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.
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.
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.
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.
Buzzcocks are an English punk rock band formed in Bolton, England in 1976 by singer-songwriter-guitarist Pete Shelley and singer-songwriter Howard Devoto. They are regarded as a seminal influence on the Manchester music scene, the independent record label movement, punk rock, power pop, and pop punk. They achieved commercial success with singles that fused pop craftsmanship with rapid-fire punk energy. These singles were collected on Singles Going Steady, described by critic Ned Raggett as a "punk masterpiece".
The Saints are an Australian punk 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.
Xero were an Australian punk rock and new wave band formed in 1978 in Brisbane, Queensland. They were fronted by mainstay member, Irena Luckus on lead vocals, keyboards and guitar before disbanding in 1983.
Powder Monkeys were an Australian punk, indie rock band, formed in 1991. The founding mainstays, Tim Hemensley, on bass guitar and lead vocals and John Nolan on lead guitar were both ex-members of Bored!. Powder Monkeys released three studio albums, Smashed on a Knee, Time Wounds all Heels and Lost City Blues (2000), before they broke up in 2002. Tim Hemensley died on 21 July 2003, aged 31, of a heroin overdose.
The Cruel Sea are an Australian indie rock band from Sydney, New South Wales 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 eight ARIA Music Awards including five in 1994 for work associated with The Honeymoon Is Over.
Noise Addict was 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 Johnnys are an Australian pub rock band from Sydney forming in 1982 and still active today that combines country and punk musical styles. Members are Graham Hood, Billy Pommer Jr and Slim Doherty and have included founder, Roddy Ray'da and Spencer P. Jones.
The Victims were an Australian punk band from Perth, Western Australia, active from 1977 to 1979. The founding mainstay members were James Baker on drums, Dave Flick on guitar and vocals, and Rudolph V on bass guitar. Their debut single, "Television Addict", was issued in April 1978 and was followed by a five-track extended play, The Victims, in August of that year. The group disbanded early in the next year. In 1989 Timberyard Records released a compilation album, All Loud on the Western Front, of their material. In late 2014 and early 2015 Baker and Faulkner were joined by Ray Ahn as the Television Addicts to perform the Victims material. The 2014 and '15 shows were so well received that the trio rightly assumed the band name The Victims and played sold-out shows at Rosemount Hotel and Mojo's Bar.
Tactics are 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. Since then, Tactics have played in Sydney 2006, 2008 and 2019). David Studdert has played periodically with ex-Tactics members in other projects.
James Lawrence Baker is an Australian musician, best known as the drummer of various rock and punk rock groups, including the Victims, the Scientists, Hoodoo Gurus, Beasts of Bourbon, and the Dubrovniks. In 2006 Baker was inducted into the West Australian Music Industry Hall of Fame. The following year, Hoodoo Gurus were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame.
Do-Ré-Mi were an Australian pop rock 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 are an Australian power pop band formed in Sydney in 1979. 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.
Johnny Dole & the Scabs were an early Australian punk rock group formed in 1977 by Terry Walsh on lead vocals, Dave Berry on bass guitar and vocals, Peter Mullany on guitar and Greg Morris on drums and vocals. They disbanded early in the following year. A compilation album, Scab Animal 1977, was released in 1996. Terry Walsh died on 9 August 1987, aged 33.
Roger Grierson is a New Zealand born musician and music industry executive.
The Teardrops were an English punk/new wave band formed in Manchester, England, in 1978. The founders and always the core of this band were Trevor Wain, John Key and Jimmy Donnelly with various good friends from the Prestwich music scene:- Buzzcocks bassist Steve Garvey, members of The Fall; Martin Bramah, Karl Burns and Tony Friel and former member of V2 Ian Nance, as well as occasional contributions from Dave Brisbane, Helen Harbrook, Dave Price and Rick Goldstraw.
The Philisteins were a garage punk band formed in Hobart in 1985 as The Cheesemongers with a line-up including; 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 late 1986 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, 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. In September 1992 they disbanded and Lucas, Tabert and Wettenhall joined ex-GOD member, Sean Greenaway in a new 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, author, band manager, promoter, publicist and music label founder. He is best known for his work as a rock writer with Roadrunner, RAM, The Sun-Herald, and Dolly (magazine); the music labels, GREEN Records and Laughing Outlaw; and the author of books including The Promoters, Gudinski, and Roadies.
David Anthony Healy, who performs as David Virgin, is an Irish-born Australian musician, songwriter, author and record 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. He has produced music for artists including All The Queen's Horses, RUNAH Patricia Lalor, and SPK.
Leadfinger(pron: Led-finger) are 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.
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.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Thought Criminals|