Released today in 1982: Fatman/Moya


Situation 2 SIT19

Strictly speaking Southern Death Cult has no connection with The Cult, but the singer common to both groups Ian Astbury retained the song Moya which first appeared on Southern Death Cult’s only single, and included it in The Cult’s early live sets. A recording of The Cult performing the song was made at the Lyceum Ballroom in London on 20 May 1984 and released on Live At The Lyceum, a bonus LP given away with the first 30,000 copies of their Dreamtime album.

“You know what? I probably had about two or three chords I knew at the time,” Astbury laughed when talking about the composition of the song in 2012. 1 “E-minor was one of them. I could play E-minor over and over again. I just loved the sound of that chord, especially on acoustic guitar. I don’t know where I got the rhythm. I’ve no idea. That’s a Southern Death Cult song we developed as a band. I remember Barry Jepson adding a chord to it, and Buzz working on the arrangement, so it was a collaboration. We all worked on that song. Lyrically, it was wonderfully earnest and naïve and beautiful, coming from a very young spirit. But the sense in that song was definitely about dystopia, growing up in mostly industrial areas, whether it was Merseyside in England or Glasgow or Hamilton, Ontario, in Canada, it was certainly coming out of true punk rock. George Orwell’s 1984 wasn’t that far away from reality in the early ’80s in the UK, in Thatcher’s Britain. The references to Wounded Knee, that was my fascination with native cultures and indigenous cultures, which I’ve had since I was about 11 years old. That comes from living in Canada and being exposed to indigenous culture, then reading into it. So it was something I was very passionate about, and I guess in this song… It’s a montage of different emotions.”

Astbury of course went on to form Death Cult which became The Cult. His co-writers on Moya – bassist Jepson, guitarist Buzz (AKA David Burrows) and drummer Haq Quereshi (now Aki Nawaz) – became Getting The Fear.

1 Harris, Will. “The Cult’s Ian Astbury talks about songs, ignoring the critics, and ‘sexual modality’”, Set List,, 7 June 2012.

NEW SINGLES on sale from Dec. 10
SOUTHERN DEATH CULT (Ian Astbury) Fatman/Moya (Situation 2 SIT19)


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