GBH (band)

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GBH in 2006
GBH in 2006
Background information
Also known asCharged GBH
OriginBirmingham, England
Years active1978–present
LabelsClay, Captain Oi!, Anagram, SOS, Cleopatra, Go Kart, Idol, Sanctuary, Castle, Hellcat, Rough Justice / Music For Nations, Roadrunner
MembersColin Abrahall
Ross Lomas
Colin "Jock" Blyth
Scott Preece
Past membersSean McCarthy
Andrew "Wilf" Williams
Kai Reder
Joseph Montanaro

GBH (originally known as Charged GBH) are an English punk rock band which was formed in 1978 by vocalist Colin Abrahall, guitarist Colin "Jock" Blyth, bassist Sean McCarthy (replaced by Ross Lomas after two years)[3] and drummer Andy "Wilf" Williams.[4]


GBH were early pioneers of British street punk, often nicknamed "UK82", along with Discharge, Broken Bones, The Exploited, and The Varukers. GBH have gone on to influence several punk rock musicians, but their influence has been especially far-reaching in metal, including the early Bathory albums,[5] Hellhammer/Celtic Frost,[6] Exodus[7] and each of the "big four of thrash metal" (Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax).[8][9] Metallica frontman James Hetfield has repeatedly expressed his enthusiasm for GBH and said such bands were the beginning of thrash to him.[10] Sascha Konietzko of KMFDM has said he listened to second-wave punk bands before starting his own band, mentioning GBH as an example.[11] GBH have also influenced 1990s and 2000s rock bands such as Nirvana, Queens of the Stone Age, Green Day, The Offspring and Rancid.[9][12]

The band's name was originally Charged GBH, then was shortened to GBH. It is widely understood that the name came from then-bassist Sean McCarthy being charged with grievous bodily harm (GBH),[13] though vocalist Colin Abrahall denied this in 2018, claiming it was just a name like UK Subs; and, when pushed, said the initials stood for "Girls, Booze, and Hash".[14] Though the core line up of Colin, Ross, and Jock has stayed the same throughout their history, the drum stool has been occupied by a number of incumbents following Wilf's departure after the Midnight Madness and Beyond album and Oh No It's GBH Again 12" EP. 1989 saw the arrival of German drummer Kai Reder who played on three albums (No Need to Panic, A Fridge Too Far, and From Here to Reality), as well as the Wot a Bargain 12".[4] Kai was replaced by American Joe "Fish" Montanero for one album (Church of the Truly Warped); this was the band's last release for the Rough Justice label. The drum stool was then occupied from around 1994 by former Bomb Disneyland/Bomb Everything drummer Scott Preece, who has remained to this day and played on all releases since.

Throughout their recording history, the band has often included a cover version on many of their albums. "Boston Babies" originally recorded by Slaughter & the Dogs (on City Baby Attacked By Rats), "I Feel Alright" from The Damned and The Stooges (on City Baby's Revenge), "Avenues and Alleyways" by Tony Christie (on No Need to Panic), "Needle in a Haystack" originally by The Velvelettes (appeared on A Fridge Too Far), "Destroy" by The Vibrators (on From Here to Reality), "I Need Energy" by Zero Boys (on Church of the Truly Warped).[citation needed]


GBH performing on the Warped Tour

GBH embarked on several English and mainland US tours during the early 1980s, including several gigs at the 100 Club. 1982 saw the release of GBH's first LP, City Baby Attacked by Rats, which reached No. 17 in the UK Albums Chart, as well as No. 2 in the UK Indie Chart. The band's singles had also reached the UK Indie Chart, leading to an appearance on the UK TV programme The Tube, where they performed "Give Me Fire" (UK Indie Chart No. 2). Lyrically, the album dealt with criticism of British and European culture, violence, morbidity (especially in reference to the song "Passenger on the Menu", which describes in graphic detail the experiences of the passengers on the Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571), atheism, nihilism and humour. Musically, the album was loud and fast, with few songs exceeding three minutes. The success of the first album was repeated with their second LP, City Babys Revenge, in 1983 and saw more extensive touring in America and Europe and higher profile UK shows, including the Carlisle Punk Festival. With the Carlisle Punk Festival the band co-headlined with fellow UK82 stalwarts The Exploited, and shared the bill with the likes of Toy Dolls, Chelsea, and The Destructors. In 1984, the band dropped the "Charged" from their name and became just GBH (grievous bodily harm).[4][15]

They and many of their UK82 peers such as The Exploited, Picture Frame Seduction, Discharge, and The Varukers have all enjoyed success among punks in the United States. Although many of their contemporaries have evolved towards other styles over the years, GBH have remained fairly faithful to their original UK82 sound in subsequent releases. However, the band have experimented to some degree with a more speed metal-inflected, inspired and influenced sound particularly those of Motörhead and Tank, notably with their 1992 release Church of the Truly Warped,[4] although they have since returned to a more purist punk sound.

The band is still active and touring and maintain a strong following both in the UK and the rest of Europe, as well as in the United States and Japan. The band released their twelfth studio album, Momentum, on Hellcat Records in 2017.

Band members[edit]


  • Colin Abrahall – vocals (1978–present)
  • Colin "Jock" Blyth – guitar (1978–present)
  • Ross Lomas – bass (1980–present)
  • Scott Preece – drums (1994–present)


  • Sean McCarthy – bass (1978–1980 died 1980)
  • Andrew "Wilf" Williams – drums (1978–1986)
  • Kai Reder – drums (1986–1992)
  • Joseph "Fish" Montanaro – drums (1992–1994)



Studio albums
Year of release Title Label
1982 City Baby Attacked by Rats Clay (Later Reissued by Captain Oi!)
1983 City Babys Revenge Clay (Later Reissued by Captain Oi!)
1986 Midnight Madness and Beyond Rough Justice (later reissued by Captain Oi!)
1987 No Need To Panic Rough Justice (later reissued by Captain Oi!)
1989 A Fridge Too Far Rough Justice (later reissued by Captain Oi!)
1990 From Here To Reality Rough Justice (later reissued by Captain Oi!)
1992 Church of the Truly Warped Rough Justice (later reissued by Captain Oi!)
1996 Punk Junkies We Bite (later reissued by Captain Oi!)
2002 Ha Ha Go Kart
2004 Cruel and Unusual Idol
2010 Perfume and Piss Hellcat
2017 Momentum Hellcat
Mini album
Year of release Title Label
1981 Leather, Bristles, Studs and Acne Clay (Later Reissued by Captain Oi!)
Split mini albums
Year of release Title Featuring Label
1998 Punk as Fuck Billyclub Idol
2001 Punk Rock Ambulance Billyclub Idol
12 inch EPs / singles
Year of release Title Label
1984 Do What You Do Clay
1986 Oh No, It's GBH Again Rough Justice
1988 Wot a Bargain Rough Justice
7-inch EPs / singles
Year of release Title Label
1982 No Survivors Clay
1982 Sick Boy Clay
1982 Give Me Fire / Man Trap Clay
1983 Catch 23 / Hellhole Clay
1984 Do What You Do Clay
Live albums
Year of release Title Label
1989 No Survivors Clay
1994 Live In Japan (Kawasaki, 1991) Anagram
1996 Celebrity Live Style (later released as Live In Los Angeles on Anagram) Cleopatra
2014 Dover Showplace 1983 Cleopatra
2015 Live at the Ace Brixton 1983 Radiation Reissues
2015 City Baby Attacked by Rats (CD album) Secret Records
2020 Best of Live (vinyl) Secret Records
Compilation albums
Year of release Title Label
1982 Leather, Bristles, No Survivors and Sick Boys... Clay (Later Reissued by Captain Oi!)
1986 Clay Years 1981–1984 Clay
1989 No Survivors '83 Clay
1992 The Clay Recordings Clay
1995 The Clay Punk Singles Collection Clay
1999 Punk Rock Hits Cleopatra
2002 The Punk Singles 1981–84 Castle
2005 Dead on Arrival: A Punk Rock Anthology Sanctuary
2007 Race Against Time: The Complete Clay Recordings Castle
Year of release Title
1980 1980 Demo
1980 Practice 1980
Compilation appearances (selected)
Year of release Title Label
1981 Punk and Disorderly Abstract/Posh Boy
1982 Burning Ambitions: A History of Punk Cherry Red
1982 Punk and Disorderly – Further Charges Anagram
1999 A Triple Dose of Punk – 60 Song box set Cleopatra

DVDs and videos[edit]

Year of Release Title
1983 Live At Victoria Hall, Hanley
1986 Brit Boys Attacked By Brats
1995 Kawasaki Live
1996 Live in L.A. 1988
2003 Live at the Ace, Brixton
2004 Kawasaki Live/Brit Boys Attacked by Brats
2005 G.B.H. Live in LA/Live at Victoria
2006 Charged: On Stage
2016 City Baby Attacked By Rats (includes CD)


  1. ^ a b Deming, Mark. "G.B.H." AllMusic. Retrieved 15 September 2018.
  2. ^ Ulibas, Joseph (5 September 2014). "UK street punks GBH is still out on the road doing what they do best". AXS. Archived from the original on 15 September 2018.
  3. ^ Glasper, Ian (May 2014). Burning Britain: The History of UK Punk 1980–1984. ISBN 978-1-60486-989-7.
  4. ^ a b c d Colin Larkin, ed. (1995). The Guinness Who's Who of Heavy Metal (Second ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 142. ISBN 0-85112-656-1.
  5. ^ "Interview: Quorthon (Bathory)". Retrieved 16 November 2019.
  6. ^ Grow, Kory (15 August 2019). "The Triumph of Tom G. Warrior". Retrieved 3 September 2021.
  7. ^ "Exodus Family Tree — The Metal". Retrieved 9 February 2022.
  8. ^ Arriaga, Robert (24 February 1999). "Fast and Frightening". SF Weekly. Archived from the original on 9 February 2022. Retrieved 9 February 2022.
  9. ^ a b "GBH / Fang in San Francisco - Time Out". Retrieved 9 February 2022.
  10. ^ "METALLICA's JAMES HETFIELD Reveals His Favorite Non-'Big Four' Thrash Bands". 15 May 2017. Retrieved 3 September 2021.
  11. ^ "German-born Industrial Rock Group Kmfdm Has 'No Pity For The Majority'". Archived from the original on 26 June 2015. Retrieved 25 October 2021.
  12. ^ "GBH Announce First US Tour in Five Years". Ultimate Guitar. Retrieved 2 March 2023.
  13. ^ Mark Deming. "G.B.H. Biography". AllMusic.
  14. ^ "4:39-5:20 : Interview with Erin Micklow from June 13, 2018 on YouTube titled, " GBH interview LATEST ALBUM: MOMENTUM, GETTING MARRIED IN VEGAS, HOW COLIN DOES HIS HAIR"". YouTube. Archived from the original on 21 December 2021.
  15. ^ "GBH – As Charged ." Archived from the original on 8 May 2009.

External links[edit]