Thee Headcoats (1989 - 2000), was a band formed in Chatham, Kent, England in the late 1980s. The band was well known for its garage rock sound, explicitly sticking to this style on almost all of their albums. The band's signature sound as well as their prolific writing has been attributed to Billy Childish's love of simple, direct recording. The band has been on multiple labels including Billy's own Hangman Records, Damaged Goods and Sub Pop.
The band played their final concert on May 12, 2000 at the Dirty Water Club. Billy Childish went on to play with The Buff Medways from 1999 to 2006, and then with The Musicians of The British Empire from 2007 to 2011.
The band was composed of Billy Childish (guitar and vocals), Bruce Brand (drums and backing vocals), and Johnny Johnson (bass). The band is the most prolific of Childish's many musical projects so far, releasing fourteen full-length albums.
The group originally featured Allan Crockford (credited as Krojack on the first LP, Headcoats Down), followed by John Agnew then Ollie Dolat on bass before Johnson joined.
Thee Headcoatees, an all-female vocal group consisting of Holly Golightly, Kyra LaRubia, Ludella Black, and (until leaving in 1999) Bongo Debbie would often perform songs with the band and recorded several LPs.
Repertoire and influence
Described in the New York Times as 'the king of garage rock', Billy and Thee Headcoats actually grew out of the British punk scene of the 1970s (both Billy and Bruce Brand playing in The Pop Rivets and The Milkshakes). The band recorded songs by The Clash under the pseudonym Thee Stash. The band also recorded a tribute album to Bo Diddley called Bo in Thee Garage. On their debut album, the band recorded new versions of songs written by Son House including "John the Revelator" and "Child's Death Letter", both of which were later covered by The White Stripes upon whom Thee Headcoats were a great influence. These three influences give a good idea of what the band's sound was like; punk mixed with pure rhythmic rock 'n' roll and blues.
- Headcoats Down! (1989)
- The Earls of Suavedom (1990)
- The Kids Are All Square- This Is Hip! (1990)
- Beach Bums Must Die (1990)
- Heavens to Murgatroyd, Even! It’s Thee Headcoats! (Already) (1990)
- W.O.AH! Bo in Thee Garage (1991) Bo Diddley tribute album
- Cavern by the Sea (1991)
- Headcaotitude (1991)
- The Wurst is Yet to Come (1993)
- The Good Times Are Killing Me (1993)
- Live at the Wild Western Room (1994) featuring Thee Headcoatees
- Thee Headcoats Conundrum (1994)
- The Sounds of the Baskervilles (1995) featuring Thee Headcoatees
- In Tweed We Trust (1996)
- Deerstalking Men (1996) Thee Headcoats Sect (with members of The Downliners Sect)
- Knights of the Baskervilles (1996)
- The Jimmy Reed Experience (1997) 10”
- The Messerschmitt Pilot's Severed Hand (1998)
- Thee Headcoats Best: Sherlock Holmes Meets the Punkenstein Monster (1998) (Japanese Compilation)
- Brother is Dead…But Fly is Gone! (1998)
- 17% - Hendrix Was Not the Only Musician (1998)
- Thee English Gentlemen of Rock & Roll: Thee Headcoats Best Vol. II (1999) (Japanese Compilation)
- Ready Sect Go! (1999) Thee Headcoats Sect (with members of The Downliners Sect)
- I Am the Object of Your Desire (2000)
- Elementary Headcoats – Thee Singles 1990-1999 (2001)
- Live at the Dirty Water Club (2001)