A small site devoted to my band from the 80’s…
Those that saw them in the early 80’s felt this band were destined for greatness. They had a unique and awesome sound, a live act second to none, they were confrontational, challenging, intelligent and fronted by motor-mouth Ogy McGrath, a cross between Woody Allen and Attila the Hun.
flyer from the Zap clubStarting life as a tree-piece of Ogy, John Nicholls (keys/drums) and Phil Mavrick (vocals & vicar impression), they recruited noise-guitarist Nick Robinson from 10 doors down the road from where they lived and worked and Nick (under his working name of Winston N’Gobola) added fire, distortion and feedback into the brew.
They scorched their way round the pubs and clubs of South Yorkshire, upsetting a great many people and building up a loyal fanbase as they did so. One gig in Brighton was infamous for a fight between Phil and Pulp’s guitarist Russell, who had to be taken back to the hosptial witha suspected broken arm! No lyrical topic was sacrosanct; riots, miners strikes, cancer, religion, Pol Pot, Charles & Di, all feel before Ogys withering diatribes.
They were signed to Native Records (alongside They Must be Russians and Henry Normal, now co-writing with Steve Coogan) and recorded their frst 12” in the same studios that Jive Bunny used, in the backend of Rotherham. Tours with Henry, Pulp and many others followed, as they followed their Outrage credo of “anywhere in England, 3 bands for £50”.
Rave reviews in NME and Melody Maker helped swing a deal with Fon Records, at that time riding high in the charts. They recorded several versions of their live stormer “Spell Survival” (promo video above, recorded after the main band split) with different name producers but somehow, with success tantalisingly within their reach, the band simply fell apart. John married and moved to Mansfield, Phil left for France, Nick continues to play to this day and Ogy vanished from the face of the earth.
However, their name still resonates around the world – you’ll still find people far and wide hold them dear to their hearts. Sheffield label English Electric have tracked down the original master tapes and will be making them available from their download site. More news to follow.