Mega City Four
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|Mega City Four|
|Origin||Farnborough, Hampshire, England|
|Genres||Pop rock, punk rock, pop punk|
|Years active||1987–1996; 2007 (reunion)|
Mega City Four consisted of guitarist/vocalist Wiz, his brother and rhythm guitarist/vocalist Danny Brown, bassist/vocalist Gerry Bryant and drummer Chris Jones. According to Uncut magazine, the group "earned a reputation across the globe as an exciting live band".
Wiz and Bryant were in a band together at school called 'Stallion', who performed two shows together (one at Cove Secondary School, where "Stallion will come for you" stickers were handed out, and the show was ended when the school cut the power) before Wiz decided he wanted to form a new band with Bryant and Danny Brown, named 'Capricorn', after the brothers' shared the star sign.
Mega City Four were formed in 1987 and the band's career started with performing gigs around their local town of Farnborough before making their vinyl debut in September 1987 with "Miles Apart"/"Running In Darkness". The single led to a round of gigs with fellow punk-influenced bands like Senseless Things and Snuff.
"Miles Apart" and "Running" were reissued (separately) in 1988 on the independent label Decoy, along with the more melodic "Distant Relatives" and "Less Than Senseless". A healthy following latched on to them, and supported the band's 1989 debut album, Tranzophobia.
The band continued to tour extensively around the UK, across Europe and over to North America, working with bands including Les Thugs, Ned's Atomic Dustbin, Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine and Doughboys, amongst many others. The band's second studio album, Who Cares Wins (1990), was followed by a compilation album of their early 7" singles, called Terribly Sorry Bob (1991). The band subsequently moved to a major record label to record two further studio albums, Sebastopol Rd. (1992) (recorded by Jessica Corcoran at London's Greenhouse Recording Studios) and Magic Bullets (1993). After falling out with their record label, they moved to Fire Records to record their final studio album, Soulscraper (1996). In addition to their studio albums, the band also released a live album, a Peel Sessions disc, and a number of singles. The British music journalist, Martin Roach, wrote a biography of the band, "Mega City Four: Tall Stories and Creepy Crawlies", published in 1993.
Wiz and Bryant continued playing together in Serpico after the demise of Mega City Four. After Serpico, Wiz went on to form Ipanema, who were still playing and recording until late 2006.
Having just returned from a tour of the United States, Wiz collapsed at a band rehearsal. It was announced on 7 December 2006 that Wiz had died at St George's Hospital, Tooting, South London from a blood clot on the brain on 6 December.
Bassist Gerry Bryant currently owns and runs The Rooms Rehearsal Studios in Farnborough, Hampshire. Gerry also does FOH sound engineering and tour managing for various artists including Shakin' Stevens and Suzi Quatro.
The Forward 4 Wiz trust was set up in April 2007, in memory of Wiz’s approach to music and life.
British band Muse released a cover of the Mega City Four song "Prague", as a b-side to their single "Resistance" on 22 February 2010. This was dedicated to Wiz, as Muse had been inspired by Mega City Four's music.
During 2013 a re-issue of the 1992 album 'Sebastopol Rd.' was publicised through Facebook. The option to purchase a Limited Edition hoody was also given. The re-issue has previously unreleased content in the form of Demo releases and also the 'John Peel Session' tracks. The album was issued for the 21st anniversary of its original release. It became available through 3loop music during September 2013.
- Tranzophobia (June 1989) (UK No. 67)
- Who Cares Wins (October 1990)
- Terribly Sorry Bob (April 1991)
- Sebastopol Rd. (February 1992) (UK No. 41)
- Inspiringly Titled (Spring 1992, Live album)
- Magic Bullets (1993) (UK No. 57)
- Peel Sessions (1993)
- Soulscraper (1996)
- Sebastopol Rd. Re-Issue (2013)
Singles and EPs
- "Miles Apart" / "Running in Darkness" (March 1988)
- "Clear Blue Sky" (November 1988)
- "Less Than Senseless" (March 1989)
- "Awkward Kid" (October 1989)
- "Finish EP" (1989)
- "There Goes My Happy Marriage EP" (1990)
- "Words That Say" (September 1991) (UK No. 66)
- "Stop EP" (January 1992) (UK No. 36)
- "Stop" - Live Single (January 1992)
- "Shivering Sand" (May 1992) (UK No. 35)
- "Shivering Sand" - Live Single (May 1992)
- "Iron Sky" (May 1993) (UK No. 48)
- "Wallflower" (July 1993) (UK No. 69)
- "Wallflower" - Live Single (July 1993)
- "Skidding" (September 1995)
- "Superstar" / "Chrysanth" (1995)
- "Android Dreams" (February 1996)