The Members

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The Members
The Members in London, 2015
The Members in London, 2015
Background information
OriginCamberley, England
GenresPunk rock
Years active1976–1983, 2007–present
LabelsStiff, Virgin, Arista
MembersJean Marie Carroll
Chris Payne
Calle Englemarc
Nick Cash
Past membersRat Scabies
Nicky Tesco
Adrian Lillywhite
Nigel Bennett
Paddy Carroll
Gary Baker
Steve Morley
Clive Parker
Steve Maycock
Rudi Thompson
Simon Lloyd
Chuck Sabo
Adam Maitland
Paul Gray

The Members are a British punk band that originated in Camberley, England. In the UK, they are best known for their single "The Sound of the Suburbs", reaching #12 in 1979, and in Australia, "Radio" which reached #5 in 1982.


The Members were formed by lyricist Nicky Tesco (Nick Lightowlers) in 1976, through an invited audition at a recording studio at Tooley Street, London.[1] The original personnel, with Tesco (vocals), was Gary Baker (guitar), and Steve Morley (bass guitar), initially with Steve Maycock then Clive Parker (drums). Morley and Parker were later replaced by Chris Payne and Adrian Lillywhite.

Official logo of the Members

In 1976, the band performed for its first engagements at The Red Cow (London W6), The Windsor Castle (London W9) and The Nashville Rooms (London W14). In that year composer Jean Marie Carroll (aka JC Carroll) joined the band to complement Tesco's lyrics.[1] The Members had recorded a number of songs, but the first released recording was "Fear on the Streets", produced by Lillywhite's brother Steve Lillywhite. This song was included on the first record released by the Beggars Banquet label, the punk compilation Streets (1977).[2] The song-writing collaboration between Tesco and Carroll moved The Members' sound towards an incorporation of reggae, shown in the first single released for Stiff Records, "Solitary Confinement", produced by Larry Wallis. Following these releases, band personnel became Tesco (vocals), Carroll (vocals and guitar), Nigel Bennett (guitar), Payne (bass) and Lillywhite (drums).

In 1978/79 The Members continued to play the London pub and club circuit, became a feature in the music press and were championed by John Peel. They signed to Virgin Records in 1978, for which label they recorded "The Sound of the Suburbs", again produced by Steve Lillywhite. This became The Members' biggest chart success and their best-known song in the UK. The follow-up single, "Offshore Banking Business", a reggae tune written by Carroll based on his experiences working in offshore banking at the private bank Courts,[3](subscription required) did not achieve the same popularity. A version of "Offshore Banking Business" was recorded for the early 1980s film Urgh! A Music War, produced by Michael White, distributed by Filmways and Lorimar Productions.[4]

The Members' first album, At the Chelsea Nightclub, was followed by a second for Virgin, 1980 – The Choice Is Yours. Augmented by saxophonists Steve (Rudi) Thomson and Simon Lloyd (the latter of whom also provided horns and additional keyboards), the group recorded what would turn out to be their final album. This last album was first issued in the US as Uprhythm, Downbeat in 1982,[1] and it surfaced in the UK a year later, retitled Going West.[2] The album featured the singles "Radio," which made the Top 10 in parts of Australia,[5] and "Working Girl," the music video for which gave the band exposure in North America via MTV.

The band broke up in 1983, when Tesco left the band after the last tour of the US. Lillywhite went on to join the band King in the mid-1980s in time for their second album. Lloyd soon joined the Australian band Icehouse, remaining with them for their international smash hits "Electric Blue" and "Crazy." In 1989, Tesco appeared in Leningrad Cowboys Go America, written and directed by Aki Kaurismaki, a film about a fictional Russian rock band touring the US.[6] This fictional band then toured as an actual band, and recorded the Tesco song "Thru the Wire". Kaurismäki directed a video for "Thru the Wire", featuring Tesco.[7] As well as working as a music journalist for the magazine Music Week, Tesco has been a commentator on new releases for BBC 6 Music's "Roundtable".

In 2007, The Members were reunited at The Inn on the Green, Ladbroke Grove, London.

In 2008, a line up of Carroll, Payne and Nick Cash resumed touring, In 2009 a new single "International Financial Crisis" (a re-write of "Offshore Banking Business") was released, recorded by Tesco, Carroll, Payne and Bennett, with artwork by the original Members' album sleeve designer, Malcolm Garrett. This line up played Glastonbury and Isle of Wight festivals. The Members line-up of Carroll, Payne and Rat Scabies (drums) performed from 2010 to 2013, playing over 90 Shows including 3 European Tours and New Zealand and Australian Tours, Nick Cash rejoined the Band in 2014.

In March 2012, the Members released their fourth studio album, InGrrLand, featuring Carroll, Payne, Bennett, Cash and Rat Scabies. in December 2013 Nigel Bennett rejoined the Members. In 2014 The Members mounted a coast-to-coast tour of the USA, without Payne's temporary replacement Calle Engelmarc who had injured his hand. Instead, JC Carroll played bass. This was the band's first tour of the USA for 32 years.[8]

In 2015, the band began work on their fifth studio album in studios in London and West Byfleet featuring a nucleus of Carroll, Cash, Payne and Bennett together with guest appearances from Guy Pratt and former Jam guitarist Steve Brookes. One Law, released in early 2016, was produced by Carroll, and received reviews in Record Collector, Vive Le Rock, Louder Than War,[9] and The Aberdeen Voice.[10]



Year Title UK Label
1979 At the Chelsea Nightclub 45 Stiff/Virgin
1980 1980 – The Choice Is Yours - Virgin
1982 Uprhythm, Downbeat - Virgin
1995 Sound of the Suburbs (Best Of) - Virgin
2010 Live in Berlin - Smash The System
2012 Ingrrland - AngloCentric
2016 One Law - AngloCentric - Cadiz Music
2016 At The Luton Hat Factory - AngloCentric
2018 Greatest Hits (all the Singles) - AngloCentric - Cadiz Music
2019 Version - Cleopatra Records
2019 InGrrLand (vinyl edition) - Cleopatra Records


Year Title UK UK




1979 "Solitary Confinement" - - - -
1979 "The Sound of the Suburbs" 12 - - -
1979 "Offshore Banking Business" 31 - - -
1979 "Killing Time" - - - -
1980 "Romance" - - - -
1980 "Flying Again" - - - -
1981 "Working Girl" - 41 34 -
1982 "Radio"[2] - - - 5
2009 "International Financial Crisis" - - - -
2011 "New English Blues" - - - -
2015 "(I Love my)English Girls" - - - -
2016 "Emotional Triggers c/w Apathy in the UK" - - - -
2016 "Incident at Surbiton (3 Mixes)" - - - -
2018 "Smartphone Junkie c/w Non. Je ne Regrette Rein" - - - -
2019 "When U were mine c/w Ever Fallen in Love in Love" - - - -

Compilation appearances[edit]

  • Streets (Beggars Banquet 1977 – Track: "Fear on the Streets")
  • The Moonlight Tapes (Danceville Records 1977 – Track: "Rat Up a Drainpipe")
  • The Sound of the Suburbs (Columbia Records MOOD18 (1991) – Track: "The Sounds of the Suburbs")



  1. ^ a b c "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 November 2006. Retrieved 17 November 2006. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ a b c Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 361. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  3. ^ John Dizard (8 April 2016). "Offshore banking business, international crime!". Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  4. ^ "Urgh! A Music War (1981)". Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  5. ^ Steffen Hung. "Forum – 1982 (ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts)". Retrieved 30 December 2011.
  6. ^ "NICK TESCO conversations. Pt-08. Leningrad Cowboys and Aki Kaurismäki". YouTube. 20 May 2010. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  7. ^ "NICK TESCO conversations. Pt-07. Berlin, Aki Kaurismäki, Thru the Wire". YouTube. 21 May 2010. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  8. ^ Harr, Dan (25 August 2014). "UK Punk Trailblazers The Members Touring America Now". Nashville Music News. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
  9. ^ "The Members: One Law - album review". Louder Than War. 22 March 2016. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  10. ^ "The Members One Law – A Punk Coming Of Age Album". Aberdeen Voice. Retrieved 27 June 2016.

External links[edit]