(Photo c/o Paul Trynka)
1979 – 1985
Paul Trynka (guitar / vocals)
Trevor Simpson (guitar / bass)
Steve Jessop (drums)
Tim Allison (keyboards)
Paul Moller (sax / violin)
Steve Jones (drums)
Ronald Rae (double bass)
John Sampson (trumpet)
Jock Lurie (drums)
Formed in Hull, 1979 around core members Paul Trynka (guitar/vocal), Trevor Simpson (bass/guitars) and Steve Jessop (drums), Nyam Nyam are one of the city’s finest post-punk acts. Their first recording, “Knowledge”, recorded in the summer of 1980, was included on the ultra-rare Hull compilation album Mrs Wilson’s Children, and included founder drummer, Steve Jones.
“When We Can’t Make Laughter Stay” was released on 7” in 1981 on Nik Townend’s Vital label and featured extra performances from the drummer Jock Lurie and synth-player Tim Allison. The single caught the ears at Cargo Studios (Rochdale) of New Order bassist Peter Hook, who approached the band and produced “Fate/Hate” (1984) for release on Belgian sister label to the revered Manchester imprint, Factory Benelux. With Hook at the controls (under his Be.Music alias) the single pumps and throbs like the best of New Order – all snapping drum machine patterns, slashing guitars, and pulsing disco arpeggios. East Yorkshire Body Music.
Following “Fate/Hate”, 4AD supremo Ivo Watts-Russell contacted the band with a view to releasing their debut LP, Hope Of Heaven. The album eventually surfaced on Beggars Banquet affiliate Situation Two in 1985. For the …Heaven sessions Nyam Nyam recruited Paul Moller (formerly of Hull punk outfit Mental Block) who Trynka met at Sydney Scarborough record shop in 1977. Moller featured on saxophone and violin. The album was co-produced with ‘Joey’ Richardson, a Factory Records operative who had previously worked with Joy Division. The Factory connection was extended further; Paul Trynka – “New Order were recording Low Life in the daytime, so Hooky drove over with Iris in his Audi Quattro at midnight, crossed the Pennines in about 45 minutes, with their Emulator and Prophet 5 so we could overdub all the keyboards in one night”. The final LP stands as one of the great Factory Benelux lost records
The group issued one more EP for Situation Two, The Architect, in 1985 alongside producer/engineer Colin Richardson. It featured cameos from Ronald Rae on double bass and John Sampson (trumpet) and sleeve work from regular designer and champion Vaughan Oliver. Nyam Nyam disbanded shortly afterwards in 1985.
Hope of Heaven was rescued from obscurity in 2012 by LTM Recordings replete with extensive liner notes, photographs and interviews. Paul Moller continues to make experimental and improvised music as What Katy Did Next (first formed in Hull in 1979 with Nyam Nyam’s Trevor Simpson, Mark Fell and others). Paul Trynka is the author of acclaimed biographies of David Bowie and Iggy Pop, was editor of MOJO, and has written widely on music and popular culture. His work has appeared in The Guardian, The Times, The Independent and BBC Online.
Hope Of Heaven (LP) – Situation Two, 1984
Hope Of Heaven + Singles (CD) – LTM, 2012
When We Can’t Make Laughter Stay (7″) – Vital, 1981
Fate/Hate (12″) – Factory Benelux, 1984
The Architect (12″) – Situation Two, 1985
Mrs Wilson’s Children (LP) – Vital, 1981 (track – “Knowledge”)