The Members

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The Members
The Members in London, 2015
The Members in London, 2015
Background information
Origin Camberley, England
Genres Punk rock
Years active 1976–1983, 2007–present
Labels Stiff, Virgin, Arista
Website theMembers.co.uk
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 biggest hit recording is "The Sound of the Suburbs", which reached 12 in the UK Singles Chart in 1979.

Career[edit]

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 byJohn 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, 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.

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,[7] 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.

The Members' One Law album sleeve

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; the record is due for release in early 2016. One Law was produced by Carroll, and received reviews in Record Collector, Vive Le Rock, Louder Than War,[8] and The Aberdeen Voice.[9]

The band's 1979 protest song, "Offshore Banking Business", achieved viral cult status as the unofficial anthem on the Panama Papers.[10]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

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


Singles[edit]

Year Title UK UK

Indie

US

Main

AUS
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" - - - -

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")

Line-ups[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 November 2006. Retrieved 17 November 2006. 
  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 (1981)". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2016-06-27. 
  4. ^ Steffen Hung. "Forum – 1982 (ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts)". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 30 December 2011. 
  5. ^ "NICK TESCO conversations. Pt-08. Leningrad Cowboys and Aki Kaurismäki.". YouTube. 2010-05-20. Retrieved 2016-06-27. 
  6. ^ "NICK TESCO conversations. Pt-07. Berlin, Aki Kaurismäki, Thru the Wire.". YouTube. 2010-05-21. Retrieved 2016-06-27. 
  7. ^ Harr, Dan (25 August 2014). "UK Punk Trailblazers The Members Touring America Now". Music News Nasvhille. Retrieved 25 November 2015. 
  8. ^ "The Members: One Law - album review". Louder Than War. 2016-03-22. Retrieved 2016-06-27. 
  9. ^ "The Members One Law – A Punk Coming Of Age Album". Aberdeen Voice. Retrieved 2016-06-27. 
  10. ^ John Dizard (2016-04-08). "Offshore banking business, international crime!". FT.com. Retrieved 2016-06-27. 

External links[edit]