frank. Great blog.

shaun908 said...

Blast from the past!
I'll try and post some other Tribe stuff later, but in brief after a re-shuffle and negotiations with a US record company, Phil left to play keys for Wah Wah Nee and was replaced by Tex Mahoney from People, Mina Motu switched to bass and Chris Potter from Kism? played drums, Mark from Melaines joined as a guitarist.
Ater the band finished Jan went on to write for films, Mark & Chris moved to Melbourne, Tex continued DJ-ing and modelling before becoming a CEO of a company and Mina moved to Wooloomooloo

Franko6677 said...

Thanks for the info, Shaun! What else did they record? I thought I had everything.

Anonymous said...

Top stuff , only took me 25+ years for me to notice them & that started 3 months ago when i first heard " DREAMS " on tv -liked it instantly, but barely anything on the net about them, til i came here that is - Well done.

Anonymous said...

Hi I am an old friend of Mina's, what a great guy, well he's now in New Zealand has been for about oh going 20 yrs now or something like that & we have lost contact all though I have spoken to him once or twice over the years. I used to sit in on The Tribe rehearsing their songs, in The Compound squats in Darlinghurst wow all the way back to 84-85!

I have a question if anyone may know? There was a band that was popular way back in the day before my time really bit too young. On the wall of The Compound was a bands name painted MX Warheads if I remember correctly & apparently this was the bands name. I met the lead singer on a few occasions & she was really really lovely sadly she passed on from Cancer I think of the lung some years ago now oh maybe 87(?) I saw her performing a last hoorah in Woolloomooloo oh it was soo sad what a lovely lady. Anyhow does anyone know anything about a band quite popular in Darlo that was disbanded for sometime that lost a great singer? I would love to know if I remember correctly & what her name was??? And anymore info of the times of The Compound in Darlinghurst!!! Oh BTW great blog I am so glad I found it thanks :D (young compound member of 1984)

Anonymous said...

Hi my names Rod I'm a drummer and have a vast record collection I've got the album War Cry and still listen to it every now and then. I've got some great albums by some of Australia's lesser name artist eg:
The Boys, The Spaniards,Electric Pandas, Ward 13, QED, Gezza, Heaven etc

Anonymous said...

Hi I'm an Aussie living in hong kong and friends with the guitarist Guy. I will show him this blog maybe he can help you in regards to the band from "The Compound"

rgarton said...

all sods from soap as far as i know, just liked the song, it's romantically cool.