The Godfathers

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The Godfathers
The Godfathers performing in Hamburg
The Godfathers performing in Hamburg
Background information
OriginLondon, England
Years active1985–2000; 2008–present
LabelsCorporate Image
Intercord Records
Associated actsThe Sid Presley Experience, The Germans, The Citizens of Nowhere
MembersPeter Coyne (vocals)

Jon Priestley (Bass & Vocals) Billy Duncanson (Drums & Vocals) Wayne Vermaak (Guitar & Vocals)

Richie Simpson (Guitar & Vocals)
Past membersSteve Crittall
Alex McBain
Tim James
Darren Birch
Chris Coyne
Kris Dollimore
Mike Gibson
George Mazur
Chris Burrows
Ali Byworth
Paul-Ronney Angel
Ronnie Rocka
Del Bartle
Grant Nicholas
Dave Twigg
Mauro Venegas

The Godfathers are an English alternative rock/new wave band from London, England, with strong influences from R&B and punk.[1]


The Godfathers were formed by Peter and Chris Coyne after the demise of The Sid Presley Experience in 1985,[2] joined by Mike Gibson (guitar), Kris Dollimore (guitar) & George Mazur (drums). Fellow TSPE member and later Godfather, Del Bartle, went on to form The Unholy Trinity with drummer Kevin Murphy.[3]

After independent single releases produced by Vic Maile,[4] and collected on their debut album, Hit by Hit,[4] they signed to Epic Records in 1987. Extensive tours of the UK, Europe and the United States followed. Single and title track of their first album [5] "Birth, School, Work, Death" made the U.S. Billboard Top 40 in 1988[6] after college radio and MTV airplay but the band were less commercially successful in the UK.

Albums More Songs About Love and Hate [7] and Unreal World [8] followed, with Chris Burrows replacing Kris Dollimore on guitar in time for the latter, after which the Godfathers left Epic and released two albums on German label Intercord in the early 1990s. The band ceased activity in 2000.

In 2003 Peter Coyne and Kris Dollimore played briefly in a band called The Germans with Rat Scabies, formerly of The Damned.[9]


In 2008, the band reformed with its original line-up. In March 2009, the band announced a change with Del Bartle returning to replace Kris Dollimore. Grant Nicholas later replaced George Mazur on drums, and Mike Gibson also left the band. In 2010 a live album Shot Live At The 100 Club was released as a DVD/CD set on Secret Records.

2011 saw the band release two download-only singles "Back Into The Future" and "The Outsider". "Primitive Man" followed the next year and all were included on their comeback album Jukebox Fury,[10] released in 2013. Promotion for the album included a month-long UK tour supporting The Stranglers & drummer Dave Twigg stepping in for recently departed Grant Nicholas. 2014 saw another fresh line-up change, with two new guitarists, Mauro Venegas and Steve Crittall, replacing Del Bartle, and Tim James replacing (the recently returned) Grant Nicholas on drums. A new AA-sided single, "Till My Heart Stops Beating" / "Rewind Time" was released in June 2015, and the band undertook several European and UK tours, also celebrating their 30th anniversary with a headline show at the 100 Club where they played 30 songs - one for each year - over the course of two sets.

In 2016 Chris Coyne left the band and was replaced by Darren Birch, formerly of Gunfire Dance, and touring bassist for both Walter Lure and Brian James. The new line-up recorded a new album, A Big Bad Beautiful Noise in Birmingham that summer, which was released in February 2017, preceded by a single, "You Don't Love Me". Reviews hailed the album as the band's best in many years, with Vive Le Rock claiming it was "up there with the Godfathers' '80s classics".

During the A Big Bad Beautiful Noise 2017 tour through Europe, Mauro Venegas left the band and was replaced by guitarist Alex McBain.[11]



Compilations and reissues[edit]

  • Birth, School, Work, Death: The Best of the Godfathers - 1996
  • Birth, School, Work, Death: Hits, Rarities & Gems - 2007
  • Hit By Hit [2CD reissue] - 2008
  • Birth, School, Work, Death [expanded version]- 2011
  • More Songs About Love & Hate [expanded version] - 2011
  • The Godfathers (aka The Orange Album) [2CD reissue] - 2013


Year Title Chart positions Album
U.S. Modern Rock U.S. Mainstream Rock
1985 "Capo Di Tutti Capi EP" Hit by Hit
1986 "This Damn Nation"
"Sun Arise"
1987 "Love Is Dead"
1988 "Birth, School, Work, Death" 38 Birth, School, Work, Death
"Cause I Said So"
"Love Is Dead"
1989 "She Gives Me Love" 8 More Songs About Love and Hate
1990 "I'm Lost and Then I'm Found "
1991 "Unreal World" 6 Unreal World
1993 "Strange About Today" The Godfathers
1995 "That Special Feeling" Afterlife
2011 "Back Into The Future" download single
2011 "The Outsider" download single
2012 "Primitive Man" download single
2015 "Till My Heart Stops Beating" / "Rewind Time"
2017 "You Don't Love Me" A Big Bad Beautiful Noise
2020 "I'm Not Your Slave" / "Wild and Free" CD / download


  1. ^ "Godfathers". Retrieved 26 July 2014.
  2. ^ Appelstein, Mike (22 February 2011). "Interview: Godfathers Vocalist Peter Coyne on Acting, Journalism and New Songs | Riverfront Times". Retrieved 26 July 2014.
  3. ^ "Godfathers : Interview Part 1". Retrieved 26 July 2014.
  4. ^ a b "the dumbing of americaHistory Lesson: The Godfathers". the dumbing of america. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
  5. ^ Michael Sutton. "Birth, School, Work, Death - The Godfathers | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
  6. ^ William Ruhlmann. "The Godfathers | Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
  7. ^ Mark Deming (2 May 1989). "More Songs About Love & Hate - The Godfathers | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
  8. ^ Tom Demalon. "Unreal World - The Godfathers | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
  9. ^ "Peter Coyne, Chris Coyne & Del Bartle - The Godfathers - Uber Rock Interview Exclusive". 31 October 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
  10. ^ "Godfathers : Interview Part 2". Retrieved 26 July 2014.
  11. ^ "The Godfathers "The Godfathers" "London based Rock'n'Roll"". The Godfathers "The Godfathers" "London based Rock'n'Roll". Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  12. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 229. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.

External links[edit]