The Hotknives

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The Hotknives is a ska band from Horsham in Sussex, England.

Band history[edit]

The original line up of The Hotknives existed between 1982 and 1993. They were perhaps / definitely (delete as applicable) the finest UK ska band of all time. Much loved and much missed by all who had the pleasure of seeing them live. They created three masterpieces of British ska in their time together - the live albums "Live at the Boatman" and "Live & Skankin", and the studio album "The Way Things Are". Their catalogue of classics include the live favourites "Holsten Boys" / "Don't Go Away" / "Skin Up Harry" / "Dave and Mary" / "Driving Me Mad" / "Julie Julie" / "W.L.N." / "Bedsit Land" / "Alcoholic Nightmare" / "One Man And His Dog" / "Believe It" / "Man In The Cellar" etc etc etc. The band featured the iconic vocals and songwriting of Mick Clare and Gary Marshall. Mick played guitar and occasional harmonica too, Gary played rhythm guitar. Lead guitarist Dave Clifton had a hand in writing some classics too (and some damn fine solos). Kev Clements who started out as Keyboard player wrote some standout tracks too (he finished up on the trumpet). Micky Matthews was on Sax duties and skillfully toasted his way through "Turkey Stomp" and "Double Barrel". Mick Merritt and Clemmy were the 'engine room' of bass and drums respectively. Jim Mills took over keyboard duties from Kev. Paul Mumford and Colin Jones provided additional Sax at certain times through the bands history. In short, The Original Hotknives, with all of their colourful characters, were the finest ska band of the so-called 'third wave' of ska (the first being the Jamaican originals and the second being 2tone).

The original line up split up in 1993 and reformed a year later and slimmed down their line up to become a four piece band, the line-up consisted of original members Mick Clare and Clemmy with Bosky (Richard Allen) and Marc Carew. Bosky was formerly in Brighton based ska band 'Too Many Crooks' and Marc still continues to play with 'The Long Tall Texans'. In 1996 the band released their second studio album "Home" on Grover Records (Germany) and in 2000 followed up with the studio album "Screams, Dreams and Custard Creams". In 2003 the line-up changed when Mick left to be replaced by Stuart Brown on guitar with Marc taking over on lead vocals. In 2010 the band released their latest album "About Time"

The Original 1982 line-up; Gary Marshall, Michael Clare, Michael Matthews, Michael Merritt, Dave Clifton, Kevin Clements, Nigel Clements.

Members who joined on the way ; Colin Jones Paul Mumford

Current members[edit]

  • Marc Carew - vocals, bass.
  • Richard Allen - vocals, keyboards.
  • Stuart Brown - guitar, backing vocals
  • Clemmy - drums, backing vocals


  • 1988 - Live At The Boatman (Off The Head Records Ltd)
  • 1989 - Live 'N' Skankin' (Skank Records)
  • 1990 - The Way Things Are (Unicorn Records)
  • 1996 - Home (Grover Records)
  • 2000 - Screams, Dreams And Custard Creams (Grover Records)
  • 2010 - About Time (Sunny Bastards)

External links[edit]