While students at Blackpool Art College in 1981, Dave, Craig & myself (Mick), quickly discovered our shared interest in music and old English pubs. In no time, our shared student accommodation became a clutter of instruments beneath a nest of wires and recording equipment. Later, armed with our hard-earned student grant cheques, we booked recording time at the local Sunset Sound Studios. Blending synthesizers & drum machine with guitars, DAS KABINETTE was born.
Our second visit to the studio in 1983 produced The Cabinet and the remixed Fudge It (a college term meaning to cheat). We all have a fascination for ‘The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari’ with its twisted tale of madness and unforgettable imagery and this was the theme we borrowed for our demo. Dave created the sleeve artwork and Craig organised the pressing of 500 vinyl singles on our own Klosette Records label. Over many months, we touted The Cabinet to club and radio DJs and sent copies to largely unreceptive A&R departments, yet found a friend in BBC Radio 1’s Janice Long who aired it on several occasions.
Over the intervening years, countless stories have reached us of the fabled popularity of The Cabinet which has mysteriously migrated around Europe in a way that none of us could have suspected.
A primitive self-produced college video of the track can be found on YouTube. The college friend who features as ‘Jane’ in the video became the long-time girlfriend of Gary Numan shortly after filming. After hearing a further demo he invited us to record our next session at Rock City Studio in Shepperton during the embryonic days of his Numa label.
On leaving college, now with full-time jobs and regular pay cheques, we continued our sporadic recording sessions at Cavalier Studios, near Manchester, until a completed album, Sexual Desert, emerged in 1986, but is as yet unreleased.
With the advent of more modern equipment and sampling, we felt our music drifting away from the Das Kabinette identity, becoming DANGEROUS GROUND in 1987.
The band released three singles on our own DG Records label, distributed through Rough Trade. We shot a video for the track Big Fun which was shown many times across Europe on MTV and can also be found on YouTube. A video for Unfaithfully Yours, filmed when the technology was in its infancy, was the world’s first in 3D (contrary to popular ‘knowledge’).
A guest spot on the celebrated, yet ill-fated Radio Luxembourg and a BBC Radio 1 session for the legendary ‘Whispering’ Bob Harris marked the end of this incarnation of the band. Recorded at Charlotte Street Studios, London and mixed at Amazon Studios, Liverpool, the album, the Pleasure & the Pain, remains as yet unreleased.
As a pastime, myself and Dave continue to record a wealth of solo projects and together as MUTANT SUITS for the sheer enjoyment of creating new music, which has never ceased to thrill. The three original members of Das Kabinette are still the best of friends and at weekends regularly indulge our other hobby in the pub.
Thanks to Das Kabinette for this submission.