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|Also known as||Evil Ways|
|Origin||England, United Kingdom|
|Associated acts||The Broadway Brats|
The Entire Population of Hackney
|Past members|| Adrian Smith |
Urchin (also known as Evil Ways)were an English hard rock band.
The band was formed in 1972 by childhood friends Dave Murray and Adrian Smith. Along with bassist John Hoye and various drummers, they entered a few local talent competitions and played their first gigs in Hoye's school.
Early in 1974 Murray decided to leave and join a 'proper' band and Smith and Hoye met up with guitarist Maurice Coyne who was a friend of a friend. After a jam session in Hoye's school hall, they decided to form a band and Evil Ways was reborn. A drummer Barry Tyler then joined the band. After gigging around local pubs they decided that they needed a singer/frontman, and recruited Dubliner David Hall.
By this time Evil Ways were playing regularly at most of the well known London venues. In August 1976 they were signed by Nomis/Morgan (owned by Simon Napier-Bell) who changed the band's name to Urchin, and got them a recording contract with DJM Records. Their first single was going to be "Without Love", written by Dave Hall, with "Rocka Rolla" (the Judas Priest song) as the B-side. They were recorded in a studio in Denmark Street, London but were never released. Soon after, Hoye left the band and was replaced by Alan Levett (an old school friend of Tyler's).
"Black Leather Fantasy", was released on 13 May 1977 and is now a very rare collectors item. Hall left the band in July 1977, followed by Coyne in January 1978. Coyne was replaced, briefly, by Dave Murray who had left Iron Maiden after an argument. Murray decided not to stay and after playing on the recording of the band's second single – "She's a Roller" (originally called "I'm a Roller")/ "Long Time No Woman" – he returned to Iron Maiden.Urchin carried on and recruited guitarist Andy Barnett, later a member of Visage and FM, and later keyboard player Richard (Dick) Young. However, the advent of punk rock led to the loss of their recording contract and meant that live work was drying up as their brand of hard rock was no longer fashionable. Eventually the band broke up and in early 1980 Smith and Barnett formed The Broadway Brats with ex members of Blazer Blazer. Later that year Smith was invited to replace guitarist Dennis Stratton in Iron Maiden.
On 19 December 1985 Smith organised a reunion of his mates and performed the live recording The Entire Population of Hackney at the Marquee Club in London along with Nicko McBrain. Later in this recording, the rest of his bandmates from Iron Maiden appeared on stage. In 1989, Smith got some of his Urchin bandmates, including Barnett, and some friends together to form his separate project, ASAP (Adrian Smith and Project). They recorded two singles, "Silver and Gold" and "Down the Wire" and one album, Silver and Gold. They did not tour and split after Smith left Iron Maiden in 1990.
In 1992, Smith once again got together some of the ASAP bandmates to form the band The Untouchables, which lasted until 1994 when he decided to rename the band and hire a lead singer. This was called Psycho Motel.
In 2004, High Roller Records released a limited and handnumbered 330 copies on silver vinyl album, Urchin, including four single tracks, one live recording and five unreleased songs. In 2010, High Roller Records released a full-length album called High Roller, first released on a limited number of 1500 copies, 300 black vinyl with white border, 400 white vinyl and 800 black vinyl with a 20 pages booklet, and later in 2011, was released a CD version with a 24 pages booklet and a limited number of 1000 copies.
There are unofficial live albums, recorded on K7 tapes and currently distributed on the internet.
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