Inner City Unit
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Inner City Unit (ICU) is a British punk/space rock band fronted by ex-Hawkwind member Nik Turner on saxophone with Judge Trev Thoms or Steve Pond (guitar), Dead Fred (keyboards), Baz Magneto, Dave Anderson or Nazar Ali Khan (bass), and Mick Stupp or Dino Ferari on drums.
Thoms and Ferari were both key members of Steve Peregrin Took's band Steve Took's Horns. Following the Horns' breakup in mid 1978, Turner recruited Ferari to drum on his Sphynx project before adding Thoms the following year to his new band Inner City Unit. Took continued to work with his former band members by guesting with ICU at assorted gigs during 1979-1980, particularly at free concerts at Notting Hill Gate's Meanwhile Gardens. This original line-up produced 2 albums, Passout and The Maximum Effect. A compilation of out-takes and demos Punkadelic was released during the same period. In 1982 Turner returned to Hawkwind taking Dead Fred with him, thus ending the first incarnation of ICU.
In 1984 Nik Turner and Dead Fred were removed from Hawkwind and decided to reform ICU. Judge Trev and Stupp were unavailable for the making of the next album New Anatomy so they recruited Steve Pond, who had previously toured with ICU during the shows for the Passout album as synth player, to play guitar and program the drum machine. Mick Stupp rejoined the band in time for the New Anatomy live shows and was joined by another ex-Hawkwind man Dave Anderson on bass. The second incarnation of ICU released an EP, Blood and Bone, and a second album, The President's Tapes, before finally falling out on the winter solstice of 1985 and calling it a day.
In the 1990s Judge Trev used the ICU name for his own band with original drummer Dino Ferari, releasing one album Now You Know the Score as Judge Trev's Inner City Unit.
In 2001 a mutant version of ICU combining members from the first two incarnations played two shows as an ad hoc group. These shows failed to capture the essence of the original band, but a fourth version of the band played the closing party of the 2006 FennerFest in Slough.
Nik Turner started his rhythm and blues and jazz rock outfit Nik Turner's Fantastic Allstars in the late eighties. They eventually released an album Kubanno Kickasso! in 2001.
The Imperial Pompadours were an ICU side project with legendary sleeve designer Barney Bubbles. Bubbles also produced the band's first three album covers.
In the 1980s original guitarist Judge Trev Thoms started a three-piece metal band named Atomgods which, for a while, also featured second ICU guitarist Steve Pond on bass.
Judge Trev Thoms died of pancreatic cancer on 8 December 2010.
Steve Pond, Dead Fred and Mick Stupp still play together in a band called Krankschaft, sometimes joined by Nik Turner and Dave Anderson and Dino Ferari to perform Inner City Unit songs as a tribute to Judge Trev Thoms.
- Pass Out (1980)
- The Maximum Effect (1981)
- Punkadelic (1984)
- New Anatomy (1985)
- The President's Tapes (1985)
- Inner City Unit at AllMusic
- ukrockfestivals.com- photos of Inner City Unit, Sphynx and Nik Turner eating an ice cream c. 1979
- ukrockfestivals.com - photos of Sphynx - Glastonbury 1978-79