The Blow Monkeys

The Blow Monkeys were an English sophisti-pop band from London that debuted with a single on small-press Parasol Records in 1982, followed by five albums on RCA between 1984 and 1990.

Members: Dr. Robert (vocals, guitar, piano), Neville Henry (saxophone), Anthony Kiley (drums), Mick Anker (bass)

The Blow Monkeys formed in London in 1981 after singer, songwriter, guitarist, and pianist Bruce Robert Howard (born May 2, 1961, in Haddington, Scotland) returned from Australia, where he’d lived with his family for five years. Adopting the stagename Dr. Robert, he assembled the band with bassist Mick Anker, drummer Anthony Kiley, and saxophonist Neville Henry, all newcomers born in late 1961.

They debuted with the single “Live Today Love Tomorrow,” an upbeat strumalong akin to Josef K and Orange Juice with Mackay-like sax overlays. It appeared in January 1982 on two-press Parasol Records, backed with “In Cold Blood,” a mid-tempo shuffle built on a dirgy bass riff. The b-side appears on the 1982 cassette comp Fast Forward 012, issued by the namesake Australian magazine with cuts by Liquid Liquid and Wire frontman Colin Newman. Producer Chris Mansbridge (Family Fodder) oversaw the sessions at Elephant Studios in Wapping, the site of recordings by Bob Theil, The Sound, Renaldo and the Loaf, ex-Squeeze bassist Harri Kakoulli, and onetime Delivery vocalist Carol Grimes.

  • “Live Today Love Tomorrow” / “In Cold Blood” (1982)
  • Limping for a Generation (1984)
  • Animal Magic (1986)
  • She Was Only a Grocer’s Daughter (1987)
  • Whoops! There Goes the Neighbourhood (1989)
  • Springtime for the World (1990)


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