The Lords of the New Church

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The Lords of the New Church
Genres Gothic rock, post-punk, new wave, glam punk, punk rock, glam rock, hard rock, ska
Years active 1982–1989, 2002, 2003–2007
Labels I.R.S. Records, Illegal Records, Track Records
Associated acts The Dead Boys, The Damned, Sham 69, The Barracudas, Kill City Dragons, Shooting Gallery
Past members Stiv Bators
Brian James
Dave Tregunna
Nick Turner
Danny Fury
Alistair Ward

The Lords of the New Church was an English/American gothic rock supergroup with a line-up consisting of four musicians from 1970s punk bands. Launched in 1982, the band had moderate chart success prior to their dissolution in 1989.


Formed in 1982, the band comprised the punk pioneers Stiv Bators (The Dead Boys), Brian James (The Damned), Dave Tregunna (Sham 69) and Nick Turner (The Barracudas).[1][2] The band recorded three studio albums and one live album before Bators ended the band onstage after a concert on 2 May 1989, at the London Astoria.[3] During this time, they underwent several line-up changes, with a second guitarist Alistair Ward joining and with Tregunna departing, to be briefly replaced by Grant Fleming, who had been road manager of Sham 69.

More melodic and slickly produced than most punk, their music both reached a broader audience than that of many bands in the genre and alienated hardcore punk fans.[2] The band presented a stylized tribal identity around their appearance and their music that fans embraced: the writer Dave Thompson asserts this represented "the first time since the Sex Pistols' Bromley Contingent fanbase [that] a band had succeeded in grafting its own identity onto its audience without first paying obeisance to the gods of highstreet fashion.[3] Their stage antics became notorious early in their career, with Bators stunts on one occasion reportedly resulting in his clinical death for several minutes.[2]

The band experienced moderate chart success, with their debut album peaking at #3 on the UK Indie Chart, 1984's Method to Our Madness hitting 156 in the US, and the 1985 Killer Lords compilation reaching #22 on the UK Indie Chart. Charting singles included "New Church" (#34 UK Indie), "Open Your Eyes" (#7 UK Indie; #27 Mainstream Rock) and a cover of Madonna's "Like a Virgin" (#22 UK Indie), but the success of "Dance With Me" - a song that according to Dave Thompson's Alternative Rock came "close to a hit" - was hampered when the video directed by Derek Jarman was pulled from MTV's rotation for concerns about child pornography.[2][3] The song was later covered by Nouvelle Vague.

Bators died after being struck by a car in Paris in 1990.[3]


In 2001, founding member Brian James' manager Ian Grant connected Brian and Stevenmarque to discuss the possibilities of reforming THE LORDS to create a next chapter for the band while honoring the original. Brian and Stevenmarque met in Austin Texas at SXSW where Brian was performing with Wayne Kramer and Manny from Stone Roses in a band called "Mad for the Racket." When this meeting was encouraging, Stevenmarque travelled to Brighton to meet with Brian and the two laid out their plans to record some songs and make a concert tour to re-establish the band. Brian then contacted Dave Tregunna and the three officially reformed The Lords of the New Church, along with Jez Miller and Ozzy, (from The Brian James Gang and Gunfire Dance.) This lineup recorded a three song single Produced by Brian and Engineered by Austin of the punk band "Flatpig" in Brighton called "Believe it or Not" for NDN Records and completed a Western European tour in 2002. When Jez and Oz left the band abruptly before the last shows on the tour, their spots needed to be filled hastily. Stevenmarque remembered Lords megafan and accomplished band leader Adam Becvare of the LustKillers, and recommended him to Brian. In a pinch, they agreed Adam's familiarity with the material and enthusiasm for the gig would work, so Stevenmarque called Adam and offered him the job of replacing Jez and he accepted. Brian's Brighton mate and excellent drummer Steve Murray was hired to replace Oz. This lineup recorded an album, Produced again by Brian and Engineered by Austin in Brighton called "Hang On" for NDN Records featuring the single "Heaven Stepped Down" written by Brian James and Stevenmarque with cover and package art painted by Stevenmarque. This LORDS lineup completed a Western European concert tour in 2003. It became clear over the three years of the reformed LORDS that fans were chiefly interested in hearing the classic LORDS material from the 80s and not the new songs, (which did receive critical acclaim.) Brian and Stevenmarque had originally spent a year developing what was meant to be a next chapter for the band with all new music and weren't keen to continue rehashing the same old songs like a glorified tribute band just to cash in on nostalgia. Additionally, the majority of fans could not get over the loss of the enigmatic presence of Stiv Bators on the original songs performed live. While both Jez and Adam were and are excellent as themselves with their own bands, neither could fill Stiv's shoes on the LORDS classics and Stevenmarque never even attempted to do so; focusing only on the new material, which few were interested in hearing. So the project came to an end at the conclusion of the 2003 tour. Some members have occasionally gotten together for one off performances since then.[4][5]

Original members[edit]

  • Stiv Bators – vocals
  • Brian James – guitar
  • Dave Tregunna – bass guitar, backing vocals
  • Nicky Turner – drums, backing vocals


Studio albums[edit]

  • The Lords of the New Church (1982)
  • Is Nothing Sacred? (1983)
  • The Method to Our Madness (1984)
  • Psycho Sex (EP) (1987)
  • "Believe it or Not" (EP) (2002)
  • Hang On (2003)

Live albums[edit]

  • Live at the Spit (1988)
  • Second Coming (1988)
  • Scene of the Crime (1988)

Compilation albums[edit]

  • Killer Lords (1985)
  • The Anthology (2000, France only)
  • The Lord's Prayer I (2002)
  • The Lord's Prayer II (2003)
  • Stories at Dusk (2003)
  • Rockers (2013)


Year Song U.S. Canada Album
1982 "New Church" The Lords of the New Church
"Open Your Eyes" 34[6]
"Russian Roulette"
1983 "Live for Today" 91 Is Nothing Sacred?
"Dance with Me" 85
1984 "M[urder] Style" 97 The Method to Our Madness
1985 "Like a Virgin" Killer Lords
1987 "Dance with Me (Re-Recorded)"
1989 "Making Time"


  1. ^ Thompson, Dave (1 November 2000). Alternative Rock. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 466. ISBN 978-0-87930-607-6. Retrieved 18 January 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d Cassel, Bill. "The Lords of the New Church". Allmusic. Retrieved 18 January 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d Thompson (2000), p. 467.
  4. ^ Becvare, Adam (October 1, 2007). "LustKilling with The Lords". Retrieved 18 January 2013. 
  5. ^ Thompson, Dave. Hang On - The Lords of the New Church at AllMusic. Retrieved 30 June 2013.
  6. ^ "Top Singles - Volume 37, No. 11, October 30, 1982". RPM. Archived at Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved November 3, 2009. 

External links[edit]