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OriginKingston upon Hull, England
Years active1978–1981
LabelsRed Rhino, Polydor
Past membersRoland Gift
Steve Pears
Stevie Robottom
Wojciech Swiderski
Fred Reynolds
Nik Townend

Akrylykz (originally Akrylyk(z) Vyktymz) were a British ska band, formed by members of Hull School of Art in Kingston upon Hull, that featured Roland Gift (later Fine Young Cannibals) originally as a tenor saxophonist, but his role later expanded to frontman and lead singer.[1] Other members of the group were Steve Pears (vocals, tenor saxophone), Stevie "B" Robottom (vocals, alto saxophone, keyboards), Wojciech "Piotr" Swiderski (drums), Michael "Fred" Reynolds (bass), and Nik "Akrylyk" Townend (guitar).[1]


Akrylykz existed in the late 1970s to the early 1980s where they had limited success, releasing a double A-side single, "Spyderman" / "Smart Boy", on the York based Red Rhino Records,[2] before being signed to Polydor. The band released a second single "JD" for Polydor, but were subsequently dropped by the label as the ska revival boom faded.

In 1980, Akrylykz (without drummer Swiderski, who had suffered a hand injury) recorded a number of sessions with Desmond Dekker for his album, Black and Dekker, on Stiff Records, which reprised many of his hits.

In their time, the band toured extensively in their own right as well as supporting The Beat, The Specials, Madness, and other 2 Tone bands. They also opened for The Clash on at least one occasion.[3] Horace Panter mentioned Akrylykz (misspelled Akrylyx) on page 89 of his autobiography Ska'd For Life.

Aftermath after disbandment[edit]

Townend went on to form his own record label, Vital Records, featuring the Hull University-based reggae band Bushfire, headed up by Mark Douglas (bass, vocals and songwriting), in which Townend played guitar and wrote some songs, before leaving Hull and moving to London. The label released material by a number of local bands including Nyam Nyam, led by the former Mojo editor and Iggy Pop biographer, Paul Trynka.

The compilation album 100% British Ska (1998)[4] featured the Akrylykz tracks "Spyderman" (Gift/Townend) and "Smart Boy" (Steve B./Townend).



  1. ^ a b "The Akrylykz". Boredteenagers.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-01-25.
  2. ^ "(Obituary) Tony Kostrzewa: Founder of Red Rhino Records". The Independent. 9 May 2008.
  3. ^ [1] Archived April 28, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Various - 100% British Ska (CD) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2014-01-25.
  5. ^ "The Post Punk Progressive Pop Party: Akrylykz - Spyderman". Thep5.blogspot.com. 2009-01-17. Retrieved 2014-01-25.
  6. ^ "Akrylykz - J.D. / Ska'd For Life (Vinyl) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2014-01-25.
  7. ^ "Desmond Dekker - Black And Dekker (Vinyl, LP) at Discogs". Discogs.com. 2011-01-28. Retrieved 2014-01-25.

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