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For other uses, see Rudi (disambiguation).
Background information
Genres Punk rock, pop punk,[1][2] power pop
Years active 1975–1983
Labels Good Vibrations, Jammed!
Associated acts Stiff Little Fingers, The Outcasts, Station Superheaven, The Tigersharks, The Roughnecks, The Sabrejets, Shame Academy
Past members Brian Young
Ronnie Matthews
Leigh Carson
Drew Brown
Johnny Stewart
Graham "Grimmy" Marshall
Gordon Blair
Paul Martin

Rudi were a punk rock/power pop band from Belfast, Northern Ireland formed in 1975.


Rudi formed in 1975 as a covers band with members Brian Young, Ronnie Matthews, Graham Marshall, Leigh Carson and Gordon Blair, playing rock 'n' roll and glam rock hits.[3][4] The band's name was taken from a single called "Oo Oo Rudi" by The Jook.[4] After bass guitarist Johnny Stewart joined, the group adopted the new pop punk sound. The band wore a stage uniform of boiler suits, stolen by drummer Graham Marshall from his place of work.[4] Original Stiff Little Fingers bassist Gordon Blair joined in 1977.[4]

The band's debut release was the "Big Time" single, the first release for Terri Hooley's Good Vibrations label in May 1978, bringing positive reviews in the music press (it was later described by Henry McDonals of The Observer as "one of the most perfect pop songs to come out of this island") and prompting the band to relocate to London.[3][4] They failed to secure a record deal in London, and suffered a further setback when guitarist Ronnie Matthews and drummer Marshall were jailed for a week after their Clapham squat was raided, and they returned to Belfast.[4] In 1979 they contributed "Overcome by Fumes" to the Battle of the Bands EP, and they were offered a record deal by Polydor, on the condition that they replaced Marshall, but the offer was declined.[4] A four-track EP of their own followed, and the band embarked on a tour of England. Blair was sacked, later joining The Outcasts, with Matthews moving to bass. A television appearance on BBC2's Something Else in 1980 showcased the band's proposed next single on Good Vibrations, "The Pressure's On"/"Who You", but the band left the label in frustration with Hooley.[4] The band recorded a session for Mike Read's BBC Radio 1 show The Evening Session in June 1980, and a deal with Target Records was proposed but failed with the label's demise.[4][5] They were offered a deal with Ariola Records by Pete Waterman, but instead decided to sign with the Paul Weller-funded Jamming! label.[4] Sessions for John Peel and David Jensen's radio shows and two further singles followed between 1981 and 1983, the latter ("Crimson") being named "Single of the Week" by Sounds, and Rudi supported The Jam on their Transglobal Unity Express tour.[4] When The Jam split up, the Jamming! label folded soon afterwards, and Rudi found themselves without a label, and also split up.[4]

Matthews, Young, and Marshall re-emerged with a new band, Station Superheaven, while Brian Young formed a series of bands including The Tigersharks, The Roughnecks, and The Sabrejets. In the 2000s, Young played in Shame Academy, along with Greg Cowan of The Outcasts and Petesy Burns of Stalag 17.

A compilation CD of the band's recordings was released in 1996 on the Cherry Red label Anagram.[3]

Rudi have influenced several later bands, including The Saw Doctors and Therapy?, both of whom recorded cover versions of "Big Time".[4]


Original line-up (1975)[edit]

  • Brian Young - guitar, vocals
  • Ronnie Matthews vocals- guitar
  • Graham Marshall - Bass guitar
  • Drew Brown - Drums

Second stable line-up[edit]

  • Brian Young - guitar, vocals
  • Ronnie Matthews vocals- guitar
  • Johnny Stewart - bass guitar
  • Graham "Grimmy" Marshall - drums

Third line-up (1977–1979)[edit]

  • Brian Young - guitar, vocals
  • Ronnie Matthews lead vocals- guitar
  • Gordon Blair - bass guitar
  • Graham "Grimmy" Marshall - drums

1981 line-up[edit]

  • Brian Young - guitar, vocals
  • Ronnie Matthews - bass, lead vocals
  • Graham "Grimmy" Marshall - drums

1983 line-up[edit]

  • Brian Young - guitar, vocals
  • Ronnie Matthews -lead vocals bass
  • Graham "Grimmy" Marshall - drums
  • Paul Martin - keyboards


Singles, EPs[edit]

  • "Big Time" (1978), Good Vibrations GOT ONE
  • I Spy EP (1979), Good Vibrations GOT12
  • "When I Was Dead" (1982), Jamming! CREATE1 - UK Indie #29[6]
  • "Crimson" (1983), Jamming! CREATE3 - UK Indie #23[6]
  • "The Pressure's On" (1990), Bad Vibrations/Last Year's Youth
  • 14 Steps to Death EP (2001), Last Year's Youth
  • Yummy Yummy EP (2002), Last Year's Youth


  • Big Time - The Best of Rudi (1996), Anagram
  • The Band That Time Forgot (2002), Last Year's Youth
  • The Complete Rudi Singles Collection (2002), Last Year's Youth


  • "Overcome by Fumes" on Battle of the Bands double 7-inch set (1979), Good Vibrations


  1. ^ Joe Donnelly. "Punk Profiles: Rudi". Retrieved 18 January 2015. 
  2. ^ "Rudi - A Fan's View". Retrieved 18 January 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c Strong, Martin C. (2003) The Great Indie Discography, Canongate, ISBN 1-84195-335-0, p. 134
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Ogg, Alex (2006) No More Heroes: a Complete History of UK Punk from 1976 to 1980, Cherry Red Books, ISBN 978-1-901447-65-1, p. 471-474
  5. ^ Gimarc, George (2005) Punk Diary: The Ultimate Trainspotter's Guide to Underground Rock 1970-1982, Backbeat Books, ISBN 0-87930-848-6, p. 343
  6. ^ a b Lazell, Barry (1998) Indie Hits 1980-1989, Cherry Red Books, ISBN 0-9517206-9-4, p. 193

External links[edit]