|Labels||Chant, Blanco y Negro, Rough Trade|
The band was formed in 1980 by Mike McGuire (vocals) and Steve Rolls (Guitar) after disbanding 1st generation punk band The Now. They recruited Pete Jostins (Bass), Shaun Foreman (Guitar & Keyboards) and Colin Meech (Drums), with various others contributing in their early days. They were initially influenced by bands such as A Certain Ratio and Shriekback. Their first releases were two self-financed singles, "Jane's Third Party" and the To You, With Regard EP, in 1980 and 1981 respectively. The latter was sufficiently successful to attract major-label interest from CBS and Virgin Records, but after a further single (Traffic Tax Scheme) on their own 'Chant' label, and with guitarist Simon Childs added as a permanent member, they signed a deal with Warners subsidiary Blanco y Negro, debuting on the label in 1986 with eight versions of the single "Sing Song". After releasing the Spacemate package - a double LP, book, poster, set of cards and instruction manual, packaged together in a soap box container and designed by Jon Wozencroft, the band moved on to indie label Rough Trade Records, where they would stay for the rest of their career. Their fondness for short songs was evident on their first Rough Trade release, a 7-inch EP featuring eight, 1 minute songs and titled "Autumn Cut Back Job Lot Offer", released in early 1987. The following year, they released their second album, '76 Kids Forever, which they described as a "soap opera musical". The band continued for one final effort, 1990's Ko-Opera album, before splitting up with an unreleased album (minus Simon Childs) in the can.
The band recorded two sessions for John Peel's BBC Radio 1 programme, in 1983 (Let's Evolve, Relationships) and 1984 (A Walk in the Park, Problem-Solving Broadcasts 1-3, T Minus Tranquility), the first released as an EP in 1986. They also made an appearance on Whistle Test, performing "Packet of Vacuum" , "Father I Do" and one other track , plus an appearance on C4 "Night Network" playing "Solo Store Detective Man".
- "Jane's Third Party" b/w "Don't Go" (1980) Chant TAKE ONE
- To You, With Regard 12" EP (1981) Chant
- "The Traffic Tax Scheme" 7" single with 2 songs and computer program (1984) Chant
- Sing Song V1-V8 Eight different versions of the same song (1986) Blanco y Negro NEG18
- Peel Session 16.11.83 EP (1986) Strange Fruit (UK indie #17)
- Autumn Cutback Job Lot Offer EP (1987) Rough Trade
- Sat'day Mornin Episode EP (1987) Rough Trade
- Spacemate double-LP (1986) Blanco y Negro
- '76 Kids Forever (1988) Rough Trade
- Ko-Opera (1990) Rough Trade
- "Fatherized" (1985) on Sounds Christmas Cracker EP