Five Thirty

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Five Thirty
Origin Oxford, England
Genres Indie rock
Years active 1984–92
Labels Atco/East West
Past members Tara Milton (vocals, bass)
Paul Bassett (vocals, guitar)
Phil Hopper (drums)
Nick Baker (vocals, guitar)
Steve Beatty (drums)
Shawn Gwin (vocals, guitar)
Keith McCubbin (drums)

Five Thirty, sometimes written 5:30, were a three-piece rock band from London, England, briefly popular in the early 1990s.[1]

Tara Milton and Nick Baker formed Five Thirty (sometimes written 5:30!) whilst still at school near Oxford in 1983. They met and recruited drummer Steve Beatty and played their first official gig in May 1984. This initial line-up played a number of gigs - including support slots for The Truth, Makin' Time and Direct Hits.

Baker decided to leave the band in March 1985 and American replacement Shawn Gwin (formerly of the bands “East Cambodia” and “The Numbers” in New Orleans) was spotted advertising his services in the then popular weekly 'Phoenix List'. They quickly recorded a demo of Gwin’s songs “Weight of the World,” “Catcher in the Rye,” “Mood Suite” and “Suburban Town.” After Gwin left back home to New Orleans (and before Paul Bassett took over the reins) Five Thirty (5:30!) released their demo with Gwin on 12” vinyl while this “Catcher in the Rye” was also included on a compilation entitled “The Cutting Edge”, a mod revival vinyl record that also contained songs by “Purple Hearts”, “The Blades” and “The Dansette”. [All 4 tracks from the demo were included on a CD re-issue in September 2001 (and has now been remastered and released for digital download and streaming on major services as of August 2014).]

Phil Bassett took over on guitar and vocals after Gwin left.

Eventually, the original drummer Steve Beatty was replaced by Keith McCubbin and finally Phil Hopper.

This lineup (Milton/Bassett/Hopper) then signed to Atco/East West in 1990 and released four minor hit singles and one album, Bed (released 19 August 1991). The band disbanded in 1992. They also contributed a cover version of My Sweet Lord to the anti-poll tax album Alvin Lives (in Leeds).

Hopper went on to a career in acting, while Milton formed The Nubiles in 1995 and Bassett played with Orange Deluxe later in the decade.

In 2013, "Bed" was re-released by British independent record label 3 Loop Music as a 2CD expanded edition which included b-sides, demos, radio session tracks and the "Air Conditioned Nightmare" EP.

In December 2014 Cherry Red Records will be releasing MILLIONS LIKE US (THE STORY OF THE MOD REVIVAL 1977-1989) which will include the original version of “Catcher in the Rye” from 1985.




Release date Single Peak Chart Position
1985 "Catcher in the Rye" -
9 July 1990 "Abstain" #75
5 November 1990 "Air Conditioned Nightmare" -
13 May 1990 "13th Disciple" #67
22 July 1991 "Super Nova" #75
21 October 1991 "You (EP)" #72[2]

Other appearances[edit]

  • "My Sweet Lord" appeared on Alvin Lives (In Leeds) (1990, Midnight Music CLANG 4CD)

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Martin C. Strong, The Great Indie Discography. 2nd edition. London: Canongate, 2003.
  2. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 204. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.