Thee Headcoats

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Thee Headcoats
OriginChatham, Kent, England
GenresGarage rock, punk, garage punk
Years active1989–2000
LabelsHangman Records, Get Hip, Crypt Records, Shakin' Street, Sub Pop, Damaged Goods, Birdman Records, Vinyl Japan
Associated actsThee Headcoatees, The Downliners Sect
Past membersBilly Childish
Bruce Brand
Johnny Johnson

Thee Headcoats was a band formed in Chatham, Kent, England in 1989, that was well known for its garage rock sound, explicitly sticking to this style on almost all of their albums. The band's signature sound as well as their prolific writing has been attributed to Billy Childish's love of simple, direct recording. The band has been on multiple labels including Billy's own Hangman Records, Damaged Goods and Sub Pop.

The band played their final concert on 12 May 2000 at the Dirty Water Club.[1][2] Childish went on to play with other bands including The Buff Medways (1999 to 2006) and The Musicians of The British Empire (2007 to 2011).


The band was composed of Billy Childish (guitar and vocals), Bruce Brand (drums and backing vocals), and Johnny Johnson (bass).[3] The band is the most prolific of Childish's many musical projects so far, releasing fourteen full-length albums.

The group originally featured Allan Crockford (ex-The Prisoners) (credited as Krojack on the first LP, Headcoats Down), followed by John Agnew (ex-Thee Mighty Caesars) then Ollie Dolat (co-founder of The Squares and founder of Mr Zero) on bass before Johnson joined.

Thee Headcoatees, an all-female vocal group consisting of Holly Golightly, Kyra LaRubia, Ludella Black, and (until leaving in 1999) Bongo Debbie, would often perform live with Thee Headcoats, and recorded several LPs with them as backing band. The band also recorded two albums as Thee Headcoats Sect, with members of The Downliners Sect.

Repertoire and influence[edit]

Described in the New York Times as 'the king of garage rock',[citation needed] Thee Headcoats had their roots in the British punk scene of the 1970s (both Billy and Bruce playing in The Pop Rivets and The Milkshakes). The band recorded songs by The Clash under the pseudonym Thee Stash.[4] The band also recorded tribute albums to Bo Diddley and Jimmy Reed. Their debut album featured new versions of songs recorded by Son House including "John the Revelator" and "Child's Death Letter",[5] both of which were later covered by The White Stripes upon whom Billy and Thee Headcoats were a great influence.[6] These influences give a good indication of the band's sound; punk mixed with pure rhythmic rock 'n' roll and blues.


Studio albums[edit]

  • Headcoats Down! (1989) [mini LP]
  • The Earls of Suavedom (1990)
  • The Kids Are All Square- This Is Hip! (1990)[7]
  • Beach Bums Must Die (1990)
  • Heavens to Murgatroyd, Even! It’s Thee Headcoats! (Already) (1990)
  • W.O.AH! Bo in Thee Garage (1991) [Bo Diddley tribute album]
  • Headcoatitude (1991)[8]
  • The Good Times Are Killing Me (1993)
  • Thee Headcoats Conundrum (1994)[9]
  • In Tweed We Trust (1996)
  • Deerstalking Men (1996) [as Thee Headcoats Sect]
  • Knights of the Baskervilles (1996)[10]
  • The Jimmy Reed Experience (1997) [10" mini LP; Jimmy Reed tribute]
  • The Messerschmitt Pilot's Severed Hand (1998)[11]
  • Brother is Dead… But Fly is Gone! (1998)
  • 17% - Hendrix Was Not the Only Musician (1998)
  • Ready Sect Go! (1999) [as Thee Headcoats Sect]
  • I Am the Object of Your Desire (2000)

Compilations and live[edit]

  • The Wurst is Yet to Come (1993) [Live]
  • Live at the Wild Western Room (1994) [featuring Thee Headcoatees]
  • The Sounds of the Baskervilles (1995) [featuring Thee Headcoatees]
  • Thee Headcoats Best: Sherlock Holmes Meets the Punkenstein Monster (1998) [Japanese Compilation]
  • Thee English Gentlemen of Rock & Roll: Thee Headcoats Best Vol. II (1999) [Japanese Compilation]
  • Elementary Headcoats – Thee Singles 1990-1999 (2001)[12]
  • Live at the Dirty Water Club (2001)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Erik Hage. "Thee Headcoats | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 31 July 2016.
  2. ^ "Thee Headcoats on Sub Pop Records". Retrieved 31 July 2016.
  3. ^ "Thee Headcoats". Damaged Goods. Retrieved 31 July 2016.
  4. ^ "Thee Stash Discography - UK". Retrieved 31 July 2016.
  5. ^ Dan Kilian (16 September 2001). "Thee Headcoats: Headcoats Down! Album Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved 31 July 2016.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 16 March 2005. Retrieved 2005-08-26.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "Music - Review of Thee Headcoats - The Kids Are All Square – This Is Hip!". BBC. 5 December 2011. Retrieved 31 July 2016.
  8. ^ Bruce Eder. "Headcoatitude - Thee Headcoats | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 31 July 2016.
  9. ^ Ned Raggett. "Conundrum - Thee Headcoats | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 31 July 2016.
  10. ^ Adam Bregman (8 October 1996). "Knights of the Baskervilles - Thee Headcoats | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 31 July 2016.
  11. ^ Andrew Helminger (22 March 1997). "The Messerschmitt Pilot's Severed Hand - Thee Headcoats | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 31 July 2016.
  12. ^ Paula Carino (5 September 2000). "Elementary - Thee Headcoats | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 31 July 2016.

External links[edit]