The Thought Criminals were an influential and enterprising Australian punk band based in Sydney. They formed in late 1977 and disbanded in late 1981. The "angular, fast and quirky punk rock" of the Thought Criminals "was a fixture in the burgeoning Sydney underground scene."The band’s name was derived from the concept of ‘thoughtcrimes’ (unapproved thoughts) from George Orwell’s book, Nineteen Eighty-Four . The Thought Criminals exemplified the do-it-yourself punk ethos of the late 1970s, with which they combined considerable business acumen. The band members formed the Doublethink record label and agency which provided recording and live performance opportunities for other new bands.
Nineteen Eighty-Four, often published as 1984, is a dystopian novel by English writer George Orwell published in June 1949. The novel is set in the year 1984 when most of the world population have become victims of perpetual war, omnipresent government surveillance and propaganda.
The Thought Criminals were formed in late 1977 with the initial line-up of Roger Grierson (aka Jack Boots; guitar), Rique Lee Kendall (aka Matt Black; bass) and Bruce Warner (aka Kit Identity; vocals). Various drummers played in the band during this early period. The band’s first gigs were at Blondies in Bondi Junction in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs. Inspired by the DIY ethic of the Desperate Bicycles, the Thought Criminals’ first recording was the EP Hilton Bomber, with Mark Kingsmill (aka Jim Boots) on drums. The EP was the inaugural release on the band’s own Doublethink label.
Roger Grierson is a New Zealand born musician and music industry executive.
Mark Adrian Kingsmill is an Australian rock musician. He has drummed with several bands including the Hitmen (1979–84), New Christs (1983–84), the Screaming Tribesmen (1984) and Hoodoo Gurus. He is the older brother of Richard Kingsmill, music director and presenter on Triple J.
Rique Lee Kendall left to join the Last Words and, in turn, the Last Words’ drummer, Ken Doyle (aka Derik Wapillspoon), joined the Thought Criminals. With the inclusion of Stephen Philip (aka Vivi Sector) on guitar, Roger Grierson switched to bass.By the end of 1978 John Hoey (aka The General) had also joined the Thought Criminals, playing keyboards.
The Thought Criminals built up a following with performances at mainly inner-city venues. The music of the Thought Criminals, in their early recordings and live performances, has been described as a "jagged, frantic sound".Their songs often had an irreverent sense of humour, perhaps exemplified by the following extract from "Fun" (1978): "Don’t want no top ten hit / Don’t want no disco shit / Just wanna have fun".
The Thought Criminals' debut album, Speed. Madness.. Flying Saucers…, was released in February 1980. The songs were recorded in three separate sessions spread over a period of eighteen months.The Thought Criminals' Doublethink label evolved from a record label to include agency and PR functions. Other less-established bands such as Tactics, Popular Mechanics and Sekret Sekret became incorporated within the Doublethink stable.
Tactics were a post-punk group which formed in Canberra in 1977. The line-up changed periodically, with songwriter and vocalist, David Studdert, as the mainstay. They released four studio albums, My Houdini, Glebe, Blue and White Future Whale (1986) and The Great Gusto (1990). Which were critically acclaimed and they were respected for the quality of their live performances. However, they did not achieve wider commercial success and remained largely unacknowledged outside of the alternative independent music scene. Their reputation for running against the grain musically, lyrically, and stylistically was described by Bob Blunt as "frenetic, discordant, [and] full of unusual rhythms." Tactics disbanded late in 1989 and Studdert relocated to London.
In 1980 the band toured beyond the precincts of their usual inner-city venues, at the end of which they announced their intention to retire from live performances. In their own words: "The band were not enamoured of the Music Business and had made a pact that when it wasn’t fun they’d call it a day – so when it wasn’t, they did".The Thought Criminals’ final gig was at Chequers in inner-city Sydney on 29 August 1980.
In their studio phase during the following year the Thought Criminals recorded a second album, You Only Think Twice, which "revealed the band expanding its scope with a more considered and diverse approach".In late 1981 the band played a live show at Chequers, after which the Thought Criminals disbanded.
Roger Grierson, Warren Fahey and rock journalist Stuart Coupe set up the Green record label in the early 1980s. Grierson continued to work in band and tour management, eventually attaining the position of Managing Director of PolyGram Music Publishing, and later Chairman of Festival Records. In 1982 guitarist Stephen Philip joined Do-Ré-Mi. In 1988 keyboardist John Hoey joined Died Pretty. Bruce Warner became an animator and the drummer Ken Doyle works in computing.
In July 2005 a retrospective two-CD anthology (Chrono-logical) was released, which featured all the Thought Criminals’ recordings released under the Doublethink and GREEN labels. On 4 February 2006 the band reformed for a one-off performance at the Annandale Hotel to publicise the CD.On the subject of reforming the Thought Criminals after 25 years Roger Grierson commented: "It seemed like everybody was doing it and with the release of the CD, and we put a website up to give away all the songs for free, it dragged a few people out of the woodwork".
In September 2006 the Thought Criminals took the stage again in a concert with Buzzcocks at Sydney’s Century Theatre.In February 2007 they again reformed to play with T.V. Smith of The Adverts at the Annandale Hotel.
The Saints are an Australian rock band originating in Brisbane in 1973. The band was founded by Chris Bailey, Ivor Hay (drummer), and Ed Kuepper (guitarist-songwriter). Contemporaneously with American punk rock band the Ramones, the Saints were employing the fast tempos, raucous vocals and "buzz saw" guitar that characterised early punk rock. With their debut single, "(I'm) Stranded", in September 1976, they became the first "punk" band outside the US to release a record, ahead of better-known acts including the Sex Pistols and the Clash. They are one of the first and most influential groups of the genre.
The Scientists are an influential post-punk band from Perth, Western Australia, led by Kim Salmon, initially known as the Exterminators and then the Invaders. The band had two primary incarnations: the Perth-based punk band of the late 1970s and the Sydney/London-based swamp rock band of the 1980s.
Xero were an Australian punk rock and new wave band formed in 1978 in Brisbane. They were fronted by mainstay member, Irena Luckus on lead vocals, keyboards and guitar before disbanding in 1983.
Ian McFarlane is an Australian music journalist, music historian and author, whose best known publication is the Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop (1999). As a journalist he started in 1984 with Juke, a rock music newspaper. During the early 1990s he worked for Roadrunner Records while he published a music guide, The Australian New Music Record Guide Volume 1: 1976–1980 (1992). He followed with two fanzines, Freedom Train and Prehistoric Sounds, both issued during 1994 to 1996. McFarlane's The Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop is described by the Australian Music Guide as "the most exhaustive and wide-ranging encyclopedia of Australian music from the 1950s onwards". Subsequently, he was a writer for The Australian and worked for Raven Records, a reissue specialist label, preparing compilations, writing liner notes and providing research. He fulfilled a similar role at Aztec Music from 2004 to March 2012. From July 2013 he has been a contributor to Addicted to Noise, writing a column.
The Cruel Sea are an Australian indie rock band from Sydney formed in late 1987. Originally an instrumental-only band, they became more popular when fronted by vocalist Tex Perkins in addition to Jim Elliott on drums, Ken Gormly on bass guitar, Dan Rumour on guitar and James Cruickshank on guitar and keyboards. Their popular albums are The Honeymoon Is Over (1993), Three Legged Dog (1995) and Over Easy (1998). Their best-known songs are "Better Get a Lawyer", "Takin' All Day", "The Honeymoon Is Over" and "Reckless Eyeballin'" – an instrumental track from their debut album Down Below that became the theme of Australian TV police drama, Blue Heelers. The band has won five ARIA Music Awards including four in 1994 for work associated with The Honeymoon Is Over.
Noise Addict were an Australian alternative rock band formed in 1993 by founding mainstay Ben Lee on lead vocals and guitar. He was joined in 1995 by Romy Hoffman on guitar before the group disbanded early in 1996. They had issued a studio album, Meet the Real You, on Fellaheen Records/Shock Records in late 1995. Lee undertook a solo career. He briefly reconvened Noise Addict in 2009 with new members, Lou Barlow and Lara Meyerratken, to issue a second album, It Was Never About the Audience, before returning to his solo pursuits.
The Desperate Bicycles were an English punk band who released a series of independent recordings in the late 1970s and inspired many other bands to do likewise. The Desperate Bicycles pioneered the do-it-yourself ethic of punk, adopting a proselytising role exemplified by their ardent exhortation: "it was easy, it was cheap – go and do it!". The group have been described as "DIY's most fervent evangelists".
The Makers of the Dead Travel Fast, sometimes seen as The Dead Travel Fast, were an Australian experimental music band formed in 1980. They issued two albums, The Vessels (1981) and Zoom Is Less than Man (1983), before disbanding in 1983.
Do-Ré-Mi are an Australian rock/pop band formed in Sydney in 1981 by Deborah Conway, Dorland Bray, Helen Carter and Stephen Philip (guitar). They were one of Australia's most respected and successful post-punk groups. Do-Ré-Mi recorded self-titled EP and The Waiting Room for independent label Green Records before signing to Virgin Records and recording their first LP, Domestic Harmony in 1985 with Gavin MacKillop producing. Domestic Harmony achieved gold sales and contained their most played song, "Man Overboard", which was a top 5 hit single in 1985. This song was notable for its lyrical references to penis envy and pubic hair. Do-Ré-Mi's follow-up singles Idiot Grin and Warnings Moving Clockwise reached the Top 100.
Sunnyboys is an Australian power pop/post-punk band formed in Sydney in 1980. Fronted by singer-songwriter, guitarist Jeremy Oxley, the band "breathed some freshness and vitality into the divergent Sydney scene". Their first two albums, Sunnyboys and Individuals both appeared in the Top 30 of the Australian Kent Music Report Albums Chart.
The Welcome Mat was a four-piece Australian indie rock group which formed in Sydney in 1989, and broke up in January 1997. Throughout the early-to-mid-1990s, their songs "Last of the Great Letdowns", "Cake", "Landspeed", "10,000 People", "Hell Hoping", "Play Me" and "Hey! Illusion" topped the Australian alternative charts, with the videos receiving play on Rage and MTV Australia. The first band ever to play Australia's Big Day Out festival, The Welcome Mat toured extensively around Australia with the likes of the Hoodoo Gurus, Died Pretty, Buffalo Tom, The Lemonheads, The Wonder Stuff, You Am I, Smudge and Bob Dylan.
Johnny Dole & The Scabs were one of the first punk rock bands in Australia; they played live and recorded in Sydney, during 1977–78.
The Fun Things were a high energy punk band that was formed during the heyday period of punk rock. Known for their admiration of Radio Birdman, they also have been documented as being "modeled on almost exclusively on the Radio Birdman / Stooges / Sex Pistols mould". Original band members were Brad Shepherd on guitar and vocals, John Hartley on bass guitar, Graeme Beavis on guitar and Murray Shepherd on drums. Brad Shepherd and Murray Shepherd were brothers in the band, which released one highly acclaimed E.P. and has become "one of the most collectable artifacts from Australia’s punk rock era".
The Philisteins were a garage punk band formed in Hobart in 1985 as The Cheesemongers with a line-up including Scott Harrison on bass guitar; Aydn Hibberd on guitar, vocals and harmonica; and Guy Lucas on guitar, vocals and organ. In 1986 Konrad Park joined on drums and they adopted a new name, The Philisteins. In 1987 they issued their debut album, Reverberations, and soon after relocated to Adelaide and signed with local label, Greasy Pop Records. In December 1988 they released an eight-track extended play, Bloody Convicts, with Harrison replaced by Ian Wettenhall on bass guitar and Nick Bruer on drums. They followed with a six-track EP, Some Kind of Philisteins, in November 1989, with Bruer replaced by Stewart Tabert. Their full-length album, Lifestyles of the Wretched and Forgettable, appeared in November of the next year on Dog Meat Records and they had moved to Melbourne. By 1992 they disbanded and Lucas, Tabert and Wettenhall formed another group, The Freeloaders. Hibberd was a founding member of indie rock band, Powder Monkeys. In March 1998 Guy Lucas died of a drug overdose. A compilation album, A Savage Affection: 1986–1992, appeared in December 2007.
Stuart Coupe is an Australian music journalist, promoter, band manager and writer. Coupe has managed acts including Hoodoo Gurus and Paul Kelly.
David Anthony Healy, who performs as David Virgin, is an Irish-born Australian musician, songwriter, author and music producer. In the 1980s he was a member of punk, industrial noise group SPK, and later formed a post-punk band, Sekret Sekret. He was active in the 1990s and 2000s touring Australia and Europe. He performed and recorded both as a solo artist and as a member of numerous bands.
Leadfinger(pron: Led-finger) is an Australian rock’n’roll band formed in the city of Wollongong, New South Wales in 2006 by Glasgow-born singer/guitarist Stewart 'leadfinger' Cunningham. The band has released 5 albums to date, with the most recent coming out in July 2016 through Conquest of Noise.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Thought Criminals|