The Lurkers

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The Lurkers
Origin Uxbridge, London, England
Genres Punk rock, new wave, pop punk
Years active 1976–1979; 1982–1984;
1987–1997; 1999–present
Labels Beggars Banquet Records
Clay Records
Associated acts the Boys,
999
Website Lurkers official website (archive)
Members Arturo Bassick
Dave Kemp
Craig Casson
Past members Manic Esso (given name: Pete Haynes)
Nigel Moore
Pete Stride
Howard Wall
Mark Fincham
Nigel Moore
Billy Gilbert / Damo Waters / Dan Tozer / Nelly / Tom Spencer

The Lurkers were a late 1970s English punk rock group from Uxbridge, West London,[1] notable for being the first group ever on Beggars Banquet Records.

Career[edit]

The Lurkers formed late in 1976 and played their first gig at Uxbridge Technical College in the December supporting Screaming Lord Sutch to an audience of 10! The original line-up consisted of Pete Stride on Guitar, Pete "Manic Esso" Haynes on drums, Howard Wall on vocals and Nigel Moore on Bass. Despite not being the principal vocalist, Stride was the band’s main songwriter. The band were one of the pioneering punk bands that played live in the first few months of the now-legendary Roxy Club in London. Nigel was swiftly replaced by Arturo Bassick. They supported The Jam in February 1977, Eater in March, and Slaughter & The Dogs in April.[2]

The Lurkers recorded four sessions at Maida Vale 4 studio for John Peel at BBC Radio 1, on 18/10/1977, 18/04/1978, 25/07/1978, and 24/01/1979. Their debut single "Shadow", the first release on Beggars Banquet Records, was voted by John Peel's listeners as twelfth best track of the year in 1977's Festive Fifty. with "Love Story", the B-side, at number 31.[3] Bassick left the band after this first single, and was replaced by former Saints member Kym Bradshaw, who left before the recording of the third single, 1978's "Ain't Got a Clue"/"Ooh, Ooh I Love You" which saw the return of Nigel Moore to the band. That single was their biggest hit, reaching No. 45 on the UK singles chart.

The following month, the band’s debut album, Fulham Fallout, reached No. 57 on the UK albums chart. One reviewer described it as "by far their best with production that really makes the guitar kick. It's sloppy and amateurish, but that's what makes it so great."[4] "Be My Prisoner", a song from the album, also appeared on Streets, a 1977 compilation album of early UK punk bands from a variety of independent record labels.[5]

In January 1979, The Lurkers’ fifth single, "Just Thirteen", was released, and in 2001 it was included in Mojo magazine’s list of the best punk rock singles of all time.[6] A month after the release of this single, The Lurkers' track "I'm on Heat" appeared, alongside songs by more famous bands like The Jam and The Stranglers, on the punk compilation 20 of Another Kind (Polydor, POLS 1006). The album reached number 45 in the UK charts. Another of the band's tracks, "Out in the Dark", appeared on the follow-up 20 of Another Kind Volume 2.

The band’s second album was not as well received, critically or commercially, as their debut, and the band split for a few years. Pete Stride collaborated with ‘Honest’ John Plain (of English punk band the Boys) and released an album in January 1980.[7] In 1982, Stride re-formed the Lurkers.[8] They signed for Stoke-on-Trent-based label Clay Records, for whom they released four singles and one album. The band broke up again in 1984.[9]

In the years since, they have reunited with various members numerous times, and continue to record and perform around the world to this day, although its really just Arturo and some of his mates.[10] Their legacy, however, is primarily based on their late 1970s output. "Shadow", "Ain't Got a Clue", and "Just Thirteen" in particular are cited by punk cognoscenti as classic examples of the style, and still show up from time to time on genre overview compilations. The current line-up is: Bassick (bass and vocals) who also plays for 999, Steve Straughan (guitar), and Nelly (drums), ex Hangups and Fiend.[11] In January 2009 the band supported punk legends the Buzzcocks on fourteen dates of their UK tour.[12] Esso, Stride and Moore are jamming again under the name of God's Lonely Men and released a CD in 2012 entitled 'Chemical Landslide' which contained tracks considered a lot heavier than anything they had previously recorded under the Lurkers name.

Reviews[edit]

  • ‘Relentless, uncompromising barrage of 100 mph raw punk rock, taking its lead from the Ramones but replacing the bubblegum factor with an aggressive edge more akin to Motörhead’.[8]
  • 'No pretensions, no hype, no frills and were nothing less than pure rock'n'roll. This is a band who deserve so much more respect than they get'.[15]
  • ‘London’s answer to the Ramones’.[16]
  • ‘When the band is at its best (notably in their singles "Ain't Got a Clue," "I Don't Need to Tell Her," and "Shadow..."), the album is an astonishing accomplishment, a blur of high octane riffs and unforgettable hooks tumbling over one another without a care for manners or niceties’.[17]
  • ‘The Lurkers were not loved by the Punk Rock cognoscenti - that didn’t stop juvenile urchins like me latching on to their Ramones-esque brevity & celebrating for all it was worth. Their debut 7, Shadow (Beg 1) was one of the greatest Punk Rock sides in the relatively short history of the genre’.[18]
  • ‘Their records are very simple, basic, underproduced stuff that makes the Ramones sound like Queen. But they had a knack for really catchy, singalong choruses and they've got this amateurish charm that you just have to fall for eventually. I now rank these guys as among the greats’.[19]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

  • Fulham Fallout (June 1978: Beggars Banquet, BEGA 2) # 57 UK Albums Chart[20]
  • God's Lonely Men (April 1979: Beggars Banquet, BEGA 8)
  • This Dirty Town (July 1983: Clay Records, CLAY 104)
  • Wild Times Again (Feb. 1988: Weser)
  • King of the Mountain (June 1989: Link)
  • Powerjive (October 1990: Released Emotions)
  • Non-Stop Nitropop (November 1994: Weser)
  • Ripped 'N' Torn (1995: Step 1)
  • 26 Years (2003: Captain Oi! Ahoy 229)
  • Fried Brains (2008: Captain Oi! Ahoy 301)

Compilations[edit]

  • Last Will and Testament - Greatest Hits (November 1980)
  • Totally Lurkered (Dojo, December 1992)
  • The Beggars Banquet Punk Singles (Anagram, May 1997)
  • Take Me Back To Babylon (Receiver, December 1997)

Live albums[edit]

  • Live And Loud (Link, November 1989)
  • Live In Berlin (Released Emotions, June 1992)
  • Freakshow Live (Kotumba Records 2004)

Appearances on various artist compilations (Selective)[edit]

Listing of those various artist compilation albums mentioned in the text of the main article:

  • "Be My Prisoner" featured on the Streets compilation album (End of 1977: Beggars Banquet BEGA1)
  • "I’m On Heat" featured on the 20 of Another Kind compilation album (1979: Polydor Records POLX-1) UK No. 45 UK Albums Chart[20]

Singles[edit]

  • Shadow / Love Story (July 1977: Beggars Banquet, BEG 1)
  • Freak Show / Mass Media Believer (October 1977: Beggars Banquet, BEG 2)
  • Ain't Got A Clue / Ooh Ooh I Love You (May 1978: Beggars Banquet, BEG 6) # 45 UK Singles Chart[20]
  • I Don't Need To Tell Her / Pills (July 1978: Beggars Banquet, BEG 9) # 49
  • Just Thirteen / Countdown (January 1979: Beggars Banquet, BEG 14) # 66
  • Out In The Dark E.P.: Cyanide / Suzie Is A Floozie / Cyanide (pub version) (May 1979: Beggars Banquet, BEG 19) # 72
  • New Guitar In Town / Pick Me Up / Little Ol' Wine Drinker Me (November 1979: Beggars Banquet, BEG 28) # 72
  • Shadow / Love Story / Freak Show / Mass Media Believer (1979: Beggars Banquet, BACK 1) double-7" pack
  • I Don't Need To Tell Her / Pills / Just Thirteen / Countdown (1979: Beggars Banquet, BACK 3) double-7" pack
  • This Dirty Town / Wolf At The Door (June 1982: Clay, CLAY 12)
  • Drag You Out / Heroin (It's All Over) (November 1982: Clay, CLAY 17)
  • Frankenstein Again / One Man's Meat... (February 1983: Clay)
  • Final Vinyl EP: Let's Dance Now (No Time To Be Strangers) / Midnight Hour / By The Heart / Frankenstein Again (March 1984: Clay)
  • Let's Dance Now / Midnight Hour (May 1984: Clay, CLAY 32)
  • Go Ahead Punk / Lucky John (Empty Records 1999)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Larkin, Colin: "The Guinness Who's Who of Indie and New Wave Music", 1992, Guinness Publishing, ISBN 0-85112-579-4
  2. ^ Thompson, D. (2000) Punk, Collector’s Guide Publication, Ontario, Canada, p. 61-62
  3. ^ John Peel Sessions on BBC Radio 1
  4. ^ Steve Gardner (1996) “Hiljaiset Levyt: 100 Best Punk LP's”
  5. ^ Johnny Normal, trakMARX, Issue 13
  6. ^ Mojo (October 2001) - 100 Punk Scorchers , Issue 95, London
  7. ^ Joynson, V. (2001) Up Yours! A Guide to UK Punk, New Wave & Early Post Punk, Borderline Productions, Wolverhampton, isbn=978-1-899855-13-1, p.216;
  8. ^ a b Strong, M.C. (2003) The Great Indie Discography, Canongate, Edinburgh, p. 94;
  9. ^ Thompson, D. (2000) Punk, Collector’s Guide Publication, Ontario, Canada, p. 83;
  10. ^ News page on official website
  11. ^ Band History on official website
  12. ^ The Lurkers. "Latest News". Thelurkers.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-04-14. 
  13. ^ Joynson, V. (2001) Up Yours! A Guide to UK Punk, New Wave & Early Post Punk, Borderline Productions, Wolverhampton, p. 215;
  14. ^ Thompson, D. (2000) Punk, Collector’s Guide Publication, Ontario, Canada, p. 82;
  15. ^ 'The Lurkers & Punk Rock' from www.punk77.co.uk: A history of UK Punk Rock from 1976-79;
  16. ^ Buckley, J. & Ellingham (ed.) (1996) Rock: The Rough Guide, Rough Guides, London, p. 528;
  17. ^ Dave Thompson’s review of “Fulham Fallout”, Allmusic;
  18. ^ Jean Encoule (March 2004) “A-Z Of Punk Rock”, trakMARX, Issue No.13;
  19. ^ Steve Gardner (1996) “Hiljaiset Levyt: 100 Best Punk singles”;
  20. ^ a b c Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 

External links[edit]