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Crispy Ambulance were an English rock band formed in Manchester (UK) in 1978 by Alan Hempsall (vocals), Keith Darbyshire (bass), Gary Madeley (drums) and Robert Davenport (guitar), mainly inspired by the legendary Sex Pistols Gig in the Lesser Free Trade Hall and the post-punk band Magazine.
Following a self-released debut single From the Cradle to the Grave (single), (Aural Assault, 1980) the band joined Factory Records. Singles "Unsightly and Serene" (Deaf/Not What I Expected) (Factory, 1980) and "Live on a Hot August Night" (Factory Benelux, 1981, produced by Martin Hannett) preceded the album The Plateau Phase (Factory Benelux, 1981), and final single "Sexus" (Factory Benelux, 1981). Crispy Ambulance, along with Section 25, were often written off by music critics as Joy Division copyists.
The band played several dozen live dates in the north of England and London, as well as a short European tour with Factory Records label-mates Section 25 in January 1982. Previously in April 1980 singer Alan Hempsall had also appeared on stage with Joy Division at Bury Derby Hall (UK), a performance which ultimately descended into a riot.
Crispy Ambulance disbanded late in 1982, leaving behind Fin, a live album of late period songs not recorded in the studio. A further posthumous album, Frozen Blood, included their 1981 BBC radio session for the John Peel programme. The four members carried on for a short time as Ram Ram Kino, releasing one single "Advantage" on Temple Records, which was affiliated to Psychic TV.
The original line-up of Crispy Ambulance reformed in 1999, and went on to release two studio albums - Scissorgun (2002) and The Powder Blind Dream (2004), as well as another live set, Accessory After The Fact. All these later recordings were produced by Graham Massey of 808 State. The group also undertook a short tour of North America in November 2002.
- From the Cradle to the Grave (Aural Assault 1980)
- Unsightly and Serene (Factory Records, FAC.32 1980)
- Live on a Hot August Night (Factory Records Benelux, FACBN 4 1981)
- The Plateau Phase (1982)
- Sexus (1984)
- Fin (1985)
- Accessory After the Fact (1999)
- Frozen Blood (2000)
- Piccadilly Radio (2001)
- Scissorgun (2002)
- The Powder Blind Dream (2004)
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