Foreign Legion (band)

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For the hip hop band, see Foreign Legion (hip hop crew).
Foreign Legion
1986 Foreign Legion live.jpg
Foreign Legion live in 1986
Background information
Origin Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales
Genres Punk, Street punk, Oi!
Years active 1984–1991, 2000–present
Labels Aggrobeat
Rebel Sound
KB Records
Sliver Records
Rusty Knife Records/Marchiato A Fuoco/Oi! Shop
Trooper Records
Durty Mick Records
Dirty Faces
Upstart Productions
DSS Records
Venture
Schlawiner Records
Rent a Racket
Associated acts Impact[1]
8.4%[2]
Demob
Doc Savage
Blind Justice[3]
Dead On Arrival
Society
Website Facebook page [4]
Members M.H. - vocals
Simon Bendon - guitar
John Hunt - bass
Glyn (Sid Lovely) Bendon - drums
Past members

(Guitar)
David (Truskie) Thomas,
Lyn Murphy,
Julie,
Andrew (Eggy) Heggie,
Steven Thomas,
Peter Giles,
Mark (Jolly) Williams,
Frank Busani,
Miguel Emultschoenn.
(Bass)
Alan Powell,
Helen James,
Mark (Jolly) Williams,
Andrew (Eggy) Heggie,
Martyn Richards,
Jarrad (Nöir) Owens,
Ian Poulsom,
Dog / Canis Humanus,
Steve Zuki,
David Linehan.
(Drums)
Nigel Cleaver (RIP),
Michael Wilding,
Patrick McDermott,
Paul (Marshon) Marsh,
Mark (Froggy) Price,
Pandy,
Ben (Stan) Stansfield,
Paul Black.

(Keyboards)
Paul (Marshon) Marsh.

Foreign Legion is a punk band from South Wales.[5]

1984–1991[edit]

Foreign Legion formed in 1984 from the ashes of a band called Society, later Dead On Arrival.[5] Dead on Arrival had one song on 1984's Bullsheep Detector album.[6] Following the name change to Foreign Legion (due partly to people shortening it to DOA, which could cause confusion with the Canadian band of that name[7]) and a number of line up changes (drummers in particular) the band released their first EP in 1986, on their own Rent a Racket label[8][9] with the line up of M.H. on vocals, Lyn Murphy on guitar, Helen James on bass and Paul (Marshon) Marsh on drums.[5] Later line up changes included Paul Marsh introducing keyboards to the band for a short while, Andrew Heggie taking over on guitar and Steven Thomas on bass.
Despite many live shows in London, Wales and France, three years passed before Surf City their second EP was released, with their first full-length album entitled Welcome to Fort Zinderneuf also released that same year, 1989. By this time a new line up had evolved with Mark (Jolly) Williams on bass (from local band Blind Justice,[3][10][11] who Andrew Heggie soon joined), together with Peter Giles on guitar and Ben Stansfield on drums, retaining only M.H. on vocals.
During the 1980s the band played regular slots in the famous 100 Club and supported the likes of UK Subs, The Vibrators, The Partisans, Picture Frame Seduction, The Adicts, Major Accident, Toy Dolls, Angelic Upstarts, 999, Broken Bones and others[12] including Bérurier Noir for one of their first concerts overseas in France, following gig exchanges with Burning Ambitions from Le Havre. They also supported The Alarm,[13] Joe Strummer & the Latino Rockabilly War[14] and the UK Subs when they visited the band's home town of Merthyr Tydfil.
The band split up in 1991.[5]

2000–present[edit]

Foreign Legion reformed in 2000, with members from before the 1991 split; M.H. on vocals, Mark (Jolly) Williams on guitar, Andrew Heggie on bass and Ben Stansfield on drums.[5] They released a split album with Major Accident called Cry of the Legion, before their next full-length album What Goes Around, Comes Around, produced by Mick Jones of The Clash.[5][15][16] During the early 2000s the band released EPs and played in mainland Europe and USA with the Dropkick Murphys, Major Accident, The Templars, NY Relics and the UK Subs, including a show at New York's CBGBs.[12] In 2007 the album Death Valley was recorded, featuring more new material as well as a re-worked version of Message From Nowhere from the first EP.[5][17][18] By 2008 Jarrad (Nöir) Owens and Paul Black had joined the band. This lineup re-recorded six songs written by Mark (Jolly) Williams at SKWAD HQ South Wales - the session captured the band's newly invigorated live sound; with double kick drums and distorted fuzz bass the thrash and metal influences of the new rhythm section were clearly evident. These recordings eventually became the band's contribution to Reality Bites a split 12 track CD album with US band Sledgeback[5][19][20] and also appeared bootlegged, with an incorrect lineup credited.

Following an appearance at the Legendary TJs in Newport in 2008, supporting the Anti-Nowhere League, guitarist Williams posted a statement on the band's Myspace account announcing his departure; Black and Owens soon followed.[5] Members of local Caerphilly punk covers band Doc Savage joined M.H. in Foreign Legion for a short while before a new line up emerged with the drummer from 1980s Cwmbran punk band Impact (who also featured on the 1984 Bullsheep Detector album) Glyn (Sid Lovely) Bendon, together with Simon Bendon on guitar and Canis Humanus on bass.

A split EP with German band Riot Company was released in 2011,[7][12] with a further split EP released in 2012 with Italian band Cervelli Stanki. The band were now back on the road with gigs including the Rebellion festival alongside bands including PiL, Rancid, Buzzcocks and Social Distortion.[21][22]

Demob bassist Steve Zuki joined the band in 2013, with live performances including two German festivals: Punk and Disorderly[23] and Back On The Streets,[24] a tour of northern Italy and performances in the UK, including headlining the first day at Gosport Punk Festival[25] (with the UK Subs headlining the other day) and support slots alongside Sham 69, 999, Stiff Little Fingers and The Men They Couldn't Hang plus a return to the Rebellion festival alongside bands including Sham 69, Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine, GBH, Discharge, Peter Hook and The Light, TV Smith and many more.

Light At The End Of The Tunnel was recorded in 2013 and released on Germany's KB Records in August 2013.[26] Featuring one song sung by bassist Zuki, the album features a number of songs referencing the band's Welsh working-class background, including Market Trader, Regeneration (Council List), and Miners (The Fathers' Sacrifice). The cover image by fellow Merthyr resident Gus Payne[27] depicts a Welsh miner kneeling with his hand on the hilt of a sword planted into the ground,[28] possibly referencing the sword in the stone myth and, along with the album title and the closing track Phoenix From The Flame, provides a positive theme with hope for the future. Vocalist M.H. confirms this intent to project hope for the future; "Light At The End Of The Tunnel is meant to give hope and strength to all the working class people all over the word, that the shining sword...".[29]

Discography[edit]

(Solo releases in bold) [30]

Albums[edit]

Year of release Title Producer Foreign Legion tracks
(* track positions in brackets for mixed split release)
Personnel Split artist Label Format Vinyl colour Cat. No.
2016 Always Working Class We Are Legion~
Dogoodgers
Nowhere Left To Hide~
Drugs For Mugs~
Bare Faced Lies
Justice~
Criminally Insane~
Nev's Birthday Bash
Fat Cats~
Know Where You Are~
This Is Our Music~#
Still No Punks In My Town
MH (vocals)
Simon (guitar)
John (bass/vocals)
Dave (bass/vocals on ~) (guitar on #)
Sid (drums)
Aggrobeat CD ABCD032
2014 Light At The End Of The Tunnel[28][31] Lyndon Price[27] Jenny
What A Place To Be
Regeneration (Council List)
My Radio
Hey Girl
George Best
Stalker
Market Trader
Three Years (The Untold Story)
Miners (The Fathers' Sacrifice)
Drunken Heroes
Phoenix From The Flame
MH (vocals)
Simon (guitar)
Steve Zuki (bass/vocals)
Sid (drums)
Aggrobeat / Rebel Sound Vinyl Green-mint
Green with red splatter
ABLP015
2013 KB Records CD 3221
2010 Reality Bites [19] *(2) Sunset On Babylon
(3) Wake Up
(6) Obvious
(7) Johnny
(10) Fake Gangsta
(11) Wasted
MH (vocals)
Jolly (guitar)
Jarrad Noir (bass)
Paul Black (drums/backing vocals)
Sledgeback Sliver Records CD 367524
2007 Death Valley[32][33] Lots Of Fun
Alright
Strange Town
Rat Race
Message From Nowhere
She Loves Me Not
Take A Look
Party In Praque
Where Do We Go
Sunset On Babylon
Death Valley
Lots Of Fun (Reprise)
MH (vocals)
Jolly (guitar)
Frank (guitar)
Martyn (bass)
Stan (drums)
Durty Mick Records CD DMR0004-3
2002 What Goes Around Comes Around Mick Jones Wake Up
Valleys Mentality
Don't Ask Me Why
Wish You Were Here
My Town
Another Day
FL
Powergames
Smiling Assassin
Obvious
Wheres Johnny Gone
MH (vocals)
Frank (guitar)
Eggy (bass)
Stan (drums)
DSS Records CD / Cassette DSS043
2000 Cry of the Legion Clockwork Pop And Orange
Jump
Open Your Eyes
Fake Gangster
Hate Machine
Just A Faze
MH (vocals)
Jolly (guitar)
Eggy (bass)
Stan (drums)
Major Accident DSS Records CD / Vinyl Black DSS024
1990 Welcome to Fort Zinderneuf Ian Wallace and Foreign Legion Surf City
Keep Pushing Back
What A Place To Be
Message From Nowhere
Get Off My Back
Gentleman
Talk Dirty
Stop Messing Around
Why Take My Life Away
What Am I Gonna Do
Beau Geste
Those Were The Days
MH (vocals)
Peter (guitar)
Jolly (bass)
Stan (drums)
Venture Records Vinyl Black VR/FL 100

7 inch vinyl[edit]

Year of release Title Foreign Legion track(s) Personnel Split artist(s) Label Vinyl colour(s) Cat. No.
2015 Oi! The International Street-Punk League Nowhere Left To Hide
Our World Today
MH (vocals)
Simon (guitar)
Dave Linehan (bass)
Sid (drums)
The Shame Aggrobeat Blue ABEP022
Rebel Sound Red REB1038
2012 Clockwork Kids Still Alive! Market Traders
Drunken Heroes
MH (vocals)
Simon (guitar)
Dog (bass)
Sid (drums)
Cervelli Stanki Rusty Knife Records
Marchiato A Fuoco
Oi! Shop
Black
2011 Salute To The Boys Phoenix From The Flames
Another Bullshit Night
Riot Company KB Records Picture disc
Black
KBR 061
2007 "Live split"[34] Where's Johnny Gone
Another Day
MH (vocals)
Jolly (guitar)
Frank (guitar)
Martyn (bass)
Stan (drums)
Suburban Lockdown Durty Mick Records Black DMR0002-7
2007 Send In the Legion (2 different covers) Powergames
Wake Up
Paris Violence Trooper Records Yellow KBR 022
2000 Punk Rock Jukebox Where's Johnny Gone
Rain
Alright (Stick Together)
MH (vocals)
Jolly (guitar)
Eggy (bass)
Stan (drums)
DSS Records Black DSS 010
2000 The Years Gone By EP Wake Up
Don't Ask Me Why
What Are You Doing Now
Jump
Upstart Productions Green
Black
UP7004
2000 The We Don't Care About Rock 'n' Roll There Ain't No Punks
17 Years Of Hell* (*Partisans cover version)
District Dirty Faces Marbled DF 89/01
1990 1984 Street Trash (Packaged with "1984 The Fourth" 12 inch album) Get Off My Back MH (vocals)
Peter (guitar)
Jolly (bass)
Stan (drums)
Active Minds
Disgorge
Slaver
New Wave Records Black NW-033
1989 Surf City EP Surf City
What A Place To Be
Why Take My Life Away
Those Were The Days
MH (vocals)
Peter (guitar)
Jolly (bass)
Stan (drums)
Pandy (drums)
Schlawiner Records Green
Black
S 05
1986 Trenchline EP Trenchline
Message From Nowhere
National Affairs
Lots Of Fun
MH (vocals)
Lyn (guitar)
Helen (bass/vocals)
Marshon (drums)
Rent a Racket Black RRR0001

Compilations[edit]

Year of release Title Foreign Legion track(s) Personnel Other bands included Label Format Cat. No.
1996 Oi! The Rarities, Volume 2 [35] Message From Nowhere
Trenchline
MH (vocals)
Lyn (guitar)
Helen (bass/vocals)
Marshon (drums)
Crash
Anti-Social
The Squats
Special Duties
Condemned 84
Resistance 77
Frankie Flame
Captain Oi! Records Vinyl AHOY LP 46
1989 Pop Oi![36] Surf City MH (vocals)
Peter (guitar)
Jolly (bass)
Stan (drums)
Pandy (drums)
Slaughter and The Dogs
The Crack
The Hoopers
Criminal Class
Five O
American Eagle
The Kicker Boys
Frankie Flame
Moonstomp
Guttersnipe Army
The Strike
Madhatters
The Resort
The Business
Link Records Vinyl LINK LP 095

As Dead On Arrival

Year of release Title Dead On Arrival track Personnel Other bands included Label Format Cat. No.
1984 Bullsheep Detector [6] Child Molester MH (vocals)
Truskie (guitar)
Alan (bass)
Michael (drums)
Icons of Filth
Impact
Death Patrol
No Choice
Sharpnel
Yr Anhrefn
Soldier Dolls
Armistice
Classified Protest
Reality Attack
Secluded
Abnormal
Condemned
No Label
Skull Attack
Living Legends
Pseudo Sadists
Picture Frame Seduction
Anti-Society Records Vinyl ANTI 020

Bibliography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1] Archived 23 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ "8.4% | Listen and Stream Free Music, Albums, New Releases, Photos, Videos". Myspace.com. 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2014-07-29. 
  3. ^ a b "Blind Justice | Listen and Stream Free Music, Albums, New Releases, Photos, Videos". Myspace.com. Retrieved 2014-07-29. 
  4. ^ "Foreign Legion Welsh Punk". Facebook. Retrieved 2014-07-29. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Punk & Oi In The Uk". www.punkoiuk.co.uk. 2000-08-23. Retrieved 2014-07-29. 
  6. ^ a b [2][dead link]
  7. ^ a b "Punk Rock '77 thru Today: Foreign Legion ***New Interview***". Punkrock77thrutoday.blogspot.co.uk. 2011-06-05. Retrieved 2014-07-29. 
  8. ^ "SXSW | Culture". The Guardian. 2009-03-13. Retrieved 2014-07-29. 
  9. ^ "Foreign Legion – Free listening, videos, concerts, stats and pictures at". Last.fm. Retrieved 2014-07-29. 
  10. ^ http://link2wales.co.uk/south-wales-a-m/south-wales-b/
  11. ^ http://www.discogs.com/artist/688352-Blind-Justice-3
  12. ^ a b c [3] Archived 18 January 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
  13. ^ "Gig: 11/17/1987, The Alarm, Merthyr Tydfil Leisure Centre | The Alarm". Thealarm.com. 1987-11-17. Retrieved 2014-07-29. 
  14. ^ "Ruck Riot'N Roll | Ian Bone". Ianbone.wordpress.com. Retrieved 2014-07-29. 
  15. ^ Robb, John (2003-01-01). "Album Review: Foreign Legion - S/T / Releases / Releases // Drowned In Sound". Drownedinsound.com. Retrieved 2014-07-29. 
  16. ^ "SoundClick artist: FOREIGN LEGION - Punk Rock Wales". Soundclick.com. Retrieved 2014-07-29. 
  17. ^ "Foreign Legion Bio | Foreign Legion Career". MTV. Retrieved 2014-07-29. 
  18. ^ "Foreign Legion". Welsh Icons. Retrieved 2014-07-29. 
  19. ^ a b "Vive Le Rock!". Vive Le Rock!. Retrieved 2014-07-29. 
  20. ^ "Sledgeback & Foreign Legion | CD Baby Music Store". Cdbaby.com. Retrieved 2014-07-29. 
  21. ^ "Rebellion UK 2012 line-up and rumours". eFestivals.co.uk. 2012-07-06. Retrieved 2014-07-29. 
  22. ^ "Rebellion Festival 2012 Line Up". Virtualfestivals.com. Retrieved 2014-07-29. 
  23. ^ "Punk & Disorderly - The Festival". www.punk-disorderly.de. Retrieved 2014-07-29. 
  24. ^ "Back On The Streets Festival". B-o-t-s.com. Retrieved 2014-07-29. 
  25. ^ "Gosport Punk Fest. – FFRUKiT!". Ffruk.com. 2013-01-25. Retrieved 2014-07-29. 
  26. ^ "plentyMarkets on-demand eCommerce Solution". Kb-records-shop.de. Retrieved 2014-07-29. 
  27. ^ a b "Foreign Legion (3) - Light At The End Of The Tunnel (CD, Album) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2014-07-29. 
  28. ^ a b "Foreign Legion - 'Light At The End Of The Tunnel' (KB Records)". Uberrock.co.uk. 2013-08-31. Retrieved 2014-07-29. 
  29. ^ "FOREIGN LEGION (Wales – Oi!) | oioimusic.com". Oioimusicblog.wordpress.com. 2013-11-03. Retrieved 2014-07-29. 
  30. ^ "Foreign Legion (3) Discography at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2014-07-29. 
  31. ^ "Foreign Legion – Light At The End Of The Tunnel (ABLP015) | AGGROBEAT.com". Aggrobeatblog.wordpress.com. Retrieved 2014-07-29. 
  32. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20110726050702/http://store.durtymickrecords.com/Foreign_Legion_Death_Valley_CD_p/dmr04.htm. Archived from the original on 26 July 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2013.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  33. ^ "Foreign Legion - Death Valley - Dmir04 - F - Cd - by Durty Mick Records - Born in 1982 Died in 1990". Punkrockcds.com. Retrieved 2014-07-29. 
  34. ^ "Foreign Legion / Suburban Lockdown - Split - Vinyl". RevHQ.com. 2007-03-27. Retrieved 2014-07-29. 
  35. ^ "Oi!: The Rarities, Vol. 2 CD Album". Cduniverse.com. 2005-11-01. Retrieved 2014-07-29. 
  36. ^ "OI! the Discography Page: Link Records Discography". Oithediscography.blogspot.co.uk. 2008-08-26. Retrieved 2014-07-29. 
  37. ^ Burning Britain: The History of UK Punk, 1980-1984 - Ian Glasper - Google Books. Books.google.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-07-29. 

External links[edit]