The Hotknives

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The Hotknives are a ska band from Horsham in Sussex, England, formed in 1982.[1]

Band history[edit]

The original line up of The Hotknives existed between 1982 and 1993. They created three albums in their time together, the live albums Live at the Boatman and Live & Skankin, and the studio album 'The Way Things Are'. Their catalogue of classics include the live favourites 'Holsten Boys', 'Don't Go Away', 'Skin Up Harry', 'Dave and Mary', 'Driving Me Mad', 'Julie Julie', 'W.L.N.', 'Alcoholic Nightmare', 'One Man And His Dog', 'Believe It', 'Man In The Cellar'........
The band featured the vocals and songwriting talents of Mick Clare and Gary Marshall. Mick played guitar and occasional harmonica. Gary played rhythm guitar. Lead guitarist Dave Clifton had a hand in writing some songs too. Kev Clements who started out as Keyboard player wrote some great songs too (he finished up on the trumpet). Micky Matthews was on Sax duties and featured on "Turkey Stomp" and "Double Barrel". Mick Merritt and Clemmy were the 'engine room' of bass and drums respectively. Jim Mills took over keyboard duties from Kev. Paul Mumford and Colin Jones provided additional Sax at certain times through the band's history.
The original line up split up in 1993 and reformed a year later and slimmed down their line up to become a four piece band. The line-up consisted of original members Mick Clare and Clemmy with Bosky (Richard Allen) and Marc Carew. Bosky was formerly in Brighton based ska band 'Too Many Crooks' and Marc still continues to play with 'The Long Tall Texans'. In 1996 the band released their second studio album Home on Grover Records and in 2000 followed up with the studio album Screams, Dreams and Custard Creams. In 2003 the line-up changed when Mick left to be replaced by Stuart Brown on guitar with Marc taking over on lead vocals. In 2010 the band released their latest album About Time

In December 2014 a long lost recording emerged via the faceboook page 'fans of the original hotknives' - "Live & Erect" - live at Champagne's Nite Club in Horsham in August 1987. This featured 18 tracks, many of these songs appeared on CD for the first time - tracks like "Dave's Song", "Recovery", "Knocking On Heaven's Door", "Three Minute Warning" etc.

The Original 1982 line-up; Gary Marshall, Michael Clare, Michael Matthews, Michael Merritt, Dave Clifton, Kevin Clements, Nigel Clements.

Members who joined on the way ; Colin Jones Jim Mills Paul Mumford Will Kevans

Current members[edit]

  • Marc Carew - vocals, bass.
  • Richard Allen - vocals, keyboards.
  • Stuart Brown - guitar, backing vocals
  • Clemmy - drums, backing vocals



Year Title Label
1988 Live at the Boatman Off the head Records
1989 Live 'N' Skanking Skank Records
1990 The way things are Unicorn Records
1996 Home Grover Records
2000 Screams, Dreams, and Custard Creams Grover Records
2010 About Time Sunny Bastards


Their catalogue include the live tracks 'Holsten Boys', 'Don't Go Away', 'Skin Up Harry', 'Dave and Mary', 'Driving Me Mad', 'Julie Julie', 'W.L.N.', 'Bedsit Land', 'Alcoholic Nightmare', 'One Man And His Dog', 'Believe It', 'Man In The Cellar'.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "The Best of Times - The Hotknives". Rocking Steady!. 2012-01-01. Retrieved 11 June 2015.