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      The Cravats grew out of Saturday music and drinking sessions which started in 1976 with Martin DeSey and John Yapp, but it wasn’t until 1977 that core members RR Dallaway and The Shend recruited Svoor Naan, produced their own single Gordon c/w Situations Vacant and started to generate wider interest. With the arrival of David Bennett in 1978, the really productive Cravats line-up emerged. The band signed to Pete and Mari Stennet’s legendary Walthamstow based Small Wonder label (home at various times to Bauhaus, The Cure and Crass) and released the E.P. The End, produced by Bob Sargeant, in early 1979.

      They were now gigging throughout the UK and found champions in BBC Radio 1’s John Peel and journalist Mick Mercer. Their first album, the quirkily punk The Cravats in Toytown was recorded in late 1979 and released in early 1980, followed by the thunderous, spiky single Precinct. In 1981 the band began a productive relationship with Crass, Penny Rimbaud and John Loder’s Southern Studios, and during that year Penny produced You’re Driving Me and I Am The Dreg, tracks subsequently released as a Small Wonder single. The rockabilly flavoured Off The Beach, again recorded at Southern, produced by the band, was the last release on Small Wonder.

      John Peel continued to be a strong supporter of The Cravats as they continued to define their truly unique sound, an eclectic fusion of punk, jazz and rockabilly, including a wide variety of influences and elements, from Holst to the stylophone. The band's sound was also distinctive for the use of toy musical instruments, industrial and domestic appliances (which were hit, blown strummed or bowed). Coupled with surreal lyrics and infused with jet black humour, The Cravats’ output was a distinctly English concoction. In all they recorded four John Peel show sessions, some seventeen tracks, during the short lifetime of the band – an indication of his enormous affection for them. The Cravats recorded their last Radio 1 session in 1982, which included versions of Rub Me Out and the autobiographical Ice-Cubists. Later that year saw the release of the magnificent dub-rock Terminus as a one-off single with Dave Barker’s Glass Records.

      After this release The Cravats found what seemed to be their natural home with Crass Records and again Penny Rimbaud produced material for the band, including their biggest selling single, the epic Rub Me Out. Also during that year the band compiled their second and last album. Released on the Crass label Corpus Christi, the awesome The Colossal Tunes Out featured the colossal tunes There Is No International Rescue and Daddy’s Shoes. But by this time the band had already drifted apart, ironically just at the time when arguably they were producing their best, most adventurous, accomplished material. Dave Bennett joined another Crass Records band, Poison Girls, Svoor Naan became part of Pigbros, and The Shend and RR Dallaway went on to develop the umbrella arts project The DcL (The Dada-Cravat Laboratory), which in turn spawned the speedy warped psychedelia and indie dance music of The Very Things. The strange and wonderful The Land Of The Giants 12” single, recorded by RR Dallaway, The Shend and Robin Disneytime Holland (of The Very Things) in 1985 was the last release under The Cravats name, on Reflex Records. In 2005 RR Dallaway and The Shend collaborated with Paul Hartnoll on the electro-punk colossus Seance, released as a single and included on The Land Of The Giants compilation CD.

      In 2012, the sad news about the death of David ‘Unlce Dave’ Bennett was heard. Many agreed that Dave had been a remarkable and hugely underrated musician, combining the finesse and inventiveness of a jazz drummer with the power of a rock drummer.

      Enormously influential with other bands, some of whom went on to greater fame and fortune than The Cravats ever enjoyed, always achieving critical acclaim, the band never enjoyed the huge numbers of record sales of those influenced by them or that they deserved. The Cravats should be cherished for the brilliant, eccentric and unique music of their brief lifespan.