BOB (band)

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Origin London, England
Genres Indie pop
Years active 1986–1995
Labels Sombrero, House of Teeth
Past members Richard Blackborow
Simon Armstrong
Jem Morris
Gary Connors
Dean Legget
Stephen 'Henry' Hersom

BOB were an indie pop band from North London, England, formed in 1985.


The initial line-up was Richard Blackborow (vocals, keyboards, guitar), Simon Armstrong (guitar, vocals). Jem Morris (bass guitar), joined the duo in 1986, and, augmented with a drum machine, they recorded the band's first release, a flexi disc, released in 1986 on their own House Of Teeth label, and containing three short songs: "Prune (Your Tree)", "Groove" and "Brian Wilson's Bed". The band gave a copy to John Peel in a fortuitous encounter in the Rough Trade record shop, and he played it many times. The drum machine was replaced by Gary Connors (drums) in 1987, and this line-up recorded 1987's What a Performance EP and the first of three BOB John Peel sessions. Blackborow stated in 1988 that the band had a diverse set of songs in their repertoire at that stage and that the songs on the EP were selected from "by doing a quick poll of our friends".[1]

Early in 1988, Gary Connors was replaced by former Jamie Wednesday drummer Dean Legget, and the band recorded their second single, the Kirsty EP, a session for BBC Radio One's Simon Mayo, and their second John Peel session. Both singles received heavy play by John Peel.[2] The two singles were compiled together with the earlier flexi disc as Swag Sack, which was their final recording for the Sombrero label. All later releases were on their own House Of Teeth label.

In 1989, the band released the Convenience EP (which reached no.31 in John Peel's Festive Fifty at the end of the year),[3] followed by a limited edition/fan club release containing three songs: "Esmerelda Brooklyn", "I Don't Know" and "Sink". After their third and final John Peel session,[3] Morris was replaced by ex-Caretaker Race bassist Stephen 'Henry' Hersom,[4] and this final line-up recorded the Stride Up EP in 1990, an LP Leave The Straight Life Behind and the Tired EP in 1991, and one last single, the Nothing For Something EP in 1992. BOB became one of the victims of the demise of Rough Trade's distribution arm, which limited sales of the album and forced the band to tour for an extended period to recoup the album's costs. A feeling of disillusionment with the 'business' side of the music caused a drop in morale, and they disbanded early in 1995.

The BOB single "Convenience" was released for the first time on a digital format on the John Peel compilation box set Kats Karavan in October 2009.

In February 2014, "Leave the Straight Life Behind" was re-released by British independent label 3 Loop Music as a 2CD expanded edition which included the remastered album plus a bonus CD of all the John Peel and BBC sessions, as well as extra tracks.



  • Flexi Disc (1986, House of Teeth, HOT 001) 7" flexi-disc
  • Striped Sweaters (1986 House of Teeth, HOT 002) 8" Striped-Sweaters
  • "Mad with Lust"( 1986 House of Teeth HOT 002) 8 " Mad-with-Lust
  • What an Awesome Day (2001 Cowboys of the Dudes 003) 4" What an Awesome Day
  • What a Performance EP (1987, Sombrero, 12", Sombrero One)
  • Kirsty EP (1988, Sombrero, 12", Sombrero Two) (UK Indie Chart #17)[5]
  • "Convenience" (1989, House of Teeth, 7"/12", HOT7002/HOT12002)
  • Fan Club/Limited Edition EP (1989, House of Teeth, 12" Vinyl in 2 different sleeves, and 7" white-label, HOT 7003/12003)containing 'Esmerelda Brooklyn', 'I Don't Know' and 'Sink'. (UK Indie #12)[5]
  • Stride Up EP (1990, House of Teeth, 12", HOT12004)
  • Tired EP (1990, House of Teeth, 12", HOT12005) also a 7" white-label promo
  • Nothing for Something EP (1991, House of Teeth, 12", HOT12006)


  • Swag Sack (1988, Sombrero, LP, Sombrero Five)
  • Leave the Straight Life Behind (1991, House of Teeth, LP/CD, HOT13013)


  1. ^ Dickson, Ian (1988) "BOB's Your Uncle", Underground, February 1988 (Issue 11), p. 4
  2. ^ Strong, Martin C.: "The Great Alternative & Indie Discography", 1999, Canongate, ISBN 0-86241-913-1
  3. ^ a b BBC - Radio 1 - Keeping It Peel - Bob
  4. ^ Larkin, Colin: The Guinness Who's Who of Indie and New Wave Music, Guinness, 1992, ISBN 0-85112-579-4
  5. ^ a b Lazell, Barry: Indie Hits 1980-1989, 1997, Cherry Red Books, ISBN 0-9517206-9-4

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