The Insex had a strong following and played many shows between 1980-83 with DOA, the Subhumans, Modernettes, K-Tels, Private School, Scissors and others. The lineup on their first and only record (7-inch EP for the MoDaMu label) was Karlin Shewman (vocals), John Chapman (guitar), Phil Addington (bass), Paul Addington (keyboards) and Simon Addington (drums).
Originally fronted by singer Rosemarie Swift, Insex's first show with Karl Shewman (AKA "Karlin Sex") was May 23-24 1980 at the Smilin' Buddha, opening for the Subhumans. The band played a number of high profile backup spots with visiting bands such as the Ramones, Siouxie & The Banshees, the Stranglers (who Insex idolised), Jayne County & the Electric Chairs, and Husker Du.
Hardcore '81 was one of their most memorable shows. Insex featured keyboards prominently, which was not very "punk" as far as some local punters were concerned, and certainly not "hardcore." Insex deliberately flaunted the scene's status quo, so some critics thought they shouldn't have been included in the bill. The fact that Insex was originally slated to play on Friday the 13th (considered the better night because Black Flag were on the bill), was unacceptable to some. Members of the Bludgeoned Pigs complained so bitterly that Joey Shithead phoned Phil Addington and asked if it would be okay if they played on Saturday the 14th instead, with a better billing. So Insex got to play as the second-to-last act of the festival, right before DOA. The Hardcore '81 performance (view here: Part1 Part2 Part3 Part4) is a testament to Karlin's showmanship and the band's adept musicianship. Starting with a mostly unfriendly crowd, the band played their hearts out and won the audience over, earning an encore in the process.
Insex played around Vancouver for another year, then moved to England, where they discovered that the last thing anyone wanted was another punk band! They broke up in 1983.
The Addington brothers (augmented by younger brother Bernie on second bass guitar) regrouped as the decidedly more post-punk, sinister-sounding "proto-goth" combo Family Plot, fronted by former Moev singer Madeline Morris. Family Plot played a number of notable shows with bands such as Alien Sex Fiend, Love & Rockets, the Butthole Surfers, Nina Hagen, Hunters & Collectors, No Means No, and Wire. They recorded one cassette EP and one 12-inch album before eventually dissolving in 1990.
Karl Shewman graduated from Concordia University in Montreal with BA in Anthropology in 1996. He worked as drug and alcohol counsellor at a penitentiary in Montreal for a short time before moving Powell River in BC with his second wife, where his much adored daughter Skeena was born in 1998. He worked as a career counsellor, facilitator, and even filled-in for the local probation officer. He moved his family to Abbotsford BC for a year, where he worked as a drug and alcohol counsellor at a local treatment center. The family moved back to Powell River, where he recorded his last CD, Tangled, in 2001. Karlin continued to play and record music until his life was suddenly ended on September 10th, 2001.
For more Insex info, and to hear some song selections, visit their Myspace page.
**Special thanks to Phil Addington and Jody Jankola**