The Members

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The Members
The Members in Chicago, 2014
The Members in Chicago, 2014
Background information
Origin Camberley, England
Genres Punk
Years active 1976–1983, 2007–present
Labels Stiff, Virgin, Arista
Members Jean Marie Carroll
Chris Payne
Nigel Bennett
Nick Cash
Past members Rat Scabies
Nicky Tesco
Adrian Lillywhite
Gary Baker
Steve Morley
Clive Parker
Steve Maycock
Rudi Thompson
Simon Lloyd
Chuck Sabo
Adam Maitland

The Members are a British punk band that originated in Camberley, England. Their best known recording is "The Sound of the Suburbs" (1979).


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, and became a feature in the music press. They signed to Virgin Records in 1978, for which 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, 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.[3]

The Members' first album, At the Chelsea Nightclub, was followed by a second for Virgin, 1980 – The Choice Is Yours. Their last album was Going West,[2] issued a year earlier as Uprhythm, Downbeat (1982) in the US.[1] The album featured the singles "Radio," which made the Top 10 in parts of Australia,[4] 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. 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.[5] 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.[6] 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, MC'd by Phill Jupitus under his 1980s performance poet stage name of "Porky The Poet".

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. The same year, Carroll and Payne toured as The Members, with occasional appearances of Tesco and Bennett. A Members' line-up of Carroll, Payne and Nick Cash (drums) performed during 2010, playing in Spain and Italy, and at the Isle of Wight[7] and Glastonbury Festivals. Nick Cash is not the same person as the Nick Cash of 999.[8])

In March 2012, the Members released their fourth studio album, InGrrLand, featuring Carroll, Payne, Bennett, Cash and Rat Scabies. In October 2012, guitarist Nigel Bennett released his debut CD "Truth or Consequences" on Zip Records/Sony Red.[9] In November 2012 Bennett announced that he would be leaving the The Vibrators to concentrate on his solo career, and in December 2013 he rejoined the Members.

The band toured Australia and New Zealand in 2013.

In 2014 The Members mounted a coast to coast tour of the USA,[10] without Payne's temporary replacement Calle Englemarc who had injured his hand. Instead, JC Carroll played bass. This was[clarification needed] the band's first tour of the USA for 32 years.




  1. ^ a b c Stand up and spit – the story of The Members
  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. ^ Urgh! A Music War
  4. ^ Steffen Hung. "Forum – 1982 (ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts)". Retrieved 30 December 2011. 
  5. ^ Nick Tesco: Leningrad Cowboys
  6. ^ Nick Tesco: Aki Kaurismaki
  7. ^ "Isle of Wight Festival 2012". 24 June 2011. Retrieved 30 December 2011. 
  8. ^ Carroll, JC. "Nick Cash Musician". JC Carroll. 
  9. ^
  10. ^

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