Southern Death Cult

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Southern Death Cult
OriginBradford, West Yorkshire, England
Years activeOctober 1981–February 1983
LabelsSituation Two, Beggars Banquet
Past membersIan Astbury
David "Buzz" Burrows
Barry Jepson
Haq Nawaz "Aky" Qureshi

Southern Death Cult were a British post-punk/gothic rock band in the early 1980s.[1] They are now primarily known for having given their lead singer and parts of the name to the multi-platinum hard rock band the Cult. Despite the similarities in the names, "Southern Death Cult" were distinct from "Death Cult"/"the Cult".


The musical history of Southern Death Cult can be charted as far back as early 1979 in Bradford, Yorkshire with the band Violation.[2] Bassist Barry Jepson and drummer Haq Nawaz "Aky" Qureshi had formed the band with a guitarist now only known as Mick. The band rehearsed for about 7 months before playing their first show. The band played about 20 shows in total over the 18 months that they were together and recorded a set of thirteen demos on a 4 track on 3 and 4 January 1981 at Bradford Community Studio.

Southern Death Cult formed in 1981, with a lineup of vocalist Ian Astbury, guitarist David "Buzz" Burrows, Jepson, and Aky.

The group's name derived from an old term for the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex, a mound-building Native American culture (and the band were also known for their use of Native American imagery),[3] but it also served as a critique of the imbalance of power in the English North-South divide.[4]

The first Southern Death Cult show took place on 29 October 1981 at the Queen's Hall in Bradford.[5] Southern Death Cult toured heavily in the UK to promote the single, including slots opening for Theatre of Hate and Bauhaus at the end of 1982, but Astbury disbanded the group after a show in Manchester on 26 February 1983.

The band's sole album, The Southern Death Cult, was posthumously issued by Beggars Banquet in 1983, compiling all three tracks from the single, live performances and BBC Radio 1 sessions.

Later projects[edit]

Astbury and guitarist Billy Duffy (of the Nosebleeds and Theatre of Hate) came together in April 1983 to form an act with a similar name, first called Death Cult and then, after releasing an eponymous four-song EP and a single later in 1983, renamed the Cult.

The other three ex-members of Southern Death Cult, augmented by vocalist Paul "Bee" Hampshire, formed Getting the Fear, who released one single, "Last Salute", on RCA Records before splitting up in 1985.

Jepson and Hampshire went on to form Into a Circle, releasing the Assassins album in 1988. Jepson later worked as a concert promoter and currently teaches live sound and tour management at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute.[citation needed]

Burrows and Qureshi formed a band called Joy.

Qureshi then went on to form the political Islamic hip hop group Fun-Da-Mental and created the label Nation Records.



  • "Moya/Fatman" a.k.a. The Southern Death Cult 7"/12" (1982, Situation 2)

Compilation albums[edit]


  1. ^ [1] Archived 2 September 2005 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ [2]"Southern Death Cult Blogpost". Retrieved 9 May 2022.
  3. ^ Prown, Pete; Newquist, Harvey P. (1997). Legends of Rock Guitar: The Essential Reference of Rock's Greatest Guitarists - Pete Prown, Harvey P. Newquist. ISBN 9780793540426. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
  4. ^ "Southern Death Cult - NME 1982". 2 October 1982. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
  5. ^ [3] Archived 10 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]