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The original lineup of the Hotknives existed between 1982 and 1993. They created three albums, the live albums Live at the Boatman and Live & Skankin, and the studio album The Way Things Are. Their catalogue of songs 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", and "Man In The Cellar".
The band featured the vocals and songwriting talents of Mick Clare and Gary Marshall. Clare played guitar and occasional harmonica. Marshall played rhythm guitar. Lead guitarist Dave Clifton also had a hand in writing some songs. Kev Clements, who started out as keyboard player, also wrote some songs, and finished up on the trumpet. Micky Matthews played saxophone and featured on "Turkey Stomp" and "Double Barrel". Mick Merritt and Clemmy played bass and drums respectively. Jim Mills took over keyboard duties from Clements. Paul Mumford and Colin Jones provided additional saxophone at times through the band's history.
The original lineup split up in 1993 and reformed a year later, slimmed down to become a four piece band. This 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 Carew 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 lineup changed when Clare left and was replaced by Stuart Brown on guitar, with Carew 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 Facebook page "Fans of all line-ups of The Hotknives", Live & Erect, recorded live at Champagne's Nite Club in Horsham in August 1987. This featured 18 tracks, many of these which appeared on CD for the first time. These included "Dave's Song", "Recovery", "Knocking On Heaven's Door", and "Three Minute Warning".
The 1982 lineup:
- Gary Marshall
- Michael Clare
- Michael Matthews
- Michael Merritt
- Dave Clifton
- Kevin Clements
- Nigel Clements (Clemmy)
Members who joined later:
- Colin Jones
- Jim Mills
- Paul Mumford
- Will Kevans
- Marc Carew - vocals, bass
- Richard Allen - vocals, keyboards.
- Stuart Brown - guitar, backing vocals
- Clemmy - drums, backing vocals
|1988||Live at the Boatman||Off the head Records|
|1989||Live 'N' Skanking||Skank Records|
|1990||The Way Things Are||Unicorn Records|
|2000||Screams, Dreams, and Custard Creams||Grover Records|
|2010||About Time||Sunny Bastards|
- "The Best of Times - The Hotknives". Rockingsteady.eu. 1 January 2012. Retrieved 11 June 2015.