Big Flame (band)

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Big Flame
OriginManchester, England
GenresIndie rock, post-punk
Years active1983–1986
LabelsRon Johnson, Laughing Gun
Associated actsGreat Leap Forward, Meatmouth
Past membersAlan Brown
Greg Keeffe
Dil Green

Big Flame (often rendered bIG fLAME) were a post punk/Indie rock three piece band, based in Manchester, England and active from 1983 to 1986. The members were Alan Brown (bass, vocals), Greg Keeffe (guitar) and Dil Green (drums). After a debut single (Sink) on their own Laughing Gun label, they joined the Ron Johnson roster for a series of mid-eighties singles as well as an appearance on the NME's C86 compilation.

On the reverse of the "Two Kan Guru" compilation, it was jokingly stated that Green and Brown played in the original line-up of Wham! with George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley; incredibly, this was accepted as fact by many people.

In addition to releasing 5 singles and a compilation EP, Big Flame also recorded four sessions for the John Peel Show. Big Flame were a major influence on Manic Street Preachers. In a 1991 interview, Richie Edwards stated "The 80s, for us, was the biggest non-event ever, like C86. All we had was Big Flame. Big Flame was the most perfect band. But we couldn't play their records 'cos they were too avant garde".[1]

The group also operated beyond the confines of the band itself. Keeffe and Green hosted a night at Manchester's Man Alive club which they christened "The Wilde Club" providing a useful venue for groups other than their own. This spirit was also reflected in Ugly Noise Undercurrents which was a band-swap concept conceived by Brown to provide emerging groups with a facility for securing gigs in towns and cities beyond their home base. The Allez Ugly newsletter was the primary driver for this.

After the band split in 1986, Brown joined Ron Johnson labelmates A Witness on drums, touring the UK and Europe and appearing on several records (the 12" EP 'One Foot in the Groove' and Strange Fruit Double Peel Sessions) and three sessions for BBC Radio One DJ John Peel. He left A Witness in 1988 to form solo project Great Leap Forward, while Keeffe joined Meatmouth (with Mark Whittam and Nicholas Blincoe) who released "Meatmouth is Murder" on Factory Records, FAC 196.

After a break from music, Alan Brown teamed up with Daren Garratt (of Pram) and Vince Hunt (of A Witness) in the band Marshall Smith, releasing an album 'Colours' in 2006 on the Euphonium label.

In 2007, Alan Brown joined Sarandon as bass player.

Greg Keeffe was professor of sustainable architecture at Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds until May 2012, and is now Professor of Architecture at Queens University, Belfast

Dil Green is now an architect based in London.


  • "Sink"/"Illness"/"Sometimes" - 7" EP, Laughing Gun Records (own label), 1984
  • "Rigour" - 7" EP, Ron Johnson Records, 1985
  • "Tough" - 7" EP, Ron Johnson Records, 1985
  • "Two Kan Guru" (compilation) - 10" EP, Ron Johnson Records, 1985
  • "Why Popstars Can't Dance" - 7" EP, Ron Johnson Records, 1986
  • "Cubist Pop Manifesto" - 7" EP, Ron Johnson Records, 1986
  • "Cubist Pop Manifesto" - 12" EP, Constrictor Records, 1987
  • Rigour - CD compilation album of all the above, Drag City Records, 1996


  1. ^ Gabriel, Clive (1991) "Art is just short for Arthur", Lime Lizard, October 1991, Lime Lizard Ltd., ISSN 0961-8104

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