Jowe Head

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Jowe Head
Birth name Stephen Bird
Born 1956
Kidderminster, Worcestershire
Origin Solihull, West Midlands
Genres Experimental music, post punk, punk rock
Occupation(s) Singer, bass guitarist, artist
Instruments Bass guitar, vocals
Years active Mid-1970s–present
Associated acts Swell Maps, Television Personalities, Househunters, Palookas, Olive's Hairy Custard, Angel Racing Food, Jowe Head & the Demi-Monde

Jowe Head (born Stephen Bird) is a British bass guitarist, singer, and visual artist, who was a member of Swell Maps before joining the Television Personalities. He has also released a large amount of material as a solo artist and as leader of groups such as Househunters and Palookas.


Jowe Head (the stage name derived from Birmingham slang for "weirdo")[1] was born Stephen John Bird in 1956 in Kidderminster, Worcestershire, and moved to Solihull at an early age.[1] He joined Swell Maps in 1973, a year after the band had been formed, and also played with Epic Soundtracks and Ken Spiers (later better known as Spizz) in another local band.[2] With Swell Maps he recorded numerous singles (some under the guise of the Phones Sportsman Band and The Cult Figures) and two albums, before the band split up in 1980.[2]

He then embarked on a solo career, releasing his debut album, Pincer Movement, in 1982.[3] In the mid-1980s he formed a new band, The Palookas, which ran in parallel to his other projects until 1989, and joined the Television Personalities in 1984, staying with the band for the next ten years.[3] His second solo album, Strawberry Deutschmark, was issued in February 1986, featuring contributions from several of his former-Swell Maps colleagues and singer Carmel.[3] He then led a new band, The Househunters, releasing three singles and an album, Feeding Frenzy, between 1986 and 1988, before again recording as a solo artist.[3] The Jowe Head Personal Organizer was released in 1988. A collection of his work, Unhinged, was issued by Overground Records in 1994, comprising the whole of Pincer Movement plus four outtakes from the album sessions.[4] After playing bass in Long Decline, he formed Angel Racing Food.

In 2008 he formed Jowe Head and the Demi-Monde, in 2010 releasing the first album "Diabolical Liberties" available from Topplers Records, with a line-up including Lee McFadden, Catherine Gerbrands, Jeff Bloom, Marina Young and Jane Ruby. Regular contributing artists include Phil Martin, Chloe Herrington Kate Newell and Heath Stanley.

As of 2012, the permanent line-up consists of Jowe and Catherine with Tim Bowen on cello with a revolving roster of guest artists. A new album is expected in late 2012.


See also Swell Maps and Television Personalities.

Jowe Head[edit]


  • Pincer Movement (1982), Hedonics
  • Strawberry Deutschmark (1986), Constrictor
  • The Jowe Head Personal Organizer (1988), Hollow Planet
  • Unhinged (1994), Overground


  • "Sudden Shower" (1988), Hollow Planet
  • The Legendary EP (1991), Small


  • "Classical Music" (1989), Constrictor
  • "Falling Uphill" (2004), Windless Air Music



  • Feeding Frenzy (1988), Hollow Planet


  • "Cuticles" (1986), 53rd & 3rd
  • "Cooler Than Thou" (1988), 53rd & 3rd
  • "Warp Factor 13" (1988), Hollow Planet



  • Gift (1986), Constrictor
  • Dump (1987), Constrictor
  • Hit The Bottle (1988), Constrictor

Rectify(2012)available on downloads


  • "Clear Day" (1985), Prophet
  • "I Want to Be Free" (1987), Constrictor
  • "Run Rabbit" (1987), Hollow Planet
  • "Schmalookas" (1991), Historia

Angel Racing Food[edit]


  • Angel Racing Food (2009)

Jowe Head and the Demi-Monde[edit]

  • "Diabolical Liberties" (2010), Topplers


  1. ^ a b "An Interview with Jowe Head",[dead link] The Big Untidy, July 2009
  2. ^ a b Thompson, Dave (2000) Alternative Rock, Miller Freeman, ISBN 0-87930-607-6, p.671
  3. ^ a b c d Strong, Martin C. (2003) The Great Indie Discography, Canongate, ISBN 1-84195-335-0, p. 158-160
  4. ^ Robbins, Ira "Television Personalities, Trouser Press

External links[edit]