Crazyhead

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Crazyhead
Origin Leicester, England
Genres Garage punk, grebo
Years active 1986–2000, 2007–present
Labels Food, Parlophone, Revolver, Snatch
Past members Ian R. Anderson
Kevin Bayliss
Alex Peach
Richard Bell
Robert Morris
Christine Wigmore
Peter Creed

Crazyhead are an English garage punk band from Leicester, England.[1] Though lumped in with the largely media-created grebo scene, they were more influenced by the garage rock of the late 1960s, as well as bands like The Ramones, The Stooges and Captain Beefheart. They described themselves as an "urban bastard blues band", and their songs ranged in theme from trenchant social commentary to the surreal, but always with an underlying vein of black humour.[citation needed]

Personnel[edit]

  • Kev Reverb (Kevin Bayliss) – Guitar, keyboards, sitar
  • Anderson (Ian R. Anderson) – Vocals
  • Vom (Robert Morris) – Drums
  • Fast Dick (Richard Bell) – Guitar (1985–1997)
  • Peter Creed – Guitar (1997–2000)
  • Porkbeast (Dr. Alex Peach) – Bass, Backing Vocals,(1985–1990)
  • Christina X (Christine Wigmore) – Bass (1990–present)

They were occasionally joined by:

  • Gaz Birtles - Saxophone
  • John Barrow - Saxophone
  • Tony Robinson - Trumpet

who were credited as "The Phantom Horns" or "The Space Bastards".

History[edit]

Formed in 1986, they signed to the independent record label, Food, later that year and their début single, "What Gives You The Idea That You're So Amazing, Baby?", reached number 2 in the UK Indie Chart in March 1987.[2] For the rest of the year they toured extensively, supporting The Cult, then Julian Cope, and also played the Glastonbury Festival. Their second single "Baby Turpentine" reached number 4 in the Indie Chart.

In mid 1988 their third single "Time Has Taken Its Toll on You" reached No. 65 in the UK Singles Chart,[3] their label now owned by EMI. The band embarked on another UK tour to promote their début album Desert Orchid, released in October 1988, along with another single, "Rags", and then toured Europe supporting Iggy Pop. They then released the Have Love Will Travel EP (which reached #68)[3] before embarking on yet another UK tour.

In 1989, they made two brief tours of the United States, and appeared at the Reading Festival. At the behest of the British Council, they played an international music festival in Moscow, and in early 1990, along with Skin Games and Jesus Jones were one the first western bands to tour post-Nicolae Ceauşescu Romania. Later that year they played at the Namibian Independence Day concert to an audience of 50,000.[4]

The band were dropped by Food Records in 1989, and their second album Some Kind of Fever was released through Revolver Records. In 1992 they gigged across Europe, and in 1993 embarked on a tour of the UK to promote an album of cover versions, Live in Memphis, even though the deal to release it fell through.

Over the next few years Crazyhead made sporadic live appearances. In 1997, they released Fucked By Rock - a collection of previously unreleased material, demo versions, and live tracks, and an EP of new material, 13th Floor. They again toured the UK, supporting The Mission on a number of UK dates. They started recording material for a new album, but the departure of Anderson to work in Thailand and Cambodia (where he continued to perform, in bands such as the Lazy Jazz Drunks and Stiff Little Punks) meant the end of Crazyhead. They played their farewell gig in Leicester on 21 December 2000.

Today, Kev Reverb and Rob Vom play in an alternative rock band called 'Scaley Fuego.' The 3-piece is fronted by singer/bassist Stewart Brackley. The group is currently playing small gigs in and around Leicester.

Recently Porkbeast, Vom and Anderson have reformed along with Robber Byker from the Gaye Bykers on Acid into a new project SWAMP DELTA. They have released three singles and are playing Bearded Theory and Rebellion festivals in the summer of 2014. They plan to release more new music and play more festivals in the summer of 2015.

Discography[edit]

Singles[edit]

Year Title Label Cat. No. UK Singles Chart[4] UK Indie Chart[2]
1987 "What Gives You The Idea That You're So Amazing, Baby?" Food FOOD 8 2
1987 "Baby Turpentine" Food FOOD 10 4
1988 "Time Has Taken Its Toll on You" Food FOOD 12 65
1988 "Rags" Food FOOD 14
1990 "Everything’s Alright" Revolver Records REV 64

EPs[edit]

Year Title Label Cat. No. UK Singles Chart[3] Notes
1989 Have Love Will Travel Food Food 16 68
1989 The Food Christmas EP Food Food 23 Shared release with Jesus Jones and Diesel Park West
1998 Chemical Lunch Self-released CD-R of cover versions
1999 13th Floor Snatch Records ATOG1

Albums[edit]

Year Title Label Cat. No. Other information
1988 Desert Orchid Food LP1
1990 Some Kind of Fever Revolver Records REV 162
1995 'Live in Memphis' Unreleased covers album
1995 Grind Bliss Out BOE-003
1999 Fucked By Rock Snatch Records Gash 3 Compilation of demos, unreleased tracks and new material

Afterwards[edit]

  • Kev Reverb worked as a record producer and engineer at his 'Memphis Studio' (in Leicester, named in tribute to Elvis Presley) and has worked with such diverse artists as Cornershop, Kevin Hewick, Zodiac Mindwarp, Diesel Park West, MJ Hibbett, Volcano The Bear, Bill Drummond and Satan's Little Heartbreakers.
  • Robert Morris (Vom) has played drums with Zodiac Mindwarp on and off since 1993, while Reverb played bass and produced Zodiac's 2001 album I Am Rock. Vom currently plays with Diesel Park West. Contrary to what various websites say Vom was not the drummer with Doctor and the Medics (their drummer was Steve Ritchie, also nicknamed "Vom"). Also playing with Swamp Delta along with other original Crazyhead members.
  • Christina Wigmore now works in community arts. With Debs Bracher, she formed Timeless Banditz, who released a 12" EP house music Hose Down on Communicato Records in 2004. She is currently playing bass with two Leicester bands Nylon 9 and Jesuscarfish.
  • Porkbeast gained a PhD in social history He also sings and plays lead guitar for the South Wigston garage rock band SWAMP DELTA with Robber Byker from Gaye Bykers on Acid, Ian Anderson and Robert Morris.
  • Anderson gained a degree in fine art, worked as a teacher of English in Europe, and as of 2007 was living in Thailand. He returned to UK in 2012/13 and is currently singing with other members of Crazyhead in SWAMP DELTA.
  • The original line up of Crazyhead met in March 2013 but it all went tits up. Vom Porky and Ian are now in Swamp Delta with Roibber Byker from Gaye Bykers on Acid. They are playing Bearded Theory festival and Rebellion punk festival in the summer of 2014.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Larkin, Colin (1992). The Guinness Who's Who of Indie and New Wave Music. Guinness Publishing. ISBN 0-85112-579-4. 
  2. ^ a b Lazell, Barry (1997). Indie Hits 1980-1999. Cherry Red Books. ISBN 0-9517206-9-4. 
  3. ^ a b c Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 126. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  4. ^ a b Strong, Martin C. (1999). The Great Alternative & Indie Discography. Canongate. ISBN 0-86241-913-1. 

External links[edit]