The Nips

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The Nipple Erectors
Also known as The Nips
Origin London, England
Genres Punk rock
Years active 1976–1981, 2008
Labels Soho, Chiswick, Big Beat
(currently no label)
Associated acts The Pogues, The Men They Couldn't Hang
Members Shane MacGowan, Shanne Bradley , Gavin Douglas "Fritz", Michael Cronin
Past members Roger Towndrow, Arcane Vendetta, Gerry Maccleduff, Rick Collett, Phil Rowland, Mark Harrison, Larry Henrichs, Gavin Douglas "Fritz" , John Grinton "Grinny", Roger Williams "Travis", Jon Moss, John Hasler,[1] James Fearnley,

The Nipple Erectors (also known as The Nips) were an English punk rock band formed in London in 1976 by female punk artist Shanne Bradley and are notable as having been Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan's first musical group.

Career[edit]

Initially consisting of vocalist/songwriter Shane MacGowan (known at the time as 'Shane O'Hooligan'), bassist/songwriter/original punk artist Shanne Bradley, guitarist/artist Roger Towndrow and drummer Arcane Vendetta; The Nipple Erectors performed their first gig at The Roxy Club Covent Garden. London in 1977. The band later released four singles and there was one bootleg live album between 1978 and 1981. Inspired by The Stooges, The Nipple Erectors incorporated elements of rockabilly and '60s garage rock into their music.

Following the release of their first single, "King of the Bop"/"Nervous Wreck", in June 1978, on Soho Records, the band renamed themselves The Nips and released the garage punk song "All The Time in the World"/"Private Eye" with Phil Rowland of Eater on drums. By May 1979, the band's line up had changed to include Gavin "Fritz" Douglas, on guitar. The Power pop anthem, "Gabrielle" was released in November 1979, first on Soho Records, and then reissued on Chiswick Records. with John ("Grinny") Grinton (ex Skrewdriver) on drums. By the time of its release, Grinny had been replaced by Roger Travis Williams. Gavin Douglas' guitar playing on this record marked a change in the band's sound to a more melodic style.

A live album, Only the End of the Beginning was released on Soho Records in 1980, from a recording made whilst on tour with the Purple Hearts. Two other live bootlegs have recently appeared, Live at The 101 Club and Live at the Hope and Anchor both recorded in late 1979.

In 1980, The Nips recorded a demo for Polydor Records at their studio in Bond Street. It was produced by Paul Weller. There were four songs recorded for this session, including "Happy Song" "Nobody to Love", "Ghost Town" and "Love To Make You Cry". The Line up for this recording was, Shane MacGowan-vocals, Shanne Bradley-bass, Gavin Douglas-guitar and Mark Harrison (ex Bernie Tormé)-drums. "Happy Song"/"Nobody to Love" was released as a single in October 1981, on Test Pressing Records. The Nips announced to the press that they were quitting after a last gig at London's Covent Garden Rock Garden on March 10, 1980. MacGowan and Bradley did reform the band later that year, albeit briefly. The line up included James Fearnley on guitar and Jon Moss on drums. This line up played a final gig at London's Music Machine with The Jam in December 1980. In 1981 Jon Moss joined up with Boy George to form Culture Club.[2]

During 1981, Bradley took the band in another direction away from the traditional rock band format to incorporate Greek, Cretan and Irish Roots/Folk music.[2] The popular Irish folk and America folk song "Poor Paddy Works on the Railway" had previously formed part of their early live set with Guitarist Roger Towndrow. This line up included Macgowan and Bradley plus John Hasler (ex Madness) on standup snare drum and Scots/Irish Folk Fiddler David Rattray. Later that year Bradley decided to take a break from music. Shane Macgowan and John Hasler went on to play in Pogue Mahone, later shortened to The Pogues. In 1984 Shanne Bradley co-founded The Men They Couldn't Hang to play "The Alternative Country and Western Festival" on March 1984 at The Electric Ballroom in Camden.

In 1987, Big Beat released an anthology LP named Bops, Babes, Booze and Bovver, credited to "Nips n Nipple Erectors". It collects both sides of the first three singles issued on Soho, as well as adding two outtakes: "So Pissed Off" and "Stavordale Rd, N5". The later CD edition added another two outtakes: "Venus in Bovver Boots" and "Fuss & Bother".

Reformation[edit]

On 6 May 2008, The Nipple Erectors reformed playing a somewhat secret gig at the 100 Club, Oxford Street, London. The line-up consisted of Shanne Bradley, Shane MacGowan, Eric Le Baton, and Fritz Douglas. Shanne's daughter Eucalypta sang backing vocals on the final number 'Gabrielle'. The group also performed one month later although this time minus MacGowan who was replaced by Eucalypta on vocals.

Discography[edit]

Singles[edit]

  • "King of the Bop" (b/w "Nervous Wreck") (1978), Soho Records
  • "All the Time in the World" (b/w "Private eye") (1979), Soho Records
  • "Gabrielle" (b/w "Vengence") (1980), Soho Records
  • "Happy Song" (b/w "Nobody To Love") (1981), Test Pressings Records

Albums[edit]

  • Only the End of the Beginning (1980), Soho Records [recorded live March 1980 at Wolverhampton Polytechnic on the Purple Hearts tour]
  • Bops, Babes, Booze and Bovver (1987), Big Beat Records [Anthology of all soho singles & b-sides with bonus unreleased tracks]
  • The Tits of Soho (2000), Bovver Boot Company [Bootleg Anthology of all the singles & b-sides plus two unreleased songs and the live tracks from "Only the end..."]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Terry Smith Drums. The Shanne Bradley Interview
  2. ^ a b Fearnley, James (2012). Here Comes Everybody - The Story of the Pogues. London: faber and faber. pp. 20–41. ISBN 978-0571-25396-8. 

External links[edit]