Demob (band)

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Demob
Origin Gloucester, United Kingdom
Genres Punk rock
Years active 1978–1983, 2001-2008, 2011 - present
Labels Round Ear, Amber
Members Andy Kanonik (vocals)
Terry Elcock (guitar)
Steve Zuki (bass)
Marcus Harley (drums)
Past members John Melfah
Mike Howes
Tony Wakefield
Chris Rush
Barry Evans
Mark "Miff" Smith
Paul Price
Barry Philips
Natalie Porter
Richard Baldwin
Timothy Howkins.

Demob are a British punk rock band from Gloucester.

History[edit]

1978-1983[edit]

Demob formed in late 1978 by guitarist Terry Elcock and drummer Johnny Melfah, and they were soon joined by Mike Howes (vocals), Tony Wakefield (bass) and Chris Rush (guitar). Howes ex-army skinhead friend Andy Kanonik soon joined, also on vocals.[1] It was this line-up that first rehearsed and played the first gigs in and around Gloucester, the Viking youth club becoming the main place of rehearsals and Tracy's night club was the first venue that Demob played in 1978, and became the local night club hangout for all the band and punks at that time. Elcock had previous experience on guitar as a member of a church band.[1]

Demob's first big break came in the summer of 1979 when they fooled the authorities into letting them have a place in the Gloucester annual carnival parade. The ever increasing support for the band resulted in a mass riot between the punks and the bikers and, ultimately, the suspension of the carnival.[1] The riot made national press and attracted the interest of the local record label, Round Ear Records.[1][2]

In 1980, Howes was sacked from the band, and Kanonik was imprisoned for three months, leaving the band without a singer.[1] The band had just recruited Mark "Miff" Smith to replace Rush, and he took over the role of singer, with Paul "Fatty" Price also replacing Wakefield on bass.[1] Smith soon become an integral part, arranging and organizing gigs. With the line-up now comprising Mark Smith (vocals), Terry Elcock (guitar), Paul Price & Barry Philips (bass guitar), and Johnny Melfah (drums), the band worked on their first recordings. "Anti-Police" was Demob's first release on the independent Round Ear Records, the record supported by the late John Peel, and journalist Garry Bushell. The record spent over two months in the UK Indie Chart, peaking at number 34.[1]

On the back of the success of "Anti-Police", Demob supported many acts around the punk circuit at this time, including U2, UK Subs, The Angelic Upstarts, Discharge and The Beat.[1] Most performances ended with a police presence and inevitable violence with their notorious hardcore followers, the Demob Riot Squad.[1] The band's mult-racial line-up sometimes attracted hostility from Nazi skinheads who attended their gigs, and the band would play several concerts in aid of the Anti-Nazi League.[1]

A second single, "No Room For You" quickly followed to add to the success, but unfortunately, like so many punk acts of the era, musical differences soon developed amongst the line up and Demob split to pursue other musical avenues in 1983.[3]

Re-formation[edit]

Since 1983, some of the band members had gone on to other bands, while others had given up on music. Melfah had some success as a boxer and opened a boxing gym in Gloucester.[4] Smith formed a new band called Garrison Damn. Elcock had played with several bands, including Kiss The Blade.[1] Spurred on by interest from American label Grand Theft Audio in re-releasing the old material, in 2001 Elcock reformed Demob with a revised line-up to tour the United States, Japan and Europe.[1] The revised line-up consisted of Terry Elcock (guitar), Andrew Kanonik (vocals), Richard Baldwin (bass), and Timothy Howkins (drums). They were involved in recording * below. This line-up split, but in 2005, Elcock and Kanonik reformed the band again with Natalie Porter (bass) and Marcus Harley (drums), Porter soon replaced by the returning Baldwin,.[3]

In 2006 a USA tour was planned, but fell apart due to the line-up's curious business practices, well-documented[5] by tour manager Brian GTA and booker Mish Bondage.

In October 2007, the band split with Elcock leaving. Kanonik and Baldwin formed a new line-up which continued as Demob for one gig. Kanonik used various session musicians for a short while after. Elcock described them as a 'tribute act', pointing out that the band now contains none of the original Demob line-up. Kanonik and Harley went on to form the Noise Agents in 2009.[6]

2011–Present Demob again went through another change in line up with Elcock returning and the introduction of Steve Zuki on bass, this current line up continues to play regularly on the punk scene.

Current members Andy Kanonik - Vocals Terry Elcock - Guitar Steve Zuki - Bass Marcus Harley - Drums

Discography[edit]

Chart placings shown are from the UK Indie Chart.[7]

  • "Anti Police" (1981) Round Ear Records 7" Vinyl (#34)
  • "No Room For You" (1981) Round Ear Records 7" Vinyl (#28)
  • Better Late Than Never (2002) Amber Records CD Album (1982 singles tracks plus new material)
  • Contractual Obligations Grand Theft Audio CD Album *
  • If It Ain't Punk It Don't Rock Amber Records CD Album *
  • Live In Japan - Sanction Release Studios DVD *
  • Crime Through Time Punk Records .com 33rpm Vinyl *

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]