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Use No Hooks



From its inception in 1979, Use No Hooks was both an ‘experimental’ and ‘eclectic’ band which changed musical direction constantly, typically playing entirely new material at each gig, often with different instrumentation and/or personnel.  Its history spans roughly six phases.

UNH1 (1979-80)

A 3-piece precursor group called Sample Only, formed when guitarists Mick Earls and Arne Hanna, who had been jamming together for several years, joined with experienced drummer Steve Bourke.  It played ‘minimalist’ instrumental pieces in an improvised ‘surf-music’ style, which were overlaid in live performance with organ drones or pre-recorded ‘samples’ of radio and TV sound sourced from reel-to-reel tape recorders operated by Arne and Mick via foot-pedals.  Unfortunately its best live performances weren’t recorded.  (Digital Track 4, Sideshore Boogie, )

UNH2 (early 1980)

A so-called ‘art-band’ phase, where the original trio was joined by Peter Tyndall (bass) and Matt Errey (keyboards), to perform long semi- improvised pieces, often utilising tape-recorded sound and samplings of many musics live on stage.  (Digital Track 3, Momentum, is a long-form instrumental composition).  Tom Hoy (vocal) and Alan Bamford (percussion) were added for separate one-off projects. A large amount of ‘audio art’ material was also composed for electronic tape by Arne and Mick around 1980-81 under the moniker ‘Invisible Music’.  Consisting mainly of sound-collages which mixed together samplings of various recorded musics, radio and TV audio with instrumental parts and recordings of live drum tracks by Steve, it was not intended for live performance — but was incorporated into live-to-air performances on radio 3CR and Alan Bamford’s show at 3-RRR.  The band was closely associated with the ‘Little Bands’ movement during this period.

 UNH3 (late 1980)

An experimental  ‘big-band’ phase, when a further four personnel were added — Cathy Hopkins (vocal), Terry Doolan (guitar), Simon Grounds (sax), and Lindsay Greer (sax) — to play an extended 3-part composition in a raw ‘funked-up’ style, for just two gigs.

 UNH4 (early 1981)

 A re-formation phase, with Arne  switching to drums, and new members André Schuster (bass), Cathy Hopkins (vocal) and Michael Charles (saxes), joining Mick (g) and Matt (kbds), to produce an eclectic ‘post-punk’ mix of funk, disco, soul, blues and jazz — again, for just two gigs.  (Digital Tracks: 1, But You Smile Anyway; 2, Instrumentality; and 5, This Way Up).

Live in Sydney at the Trade Union Club, June 1981.

1. Who Took My Boy Away

2. Turn Off That Saxophone

3. Cathy’s song
Cathy Hopkins on vocal; Michael Charles, tenor saxophone; with Arne, Mick, Andre, Matt.

4. Drano Blues
Arne Hanna, vocal, with Michael Charles, Mick Andre, Matt.

5. Moon River
Cathy Hopkins, vocal; Michael Charles, tenor saxophone; with Arne, Mick, Andre, Matt.

 UNH5 (late 1981-82)
A consolidation phase, as the band contracted to just four members, André (b), Mick (g), Arne Hanna (d) and Matt (kbds), to focus on developing a tougher, more rhythmically intense music utilising extended funk-infused grooves, laced with occasional vocal fragments, half-spoken, half-sung. 
(Digital Track 6, Back Story)

1. Woke Up
Mick (vocals), with Andre (bass), Matt (kb), Mick (g), Arne (drums)

2. Professional Help
Mick and Arne (vocals), with Andre (bass), Matt (kb), Mick (g), Arne (drums)

 UNH6 (1983)

A final ‘disco-funk’ phase, which took shape as soul, funk and disco rhythms were increasingly incorporated into the band’s material, and Mick began to pen quasi-rap style vocals in an Australian idiom. The band grew to a nine-piece outfit with the addition of a second keyboardist, Phil Nichols, plus a 4-part vocal section: lead singer Stuart Grant (from the recently disbanded Primitive Calculators), with backing chorus Denise Rosenberg (also ex-Calculators), Wendy Joy Morrissey and Marisa Stirpe. Vocal arrangements of Mick’s lyrics were made by Stuart and Arne.

In 1984 Use No Hooks took an extended break to allow Arne and Mick to develop new material, but for various reasons (alas) the band would never re-form….

.....until 2016 when, following the unexpected popularity of Do The Job with wholly new audiences, the band was invited by DJ Mickey Edwards to reform for a special gig at a Melbourne dance club. So after a 33 year hiatus UNH was re-launched, this time as a largely electronic duo comprising original members  Arne and Mick, who started performing and recording again in the original manner — by devising new material for each gig.

Use No Hooks YouTube channel

Use No Hooks Bandcamp

Arne, Mick, Alan Bamford, Peter Tyndall and Jim Buck (under Alan's hand) UNH #2


UNH #2 - Venue unknown


Arne during UNH #4


Mick and Arne during UNH #6 practice in Charles Street, Northcote


Arne UNH #6


Arne, Mick, Wendy Joy, Phil, Denise, Matt, Marisa, Andre and Stuart in front


UNH #6 in practice room, Charles Street, Northcote
Arne, Marisa, Stuart, Denise, Wendy Joy, Frank (leaving practice room) and Phil.


Marisa, Denise and Wendy Joy UNH #6


Interview in Crowd Magazine, January 1984

Crowd Magazine January 1984

Interview with Stuart from Sounds Magazine January 1984 (pdf)

Dave Light was the UNH manager (and came up with the name Global Entertainment)
This info was put out after UNH #6 stopped taking gigs.
Global Entertainment

37 years later ....

UNH album 2020

Special Thanks
The indefatigable Alan Bamford recorded every UNH gig on his trusty reel-to-reel tape recorder during 1980-82.  Without his efforts, together with those of Simon Grounds, who recorded those 1983 sessions on his 4-track machine, this project would not have been possible. Thanks also to Guy Blackman at Chapter Music for facilitating the 2020 release. And thanks, finally, to all 25 persons who passed through Use No Hooks at various times during those hectic four years.

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