An Arc of Hives
2012 compilation by influential writer and humorist John Dowie, acclaimed by many as Britain's first 'alternative comedian', and an unlikely early signing to Factory Records. Feted by Tony Wilson of Factory as a new wave Lenny Bruce, Dowie went on to record with Martin Hannett and Alberto y Lost Trios Paranoia's (all featured here), before moving on to stage and television work, and finally retiring from stand-up in 1991. 'The most influential comedian you've never heard of,' offers Dave Cohen. 'John Dowie performed art house proto Alterative Comedy before it even had a name,' adds Stewart Lee. 'He was tired of it by the time the tropes he's established became commonplace, and then he just sort of slipped away.' This remastered compilation CD includes all tracks from the original singles released between 1977 and 1981, as well as unreleased demos recorded with the Smirks, Albertos and Fabulous Poodles, plus live material recorded in 1985. The booklet features detailed liner notes by Stewart Lee, Dave Cohen and James Nice, plus cover art by Ralph Steadman.