|The Lime Spiders|
|Origin||Sydney, New South Wales Australia|
|Genres||Punk rock / Alternative rock / Garage rock|
|Associated acts||The Stems
The Cruel Sea
The Celibate Rifles
The Screaming Tribesmen
|Past members||refer Members list|
Early Days (25th Hour/Slave Girl)
The Lime Spiders were formed in 1979 by Mick Blood, who cites their influences as being 1960s garage bands with psychedelic rock, together with Darryl Mather, Eric Grothe and Dave Guest. The band's name is based on a non-alcoholic Australian cocktail (a combination of vanilla ice cream and lime soft drink (soda)).
The band rehearsed for over a year before their first show, supporting The Loney Hearts on Christmas Eve, 1979.
"We were absolutely horrible. So horrible that people didn't get it. I don't think I got it, either. We came back properly in late 1980" - Darryl Mather
The band played a number of gigs in Sydney opening for bands such as The Sunnyboys, Hoodoo Gurus and The Scientists. The line-up stabilised in 1981 with Blood (vocals), Mather (guitar), Guest (bass) and Geoff Cleary (drums), in August 1981 the band added guitarist Richard Jakimszyn. The new line-up played its debut gig at the South Cross Hotel, Sydney but by February, 1982 they had split up. Later that year, Mather suggested they get back together to try to record a single. There was a 'Battle of the Bands' competition at the Sydney's Southern Cross Hotel with the winner getting money to record a single. The competition lasted for 3 weeks and included 64 bands...the Lime Spiders (with new drummer Stephen Rawle) got into the competition only at the last minute, and in the end they won the prize, beating competitors that included The Celibate Rifles and The Most.
" I didn't cope well that night. We'd moved from hobbyists to being on the verge of becoming serious - we were rewarded with a record deal, like Radio Birdman had six years earlier. We got up and didn't miss a beat - a 40 minute set. We were in tune - which is something that The Lime Spiders weren't famous for - and we won. I vaguely remembered Bill Gibson standing at the back of the stage, constantly retuning all the guitars." - Darryl Mather
The result of the single recording session was the release the double 45, "25th Hour" on Green Records in 1983. "25th Hour" was produced by Rob Younger (Radio Birdman) and included covers of the Haunted's "1-2-5" and Liberty Bell's "That's How It Will Be". A little known fact is that Warwick Gilbert (ex-Radio Birdman) sat in on bass for these sessions because the band’s actual bass player, Dave Guest, didn’t feel confident enough in his playing and suggested that they find someone more capable to record with. The keyboards on the record were also a guest appearance, by Bruce Tatham, who later played with Decline Of The Reptiles and also can be heard on the first Celibate Rifles album. Dead Kennedys lead singer, Jello Biafra, commenting
I never thought I'd hear a psychedelic slime band more hardcore than the Green Fuzz, but here they are.
The band however fell apart again with Mather leaving, before the single was released in June 1983.
"I didn't like The Lime Spiders towards the end. I felt we had beacome heavy and were upsurped by what was happening around us. In my eyes we were very much a covers band. I didn't see the band going anywhere and I was yearning to become more involved with seriously constructed pop music" - Darryl Mather
The band however reformed again a few months later, with Blood, Jakimszyn and two new members - Tony Bambach (bass) and Richard Lawson (drums), both from another Sydney band, The Most, who had been the Lime Spider's main rival in the 1982 'Battle of the Bands' competition. In early 1984 the new line-up recorded the band's second single, "Slave Girl", which was released in October, 1984. It was the eighth single released by Citadel Records. "Slave Girl" was the number one independent single in Australia for 1984 with over 5,000 copies sold and even reached the national mainstream singles charts. The single also received airplay in countries such as France, Germany, Spain and Sweden. In September 1984, the band added guitarist Gerard Corben to the line up. The success of "Slave Girl" led to the overseas release of a 12" mini-LP that compiled all six of their recorded songs under the title Slave Girl. In January 1985, Jakimyszyn left the band (after being diagnosed with schizophrenia), and the band decided to continue without him. As a four piece they recorded the single "Out Of Control" and again it was released on Citadel in December, 1985.
The Big Time (The Cave Comes Alive!)
Towards the middle of 1985 the band split up again with Mick Blood touring Europe. Whilst Blood was in Europe, he performed as a guest singer with Swedish band the Pushtwangers (for a single release) and also with a Greek group called the Last Drive. The remaining members playing with a new singer, Mark Green, under the name Adolphus. Prior to Blood's departure, the band got an offer to do a single for the movie Young Einstein. The movie's producers originally wanted "Slave Girl", but the song’s rights were already assigned internationally and there was no way to undo the deals. So the producers asked if the band could come up with a song that matched the feel of "Slave Girl". The result was "Weirdo Libido", which didn’t come out until early 1987, under the Virgin label. The music video for "Weirdo Libido" was the first one ever shown on rage.
The band reformed upon Blood returning from Europe in 1986 with the lineup now consisting once again of Mick Blood, Richard Lawson on drums, Gerard Corben on guitars and Tony Bambach on bass and The Lime Spiders signing a three record deal with Virgin Records. Jakimszyn rejoining the band briefly in May, 1987 (in time for the release of their debut album) but leaving soon afterwards. The band releasing their first album, The Cave Comes Alive! in June, 1987, which reached the top of the US College charts, and remained there long enough to generate enormous interest in the Lime Spiders. With the release of the album, the band supported The Cult on a national tour of Australia. At the end of the year the band embarked on an American tour spanning two months of shows in most major US cities, and several in Canada, the last thirteen shows supporting Public Image Ltd. Rolling Stone magazine describing them as sounding like "the Sex Pistols on acid". Highlights included a visit backstage by two famous fans of the band at the Cat Club in New York, Iggy Pop and Joey Ramone. Mick Blood describes the experience
'The States was a bit frustrating 'cos I felt we could have had a good shot at the title there. We did it in comparative luxury 'cos Virgin underwrote the tour. And we had Motörhead's tour bus! Unfortunately we never got back there. We did some show supporting PiL, and five weeks of our own shows, and there was quite a buzz. There was this place called the Scream Club in LA, this big marble ballroom, and it was early in the tour, second gig or something, and we rocked up to play there and they were lined up around the block and I'm going, Are we at the right place?! that's when I realised.'
The on-going respect for the Lime Spiders in the US over the years was further evidenced by the Black Crowes requesting the band as the main support act on their only tour of Australia in 1992, and "Slave Girl" being covered by the Goo Goo Dolls on their 1995 album, A Boy Named Goo.
The Lime Spiders also toured Europe, playing at the Roskilde Festival in 1988. Their follow-up album, Volatile, which was released in May, 1988 unfortunately it didn't receive the same level of recognition as The Cave Comes Alive!. The same recording sessions for the album also resulted in a four track 12" EP titled EP being released in March, 1989. By the time Volatile was released the line up had changed again with Blood, Lawson, Corben, Bambach and bass player Michael Couvert (Celibate Rifles) on rhythm guitar.
In December, 1988 bass player Phil Hall (Sardine v, Dropbears) replaced Bambach, and Mark Wilkinson (The Girlies) replaced Couvert. This line up supported Iggy Pop on his January, 1989 Australian Instinct tour at The Hordern Pavilion in Sydney and the Newcastle Workers Club which collapsed later that year in the 1989 Newcastle Earthquake. They recorded a cover of The Misunderstood's "Children of the Sun" for Timberyard Records' Christmas compilation Rockin Bethlehem. Wilkinson played guitar on the band's third and final studio album, Beethoven's Fist (mixed by Michael Brauer in Los Angeles) but left the band before its release in November, 1990. Only the song Mr Big Mouth co-written with Blood saw release as the B-side of the single from the album Cherry Red. The band played a promotional show in London at The Marquee Club as a four piece. From there, for a number of reasons, the Lime Spiders simply fell apart.
Reunions & Reformations (Nine Miles High)
In 1992 Blood revived the band, with the line up of Phil Hall, Peter Murphy (guitar) and Luke Mason (drums), to support the Black Crowes on their Australian tour in June, but within six months had disbanded again. The Lime Spiders in typical fashion reformed in 1998 with a touring line up composed of Blood, Lawson, Corben, Bambach and new guitarist Dave Sparks. The band last played live in a typically wild hit & run performance as special guests to the seminal Detroit band MC5 in 2004.
In 2002 a box set, Nine Miles High, was released by Raven Records, comprising 26 tracks, including rare B-sides and EP cuts, as well as a twelve-page booklet outling the history of the band, which was followed by the first tour by the band in five years.
The band then reformed again for an exclusive show at the Annandale Hotel in May, 2006. The line up featuring the return of original guitarist Richard Jakimyszyn.
The Lime Spiders again reformed in 2007, with the line up consisting of Blood, Lawson, Corben, Sparks and Hall, touring nationally in November, 2007 to coincide with the release of their latest album, Live At The Esplanande, recordings of a live performance made on 25 January 1997 at the Esplanande Hotel in Melbourne. The album was almost recorded by accident with Blood only discovering the venue had an in-house 24-track recording system shortly before the band were due to perform. The album is essentially a greatest hits live collection, although it includes two previously unreleased songs, "Society of Soul" and "The Dead Boys".
The Spiders reformed again in December 2008 for three shows, which took place at the Harp Hotel in Wollongong, Manly Fisherman's Club and the Annandale Hotel. Tony Bambach returned to the bass player's slot while Tom Corben, the son of Ged Corben, assumed Lawson's place as the drummer.
The most recent line-up of the band reonvened for an appearance at the Hoodoo Guru's "Dig It Up show in Sydney during 2013. The band continues to perform. Most recently, their seminal hit ""Slave Girl" appeared as the theme track for ABC TV'S Paper Giants - Magazine Wars.
- Mick Blood - vocals (1979–present)
- Gerard Corben - guitar (1984–1985, 1986–1992, 1997, 2002, 2007–present)
- Tony Bambach - bass (1983–1985, 1986–1988, 1997, 2002, 2008)
- Dave Sparks - guitar (1997–2002; 2007–present)
- Tom Corben - drums (2008–present)
- Richard Lawson - drums (1983–1985, 1986–1992; 1997, 2007)
- Phil Hall - bass (1988–1997, 2007)
- Jeff Cleary - drums (1981–1982)
- Mike Couvret - guitar (1988)
- Warwick Gilbert - bass (1982)
- Eric Grothe - guitar (1979)
- Dave Guest - bass (1981–1982)
- Richard Jakimyszyn - guitar (1981–1984, 1985, 2007)
- Peter Cann - guitar (1991)
- Brian Mann - guitar (1992)
- Luke Mason - drums (1992)
- Darryl Mather - guitar (1979–1982)
- Peter Murphy - guitar (1992)
- Stephen Rawle - drums (1982–1983)
- Murray Shepherd - drums (2002)
- Bruce Tatham - keyboards (1982)
- Mark Wilkinson - guitar (1988–1989)
- 25th Hour - Green Records (1983)
- Slave Girl - Big Time Records (1984)
- EP - Virgin Records (1988)
- Blood Sugar Sex Lawson (1991)
- "Slave Girl" b/w "Beyond The Fringe" - Citadel Records (1984)
- "Out of Control" b/w "Save My Soul" - Citadel Records (1985)
- "Weirdo Libido" b/w "Here With My Love" - Virgin Records (1986)#48 AUS
- "My Favourite Room" b/w "Blood From A Stone" - Virgin Records
- "Just One Solution" b/w "Drip Out" - Virgin Records (1987)
- "Space Cadet" - Virgin Records (1987)
- "Jessica" b/w "Sparks" - Virgin Records (1987)
- "Jessica" (new version) b/w "Sparks" and "Long Way to Go" (live) - Virgin Records (1987) – 12" Single
- "Volatile" b/w "Working For A Living" - Virgin Records (1988)
- "The Other Side Of You" b/w "Can't You Read My Mind" - Virgin Records (1988)
- "Cherry Red" b/w "Mr Big Mouth" - Virgin Records (1990)
- Rockin Bethlehem (1989)
- Do The Pop (2002)
- Born Out Of Time (2002)
- Children of Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the Second Psychedelic Era, 1976-1995 (2005)
- Tales From the Australian Underground Vol 2: 1977-1990 (2006)
- Album liner notes - The Someloves : Don't Talk About Us
- Album liner notes - The Someloves : Don't Talk About Us
- Jello Biafra - Rock Australia Magazine (August, 1983)
- Album liner notes - The Someloves : Don't Talk About Us
- The Drum Media - Issue 61 (November 22, 2007) Michael Smith
- ARIA Australian releases - September 2002
- Lime Spiders Official website
- Lime Spiders Official MySpace website
- NFH website
- Divine Rites website Interview with Richard Lawson (1989)
- Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop (by Ian McFarlane)
- Lime Spiders Discography (Australian Rock Database)
- Lime Spiders at MusicBrainz