The Members in London, 2015
|Labels||Stiff, Virgin, Arista|
Jean Marie Carroll|
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. 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.
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. 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). 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.
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, issued a year earlier as Uprhythm, Downbeat (1982) in the US. The album featured the singles "Radio," which made the Top 10 in parts of Australia, 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. 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. 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.
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, and The Aberdeen Voice.
|1979||At the Chelsea Nightclub||45||Stiff/Virgin|
|1980||1980 - The Choice Is Yours||-||Virgin|
|1995||Sound of the Suburbs (Best Of)||-||Virgin|
|2010||Live in Berlin||-||Smash The System|
|2016||One Law||-||AngloCentric - Cadiz Music|
|2016||At The Luton Hat Factory||-||AngloCentric|
|1979||"The Sound of the Suburbs"||12||-||-||-|
|1979||"Offshore Banking Business"||31||-||-||-|
|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)"||-||-||-||-|
2013 Australian Tour
2014 Summer tours
2014 French tour
2014 Dutch tour
2015 Buzzcocks dates
2016 Cornwall Campaign
2016 Scottish Campaign
2017 40-years Anniversary Line-up