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Honey Bane

+ {`Fatal Microbes’}

Born Donna Tracy Boylan, 1964, in London, England, pseudonymous punkette and budding actress HONEY BANE was primped to be the next TOYAH, but then came the meltdown. Initially shrieking, LYDIA LUNCH-like on the seminal `FATAL MICROBES’ single, `Violence Grows’ (released twice in ‘79), any goodness in the schoolgirl was left at the doorstep when the underage Donna subsequently ended up running from social services.
`FATAL MICROBES’ were the youngest post-punk combo around when they formed in 1978, beating the record of similarly-fashioned 14-17 year-olds: EATER. Aged 14, herself, when their aforementioned A-side instilled fear and a sense of morality in the capital’s youth, Honey was supported by bassist Scotty Boy Barker, 11-year-old drummer Gem Stone (alias Gemma Sansom) and guitarist Pete Fender (alias Daniel Sansom); the latter – older brother of Gem – was also part of mother Vi Subversa’s anarcho-punk band POISON GIRLS, whom they shared a 12-inch version of said single.
Issued in conjunction with Small Wonder Records and Xntrix, HONEY BANE, however, had been AWOL from a detention centre at the time of the recording; the peroxide-pink Honey B and her glass-shattering wail was best sampled on this couch-punk plea for public transport peace of mind; the B-sides were `Beautiful Pictures’ and `Cry Baby’. With loads of homework piling up for the boys and girls; Gem and a solo PETE FENDER (Xntrix released his “Four Formulas (For The Eradication Of Microbes)” EP, late in 1980) subsequently formed RUBELLA BALLET.
Meanwhile, still only 15, HONEY BANE opted for a solo career by December ‘79, choosing to debut for Crass Records (featuring CRASS themselves: as The Kebabs) and revisit her radical punk past on the 3-track EP, `You Can Be You’. Bolstered by her appearance for KILLING JOKE (on the `What’s The Matter?’ track) at a prestigious London Venue gig the following February, BANE self-financed her second single, `Guilty’. On hearing of her potential and fanbase, SHAM 69’s Jimmy Pursey requested to become her manager, and with that she signed to E.M.I. subsidiary, Zonophone Records (home to both ANGELIC UPSTARTS and COCKNEY REJECTS).
Attempts to transform her into a pouting teen-pop starlet initially paid off as `Turn Me On Turn Me Off’ gate-crashed the Top 40. With her DIY/punk beginnings now just a vague memory, “little lolita” BANE had further feeble stabs at the charts, although only a cover of The SUPREMES’ `Baby Love’ touched base; three others (`Jimmy… (Listen To Me)’, `Wish I Could Be Me’ and `Dizzy Dreamers’) flopped unceremoniously. Going nowhere fast as the new TOYAH, the final demise of her short-lived career was when she turned her talents to acting and starred in the controversial Mai Zettering film, Scrubbers (Honey played the role of borstal girl Molly); previously, she’d featured in the play, Demonstration Of Affection.
As the 80s continued onwards and upwards for her friends of old, BANE became a pin-up model for erotic lads mags, and her subsequent whereabouts were unknown until she again turned to singing; this time for 90s outfit Dog’s Tooth Violet.
In 2006, a solo HONEY BANE was back in indie contention with the single, `Down Thing’ (b/w `Got Me All Wrong’), and an album was pencilled in for the future, while she duly appeared (alongside Siobhan Fahey – ex-BANANARAMA – and Donny Tourette – of TOWERS OF LONDON) in the short film, What Shall We Do With The Drunken Sailor.
2015’s long-awaited debut album(!), ACCEPTANCE OF EXISTENCE (2015) {*6}, was a distance from her days as punk princess; although there was a lyrical update of her Fatal M 45, `Violence Grew’, alongside recent singles/website download `The Bomb’. Finally, the CD was followed by another long-in-the-can release: the compilation of all her work as IT’S A BANEFUL LIFE (THE ANTHOLOGY 1978-2015) (also 2015) {*7}, which, among her Zonophone singles, opened with the FATAL MICROBES threesome.
© MC Strong 1999-2003/GA&ID // rev-up MCS Mar2016

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