The Wild Swans

The Wild Swans were an English neo-psych band that released the 1982 single “Revolutionary Spirit” on the post-punk Liverpool label Zoo Records. Frontman Paul Simpson teamed with local stalwart Ian Broudie in Care while guitarist Jeremy Kelly and keyboardist Gerard Quinn formed The Lotus Eaters. Simpson reformed Wild Swans for the 1988–90 Sire albums Bringing Home the Ashes and Space Flower.

Members: Paul Simpson (guitar, vocals), Jeremy Kelly (guitar, 1980-87), Gerard Quinn (keyboards, 1980-86), Rolo McGinty (bass, 1981-82), Joe Fearon (bass, 1985-90)


The Wild Swans formed in 1980 when Liverpool songwriter and singer Paul Simpson teamed with guitarist Jeremy Kelly and keyboardist Ged Quinn. The name originates from an 1838 princess fairy tale by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen.

Simpson hailed from The Teardrop Explodes, a rising Merseyside act founded by Welsh transplant Julian Cope, Paul’s bandmate beforehand in A Shallow Madness. After the 1979 debut Teardrops single “Sleeping Gas,” conflicts over group leadership and stage presentation prompted Simpson’s departure.

The Wild Swans gained a benefactor in Echo & The Bunnymen drummer Pete de Freitas, who financed, produced, and drummed on their debut single (under his two middle names, Louis Vincent). The bassist for this session was (future Woodentops) Rolo McGinty.

“Revolutionary Spirit”

On January 8, 1982, The Wild Swans released “The Revolutionary Spirit” / “God Forbid” on Zoo Records. Simpson co-wrote both songs with Kelly and Quinn.

A. “The Revolutionary Spirit” (4:19) B. “God Forbid” (3:10)

“The Revolutionary Spirit” reached No. 13 on the UK Indie Chart. This was the ninth and final single on Zoo (CAGE 009), released twenty-two months after the third Teardrops single “Treason” (CAGE 008).

BBC Sessions

With Modernaires (and later Room) bassist Phil Lucking, The Wild Swans cut a four-song session for the March 23, 1982, broadcast of the Kid Jensen Show.

Flowers of England
The Iron Bed
Now You’re Perfect

The Wild Swans welcomed bassist Baz Hughes and Modern Eon drummer Joe McKechnie. On May 1, they recorded a three-song session for BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel (aired 5/13).

“No Bleeding”


  • “Revolutionary Spirit” / “God Forbid” (1982)
  • Bringing Home the Ashes (1988)
  • Space Flower (1990)


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