Bradford (band)

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Bradford live in nottingham.jpg
Background information
OriginBlackburn, Lancashire, England
GenresIndie pop
Years active1987–1991
LabelsFoundation, Midnight Music, Sire
Associated actsAcoustic Uprising, Ithaka
MembersIan Michael Hodgson
Ewan Butler
John Baulcombe
Jos Murphy
Mark McVittie

Bradford were an indie band from Blackburn, Lancashire, England. The band is best known for being liked by Morrissey, who proclaimed them heirs to the Smiths throne.


The line-up was Ian H. (Ian Michael Hodgson, vocals), Ewan Butler (guitar), John Baulcombe (Keyboards),Jos Murphy (bass guitar), and Mark McVitie (drums).[1] The band's debut single, "Skin Storm" was released in 1988, and had the distinction of being the first independently financed recording to be released on compact disc.[2] They followed this with "Tattered, Tangled & Torn" before signing to Midnight Music, although their only release for the label, a self-titled mini-LP, was withdrawn.[1] The band were then signed to Smiths producer Stephen Street's Foundation label.[3] Street produced the major share of Bradford's material during their two-year association before the band signed with Sire Records/Warner Bros. Records. The band opened for Morrissey at his first post-Smiths concert at Wolverhampton Civic Hall.[2] 1989[1] saw two further singles, both hits on the UK Indie Chart, and an album, Shouting Quietly, produced by Stephen Street and released on Sire Records label in the United States followed in 1989, reissued in 1990. Sales of the album were disappointing, and the band were dropped by Sire. An album collecting tracks from their early singles was also issued. In 1991, Morrissey recorded a cover version of "Skin Storm", released as a B-side on his "Pregnant for the Last Time" single and also featured on the "My Love Life" and "The CD Singles '88-91'" albums.[1]

The band toured extensively and supported artists including Primal Scream, Joe Strummer, Sugarcubes and James. Hodgson later formed band Acoustic Uprising, and also played guitar for On Parole, a tribute to The Clash. Guitarist Ewan Butler wrote and performed with US rap artist Ithaka; whilst bass player Jos Murphy is currently playing with Morrissey tribute act, Viva Morrissey from Manchester, John Baulcombe was recently the keyboardist with the Bolton indie pop band Merchandise who released their third album, For The Masses, in June 2010. Since August 2011 he has been playing keyboards, guitar and mandolin for Northern folk-rooted rock band Dave Rowley's Black Country.

The band's original drummer Mark McVittie, then working as a lecturer at Blackburn College, was arrested on child pornography charges in 2001 and placed on a list of registered sex offenders.[2][4]


Chart placings shown are from the UK Indie Chart.[3]


  • "Skin Storm" b/w "Gatling Gun" (1988), Village[5]
  • "Tattered, Tangled & Torn" (1988), Village
  • "In Liverpool" b/w Boys Will Be Boys (July 1989)[6] Foundation (#12)
  • "Adrift Again" (1989) Foundation (#20)
  • "Gang of One" (1990) Foundation


  • Bradford (1988) Midnight Music (withdrawn)
  • Shouting Quietly (August 1989)[7] Foundation/Sire/Rough Trade


  1. ^ a b c d Strong, Martin C. (2003) The Great Indie Discography, Canongate, ISBN 1-84195-335-0, p. 243
  2. ^ a b c Sutton, Michael. "Bradford biography". Macrovision Corporation. Retrieved 8 March 2008.
  3. ^ a b Lazell, Barry (1997). Indie Hits 1980-1999. Cherry Red Books. ISBN 0-9517206-9-4.
  4. ^ "Porn shame of former pop star[permanent dead link]", Lancashire Evening Telegraph, 24 April 2001, retrieved 8 November 2009
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^

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