The Specials

The Specials were an English ska band that released the 1979–80 albums The Specials and More Specials on 2 Tone, a specialty imprint started by keyboardist Jerry Dammers in cooperation with Chrysalis. They scored hits with “Gangsters,” “A Message to You, Rudy,” “Too Much Too Young,” “Rat Race,” and the 1981 UK No. 1 “Ghost […]

The Selecter

The Selecter was an English ska band that released the 1980 2 Tone album Too Much Pressure, followed by the 1981 Chrysalis release Celebrate the Bullet. The former spawned the UK Top 20 hits “On My Radio” and “Three Minute Hero.” Members: Neol Davies (guitar, 1977-92), John Bradbury (drums, 1977-79), Barry Jones (trombone, 1977-?), Desmond […]

Elmer Gantry’s Velvet Opera

Elmer Gantry’s Velvet Opera was an English psych-rock band that released multiple singles and a 1968 self-titled album on Direction. After Gantry’s departure, singer/guitarist Paul Brett led them on the 1969 release Ride a Hustler’s Dream. The rhythm section joined the Strawbs and later recorded as Hudson–Ford. Gantry surfaced in funk-rockers Stretch. Members: Colin Forster […]

Indian Summer

Indian Summer was an English post-psych band from the industrial Midlands that released a self-titled album on RCA/Neon in 1971. Members: Bob Jackson (keyboards, vocals), Paul Hooper (drums, percussion), Roy Butterfield (guitar), Al Hatton (bass), Steve Cotteral (guitar), Colin Williams (guitar, vocals), Malcolm Harker (bass, vocals, 1969-71), Wez Price (bass, vocals, 1971-72) Background Indian Summer […]

Still Life

Still Life was an English organ-rock/psych band from Coventry that released a self-titled album on the Vertigo “swirl” label in 1971. Vocalist Martin Cure had previously sung in the beat-psych groups The Peeps (1965–69), Rainbows (1969), and Cupid’s Inspiration. He later fronted hard-rockers Chevy for a one-off album in 1980. Members: Martin Cure (vocals), Terry […]

Dando Shaft

Dando Shaft was an English folk-psych band from Coventry that debuted with an album on Young Blood in 1970, followed by two titles on RCA in 1971–72 and a fourth on Rubber Records in 1977.  Guitarist–vocalist Kevin Dempsey and singer Polly Bolton were also part of the 1973 Christian project Blue Aquarius. Mandocellist Martin Jenkins […]

Jigsaw

Jigsaw was an English pop-rock band from Coventry that released a trio of singles on MGM/Music Factory in 1968, followed by two albums on Philips between 1970 and 1972, a second pair of albums on BASF in 1973/74, and a further trio of longplayers on Chelsea and Splash between 1975 and 1978. They are best […]

The Colourfield

The Colourfield was an English sophisti-pop band that released the 1985–87 Chrysalis albums Virgins and Philistines and Deception. They featured ex-Specials and Fun Boy Three singer Terry Hall and onetime Swinging Cats guitarist–keyboardist Toby Lyons. Members: Terry Hall (vocals, guitar), Karl Shale (bass), Toby Lyons (guitar, keyboards), Gary Dwyer (drums, 1986-87) Formation Terry Hall formed […]

King

King were an English soul-pop band from Coventry that released the album Steps in Time with accompanying singles on CBS in late 1984, followed by Bitter Sweet in 1985. Both albums were produced by Richard James Burgess (Easy Street, Landscape, Spandau Ballet). The band lacked an official drummer; Burgess fulfilled that role on the first […]

Reluctant Stereotypes

The Reluctant Stereotypes were an English New Wave/ska band from Coventry that issued a three-song EP on A&M-subsidiary Oval Music in 1979, followed by the album The Label with three accompanying singles/b-sides on WEA in 1980. Vocalist Paul King, who joined just prior to the WEA releases, later recorded two albums with his own surname-sake […]