This Heat

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This Heat
Background information
OriginCamberwell, London, England
Years active1976–1982, 2016–2019 (as This Is Not This Heat)
Past membersCharles Bullen
Charles Hayward
Gareth Williams

This Heat were an English experimental rock band, formed in early 1976 in Camberwell, London by multi-instrumentalists Charles Bullen (guitar, clarinet, viola, vocals, tapes), Charles Hayward (drums, keyboards, vocals, tapes) and Gareth Williams (keyboard, guitar, bass, vocals, tapes).

This Heat were active in the ascendancy of British punk, but stood apart from that scene due to an experimental and confrontational approach. This Heat's commercial success was limited, and their discography consisted of only two albums and an EP. The band would influence genres such as post-punk, industrial music, and post-rock.[1]

Williams died of cancer in 2001. From 2016 until 2019, Bullen and Hayward reunited, playing under the name This Is Not This Heat.


This Heat first came together in 1976 by Charles Hayward and Charles Bullen. Hayward was a member of the progressive rock band Quiet Sun, fronted by guitarist Phil Manzanera of Roxy Music. In 1975, Quiet Sun had signed a deal with Island Records to record an album entitled Mainstream. Mainstream was critically acclaimed and became the New Musical Express' album of the month, and Island Records' fourth or fifth biggest seller at the time, close to sales figures of Bad Company and Cat Stevens.[2] Whilst touring to support the record, Manzanera stepped down as his commitments with Roxy Music were taking up his schedule, so Bullen stepped in as a replacement. Quiet Sun dissolved shortly afterwards, but Bullen and Hayward, who had bonded over their similar tastes and attitude to music making, decided to continue working together.

After playing in a variety of improvisational groups such as Dolphin Logic and Friendly Rifles, they were joined by visual artist Gareth Williams, who despite his lack of formal musical training had an intuitive ear for sound. Hayward had also hoped to bring Quiet Sun bassist Bill MacCormick on board; MacCormick however, declined due to personality clashes between him and Williams. The trio settled upon the name This Heat in reference to the 1976 British Isles heat wave, regarded at the time as the hottest summer on record.

This Heat's first radio airplay came in early 1977 from legendary DJ John Peel, to whom they sent a demo tape recorded in the top room at Hayward's parents' house in Camberwell, prior to moving into their 'Cold Storage' studio — a disused cold storage room converted into a studio, which was part of an "Acme Studios" artists studios complex in Brixton. During this time, they also recorded a session with Ghanaian percussionist Mario Boyer Diekuuroh, parts of which later appeared on a 1982 split cassette with Albert Marcoeur, released by the French experimental rock magazine Tago Mago.[citation needed]

Their self-titled debut album was recorded between February 1976 and September 1978 in various studios and venues, and was released in August 1979. It was characterised by heavy use of tape manipulation and looping (especially on the track "24 Track Loop" which was a loop actually on the 2" master tape), combined with more traditional performance (including quite a lot of live stereo microphone in the room recordings) to create dense, eerie, electronic soundscapes. Shortly thereafter, This Heat released the Health and Efficiency EP, which foreshadowed the more rock-oriented sound of their subsequent album.

This Heat then signed a record deal with Rough Trade Records, who released Deceit, the band's second and final album, in 1981. Whilst maintaining their experimental approach, Deceit found the band incorporating more coherent song structures, and consolidating the dub and world music influences in their work. The album was produced with help from noted reggae mixer Martin Frederick. Although at the time, like all of This Heat's releases, it sold poorly, Deceit is now seen as a classic of the post-punk era. By that time Deceit was released, Williams had exited from the band, departing for India to study kathakali.

This Heat split up in 1982 after completing their final European tour with bassist-vocalist Trefor Goronwy and keyboardist Ian Hill joining Bullen and Hayward. Hayward went on to form Camberwell Now with Goronwy and Stephen Rickard, and remains musically active. Bullen had a solo venture called Lifetones, and released one record, For a Reason, in 1983 on his Tone of Life imprint and in 1998 released the album Internal Clock under the name Circadian Rhythms. Williams later formed Flaming Tunes with Mary Currie and released a cassette of material, which was later released on CD.

In 1993 a new album of previously unreleased This Heat recordings was unearthed. Repeat featured three long tracks, including the title track, a 20-minute remix of "24 Track Loop". Out of Cold Storage, a box set of all the band's official recordings, was released in June 2006 on This is!, a new Recommended Records sub-label set up by Hayward and Bullen to re-release This Heat's back catalogue. The set comprises This Heat, Deceit, Health and Efficiency, Made Available and Repeat, plus Live 80/81, a CD of concert recordings.[3]

In December 2001 This Heat tentatively rehearsed (with Williams); however, nothing came to fruition as Williams died later that month of cancer.[4]

In 2016, Bullen and Hayward reunited under the name This Is Not This Heat to perform a number of critically acclaimed gigs in London. The concerts featured several guests such as Thurston Moore, Alexis Taylor, Alex Ward and Daniel O'Sullivan. The reunion continued across the following three years, concluding with a small series of shows in London, New York, and Los Angeles in 2019.

In August 2020, This Heat released part of its catalogue digitally on streaming services,[5] including Bandcamp.[6]



Bands and artists that have called This Heat either an influence or a favourite include Steve Albini,[7] Alexis Taylor,[8] Dan Snaith,[8] Avey Tare,[9] Amen Dunes,[9] Women,[10] Preoccupations,[11] Nurse With Wound,[12] Palm,[13] Squid,[14] Mark Stewart,[15] The Dead C,[16] Daniel O'Sullivan,[17] Disco Inferno,[18] Elias Rønnenfelt,[19] Marc Hollander,[20] Family Fodder,[21] Matt Johnson,[22] 23 Skidoo,[23] David Grubbs,[24] Volcano the Bear,[25] Dazzling Killmen,[26] Nisennenmondai,[27] Korekyojinn,[28] Steven Wilson,[29] The Sound of Animals Fighting,[30] Yoshida Tatsuya,[31] 75 Dollar Bill,[32] Horse Lords,[33] Mika Taanila,[34] FRIGS,[35] Warm Ghost,[36] Justin Pearson,[37] Bo Ningen,[38] Pinkish Black,[39] Young Knives,[40] AIDS Wolf,[41] Controlled Bleeding,[42] These New Puritans,[43] Eyeless in Gaza,[44] Six Finger Satellite,[45] Trans Am,[46] Dave Kerman,[47] Guapo,[48] Chrome Hoof,[49] Ut,[50] Heiner Goebbels,[51] and many others.

In addition, numerous critics recognised the band's influence on the music of Sonic Youth, Glenn Branca, Public Image Ltd., Radiohead, Swans, Black Dice, Stereolab, Gang Gang Dance, Lightning Bolt, C. Spencer Yeh, Liars, Black Midi and several other experimental and post-rock bands.[52][53][54][55]

Covers & tributes[edit]


Studio albums[edit]



  • This Heat Live (1986; cassette-only release of 1980 Krefeld concert)
  • Scala (2006; bootleg 1979 London concert)
  • Final Revelations (2007; final 1982 concert plus songs from Solo Projects from each bandmember respectively)
  • Live at I.C.A. Club 1980 (2007; bootleg of concert at London's Institute of Contemporary Arts)


Various artist compilation appearances[edit]

Other releases[edit]

  • This Heat with Mario Boyer Diekuuroh (1982; split cassette with Albert Marcoeur)
  • Repeat (1993)
  • John Peel Shows (2005; bootleg of 1977 preview of first album demos)
  • Face Hand Shy: Rarities (2006; above Peel demos plus "Health & Efficiency", Mario Boyer Diekuuroh tracks and undated live tracks)


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  2. ^ "Quiet Sun Album Reviews". Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 9 September 2011.
  3. ^ Cutler, Chris (2006). Out of Cold Storage (booklet). Thornton Heath, England: Recommended Records.
  4. ^ Baxter, Ed (7 February 2002). "Obituary: Gareth Williams". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  5. ^ Moreland, Quinn (23 June 2020). "This Heat to Release Discography Digitally for the First Time". Pitchfork.
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  11. ^ "BYT Interviews: Viet Cong ⋆ BYT // Brightest Young Things". BYT // Brightest Young Things. 9 July 2014. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
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  14. ^ "Get tangled up in Squid – the weirdo-punk band making the avant-garde accessible". NME. 24 June 2019. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  15. ^ "Three Men in A Fridge: The Story of This Heat". Loud And Quiet. 15 March 2016. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  16. ^ Jon Chapman 26 May 2016 (26 May 2016). "The Dead C - Why use two chords when one will do? - part 1 - Story". AudioCulture. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  17. ^ "Forgotten Classics: Lifetones' For A Reason". FACT Magazine. 30 May 2014. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  18. ^ "FACT mix 354: Disco Inferno". 29 October 2012. Retrieved 10 June 2020.
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  20. ^ "Features | A Quietus Interview | Before And After Bandits: Marc Hollander Of Aksak Maboul & Crammed Discs". The Quietus. 21 February 2018. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
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  26. ^ "SKiN GRAFT News for You's". Retrieved 5 April 2020.
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  28. ^ "KOREKYOJINN". Magaibutsu. Retrieved 7 April 2020. The band's name translates to "This Giant", a sly pun inspired by THIS HEAT and GENTLE GIANT, two band's [sic] the group draws inspiration from.
  29. ^ Sw Recommends: This Heat. "Steven Wilson Recommends: This Heat - Steven Wilson". Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  30. ^ "Q&A with The Sound of Animals Fighting, whose first tour in five years is underway". Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  31. ^ "Ruins". 1 January 2011.
  32. ^ "KRAAK | 75 DOLLAR BILL".
  33. ^ Noel Gardener (14 March 2017). "Intonation, Innovation, Interventions: An Interview With Horse Lords". The Quietus. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
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  39. ^ "Pinkish Black Interview and Concert Review | BeardedGMusic". Archived from the original on 6 April 2020. Retrieved 6 April 2020.
  40. ^ "Young Knives - Interview".
  41. ^ "AIDS Wolf".
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  43. ^ "The Brothers Grin: These New Puritans Interviewed". Clash Magazine. 14 August 2019.
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  45. ^ Reynolds, Simon (1995). "SIX FINGER SATELLITE". Melody Maker. London: Time Inc. UK. Retrieved 6 April 2020. Six Finger are veritable scholars of post-punk. Earlier, during the soundcheck for their gig at CBGB's, [bassist] James [Apt] namechecks This Heat's "Deceit" and ATV's "Vibing Up The Senile Man", the Stranglers, Suicide and PiL.
  46. ^ Bester (18 November 2014). "TRANS AM [INTERVIEW] Hardcore et à cris". Gonzai. Retrieved 7 April 2020.
  47. ^ "Interview with DAVE KERMAN (5UUs, U TOTEM, PRESENT, THINKING PLAGUE...etc.etc.)". WOASCHES. 4 July 2013. Retrieved 7 April 2020.
  48. ^ Breznikar, Klemen (12 April 2014). "Guapo interview with David J. Smith". It's Psychedelic Baby! Magazine. Archived from the original on 4 April 2019. Retrieved 7 April 2020. At the same time we were discovering stuff like the Japanese new music scene, as well as the R.I.O movement & bands like This Heat, Soft Machine and Magma which started to inform our own songwriting approach and push us more as musicians.
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  50. ^ Jamie Rowland (30 September 2006). "Ut - Interview". Penny Black Music. Retrieved 7 April 2020. Other bands in our area: Mars, DNA, Television, Richard Hell, Pil, This Heat, Birthday Party, the Bad Seeds, Sonic Youth, Big Black, Einsturzende Neubaten, My Bloody Valentine-a band that is very Ut is Slint though we didn't hear them till after
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  54. ^ "This Heat: This Heat/Health and Efficiency/Deceit". Pitchfork.
  55. ^ "Band To Watch: Black Midi". 20 March 2019.
  56. ^ "The Ex / Voodoo Muzak / Cheer-Accident / Sleepytime Gorilla Museum - Knormalities V.3 Posthumorites". Discogs. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  57. ^ "Robert (3D) Del Naja* - Nocturne Sessions Disk 3". Discogs. 12 March 2002. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  58. ^ "KK Null* - Secret Thirteen Mix 076". Discogs. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  59. ^ "Egg Box 010". Discogs. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  60. ^ "Subtle - The Subtle 6 Mix". Discogs. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  61. ^ "LCD Soundsystem – Losing My Edge Lyrics | Genius Lyrics". Retrieved 5 April 2020.

External links[edit]