The Batfish Boys

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The Batfish Boys
Origin Leeds, England
Genres Gothic rock, gothabilly
Years active 1984–1990
Labels Batfish Inc., GWR
Associated acts The March Violets, Skeletal Family
Members Simon "Detroit" Denbigh
Loz Elliott
Tom Ashton
Martin "Bomber" Pink
Bob "Diablo" Priestley
Murray Fenton
Johnny Burman
Zero Rek (Martin Herbert)

The Batfish Boys (later simply called Batfish) were a gothic rock/garage rock/rockabilly band from York and Leeds, England, active between 1984 and 1990. They released three albums.

The band was formed by former March Violets vocalist Simon Detroit (b. Simon Denbigh) and ex-Skeletal Family drummer Martin "Bomber" Pink, initially assisted on their first single, 1985's "Swamp Liquor" (their first release on their own Batfish Inc. label) by Denbigh's ex-bandmates in March Violets, bassist Loz Elliott and guitarist Tom Ashton.[1] Their goth tendencies evolved into a more Stooges-influenced garage rock sound, and debut album The Gods Hate Kansas [2] prompted comparisons to the likes of The Cramps and The Gun Club.[3] By that point, the band had added bassist Bob "Diablo" Priestley and guitarists Johnny Burman and Murray Fenton. In 1986, Zero Rek (Martin Herbert) replaced Fenton on guitar. The Batfish Boys' second album, Head, also appeared that year, laced with psychedelic blues overtones.[3] With the band's sound getting progressively heavier, the band were signed by Motörhead's label GWR in 1987 and shortened their name to Batfish. The first release on GWR was 1988's "Purple Dust" single, a mash-up cover of "Purple Haze" and Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust".[2] 1989 saw the release of the band's third album, Batfish Brew, but the band split shortly afterwards. Simon Denbigh was declared Cult Hero No. 36 by Classic Rock Magazine in 2010.[2]


Chart placings shown are from the UK Indie Chart.[4]


  • "Swamp Liquor" (1985) Batfish Inc. (#22)
  • Crocodile Tears EP (1986) Batfish Inc.
  • "Justine" (1986) Batfish Inc. (#16)
  • "The Bomb Song" (1987) Batfish Inc. (#18)
  • "Purple Dust" (1988) GWR


  • The Gods Hate Kansas (1985) Batfish Inc.
  • Head (1986) Batfish Inc. (#16)
  • Batfish Brew (1989) GWR
  • Lurve: Some Kind of Flashback (1985)


  1. ^ Shrinking Violets In: Sounds magazine, 25 May 1985
  2. ^ a b c Strong, Martin C. (1999). The Great Alternative & Indie Discography. Canongate. ISBN 0-86241-913-1. 
  3. ^ a b David Sheridan/Greg Fasolino. "Batfish Boys". Retrieved 2 March 2008. 
  4. ^ Lazell, Barry (1997). Indie Hits 1980-1999. Cherry Red Books. ISBN 0-9517206-9-4.