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The U.K. Subs are an English punk rock band, among the earliest in the first wave of British punk.[1] Formed in 1976,[2] the mainstay of the band has been vocalistCharlie Harper, originally a singer in Britain's R&B scene. They were also one of the first street punk bands.


Career[edit source | editbeta]Edit

The U.K. Subs were part of the original punk movement in England that formed in 1976, with the initial name of the Subversives.[2] The band's founder, Charlie Harper selected guitarist Nicky Garratt, bassist Paul Slack, and various drummers (eventually Pete Davis became fairly stable) under the initial name "U.K. Subversives".[3] The London based band's early line-up changed frequently.

Their style combined the energy of punk and the rock and roll edge of the then thriving pub rock scene. The band had some hit singles such as "Stranglehold", "Warhead", "Teenage", and "Tomorrow's Girls", with several of their songs managing to enter the United Kingdom's Top Forty.

The band played several John Peel sessions in 1977 and 1978 for BBC Radio 1,[1] and then signed a recording contract with GEM Records.[1] Under GEM, the U.K. Subs recorded an album in 1979 called Another Kind of Blues. The group also played a few opening gigs for The Police, as well as recording a set at The Roxy (a punk club), which was issued in 1980 as Live Kicks. Their biggest selling album came with 1980s Crash Course. Crash Course was recorded at the Rainbow Theatre in London on 30 May 1980 during the Brand New Age tour. The UK Subs support band on that tour was Liquid Stone, a four piece new wave band from Buckingham comprising Ronni Sunderland, Mick Marshall, Ian (Muz) Murray and Ian (Tanner) Tansley.

With the arrival of new bassist Alvin Gibbs and drummer Steve Roberts in the early 1980s, the songs took on a more heavy metal-influenced edge. In July 1982, they became the first western band to perform in Poland since the imposition of martial law, and the suppression of the trade unionSolidarity.[4] Their concert was held in Gdansk, and they were supported by Brygada Kryzys.[5] In 1991, the U.K. Subs also had Lars Frederiksen (now of Rancid) on guitar for a 30 date UK tour. Decades after the disbanding of other late-1970s punk groups such as the Sex Pistols and The Clash, the U.K. Subs continue to perform.

Successive U.K. Subs album titles start with consecutive letters of the alphabet, and according to an interview with TxPunk.net, the band will start the process over after reaching the letter "Z". The U.K. Subs song "Down on the Farm" was covered by Guns N' Roses on their 1993 covers album "The Spaghetti Incident?". The U.K. Subs joined the bill for the 2006 Fiend Fest. The band have toured with The MisfitsThe AdictsOsaka PopstarAgent Orange, and The Ramones.[citation needed] The U.K. Subs song "Warhead" is played in the movieThis Is England.

In 2007, drummer Jamie Oliver was a contestant on the UK quiz show Nothing But the Truth. Vocalist Charlie Harper was among the panel of witnesses. Oliver reached the £5000 mark, but lost it all in a bid to double his winnings. They are also one of the regular bands to play the Rebellion Festival nearly every year since at has been called The Holidays In The Sun Festival in 1996. Other bands are: 999, Goldblade, T.V Smith, The Vibrators, Subhumans, Vice Squad, Slaughter and the Dogs, Menace and Chelsea.[citation needed]

Band members[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Lead vocals[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Guitars[edit source | editbeta]Edit

  • Richard Anderson (1976–77)
  • Darrell Barth (1986–87, 1989–91, 1999)
  • Greg Brown (Autumn 1977)
  • Alan Campbell (1992–2004)
  • Lars Frederiksen (1991)
  • Nicky Garratt (1977–1983, 1988, 1996, 1999–2002, 2004–Present)
  • Robbie Harper (1977)
  • Jet (2005–Present)
  • Knox (1987)
  • Alan Lee (1987–89)
  • Simon Rankin (2001)
  • Andy McCoy (1988)
  • Jim Moncur (1984–1986)
  • Karl Morris (1991, 1994)
  • Phil Pain (1996)
  • Tezz Roberts (1984–85, 1995, 2002)
  • Captain Scarlet (David Lloyd) (1983–1984)
  • Scott Snowden (1992)
  • Tim Britta (1984)
  • Johan (1991)

Bass guitar[edit source | editbeta]Edit

  • Paul Slack (1977–1981, 2008–2010)
  • Alvin Gibbs (1980–1983, 1988, 1999–2002, 2003–present)
  • Chema Zurita (2007–present)
  • Flea (1987–91)
  • John Armitage (1984–1985)
  • Brian Barnes (1992–1994, 1996–2001, 2002–2004, 2008)
  • Mark Barratt (1986–1987)
  • Bones (2002)
  • Allistair Chesters (2002–2007)
  • Andy Frantic (1997–99)
  • Ricky McGuire (1985–1986)
  • Simon Rankin (2001–2002)
  • Tezz Roberts (1984)
  • Steve Slack (1976, 1983–1984)
  • Carly Guarino (1997)
  • Peter Revesz (2008)
  • Tony Barber (2008)
  • Adam Griffiths (1981–1982)
  • Clara Wiseman (2005)

Drums[edit source | editbeta]Edit

  • Rory Lyons (1976–1977)
  • Robbie Harper (Rob Milne) (1977)
  • Steve J Jones (1977, 1983–1984)
  • Pete Davies (1978–1980, 1984, 1991–1996, 2007, 2008)
  • Ian (Tanner) Tansley (1980 on Brand New Age Tour - filling in for a sick Pete Davies)
  • Robby Baldock (1978)
  • Steve Roberts (1981–82)
  • Kim Wylie (1982)
  • Matthew "Turkey" Best (1984)
  • Rab Fae Beith (1984–1986)
  • Gary Mitchell (1985)
  • Geoff Sewell (1986)
  • Dave Wilkinson (1987)
  • Duncan Smith (1987–88)
  • Belvy K (1988)
  • Matt McCoy (1988–92, 1993, 1995)
  • Tezz Roberts (1988, 1999)
  • Leo Mortimer (1989)
  • Jeff Moe (1991)
  • Benjie Bollox (1996)
  • Blitz (1996)
  • Dave Ayer (1995–1997)
  • Michael Richter (1997)
  • Gary Baldy (Ostell) (1997–99)
  • Pumpy (1999–2000)
  • Tommy Couch (1999–2000)
  • Gizz Lazlo (1999, 2006)
  • Jason Willer (2001–2006)
  • Criss Damage (2002)
  • Darrah (2002)
  • Jay (2002)
  • Jared Melville (2008)
  • Jamie Oliver (2005–present)

Discography[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Albums[edit source | editbeta]Edit

  • Another Kind of Blues (1979) (UK No. 21)
  • Brand New Age (1980) (UK No. 18)
  • Crash Course (1980) (UK No. 8)
  • Diminished Responsibility (1981) (UK No. 18)
  • Endangered Species (1982)
  • Flood of Lies (1983)
  • Gross Out USA LIVE (1984)
  • Huntington Beach (1985)
  • In Action (10th Anniversary) (1986)
  • Japan Today (1987)
  • Killing Time (1988)
  • LIVE in Paris (1989)
  • Mad Cow Fever (1991)
  • Normal Service Resumed (1993)
  • Occupied (1996)
  • Peel Sessions 1978-79 (1997)
  • Quintessentials (1997)
  • Riot (1997)
  • Submission: the Best of the UK Subs 1982-1998 (1999)
  • Time Warp GREATEST HITS (2000)
  • Universal (2002)
  • Violent State (2005)
  • Work In Progress (10 January 2011)
  • XXIV (6 February 2013)

[6]

Miscellaneous albums[edit source | editbeta]Edit

  • Live Kicks (1979) (Recorded Live at the Roxy 1977)
  • Dance & Travel In The Robot Age (1980) (Bootleg live album recorded in Milan)
  • Live In London (1980) (Australian release of "Live Kicks" plus the rest of "A Farwell to the Roxy")
  • Recorded 1979-1981 (1982)
  • Demonstration Tapes (1984)
  • Subs Standards (1986)
  • Left For Dead (1986)
  • Raw Material (1986)
  • A.W.O.L. (1987) (U.S only release)
  • The Singles 1978-1982 (1989)
  • Europe Calling (1990)
  • Down On The Farm (A collection of the less obvious) (1991)
  • Los Exitos En Singles 1978-1985 (1992) (Argentinian release)
  • Scum Of The Earth-Best Of (1993)
  • The Punk Is Back (1995)
  • Punk Can Take It - Rare And Unreleased 79-82 (1996)
  • Self-Destruct - Punk Can Take It 2 (1997)
  • Punk Rock Rarities (1998)
  • Live In The Warzone (1998)
  • The Punk Singles Collection (1998)
  • Warhead (1999)
  • Countdown (Live) (2001)
  • World War (Live) (2003)
  • Staffordshire Bull (Live) (2004)
  • Before You Were Punk (2004)
  • Live & Loud (2005)
  • Original Punks Original Hits (2006)
  • Complete Riot (2006)
  • An Introduction to The U.K. Subs (2006)
  • Stranglehold (2007)
  • Greatest Hits (2009)
  • Dance & Travel In The Robot Age (CD) (2010)

Compilation albums[edit source | editbeta]Edit

UK chart singles[edit source | editbeta]Edit

  • "Stranglehold" - 1979 - No. 26
  • "Tomorrow's Girls" - 1979 - No. 28
  • "She's Not There" / "Kicks" (EP) - 1979 - No. 36
  • "Warhead" - 1980 - No. 30
  • "Teenage" - 1980 - No. 32
  • "Party In Paris" - 1980 - No. 37
  • "Keep On Runnin' (Till You Burn)" - 1981 - No. 41

[6]

12" singles[edit source | editbeta]Edit

  • "Another Typical City" (1983) (EP)
  • "The Magic" (1984) (EP)
  • "The Spell" (1984) (EP)
  • "Hey Santa" (1987) (EP)
  • "Motivator" (1988) (EP)
  • "Sabre Dance" (1989) (EP)

Singles / EPs[edit source | editbeta]Edit

  • "C.I.D." (1978) (EP)
  • "Stranglehold" (1979) (EP)
  • "Tomorrows Girls" (1979) (EP)
  • "She's Not There" (1979) (EP)
  • "Warhead" (1980) (EP)
  • "Teenage" (1980) (EP)
  • "Party in Paris" (1980)
  • "Keep on Running" (1981
  • "Keep on Running EP Version" (1981)
  • "Countdown" (1981)
  • "Shake Up The City" (1982) (EP)
  • "Another Typical City" (1983)
  • "This Gun Says" (1985) (EP)
  • "Live in Holland" (1986) (EP)
  • "The Road is Long, The Road is Hard" (1993) (EP)
  • "Postcard from L.A." (Split single) (1994) (U.S. only)
  • "Betrayal" (1995) (U.S. only)
  • "War on the Pentagon" (1997) (EP) (U.S. only)
  • "Day of the Dead" (1997) (EP) (U.S. only)
  • "Cyberjunk" (1997) (EP) (U.S. only)
  • "Riot" (1998) (EP)
  • "The Revolution's Here" (2000) (EP)
  • "Drunken Sailor" (2002)
  • "666 Yeah" (2006)
  • "Warhead" (2008) (CD EP)
  • "Product Supply" (2011)

Tributes/References[edit source | editbeta]Edit

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