Doctor and the Medics

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Doctor and the Medics are a London based psychedelic rock band, which enjoyed their greatest success in the 1980s, and are best known for their UK No. 1 song, "Spirit in the Sky". The band currently perform, with a different line-up, as a tribute act to various artists.

Career[edit]

The Doctor (Clive Jackson, born 7 July 1961 in Knotty Ash, Liverpool), a former London-based DJ, formed the group with guitarist Steve McGuire, drummer Vom (aka Steve Ritchie), and bassist Richard Searle and female dancers and singers The Anadin Brothers in 1981.[1] The group adopted a look inspired by both 1960s psychedelia and kabuki make-up similar to that of Kiss.

Their first single was "The Druids are Here" which was released on Whaam Records in 1982.[2] They released no further records until 1985, although a four track EP recorded live at Alice In Wonderland, a Soho nightclub where The Doctor was house DJ, was available direct from the band. The band's female backing singers were known collectively as The Anadin Brothers.[2] Originally there were three Anadin Brothers, but this was soon whittled down to Wendi West and Colette Appleby.

In 1985, they signed to IRS Records and released "Happy but Twisted", a five track 12" EP including a cover of Hawkwind's "Silver Machine".[3] This reached number 2 on the indie charts.[4] This was followed by "The Miracle of the Age", produced by Andy Partridge of XTC.[5] Around this time the band performed a concert in a television studio in Limehouse, London which was recorded for television broadcast, although it was not shown at the time. At this concert the line-up was augmented by Roman Jugg of The Damned on keyboards and second guitar.

They scored an international hit in 1986 with their next single, a cover of Norman Greenbaum's "Spirit in the Sky". The single reached number one in the UK.[6] They fared less well with subsequent singles; "Burn" and "Waterloo" (the latter of which was a cover of the ABBA hit, with Roy Wood on saxophone, backing vocals and in the video). "Burn" reached No. 29 in the UK Singles Chart and "Waterloo" peaked at No. 45.[2]

The band released their final studio album Instant Heaven, in 1996 on their own 'Madman' record label.[1]

In the early 2000s, the band's current line-up appeared on retro-themed British TV shows such as ITV1's Hit Me Baby One More Time, and a Top of the Pops Christmas special celebrating 50 years of the UK Singles Chart. In 2003, Jackson left the UK to live in Mexico, although frequently returned to the UK and, in June 2006, appeared on Channel 4's Bring Back One Hit Wonders with a new line-up. Around this time they released an EP called Timewarped. In 2008, Jackson moved back to the UK.

Personnel[edit]

1981 line-up

  • The Doctor (vocals)
  • Steve McGuire (guitar)
  • Richard Searle (bass)
  • Andrew McLachlan (drums)

1986 line-up

  • The Doctor (vocals)
  • Steve McGuire (guitar)
  • Richard Searle (bass)
  • Steve "Vom" Ritchie (drums)
  • Wendi Anadin (vocals)
  • Colette Anadin (vocals)
  • Andy Higgins (chief Badger)
  • Richard Searle left in 1990 shortly after Vom Ritchie departed. Gareth Thomas replaced Searle in 1990. Searle went on to form the acid jazz band Corduroy, with former members of Sire Records act Boys Wonder.
  • Since leaving the Medics, drummer Ritchie has played with Last of the Teenage Idols, Stiv Bators, B-Bang Cider, The Boys, Wet Dog and now plays with Die Toten Hosen.

2003 reunion line-up

  • The Doctor (vocals)
  • Adrian Hill (drums)
  • Carl Axon (The Big Bopper) (lead guitar, backing vocals)
  • James Hartley (guitar)
  • Jon Randle (bass)
  • Melissa Weekes (backing vocals)
  • Colette Anadin (backing vocals)
  • Carl Axon left to pursue business interests.

Current line-up

  • The Doctor (vocals)
  • Adrian Hill (drums)
  • Dan Angelow (guitar)
  • Jon Randle (bass)
  • Melissa Weekes (backing vocals)

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Singles and EPs[edit]

  • "The Druids Are Here" (1982) Whaam
  • Happy But Twisted EP (1985) Illegal (UK Indie No. 2)
  • "The Miracle of the Age" (1985) IRS
  • "Spirit in the Sky" (1986) IRS (UK No. 1,[6] US No. 69)
  • "Burn" (1986) IRS (UK No. 29)[6]
  • "Waterloo" (1986) IRS (UK No. 45) - Doctor and the Medics featuring Roy Wood[6]
  • "Two Pieces of Cloth Carefully Stitched Together" EP (1987) Illegal (UK Indie No. 34)
  • "More" (1987) IRS
  • "Drive, He Said" (1988) IRS
  • "Black & Blue" (1991) Plastic Surgery[7]
  • Timewarped (2006) - six track covers EP

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Sutton, Michael. "Doctor & The Medics Biography". allmusic.com. Macrovision Corporation. Retrieved 26 March 2008. 
  2. ^ a b c d Strong, Martin C. (1999). The Great Alternative & Indie Discography. Canongate. ISBN 0-86241-913-1. 
  3. ^ "Doctor & The Medics - Happy But Twisted (Vinyl) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2013-02-05. 
  4. ^ Lazell, Barry (1997). Indie Hits 1980-1999. Cherry Red Books. ISBN 0-9517206-9-4. 
  5. ^ "Doctor & The Medics - The Miracle Of The Age (Vinyl) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2013-02-05. 
  6. ^ a b c d e Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 162. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  7. ^ "Doctor & The Medics Discography at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2013-02-05. 

External links[edit]