The Innocents (UK band)

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The Innocents
OriginEngland, United Kingdom
GenresPunk rock
Years active1978–1980
Associated actsThe Clash, The Slits, Eddie and the Hot Rods, The Nipple Erectors, The Maniacs, Eater, The Vibrators, Grade A
Past membersSarah Hall, Marguerite Van Cook née Martin, Fiona Barry, Greg Van Cook, Susy Hogarth, Jo Hurst, Terry Smith

The Innocents formed in the spring of 1978 and played frequently with The Clash and The Slits.[1] The original lineup was predominantly female with four women and one male.

The band began when Sarah Hall, (ex-Flowers of Romance) approached Marguerite Martin, later Marguerite Van Cook, in the Vortex Club on Wardour Street in London and invited her to start a band. Sarah Hall borrowed a bass from Paul Simonon of The Clash, and they invited Greg Van Cook, who was in the process of breaking away from the Electric Chairs, to play guitar. Greg Van Cook was an original member of the New York Backstreet Boys of Max’s Kansas City, who became The Electric Chairs. He co-authored the punk anthem, "Fuck Off" with Jayne County. The lineup was completed by the addition of Fiona Barry on the piano and Susy Hogarth on drums. They performed self-penned punk songs. The Innocents played gigs at multiple punk friendly venues in London, among them several at Acklam Hall opening for The Slits.[2][3]

In early November 1978, Sarah Hall asked The Clash if The Innocents could join them on their upcoming "Sort It Out Tour". They agreed and the lineup for the tour was set with the Innocents opening for The Slits and The Clash. The "Sort It Out Tour" began in Scotland and covered stops all over England, though several of the venues were canceled due to ad-hoc town ordinances that banned The Clash in fear of the influence of punk. Including the tour, The Innocents played thirty-one gigs in a row with only a single day’s break to end at the tour at the Lyceum.[4] [5]

The DJ on the tour was Barry (Scratch) Myers. These gigs included the Sid Vicious Benefit Gig.[6] They also played with Siouxsie and the Banshees at the Music Machine in London, before the 3 January 1979 date with The Clash, which was added due to an overbooking of the "Sid Vicious Defense Fund" benefit show.[7]

After the tour, Sarah Hall quit the band and was replaced on bass by Jo Hurst. Greg Van Cook joined Front and then The Vibrators, but continued to perform with The Innocents as well, except at the Marquee when The Innocents opened for The Vibrators and Henry Silver played guitar with The Innocents. Terry Smith took over as drummer. The band ended in 1980. Terry Smith was approached by Marguerite to come with them to New York to do a small tour. after three rehearsal's at Halogan's in Holloway Rd where Terry worked. Soon they left for New York, the tour was not set up at all the manager was a nut case. they ended up playing at C.B.G.B's for one gig in November. They disbanded soon after. Terry went back to the UK to continue his career as a drummer with The Nipple Erectors, The Barracuddas, The Temper.


The Innocents recorded songs for an EP with Sex Pistols producer and musician, Dave Goodman, but the tapes never were made available to the public. A reported record deal with "Sticky Records" never materialized.[8]


  1. ^ Advert for the Lyceum, 28 and 29 December 1978 Archived 20 February 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ Marcus, Greil. Lipstick Traces. Cambridge: Harvard Press 1990 p.40
  3. ^ The Innocents - Classic UK all girl Punk Rock with images and reviews
  4. ^ Sort it Out Dates
  5. ^ Wall, Mick. "The Innocents Lyceum". Sounds. 27 January 1979: 29
  6. ^ "Xmas concerts for Clash, Jam & Gen X." New Musical Express. 9 September 1978: 3
  7. ^ Samiof, Steve. "A Man that Matters, Special Extra: The Clash on stage in London (twice)..." Arthur. March 2003:3
  8. ^ "Innocents Sign," Record Mirror 13 October 1979: 5

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